Friday, October 04, 2019

Parking Lot and Train Station, 1950's

Today I am presenting two orphan slides -  they have nobody in the world and are all alone. Maybe somebody will love them!

First up is this fantastic, undated shot of the parking lot. I would imagine that this is from 1956 or '57, perhaps those wonderful cars will help narrow things down. Look at that black and pink behemoth! And the white and pink beauty to its right isn't too shabby either.

It's neat to get this distant perspective, with the Train Station in the middle, City Hall (and a bit of the Emporium) to our left, and the Opera House to our right.

Sometimes a zoom-in is necessary because of the Geneva Convention. I envy the day that the family of four is going to have. No tram was necessary when you parked that close.

This is likely from 1956 or 1957 too, a nice, crisp, sunshiny look at the Train Station, the Mickey portrait, and a few posters (and the Santa Fe logo) for added value.


"Lou and Sue" said...

It seems odd to see the "back" building behind the opera house.

The last picture has to be after June 15, 1956, as we saw my dad's pictures (a week or so ago) that didn't have any posters in the frames, yet, as of that date.

By the time I finish typing this, I bet Nanook will have commented and listed every car in the parking lot!

Thanks for posting these, Major!

Goodnight, Nanook!


Nanook said...


Oh, Major - you must have a hankerin' for a couple of mid-50's beauties-! Forgetting the row of autos on the left (oh, please...) we have a lovely, two-tone 1956 Lincoln - in 'Island Coral' [with presumably a black roof] AND factory air conditioning-! (I believe that "mini air scoop" protruding out of the rear side panel, above the rear tire, is a part of the A/C system). To its right, is a 1956 Mercury Montclair, in (perhaps) 'Glamour Tan' with a 'Coral Mist' roof. "For 1956... the big move is to THE BIG Mercury"

According to 'my sources', Disneyland achieved its 5,000,000 attendance figure, as seen at the Main Street Station, in October, 1956 - so that may also help date the images. If so - I'm heading straight to Tom Sawyer Island, before boarding the Rainbow Mountain Stagecoaches, and then - the icing on the cake: the Rainbow Caverns Mine Train-! Pinch me now.

Thanks, Major. (P.S. Goodnight Sue-! Zzzzzzz....)

Nanook said...

AND... Mineral Hall (How could I pass-by that little 'gem'-??!!)

TokyoMagic! said...

Nanook, does that Lincoln happen to have dual chrome exhaust thingys, underneath each of it's taillights?

Andrew said...

Wow, the excitement of seeing the entrance gates and train station right from your car would've been awesome. (I'm the first to ever say that.) Compliments on the quality of these slides!


I believe that’s not just a ordinary Lincoln but a Lincoln Premier.

Stu29573 said...

I like Ike! I like Ike!
No, I mean I really do. He was born in my home town, so anything else would be blasphemy.
I wouldn't be born until 1962, but I can still long for the 50's. The cars, the clothes, the manners, the civility all just seem so comforting. Sure there were plenty of problems, but I'm not at all convinced that we've "progressed" at all.
Off of soapbox.
On a side note, since I haven't been to Disneyland since CA was built, I can't imagine NOT seeing the entrance from the parking lot! Oh well...

DrGoat said...

Just a thanks for the pics. Candy for the brain. Island Coral indeed.
What a lovely color. Nanook, what's that gray wagon, 8th one down the left hand row, with the spare on the back? At that time, I think Dad was still hanging on to the old '50 Plymouth he bought the day I was born. I ended up with it as a first car. Wish I still had it. It weighed a ton. A lovely green.
Thanks again Major.

JC Shannon said...

I am likin' that Lincoln. How'd you like to parallel park that homma zomma? The 50s and early 60s were cool, but then everything changed. I blame the Monkees, Hula Hoops, and adding sugar to Ovaltine. Gone were the land yachts and Ricky Nelson singles. Hello Toyotas and Bob Dylan. Thanks Major.

Melissa said...

Holy crud, did they have a Cast Member going around that day and color-coordinating the cars in the parking lot? "Excuse me, sir, let me get out my swatches... Yes, I'll need you to go over to section B and park at the far end of aisle 10 with the other powder blues."

Melissa said...

Premier Moments with Mr. Lincoln!

Major Pepperidge said...

Lou and Sue, that’s true, now we know that the posters were put in right around mid-June or ’56. I wrote this post weeks before that discovery! Nanook must be getting caught up on episodes of “The Office”.

Nanook, there you are. Man, that Lincoln is huge; and what great styling. Love the white walls on both autos too. That mini air scoop is so mini that it almost seems pointless. Thanks for the info about the 5 millionth guest; unfortunately these are from two different lots, so unless you have super duper vision, the train station “population” sign is illegible!

