Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Frontierland, 1977

Mysterious. Benefactor. GO!

I love the first two scans from the MB, showing happy passengers disembarking from the Bertha Mae Keelboat. I'm not sure when Bertha was painted with those shades of blue-green, but it resembles a piece of antique folk art furniture. Like maybe a pie safe. 70's fashions are in their glory, with wide collars and questionable patterns. I enjoy details like the shopping bag with a design I remember from childhood, or the girl with the bucket hat (they must have sold a jillion of those at the park).

The afternoon sun gives these photos a wonderful warmth. Just look at all the people who were on board that Keelboat! That high-tech, space-age length of rope separated the load area for the rafts to Tom Sawyer Island - stay tuned for photos of those.

Here's a general view of Frontierland's retail district (as opposed to the red light district). The Pendleton Woolen Mills is one of the premier businesses - old Colonel Pendleton can sell wool to a sheep. The Golden Horseshoe Revue has a considerable crowd gathered nearby... is it just people waiting to get in for the next show?

And finally, here's an artistic photo of the Mark Twain as seen through the eyes of a bumblebee.

Thank you, Mysterious Benefactor.


Nanook said...

Some really nice images - with an especially-nice color temperature cast upon each one. In the first image, I'm trying to figure out just what the young gentleman on the right is holding in his right hand, as whatever is on those pages has caused a great deal of consternation, forcing his left hand to be placed on his forehead in deep thought. (Perhaps it was a quiz about the Bertha Mae-?)

Thanks Major - and the M.B.

TokyoMagic! said...

After looking at the first and second pics, I am now wondering what kept passengers on the upper level of the Keel Boats from leaning too far back and falling overboard?


Those were good times at Disneyland - and I didn’t realize how 1970’s we all were till many decades later. That was a standard sight in Frontierland - the long lines of guests waiting to get reservations or returning to line up fir a good seat with their reservation card in hand to see The Golden Horseshoe Revue!!!

Great images and not your standard tourist shots. Thank you Major and Mysterious Benefactor!!


in the mid 1990’s a friend and I were in line for The Keelboats - it was blazing hot out that day and so many guests did not want to sit on the upper deck so it was taking FOREVER to load the boats up finding guests willing to sit up top. When our turn cane we gladly sat atop. For some reason after all the guests filled the small craft we just say there and the cast members were scurrying around trying to figure out why the boat wasn’t moving .... all the time the hot blazing sun bearing down on the upper deck passengers. Both my friend and I had flat tops we groomed with pomade ..... and it was melting and running down our foreheads. We sat up there in the sun for so long having never left the dock. As we sat crammed up there with wax running down our heads and listening to the banjo music playing over and over - I pointed out to my friend how low the upper railing was and it didn’t seem very safe - and I pushed on it and said “it seems loose” and a small piece of wood broke off along the top rail ( I still have it!!) at that point with sweat and wax pouring down our faces and incessant banjo music playing we broke out laughing - uncontrollable laughing - totally irritating the other sweaty passengers and flustered cast members!!

After about 25 minutes sitting up there melting they unloaded all the guests and had us wait on the dock fir the next keelboat as the first one sat dead in the water.

K. Martinez said...

I remember lining up in front of the Golden Horseshoe with my reservations in hand for the Golden Horseshoe Revue. I loved that show. Last time I went there, I had a mint chip sundae and sat there looking at an empty lifeless stage. Made me feel kind of sad for an era gone.

The Mike Fink Keel Boats is another one I miss.

Thanks, Major and M.B.

Andrew said...

Mike Cozart, that's really funny! Banjo music always makes something more hilarious.
I feel left out because I never got on a Keel Boat nor had a chance to sit perilously on the upper deck - don't lean back!

Chuck said...

That line may be part of why we never saw the Golden Horseshoe Revue. I did see the original Diamond Horseshoe Revue at WDW, so I got the gist of the experience, although without Wally Boag & Betty Taylor.

I don't know that I agree with your assessment about banjo music, Andrew; I've seen Deliverance.

'Lou and Sue" said...

A quiana shirt in that first pic! Haven't seen those in a while. i was in high school at the time and LOVED the disco era because everyone starting dressing "nice." The boys went from sloppy dragging always-dirty jeans, dirty T-shirts with holes and long unkempt smelly hair - to neat, feathered hair, silky shiny shirts and polyester pants (with contrast stitching). Guys even wore platforms and puka shell necklaces, too, remember? But it was considered a wonderful improvement, to us girls. They cleaned-up nice.

Love the bumblebee's picture! As him to send in more!

