Sunday, September 02, 2018

On the Mark Twain, 1959

A trip on the Mark Twain is a "must do" when I go to Disneyland. I even prefer it to the Columbia, though it is great too. There's just something about having three decks to choose from, as well as that elaborate gingerbread scrollwork, the tall stacks, the splashing wheel at the back... and of course, the scenery along the Rivers of America.

I love this first one, allowing us a look at the other passengers crowding the rail in the hopes of glimpsing some fiberglass elk, or perhaps a cabin with fiberglass flames (they can do anything with fiberglass!). If you look carefully you can see Chief Wavy in the distance, as well as his friends (a little higher up on the bank).

Often when you're in the wilderness, all you'll see is trees and shrubs for hours at a time. Most animals are too wily to be spotted by the likes of us. That being said, a single doe can be seen in the distant shore - she's not so wily.

I wonder what that hand is pointing at?


Nanook said...


That first shot is wonderful the way it runs down the edge of the railing. Of course, it's a bit upstaged by that rather large stripy umbrella. And clearly, that finger is pointing at a rare sighting of the Hatbox Ghost skimming along the water.

Thanks, Major.

Melissa said...

Good call on the paper sun hat, red-haired lady. With your complexion, you’ll burn to a crisp out in that California sun. I don't remember seeing high-SPF sunscreens in stores until the late 1980s, and it wouldn't have been practical to wear opaque zinc cream on large areas of the body. Spiffy dress, too; she's got the whole Joan-from-Mad-Men thing going on.

Not sure what's up with the girl behind her; it looks like she has her sun hat pulled down in front of her face like a welder's mask.

POINTING GUY: “And right over there is where I'll dump you kids in the river if you don't stop acting up!”

TokyoMagic! said...

POINTING GUY: "One day all of these trees will be bulldozed and the river will be truncated, just so Disney can build some "space-garbage land" that really belongs out in the parking lot, or down the street somewhere."

Chuck said...

POINTING GUY: "...and if you look really closely over there and squint, you can juuust make out a few telephone poles poking up above the berm, Ken."

Chuck said...

Just noticed the guy behind the red-haired lady. He's wearing a blue tie, blue shirt, blue sportcoat...and a tan ball cap. Exactly what I wear when I go to Disneyland!

Wish I could tell what kind of camera he is holding. It looks very similar to a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye, but the silver trim is wrong for the examples I've seen.

K. Martinez said...

I really love the second shot. It's just "nature" and nothing else. Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! "Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is still imagination left in the world".

I wonder if Walt Disney actually thought that one up himself or if it was written for him by one of his writers. Whenever a fan quotes Walt Disney these days, my eyes roll in their sockets.

Chuck, I bet that's true. I was born in early 1960 so that guy was probably my dad talking to me while still inside my mother. I couldn't wait to get out of there and see my first telephone pole!

Chuck said...

"I've got a bad feeling about this." - Walt Disney

JC Shannon said...

It is a beautiful day on the river. I always liked the sun hats, stylish, yet icecream cone like. Major is right, no trip to Disneyland is complete without a ride on the Mark Twain. I always wondered what Chief Wavey thought of all of us piled onto the riverboat. I wonder, what will happen when the whole Star Wars thing fizzles? Riverboats and wilderness are timeless, as are waving Native Americans. Go figure. Thanks Major, for the great scans.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, although I generally try to get to the bow of the ship (top level), I do like the way these photos give an impression of what it is like to be on board, leaning out to see what’s ahead. That poor Hatbox Ghost had no place to live for a decade!

Melissa, that fair-skinned redhead should be wearing something much bigger. A sombrero, maybe. The dress does remind me of something Joan from “Mad Men” would wear, though this redhead doesn’t fill it out quite the same. The girl with the pink hat apparently thinks it is a lampshade. Notice that you can see little drawings on her version - I wonder how many variations of these simple hats were produced over the years?

TokyoMagic!, I know that, in reality, you are super excited for Star Wars Land. You’ll be first in line to order a glass of blue milk, and you’ll buy every custom popcorn box and you’ll talk to all the droids. It’s gonna be great!

Chuck, even the mighty Walt Disney could not have imagined the public’s fascination with telephone poles.

Chuck II, I wear that same outfit, but with Bermuda shorts, black socks, and brown loafers. It screams, “I am on VACATION!”. As for the camera, I could not even hazard a guess.

K. Martinez, ha ha, I was going to say “I wish Marty Sklar had never made that comment about Disneyland never being completed”, but then I read your second sentence! And I agree, I read quotes from Walt (“If you can dream it, do it!” - or how about this one - “Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, dreams are forever”. Ugh.) and know that there is NO WAY that Walt ever actually said those things. The more the quotes sound like a Hallmark card, the less likely it is that he said them.

Chuck, now that one I believe, especially as Disneyland’s opening day was approaching.

Jonathan, I’ll bet the park made a bundle off of those die-cut paper hats (with a string to tie around the chin). They certainly sold a lot of them! I wonder, if they made a version today, would guests recognize that they were repros of classic souvenirs? I don’t know if Star Wars will fizzle, or if I even want it to, but there does seem to be a limit to how much Star Wars people want. Now they are planning at least two trilogies, a couple of TV series… it will be interesting to see if the general public’s appetite for that stuff is similar to the Marvel universe.

Anonymous said...

"That's not how this works... that's not how any of this works..."

- Walt Disney