Wednesday, November 18, 2020

A Pair From 1963

Here's a somewhat random pair of images, both from May of 1963, though they are from different photographers. I had no idea two different people went to Disneyland in the same month of the same year! 

This first one isn't mind-blowing, but it is unusual, and that makes it special on some level. A Storybook Land hostess in groovy pink (seems like they normally wore blue?) sits patiently, holding her lucky cushion. It gave her confidence! I wonder how long their shifts were? Imagine a 90-degree day in that Anaheim sunshine, trying to sound chipper and engaged for hours at a time! Not an easy gig. 

In the background, another hostess struggles to control her canal boat as it careens out of control! It's the Titanic disaster in miniature. Were guests unloaded at that green platform to our right?

John Ford brought his Speed Graphic camera to take a portrait of one of the Native American performers over in the Indian Village. Imagine how good those photos turned out! Unfortunately, this photo was very VERY dark, and this was about as far as I could go in lightening it before it became a grainy mess.


Nanook said...

That pink outfit is as pleasing as the gal who's wearing it. And yes, as her boat was still plying the canal boat waters, each hostess would toss the guests one-by-one onto the green dock-! It was a little messy, but unload times were greatly reduced, and eliminated all the pushing and shoving that often took place.

A picture of a man taking a picture...

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Our "Titanic Reenactment In Miniature" hostess is making that face, because she just now remembered that only the blue cushions float.

JC Shannon said...

Hubba Hubba, what a cutie patutie, I was 9 in 63 and there is no way would have cared about miniature stuff if I was plying the waters in her boat. I bet even Monstro would drool all over himself as she passed through his prodigious pie hole. I miss the Indian Dance Circle and I love the photo of a guy taking a photo. I bet if we sweet talked Lou and Sue, they would share some photos from the Indian Village. Thanks Major.

Andrew said...

I think that she is going to be keeping the cushion for herself. It will be perfect for her worn-out couch at home. Also, check out the boat in the "Never-Never Land" area, plus no flowers on the floral sign and the Fantasyland Train Station flags.

Anonymous said...

In the first picture, we see Dianne showing off a product from her onboard upholstery business. A great way to make a little side money while on the boat! By the way, those are NOT sensible shoes. In the background, Patty maneuvers around the submarine nets. In the lower picture, the chief is patiently explaining once again why F22 will give you a better depth of field than F4. Sigh...

DrGoat said...

That is an unusual image, caught at the right moment. And here we are, talking about and enjoying it 57 years later. That makes me feel good, in an unusual way. I'll take all the good I can get lately. Unusual or not. I do love her hairdo. She might be wondering if that cushion is edible. Looks kind of like a giant butter biscuit.
The Chief stood there like that thousands of times. I do wonder what he was really thinking.
Thanks Major.
PS Major, I do like Ichabod, but Mr. Toad has been one of my favorites ever since I was very young. I still get a lot of laughs watching it.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I was hoping that the cushion played a part in helping the guests to “de-boat”. Sort a trampoline, if you know what I mean. Plus a hot cattle prod in the hands of the hostess to inspire them to really jump.

TokyoMagic!, that hostess reminds me of “Miss Yvonne” from Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. She’s the most beautiful woman in Puppetland!

Jonathan, oh those Storybook Land hostesses were beyond the reach of mere mortals. A guy had to be a Nature’s Wonderland train engineer, or a Monorail pilot, of something cool. Jungle Cruise skippers were acceptable, but only if they promised to avoid corny jokes.

Andrew, that’s right, everything about her body language says, “MINE!”. “Sit on the hard wood bench, it’s too good for ya!”. Somebody stole those flowers in the floral sign!

Stu29573, “As you can see, this cushion is made from only the finest materials. It pads your ‘seat’ without getting too warm, and it is hypo-allergenic!”. By the end of each trip she sold (on average) six cushions. I guess it’s OK to not wear sensible shoes when the job involves sitting down. Indian Chief to guest: “Sir, you really need a bounce reflector or a fill flash”.

DrGoat, I agree, I’ll take all the good I can get. This blog is pretty inconsequential, but if it provides a few minutes of escape or happiness, then my work here is done! (Flies back to my home planet). Hey yeah, that cushion reminds me of a graham cracker. I’ve read a few accounts of people who spoke to the Indians at the Dance Circle, and they’ve said that they were friendly. That doesn’t mean that he wasn’t wishing he was home watching TV though!

zach said...

Well, you've made MY day. At 15 my girl radar would've been pinging for sure.

I still enjoy the quiet trip around the waters, away from the crowds for a bit.

I couldn't figure out what that flying saucer like thing was he was pointing at the chief. Thanks, Nanook. Is that the mast of the Columbia on the right?

Thanks, Major


JG said...

My goodness, that certainly is a pretty girl. My heart always belonged to Alice of Wonderland, but Miss Muffet with her tuffet here is worth a second look, and a third.

I don't think that is her cushion though, it looks like the mate to the one on the passenger bench. I seem to recall that the pilot lifts the cushion out of the way so passengers don't step on it as they transfer, which activity is only seconds from commencing in the photo.

