Friday, August 09, 2019

Main Street USA, June 1970

I have discovered that I really love photos of Disneyland from 1970-ish through about 1972 or '73. Film stocks (or at least Kodak film stocks) seemed to be able to really capture bright clear colors in a manner that some others were not (I'm looking at you, Ektachrome); And I like the clothing styles, with their playful hues. And the park itself is about as good as it could be (arguably).

For instance; here's a shot of a group of gang members gathered in front of City Hall - because they are gonna cause a ruckus. They're going to start snapping their fingers in unison, then dance around some, and then I dunno, ring a doorbell and run away. Hoodlums!

Here's the Flower Market - you've seen it a thousand times, but "one thousand and one is the charm", as nobody said ever. It all looks so clean, tidy, and inviting. The lady in green seems to be pointing at some "bird of paradise" flowers, or maybe those big sunflowers (just like the kind I wear in my lapel). "Buy me these?".

I noticed an interesting detail in the lower right; a book display is next to the rear fender of the Carnation Milk Truck.

I recognized the cover, "Disneyland World of Flowers". This is a somewhat scarce book today! I found one description that says ...this hardcover souvenir book that was published and sold at Disneyland. This book was written by famed Disneyland horticulturist Morgan “Bill” Evans and is dedicated to his brother Jack Evans. This volume was only produced in 1965 and is very telling of how greatly Walt Disney respected the work of his lead Disneyland Landscape Architect. The book features terrific vintage photos of rare details of the park and its wide variety of plants.

This is the only time I've ever seen a photo of this book for sale in the park!


Nanook said...


Okay - somebody's gotta ask the question: Just what in the wide wide world of sports is the woman who's standing on the far left wearing in her hair-? Is that some sort of a pink, flowery hair adornment-? I'm glad to see you recognized the cover of that "mystery" book. I happen to own a copy of that book. I've referred to it on occasion when trying to ID some of the flora in The Park. The Flower Market has to be the perfect place to sell it; in spite of the fact all the flowers in the street are fake-! (Who knew the book was so rare-?)

Thanks, Major.


MAJOR: the background on the book DISNEYLAND WORLD OF FLOWERS says it was only produced in 1965. Since your photo clearly being still sold in the early 70’s, was the book being reprinted it is the park still selling 1965 printed books more than 5 years later?


On a side note : in the late 80’s after the Disneyland Emporium had that awful facade extension replace the old locker building and the Crystal Arcade was reconfigured , I was browsing around the renovated Emporium before rope-drop( when Main Street would open a hour before the rest of the park) anyway on glass shelving in the Storybook Store section were about a dozen copies of the book WALT DISNEY’s America ( 1978) a rare book even then as well as quite a few copies of the 1978 Mickey Mouse book. I grabbed a copy of the Disney’s America book and took it to the cashier - I asked if this was being reprinted and the cast member said no they were found in the original Emporium stockroom along with some other stuff when they relocated the stockroom. I asked what other things they found and she pointed to “those records” turning around to the record displays ( they still sold records) were America Sings records and Enchanted Tiki Room records!! Both those titles had been out of print since the early 80’s. There were also copies of Disney Christmas ( 1978) these books were wrapped in that old style plastic cellophane.

If any of you haven’t read Walt Disney’s America it’s a good look at how and why there is a Disneyland and how Walt’s experiences and past projects resulted in things like Frontierland , Liberty Square , Tomorrowland etc and also has a section on Epcot showing mid 70’s models and concept art.

Chuck said...

Great photos of a great time to be at the Park!

Not trying to nitpick, but Ektachrome was (and, after a brief hiatus in this decade, is) a Kodak film stock.

I have been on the lookout for a copy of that book for years at a reasonable price. I'm still looking.

TokyoMagic! said...

Back in the 80's there was a comic book shop located just off Harbor Blvd., in the city of Fullerton. They had a small selection of non-comic book related merchandise, like old TV Guides, books, records, toys and also Disneyland souvenirs. I was lucky enough to find a copy of that book, during one of my many visits to that shop. I had no idea that it was a rare find!

