Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Some Instamatics!

Here are two nice Instamatic scans - undated, but almost certainly from the mid-to-late 1960s. Maybe '68?

First up is this cute family photo, with three generations of women standing at the door of the Disneyland Hotel's Sierra Tower. Grandma looks very stylish in her red dress and hat, while Mom sports cool cat's-eye glasses and a bold flower print blouse, and the daughter looks like a typical all-American gal. Notice that Grandma is holding a souvenir wall map - this particular style was first printed in 1966.

Next, here's Grandma again, taken at about 9 AM on patio of Aunt Jemima's.  I love the view of the river, much of it still in shadow, with the Mark Twain and Columbia (which is berthed in Fowler's Harbor) in the distance. Once again, Grandma looks like a movie star, only trying to be incognito while she waits for her pancakes!


Nanook said...

Any Grandma who's wiling to tote-around a Disneyland wall map is okay in my book... movie star or not-!

I'm gonna guess those five, round short 'cylinders' in the ceiling of the doorway overhang, are little pin spot lights.

Thanks, Major.

Melissa said...

Dig Mom’s straw purse!

I am in love with the whole Norma-Desmond-at-the-pancake-house look. Grandma sure travels with a lot of accessories! I bet she carries one of those little Samsonite train cases on every trip. (Full disclosure, I own two vintage ones.) She probably never leaves the house without a fresh coat of lipstick and a dab of Chanel no. 5.

TokyoMagic! said...

Melissa, in that second pic, grandma is saying, "I'm ready for my pancakes, Mr. DeMille!" Or maybe she's saying, "I AM big! It's the pancakes that got small!"

Chuck said...

Whatever she was saying, her photographer knew their business and used fill flash to fill in what could have been harsh shadows under the umbrella. A+++

Melissa, both of my grandmothers and my mother traveled with cases like that. At least one grandmother had a Samsonite hatbox as well.

DrGoat said...

Great photos, and the Sunset Boulevard references (thank you M.) are making my morning.
Mom used to wear dresses like that. Loved flowers.
That first pic is fab. Love that reflection of the trio in the glass doors behind. That's around the time period I think I remember and love the most. Samsonite luggage... bring it on M. "I'm going to be bigger than peanut butter"
Thanks Major and all.

Stefano said...

Grandma also looks like the Jesse Royce Landis of "Rear Window" and "North by Northwest". She has a tart rejoinder on her lips in photo 2, ready to keep Grace Kelly or Cary Grant in line.

Hitchcock did want to film a suspense sequence in Disneyland, but after "Psycho" Disney said no way.

zach said...

Loving the flower print and Grandma's bling. I wonder what's on the thin strap over the shoulder of the young lady. A camera I'm guessing. As I wonder every day, where are they today?

I see the ubiquitous sugar pourer/dispenser on the table. I suspect these are collected. Anyone else feel sticky the moment they enter a pancake house?

Nice scans today. I wish I was sitting there this morning in the 1960's.


Anonymous said...

That's definitely not 9am given that the sun is shining to her right, which would be west, which would be late afternoon. Camera is facing north. Not to be nitpicky or anything - lol.

"Lou and Sue" said...

I think I see a body floating face down, in the water behind Norma.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I happen to know that Grandma was holding the map for the photographer, who was a young man at the time! And I agree, those are definitely small spotlights overhead in the first photo.

Melissa, that purse can hold everything! Tissues, makeup, a change purse, Lifesavers (or other candy), Mom’s regular glasses, and heaven knows what else. You don’t see ladies with turbans so much anymore, but there was a time when they were not uncommon. The Samsonite train case you linked to looks like a gorilla threw it around a few times!

TokyoMagic!, mmmm, little silver dollar pancakes!

Chuck, you are so right; so often shadows go inky black for lack of reflecting light. I don’t remember if my mom or Grandmother traveled with cases like the one in Melissa’s photo, but then again, I was probably not paying attention to their luggage at all. It was all about ME!

DrGoat, I think the resemblance to Norma Desmond was only superficial! I’m sure Grandma was a nice and lovely lady. My mom had some pretty “mod” clothes in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, but I don’t remember anything that had a big, bold Matisse-style flower.

Stefano, I had to look up Jesse Royce Landis on IMDB; I’ve seen “Rear Window” and “North by Northwest” many times, but didn’t recognize the name. I definitely recognize her face! At first I thought maybe you meant Thelma Ritter. It is certainly intriguing to imagine what Hitchcock could have done with Disneyland as a setting!

zach, that strap seems thin for a camera, but it could have been for a little Kodak Instamatic I suppose. Because I know the photographer (in this case) I know a little bit about the folks in the photo, but I wanted to be respectful of his privacy - I was glad that he allowed me to share these fun pictures with the GDB folks! You can still buy sugar dispensers that look exactly like the one in the photo!

Anonymous… well! I thought it was late afternoon as well, but was told that the picture was taken in the morning. Who am I to argue! But the sun doesn’t lie. OR DOES IT?

Lou and Sue, that’s the Rivers of America monster! “Rivvie”!!

Anonymous said...

Grandma definitely has it going on. Great sense of style in these photos.

I really like the terrace photo, I sat out there once I think.

Melissa, Tokyo, Stefano, thanks for the movie references. I think Hitchcock at Disneyland would have been wonderful.

Nanook, you are right, those are little pin-dot spotlights, adjustable. I believe this is early PAR technology, PAR16 or PAR20, not a halogen type or MR, which came later. These would have an A-base, or possibly candelabra size.


Nanook said...

Don't mean to be nit-picky here, but...

@ TM!-
The oft-misquoted line goes like this: "All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up". Or, in the case of this image... "All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my pancakes". Brilliant-! (Take that - Billy Wilder).

@ Stefano-
Make that "To Catch a Thief" & "North By Northwest"

And... @ JG-
From this angle, at least, those appear to be PAR16's - maybe PAR20's.

Melissa said...

Considering how intense the amusement park scenes in Strangers on a Train were, I can only imagine what Hitch could have done in Disneyland.

"Lou and Sue" said...

These are classy ladies! I would wear those dresses today. The young lady is cute and has a beautiful smile!

Chuck said...

Hitch at Disneyland? Might have been OK, but I really wish someone would have taken the trouble to shoot a remake of Little Miss Marker with a scene at Disneyland. I'll bet that would be amazing!

Anonymous said...

"But the sun doesn’t lie. OR DOES IT?"
Reminds me of a line from that WC Fields film "It's a Gift": "Oh, your watch is right but the sun is wrong!"

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, she reminds me of my own Grandmother, who liked to dress nice nearly every day, unless she was working in her garden. I’m trying to imagine what Disneyland features Hitchcock would want to use, and nothing is popping out at me yet. They could do a “The Lady Vanishes” thing in one of the train tunnels. Or have somebody fall from the top of the Matterhorn, Hitch loved to have people plummet to their deaths.

Nanook, I think that some lines (“Play it again, Sam”) become so repeated that it is understandable that folks might not know the line word for word! And oh yes, I remember Joyce Landis especially from “To Catch a Thief”.

Jonathan, aw, don’t be too hard on Grandma! I happen to know that the photographer was might fond of her, so she must have been lovely.

Melissa, yes, I was thinking of that one too. Hey, maybe somebody could vanish from the Skyway!

Lou and Sue, it’s fun to see the ladies dressed so nice for a day at the park. My grandparents were game for a day at Disneyland, though I don’t think we stayed quite as long as I would have liked (in other words, until 1 in the morning).

Chuck, say, that’s a peach of an idea!

Anonymous, yes, W.C. Fields and I have a lot in common!