Thursday, June 13, 2019

Main Street, September 1960

I just scanned a small batch of slides from 1960; most of them feature a pretty blonde lady posing (presumably) for her husband, in various familiar locales. 

Uh-oh, it looks like there might be trouble. Grandma is not too happy that this young chippy is in her photo - who does she think she is? And dressed like that! G-ma is considering hitting her with her purse a la Ruth Buzzi. Violence is never the answer (this has been a public service announcement).

No husband worth his salt could resist taking a photo of his sweetie over in the Flower Market. I wonder if there was ever a plan to sell real flowers here? Even the heartiest of blooms wouldn't survive a hot day in a storage locker, and shipping live flowers wasn't an option. Fabric, wire, and plastic would have to do.


Nanook said...


Elly Mae Clampett visits Disneyland.

Thanks, Major.

stu29573 said...

She's facing the same way in both pictures. I wonder if that was her "good side?. If she turned the other way would she be a hidious hag like in Snow White's Scary Adventures??? Ok, now I'm frightened.

K. Martinez said...

"The world's finest flowers not grown by nature"

I wonder how many flowers were sold per day at the Flower Market? Did it actually turn a profit or was it there more to enhance the atmosphere of W. Center St.? Thanks, Major.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

"We wear short shorts, Nair for short shorts" I can smell the calcium hydroxide (slaked lime) and sodium hydroxide (lye)burning their way to silky smooth gams. Anywho,pretty lady and pretty flowers. She's probably trying to hide a regrettable tattoo on her left shoulder or maybe one of those polio vaccine scars many of us have ground in for life. Nice pics, thanks for posting.

DrGoat said...

I don't know Major. I think those two are related in the first pic.
I see a little bit of Granny in Elly Mae.
I do remember Mom buying a few large flowers from the Flower Market once. Don't remember seeing them after that, but my memories are questionable sometimes.

"Lou and Sue" said...

I LOVE the Flower Market picture! More of them, please. (Thanks, Major!)

Back in the 60's and early 70's, we'd spend a lot of time visiting the shops on Main Street in the morning, before heading to any rides - and my mom and I always loved walking around the flowers (even though they were plastic). Also LOVED watching the candy makers at the Candy Palace, and the glass blower artist at the glass shop. Back in those days, the park wasn't so crowded, so folks didn't seem to be in a big hurry to rush to the rides.


Melissa said...

"Violence is never the answer"

What, never?
No, never?
What, never?
Well, hardly ever!

I love pictures of the Flower Market. It seems like the sunlight is always extra-dappled there. And kids in sailor suits are 27% cuter than kids not in sailor suits.

Stefano said...

Hardly ever, Melissa, except..

...When threatened with emeutes,
Tarantara tarantara!
And your heart is in your boots,

Major, the second photo is a fine example of effective backlighting. The pretty miss has a nimbus.

JC Shannon said...

Who doesn't love a plastic flower? Or short shorts? The Flower Market makes a great backdrop for photos, cause you can't tell they are fake. Mickey seems happy to see both women in pic one. I wonder how many photos the Mickster has posed for over the years? Say cheese! Thanks Major.

Andrew said...

How come those half-circle red, white, and blue banners are never hung in that position anymore? I guess it looks a little saggy, but it seems to be another early Disneyland trademark. Eventually Disney made custom-fitting decorations (Christmas garland) for all the Main St. buildings.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, she gave them the idea for Critter Country!

stu29573, she might have a “good side” (or thinks so, anyway), but I have at least one photo showing her “bad side”, which still looks pretty good! It’s sort of amazing to see a woman in shorts like that, when just a few years earlier they were all wearing 50’s-style dresses.

K. Martinez, I have wondered the same thing! You are probably right, it was more about providing that old-fashioned atmosphere.

Alonzo, slaked lime! I don’t even know what “slaked” means (looking it up: I guess it means that the acidity was reduced - which makes no sense since lime is alkiline?). Hey, I’d rather have a polio vaccine scar than have polio!

DrGoat, I suppose anything is possible! Granny doesn’t show up in any of the other photos though - an advantage that I have. The old lady really reminds me of my own grandmother in her later years.

Lou and Sue, as I have confessed many times, I never spent very much time on Main Street when I was younger. Sure, I’d look in the shops for a bit, maybe grab a bite to eat, go see Mr. Lincoln… but otherwise the street was just an avenue to stuff that I considered to be more fun. What a fool I was!

Melissa, this is a case of “Do as I say, not as I do”! I punch people all the time, it’s probably all the steroids making me aggressive. I wonder if my mom ever dressed me in a sailor suit? My dad was in the Navy, so… possibly.

