Monday, September 10, 2018

3 Random Photos, April 1969

Like the title for the post says, I have three - not one, not two, but three glorious photos for you today, all for the low low price of nothing. Call now.

Photo #1 puts us on the Autopia freeway, scooting along through some lovely scenery. Maybe we're in the Pacific Northwest. In front of us is a blue Mark VI vehicle, which is a little weird; in theory the Mark VII cars were introduced in 1968. I suppose the transition must have been gradual. I wonder what they did with the old Mark VIs when they were done? I heard they were acquired by a billionaire who owns the Ponderosa Ranch.

Photo #2 shows us the Mary Blair mural that was on the south corridor wall of Tomorrowland. The overcast skies rob it of some vibrancy, but it still looks great. As you can see, happy children frolic and cavort while the sun threatens to become a red giant (not enough mass to go supernova) and fry them into cinders. Pretty dark, Mary Blair, pretty dark.

Oh boy, a ride on the Carrousel is always a good thing. Even a baby can tell, and babies are dopes! Fun mom is 65% more fun in her hot pink outfit. Just imagine how she lit up beneath the black lights of the classic dark rides.


Nanook said...


I love the "you are there" shot in the first image - kinda rare for this attraction. And yes, some of the flora seen along the Autopia freeway could be at home in the PNW; but some of those trees would not be happy up in them parts. I was wondering if that hot pink 'corner' seen in the second image belonged to Fun Mom - and seeing her smiling face on the Carousel - I'm betting it belongs to her. Now I'm gonna guess Fun Dad was responsible for that great POV shot on the Autopia.

Thanks again to the FunFamily®, and The Major.

Melissa said...

The composition of the first picture is so cool. If you don't look too closely, you could mistake it for the closing shot of a Steve McQueen mivue. Well, Steve would probably be on a motorcycle, but it's the same idea.

Yeah, those kids in the mural remain happily oblivious to the apocalypse going on around them - even though half of them are already deducted and have halos.

It's easy to see whence Baby Stripes got his dazzling smile.

Melissa said...

Why would Autocorrect change "dead" to "deducted?!?" Especially since you can't claim your kids' ghosts as tax deductions.

Chuck said...

Not sure the guy behind Fun Mom and Fun Baby agrees with you that a ride on the Carrousel is always a good thing. "I blew a precious 'A' coupon on this??!! Now I'm gonna have to walk all the way from the Hub to Town Square! Harrumph!!!"

The trashcan just above Fun Mom's arm in the second photo looks like a tombstone, no doubt to reinforce the theme of Blair's “The Spirit of Destructive Energies Menacing Children."

K. Martinez said...

The Mary Blair mural and King Arthur Carrousel are the more colorful pics, but it's the Autopia image that I really like today. As Nanook said, it's a great POV, unusual and illustrates that Autopia is not flat, but has various grades. Thanks, Major.

Stefano said...

Thanks Major, Fun Mom and Co just helped me out of a Monday morning funk.

The Autopia photo is reminiscent of the boat ahead of you in Pirates of the Caribbean, as it takes the first plunge.

JC Shannon said...

Another Fun Mom fun Monday! Say that three times.There will be no tears for this little boy, as FM is on the case. The Mary Blair Mural is very cool, overcast or not, I loved 'em. The Autopia photo is beyond cool, it reminds me of the German Autoban through the Black Forest. Thanks Major, for the scans.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

@Chuck is right. The guy behind fun mom/happy baby is bringing down the mood. He's got an angry Sgt. Hulka vibe that needs to be adjusted pronto. Someone should have made him watch the classic "Ruggles of Red Gap" to see proper Carrousel fun procedure.

Me likey pic#2. I'll take a slightly blurry Blair over no Blair at all.

Tom said...

That post-apocalyptic Autopia shot really makes me feel the onset of cooler weather and the desolation of the inevitable winter. I'm not sure even Fun Mom could brighten it up.

Anonymous said...

A terrific trio this morning, and a great start to the week. Three cheers for the Fun Family.

I'm with the group on the eerie Autopia photo, and Stefano's comment brings back the memory of my Mom's screech on her first ride through the Pirates, when she realized what was going to happen and that there was no way to avoid it.

Any Blair, blurred or not, is a good Blair. I'm adding this to my collection for future reference in my retirement project of reproducing the murals, square by square. Good detail here, even if a bit out of focus. Also enjoying the roof-to-wall detail of the porch, no responsible designer would do it like that today, without the secure knowledge that the Owner would have someone sweeping and inspecting the roof practically daily.

And the Carousel, when horses could be colors other than white. I'm guessing Prince Grumpy in the middle got a horse that didn't move up and down. Fun Mom must have glowed like a lantern in Peter Pan.

