Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Random Pix

Sometimes photos are just kind of random. It's not their fault - they ate their vegetables and did their homework. But they never quite fit in. Luckily, they discovered their love for playing the Sousaphone and marching in the school band, where they made friends and learned that it was OK to be themselves.

What were we talking about again? 

Oh yeah, the Jungle Cruise, known by Sousaphone players as The Fabulous Jungle Cruise. They love those superlatives. Here we are, in August, 1966; our photographer is taking one last look at civilization before vanishing into the depths of the misty jungle FOREVER. Some say that if you listen closely, you can still hear the sounds of a distant Sousaphone playing over the screeches of monkeys and birds.

I'm sure there was a perfectly good reason that this next photo (from September of 1960) was composed the way that it is. 50% empty asphalt (I think? This doesn't look like the famous "slurry" that we all love so much). The lower part of an Alpine waterfall is nearly dead-center, was that what the photographer was trying to capture? Or maybe they were just a little quick on the draw with the single bobsled that was about to cross over the stone bridge. The world may never know.



"Lou and Sue" said...

50% empty asphalt photos are great! They prove that the park truly wasn't crowded, back in the good old days. And that's how I always remember Disneyland, throughout my childhood. You can't beat that!

Always LOVE a photo of the Jungle Cruise! "Calling all skippers to share a story or spiel!" Please make my day!

Thanks, Major!

Nanook said...

Now, let's everyone turn around and wave good-bye to those people on the dock we've left behind.
Come on folks... pretend as if you're having a good time. Please remember, the tighter together you sit, the better the heating system works on the boat

Thanks, Major.

Chuck said...

I've seen so many pictures of the original JC boathouse here, it's sometimes jarring to see the boathouse of my own childhood visits. I can deal with the cognitive dissonance, though. After 2020 and the first couple weeks of 2021, I can handle anything.

The second photo may have been taken with a camera with a really heavy "trigger pull," where you really had to press down hard to get the shutter to cycle. My first camera was like that, and a lot of pictures I took with it have a lot of foreground in them (along with a slight Dutch angle to the horizon). Also, a lot of inexpensive rangefinder cameras show a significantly different picture than what the shutter lens actually sees when exposing your film, and that can lead to less-than-optimal composition if you don't plan for it.

The proportions of that image are also a bit odd. Assuming you didn't crop it when scanning, I wonder if they were taken with a "half-frame" camera?

JC Shannon said...

OK Major, when I was in JR High, I was told if you want to attract the ladies, stay away from the Accordion and large brass instruments. I love me some Jungle Cruise pics. I think if I had ever worked at Disneyland, I would have wanted to be a JC skipper. Or a MTtNW engineer, or a Monorail driver, oh heck I'd a taken any job. I have just on suggestion for the Matterhorn photographer, Sousaphone lessons. Thanks major.

Stu29573 said...

The first picture was found on a roll of film that was discovered in the jungle by the river. No survivors were found (insert ominous music).

By the way, it's a hum-dinger of a shot! Surely worth the sacrifice the photographer made to secure it! (May they rest in peace)

My take on the second shot is that it was taken with a twin reflex camera that had the over/under lenses. The lens you site through was not the actual lens that took the picture, so it was easy to get a little off in your framing.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

DrGoat said...

50% asphalt photos, count me in too. And Jungle Cruise to boot. After a long second look, I really like these two shots.
"It's not their fault - they ate their vegetables and did their homework. But they never quite fit in". I guess I might fit that description, Major.
I'm loving that shirt on the Jungle Cruise skipper.
Chuck, as Charles Dickens said, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times". This seems to go a bit beyond cognitive dissonance.
Then there's always the curse, "may you live in interesting times".
I might have crossed the line with too many quotes, sorry. I do have a question. When I click on a photo to enlarge it, I get a plus or minus sign to enlarge it a bit or visa versa. But on most, no option. What gives?
Thanks Major

K. Martinez said...

The Jungle cruise and Matterhorn Bobsleds. My two favorite Disneyland attractions in the same post. Not bad. Not bad at all.

The Jungle Cruise image is a beauty with the candy striped canopy launch and Fruit-On-A-Post. This is the Disneyland of my youth. The park I fell in love with. Two extra special pics today. Thanks, Major.

Melissa said...

Tuba or not tuba? That is the question!

The large expanse of asphalt makes the mountain look further away and therefore taller. I’m sure the photographer carefully planned that out with their slide rule, protractor, abacus, and, uh, math thingy.

I was just thinking about the old Jungle Cruise quest the other day, and how it was just themed enough to stir up your imagination without having a narrative spoon-fed to you. Imagination! Some pair of brothers should write a song about that.

Major Pepperidge said...

Lou and Sue, it’s true, you can see that the park was not wall-to-wall people. But still… that’s a weird composition. I don’t know how many former skippers read GDB, but I am always down for a good cast member story.

Nanook, I have never heard that “heating system” joke before!

Chuck, I know what you mean; it’s similar to when Space Mountain appears in Tomorrowland, it looks so odd after months and months of photos without it looming there. As for 2021, I think it’s funny that on January 2nd I said, “So far so good!”. If only I had known. I never thought about a camera with a heavy “trigger pull”, but I suppose it’s possible. My camera experience is limited to a relative few over my lifetime. You are definitely right about how the scene through the viewfinder is different than what the lens sees. I just gave my niece a Polaroid camera for Christmas (believe it or not, she asked for one!), and that camera has that very issue. She was cutting the tops of people’s heads off unintentionally. I don’t remember now, but I might have “un-skewed” the second image, which sometimes results in slightly odd proportions.

