Friday, November 15, 2019

Two From Tomorrowland

When people corner you at celebrity-filled cocktail parties and ask you, "What's Major Pepperidge really like?", I hope you tell them that:

A) Nobody is allowed to look me in the eye (I only have one eye)
B) I always require a large bowl of green M&M's in my hotel room.
C) My haircut is based on Moe Howard's.
D) I especially love vintage Tomorrowland.

Speaking of vintage Tomorrowland, check out this beautiful photo from July, 1958. Wowee-kazowee! There ain't nothin' wrong with this one. Powered by baking soda and vinegar, the Moonliner produced more thrust than the Saturn V, meaning that a trip to the moon took mere minutes instead of 4+ days that Apollo required. The rocket looks especially dazzling against that rich blue sky.

Fun fact: the stars are there even during the daytime. The More You Know.

Next I have this photo from August, 1960. Suddenly there was a Monorail and a Submarine Lagoon where there used to be liquor stores and pawn shops. Progress! The Stephens-Adamson Speedramp is also progress - why walk when you can just stand there? Or better yet, lay down on the ramp? So relaxing. 


Nanook said...

Bangsite - "The propulsion of the future-!" And to think I almost got a full sized car to toddle-around the city powered by a giant 'gas gun'.

And I thought I was the only guest who routinely lay down on the Speedramp - and always pressed-up against the sidewalls of ramp - to maximize the oscillating effect of the under rollers, Mmmmmmm.... ZZZzzzzzz......

Thanks, Major.

K. Martinez said...

The Speedramp pic is my favorite today. Also, love the simplicity of the Monorail marquee. Thanks, Major.

Nanook, I used to routinely press my feet on the ramp against the sidewalls to get the maximizing effect of the under rollers.

"Lou and Sue" said...

". . . lay down on the ramp" - LOL


Andrew said...

Laying down on escalators is much more my speed. The feeling of those wonderful edges of the stairs provides a sensation that's soothing, yet not in a way that will put you to sleep. :)

Also, I've been able to "experience" the speedramps still at Magic Kingdom! Life changing. That's all I can say.

JC Shannon said...

Iv'e always said, no one can pull off a Moe Howard like Major P. The original Tomorrowland is so retro cool. We are all going to the moon, live in plastic houses, and travel by conveyor belt. As a kid, I couldn't wait. Even though the Moonliner looks nothing like a real NASA rocket, I was heartbroken when they got rid of it. Thanks Major, nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.

DrGoat said...

Super cool shot of the Moonliner, Major.
As far as laying down on the Speedramp, well that didn't happen for me in those days, unless I got away from my parents who wouldn't let me do it.
Nanook, I still have a Big-Bang cannon somewhere around here. Right up my alley back then. Ahh,the smell of carbide in the morning.

Anonymous said...

I take it those fun facts about you are a joke, right? If not...well, that was certainly interesting to learn.

Really love the kitschy-retro feel of Tomorrowland. Especially the large rocket. Pity that Disneyland no longer has it. Though I think they have a model of it on top of a pizza place there. Floridian here. Know nothing about Disneyland.

Anonymous said...

Old Tomorrowland, back when Tomorrow at Disneyland was still imagined to be fun and worth anticipating.

Those old speedramps were great, not only did you get to ride, but received a massage to boot. Just a great tactile memory.

I had a Disney comic book starring Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge in a rocket race into space, one of the characters was a Texas millionaire whose rocket was fueled by a "mixture of cow hair and alkali".

I believe there is merit in exploring these alternate fuels. I think the Millenium Falcon runs on churros and blue milk.

Major, I notice you didn't mention your Roger Rabbit-inspired bowtie and trousers.

Cheers everyone, I'm off to polish my monocle.


Chuck said...

Wish I'd had a chance to see this Tomorrowland in person or the presence of mind to use the speedramps for a foot massage. Come to think of it, I have no memory of the Monorail speedramp ever operating and only the vaguest, possibly-false memory of the PeopleMover one in motion. I'm sure they did, but it's something my brain never recorded. I do have clear memories of the one at Space Mountain not operating.

Nanook, "Bangsite" sounds vaguely like the kind of website I should avoid, particularly at work or if I want to stay married.

Nanook said...

@ The Magic Ears Dude Bro-
Through a (quietly-publicized) contest a few years back, I was able to meet the Major. I can’t validate his single eye, as he was wearing an eyepatch; so take it for what it’s worth. On the other hand, his behavior at the meet-and-greet was akin to seeing royalty at its finest. (Just the way he articulated his cigarette holder was enough to bring swoons, and the occasional fainting, from his many adoring fans in attendance).

"Lou and Sue" said...

(Nanook, thanks for the info.) Major, when and where is your next meet-and-greet?!?! Am trying to get a Fast Pass on-line for it . . .


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, are you crazy?!? Bangsite is the most explosive substance known to man! We want to blast people to the moon, not to smithereens!

K. Martinez, it’s hard to see, but under the “M” in Monorail there is a sign on a column (back in the shadows) - I know somebody who owns that sign!

Lou and Sue, I only speak the truth.

Andrew, laying down in public is what I do best. Food courts, public parks, parking lots. I am very well-rested! Gosh, I can’t think of any speedramps left at Disneyland, except for maybe the one that you step on to exit the Haunted Mansion.

Jonathan, the secret to a good “Moe” haircut is to comb a little butter into your hair so that it really stays put. When you said “travel by conveyor belt” all I could think of was the opening credits for “The Jetsons”. I hate that they junked the Moonliner like it was on old car.

DrGoat, I admit that you had to be stealthy to get away with laying down on the speedramp. Parents are well known for putting a stop to such foolishness. “Foolishness”?? They don’t know what they’re missing!

Dudebro, oh I never joke about my “rules”! While 1950’s Tomorrowland feels kitschy today, I think it was pretty spectacular (at least parts of it) 60 years ago.

JG, I can’t help wondering… “Isn’t it still possible to make a ‘LAND OF TOMORROW’ that would be fun and beautiful?”. People still dream about going to other worlds. How about a fanciful “flight to Saturn”, where we see strange creatures that live in the layers of swirling gas, or dive through the layer of rings? Or we could land on the moon Enceladus with its water ice geysers. Space is still a fascinating frontier! I do like a good bowtie and red pants held up by suspenders!

Chuck, there are SO many things I wish I’d experienced in that old Tomorrowland; not just going on rides or seeing exhibits, but the smells (what did the inside of the 20,000 Leagues walk-thru smell like?!), and the way things felt, such as those speedramps; how did the sound echo inside the Kaiser Aluminum Telescope? I am now tempted to visit, but am too chicken to see what’s there.

Nanook, it’s a strange phenomenon - if two people are in the same room with me, I look totally different to each of them. I can’t explain it! PS, I do own a cigarette holder, though it belonged to my grandmother and is unused as far as I can tell.

Major Pepperidge said...

Lou and Sue, it would be fun to do a meet 'n greet, but so far I've only met a few GDB regulars here and there.