Monday, November 30, 2020

Greyhound Snapshots 1956

Here's something a little different - a small comb-bound photo album with "Greyhound dated snapshots". Snapshots of what? Disneyland, of course! 1956, to be specific.

I don't know if the photos were placed in any kind of order, but they seem to go from later (darker) to earlier. Some of the pictures were very washed-out; some of them required a little Photoshop help, not that it did a whole lot, but at least this first one feels like evening. We can see the globes and popcorn lights on Main Street Station, and a barely-visible ticket/souvenir/information booth in the foreground.

Town Square looks nearly deserted - I wonder if the park was going to close soon? The lit signs of the Emporium, Wonderland Music, and the Wurlitzer shop glow feebly in this image, as if fighting through a fog.

There's the familiar entrance to Adventureland, made of woven leaves and bamboo poles lashed together, as if the professor from Gilligan's Island made it.

Now we're looking across the open waterway as the Disneyland Band goes marching by, performing for almost nobody. It looks like a scene from a Fellini movie. I'm sure the ice cream vendor appreciated them. Do you think that the scaffolding just beyond the band is for the Carnation Plaza Gardens? It opened on August 18th, 1956, so perhaps that gives us a clue - presumably these photos would have been taken several months earlier.

This one is my favorite, I don't think I've ever seen an accordion player in Frontierland before. He's enjoying a smooth, relaxing cigarette, which kind of suprises me. I've seen Stagecoach drivers with cigarettes as well, I suppose that the general smoking ban for cast members was a bit relaxed in Frontierland. I see a sign reading "Petite Salon" over the musician's shoulder.

Here's a distant look at the Mark Twain - it's strange to see so much grass in this area that is now completely devoid of any lawn. Grass doesn't put money in the coffers! I'll bet the fellow with the white shirt leaning against the bandstand is a cast member.

Sometimes you just want to ride a mule, ya know? It's nothing to be ashamed of. But it's so hard to find a good mule. Disneyland used to have them, though, and they were the Happiest Mules on Earth. 

I like that sign, which (as far as I can tell) says: Ride the PACK MULES through the fascinating and historical MOTHER LODE country of the OLD WEST

And finally, one last shot of the buildings of Frontierland, with the Golden Horseshoe to the left. A banner hangs from the balcony railing, "Welcome SUPER MARKET (illegible) Delegates". Hmmmm. There is a partially-obscured sign that might be for The Oaks Tavern. I think we'll be able to find a place to sit.

I hope you have enjoyed these Greyhound Dated Snapshots!


TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I think that open door we see in the last pic, is the same open door in the background of the pic with the accordion player. And I think that fencing and structure to the right of the musician (his left) is what would become The Wheelhouse. We saw that same fencing and posts in this post of yours, from last year:

So was The Wheelhouse originally called the Petite Salon?

And there is that ships anchor, in the Mark Twain pic. Today, it's over by the Cafe Orleans. I always forget the story that goes along with the anchor. After Walt and Lillian had a huge fight, didn't Walt present it to Lillian, along with a card that read, "I'm sorry Dear, can't we still be friends?"

TokyoMagic! said...

Also, in the Adventureland pic, we can see that huge side entrance to the Davy Crockett Arcade (if it was called that back in 1956). We saw that same large doorway from the inside of the building, looking out, in your post from two weeks ago (November 13th, to be exact).

DrGoat said...

Wow Major. These pics are pretty special. You're right, that snapshot of the accordion player is unique. With a cigarette yet. 1956 indeed. Put these pics in the Twilight Zones folder. The third snapshot of the Emporium just exudes old-timey vibes. That was quite a find in that little booklet of someone's memories.
Thanks Major.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Welcome to my nightmare
I think you're gonna like it
I think you're gonna feel like you belong
A nocturnal vacation...

What a different feel to these pictures! I can't stop looking at them because of the creepiness they exude. I bet that accordion player kept popping up everywhere.

Thanks, Major, for sharing this unique find!

Omnispace said...

Wow, what a bizarre Disneyland visit - marching bands playing to no one, only one pack mule, empty tables, and instead of a full mariachi band just one guy with an accordion. Must have been off-season.

I do like the Mark Twain photo with large patch of lawn in the foreground. Makes it feel very rural. Nice to see some very early photos of the park. I'm sure it was much nicer than this limited camera was able to capture. I would often push my 110 Instamatic beyond its limits as well.

Nanook said...

You can always market these images as 'dreamy' - they'll probably sell better. The cigarette-smoking accordion player has to be my favorite. And just what is that 'Petite Salon'-?

Thanks, Major.

JG said...

These photos are creepy, not just the slightly blurry black and white, but the lack of crowds and the unfinished look make these images from a Park that is familiar and unfamiliar all at once. Dream images, or an alternate world. The musician with the cigarette is like Spock with a beard, something is wrong and we can't tell what. In the alternate universe, Disneyland is uncrowded.

Too bad we can't decipher that banner, undoubtedly a convention going on, would be fun to know which.

Major, lawn is cheaper than paving, which might account for how much was used in the original design. Thanks for finding these windows into the mirror universe.


Anonymous said...