Thank, Major!


"Lou and Sue" said...

* ASK him to send in more!


stu29573 said...

I remember getting reservations to the Golden Horseshoe was a big deal when we went (about 1973). You HAD to have them, or you weren't getting in! And you HAD to get them early! Now...well, it's sad.

JC Shannon said...

Great Keel Boat shots today. I miss 'em, they were a welcome sight on the river. I love the what was I thinking clothes of the era. I have photos of myself in outfits that still make me cringe. A warm day spent on the river in Frontierland is one of my best memories ever. Thanks Major. and M.B.

Tom said...

I think I had every one of those print shirts. Dark times, they were. Well... brown and orange times.

What gets me is the smiles on everyone's faces as they flow off the Bertha Mae. Must have been a great time.

Thanks for some more great pics, Major and MB!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, the young man is holding a Dial Guide, and you are seeing the back of it. Take a look at THIS POST to get a better look.

TokyoMagic!, hmm, good point! I suppose they were counting on guests having a strong sense of self-preservation, or good posture, or both.

Mike Cozart, it is funny how quickly we can look back and see the stronger fashion trends. I still wear my platform shoes with live goldfish in them! I love seeing the long line at the Golden Horseshoe - the show was popular and thriving.

Mike Cozart, that is a hilarious story. While I have experienced a broken-down ride (the Disneyland RR), I wasn’t stuck in the hot sun for half an hour. And the description of you and your friend laughing sounds just like something that would have happened to me! It’s also cool that you still have your little piece of a keel boat, I hope you have it mounted and framed!

K. Martinez, I can imagine how gloomy the Golden Horseshoe would have seemed compared to when the show was performed, with lights, music, laughter, dancing, and pretty girls. The only time I ever saw a show in there was some sort of “Toy Story 2” thing (it was OK, but no Golden Horseshoe Revue).

Penna. Andrew, a banjo does generally seem cheerful. What are your thoughts on accordion music? ;-) And yes, I feel left out too.

Chuck, as much as my dad loved music (he played several instruments) and singing (he sang in the church choir) and corny jokes, we never did go to see the Revue. Maybe we would have if he’d had a better idea of what it was. Deliverance ruined banjo music for years! Steve Martin made it acceptable again.

Lou and Sue, I had to look up “quiana shirt”, that’s a term I don’t remember hearing before. I guess it’s basically a polyester disco shirt? I do remember puka shell necklaces, but surfers were wearing those in Huntington Beach before the disco thing caught on. Not sure if we have more bumblebee photos!

stu29573, I used to be under the impression that the Golden Horseshoe Revue closed do to lack of interest on the part of guests, but maybe it was just that Disney didn’t want to pay all of those performers any more?

Jonathan, the river definitely is missing some of the energy that those Keelboats provided. Luckily we still have all of the other river craft - for now. I have high school photos with my dumb long hair, and it wasn’t even as long as a lot of guys. Parted down the middle, sort of feathered - UGH!

Melissa said...

@Nanook, I think he just realized he could have had a V-8.

So many great, expressive faces in the Bertha Mae crowds! Although obviously they can't have had a good time without any characters or 3D projections.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Major, quiana shirts were extra extra shiny, too. The first gift I ever gave my boyfriend (now husband) was a Mickey Mouse quiana shirt, Christmas 1976. He still has it, though will never wear it again - mainly because it doesn't fit.


JG said...

OH, I love these photos and the comments.

When I see the "Mysterious Benefactor - GO", I hear the Thunderbirds count-down, 5-4-3-2-1 THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO!, and then the music.

Yes, my wardrobe, yes, the ride in the sun with no back to the seats. Dad really loved the keelboats, and the canoes. We usually made three trips around the River.

@Tokyo, "Nothing" is what is keeping them out of the River.

@Mike Cozart, that is such a funny story. I love that you still have the piece of wood.

@Lou and Sue, I definitely had a quiana shirt. What a gas to remember that. I had an abalone shell in my puka necklace too.

The long line was part of the reason I didn't see the GH show for many years. I did get in once, I think in 1976 or 77 and saw Wally Boag. Totally worth the wait. I enjoyed a recent show with Billy Hill and the Hillbillies, maybe 2008 or 2011, but now that's gone on too.

Thanks Major and MB for an enjoyable day on the River.


Nanook said...

Of course it’s a Dial Guide. I own one, for crying out loud-! Evidently, at least for that moment, the guide was a bit too “cerebral” for his head. (Perhaps, it was the fallout from all that polyester-?) Or, as Melissa surmised, he really DID want a V-8, and realized he would have to ‘settle’ for either a Coke or a Pepsi - take your pick back in those days-!