If that gang doesn't watch out, they are going to get run over by a Horse Drawn Streetcar.

Andrew said...

I love the way "those hoodlums" are standing around City Hall. It's like they're unsure of what to do! However, their brilliant master plan is soon to be hatched. The chairs on the porch of the building are nice as well.

I bet that the Flower Market (and the other old Main St. shops) was a good diversion that let Disneyland really appeal to all ages.

Pegleg Pete said...

Mike Cozart, Walt Disney's America is indeed a great book – I just reread my copy recently. I've had it since the '80s, but I can't for the life of me remember where I got it. As for the Disneyland World Of Flowers book, that's a new one for me. Thanks for pointing it out Major. And I agree with you that the early '70s represented the acme of the park – most of the best bits were at last in place and they hadn't yet started culling too many of the original attractions. Alas, I missed out on that Disneyland, as I grew up on the East Coast, but at least that meant I got to experience WDW's Magic Kingdom in its late-'70s prime.

Back on topic: what indeed is that woman in the firt photo wearing on her head?! Wig? Fascinator? Flower arrangement? I presume she's taking a photograph of the boy by the City Hall doors, although he doesn't seem nearly as embarrassed by her headgear as I would expect...

"Lou and Sue" said...

Wearing that hot pink floral babushka thing definitely helped to draw attention away from the rest of her. Maybe that was her goal. True fashion sense!

The bookend blue boys are rather interesting. Usually you only see little kids dressed alike.


K. Martinez said...

The first pic is great. I remember wearing shoes like those young men. Thanks, Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I’ve actually seen crazy hats like that on ladies in other photos, but that one is especially hard to ignore, being hot pink and all. I’ve always assumed that those hats are sort of like a stretchy hair net with cloth flowers applied. Not sure though. And yes, it was fun to see that famous (but rare) book on sale in the park!

Mike Cozart, I am only guessing here, but perhaps sales for that book were slow? Maybe that’s why there was only a single edition, and why they still had plenty to sell in 1970. I don’t really know, though.

Mike Cozart, oh man, I love stories like that. “We found a whole room full of this old stuff! Who would want this junk? Let’s sell it!”. Especially when the room is somewhere in Disneyland. Don’t you wish you could see the Emporium stock room in the 1960’s?! “I’ll take that, and two of those, and three of those…”. Wallet instantly empty. I used to have never-opened copies of the Tiki Room and Mr. Lincoln records, but at some point I sold them, probably just before a move. I miss them. I still have my copy of “Walt Disney’s America”, which I bought at B. Dalton Books - it’s still in its cardboard box.

Chuck, ah, I left out a word apparently - it should have said “some Kodak film stocks”. I often write these posts in a tremendous hurry - which is probably blatantly obvious. I am definitely aware that Ektachrome is a Kodak product! Like you, I do not have a copy of “World of Flowers” - yet.

TokyoMagic!, yeah, you could really find some great book stores, junk shops, antiques stores, and so on, a long time ago. Sounds like the one you mentioned was a gem. I’m glad you found a copy of that book!

Penna. Andrew, when you are in a gang, it’s always a problem. “Should we do some mischief? Or some mayhem?”. It’s hard to get that many people to agree. I’ve always envied the people who actually slowed down and sat in those chairs - I was always running around like a headless chicken trying to get more stuff done.

Pegleg Pete, I’ve never even held a copy of the “World of Flowers” book in my hands, so I haven’t been able to flip through the pages. Maybe it’s not very interesting?! I’m sure it’s nice, to be honest. I used to haunt used bookstores and found one in mint condition with its dust jacket (those are almost always missing), but the seller wanted something like $600 for it. No, thanks!

Lou and Sue, what I’d really like to know is if that woman ever wore that hot pink flowered hat again!