Nanook, don’t forget the still-pretty-new Skyway.

TokyoMagic!, looking on Google, it does appear that the Lincoln has dual exhaust pipes under each taillight.

Penna. Andrew, it seems like a silly thing, but there really was something about parking in that big old lot and walking toward the gates.

Mike Cozart, what’s the difference (I ask, really wanting to know)? I am famous for my lack of car knowledge.

Stu29573, while Googling, I saw that somebody had a 1956 Lincoln for sale for about $28,000, and it looked beautiful. About the price of a Honda Civic! As for progress, I feel like it has been a case of one step forward (for some things) and two steps back (for others).

DrGoat, yeah, “Island Coral”, great name for a color! Very evocative. A few months ago I saw a Packard “Caribbean” in cream, with black and pink, it was a beauty. We’ll both have to wait to hear what Nanook thinks about that old gray wagon.

Jonathan, didn’t Ovaltine have sugar in it before?? Or did you have to add your own? Don’t blame the Monkees, they were still fun. Strange to think that just a few years after this photo was taken, Bob Dylan would start performing in coffee houses and such. He was definitely a catalyst for change!

JG said...

Oh boy, what cars!

It must sound silly in this day and age to be nostalgic for a parking lot. I'm sure my kids won't give "Mickey and Friends" a second thought.

But the hike up the pavement to the entrance was just the best thing ever, the anticipation was part of the day's enjoyment. Just as the drudgery of the long slog with sore feet back to the car in the evening after fireworks meant dreaming of Disneyland for another long year.

I wish Thufer could have seen this post.

Thanks Major and the GDB Gang. I have come to rely on Nanook's Car ID service, a show that he should take on the road.


Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, I would like to believe that there was such a person, and that they carried an electric cattle prod. Covered with sparkles, of course.

Melissa, Lincoln was a President, not a Premier!

JG, now that you mention it, I wonder if people just might be nostalgic for the “Mickey and Friends” parking structure! You never know what “sticks”, especially when kids are small. I definitely remember that part of the excitement of the old parking lot was being able to see and hear the DLRR and Monorail, along with the Mighty Matterhorn. The excitement ramped up the closer you got to the front gate.

Melissa said...

IIRC, I was just watching an episode of The Monkees the other day in which they made a joke about the city tearing down a parking lot to put up another parking lot.

Nanook said...

Undoubtedly, you are correct - especially as the tell tail signs of Factory Air Conditioning are so easy to spot: the previously-mentioned fresh air (cough, cough) scoops - and also discernible - the clear plastic 'ducts', positioned on the far right and left of the rear deck, connecting the evaporator and blowers in the truck to ducting in the headliner of the vehicle, terminating in ceiling-mounted diffusers-! NOW we're talking air conditioning-!

@ Dr Goat-
That's gonna be a 1949-1951 Ford station wagon. Actually, more interesting is the 'Castle Gray' & white [Sorry, Kim - no gaudy pink and/or gold when dealing with 'castles'-!] station wagon, the first vehicle completely-viewable, as that's a 1956 Buick station wagon - not the most common station wagon of its era. (To its left, we can just see the right taillight of a 1955 Pontiac. Yes, TM!, the same year of the infamous Pontiac shepherding the Ricardos and the Mertzes to Hollywood).

And just what do you mean "It weighed a ton". Heck, that car weighed-in at 3,070 pounds. That's more like 'a ton and a half'-!

Nanook said...

What's the other line... "Lincoln - great statesman or gas guzzler-??"

"Lou and Sue" said...

I don't know how it is in California now, but in the midwest all our parking lots seem rather boring. I've been in many smaller parking lots lately - and noticed that ALL the cars are either black, white, gray or silver (even mine's black). In the bigger lots, there's a chance of seeing several cars of color - but the percentage is low. Today's DL lot picture looks like a car show - the only place I see beautiful cars anymore!

Melissa - LOL! - regarding color-coordinating the cars :)

That "island coral and black" Lincoln fits in perfectly color-wise for Halloween.


Nanook said...

@ TM!-
I should have also mentioned the model of the Pontiac seen here - the Star Chief - is the same model as seen in the I Love Lucy episode - just not a convertible, of course.

Also - the first vehicle "fully" on-view is that Pontiac; not the Buick station wagon [I was zoomed-in]. And to the left of the Pontiac is a 1955, (could be a 1956 - but as I can't see the larger medallion on the trunk for '56 sticking-out, I'm going to stay with 1955), and... in 'Bermuda Blue'. Ford had about four 'blue colors' back then; so perhaps it's 'Regatta Blue'. Ahoy, matey-!

JG said...