I've always thought the canal boat pilot looked like the most uncomfortable job in the whole Park, no proper seat or cushion, no back to lean against, the whole "modesty" thing, etc. for the ladies. Too bad we can't tip her. The least we can do is acknowledge her stylish footwear.

Yes Major, the green dock beyond was the unload area. This area, now reconstructed, is both unload and load. I'm not sure when load moved, but both are now side by side, with particularly ugly crowd control handrails.

Andrew, 5 points to Gryffindor for recognizing the flags on the train station beyond!

Very much enjoying the picture in a picture, and the Columbia flags to boot. The semaphore flags today spell out "Eat Dole Whip".

Thanks Major for your hard work. Hopefully you can wear stylish shoes today too.


Anonymous said...

I would assume the canal boats were run somewhat like the JC. That would mean the boats rain in pairs. 2 spiels on the lead boat, bumped to 2 trips on a load/unload/tickets position, then bumped to 2 spiels on the trailing boat, and finally bumped to break/lunch. We usually got a break at least about hourly with 15 min breaks. Lunch would be a slower time as that involed the timing of 3 trips, so it could be about an hour 1/2 to 3/4 to make the cycle if everyone took their lunch mid shift and all 4 of us were on the same shift. Complicated? Not really but it did make scheduling interesting. I can ask a former boat guide if you REALLY want to know! KS

"Lou and Sue" said...

Great you-are-there pictures, and fun comments, today! Thanks, Major and everyone!

JC Shannon, I'll look for my dad's Indian Village pictures/slides, as I go through the boxes; I do need to get more images to our Major, in the near future...

DrGoat, yep, that does look like a giant butter biscuit - a Walkers Pure Butter Shortbread "biscuit" or cookie. I like those!

KS, I love all that ride info/facts. Please keep sharing more, and DO ask a former boat guide to chime in!! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

@KS, yes, great info, thank you!

Anything else you can include is always welcome. Glad to hear that there were frequent breaks for the pilots.

Part of the charm for this ride and the JC is the live narration, not a recorded spiel.


JC Shannon said...

Lou and Sue, Yay!

Melissa said...

Yikes! I don't know if I could have run a boat all day in those shoes! I'd have wanted to SIT on that cushion!

We got our first serious snow today, so I'm especially loving the little sunny escape into these pictures. Right now I'm wearing long johns, flannel pajamas, a giant sweater, two pairs of thermal kneesocks, and a red babushka.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Melissa, come inside where it’s warm!!!

DrGoat said...

Melissa, It was 93 degrees yesterday and the same today. Wish I could send some over. Breaking record highs this time of year in AZ. And no rain to speak of.

Major Pepperidge said...

zach, at 15 I found Disneyland a great place to scope out the ladies, whether they be CMs or guests. That man is taking a photo of the Chief with a flying saucer!!

Jonathan, funny, I think a lot of guys like that prim Alice in Wonderland look. Yes, you are right, the hostess moved the cushion so that it didn’t get stepped on - they did that on the Jungle Cruise too. Your comment about the “modesty” thing for ladies reminded me of something an older gentleman told me about his daughter (who worked on Storybook Land back in the ‘70s)… but I feel like I can’t really repeat it here. Sorry! It’s just not quite GDB material. I am a little surprised that there are no railings of anything to help the guests out of the boat at that green dock - unless a CM came along and gave everyone a hand. Some people aren’t as spry as others. Thanks JG!

KS, ha ha, I had NO idea that the scheduling for a ride like “Storybook” (and the Jungle Cruise) would be so complex! It seems kind of unnecessary, but maybe it did make sense if you were actually there. Thanks for that info!

Lou and Sue, it’s funny, I was thinking that in all of the MANY photos that you’d sent from Lou, I didn’t recall any from the Indian Village. Probably because a lot of them were from the 1980s, when the Village was long-gone, but I know that Lou has photos from before 1971. And don’t feel like you need to hurry, I will be grateful for any scans, even if you can’t get to them until next year. Oh yeah, that cushion DOES look like a shortbread cookie!

JG, I am all about any insider info from former cast members, for sure. Especially from the years pre-1980s.

Jonathan, definitely cause for rejoicing.

Melissa, I agree with JG, sitting on that canal boat roof without something to rest or lean against sounds like it could get uncomfortable in a hurry. Not sure how they could provide something like that without it looking weird though. Wow, you have snow… so crazy! It’s sunny and mild here.

Lou and Sue, ha ha, Melissa always likes to check on the blog while sitting outside, no matter what the weather.

DrGoat, it’s not as hot here in SoCal (thank goodness), but I will still be very happy if and when we start getting rain. I’m guessing it won’t be until at least February or March.

Chuck said...

As a kid, I always wanted to climb inside the cabin on the canal boats.

Stu, F-22 is more stealthy than F-4, too, which prevents you from being overexposed when you really can't afford to be.

Melissa said...