Luckily, I did go to The Golden Horseshoe a few times, and at least once with my friend Billy - whose Dad worked for The Mouse, so naturally we sat in one of the stage ‘boxes’ - stage right, if memory serves. I just wish my memory of that experience was stronger; but at least I was lucky-enough to have been a part of that most-wonderful show - even if my younger self was antsy to ‘get back outside’ for some “real fun”.

Plus, I still have both my tortoise shell & my puka shell necklaces - the puka shell featuring a couple of turquoise stones at the center. (Well, it was the 70’s, after all). Perhaps it’s time to drag them out and re-kindle a fashion craze...

Until you’ve heard Dick Contino play the accordion, you haven’t heard everything that instrument has to offer. Truly exciting.

“Thunderbirds Are GO-!” Indeed-!

K. Martinez said...

Major, I saw both the original "Golden Horseshoe Revue" with Wally Boag and Betty Taylor as well as the later "Golden Horseshoe Jamboree" in the late 1980's. I thoroughly enjoyed both shows. Of course the edge goes to the original show for obvious reasons.

JG, you can still see Billy Hill and the Hillbillies performing as "Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies" at Knott's Berry Farm. I last saw them perform at the Boysenberry Festival this year and they're still great and highly entertaining.

I loved watching the Gerry Anderson marionette TV shows like "Fireball XL5" and "Thunderbirds" as a kid in the 1960's. Later on as an adult I'd watch Anderson's live-action "Space:1999" show on PBS.

JG said...

@Ken and Nanook, the classic Gerry Anderson SuperMarionation shows, Supercar, Fireball XL5 and Thunderbirds are currently on Amazon video. I have been wallowing in it. UFO was available for a while, but has been taken down. Mrs. JG has been very patient with my juvenile streak.

Ken, thanks for the Knotts tip. I may go there on my next solo trip. My group has the national convention there every three years or so, 2020 or 2021 should be the next one.



MAJOR: the loss of Golden Horseshoe/Horseshoe Jamboree wasn’t due to popularity but completely a case of Eisner cost cutting. The first shows casts were fired ( orchestra - dancing girls too) in 1985 and replaced with a faster moving shorter show. New performers and musicians had to audition and of course were brought in at a much lower rate of pay. The orchestra was cut down to three musicians and in later times just two. Even the can-can girls and bar boys would would be required to work stage spotlights!!!
The Golden / Diamond Horseshoe show variations were not all that was cut bock or eventually replaced - this time frame saw the removal of the Glockenspiel Girls and other musicians from the Christmas parades as well as less dancers . The many performing bands were thinned out as well ..... like the Bavarian Band, Town Band, the Pearly Band ( these were mostly Disneyland Band members who comprised up these other bands). But besides the premium entertainment cost of the performers the staffs of entertainment costuming and issue were cut as well .

It was during this Eisner time you also saw the cutbacks of larger group costume characters - no longer would guests see Snow White AND all Seven dwarfs march around the park... just Snow and Dopey. No more Mary Poppins AND more Three Caballeros, Aristo Cats and other bigger costume character families.

Entertainment expenses were being re-allocated for things like Fantasmic etc.


MAJOR: yes I still have my piece of Keelboat wood! I have a box filled with small Disneyland artifacts - a big thunder plaster rock chunk ( from its first rehab!!) a space mountain broken orange floor tile ...part of a foundation plaster log to Fort Wilderness .....a broken chunk of a mission to Mars planter .... etc . Things like that . Each item was tagged with where it came from and the date. Two items are really cool! Paint samples from America Sings and The Carousel of Progress exteriors! While Tomorrowland ‘98 was being readied the second level of the Carousel Theater had these sections of paint being tested and cut out into the plaster - and clearly in the different cuts you could see the original Carousel of Progress paint under the America Sings. The paint ( probably mostly lead paint) peeled off the large cuts like rubber -so I got about 3”x2” samples from both carousel shows!!

Chuck said...

Steve Martin saved the banjo from oblivion. So glad he's a ramblin' man...

JG, the "Thunderbirds March" is now thundering through my head. Which is awesome. I think I'll rotate that with the Shadows' cover version from the movie Thunderbirds Are Go and the theme from Space:1999.

Have you caught any of the new Thunderbirds serieson Amazon? It's a combination of CGI characters and vehicles and reconstructions of the original miniature sets by Peter Jackson's Weta Workshops. They even have subtle nods to the original show, like CGI characters "bumping" as they ride their chairs to the vehicles just like the original puppets did. They are also less than 30 minutes long, so they keep the younger generations' attention longer. I miss the long, drawn-out "model porn" sequences, but I get why they are tightening up stories.

