Thursday, November 05, 2020

More From the Pitchur Gallery!

It's time for more scenes from Knott's Berry Farm's "Pitchur Gallery"! First up is this example, nicely hand-dated "March 17, 1951" on the back. St. Patrick's Day! And what better way to celebrate than to spend a little family time in a saloon? Green beer and whisky for everyone! I like the inclusion of physical props, such as an earthenware jug of moonshine (the three "Xs" let us know that it is very high-octane). I'll bet grandma can hold her liquor, and she makes the best brownies.

Well, what do you know, it's the same scene! Only this time we have two charming ladies, and two bleary-eyed kids. You can see the sign, "Spit on the ceiling, anybody kin spit on the floor". Don't tempt me. One amusing detail is the lady on the left, who has altered her silhouette (I assume she did it, anyway) with a blue ballpoint pen. Having two kids is tough on a girl's figure. We like you just the way you are!

And now for some SPECIAL GUEST PHOTOS, courtesy of GDB pal TokyoMagic! (see his excellent blog "Meet The World"). The first three are from 2015. TM says are those pics from the first year of the Boysenberry Festival.  This first one is kind of neat, because they brought back Crafty Coyote from Knott's Bear-y Tales.  This was 5 years ago, when they were working on the construction of "Iron Reef" in the former Knott's Bear-y Tales/Kingdom of the Dinosaurs space.  Now five years later, Bear-y Tales is replacing Iron Reef. I wonder if the management regrets removing the original Bear-y Tales? Maybe if it had survived it would have undergone an upgrade or two and would still be entertaining generations of guests.

TM continues: I guess this is supposed to be a "Family of Boysenberries."  Notice the fourth cutout for a "baby boysenberry," being held by the "mom."

And here's a third example, you can pretend to be boysenberry farmers, just like Walt and Cordelia Knott! Cordelia always liked a nice pair of overalls and some Doc Martens.

This last one is from 10 years ago: This next one is the photo-op that was outside of Pink's (formerly and now, once again, the Cable Car Kitchen).  I took this in April of 2010, so I guess this was already there when we all went to the Knott's Preserved event.  This was removed when Pink's pulled out of Knott's. A family of hot dogs brings a tear to my eye, what could be more American?

Many thanks to TokyoMagic! for sharing his fun images of these latter-day "photo op" props. Don't forget to check out his blog!


TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I like that vintage photo-op from the Pitchur Gallery. That sign about "spitting on the ceiling" was actually a duplicate of one that hung below the bar in the Silver Dollar Saloon, on Main Street. Unfortunately, that little saloon is now a tacky electronic shooting gallery.

I was very happy to share my photos, of some of the newer "photo-ops" at Knott's. Thank you so much for the compliment, the plug, AND the link!!!

K. Martinez said...

Was that an early attempt at photoshopping too slim down her figure in the second pic? Love the Pitchur Gallery images. Especially the first pic with the older folks. Thanks, Major.

The Crafty Coyote is my favorite photo op cutout here. Love the brilliant colors. Glad to hear Knott's is bringing back Knott's Bear-y Tales in some form. Thanks for sharing your photos, TM!

Andrew said...

Although Pitchur Gallery shots are clever, they can't compete with a good old Claude Bell statue!

I can't wait to go to Knott's. I have my ticket sitting on my desk and everything. Thanks, Major, and I really like the different cutouts, TM!

Anonymous said...

Great shots today! My favorite is also Crafty Coyote. There's just something fun about pie related larceny! If it's done by a coyote, well so much the better! I'll bet the girl who slimmed her figure would have killed to get her original figure back after about 30 years. I know I always thought I was "heavy" in high school. Boy, if I had only known what was coming!

Melissa said...

The corsage on the smiley lady at the far right of the first picture looks like it might be made of those St. Patrick's Day flowers you make by putting white carnations in a vase with food coloring until the edges turn green.

Awesome examples today from both the Maj and TM!

DrGoat said...