K. Martinez, I only wore shoes like that to church - otherwise I would have destroyed them, being a stupid kid and all. Although I do have a faint memory of having something that was sort of like “Beatle boots”. Otherwise I was a sneaker kid pretty much all the time.

stu29573 said...

Ah, Disneyland 1973. That was when I visited the park! I wish I remembered more, and I wish photos existed of the experience, but none seem to. Still, that was enough to leave a lasting overall very positive impression! Someday I may skip an east coast trip to revisit the west coast, but I'm a little afraid to. I'm afraid that what lives there now will have no chance of standing up to my memories....

JC Shannon said...

That may be the worst hat ever, even by 70s standards. I would love to have a copy of that book. I bet it goes for big bucks today. Thanks Major.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Other than being painfully silly looking by today's standards I would think a head covering like that would be a target for both Hummingbirds and Bees of every variety.

Although fun to look at, the rare Disney book and record rabbit hole is one my retirement account can't afford to go down. I have a few but it can become an expensive habit! I've done a few appraisals of homes where there is an over zealous "collector" of Disney, or Hot Wheels, or Coca Cola, or Nascar, or Star Wars, or John Deere and the list goes on and on and on.

JG said...

A thousand and one photos of the flower market are not enough for me.

Fascinating conversation today. I don't have many books ABOUT Disneyland, but I have a lot of books bought AT Disneyland. Seems weird now.

At first glance, I thought that woman's brain was popping out.

I had those same shoes, at about the same time.

Thanks everyone.


Melissa said...

Yeah, I'm almost certain that pink headdress is a babushka made of fabric covered with ruffles. We've seen a lot of babushki here at GDB, but that is Peak Babushka. It's like the babushka version of a diamond tiara.

That stockroom story is amazing, Mike!

Major Pepperidge said...

stu29573, like you, I have virtually no photographic record of my many childhood visits to Disneyland. It makes no sense (my mom took tons of photos all the time), and yet, it’s true. I understand your trepidation about the park as it is today, but if you go with an open heart and mind, I think you can still have lots of fun.

Jonathan, I kind of like the hat! Maybe I’m weird. And yes, that book does go for big bucks, though I’m sure you can get lucky if you are diligent.

Alonzo, if that lady used some sort of fragrance, I could see a nice honey bee getting confused! Hummingbirds are cool, but man, they are aggressive little jerks. I still love them though. Disney (and Disneyland) collecting really can be a black hole for your money - I speak from experience.

JG, I am amazed that you don’t have a selection of books about Disneyland. What books did you buy AT the park? The “brains popping out” remark reminded me of Doctor Finklestein from “Nightmare Before Christmas”.

Melissa, I guess I sort of like the playful look of the hat (or whatever it should be called). Considering that so many people wore hats with big mouse ears on them, it looks refined by comparison!

"Lou and Sue" said...

Our friend in the blue babushka didn't even get a nod today. Hot-pinkie stole her show.


Melissa said...

Yeah, I completely missed her *and* the glory of that brown striped/floral shirt. I guess it's time to turn in my babushka-spotting license.

Anonymous said...

@Major, I can recall four books for sure that we bought in the Park, besides the two or maybe three guidebooks, one of which I shared a while back.

1. Storybook version of 20K Leagues, with illustrations matching the Disney film.
2. Book about insects.

Can't find 1 or 2 on short notice, but I'm sure I have them.

3. "The World We Live In" A LIFE Magazine Kids book about the History of Life, pics of dinosaurs, extinct mammals, and articles on forests and deserts.
4. "The World of Science" Kids book on introduction to science and physics. I wanted to be a physicist until I discovered I was no good at simultaneous differential equations. I settled on architecture, which is for engineers who can't do math.

I still have all of these. I just found the last two in my bookcase, my Mom, bless her, wrote in the flyleaves that #3 was bought in 1967 and #4 in 1966.

I'm happy to share photos or scans if you are interested. All but the first are too big to scan in entirety, and there are copyright issues even though almost all over 50 years old. Only #1 had a Disney tie-in and all were bought in the Main Street book shop.