Major, you are right, there is no telling what details will stick in your mind as a kid, or even adult.

Fun story: When our kids were small, we visited Monterey several times over the years to see the aquarium. Last year, we visited again, now all the kids are grown up (30's). We walked out the Fisherman's Wharf pier, and my son stopped in his tracks. He pointed at a big plastic replica ice cream cone outside one of the restaurants. He said he had recurring memories of that thing, but couldn't remember where he had seen it, since he was about 4 when we went there last. So, weird things make your memories.


Chuck said...

Well, even if nobody else will, I will love these slides. They can live at my house and we'll be the bestest of friends.

Stu, it must have been amazing to visit Disneyland before California was built.

Melissa, there are stories of bored (and creative) parking lot cast members doing just that. My favorite yarn was the day they directed all of the VW Beetles of a particular color (yellow, was it?) to the same section of the lot, then watched everyone try to find their cars in the afternoon.

JG, you are right about weird things making your memories. I think I've told this story before, but I remember when I was very small going with my mom out to the fightline at Travis AFB and watching a C-141 come in and park. There was a rope "fence" between us and the airplane, there was a set of grandstands behind us, and they handed us all little American flags to wave. After the event was over, the guy who had handed out the flags came back and collected them, and I remember crying because I couldn't keep it.

In 1993, I was working on a video project about the history of the Air Force, and I perused hundreds of hours of Air Fore Now programs at fast forward looking for footage we could use. I was watching one video from 1983 celebrating the 10th anniversary of Operation HOMECOMING, the return of US POWs from Vietnam, and suddenly I saw a shot of that flightline configured the way it was on that day. I later called my mom to confirm that what I was remembering was being there to welcome home a planeload of former POWs.

JG said...

Chuck, that is quite a story indeed. The deep lost little bits of memory that bob back up to the surface.


Melissa said...

Taking American flags away from little kids?!? How mean can you get?

That story about the VW Beetles is awesome! I'm sure I've told the story about the arguing couple on the WDW parking tram being parked in Grumpy 116.

Chuck said...

Melissa, I don't remember that story, but I love it!

As far as the flag thing goes, it was 1973 and the flags were government property. I'm sure the poor flag-wrangler was held personally responsible for every single one, which were probably inventoried before and afterwards.

I'd like to think the Air Force has moved away from the old "bean-counter" attitude about everything in the past 46 years and focused on keeping track of the things that really count. Nukes, for instance, or kidneys ready for transplant. You don't want to mix those up.

Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, yeah, that sounds about right!

Nanook, man, you sure know a lot about those old cars. Maybe a little too. (I don’t know what that means). I wish Kim Irvine had determined the colors for vintage cars, just imagine the golds and purples and pumpkin oranges.

Nanook, why not both?

Lou and Sue, I can safely say that most California parking lots are boring, as are the cars. Everything looks like a Honda or Toyota - fine cars, but lacking the exuberance of those old Detroit beauties. My car is boring silver, by the way.

Nanook, oy vey, I’ll never get away from “Lucy”. I must have done something bad in a past life. “Bermuda Blue”, love it.

JG, I can totally imagine that giant ice cream cone making an impression on your son. I remember driving to an Ice Capades show, and passing a Sherwin Williams paint store. To this day I remember thinking that their logo (with paint pouring over the globe) was so neat! I eventually bought a vintage employee badge with that same logo.

Chuck, I believe that you will be a good guardian for these slides and will teach them all of the important things they will need. I love the story of the parking lot attendants messing with the guests (the yellow Beetles). Your story about the guy taking your little American flag away is crazy. Really? People couldn’t keep their 3 cent souvenir? I was touched and amazed by your story about the video project and the video of the returning POWs. It reminds me somehow my 2nd grade teacher thought my my dad was a POW (he was in Vietnam, but not a prisoner). She was very nice to me - I don’t think I even knew what “POW” stood for.

JG, yeah, that is always an interesting phenomenon.

Melissa, I know! So nuts. Maybe Allen Funt was nearby.

Chuck, you just know that they probably bought those flags by the boxful for wholesale - some insignificant price. Better to not give them out at all, for gosh sakes, than to give them and then take them away.

Dean Finder said...

Cars on the east coast are just as boring. Good luck finding your white or black sedan or SUV in a parking lot.
As for us, we're driving a new(ish) Beetle in "denim blue". My wife was insistent we didn't get a boring car, and this was the most unusual one we looked at.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Dean, I applaud your wife - she's a smart woman! I just bought a new black car and, after doing so, realized that it looks just like 10 other "makes" - no lie. Dumb decision on my part. The only way I can tell my car apart from the others is by reading the license plates. More than once, I've walked to the wrong car.