Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Special Guest Pitchur Gallery!

It has become clear that the Junior Gorillas are especially fond of personal photos from fellow readers! David W. has already shared some fun photos with us (see HERE and HERE), and today I am happy to share some Knott's Berry Farm "Pitchur Gallery" photos, featuring members of David's family.

Let's start with this great photo of David's parents - no date, but it is post "Knott's Berry Place" so it's from after 1946 or '47. David's folks look so young and happy. His Dad has "movie star hair", and his Mom looks like a live wire with her mischievous smile! 

Next is this pitchur of David's paternal grandparents, who were visiting from Colorado. I'll bet they had a great time at Knott's, imagine seeing it in those earlier days when Buena Park was still pretty rural, and Knott's was surrounded by farmland and trees. 

As we can see from the back of the previous picture, the park was still known as "Knott's Berry Place", which dates it to before 1947 (or maybe pre-1946, I find conflicting info online). This was years before Knott's even had the trains that went through Calico Square.

This last photo shows David's Mom's maternal Grandparents. So neat (I'd love to have a picture of my Great-grandparents at Knott's). They visited the park in 1949, coming from New Mexico. But I don't think they took a covered wagon!

Thanks SO much to David W. for sharing these wonderful family photos! 


Melissa said...

Oh, how I do love the Pitchur Gallery! I can definitely see a resemblance between David’s Dad and Grandpa! And Mom could pass for Donna Reed. A most handsome couple.

I wonder if Great-Grandma has the scarf on her head just for the pitchur or if she was just wearing an untied babushka that day.

Thanks for sharing, David, and thanks to the Maj for making it possible.

TokyoMagic! said...

Wow, these are great! I love the covered wagon photo op. I think Knott's should bring that one back!

As for the info stamped on the back of the photos, I wonder how long Knott's held onto the negatives. I'm also wondering how many people ordered the 11 x 14 size photos, for only $1.25! Although, spending that much on a souvenir photo back in those days, might have been considered a little extravagant. Major, do you ever come across 8 x 10 or 11 x 14 souvenir photos from the Pitchur Gallery?

Thank you so much for sharing your family photos with us, David W.!


Wow! Imagine having part of your family tree depicted in Knott’s Berry Farm picture gallery photos!!

"Lou and Sue" said...

Now THIS is a fun family! We can see why David W. is a Jr. Gorilla and fits in here - he’s a sprig off the FUN family tree!

Thanks, Major and David W.!

DrGoat said...

I wanted to thank all the Junior Gorilla's for your kind wishes on Monday. It is not only comforting, but an unexpected bonus. I have to say that I think GDB is one in a million. With all the meandering Flotsam and Jetsam, noise and pitiful scenarios that the internet has given birth too, GDB seems to exist in a special place. People you've never met in person that you feel a special affinity for is a magical thing. Thank you. Kind souls, one and all.
A special thanks to Sue, who goes above and beyond. And Chuck, JG, TokyoMagic, Nanook, Mike, K Martinez, Stu, Andrew, Lou & Sue,JC, Irene, Melissa, Grant, Kathy, Omnispace, Sunday Night and David, our Captain. I know I missed someone but chalk it up to accelerated decrepitude. Feeling much more human now. Maybe not more human than human, but close. Blame Tyrell.
I thought I saw that photo of David's Mom's maternal Grandparents on Finding Your Roots last night. They are definitely from the old country.

MRaymond said...

Love the Pitchur Gallery. I think I have one of my parents using the same backdrop as the first picture.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Glad you’re back, DrGoat! We missed you! Now, today’s special post is even MORE special!

Kathy! said...

What fun, to have so many family Pitchurs! Everyone looks like they were having a great time. I’ve seen a duplicate bigger and small photo pair for sale on eBay but I bet you’re right that they were more rare, TomyoMagic! Thanks for sharing these special photos, David. And thanks to Major for posting. And welcome Dr. Goat!

Melissa said...

I'm gonna open me an amusement park that's nothing but fun photo ops and souvenir babushka stands.

JG said...

Wow, David W, what a treasure trove of family pictures! Thanks for sharing these. Mom and Dad were a handsome couple for sure.

Those covered wagon shots remind me of a Sons of the Pioneers song, "...sunsets on their faces as they ride on westward, ride...".

Major, thanks for bringing all my friends to my desktop again today, I really had no idea that Knotts was that old, just never registered with me.

I've often wondered why Disney looked so far south for a site for their Park, they had to be aware of Knott's. I wonder if that information made a difference in selecting Anaheim over some place closer in? I wonder if Disneyland played a role in Knott's decision to develop into more of a park. It's like the casinos up here, once one opens closer to San Francisco, the ones further away die off.

Good to see you chiming in today, Dr. Goat! Glad you are better. Now I will hear Vangelis all day in my head.


Anonymous said...

I love the sorta, but not really 3D effect on the wagon! I know they had other backdrops that had that too, but I can't think of any right off the bat. It is certainly special to see all those generations!
Good to "see" you, DrGoat! I'm glad you're feeling better!

Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, I would guess that Great Grandma wore her scarf all the time, if anything I would think that she would take it off for a photo, rather than put it on! But… what do I know?

TokyoMagic!, the covered wagon scene was definitely the most popular, with Goldie’s Joint coming in second. I have never seen an 8 X 10 or and 11 X 14, but I sure would like to! Maybe they’ve come up for sale on eBay and I just couldn’t tell that they were bigger in the thumbnail photo. I have one Pitchur Gallery photo that’s a little bigger than usual, but not even as big as 8 X 10.

Mike Cozart, I know, I wish I had family photos like this!

Lou and Sue, I knew you would like these!

DrGoat, you are so welcome, and I’m very glad that you saw all of the nice comments - AND that you checked in and commented yourself today! I was certain that the Junior Gorillas would come to the need of another. I blame Tyrell for everything, including the fact that my frozen French bread pizzas are smaller than they used to be!

MRaymond, married couples definitely liked to use that first one, it’s another one of the “more popular” scenes.

Lou and Sue, thanks to you for all of your help as well.

Kathy!, gosh, I must have missed the large duplicate on eBay, though I admit that I am not very consistent about looking for Pitchur Gallery photos. I’ll look, and then won’t look for weeks.

Melissa, you know… souvenir babushkas might actually be popular if they made them colorful and fun!

JG, I was just making a Sons of the Pioneers playlist for my mom! Listened to tons of their songs. “Blue Shadows on the Trail” is still my favorite. Knott’s was supposed to celebrate its 100th anniversary last year, but I feel like that’s a bit of a cheat, since it was 100 years since the berry stand opened. I feel like that would be the same as dating Disneyland to when Walt first started thinking about the idea (which was many years before 1955). Walt and his researchers looked at a number of potential sites for Disneyland, each of which offered different plusses and minuses. I think he ultimately chose Anaheim for the amount of land he could get at a certain price, and because the I-5 freeway was going to be built, allowing easy access for folks from much of SoCal. I’m sure Knott’s expanded partly to be more competitive, but the addition of Disneyland helped Knott’s, rather than hurt it. I think Todd James Pierce’s “Three Years in Wonderland” would be an interesting read for you if you haven’t already checked it out!

Stu29573, they were definitely going for a 3D effect, part set (though a very shallow set) and part painted "flats". It works pretty well!

Melissa said...

DRGOAT!! So glad to see you feeling better enough to post a message! Here's to your continued improvement!

My Grandma had a souvenir babushka made of a scrap of parachute silk, that Grandpa sent home during WWII. I never got to see it, but she described it very fondly.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the comments everybody, I'm happy that the GDB family are enjoying these photos.

Melissa- Yes, my parents were definitely photogenic. Looking at other pictures, it appears that the head scarf/babushka was a common item in my great-grandmother's daily attire (& sometimes tied under her chin).

Major- My mom's grandparents didn't visit California by covered wagon, but on a side note, I have a wagon wheel in my yard that belonged to one of great-grandpa's wagons in New Mexico (its in pretty rough shape, though). Sons of the Pioneers were a favorite group of my mother's as well. In addition to great-
grandma's head scarf/babushka, I also like the fedoras in both the covered wagon shots.

DrGoat- Good to hear from you & glad you are doing better.


DrGoat said...

Thank you. My grandmother had a babushka type thing. In WWII, they gave all the Italian soldiers a large, square, colorful neckerchief with a detailed map of Italy on it in case they got lost. And I'm sure they did. My grandmother used to wrap it around her head, babushka style, out in the garden. It survived and I had it framed. I'll find it and put the pic somewhere. Giving it a 90% chance of finding it.

K. Martinez said...

David, love these photos of your various family members. It's like generational photos from Knott's. I hope you got a photo of yourself at Knott's Pitchur Gallery. Thanks for sharing these. Very cool!

Dr. Goat, Glad to hear from you today. Like your Blade Runner reference. one of my all-time favorite films.

"Lou and Sue" said...

DrGoat, the irony of losing a map, makes me smile. I hope you find it...would love to see it.

Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, I used to have a bomber jacket (so ‘80s!) that had a silk map of Northern Africa inside it, so if I ever had to bail out over that area, I would know how to get to safety! I wonder what happened to your Grandma’s babushka?

DW, I am sure that your great-grandma wore that scarf all the time - probably didn’t feel properly dressed without it! It’s probably tradition in whatever country she was from. Kind of neat. Cool that you have that wagon wheel - and yes, a fedora in an old photo is always welcome!

DrGoat, the only babushkas I remember my grandmothers wearing were those clear plastic ones when the weather was inclement. I’m sure my grandma in Minnesota probably wore one in the winter, but we always visited in the summer! Fun that you had your grandma’s cool headscarf framed, I love it.

K. Martinez, yes, I am very jealous of David W’s family photos. I wish I could ask my grandma and grandpa if they went to Knott’s back in the early days (My grandfather was born in Los Angeles, so he knew everything in the area). Alas, they are long gone.

Lou and Sue, I didn’t even think of that!