Thank you, Major. Such Good stuff.


Nanook said...

Aren’t all the horses on the King Arthur Carousel ‘jumpers’-?

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I think I’ve had a few other “on board” Autopia photos, but this might be the only one with a Mark VI. I only meant that it looked like the Pacific Northwest because it was so lush and green, not that the specific flora would be found there. And yes, the hot pink shoulder belongs to Fun Mom!

Melissa, I’m trying to imagine Steve McQueen on the Autopia - something tells me he wouldn’t like it that much, since he had a “need for speed”! I think Mary Blair was trying to gently warn us that all things must end, even stars and planets. She was very practical in her way.

Melissa II, I have to admit that I was having trouble with that sentence! I just figured I was not smart enough.

Chuck, the smart Disneyland shopper would just walk to the nearby ticket booth and buy more tickets! Not sure if one could lay in a supply of just “A” tickets - I’ve seen strips of those small tickets (the kind that came on a giant roll), so I do think that one did not have to buy a whole ticket book. And, now I’ll never see those trash cans again without thinking they look like tombstones.

K. Martinez, your comment reminds me of a recent one on Facebook in which some guy who clearly never rode the Peoplemover wondered why everyone was so nostalgic for a slow ride on a level track. Talk about not “getting it”! In fact, I can understand him not getting it, except that he sounded like a real jerk. Do you know if today’s Autopia still has any gradients at all? In my mind it really is pretty flat these days.

Stefano, I’m glad these cheered you up. You also need to listen to some good classic punk rock! Both “Pirates” and the Autopia are best when there is not a traffic jam - it’s not fun to be bumper to bumper, even at Disneyland.

Jonathan, I still hold out hope that somebody will realize what a treasure they have, hidden in Tomorrowland, and that they will spend the money to replace the broken tiles. It would be so great!

Alonzo P. Hawk, ha ha, “Sgt. Hulka”. Warren Oates was a hard-ass (sorry for the profanity!), but when all was said and done we loved him. “Ruggles of Red Gap”, I’ve never even heard of that one! I can’t help thinking of the carousel in Hitchcock’s “Strangers on a Train”.

Tom, what do you know, it’s starting to snow in Anaheim! One of them there nuclear winters or somethin’. Reminds me of Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road” - a grim but brilliant book.

JG, well I have a whole new appreciation for photo #1, which I thought was a sort of throwaway view (that’s why I posted three today). Didn’t your mom watch “The Wonderful World of Disney”?? They gave the waterfall drop away! ;-) I am still amazed that there is apparently no existing plan or “cartoon” for the murals. How can the archives not have that - or at least photos of such a thing? Still, I’ve never seen one myself. Maybe Prince Grumpy was just caught at an “off” moment - why else would he be on the Carrousel at all if he hated it so much?

Nanook, now that you mention it, I do think all the horses are jumpers, though they have added “sleds” (or whatever they’re called) for handicapped guests.

MRaymond said...

Now I have an image burned into my head of Fun Mom riding Snow White then getting hit by the black lights. The Haunted Forest would be a vibrant pink and not scary at all. MY EYES!!!

Nanook said...

Actually, the “normal” fabric color - even if ‘hot pink’ - wouldn’t determine the Blacklight “glowability”, but rather if any of the color dyes were particularly sensitive to ultra violet fluorescence. That pink sweater could have been a dud, actually-!

Clyde Hughes said...

Oh boy! Thanks for the great photos today!
That first one, with the 'road to unknown' look is wonderful. The greenery and the dead foliage lining the Autopia roadway makes it even better. It does seem right that the different versions of cars would overlap somewhat. Maybe the mechanics down at the Autopia garage would take an old one out of 'stand-by' mode to temporarily replace one of the new-fangled VII's while it was getting its disgronifier worked on... maybe...

The Blair murals always please, and this is no exception. The colors contrast against the pale sky, with the lovely mix of hues, tones, and topazy-topaz... is that an official art term?

The pink pantsuit princess strikes again! They must've had a great time, and isn't it great that it's all documented? The man behind must've been in that awkward 'I'm in your photo album now' moment of thought. He may also have been attending to his kiddos (also wearing white). Additionally, he may have been modelling the "kids, when you grow up, you can also use 'no hands,' just like dad." Finally, he may just be wanting to show off those nice cuff-links!


Clyde Hughes said...

I just can't help thinking of the 'runaway' carousel from "Strangers On A Train." Let's just hope that this carousel ride was uneventful.. ;0)

Melissa said...

You guys are on fire today! I can't stop giggling!

@Clyde Hughes, my Mom never rode on a carousel again after seeing Strangers On a Train! (And she wouldn't take a shower unless there was someone in the house with her, after seeing Psycho. I guess Hitch just had it in for her.)

