Saturday, December 28, 2019

Knott's Berry Farm, August 29, 1959

Today, amusement parks will often have actors walk through the place, in costume and in character (much like the "Ghost Town Alive" that Knott's does during the summer months, or "Galaxy's Edge" at Disneyland). But Knott's had lots of local characters back in the day.

These fellows look respectable enough, I guess I don't have to worry about handing over my small leather bag of gold dust. I was just on my way to the assayer's office! The guy to the left looks like a sheriff, only he doesn't have a tin star, so I guess he's a local rancher. The hombre to the right looks resplendent in his mariachi hat, ruffled shirt, gold string tie, and red jacket. 

If any of you Knott's aficionados know anything about these two men, I'd love to hear it!

Next we have a prosperous couple out for a stroll with their young baby. I'd love to know what kind of conversation one might have had with them! We saw a similar couple on GDB way back in 2007. Maybe they would try to drum up business for the Bird Cage Theatre. Behind them is the Livery Stable, made from real liver.

This hard-working prospector is panning for flakes of gold, but it looks like all he has is a few cigarette butts. It's better than nothing! He has surrounded himself with rounded river rocks to ward off angry crayfish. Good luck to you, crazy prospector.

I have more Knott's for you, whenever I get around to scanning more slides!


Nanook said...

"Behind them is the Livery Stable, made from real liver". You haven't lived until you've had 'Thousand Island dressing - made with real islands'-!! It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, believe you me. We do love the old Knott's.

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Yay, vintage Knott's! That prospector (or a very similar one) is still down in that creek, doing his thing!

I think it would've been great if the gentleman pushing the baby carriage was able to throw his voice and make the doll in the carriage "talk to guests." Barney Rubble did that on The Flintstones and made it appear as if Pebbles was talking to Fred! I saw it on MeTV recently!

K. Martinez said...

These are some great images of Knott's. I really like the first one. Last time I saw that prospector, he was panning for plush animals. Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic!, I remember that specific episode of "The Flinstones", but haven't seen it in decades. Amazing how long lost memories are triggered and recalled from someone else's words.

JC Shannon said...

I do love Knott's as well. I am pretty sure the two gents in the first photo are arguing about the Nixon Kennedy debate. I think the couple with the carriage is discussing how hot wool is in the summer. The prospector is thinking there's ciggy butts in these here hills and I'm gonna smoke me some. Also he still likes Ike. Thanks Major.

Chuck said...

I know a little bit about those two guys in the first photo. The guy on the left has a beard, while the other guy doesn't.

This has me wondering - did that couple rent that carriage at the Livery Stable? And if so - did they rent babies with baby carriages like they rented horses with horse-drawn carriages?

Sixty years and counting - that's persistence. I hope things finally pan out for that prospector.

Andrew said...

Real liver?! Next thing you're gonna say is that the "Bird Cage Theater" is made from real bird cages!

I think that some of these characters were just normal people visiting the park who took the "old time adventures" slogan a little too much to heart.

zach said...

This is the only Knott's I know, 'knott' having been there since 1972. As a kid I remember a old fashioned cars attraction near the parking lot. And a bottle house? In '72 it was all about the rides.

And what a doll that baby is- so cute!

Thanks, Major


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, especially if the dressing is made from the islands of Langerhans! (Gross, I know).

TokyoMagic!, wow, I’m glad to know that “Old Crazy” is still there. You’re so funny with your MeTV shows. I do love those old “Flintstones” episodes - in the early days they had so much charm.

K. Martinez, I see that when I try to link to an old post, Photobucket is STILL down. It’s been at least a week! I wonder if they’ve lost everyone’s photos and are too afraid to admit it?

Jonathan, I STILL argue about the Nixon/Kennedy debates. “So what if he was sweaty? He has a little dog named Checkers!”. Don’t you know that wool is warm in the winter and cool in the summer? That’s why I wear a full, heavy wool suit in July. I’m as cool as a cucumber.

Chuck, it’s this kind of laser-sharp observation that I count on from you! You can not only rent a baby buggy, but you can rent a real baby. Additional fees may apply.

Andrew, now I want to see an entire building made from bird cages. Sounds drafty. I’m not sure “normal people” would dress like that, no matter how much they were into “old time adventures”.

dzacher, I didn’t go to Knott’s for well over 20 years after returning to California from the east coast, it was a very weird experience! So familiar, but so different.

Irene said...

Love me some Knott's!!! Actually from what I understand not having been there myself, Galaxy's Edge does not have walk around characters as was originally planned. I've heard lot's of complaints about that. Good old budget cuts on Disney's part before it opened. I guess they may be using a droid now and there is one girl who runs around as a resistance fighter plus Storm Troopers and Kilo Ren.

I know nothing about the characters in either of the first two photos but they look pretty cool. Also regarding the Livery Barn in the second picture, I remember going maybe 6 or 7 years ago and found they had turned it into another store selling lots of junk. How disappointed I was. Then new management came in and turned it back into a functioning barn where they bring out a couple of horses from the stables that are off property to the north of Knott's and also one of the two burros, Betty or Brutus. During Halloween time they have "scary" insects and animals in there with people who own them and talk about them with you. During Boysenberry Festival they bring in sheep and piglets usually 4H from a nearby school or privately owned and again knowledgeable people to talk about them.

I love Knott's. Wish I could make it back before Merry Farm ends on Jan. 5 but it doesn't look like that will happen :(

DrGoat said...

Knott's was a good time back then. You always came away with a little gold dust when you panned for gold at the trough. Actually the operator dressed in the appropriate prospector's garb, would pinch a little into your pan when you weren't looking. The best!
By the way Andrew, the real Birdcage Theater down in Tombstone is about as big as a birdcage. Can't imagine thirty or so cowboys, right off the range, crammed in there.
Still think one of my favorite things about Knott's was the little devil turning the crank to fire up the volcano.

K. Martinez said...

Major, That might be highly possible. After your comment I looked up some articles about Photobucket and it seems they have a problem with being upfront with their customers and poor at communicating to their customer base. At least that's what I gathered from the articles. I also read they are very small (under 100 employees).

Irene, I love Knott's too! It's become my favorite theme park.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

@Dr Goat
Speaking of Tombstone (the movie) I'm getting a strong doppleganger vibe out of the guy on the left of picture one as he looks like Texas Jack Vermillion and the guy in picture number two looks like Sheriff Johnny Behan.

Maybe it just means I need to pull out the DVD and watch it as I haven't seen it for awhile.

Melissa said...

The first shot features a rare photo of famous bandito The Elderly Kid.

The only thing I can think of to say to the prosperous couple is, "Psst, your baby hasn't moved in a while."

K. Martinez said...

Mr. Gittes went to Knott's that day and saw the couple with the "baby". The lady had the delusion that it was her sister and her daughter. It was then that Walsh told Mr. Gittes "Forget it Jake. It's Ghost Town.

Anonymous said...

Old Knotts is best Knotts.

@Dr.Goat, I was also fascinated by the little devil in the volcano. Great stuff, and so very "homely", not slick or polished.

Thank you Major.