I agree with Sue and JG, these ARE creepy...and a little sad for some reason. (Extra points to Sue for the Alice quote) I'd like to think that the person that took these had a great time, but they may have just been sucked into some sort of alternate reality vortex (which will REALLY mess up your day!). I half expected to see Spock with a beard in one of these. Weird, man...

Melissa said...

These are super-special pictures! Definitely equal parts "dreamy" and "creepy." The smoking accordion player looks like an extra from Carnival of Souls. Dollars to doughnuts he wasn't even there when the photographer snapped the picture. He just turned up in the print as if by black magic.

There are a number of these photo books in the boxes of snapshots from my grandmother's house.

DrGoat said...

Seems like it's unanimous. Creepy pics. Twilight Zone folder for sure. A nightmare version of Willoughby.
Stu, the Spock thing cracked me up.
Lou & Sue, like the Alice Cooper reference. He was a fixture around Tucson back in the sixties before he became Alice and was just Vince. His totally together band used to play every weekend at a little club on Speedway Blvd. Best rock and roll I ever heard, still to this day. He was, is a very nice guy and took time to chat with us back then.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Melissa, check to see if the accordion player shows up in your grandmother’s photo books, and let us know...

Anonymous said...

Of course there's the story about if you look into the Rivers of America after closing and say "Accordion Player" three times...

you'll probably be asked to leave.

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, I agree, I believe that it is the same open door in both photos. The photo from the Mysterious Benefactor is definitely showing the same place! I actually tried to find out any info about the Petit Salon, and couldn’t find ANY mention of it at all. So if anybody out there knows, chime in please! Gosh, I don’t think I know the story about Walt and Lillian having a big fight. And I thought I knew them all! Maybe I just forgot it (in fact, that is more likely). “Honey, let’s not fight. Here’s an anchor to show how sorry I am”.

TokyoMagic!, thank you for pointing out the doorway to the Davy Crockett Arcade, it would have never occurred to me that that’s what it was!

DrGoat, I’ve never seen another photo of that accordion player, so that alone makes it a special image. I wonder how long he was at the park? I should look in the book “The 55ers” and see if they mention someone who matches his description. I wish these photos weren’t quite so dark, and I feel like I should have posted them in reverse order so that they go from lighter to darker, but… oh well!

Lou and Sue, you’re an Alice Cooper fan?! I don’t know why I’m surprised, but… cool! What’s your take on AC/DC? I agree, these have a very spooky feeling, they remind me of the movie “Carnival of Souls”.

Omnispace, yeah, these have a wintry, “off-season” look to them. Looking at “Jason’s Disneyland Almanac”, there were some winter days when attendance was only a few thousand people. That would have been amazing, and maybe weird! I understand why those large grassy areas needed to go, but the place sure looked nice with them.

Nanook, someday, when I decide to sell off my collection (ugh!), I guess I will have to remember to say that these are “dreamy”! Or “spooky”. Or both. Like Sue said, they’re like a nightmare. I agree, the accordion player is my favorite.

JG, as DrGoat says, these have a “Twilight Zone” atmosphere to them. They remind me of the episode, “Where is Everybody”, with Earl Holliman running around a deserted town. He lost his marbles! Poor guy. I have to wonder if the musician had to ask permission to smoke on the job, since it was frowned upon by most employees. It’s funny, Walt smoked and had a mustache, but didn’t want his Disneyland employees smoking or having facial hair! I didn’t think about lawns being cheaper than paving, although they do need maintenance afterwards.

Stu29573, these photos must have been taken by somebody who didn’t get to the park until the sun was already on its way down, which is such a weird concept to me. Same with the people who did Knott’s and Disneyland in one day. It’s like trying to see the Louvre in a few hours! I think Spock looked cool with his beard, by the way.

Melissa, oh man, see my comment to Lou and Sue, I also mention “Carnival of Souls”! Such a unique movie, you can find it on line and watch it for free. Still one of my favorite oddball horror movies. I kind of like the idea of these little photo albums, it’s a nice way to organize images from a particular event.

DrGoat, I am also reminded of the Twilight Zone episode “In Praise of Pip”, where Jack Klugman runs around Pacific Ocean Park at night trying to find his boy Pip. I remember kids in school being into Alice Cooper, but I was not really exposed to him until later. We all knew the song, “School’s Out” though! He is famous for actually being a very smart and nice person.

Lou and Sue, YES! Maybe Lou has a photo of him too?!

Major Pepperidge said...

Stu29573, that's funny, I'm asked to leave, even when I don't say "Accordion Player". Maybe I need to take a shower.

Melissa said...

The Muppet Show was my introduction to Alice Cooper!

Nanook said...

"...but didn’t want his Disneyland employees smoking or having facial hair!" Actually, Walt only objected to facial hair on the male CM's-!

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, sorry...I made up that scenario about the fight (actually, I "borrowed" it from an old TV show!). I still think it's funny that Walt presented that large petrified tree to Lilian, as an anniversary gift, so I was imagining all the other odd items he might have given her for other "special" occasions.

Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, hilarious!

Nanook, are you SURE??

TokyoMagic!, I figured the fight was possible; I'd heard about Walt and Roy having some sort of disagreement that resulted in them not speaking to each other for a long time. Months, or possibly longer? Hard to believe, considering how important both were to the company.