Stefano, whatever that song (or poem) is, you have me stumped! I’ve never been threatened by emeutes because I don’t know what that means (just like “slaked”). Oh, blondie has a nimbus all right - a nimbus that won’t quit! ;-)

Jonathan, somebody recently gave my mother a pot of plastic orchids, and every time company comes over, she gets compliments on them. I think she gets a secret thrill knowing that they require no water or care at all. Just dust them once in a while!

JG said...

Indeed, who could resist having a photo taken in the Flower Market, those shorts would create their own nimbus anywhere.

@Lou and Sue, we never failed to walk through and admire, usually at the end of the day more than the beginning, but sometimes both.

@Ken, my Mom bought several things here and in the adjacent candle shop over the years, I remember one particular large arrangement of blue and purple flowers, hollyhocks or delphiniums etc. in a big vase. She saw it on the way in, and bought it on the way out. It adorned our living room for many years. Another was a little ring of plastic flowers meant to go over a pillar candle. This was in autumn colors and was her favorite table decoration for Thanksgiving.

@Major, dusting the big arrangement was my job, I would take it outside on the lawn.

I doubt that we single-handedly supported the operation, although Mom would have done so if she could.

I'm not sure when plastic flowers became "tacky" along the way through the years, as I seem to hear that complaint not. I remember all my friends' homes having similar decorations in the '60's and '70's. Maybe they were always tacky, and I just had tacky friends and taste, growing up in the sticks. I don't think that's entirely true though, since early Disneyland merchants included the Arribas brothers, antique shops, custom perfumery, etc., and Walt always deplored the Harbor motel commercial strip. He wouldn't have had a flower market if plastic flowers were in poor taste. Cogito ergo boggum (I think, therefore I am confused).

Thanks for the great pictures, Major.


JG said...

"..., as I seem to hear that complaint *often*..."


Chuck said...

[WARNING: The following comment contains a rambling, barely-relevant Chuck story. Reader discretion is advised.]

My dad was stationed overseas for a couple of years while I was in college. Due to my father's position, he and my mother needed to do a lot of entertaining, so the Government-furnished house was tastefully decorated in a style that fit it. The house also had to be scrupulously clean, and fortunately the house came with a locally-hired maid who did a fantastic job.

The house had some large windows with an unobstructed view of the ocean, and the light and the verdant green expanses outdoors strongly suggested indoor plants as part of the decorations.

My mother has a brown thumb. Two of them, actually. I mean, she managed to kill a cactus once. So live plants were not an option.

The solution was some very high-quality fake ones. They were so good, their visitors never caught on that they were fake.

So good, in fact, that my mother came around a corner one day to find the maid watering one. And then panicking when water ran through the basket and all over the polished wood table and onto the carpet.

My mother still has those plants. They still look real. She doesn't water them, though; she hates polishing furniture.

Major Pepperidge said...

Penna. Andrew, I couldn’t even tell you that they don’t use those red, white, and blue banners any more, though it is likely that the half-circle examples have gone bye-bye. Now they have a rwb wookie. Oh snap!

JG, man, I know ladies of a certain era were different from nerds like me, but the thought of going to Disneyland to buy fake flowers and candles is hard to imagine. How about a nice cell of Peter Pan? Yours for a dollar (or so). I used to go to Michael’s craft stores, and was often impressed with the quality of the faux flowers that they sold. For someone without a green thumb, it would be an easy way to add a little color. I know people who “hate those things” however. My old workplace had a fake ficus that I thought was real for a long time.

JG, I was hip to your meaning!

Chuck, It sounds like your parents lived in some pretty sweet government housing! What country was he in? I’ll bet he looked great in a tux. And a monocle, I hope. Did you ever live overseas yourself? I’m sure you’ve told me before, but you know that I never remember anything. Funny that your mom was not a “plant person”, since I seem to recall that she could make her own clothing with some skill. I love that the maid watered the phonies - a testament to their realism!

TokyoMagic! said...

The older lady in the first pic, makes me think of what Marilyn Monroe might have looked like if she had lived longer.

And is the "short shorts" lady carrying a dalmatian-spotted purse? Those don't look like polka dots.

Joan Crawford had plastic flowers in her Upper East Side, New York apartment!

Dean Finder said...

I'm surprised they didn't sell real flowers at the WDW flower market and deliver them back to your hotel room. It seems like the kind of thing they would added when they built their own world.

Melissa said...

Maj, "What, never/hardly ever" is from HMS Pinafore, and "when threatened with emeutes" is from The Pirates of Penzance.