Saturday, July 21, 2018

Random Amusements

It's time to take some old scans off the shelf - dust them off, shine them up, and let them have their moment in the sun. All of these are old snapshots.

First up is this novelty photo from the Long Beach Pike (or so it seems based on a little online research). This couple has been placed in jail for crimes so heinous that I won't repeat them here! They seemed so nice - but that's how it always goes, isn't it?

Next up is this cute photo of a father and his young son as they enjoyed a ride on an antique auto. All old automobiles had two steering wheels in case one of the passengers passed out from overexcitement. That building in the background looks vaguely familiar, yet I can't place it. Perhaps one of you knows the location?

And lastly, here's a snapshot that was mixed in with some Disneyland scenes. We're in the parking lot of the old Busch Gardens that used to be in Van Nuys. There were beautiful gardens, colorful parrots, a log flume ride, and free beer (!), to name just a few of the attractions. This particular photo shows the monorail that took guests on a tour through the huge brewery (audio narration was recorded by Ed McMahon - no kidding!). Sadly, the park was removed in 1979, though the factory continues to scent the air with the aroma of brewing beer.


Nanook said...


Those old B&W images are so much fun. That couple certainly looks like a product of their time - 1940's-? You're right - there is something very familiar about that second image - other than the "Dad" bearing a strong resemblance to Gene Hackman-! That building looks as if it houses a 'Rotor', or some centrifugal force ride.

I'm ready for a beer right now. (Just not a lowly Budweiser...)

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, that second image is of the Tijuana Taxi/Antique Auto Ride/Merry-Go-Round Auto Ride, at Knott's Berry Farm. That structure in the background housed the Merry-Go-Round (before it was moved to it's current location in 1987). Both of those attractions were originally run by Bud Hurlbut.

I LOVE that rare pic of the monorail at Busch Gardens. You don't see too many photos showing the cars in the station.

You don't suppose that couple was thrown in the "Long Beach" Jail for slathering fluorescent paint all over Elmer McCurdy's body, do you? (You know I'm obsessed with that story!)

Chuck said...

TM! beat me to the best stuff this morning. I can't even make a passing Elmer McCurdy reference.

The red Pinto in the Busch Gardens photo reminds me of several vehicles that our local post office started using for residential delivery in 1980. The ones here were red with unobtrusive, white, bumper-sticker-like decals with red (or maybe it was black) "US Postal Service" lettering affixed to the rear (or maybe it was the doors; I've slept since then). According to the Chicago Tribune, USPS bought nearly 5,000 of them in 1980, 86% of which were still on the road in 1989.

Nanook, I'm not sure Budweiser actually qualifies as a beer.

Back in the mid-'90s, I was on temporary duty (the military version of a business trip) to the St Louis area for an exercise ("wargame"). A co-worker who was a beer connoisseur and I went to dinner at a local restaurant, and she asked the server if they had any microbrews. The server looked confused and asked "what's a microbrew?"

My co-worker and I exchanged amused glances, and I responded "a microbrew a specialty, craft beer usually produced locally."

The server brightened. "Oh!" she said. "Yes! We serve Anheuser-Busch products!"

We still gave her a generous tip.

K. Martinez said...

The Long Beach Jail pic is really cool, but the Knott's pic is cool too. And the Busch Gardens photo... heck, they're all cool pics today. For once, I can't pick a favorite. Thanks, Major.


Luckily for Elmer McCurdy he found a permanent resting place at Summit View Cemetery in Guthrie, Oklahoma.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, now that I think of it, I should have said "morbidly fascinated" instead of "obsessed." It sounds a little bit healthier.

Chuck, it's not too can still POKE fun at Elmer.

Ken, that obituary just says that his body "traveled around" until being returned to Guthrie, Oklahoma. Boy, they just skip right over those 66 years in between his death and his "return"! At least Wikipedia gives the full, gritty story! It's morbidly fascinating!

Melissa said...

That nice couple has been booked on suspicion of being incredibly strange creatures who stopped living and became mixed-up zombies.

Those boxy monorail cars are pure 1970s gold.

K. Martinez said...

TokyoMagic!, I figured you'd at least like to see his tombstone and final resting place. Personally, I think Elmer McCurdy should've stayed in the amusement park business and they could've repainted his body and integrated him into Big Thunder Mountain with added A.A. vultures. Now that would've brought me back to Disneyland.

TokyoMagic! said...

