Sunday, August 16, 2020


It's another one of those Sunday posts - you could skip it if you wanted to. But it gives me a chance to use up some scans that are less than stellar.

I actually kind of like this first one (from August 1962), with a trio of park guests relaxing on a bench in Town Square. The two young ladies are holding their ticket books, possibly trying to figure out which rides they wanted to do with their remaining coupons. In the background the Disneyland Band is performing at the flagpole. We can also see the Hills Bros. Coffee House in the upper right.

Some of you may remember this fellow, he was previously seen aboard one of the trams, and in front of Main Street Station with some awesome posters. There's plenty of empty benches, so why not enjoy one? He's got his pack of smokes (Marlboros?), life couldn't be better.

He reminds me of Robert Walker in the early Star Trek episode, "Charlie X". See what I mean?

I found this photo online, and it was labeled "charlie derp".


Nanook said...


The 'smoke 'em if you got 'em fella', with the almost 'come hither look' prefers Pall Mall's. ♫ I know what I like, and I like Pall Mall... ♬ He has nothing on the first group, however, especially the gal on the left with that wild pattern on her blouse.

Thanks, Major.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Nanook, I think Charlie Derp is looking at that gal's wild-patterned top and trying to figure-out what the heck is on it!!

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, that episode of "Star Trek" was on MeTV tonight! Honest! I thought that kid looked a little familiar. No wonder. He looks just like his father, Robert Walker Sr. I didn't finish watching the episode, so somebody please tell me, how did they finally get that kid off of the Enterprise? And didn't the writers of that episode, borrow just a little bit from the Billy Mumy "Twilight Zone" episode, "It's A Good Life"?

I like Mr. Pall Mall's shirt a heck of a lot, but I might have mentioned that in the previously posted photo of him. And is he wearing his wristwatch upside down? See what smoking does to you!

Chuck said...

Seeing the Disneyland Band rallying 'round the flag has now gotten "The Battle Cry of Freedom" stuck on replay in my head. It's cool - I like the song, and I can switch over to the instrumental arrangement that played (and maybe still plays?) at the entrance to Frontierland. And it's finally displaced "Candida" with the alternate lyrics written by Sue's father-in-law.

TM!, the bridge crew wished him into the cornfield. The poor kid's now lost in space, unable to even make a long distance call.

Andrew said...

They don't use those benches anymore, do they? I wonder if a CM might have one in his or her backyard... or maybe our friend here was enjoying himself so much that he was plotting to sneak one out of the park (cuz that happened all of the time)!

stu29573 said...

Charlie X was actually a pretty sad episode. One of those, "Oh, he wasn't a monster, only a teenager...which is pretty much the same thing." I won't give away the ending.
I'm going to get rid of all my furniture and replace it with park benches. Tables, chairs, everything! It'll be cool!
Lastly, the top picture was one month before I was born. I'm pretty sure my mom wasn't sitting on any hard park benches in the heat at that point, I tell you what...

JC Shannon said...

62, what a great year. I got a new bike for Christmas that year. JFK was in the White House and John Glenn orbited the Earth. Also, you could buy a Mars Bar for a nickel, and a Duncan Imperial YoYo for 99 cents. Heck, sign me up. Cool smoker guy looks a little cocky, perhaps he is a pilot or a private eye. Thanks Major.

Melissa said...

Why yes, you handsome devil, I think I WILL share your park bench.

Anonymous said...

You know, being able to just sit down at a bench at a Disney Park and take time to relax and soak in the scenery and atmosphere, that's one of the most underrated experiences at Disney. Especially if it's at an especially scenic park like Epcot or Animal Kingdom

zach said...

Is Man From B.e.n.c.h (keeping with the 60s theme) the one with the socks? I like his shirt but if he wants to complete the 'look' he needs to roll the cigs in his sleeve.

Nice to see the folks sprung for the 15 Adventure coupon book. That's what I would have done.

To me, these 'less than stellar' scans are just right on a hot, sleepy Sunday morning.

I think the girls are cute, BTW. I mean, someone had to say it.

Thanks, Major. Stay cool everyone,


Kathy! said...

I like the first photo lady's kooky blouse. It would be high fashion today; I wonder if it was normal or quirky back then. And is that a paper souvenir hat on someone behind the right young lady's head? Did they still have those in 1962? The metal on benches at Disneyland today are still this green color, but not green-painted wood.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, all brands of cigarettes are so wonderful, how can I possibly choose just one? The girl’s crazy shirt reminds me of when I was a kid and we went to a Wendy’s restaurant for the first time - the tabletops had reproductions of antique Sears catalogue pages on them. Something to look at, I guess?

Lou and Sue, her shirt made him plotz!

TokyoMagic!, wow, what are the odds. You love your MeTV, by golly! Are they the nice, restored versions, or the old, faded and grainy versions? They lured Charlie off of Enterprise by laying a trail of Smarties, and he just kept picking them up, until the next thing he knew, he was in the vacuum of space. A touch of realism on a show that was often very fantastic. I think the Star Trek writers often recycled ideas. How many episodes had a sentient ball of energy that wreaked havoc? I can’t tell if Pall Mall’s watch is upside-down, but it kind of looks that way. I always thought that was a weird thing for people to do.

