Sunday, September 30, 2018

Frontierland & Adventureland

I'm using up some Leftuggies™today! 

There he is, the friendliest Chief that ever waved. There used to be an old man who liked to wave at passing cars out by the turnpike - the more things change, the more they stay the same!

Next is this view of three crocodiles. Manny, Moe, and Jack? I always love it when a duck decides that a croc is a handy place to nap (notice Jack with an unscheduled passenger). 

I used to think that this view up a mysterious Jungle Cruise waterway might have been taken by the bridge that led to the Plantation House. Here's a pretty good photo of that bridge...

But now I'm not so sure. It seems too high to be taken from a Jungle Cruise launch,  but too low to have been taken from that bridge. Does anybody know for sure where the Pep Boys used to be?

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Seattle World's Fair, June 1962

Once somebody figured out that Seattle was a part of the world, they immediately started plans to build a World's Fair there. And lo! It came to pass in 1962 - the "Century 21 Exposition", as it was known. Elvis Presley and a young Kurt Russell went there (in the movie "It Happened At The World's Fair"), and that's pretty much all the "cred" this Fair needs to get respect. Plus it made a profit - many Fairs did not. 

The first photo for today shows a gentleman posing near an "Electri-Cab" and a butterscotch gold "Fairliner" tram. "Why walk anywhere?" is my motto. Other folks rush hither and fro to see the many wonders of the Fair. The legs of the Space Needle rise in the distance, while the "Cathay Arts Company" woos lovers of exotic Asian goods.

Over at the International Mall, you could not get a Hotdog on a Stick or Dippin' Dots, but you could buy "Gifts From Germany" or hand-crafted goods from Thailand. Some sort of French-themed establishment seems to be the next one in line. They sold berets and striped shirts, probably.

Do you think ladies wore hats like that every day in Seattle? Or was this a Sunday, and this is how they dressed to go to church?

All of the best World's Fairs had burlesque shows. "Backstage U.S.A.", eh?  Sounds potentially naughty! The sign on the ticket window says CLOSED - Grandpa will be so disappointed (he still goes on and on about that time he saw Gypsy Rose Lee). Meanwhile, the "posters" on the façade depict ladies from all over the world. All of these ladies think it's much too warm to be wearing so much clothing. It happens.

There's a brief article about this feature of the Fair HERE - it says it's "not safe for work", but it is pretty tame. Still, if you are at work, you have been warned!

I'll have more photos from the Seattle World's Fair coming up.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Skyway Views

It's time for more Kodak Instamatic goodness, thanks to the mysterious Mr. X. Who is he? From whence does he hail? Only Interpol knows for sure. When X was a mere lad, he took these photos, and by gum, they are nice.

Oh man, howsabout this great view of blue Monorail? It's still the Mark II trains; they started introducing the Mark III trains in 1968. And we have some photos from this batch that feature the New Tomorrowland (1967), so we are around '68 or possibly '69. 

Zooming in, can you see the tour guide on the Monorail platform as the latest batch of guests exits? I love being able to see inside the trains, with their stylish white and red seats. And as always, the Santa Fe logo makes me happy when it is in Disneyland.

Here's a second excellent Skyway view, as Señor X managed to catch a single Matterhorn bobsled as it zipped by at lightning speeds. Other bobsleds near the chalet look great with their bright colors. I've always thought that the splashdown through an Alpine pond was a stroke of genius - note how the track dips just a little to make a nice splash.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Beautiful Vintage Frontierland

It's too bad you weren't here just a minute ago, the Mysterious Benefactor stopped by for a visit! Of course he was in a disguise (much like The Shadow)... it's a little disconcerting at first, but you get used to it.

He delivered more vintage scans of Frontierland, and today's examples are extra nice. Like this March 1969 photo of folks wandering not far from Casa de Fritos - you can see the bright yellow and orange tables in the distance. I am digging that kid's green mock turtleneck and pinstriped jacket - groovy! 

Photo #2 was probably taken mere moments after (or even before) the previous image, in spite of the difference in color (scanners can do crazy things). You can tell that it is chilly by SoCal standards - sweaters and jackets aplenty. The lights have come on, I especially loved Frontierland at night! The woman in the foreground (to the right) is carrying one of those psychedelic shopping bags.

Next is this unusual interior view of the River Belle Terrace restaurant. It's a bummer that the color has faded (or it might be that the color was affected by the light of the incandescent bulbs), but it is still pretty great to see what this was like in 1969. I like details such as the "antique" kitchen paraphernalia hanging on the tiled walls, and that crazy wallpaper.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The Monorail - October 1963

Here's a pair of photos featuring your favorite Monorail (as long as your favorite one is the blue Mark II). 

