Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Knott's Pitchur Gallery

It's time for more souvenir photos from Knott's Berry Farm's "Pitchur Gallery"!

These first two are early examples, stamped "Knott's Berry Place" on the back, so... pre-1946. This first one is possibly unique in my collection, I don't think I have another with this tableau featuring two couples waltzing around like crazy! 

I have posted a similar photo to this one; poor Sad-Eye Joe has been locked up for longer than he can remember, but at least he has another deadly criminal to keep him company for a while. She had a date with the hangman! Just look at her; why I wouldn't want to run into her when she was in a bad mood.

Next up is a SPECIAL GUEST PHOTO from GDB friend Peter Bondante (aka DrGoat)! See many more of his photos HEREHEREHEREHERE, and oh yeah, HERE,

It's from 1962 as you can see, and it's got the whole durn family! Peter said that there is a note on the back that says, "On the way to Seattle World's Fair and Disneyland", which is pretty fun. I'm always looking for Pitchur Gallery scenes that I don't already have, and I've never seen this one before, which is very cool. Obviously it was perfect for those large family groups (or biker gangs).

Peter listed all of his relatives:

From left to right, cousin Sandra, Uncle Charles (the DrGoat illustrator), Aunt Louise, sister Chris (dig that hair), neighbor daughter Caroline, Mom in front, Dad behind, me, John Dawson, father to the 3 girls, Janet in front, Patty behind and their Mom Jean.

There will be a quiz two years from now, so I hope you all paid attention. 

MANY THANKS to Peter for sharing his fun personal photo!


Nanook said...

Normally, Sad-Eye Joe and those two couples preceding him would be the recipient of all the love; but they must step-aside when Junior Gorillas make an appearance-! What a wonderful family memory. (I trust the previous 'biker gang' didn't leave too many "souvenirs" behind...)

Thanks Peter, for sharing this great image with us.

TokyoMagic! said...

Seeing all the Pitchur Gallery photos lately, almost makes me want to start collecting random souvenir Pitchur Gallery photos, of people I don't know! These are some great ones.....especially Peter's family photo! I've seen that set-up before. I believe there was a sign on the front of the bar (just above the brass rail), which read, "Spit on the ceiling. Anyone can spit on the floor!" There was a similar sign on the bar inside the Silver Dollar Saloon, in Ghost Town.

Thanks Major, and thank you Peter, for sharing your personal family photo with us!

Chuck said...

The two women in the first photo look like they might be sisters, or cousins, or at least members of the same species.

Peter, thanks so much for sharing your neat family photo! Did you all take that trip together? I think it's neat you were all en route to Disneyland and the '62 World's Fair. My dad, his sister (both in college at the time), and my grandparents made a similar pilgrimage from Ohio that year, although I don't believe they stopped at Knott's.

stu29573 said...

Wow, that is a lot of folks! I'll bet that was a super fun trip! (You can just tell by the happy faces!) The lady with Sad Eyed Joe actually escaped by promising to make the guard cookies. However, when it came time to pay up, she had scooted off to Mexico! What evil!!! The first shot makes me realize once again how much better these sets were done than what you typically see today...

Andrew said...

Wow, it looks like Sad Eye Joe is a physical figure in the second picture. I wonder how long that scene lasted and if the "second" Joe is still in storage somewhere at Knott's today.

Thanks to Major and Peter for sharing these awesome photos!


The lady in the Sad Eye Joe Jail picture looks like a combination of Larry Mondello’s Mom ( LEAVE IT TO BEAVER) and Aunt Clara ( BEWITCHED) !! Neat pictures today .

K. Martinez said...

It's amazing that you got the so many friends/family together in one photo. That must've been a fun and busy day at the Farm. Thanks for sharing your photo with us.

Some day I'm gonna get my picture taken at the Pitchur Gallery. Some day. The Pitchur Gallery photos is a new collecting thing for me now since you got me started. Thanks for today's post.

DrGoat said...

Chuck, The woman in the middle (my Mom) and Louise were sisters.
I can't help but laugh when I look at his photo. We all have our mouths open...must have been something the photographer said to get people to smile.
We kids were so lucky. That was one of many summer trips we all took together, usually ending up in Montana, where John and Jean had a cabin. You can tell John and Jean's kids, they were all blondes. They were without a doubt some of the best times of my life. A lot of laughs all around. All of the parents, Uncle and Aunt are gone, and missed greatly.
I thank the Major profusely for making it possible for them to have a kind of life again.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Ditto to all the comments about the Pitchur Gallery. I love it when people can step behind a wood painted cut-out and be silly for a moment thus creating a lasing memory.

Speaking of lasting memories thanks Peter for sharing and Major for posting a great family/friends photo.

JG said...

The best kind of fun pictures. Big thanks to Peter "Dr. Goat" for sharing his family photos and memories. I went to the Seattle Fair too, but barely remember anything about it.

Thanks Major P.


Melissa said...

The second picture is like the Wild West version of the masks of Tragedy and Comedy.

That's a fine lookin' family you got there, DrGoat!

Kathy! said...

TokyoMagic! and K. Martinez, I'm right there with you wanting to collect Pitchurs. I'd never seen the Sad-Eye Joe one before, it's great. I have a vivid memory of being a very small child talking to him, and he asked me how my cat was. I wondered, "How did he know her name??!!" the whole day. I went to the Boysenberry Festival two years ago and had a short conversation with him about his favorite boysenberry treats. So cool that he's still there but what did he do to deserve this amount of jail time!