Chuck, I am ashamed to admit that I had to look up “The Battle Cry of Freedom” on YouTube. Turns out I knew the melody (from Ken Burns’ documentary) but no the words. So there ya go. I’m sorry “Candida” ( the new improved version ) has been driven from your head.

Andrew, I have no idea if they have benches like that anymore; I do remember watching CMs rearranging LOTS of them before a parade, in part to block off areas where they didn’t want guests to gather. But they might be all gone now.

stu29573 (small “s”), “Charlie X” was definitely a sad episode - Charlie had these incredible powers but had no idea how to behave around other people. As a small child I think I sympathized with him, although he started getting more and more scary. Making that lady’s face vanish freaked me out! Listen, you and your fancy park benches. I still use rocks, and they’re good enough for me.

Jonathan, I remember many years from my childhood as being SO good! Of course I had no idea of any civil unrest or political strife - I wish that was the case now, ha ha. All I needed was a Duncan butterfly yo-yo, even though I could never do any good tricks. I’m amazed I never broke anything (rare Ming vases) in my mom’s house.

Melissa, you can share a smoke!

The Magic Ears Dudebro, my friend Mr. X used to go to the park with his wife on Sunday mornings to eat breakfast, and they often would ride one ride, but spent most of the time soaking in the atmosphere. But the Annual Pass program got out of control eventually!

zach, The Man From B.E.N.C.H. needs to meet The Girl From B.E.N.C.H. I thought only hoodlums carried their cigarettes in their rolled up sleeves! Don’t tell me you were a hoodlum. And yes, always go for the biggest ticket book available. Don’t be a shnook. What do you think, are those girls sisters?

Kathy!, it looks pretty quirky, but then again, men had been wearing crazy aloha shirts for many years at that point. That is definitely a souvenir paper hat too - maybe one of those fancy “woven” ones. The benches aren’t painted green anymore? Don’t tell me… are they teal and purple with gold trim??


ANDREW, MAJOR, all......

The famous original Disneyland park benches were bought by WED used from the city of San Francisco .Disney only got the cast iron ends and had to add their own wooden slats as well as refurbish the cast iron. Over time as the park expanded the Disneyland staff shop began to replace (most) of the vintage cast iron bench beds with aluminum castings. Several dozen of the vintage benches were sent to the Disney Studios to use around the “campus” and if movies. You’ll see them appear in all kinds of Disney film productions .... even around the Medfield Junior College Campus in The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes!!

The same bench castings were used for Walt Disney World and Tokyo Disneyland. In 2004 while gearing up for Disneyland’s 50th Anniversary ALL the original Main Street benches were replaced with “store bought” generic benches anyone and anyplace can purchase. Some how this was cheaper than casting and fabricating their own from the existing molds.

Disneyland has sold the park benches when they have become worn or damaged through the decades through property control sales to private buyers and to castmembers. I know someone with three and each has a metal tag on the back signaling when it went into use , the land or area in the park it belongs to. 2 of the have a 1955 date.

Major Pepperidge said...

Mike Cozart, thanks! Who knew the history of Disneyland (etc) benches would be interesting? It makes sense that they would eventually make their own castings from the vintage San Francisco versions. You’d think that whenever they went into “casting mode” that they would make a bunch, knowing that they’d use them eventually. Who knows, maybe that’s what they did. When a bench wears out, couldn’t they just replace the wood slats and reuse the metal parts? A wood shop with a chop saw could crank out even lengths of wood in no time. Seems amazing that buying generic benches would be cheaper than continuing to make the benches that they’d used for so long, but my guess is that they shipped a bunch from China. It’s hard to beat products made by people who work for practically nothing. You mention the metal tag on the three benches your friend owns - were those put there by Disney? If so, that’s a nice touch.


MAJOR: yes the bench tags were placed by Disney to know where it’s suppose to go if it is removed for maintenance and repairs or if it was temporarily moved for a parade or crowd control etc. Also the tag would reference the paint finish that bench is suppose to have . Aluminum is a soft metal so while the wound repair and paint and add new wood bench slats , the metal gets dinged and gouged and at a point it’s cheaper to just cast a all new aluminum end.

The original Main Street has lamps Disneyland purchased from the city of Baltimore - they are actually of a very common manufacture put in cities all over North America . Disney did not own the rights to the design and probably in 1955 nobody did anymore and disney used those to cast originals used at ALL magic kingdoms. Even the bases have been used for other lands like New Orleans Square with a different lamp top. About 20 years ago a modern company actually secured the copyright to the main st. Gas lite style from the original 19th century manufacturer. So Disney may not have the rights to cast their own anymore.

Anonymous said...

A bunch of good-looking kids today.

Who knew benches could be so fascinating?

Thanks everyone!