There was a light leak on part of this first one, so I had to crop it a bit. But it's still a swell image! I'm always happy to have some vintage (and highly collectible) people in any shot. Look at the way the mother (just to the left of the "S" in Submarine) is looking at her son, with his souvenir Zorro hat. Gramps (to the left) is in a hurry, as usual. Slow down, P-paw! The Monorail must have just arrived at the station, because the passengers appear to be disembarking. 

Random observation: the Santa Fe logo is dark blue (or black?) here...

... but it is a cheerful red on the actual Monorail train. Also note the General Dynamics logo to the left, in all its mid-century glory. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Frontierland, May 1966

It's time for two photos from May of 1966! This first one is kind of weird, with Cascade Peak looking gloomy and abandoned because the waterfalls have been shut off. Was the pump not working? Were they doing maintenance work on the peak itself? Was this somehow related to construction going on in nearby New Orleans Square? As usual I have no answers for you. But I do have a bowl of hard candy, and each one of you gets a piece.

In spite of the lack of water, it's kind of neat to see Cascade Peak like this. Notice the tunnel in which the Mine Train tracks passed beneath the falls.

It sure does seem like the Columbia needs to be placed into dry dock a LOT. Maybe if they'd built it out of vinyl like I suggested, they wouldn't have to deal with things like wood rot. You can see an arching bridge leading from the ground to the deck, though it's pretty clear that this is for Disney CMs and not mere mortals. 

Say hello to Bertha Mae!

Monday, September 24, 2018

Contemporary Resort Hotel, November 1971

My pal Mr. X took both of today's beautiful photos from the Contemporary Resort in Walt Disney World. He was just a teen at the time, but he did a great job!

I love this striking image from the atrium (or Grand Canyon Concourse), with the super-cool Monorail at rest overhead, and those very 70's light fixtures that appear to be some sort of mutated version of "mod". The warm glow of the "Plaza Gifts and Sundries" shop beckons us forward - who among us hasn't needed a few sundries while on vacation? I tried zooming in to see what items I could identify, but other than some random glassware, I only recognized a rack of dark glasses. Everything else was a colorful blur.

Next we have this lovely photo of the Olympic-sized swimming pool, with Bay Lake in the distance. You might be tempted to swim in the lake, but, you know, brain-eating amoebas and hungry alligators might be there. Near the big pool was a smaller circular pool for for teens, where rock music was played* 

*Some rock hits in '71: Brown Sugar by the Rolling Stones; Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin; Won't Get Fooled Again by The Who; Riders On The Storm by The Doors; A Family Affair by Sly and the Family Stone;  and the rockinest song of all, Rainy Days and Mondays by The Carpenters. To name but a few!

** I used FoxxFur's wonderful Passport to Dreams Old & New blog as reference - if you aren't already aware of it, do yourself a favor and read every post!

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Murkety Murk

It's time for some Sunday murk - brought to you by Frankenberry cereal (from General Mills). 

How about some "You Are There" views of the Jungle Cruise? That's me trying to turn these "blah" photos into something interesting! How is it working so far? 

It must be monsoon season - perhaps the torrential rains have caused the river to flood, engulfing those mysterious Cambodian ruins.  Just a few klicks upriver, a former colonel is supposed to have gone crazy.

Why take a photo of bathing elephants, enraged hippos, dancing headhunters, bull elephants, rhinos, or giraffes, when you can take a picture of random dead tree trunks? 

Saturday, September 22, 2018

The Midwest

Growing up in a Navy family meant moving a lot. I've spent most of my later life in Southern California - howver, I was born near Chicago, and still have family ties to the Midwestern portion of the U.S. I love the midwest! Today I have two random vintage slide scans to share.

I'll begin with this industrial view, dated "June 1959". The slide was hand-labeled, "Indiana cement factory, Lake Erie". Which is very helpful - except that Indiana has coastline along Lake Michigan, not Erie - the photo appears to be along a river. So I don't know what to make of that! Is this even a cement factory? I sure don't know. I thought cement came out of the ground like crude oil. 

Nevertheless, I still find the rust-belt image of a spidery steel structure looming above some train tracks, like a scene from a steampunk video game. When you drive through the midwest, you'll see stuff like this all the time, to the point where you might not even really notice it.