Andrew said...

Chuck, I initially didn't think of that, but now that you mention it, I guess it can be taken different ways. 'Dueling Banjos' is legendary!

JG said...

Chuck, I knew that program existed, but did not know it was available on Amazon! I will go look for it. I would think it would be automatically recommended to me, but who knows how that stuff works.

I have that Shadow cover version from the movie, but the original is the real stuff.

The model shots of the original are the best part. I especially like how they can make a third or more of an episode out of stock footage of the same rocket launch in the last episode.

Everyone needs a sliding swimming pool over their launch bay. Is that something stolen from James Bond "You Only Live Twice" with the sliding lake in the volcano, or was the idea just "in the air" like those bucket hats and awful shirts?



Melissa said...

That's probably when and why the Liberty Square fife and drum corps got the ax, too. Damn.

It was just a few days ago that I noticed for the first time, Kermit the Frog plays the banjo left-handed.

stu29573 said...

Actually, all of the Muppets play left handed!The reason is that their operators are right handed and the "fretting" action is easier to do with your dominant hand (if you're operating a muppet anyway).

Major Pepperidge said...

Tom, polyester was a space-age fabric! So easy to care for! It seems to have made a comeback (sort of), after years of having a bad rep.

Melissa, yes, look at all of those happy faces! Pretty sweet for such a simple ride.

Lou and Sue, ha ha, I doubt I could wear any shirts that I had in high school!

JG, my main memory of Thunderbirds Are Go is when they would get into a tense situation and beads of sweat would be on their brows. I think the thing that kept people out of the river was a sense of personal responsibility. Abalone shells are cool!

Nanook, the color of the Dial Guide looks very different in that photo, maybe that made it harder to ID. And couldn’t you buy both Coke and Pepsi in the park?? You sure had a lot of great benefits from having the right friends. Pretty lucky. I’ve heard Dick Contino!

K. Martinez, of course you have to give extra points to the original crew - everyone still known their names after all these years. A friend of mine went to the Boysenberry Festival, I’ll have to ask her if she saw Krazy Kirk. Have you ever seen the Peter Cook/Dudley Moore spoof, SUPERTHUNDERSTINGCAR?

JG, see the link I gave to K. Martinez!

Mike Cozart, why am I not surprised? It’s amazing to think that the show, with live musicians, and dancers and performers, could somehow thrive for decades, only to be deemed a “waste of money”. So crummy! I know virtually nothing about the Diamond Horseshoe show, except that Wally went east to work on it for a spell. It’s always frustrating to be given less for more, and that’s what Eisner, Pressler, and their cohorts gave us.

Mike Cozart, so cool that you have all those artifacts! They are like pieces of monuments from Egypt. I’m glad you have it all labeled, for future generations. And those paint samples are awesome too! Maybe keep them in little ziploc bags so that you don’t handle the lead paint, but still, very neat.

Chuck, I never saw the new Thunderbirds show on Amazon, but watched a neat behind the scenes video on Adam Savage’s “Tested” website, showing the physical models that they built (instead of relying on CGI like one might expect these days). Oh wait, as soon as I typed that, I see that you mention “CGI characters”. So the “people” were computer generated and not marionettes??

Penna. Andrew, I learned that (for Deliverance) they didn’t get permission (or give credit) to the person who originally composed “Dueling Banjos”. So crazy!

JG, I might be mistaken, but didn’t they sell model kits of various Thunderbirds aircraft for you to build at home? I’ll bet those have gone up on the collector’s market!

Melissa, I didn’t even know that the Fife and Drum Corps was no longer in Liberty Square! :-(

stu29573, they should just play their stringed instruments upside down like Paul McCartney supposedly did.

K. Martinez said...

Major, I have never seen that spoof before. That was hilarious and SPOT ON! Thanks for sharing it.

Chuck said...

JG, I think it was the other way around. Thunderbirds (1965) came before You Only Live Twice (1967). And Derek Meddings, who did the special effects for Thunderbirds (as well as Supercar, Fireball XL5, Stingray, Captain Scarlet, Secret Service, Joe 90, and UFO), later did the effects for the Bond films Live and Let Die (1973) through GoldenEye (1995) as well as the first three Christopher Reeve Superman films and Batman (1989).

Looking forward to checking out that spoof, Major!

Melissa said...

I've never seen Contino live, but I still count myself as a fan.