Tuesday, December 17, 2019

River Belle Terrace, May 1978

Among the many scans that were kindly sent to me by the Mysterious Benefactor, there are lots of rare views taken inside many of the restaurants, including the kitchen areas that were off limits to mere mortals. You'll see some of those kitchen images very soon, but today we are inside the River Belle Terrace, just hanging around the cash register and generally being a nuisance. 

Meet Jennifer. Isn't she pretty? 

The River Belle Terrace was formerly Aunt Jemima's Pancake House. Notice Jennifer's "Oscar Mayer" badge - they sponsored the restaurant at its opening in 1971. At some point Hormel took over sponsorship, and then Sunkist, but in 1978 it was still Oscar Mayer.

Here's a nice general view of the restaurant, it must have been peak lunchtime! I'm admiring the impressive woodwork of that napkin/cutlery/payment station - I'll bet the craftsman of the time could build stuff like that in their sleep.

The flash worked this time, lighting up the far reaches, and allowing us a clear view of that magnificent bucket hat (did that guy bring it with him, or did he buy it in the park?). The lady with the tray has pancakes smothered in whipped cream, which would hit the spot right now.

Thank you as always, Mysterious Benefactor!


TokyoMagic! said...

I wonder if Jennifer knew Karin?

Nanook said...

I see in the third and fourth images a lovely Farrington Addressograph credit card imprint machine. Also of note, is "Dad's" shirt [presumably] embroidered with his initials. Sorry, that's a bit too gauche for my taste - although it's a definite toss-up when also considering that 'magnificent bucket hat'...

And speaking of great craftsmanship - the curvature imparted to the wooden-? supporting surround for the utensil holders is undoubtedly a part of your comment. That's pretty swell.

@ TM!-
It turns out everyone knows everyone else. It's just so much easier that way-!

Thanks to the M. B.

"Lou and Sue" said...

This sweet, wholesome-looking gal is exactly who Walt had in mind, as a perfect-Disney cast member! Am I the only one whose stomach turns a bit when a restaurant server waits on you with multiple holes in their face and tongue - including very large holes in their ear lobes ??


Nanook said...

@ Sue-
But... 'The better to hear you with, my dear'-!!

"Lou and Sue" said...

Nanook - LOL! Don't tell me YOU have huge ear lobe holes!! ;)

Hey, did you notice the old credit card machine in the last picture, to Jennifer's right? Remember how you were supposed to make sure the carbon paper was destroyed so that no one could steal your info?!

Fun clothing styles - and lots of stripes, too.

Thanks MB and Major!


"Lou and Sue" said...

Nanook, I just re-read the comments and see that you beat me to the credit card machine. I guess I'm tired and not comprehending too well. Good night!

Andrew said...

I actually have that stained glass Oscar Meyer sign hanging in my kitchen right now. It's quite the showpiece. Bonus points for the Carnation milk carton (cause that's a Disneyland thing). Thanks to the MB for these rare scans!

JC Shannon said...

Celebrity alert, Rob Reiner is in the foreground of the third snap and all the way in the back you can see Chef Boyardee. Nanook, not everyone can pull off the Gilligan rainbow hat. I usually wear mine to dinner parties. Thanks to MB and Major.

Chuck said...

That old analog digital cash register behind Jennifer brings back memories. Anyone have one of those play cash registers in their childhood that worked like the real thing? I didn't, but a girl I played with (my dad's Vietnam co-pilot's daughter) when I was 2-5ish did. I remember being obsessed with hitting the "No Sale" key, but I can't remember why. Maybe the background of the tab that showed up in the window was a different color.

Your comments have me wondering - would a craftsman making a napkin/cutlery/payment station today use wood or a 3-D printer?

Thanks, MP and MB!

Stu29573 said...

In 1978 I was 16 and would probably have had a crush on Jennifer. Of course I had a crush on just about every girl back then, so that's not saying much. I think the old credit card stampers were the last widespread use of carbon paper. Alas, poor carbon paper, we hardly knew you. Of course as a kid we made our own carbon paper by completely coloring a piece of paper with a pencil and then writing on the back of it while it sat on another piece of paper. We didn't have smart phones, but we knew how to amuse ourselves!

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, I don’t know how long Karin worked at the park, but I think it was six or seven years earlier. Anything’s possible though!

Nanook, well of course, I figured everyone knew it was a Farrington Addressograph credit card imprint machine. Doesn’t everybody have one? I have a few extras “just in case”! I wonder if the shirt with the embroidered initials was a gift? I can’t imagine taking the time and money to do that for my own shirts!

Lou and Sue, ha ha, I guess their standards for hiring people with the “Disney look” have relaxed somewhat!

Nanook, a large hole in the tongue is a handy place to carry a cigarette.

Lou and Sue, you have been reading comments on this blog for too long!!

Andrew, now that you mention it, I wonder if anybody saved that sign? It’s possible that the Oscar Meyer sponsors kept it I suppose. I wonder if those Carnation milk cartons said “Disneyland” on them anywhere?

Jonathan, I thought it was Marty Di Bergi, but you’re right, it IS Rob Reiner!

Chuck, I never had a toy cash register, but was always fascinated with the real ones, from the analog days as you said. They are amazing machines! And of course there are some ornate examples that are probably worth a fortune these days. As for the woodwork, I have done work for a prop house, and they use a CNC machine for carving anything elaborate. It’s so fast and accurate that I’m sure that would be the way to go in most situations now. 3-D Printers can handle amazing things now, I guess they even make specialized examples that can make houses!

Stu29573, ha ha, yes I agree, I am sure that many of the boys would have had a crush on Jennifer! And knowing people, she probably didn’t think she was pretty. I don’t miss carbon paper! But like you I used to make my own version, only I used a blue pastel for transfering a drawing from paper to art board. It worked, but it was messy!

Anonymous said...

Seeing the bright eyes and smiling face of this young employee reminds me how much fun and excitement there was in working at the Park back in those days. Getting ANY job at the park was coveted, especially for those of us 18 year olds as a first job. KS

"Lou and Sue" said...

KS, you were so fortunate to live near Disneyland and work there, in your youth - especially back then! Heck, I'm seriously dreaming of moving and making my last job a Disney part-time job - doing anything there, after my husband and I "retire" - just for the experience of it. After one of my aunts retired, about 20 years ago, for a short time she was a volunteer with the police department and did "security" at Downtown Disney. She wore a uniform (no gun) but was mainly there to help people and answer questions. She drove a cute little police-car-golf-cart-like vehicle. She was a people-person and loved doing it.


Anonymous said...

This is fun stuff, I remember this interior pretty well, except maybe the Oscar Mayer branding. The tile and gingerbread woodwork is pretty distinctive.

Based on the routed edge, the arc shape in the utensil platform is probably made from painted MDF fiberboard, although it might have been Corian (methyl methacrylate, a compound related to aspirin, of all things). Corian was the latest greatest countertop material in the early 80's, having been introduced in 1971.

I doubt that 3D printing would be used for much of this kind of decorative work today, although I agree with Major that CNC (which is a very different process) is widely used, especially for solid-surface and quartz countertops.

I worked with a fabricator making up complex shapes from gypsum board direct from the CAD files for a casino interior, amazing things are now possible using CNC for shop fabrication of foam, gypsum board, resin, GFRC etc.

The decorative elements on the "arch" in the pictures look very much like catalog items applied with glue, and might be resin and not wood at all, even then.


Anonymous said...

I remember eating there for breakfast with my family. The long line went pretty fast and by the time you were next to the counter/window where they were actually making the food, they were probably making your order. So by checkout it was still nice and hot and fresh.