Actually, when I first moved in here I *did* go outside to go online, so I could mooch off the wi-fi at the town hall next door!

TokyoMagic! said...

Is that a dress that the Storybook Land hostess is wearing, or is she wearing culottes? Gauchos, perhaps?

"Lou and Sue" said...

TM! Definitely culottes - or something similar. Good fashion eye, TM!

Melissa, I guess our Major really IS watching everything we do. (Major, how many fingers am I holding up??)

Major, my dad's photos, slides and movies go back to June 1956. I just realized that he covered over 50 years of Disneyland, so hopefully we'll find some good 1950s stuff to share here.

"Lou and Sue" said...

I bet that flying saucer thingy is the back of the photographer's "flash," something like this...

Anonymous said...


Here's a reply from a Storybook friend of mine...

When I started working on Storybook in 1969 we had different costumes. They were darling 2 piece dresses with crisp white pinafores. They came in pale pink, yellow, light blue and light green. I always preferred the blue and pink. We also wore while knee socks. I loved the costume. We wore black shoes with 1 1/2 inch heels. Try balancing on those on a rocking boat while you are trying to load or unload! Earl Smick,our trainer, made sure our shoes were polished and the soles were in good condition. “People look up at the bottom of your feet..”. I loved his Earlisms”.I.e. ,” Ladies, you are actresses on a stage.” The cushions were green by the time i got there. There were 4 to a boat. We would remove the one on the left (starboard) side of the boat before unloading. After the boat was loaded it was replaced so guests could sit on it. We didn’t have cushions to sit on . One very cold and rainy New Years Eve we had no one in the boats or on the dock because it was raining so hard. Lindy Carll and I picked up a cushion and held it over our heads to keep from being pounded with hail. There was no place colder on winter nights or blazing summer days than Storybook. In the summer we had Storybook tans , very tan from mid-arm down and tanned knees. I loved it until I blew out some vocal chords. I still have a somewhat raspy voice and have permanently lost some of my octave range. Storybook had a plethora of beautiful girls. Almost everyone had been a cheerleader or some sort of queen or beauty pageant winner. We were all rather intelligent since we were college students. I am still impressed by the caliber of my former cast mates at Disneyland. It would have been great to have some kind of shade or protection from the elements. Storybook has been described as only 6 inches from the sun. It certainly feels that way in summer. Our rotation was almost identical to the JC’s. There were usually 3 boats in each group. We would take 2 trips on each boat, bump back to the next boat until you reached the load or unload position. There were usually 2 of us loading or unloading each boat. Then we got a 15 minute break . During lunches sometime we would be stuck on boats 2 hours at a time. I loved doing the spiels in Spanish. Not only was it a change of pace, but the guests we almost always grateful and teased me about my American accent. I always wanted to learn Italian and German, too, These days I love showing my Grandsons Storybook. They are enchanted just as my daughter was just as I was, too. I now have a Fairie Garden in my backyard. You can take the girl out of Storybook, but you can never take Storybook out of the girl........and who would want to ?

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful memory, thanks Anonymous CM.


Nanook said...

What a great memory, indeed-! The way things were done at The Happiest Place On Earth certainly don't exist these times - in some ways, maybe for the better; in others ways, though... not so much. Thanks for sharing.

Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, I sure wanted to sneak into many verboten areas of Disneyland when I was a kid, but it never occurred to me to get inside the cabin of a canal boat! Hey, this is a family blog, you can’t talk about F’s.

Melissa, hey, I’d say that’s pretty smart!

TokyoMagic!, I had to look up “culottes”. Oh yeah, those sorta pants things. I guess those would eliminate any possibility for an especially embarrassing situation.

Lou and Sue, um, er… just the middle one? Yes I know that Lou took photos of Disneyland for decades. I look forward to seeing more of those!

Lou and Sue, the flash sure does look like that. I wonder if it was collapsible?

KS, WOW! So amazing! I wish every CM from days gone by would write down a record of their experiences. No detail is too mundane. I wonder if the shoes were provided by the park (in other words, were they a part of the costume)? I never thought about the fact that people looked at the bottoms of those shoes. I’m kind of surprised that there was no contingency plan if there was super heavy rain. The poor CM just had to sit outside and deal with it?? Just hearing about blown-out vocal chords makes my throat hurt. When it was hot, it seems like they could have given the young ladies parasols, those wouldn’t have looked too out of place - in fact they might have looked charming. Or how about a nice wide-brimmed hat? I’m sure somebody had a good reason why those things wouldn’t work. Maybe they distanced the hostess from the public. Wow, doing the spiel in Spanish is impressive. Whoever you are, anonymous Storybook CM, thank you for such a wonderful account of your days at Disneyland.

JG, yeah, so great!

Nanook, I do wonder if things are handled very differently now? We’d need a recent CM to know for sure of course. I hope it’s still fun for the employees.

Sunday Night said...

Thanks Anonymous CM for the great description of your work on Storybook. Those are the kind of details we love here at GDB. Your story of the hail is amazing!