Tuesday, July 23, 2019

More Vintage Frontierland, April 1977

I have three variations on a theme today, all from the Mysterious Benefactor!

I can't recall seeing too many (or any?) images taken from aboard one of the rafts that ferried guests to and from Tom Sawyer Island, so this trio is kind of neat. I'm posting them in the order in which they appear in the catalog of scans, but they don't seem to be sequential.

What a surprise to discover that Quentin Tarantino was a raft pilot! This was long before he made it  big, as evidenced by the white patch on his red shirt.

Darn kids and their carbonated beverages! Why, when I was their age, I drank lukewarm pond water, and was grateful to get it! Of course you all recognize former silent film star Harry Langdon; sure, he's older, but he's still got it

I assume that the crude wooden "tent" on the raft is where the powerful motor was hidden? Quentin will never tell.


Nanook said...


Yesterday we saw 'Charlie Ruggles'; today it's 'Quentin Tarantino' & 'Harry Langdon'. It's a cornucopia of Hollywood glitterati-! Now, I want to know what the image is on our young friend's blue/white tee shirt. (I'm also wondering if the other gentleman with the blue/red striped tee shirt is his twin brother).

Thanks to the MB & The Major.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Wow! The liveliest, most excited, energetic, happy-go-lucky-looking bunch!


TokyoMagic! said...

It looks like Harry Langdon might be suffering from an iodine deficiency.

Andrew said...

I like the thatch hat or whatever. I need to get one someday.

I'd look a bit more concerned if I was sitting on barrels of dynamite!

stu29573 said...

These were taken right before a huge gunfight broke out that whiped out most of Frontierland for reasons that didn't really involve the plot...and sent young Mr. Tarantino down the path to his life's work! Bravo!

Stefano said...

The dapper older gent also resembles silent film comedian Larry Semon, if Semon had made it to old age--he checked out aged 39. Pee Wee Herman continued the man-child tradition of Langdon and Semon. Tarantino himself seems emotionally arrested at about 14, but "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" is still going to be a must-see.

JG said...

I remember sitting on one of those dynamite kegs, perhaps that very one.

Also the feel of the wood railings hand-polished by decades of fun-seekers, and the casual toss of the rope barrier over the post. No elaborate safety precautions for us! I may have even leaned on the lean-to, since that is what they were for.

The other raft was named "Becky Thatcher, IIRC. Both powered by replica original turbo-charged Missouri rotary diesel raft engines handcrafted in the WED shops.

Major, these are such fun. Real "you-are-there" feeling in these pictures.

Thank you!


JC Shannon said...

No one seems to be having any fun. Maybe it's the fashions of the day. Maybe they are all Carter supporters. Who knows? If you look at the shore in pic 1, you can just make out Santa in a blue shirt. Even he looks depressed. If I were on a raft headed for TSI, I would be grinning all the way. Thanks Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, Quentin is all over the media with the release of his latest movie. Even GDB is honored with a guest appearance! Will Margot Robbie and Leonardo DiCaprio show up tomorrow? One never knows.

Lou and Sue, I’m sure a random photo of me at Disneyland would look just as comatose!

TokyoMagic!, I miss the days when people could have goiters.

Penna. Andrew, there is nothing more cool than sitting on something that could kill you in an instant. “Eh, we’re all gonna go someday”, the boy is explaining to his mother”.

stu29573, I’m sure a few choice words were used too, especially during the “Mexican standoff”!

Stefano, Larry Semon? I don’t know of him. And I know everything! I am really looking forward to “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” - with the exception of “Django Unchained” I have like or loved his movies.

JG, I guess the thinking was that a raft pilot might need dynamite to remove a large obstruction in the river. Maybe? I can’t think of any other reason. Yes, I am pretty sure there was a “Becky Thatcher”, and I thought that there might have been a “Huck Finn” too, but that might must be my brain playing the usual tricks on me. Dumb brain!

Jonathan, it could be that these folks were aware of some dude taking their photo, and they felt uncomfortable. “Who is this creep? Should I run and find a responsible adult?”.

Anonymous said...

Took a screen capture and posted on the FB Frontierland members' site from that era asking if anyone can identify the CM. KS

JG said...

@Andrew, I'm leaving you a comment here since I can't post on your blog (not sure why).

Knoebels Trip Report II:

"This park looks like a lot of fun. I want to see the Haunted Mansion!

I vote we have a GDB party at this park, Andrew can host!


Andrew said...

I'm not sure why you can't comment. Sorry about that!

I second the idea of having a party. :) If only it wasn't so far...

Chuck said...

I remember as a kid wishing I could get inside those little raft structures. I also remember being fascinated by the idea that Jim and Huck had a little house onboard their raft in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The idea just seemed so cozy and and snug...right up to the point where you get run down by a steamboat.

JG, there were actually four rafts at the time: Tom Sawyer, Becky Thatcher, Huck Finn, and Injun Joe. There are only three today: Blackbeard, Anne Bonny, and Captain Kidd, and they are larger than the one in this 1977 photo.

Andrew, it's farther for some than the others; we don't all live on the west coast... :-)

Anonymous said...

CM has been identified by my former co-workers and Charlie himself!! KS

Melissa said...

Is that a hat or a haystack?

JG said...

@Andrew, it is weird. I have tried logged in on my profile, and as anonymous, and on both Firefox and Chrome. When I enter comments and press preview, the post disappears, and all the buttons to make another one also vanish. I have to refresh the page to get the comment window back. It worked once or twice earlier, but not at all yesterday.

I'm stumped.


JG said...

@Chuck, I do remember the "Huck Finn" raft, but not an "Injun Joe".

My mind refuses to recognize the pirate names. I am trying to block Johnny Depp from my conscious mind.

Bigger raft makes sense, I recall the old ones often SRO, and being unhappy that I couldn't ride outside the railing. Plenty of room out there to stand. I would hang on and not fall in, I'm not stupid. LOL

I agree about the little shanty, that seemed the best part of the story to me, hanging out on the raft. It's hard to convey now how cool all this was when you were raised on the books. Seeing it all in real life, but not all spelled out as a ride, but instead as experiences you made yourself.