Ken, I had never seen his headstone, so I appreciate the link. I agree with you about keeping him in the theme park business. Disney could have stuck him in the western section of the new "America" room in It's A Small World, or propped him up next to the animatronic vulture in the remodeled Club 33. They could have even kept moving him around the park as sort of a "Where's Waldo?" type of thing. Right now he could be under the arm of Tiny in Pirates of the Caribbean and the auctioneer could be taking bids on him from the other pirates. Think of the endless possibilities with the upcoming Star Wars Land......Elmer McCurdy in carbonite! Elmer McCurdy as Uncle Owen or Aunt Beru!

Budblade said...

Hey... watch it chuck/nanook, that “lowly Budweiser“ stuff has paid my salary and bought me a house over the last 25 years.
Maybe you confused it with that “miller” stuff, that’s what I’m choosing to beleive anyway.

I had to go look up Elmer McCurdy. I’m sorry to admit I had not heard that name before. Interesting story

Anonymous said...

Great memories of Busch Gardens. At first it was free admission and free beer! And as for that Pinto, mine was brown!! KS

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I would guess (based on not much) that the first photo is from the 1950’s, but it could certainly be from earlier. It’s funny, I also thought that Dad in photo #2 looked like Gene Hackman.

TokyoMagic!, wow, good old Knott’s Berry Farm! I thought it might be from Cedar Fair for some reason, which is ironic since they now own Knott’s. Thank you for the ID! Yeah, that Busch Gardens snapshot was mixed in with some Disneyland images, but I was very happy to find it. I love the multiple colors on the monorail vehicles. As for that couple… if slathering a mummified corpse with fluorescent paint is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.

Chuck, you have to get up pretty early in the morning to beat TokyoMagic! Wow, the USPS used PINTOS? I’ve always wondered if their reputation for bursting into flames was real or not. Maybe that waitress thought that a microbrew was a very tiny mug of beer? I would have left a generous tip too!

K. Martinez, ha ha, I’m glad you liked todays pix. And thanks for the info about Elmer McCurdy, I actually never knew what happened to him after they discovered that he was a real dead guy.

TokyoMagic!, I knew what you meant. I think! I just looked at Wikipedia’s detailed account. of Elmer’s history, it is pretty interesting. He could have never imagined his future!

Melissa, now that you mention it, that man bears a striking resemblance to Cash Flagg.

K. Martinez, even after reading his bio on Wikipedia, it is unclear if the owners of The Pike knew that the corpse hanging in the “Laff In the Dark” ride was real. Perhaps they thought it was just a gruesome papier mâché sculpture?

TokyoMagic!, if only Elmer had as much success as a bandit as he did as a theme park draw. Who is “Tiny the Pirate”?? I didn’t know they had names, for the most part. I definitely think that a mummified corpse in “It’s a Small World” would remind people of the hard facts that something something.

Budblade, far be it from me to knock a popular beer! I know many people who drink it. Beer fans tend to like more hops or malt or whatever, but there is a place for lighter beers too. If it’s not too nosy, do you work at the plant near the 405? My friend used to love to go to have a Tommy’s chili cheeseburger there just for the aroma of brewing beer.

KS, people can’t believe that there was a place like Busch Gardens that was FREE. And as you said, free beer. So crazy. My brother had an old Pinto that was sort of “bronze” rather than brown, if I recall correctly.

Melissa said...

I went to high school with a boy who was 6'8" and drove a little brown Pinto.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, "Tiny" is the name of the "larger" woman at the top of the steps in the auction scene. The one that the auctioneer used to say, "Shift your cargo, dearie!" to. Now she's holding a hen under each arm and they are auctioning off the chickens to the pirates. Because, you know.....back in the day, pirates wanted chickens and they were willing to pay big bucks for them. That's according to Disney, anyway.

Chuck said...

Budblade, I was joking and did not mean to offend. Honest.

Although I tend to gravitate to heavier beers (my college roommate, a Bud afficianado, referred to my beverage choices as "bottled bread"), if Budweiser and it's light-beer brother didn't hit the spot with so many people, they wouldn't be the third-best and best-selling beers in America.

When I was stationed in the UK, locals would flock to our unit's concession stand at the annual airshow to buy Bud and Bud Light at discount prices, and we earned enough money for some really nice unit events over the course of the next year. Budweiser is popular enough there that the Co-Op grocery stores have a generic taste-alike so people can enjoy the taste without paying import prices.

I now live in the St Louis area, go to ball games at Busch Memorial Stadium, shared the angst of employees at the InBev buyout, and make sure the brewery tour and/or Grant's Farm are on the itinerary when out-of-town friends visit. I love the company and its history. My kids even have stuffed clydesdales. And - full disclosure - when we couldn't get our microbrew in the story above, we both settled for a Michelob Black & Tan, brewed and bottled by none other than Anheuser Busch.

I hope you can forgive me for just not being a big fan of the taste of Bud. If it helps, I also don't care for cilantro or John Woo movies.