* * *

I’m back from my road trip, and happy to report that Kennywood was even more fun that I expected. We only got to stay for about four hours; they closed early because of the rain. Since they were announcing the closing just as we were paying for our tickets, they gave us a $20 discount and a pair of free tickets for next year. I love that they’ve kept some of the old rides right alongside the new. I know it’s not family-owned anymore, but I thought it still had a kind of friendly, laid-back family feel. Lines were practically nonexistent because of the weather. The Exterminator was a blast – it put me in mind of Space Mountain but with more classic Wild Mouse elements. And the track wasn’t half so bumpy. We also had a blast on The Whip, which has been there since 1928 and looks it. I couldn’t stop yelling, “Wheeeee!” Oh, and of course I had to wear a babushka.

I remember when I was a kid, I just assumed Kennywood was founded by Kenny Rogers, just like Dollywood was founded by Dolly Parton.

Anonymous said...

@Nanook, I'm pretty sure you are right, all the King Arthur horses do go up and down, I was just expressing my sympathy with Prince Grumpy, since on one of my carousel rides with my kids somewhere, I got a "frozen" horse and probably looked a lot like he does in this picture.

As I recall the Autopia, it is pretty flat throughout, today's photo is taken on top of one of the bridges or overpasses, as shown by the guardrails.

@Major, I don't think we saw that episode, we were all surprised by the drops.

Re the Blair murals: The Disney Family Museum exhibit was clear that there was a master drawing of each of the whole murals, this was a necessity to work out the design, and also for final installation, like a big puzzle. So also there were larger drawings of each tile, to aid in fabrication. But, according to the exhibit descriptions, most of this work was thrown away. Only a few photos of the process and some of the larger "maquette"-type drawings (in architecture, I would call them "shop drawings") were saved, and not systematically at that. More like, whatever didn't get tossed to save space is all that survives. No overall drawing of either mural exists today, one would have to be constructed by reference to photographs.

Again, in architecture, there are whole series of drawings made up illustrating details of construction that are indicated only schematically in the blueprints. In the era of the murals' design, these "shop drawings" were often tossed out after the building is complete. So, it's conceivable that none of this material was considered important, since the murals were not seen as "artworks" in themselves, but more like decorations or a coat of paint, subject to modification, removal or replacement as the overall designs evolved. Much of Blair's work was for magazines and advertisements, seen as ephemera and not "fine" art, but it's clear it was more than that, at least to the GDB Market House crowd.


Nanook said...

@ Melissa-

I'm so glad you went to Kennywood - babushka in tow, no less-! It's easily my favorite amusement park next to the Disney parks - and with the 'constant change' within the Disney parks - Kennywood may be the recipient of my highest accolades.

I don't know if it's still being done there, but when closing time came, [essentially] all the lights were turned off, and guests had to find their way out of the park with limited illumination. What a hoot - and even in that time - seems like a lawsuit asking to happen-!

Major Pepperidge said...

MRyamond, yes, she would be like a pink sun!

Nanook, I realize that Fun Mom’s suit might not be “day-glo” dye, but this is 1969, so it seems entirely possible to me. Around 1970 I still remember seeing a girl in Huntington Beach wearing what appeared to be a day-glo chartreuse bikini. I was around 7 or 8, and it made a big impression on me, ha ha.

Clyde Hughes, I did not consider that they might have held on to some of the old vehicles as back-ups, but it’s certainly a good theory! “Topazy-topaz” is now official. As for Mr. Grumpy, I’m sure I’ve been accidentally caught in more than a few photos looking like a psychopath, so I can’t make fun of him TOO much.

Clyde Hughes, I mentioned “Strangers On A Train” in my first reply!

Melissa, in spite of my years in Pennsylvania, I never visited Kennywood. Hersheypark was pretty much all we did if we wanted amusement park fun (we were quite a ways from Pittsburgh, admittedly). I wish we’d gone though. I’m glad that you had a fun time, though the rain is a shame. And hey, there’s our Melissa, babushka and everything!

JG, I’m sure there are some barely-noticeable up and downhills - like a 1% grade. I remember splashing through a stream during the “off-roading” part. I was teasing about seeing that episode or TWWoC… in a way I envy that surprise that you and your mom experienced. Thanks for the info regarding the lack of surviving drawings for the murals… Disney was so good at saving stuff, it seems bizarre that they would not keep at least one master drawing for each mural. In a way, trying to recreate it using a grid sounds like kind of a fun exercise!

Nanook, the idea of walking through Kennywood with minimal lights would make me expect a glowing ghost a la “Scooby Doo”!