Next is this 1954 photo from the Detroit River, looking up Woodward Avenue (to the right), with the Vernor's ginger ale plant a block inland. Vernor's dates back to 1866, though this 230,000 square foot factory (encompassing an entire city block) was built in - - well, I can't find exactly when this factory was built. It might have been converted from a former power plant.

Here's an interesting aerial view. In the 1950's, Vernor's made a deal with the city of Detroit, selling the property so that Cobo Hall and other riverfront properties could be developed. Meanwhile, Vernor's had a new, streamlined facility a few miles north on Woodward.

Here's a look from the Detroit River. Notice the signs for "Bob-Lo Island", and amusement park on Bois Blanc Island in Ontario (Canada) that operated from 1898 until 1993. Two steamers ferried guests from Detroit to Boblo Island, the SS Ste Claire and the SS Columbia.

I hope you have enjoyed your visit to the midwest!

Friday, September 21, 2018

The Skyway and More

I have two beautiful photos of the good old Skyway for you today. Why did it ever go away?

First up is this nice example from May, 1961. We've just left the Tomorrowland terminal and are on our way toward Fantasyland - we're ready for a tunaburger. Parts of other attractions are visible, such as the Richfield Autopia, the Disneyland Alweg Monorail station, and the Astro Jets.

If you weren't paying close attention, this next photo might seem to be a zoomed-in look at the first image. But it's entirely different (dating from October, 1962). At the risk of holding up the line, I personally would insist on riding in an orange gondola because it's the best color. Mr. Yellow Monorail makes a special guest appearance in this week's episode.

I'm not sure if I've ever noticed those drinking fountains before...

Thursday, September 20, 2018

1968 Schwinn Bicycle Catalog - Part 3

Today I am presenting the third and final post featuring Steve Stuart's scans of a 1968 Schwinn bicycle catalog. This installment features a few of the most impressive photos of lucky kids who got to ride bikes through an empty Disneyland! Text is courtesy of Steve:

Just what do you suppose Goofy and that fine young man are discussing-?  Maybe there’s some sort of wheeler-dealing involving a Tuna Burger and a bike ride through Skull Rock…

There’s something ghoulishly-wonderful about seeing Monstro just ‘lying in wait’ as those darling little girls are pedaling-by him – all within “striking distance”.  Evidently Schwinn feels Monstro is merely a playful soul of sorts, and is merely a lovely spokeswhale for a “… a whale of a lot of fun”.  I’m also assuming the little girl in the red outfit holding on to that cluster of blue balloons, is not merely ‘hitching a ride’ on the rear fender of that Hollywood Coaster Bike but, is actually uncomfortably seated along Storybook Land’s rocky edge.

Do you suppose a wave of a magic wand inside Merlin’s Magic Shop was responsible for creating all these “juvenile bikes for boys and girls 5 to 7 years old”-?

It's me (your friendly neighborhood Major) again; Schwinn truly did make bikes for everyone. Check out those names. The "Bantam", the "Pixie", the "Candy", the "Buddy"! So awesome. And the Schwinn "Heavy Duty" or "Cycle Truck" - I would have been very jealous of whoever needed one of those.

I seem to rememeber going through similar catalogs (possibly a Sears "Wishbook") and dreaming that I had a reason to buy every accessory, even though I owned only one bicycle. Maybe I could change out my Sting Ray saddle every week to spice up my life! And look at those ka-razy handle bars. I need them. Not so sure about the vinyl windshield though, or the basket - definitely for girls!

Were Schwinn bicycles ever considered to be the kind that serious racers might ride? In any case, you could still look cool with your racing gloves and hat, training jersey, tights (everyone looks cool in tights, am I right?), and so on. I would definitely need a speedometer so that I could keep track of the records that I broke each day.

Steve again: As you can see on Page 31, be warned no matter how tempting biking-around the Happiest Place on Earth might be, it simply won’t be happening.  For punishment, you’ll be forced into “Year-Around Cycling In Your Own Home!” on a Schwinn Exerciser.  My – how home exercise equipment has changed in the ensuing years.

MANY thanks to Steve Stuart ("Nanook") for sharing this great Schwinn catalog with us!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Walt Disney World Vacationland - Part 4

Here is Part 2 in a series from Ken Martinez, with more memories of Walt Disney World the way it was some 43 years ago. Here's Ken:

Walt Disney World Vacationland Magazine Spring 1975 – The Vacation Kingdom 

Here’s the fourth and final installment of the Spring 1975 issue of the Walt Disney World Vacationland Magazine.  Today’s article is titled “Sailing with the Fleet of the Kingdom”.   One of the early features played up in the Vacation Kingdom’s early years were the recreational water activities, whether it was boating, water skiing, tanning on the beach or swimming.  Much has changed between then and now. 