"Lou and Sue" said...

Peter, what a wonderful picture - everyone is photogenic and their smiles prove they're having a great time! What was your favorite memory from that trip? Thank you for sharing your fun picture, and thank you, too, Major!

DrGoat said...

Lou & Sue
The memories have faded but I do remember the Seattle Worlds Fair a bit. Brought home a wax bust of A. Lincoln made in a vending machine right in front of your eyes! Also, that was the trip i got chased by a bear while fishing by myself up in Montana. I had about 8 nice trout and this bear decided he should have them. Came out of the bushes and chased a petrified DrGoat about 200 feet then turned around and took possession of the trout. Needless to say I ran all the way back to the cabin which was about a quarter of a mile away. Ate a lot of wild blueberries on that trip too. Funny thing, I have no recollection of the day in Disneyland. Must have been just too many adventures on that trip. I look back with great fondness of those trips.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I agree, that “special guest” photo truly is special. I wish I had something like that with my own family!

TokyoMagic!, that’s what I do… collect photos of complete strangers! It’s fun. Especially when it’s the Knott’s Pitchur Gallery. I still keep a lookout for scenes that I don’t already have - in fact right after Peter sent me this one, I found an example with two ladies standing at this same bar. It does have the sign you mentioned!

Chuck, it didn’t occur to me, but you could be right, maybe the two ladies in photo #1 are sisters. Doesn’t it look like the galoot behind the sister to the left is staring at her decolletage?

stu29573, it’s true, everybody looks so happy, unlike some of the glum faces we see at Disneyland sometimes. I like your account of Sad Eye Joe’s cellmate, everybody underestimated her because she looked like Aunt Harriet (from the Batman TV show).

Andrew, one of those original hand-carved Sad Eye Joe heads would be the ultimate Knott’s collectible, for me! I sure hope they didn’t throw them away.

Mike Cozart, gee whiz (!), I don’t remember Larry Mondello, OR his mom, but I do see a resemblance between the lady and Aunt Clara, I always loved the way that actress spoke.

K. Martinez, I’ve created a monster! ;-) The nice thing about those Pitchur Gallery photos is that you can often get them for less than $10 apiece. So it’s easy to get a bunch of them. Part of it is the thrill of the hunt, although eBay has made that a lot easier.

DrGoat, I was thinking, “I wonder what the photographer said to make everyone look so delighted”! Maybe instead of “Say cheese”, he told everyone to “Say boysenberries”? I remember my mom had a portrait taken of me and my brother when we were very young. The photographer was Asian, and he would say, “Say cheese! Say Japanese!”. It always made us laugh. It sounds like you had a pretty great family and about as nice a childhood as anyone could wish for.

Alonzo, I agree, it’s funny how a simple painted backdrop (with foreground elements) can bring out the goofball in people, but that’s what makes it so nice.

JG, I always tease my mom that she could have taken us to the New York World’s Fair in 1964, but I would have forgotten everything anyway. She also could have take us to Woodstock!!

Melissa, it’s true, poor Sad Eye Joe. Maybe he was punished for a crime he didn’t commit. And the lady’s smile is delightful.

Kathy!, very fun that Sad Eye Joe knew about your cat! The last time I was a Knott’s, teenagers were asking him very rude questions, the little jerks. I’ve never been to the boysenberry festival, but a friend of mine has gone, and she always sends me photos of the amazing food that they wind up eating all day. Looks so good!

Lou and Sue, You are already way on board, but I would like to encourage any GDB readers out there to share your own photos. It’s fun!

Melissa said...

You bearly escaped!

DrGoat said...

By the hair on my chinny chin chin. At least that what it felt like.
It was a good thing the grown-ups caught enough fish for the big trout dinner, since I returned empty handed, but with a good story I remember to this day. Nothing like a little fear of your life for the memory to stick.
Believe it or not, that was not the most crazy thing that happenend on that trip. We were all kicked out of the Chatterbox cafe near Casa Grande the first morning. Now that's a story my sister and I still talk about. Grumpy waitress and even more grumpy cook that didn't like that my Uncle asked for her to fill the coffee cup all the way. So she did and kept pouring until it spilled over and went all over the table. All the parents laughed hysterically, and said waitress was not amused. We kids were sitting at our own table and were started laughing too. That did it.

Major Pepperidge said...

DrGoat, I have seen those wax busts of Lincoln, and love that they are from that World’s Fair! I would have probably had a heart attack if I happened upon a bear in the wild… I have seen them from fishing boats, but they’re close enough that even THEN I was nervous. Thanks for your great memories!

Melissa, OUCH

DrGoat, I told you (via email) about how I once stayed on an island in Canada for a week of fishing with my dad and brothers. We didn’t see another human until the plane landed on the lake to get us. But we knew there were bears around, my brother said he saw one on the porch of our cabin. At night, when we had to walk quite a distance to the privy out in the dark woods, I was super nervous! Sounds like you ran into a waitress that would take no guff from a bunch of tourists.

"Lou and Sue" said...

DrGoat, I enjoyed your stories (and everyone else's stories) today - thank you for sharing!