Soon as I laid eyes on the first 2 pics, I got a smile on my face. It reminded me of our group shot in the same place, maybe a year or two after these. They don't have a date in the corner like ours but the dress styles looks like about late 1950s. What do you think?
Tokyo, great, colorful pics. First time in my life I've wanted to be a boysenberry. Sorry we missed that event, love boysenberry preserves.
I ate at Pink's more than a few times back in the early 70s. (No long lines back then). Lived in Eagle Rock and worked at USC Med. College for two years then beat it back to Tucson. LA was a bit too much for me. The drive to work in the morning was enough to curl your hair. Although I did like the shopping.
Andrew, you'll enjoy Knott's. It's not Disneyland but it will be a good day. Especially in these times.
K.M. I think that might be the Tingler on that lady. The kids seem to suspect it and are hovering close to the booze. Seriously, can't quite figure out what the purpose of that blue form is. You're probably right about the early photoshop but it doesn't work to well, does it.
Thanks Major, good stuff, and thank you Tokyo. Looked like a good time.

MRaymond said...

I recently found a picture of my parents from the Pitchur Gallery, from the looks of it, it's before my time (pre1961), there is also a pic of my mom with the two cowboys on the bench. That kind of stuff is simple but fun.

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, I honestly don’t know if I ever went inside the Silver Dollar Saloon. Maybe I did and have just forgotten after decades. Since my mom would let us run around without any adult supervision, I might have assumed that kids were not allowed in a saloon! They turned it into a shooting gallery? BOO! Thanks again for sharing your photos.

K. Martinez, I suppose it is a kind of Photoshopping. I’m actually kind of surprised how many Pitchur Gallery images I own, now that I am consolidating them. They used to be all over the place.

Andrew, I’m glad Knott’s had both… Claude Bell statues are great, but I wouldn’t want the Pitchur Gallery images to go away. I hope you get to go to Knott’s before you are 21!

Stu29573, maybe Crafty Coyote reminds us of a number of classic cartoon characters. Sort of a mash-up of Yogi Bear, Hokey Wolf, and so on. I wonder if that woman who altered her figure was comparing herself to her friend, who is very petite? Maybe she felt fat by comparison.

Melissa, I could definitely imagine that corsage being dyed green. Did they do that as far back as the 1950s?

DrGoat, yes, that is the same scene as the one with your family. It seems like the date stamped on the front was only done for a very short time in the ‘60s. I am pretty sure that the first one is indeed from the ‘50s. I’ve still never been to Pink’s; as you mentioned, there are long lines almost always, and my friend Mr. X is a hot dog connoisseur. He is not very complimentary of Pink’s! He misses a place in L.A. called “The Hot Dog Show”, and still talks about it even though it has been gone for decades. I have to wonder why the woman didn’t use a black pen to alter her figure, or even a nice soft pencil. If done right, it could have been almost unnoticeable.

MRaymond… well, you probably knew I was going to ask, but… any chance you would share the photos of your parents here on GDB?

Anonymous said...

Ha, that first photo looks like a hard bunch. Like the Monty Python sketch "H*ll's Grannies".

I remember the slogan on that sign, but can't be from this spot. Might be Virginia City where there are a lot of real bars surviving from that era.

Always up for Tokyo pics, thank you!

Never knew Pinks was ever associated with Knotts, much less that they stopped.

DrGoat, I agree about LA. I've worked there a lot, but could never stand to live there.

Fun stuff, Major. Thank you!


Kathy! said...

Ah, more Pitchur Gallery pics. TokyoMagic, those colorful cut-outs are so fun. They remind me of the numerous food and animal related photo ops to put your face through at the LA County Fair. I remember getting a Pink’s ‘dog at the Fair too, and they give you a celebrity name instead of a number to come back for your order. I was Bob Hope.

Nice old pitchurs, I don’t have any of the bar scene. Yes, the lady on the right is already perfectly lovely, no modifications needed. Will we be seeing more of these in the future, Major? I hope so. Do you have the circus strongman scene? I have one with a lady in the strongman face and a man on the woman’s body, har har!

Melissa said...

The comments today remind me of two stories from my California trip. Apologies if I’ve told these before!

I ended up having to go to a pharmacy in Costa Mesa (seems I’ve rarely been away from home overnight without having to go to a pharmacy or an emergency room). When the pharmacist saw my home address, he was excited because he was from a nearby city in New York. He said, “I had to get away from that weather. But I wouldn’t mind trading the traffic!”

Then there was the adorable calf at the California State Fairgrounds who sucked my whole hand into his little mouf. It tickled!

DrGoat said...