Jonathan, I think you were given some sage advice. There are always exceptions, I’m sure there are some accordion players who can’t keep the ladies away. The best thing is to be a bad guitar player. “Here’s ‘Blackbird’ by the Beatles!” (sings off-key). I’ve thought about what it might be like to be a skipper, maybe the repetitive jokes would get to me. Our friend Huck said that being a sweeper was a great gig, and the more he described it, the more I thought that it really did sound pretty good!

Stu29573, I can’t tell if the photographer for photo #2 actually hung his camera just above the water, or if that is just the view from the low stern of the boat? I’ve had a few similar slides over the years. The twin reflex thing is not a bad theory (and similar to Chuck’s), and maybe that would explain a series of slides that I shared years ago.

DrGoat, at some point I realized that I didn’t mind fitting in with a lot of the crowd. They weren’t people I cared to fraternize with! That shirt on the Jungle Cruise skipper is wild (tapa cloth?), it would be interesting to do a study of the many different costumes the skippers wore, it seems that theirs changed more than most others. I don’t know why some photos appear larger or smaller on Blogger when you click on them. I almost always make the jpegs 17 inches wide at 72 dpi, but that doesn’t seem to have any bearing on how Blogger deals with them. It’s a baffling mystery to me.

K. Martinez, if the Jungle Cruise and Matterhorn are your favorites, what are your least favorites? These days I might guess “Astro Orbiter” for one of them, but you never know. Glad you liked today’s pix!

Melissa, yes, the photographer probably spent hours setting that photo up! He also spent a lot of time shouting at guests so that they wouldn’t ruin his shot. I have my dad’s old slide ruler from when he went to university (1950s), I still don’t have a clue how the thing works, but it is fancy. I wonder if I would like going through the Jungle Cruise with no narration at all? Maybe just once for the novelty of it.

Anonymous said...

Oh man, that first photo, I can hear the boat motor, the spiel, the bird soundtrack, can smell the water. What a great picture!

The Matterhorn photo is good to see, if for no other reason than it confirms the story of asphalt paving used in the early years, and it has something very rarely seen, especially in the later Park, that is, storm drains.

I've always taken the Opening Day story of asphalt so soft that ladies's shoes stuck in it as somewhat apocryphal, but it is theoretically possible with fresh paving, especially on a hot day in July.

It's plausible that asphalt was used, especially in places where the theming would support it, like Main Street, and this ambiguous area on the way to Tomorrowland, since it is a very inexpensive material, as opposed to the concrete/slurry combination we see in the later years.

Asphalt is also harder to control in grading and so the drainage patterns have to be more crude and obvious. Concrete can be placed to tighter tolerances and drainage can be more subtle.

The stamped and colored concrete we see today is even more expensive, and great effort is taken to hide the drainage inlets. Now, drains in pedestrian areas can be huge liability issues, especially ones like we see in today's photo. A high heel or a cane tip into one of those could result in a jackpot payout today.

This all really great stuff, Major, thanks very much!


Nanook said...

The "heating system" joke is from the early 1960's. [At least] one exception to the 'accordion player = no ladies' rule is Dick Contino. (And, that's the second time his name has appeared in this blog in 31 days-!)

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, I wonder if the Jungle Cruise boats run on diesel? I probably knew once upon a time but… you know how that goes. I feel like the story about the ladies’ heels sinking into the soft asphalt as being possibly true, but it’s so cute that people have been unable to resist telling it over and over for the last 60+ years. Even the lovely Alice Davis repeated it on the Disney+ series about Imagineering. I had no idea that there was that much of a difference between the precise laying of concrete vs. the less precise laying of asphalt! I’ve seen video of concrete that has drainage that is so cleverly hidden that it doesn’t appear to have any at all.

Nanook, maybe you need to do a Dick Contino blog?! ;-) “One of Mr. Contino’s rules to live by: When somebody offers you ice cream, always say yes”. How can you lose?

Chuck said...

Major, the Jungle Cruise boats run on water. That's why they're called "boats."

And that post you linked is one of my favorites.

Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, I guess "water" makes more sense, I don't know what I was thinking. I liked the response to that old post because a famous (but anonymous) person was one of the commenters who liked it!

"Lou and Sue" said...

Thank you, Nanook, you made my day!

Major, the other day I listened to 'The Sweep Spot' podcast with Chris Merritt and he said he was a skipper! Chris, if you're reading this, PLEASE share some stories!

JC Shannon, I feel the same way you do - and I'd still take any job at Disneyland (even if it was behind-the-scenes), just to be a part of the magic. A couple years back, I looked to see if they used/accepted volunteers, but I guess they don't (probably due to liability issues). Oh, well.

I liked the response to that old post because a famous (but anonymous) person was one of the commenters who liked it!
Major: John Travolta??

Major Pepperidge said...

Lou and Sue, I have listened to "The Sweep Spot" a few times, but it would be fun to hear what Chris has to say. He's had some pretty great experiences! I've kind of burned out on all the Disneyland or Disney park podcasts that I used to listen to; as of now I don't have any "in rotation". And the famous person was not Travolta! Maybe I'll have to let you know in an email.