I like the image of the Bob-A-Round boat.  I had no idea they were equipped with stereo music.   I’d be curious as to how many of the various watercraft exist still today.  Do the paddlewheel steamers “Southern Seas” and “Ports O’ call” still exist or were they retired over the years?

Here’s a fun map of the Vacation Kingdom and what it had to offer early visitors.  There’s still only one theme park at this time.  I like the oversized people and Disney characters on the map.  Some of them are almost as tall as Space Mountain.

Here’s an ad for Walt Disney World’s host community Lake Buena Vista.  The early hotels at Hotel Plaza were Dutch Inn, Howard Johnsons, Royal Inn and TravelLodge.  I  wonder if most of those hotels have different owners now. 

The “Vacation Kingdom” also included a horse ranch called the “Tri-Circle D Ranch” for Disney’s various horses both in the Magic Kingdom and for recreational use at the Fort Wilderness Campground.

What I find interesting about this article is how Disney had to prepare and plan this ranch and train all the horses and hire all the right people all before the opening of Walt Disney World.  So not only were they working on opening a theme park, but the campground, the horse ranch, the various activities on Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon and the two hotel properties, Contemporary Resort and Polynesian Village.  It certainly seemed like a more complex operation than Disneyland.

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s article.  This is the final for the Spring 1975 issue of Vacationland Magazine, but there are more Vacationland magazine articles to come.  Stay tuned.

Thank you, as always, Ken! There are more articles from him coming up.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

More Rescans

Here are two more attempts at rescanning old slides that originally appeared on GDB in ye olden days, before your old pal Major Pepperidge knew what he was doing. As usual, the results were mixed.

Let's start with this example, originally posted way back in November, 2006. It shows Main Street Station as seen from the last few yards of the old parking lot. As we can see by the shadows, this is a morning view (sun coming up in the East, of course), and yet the colors are so warm that it looks more like a late afternoon shot.

The rescan and readjustments cooled things off nicely - I was pleased with the way this one turned out! The parking lot is wet - did it rain during the night? Did the maintenance crew scrub the streets with a sweeper of some kind? I love seeing the original yellow passenger cars. 

Zooming in a bit, some tasteful Christmas ornaments can be seen on the station. I wondered if this could be from the park's first holiday season, but then I spied the Skyway poster. So... perhaps it is from 1956. It also looks like people are walking away from the exit turnstiles, but they are probably just walking toward the ticket booths, which were centrally located.

Here's a Tri-Level poster - sadly I do not have one of these.

The next rescan was less successful; here's an odd (but interesting) shot taken from a Nature's Wonderland Mine Train (circa 1963) that originally published in 2007. I love that we get a look at guests riding the Pack Mules as they crossed the natural arch bridge. 

So... the rescan. Looking at it now, I wonder why I didn't lighten it up more. I brought out some details in the sky, but who cares about the sky? I honestly don't think I can put this in the "improved" category. And yet... I will still sleep like a baby tonight. Because Major Pepperidge only cares about one person, and that's Major Pepperidge!

Monday, September 17, 2018

Castle Rock, 1959

Here are two 1959 photos of Castle Rock on Tom Sawyer Island. It was a place to climb and explore and bump your head and skin your knee. And have tons of fun. Grownups could enjoy it on their own level, while kids could run along pathways, jump on the pontoon bridge, go spelunking in the mysterious caves, listen to their echoes in the bottomless pit, find the escape tunnel out of Fort Wilderness... so much to do!

People are drawn to the peak of Castle Rock by the same curious instinct that guided King Kong to the top of the Empire State Building.  Hi, kids!

Sunday, September 16, 2018

In the Queue

I have some strips of black and white negatives that I believe are from the late 50's - or possibly the early 60's, though it's hard to tell for sure. The B&W makes everything look antique! 

Both of these are kind of snooze-worthy, but they can't all be winners, can they? For some reason our photographer seemed to be interested in the squirmy boy hanging on to the fence. The boy and his mom only show up in these two photos, so I don't think the photographer was related.

"When are we getting on the ride? Where's Mickey? What's going on over there? Are we going to eat soon?". Etcetera. Dennis Hopper's brother Fred is giving us the stink eye.