Keep 'em coming Melissa. I really need some laughter this week.
I don't have many stories I can remember of my LA days. Met a drunk Robert Conrad at a party. Ate a chili in Chinatown that was so hot I almost had a stroke, and getting robbed of my beautiful pizza walking home from the pizza place in Eagle Rock. Good times.

Nanook said...


As usual - great pics from the Pitchur Gallery. Evidently, the lady on the far left hadn't gotten the memo that - it's black that's slimming - not blue-! Poor thing.

I've been to The Hot Dog Show many a time, and at their many locations: San Vicente as it crosses La Cienega; Toluca Lake; and Pacific Palisades.

@ TM-
Such lovely color images you got here. Thanks.

Thanks, Major.

"Lou and Sue" said...

I've never seen such well-dressed, classy, sloshed folks! I guess they can really hold their booze.

I would like to be a boysenberry!

MRaymond, the Major beat me to it - I was going to ask you to share your pictures, too - please! And Kathy, please share yours, too!

DrGoat, you were robbed of a pizza??? Please share the details, if they aren't too gruesome. Years ago, my home was burglarized and strange things were stolen (bathroom scale, cheap silverware, clothing, coats and more) - but I still have all my pizzas!

Major, has Mr. X ever mentioned if he likes Chicago-style hotdogs? Years ago, whenever we had my parents over for a backyard Bar-B-Q, my mom ALWAYS wanted hotdogs (no steak - just delicious Chicago-style hotdogs - warmed up on the grill).

Major and TokyoMagic! Thank you for today's fun pictures.

Fun commentary from all - thank you!


DrGoat said...

Lou and Sue,
I was walking home with this almost perfect pizza (thin crust, made by Italians, perfect sauce and lots of not store bought mozzarella) and just approaching my pad when these two guys blindsided me with a nice big stick, I kid you not. Guy whacked me on the head and I realized fairly quickly that this would be a losing battle. They grabbed the pie and skedaddled off down Yosemite Drive. I did look it up 'cause I didn't remember the name of the street. Needless to say, I was bummed the rest of the night. The tallest I've ever been was 5'-7" and about 128 lbs, so going Klingon was out of the question. I've actually shrunk an inch since then I think. I really did like living up in Eagle Rock. It was fairly quiet and out of the way. Those 2 years in LA were my version of Peewee's big adventure.

Melissa said...

I enjoy being s girlsenberry!

(Drunk Robert Conrad, rowr!)

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, it wouldn’t surprise me if some of the Knott’s signs are copies of versions from other well-known Western parks. If you can’t buy the original, make your own! They certainly did that a lot, and did it well. Like any big city, L.A. has it’s good and bad points. The traffic is the #1 “con”, but there are a lot of “pros” too. If you’re willing to explore, you’d be amazed at what you’ll find.

Kathy! you’re right, the newer “Fun Photo” things are very much like you’d see at a county fair, or even a roadside pumpkin patch just before Halloween. I like a good hot dog, but it isn’t that hard to make them at home, so I rarely get them at restaurants, even though they will put more stuff on them than I do. I never have sauerkraut on hand, and I love that on a hotdog. Yes, I have more to show, and NO, I don’t have one with a circus strongman. I’ve never even seen that one! Something to look for.

Melissa, I’m plenty of people east of the Rockies have come here to get away from the cold. Maybe now the popular thing to do is live in Arizona, like my Aunt and Uncle did when they left Chicago. I have lived in places with snowy winters, I wonder how I would fare these days. The calf story is cute, but I would need to go wash my hand immediately!

DrGoat, a drunk Robert Conrad?! That’s pretty awesome. Was he cantankerous? He seemed like he had some anger issues. I saw his partner Ross Martin at the L.A. Farmer’s Market when I was a kid. One of the first famous people I remember seeing! Somebody stole your pizza?? Mama mia!

Nanook, I know, she looks so nice, but she was self-conscious. Aren’t we all, I guess. Amy (who you met) will just about kill me if I try to take her picture - most of the time anyway. Some people don’t believe she exists because I can’t just show them a handy photo. I’m trying to get a Hot Dog Show matchbook for my friend, but so far my search has been fruitless.

