Sunday, June 28, 2020

Snoozers, May 1963

Bad Photo Alert! Yes, it's time for more should-have-been-rejects, both from May of 1963. 

First up is this skewed view of Town Square as seen from the steps of Main Street Station. There's a popcorn wagon, I wonder if that was "Popcorn #1"? Mr. X often refers to popcorn wagons by number, that must have been an official Disneyland thing. You can just see a Horse Drawn Streetcar through the trees, while lots of guests have found shady spots to sit. The Douglas rocket peeks up in the distance, as does the Matterhorn of course.

A little stage was set up along the shores of the Rivers of America, and folks are starting to gather to watch a performance by the Strawhatters. Unfortunately the camera's settings were off, and the musicians look like their faces were edited out to protect their identities. I like the way the Mark Twain is framed to the left.


Nanook said...

Actually, each image has some special features.

In the first one, there's that giant yellow feather on that young man's hat - (not to mention that large number 'Mom' is sporting). And those guests who just happen to be lounging-around on the 'lawn', enjoying the shade from those Brazilian pepper trees.

In the second, I like the row of 'tiny people', just sticking-up above the top of the piano.

"Should-have-been-rejects"... I don't think so. Thanks, Major.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Major, that first picture isn't 'bad' at all...that was a nice era in Disneyland's past.

That picture shows how people would take the time to relax in Disneyland, back in those days. There was no need to rush because, most of the time, the Park wasn't too crowded. You could see and do everything, and still have time to sit and people watch. I love seeing the folks sitting in the grass, like you would at any regular hometown park. When we'd vacation at Disneyland for a few days, in the 60s, we'd often take a couple hours to go back to our hotel room to rest a little and then 'freshen up' - so that we'd have the energy to stay til the Park closed.

Thank you, Major, for a nice trip back!

"Lou and Sue" said...

oops, I left out a few words, in my sentence above:
When we'd vacation at Disneyland for a few days, in the 60s, we'd often take a couple hours in the middle of the afternoon to go back to our hotel room to rest a little and then 'freshen up' - so that we'd have the energy to stay til the Park closed.

TokyoMagic! said...

Yes, so many people on the grass, in that first pic. Also, that toddler walking on top of the bench, is going to be SORRY!

In the second pic, that lady in the foreground (with the pink pants), looks like she is walking through the Haunted Shack at Knott's Berry Farm.

Melissa said...

Great souvenir hats and summer dresses today.

JC Shannon said...

Any photo of Disneyland is better than none, I always say. I love Pink Lady's UFO hat and the Alpenhat feather. All in all, a pretty good day. Thanks Major.

stu29573 said...

A rare shot of the Strawhatter trumpet player summoning the Little People from their tiny Mark Twain! Wow!

Chuck said...

Seeing all of those people on the grass highlights a minor detail that I otherwise wouldn't have noticed - there are no fences or chains to signal to guests that they aren`t supposed to be there (and, indeed, maybe that was the intent until increasing guest counts and wear and tear on the landscaping led to a change of policy).

In a lot of early Disneyland photos, there's that low, wire "garden fence" type of border (like I have in my backyard to keep the dog out of the phlox) protecting a lot of the plantings, but it appears that the grass areas on Town Square went unprotected until late 1964 or early 1965. The original barriers were metal posts connected by a taut rope line, but waist-high iron or steel fencing appears to have been installed in 1970 around all of the Town Square plantings except the flagpole and the former C&H bag display stand, which received poles with loose-hanging chains.

Omnispace said...

I don't think the people in the first photo could be posed more perfectly! I agree that it seems very natural to have guests enjoying the lawns. I wish a visit to Disneyland could still be so carefree.

On my computer the lady's hat in the second photo is exactly the same angle as the curb in the first. It's almost as if she is tilting her head to look at it.

"Lou and Sue" said...

A rare shot of the Strawhatter trumpet player summoning the Little People from their tiny Mark Twain! Wow!

Stu, that is correct. Every 15 minutes, the trumpet player would play, then the top of the piano would slowly open and the tiny Mark Twain would rise up ut of the piano, followed by the Little People circling the Mark Twain deck.

"Lou and Sue" said...

^ 'out' of the piano, not 'ut' of the piano.

I can't type today.

stu29573 said...

A sight to behold!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, it’s always nice when people can find things to appreciate in these photos! You know I like those ostrich feathers in hats. Yellow seems to be an unusual color, seems like blue or pink is more typical. Ha ha, the “tiny people” on top of the piano remind me of the homunculi in “Bride of Frankestein”!

Lou and Sue, there are certainly worse pictures that the first one, but the off-kilter angle, and too-far-away vantage point seemed like points should be docked. But I do see that there are some nice things too! It’s almost surprising to me to see folks lounging on the grass like that, I’m not sure I’ve noticed that in many other photos of Town Square. It must have been a particularly warm day, the way people are seeking any shade. I think a lot of people who stayed in a nearby hotel or motel often took a mid-day break. I have some Disneyland brochures that even encourage people to do that!

Lou and Sue, I knew what you meant.

TokyoMagic!, the toddler on the bench is trying to avoid the cracks, which are filled with boiling hot lava. Of course he’s going to be sorry if he slips! The lady with the crooked neck probably took the first photo.

Melissa, :-)

Jonathan, I have no doubt that the lady’s UFO hat is a souvenir from somewhere in the park. Maybe Adventureland?

stu29573, I wonder what mysterious tune the trumpeter played to summon the tiny humans? I’ve heard they like Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass.

Chuck, I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that Walt would have been pleased to see those people relaxing on the grass. But you could be right, it also might be that at some point they had to rope off the grass, or there would have been nothing left but some hard-packed dirt. The little white wire garden fencing is something that we mostly see in very early photos, it seems to have been phased out by 1957. These days, that fencing might be considered a tripping hazard all by itself. They should surround all grassy areas with 8 foot-high chain link, topped with razor wire. Maybe electrify it too. That’ll teach those guests!

Omnispace, well, now I’m feeling dumb that I didn’t really notice the folks relaxing on the grass; as you might imagine, I sometimes wind up writing some of these posts in something of a hurry, or I get in “assembly line” mode and my brain isn’t the sharpest (it’s pretty flabby on the best of days). That lady with the hat could never imagine that people would be talking about her visit to Disneyland over 50 years later!

Lou and Sue, now that you mention it, I do think I read about that in the National Enquirer. They aren’t afraid to tell us the REAL stories.

Lou and Sue, I hear ya, there are days when my fingers just can’t type.

stu29573, a sight to behold - in 3D and Sensurround!

Nanook said...

@ Chuck-
Yes, areas of green lawn just beckoning guests to "run barefoot through it, on a hot day". But, to quote from Disneyland World of Flowers, ©1965 (the book that keeps on giving)... "During the summer, about a quarter of a million people pass through Disneyland's Town Square each week. The band gives concerts here every afternoon. There are no "Keep Off the Grass" signs, and a good many of our guests walk, stand or lie on the lawns. This provides an interesting test in the traffic capacity of turf grasses. At least 10 different combinations have been tried. Bermuda and St. Augustine grass from the West Indies are much tougher than conventional Kentucky bluegrass, yet none will survive beyond five or six weeks. It is necessary to replace the lawns periodically, not from seed, but with established sod brought from the sod farm and unrolled into place in Disneyland." Yes - those were different times, not only for dealing with crowds, but with how $$"s were spent at The Park, where it seemed when it came to "show", 'nothing was too much trouble'.

Speaking of little people... Alone at his Organ, Paul Imagined tiny Christian teens. (from the great 'LP Cover Lover' site) & the Nanook Collection, too.

Sunday Night said...

With those people sitting around in the shade and lounging on the grass it almost looks like a real town square. Each little grouping is so unique. The more I look at it the more I like it. From the "mother and daughter" on the bench in the front to the family or friends grouping to our right, to the toddler standing up on the bench, and on and on. And to top it off, how about that the kid with the plumed hat (I had one, with a purple plume) in the bottom corner. A perfect day.

Kathy! said...

Echoing everyone's comments that these are some nice relaxing photos. I like how the boys in the first picture are lounging in the grass on their side and stomach. Wonder if they're talking about where to go next or looking at some park literature. I also like the little hanging lantern on the bandstand in the second photo.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, we know that there were a lot more grassy areas in the park years ago, and, little by little, they’ve been removed, probably due to both high crowds and cost of maintaining them. To be honest, I’m kind of surprised that they haven’t replaced any remaining grass with artificial turf. They could say that it is “audio animatronic”! I see people’s front lawns that are now plastic grass, and it never really looks quite right. Can’t they put in variations of green? It’s like a mini golf surface. Thanks for that quote from “World of Flowers”, I actually wondered how that grass managed to look so good when people probably walked and lay down on it every day. Now I know! So funny, I look at the “LP Cover Lover” Tumblr page all the time, the guy clearly enjoys Christian record covers, he posts so many. Yours is awesome!

Sunday Night, yes, a real town square in the most idea town ever! They always say that Disneyland’s “lands” were idealized, movie versions of things like the Frontier, or, as we see here, an old-fashioned town. Just like Willoughby! There’s a street called “Willoughby” in Los Angeles, I always wondered if the name of the town in that Twilight Zone episode was inspired by the name of the street?

Kathy, oh yeah, I didn’t even notice the paper lanterns (looks like there’s more than one?) in that tree, imagine how pretty those looked at night, especially when reflected in the smooth water of the Rivers of America. Neat.

Anonymous said...

I'm ready to walk into photo 1, for the day at least. The Park would be so much fun, even without the Tiki Room, IASW, NOS and the Haunted Mansion.

I spy the Rocket to the Moon over the Hills Brothers Coffee Garden.

Isn't photo 2 taken at the orphan bandstand that was moved so many times it needed wheels? It was located somewhere on the River bank for a while before being taken out of the Park and sent somewhere, I can't recall where?

Major, these are odd and enjoyable, for all the reasons cited above. thank you.