Lou and Sue, remember, they were all dressed up for St. Patrick’s Day! It was a special occasion. And MRaymond has already sent me scans of the two photos he mentioned, so stay tuned for those! I may have to do some rejiggering so that you see them before next year. Yes, I hope a gun wasn’t involved in the theft of DrGoat’s pizza. I guess when somebody steals food, I feel a little less bad because they were presumably very hungry. Of course it didn’t happen to ME, so maybe I would be more outraged! I don’t recall if Mr. X mentioned an exact style of hotdog, but like I said, he is picky. Lately when I go to my mom’s, we do bratwursts on the grill, yum.

DrGoat said...

Major, thankfully no. Just a big stick. I kid you not again.
This was in '72 and my best guess was that they were stoned, and not being of sterling character, did what came naturally to obtain free food.

Major Pepperidge said...

DrGoat, oh my gosh, you were actually hit with a stick! I’m sorry, I hope you weren’t too badly shook up. I’m sure it hurt like hell. Letting them have it was the best decision, who knows how crazy they were? What’s odd is that Eagle Rock really is (generally) a nice, sleepy place compared to much of L.A. I wonder if you got your pizza at Casa Bianca? That’s not too far from Yosemite Drive and they are beloved in that area. I no longer have any sympathy for those jerks!

Melissa, my family is friends with another family, they have a ranch in Santa Paula (a beautiful place) with hundreds of avocado trees, and wild boysenberries growing in the ditches and other places. The other family had four girls, and they insisted that the berries were “girlsenberries”.

Melissa said...

Ha, Major, smart girls! I only steal jokes from the best!

One degree of separation from both James West AND Artemis Gordon? This is the best Thursday ever!

Melissa said...

Dang, aggressive autocorrect strikes again! ARTEMUS Gordon, of course.

DrGoat said...

Honestly, I must have a hard head (that's what Dad used to say), 'cause it was more of a shock than pain. The kind of thing that's over fast and leaves you a bit dazed.
WOW Major, nice call. It most likely was Casa Bianca!! I know I ate there a couple of times before that. I have no direct memory of that being the place but it makes sense. I did a lot of walking up in Eagle Rock. it was a great place. And straight south on Townsend is where I would have been walking down to Yosemite. I walked a lot because at that time I had a Fiat 850 with a grand total of about 50 horsepower and all kinds of dysfunctional problems. Always something with that car. It was so light I actually towed it behind my friends car with 2 metal coat hangers stretched out and wrapped around the bumper.
PS On an unrelated note, I always watch this if I need to smile.

DrGoat said...

Oh, I forgot. Yes he was cantankerous, but more like a pain in the butt 'cause he was Robert Conrad. Still, it was cool to meet him and he was about my height too.

Chuck said...

I was going to make a wisecrack about pie-related larceny until I read DrGoat's true story of pie-related larceny. It now seems in bad taste as well as just plain dumb. I can self-edit when I put my mind to it.

Loving this comment thread. Thanks, everybody!

"Lou and Sue" said...

DrGoat, I feel so bad that happened to you!! I’m glad you’re ok and can now joke about it.

MRaymond said...

Hey Major, I dug out the original photos to see if there was a date on either one. Unfortunately, no dates but the second picture has my moms handwriting on the back. It says "My eyes are up here, cowboy."

Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, great minds think alike! And I still remember thinking how strange it was to be seeing someone from TV out in the real world. He was signing an autograph for somebody.

DrGoat, I’m sure if they’d just come up, threatened to hit you with the stick and demanded the pizza, then they wouldn’t have had to do any actual violence. I’ve only been to Casa Bianca once, but it is kind of famous in that area. Whenever I drive around Eagle Rock (which is seldom) I think it would be a nice place to live. Not too far from Glendale or Pasadena, and really not that far from the San Fernando Valley either. But sort of isolated too. That xylophone thing is crazy! I remember Robert Conrad on “Battle of the Network Stars” and he was very competitive and got real angry a lot!

Chuck, it sounds like DrGoat wasn’t too traumatized, fortunately, but I know what you mean, no need to rub salt in an old wound.

Lou and Sue, yes, I hope those guys got nailed for something else eventually!

MRaymond, thanks for looking - I love the note on the back of that photo, I will definitely add that to the post!

Melissa said...

It’s like I always say: Cone for the pictures, stay for the true stories of pie-related larceny.

Anonymous said...

Great stories here, I love it.

Thanks everyone.