Monday, April 05, 2021

Suspension and Pontoon Bridges, June 1963

Bridges. When you think about it, life is a series of bridges that we all must cross in order to move forward in life. Not really, but come on, wasn't that a profound way to begin a blog post? Everyone knows that life is actually a series of sandwiches that one must eat. Some are delicious but messy, some are dry and flavorless, and some use Miracle Whip instead of mayonnaise. You get the picture.

Today's photos are both from Tom Sawyer Island, and both feature the famous bridges that added so much fun to one's experience. The thrill of exploration! What could be better? This nice lady is crossing the bouncy Pontoon Bridge that crossed a small bay. She's laughing, so you know she's having a good time. In the upper right, you can see the second bridge on the Island...

... the Suspension Bridge! It was bouncy too, but in a gentler, more swaying manner. Tom Sawyer and his friends sure were industrious little delinquents, with impressive engineering skills that they somehow picked up even though they played hooky three days a week. 

I wish I was crossing that suspension bridge myself right now.


Nanook said...

Boy, the winds must'a been whipping-up this day on the Suspension Bridge, as I spy twin babushka's. Always be prepared-!

As you say - that gal in the first image can't help but grinning as she feels her sensible shoes sliding-around beneath her. I loved both of those bridges.

Thanks, Major.

K. Martinez said...

Looks like Edith Bunker is crossing the Pontoon Bridge. She probably took off to Tom Sawyer Island to get away from Archie and Meathead constantly going at it. Nice pics today. Thanks, Major!

TokyoMagic! said...

It looks like "Edith" is a member of our familiar coat brigade. And it looks like "Walter Knott" is hiding right behind her.

DrGoat said...

Fun photos Major. Thanks for the reference K. Made me laugh, which I needed. I got my second shot yesterday and I'm feeling a might peckish.
Lots of green. Very nice.
Thanks Major.

Melissa said...

Archie and Edith did go to Walt Disney World; Archie bought a souvenir shirt!

Bouncing with my sister on the pontoon bridge is one of my favorite memories of our first WDW trip. I’d probably break my brittle-boned butt if I tried it today.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, it might have been a little breezy; I still think it’s very likely that these photos were actually taken long before June, judging by all of the cold weather clothing. I always enjoyed crossing the pontoon bridge, though often I’d get stuck behind a grown man who had to jump up and down and make as much noise and commotion as possible.

K. Martinez, it really does look like Edith! Imagine if they’d done an episode of “All in the Family” in which the Bunkers went to Disneyland, like some other shows have done. Of course it would have been awful, just like those other episodes! For some reason, TV producers never really knew what to do with Disneyland.

TokyoMagic!, yep, she is part of that intimidating gang of women! “Walter Knott” almost cracked a smile on the bridge, he is having so much fun.

DrGoat, I’m glad you got your second shot! I get my first later today, hooray. I want all GDB friends to stay healthy.

Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, I am stunned! Did they actually show Archie and Edith at Disney World, or did they just talk about it? I want to see Archie on the "Dumbo" ride. With his cigar of course!

JC Shannon said...

My favorite bridges in the world, except for Lloyd, of course. I never missed an episode of Sea Hunt. Double babushka sighting in the last shot. Now, I'm up for a day of exploration and adventure on the island. I woke up to a couple of inches of snow this morning, so a Dole Whip and a fist full of Churros would fix me right up. Yum. Thanks Major.

Anonymous said...

Oh man, that lady in the first photo reminds me of my Mom. She doesn't look like her, but they had the same suitcase purse, that was like the Tardis, bigger inside than out, and the same look regarding the bridge.

Mom hated that pontoon bridge and refused to cross it. When I was younger she might be persuaded to cross the suspension bridge, but eventually even that one became too much for her balance. Now that I'm old, I understand her dislike for these, but I still have to cross them both.

Bonus shot of the suspension bridge in the background of photo 1. Amazing how fast the landscaping grew up in only 8 years.

Like Jonathan, these were my favorite bridges, and I loved them both. Disney sure knew what kids would like. I don't recall anything like these in any Twain story, but they fit right in, even with the later theming of the Pirates.

Major, I'd be right behind you if we could cross these today.

Good luck with your shot. Mine is on the schedule.


Nanook said...

We don't actually see Edith and Archie go to WDW, but only return from it wearing mouse ear hats. The tee shirt Melissa refers to, makes appearances in other episodes.

However, Archie certainly plugs WDW quite a bit. And he even has the first-? souvenir guidebook, as this episode aired on January 8, 1972.

TokyoMagic! said...

Did Archie or Edith talk about how WDW has "singing bears"? Or was that some other TV show that I'm thinking of?

Two of the four "Golden Girls" went to WDW, but they spent almost the entire time in their hotel. At the very end of the episode, there was stock footage of Space Mountain's exterior and interior, and one of the characters did a "voice-over" to indicate that they were supposedly on the ride.


That the episode Edith is starting to go thru “the change of life” and Archie is very excited about Walt Disney World and keeps telling Edith about the attractions they have and trying to show her the preopening guidebook : “Edith look they’s got them singing bears down there!!!”
And Edith snaps back at Archie’s excitement, “ ARCHIE ..STIFLE IT!!!!”

Many years ago that WDW preview Edition was hard to come by, but it’s fairly common have been sold via mail order , included with presskits, and even sold at Disneyland along with the WDW preopening postcards!! I’ve seen some photos taken inside Disneyland in the around 1970 near the souvenir stands next to the entry tunnels and you can clearly see that WDW pictorial book and the WDW concept postcards on the tall spinning racks .

I wonder how much longer Disneyland will have Tom Sawyer Island ? In recent years the way its operated feels like Disney is irritated allowing guests even over there - like it gets in there way of setting up Fantasmic.

John Hench used to say that it sounds strict, but you really have to control and maintain the parameters of the theme of everything - because once you lose it , you’ve lost what makes it unique and it will fail to be successful- and guests will sense that. You’ll have to fight with sponsors , maintainence, and your own management- but it’s important AND that’s what has been happening to Tom Sawyer Island at Disneyland .....that desperate attempt to combine “the Pirates of the Caribbean “ With 1850’s Tom Sawyer stories and settings....... it clashes so many theme checkpoints .... and comes off with a poorly done product. You wouldn’t combine Star Wars and Indian Jones themes together ... or Northwest Wilderness , a Southern Swamp Mill Flume and a British Storybook Bear setting together would you??

JG said...

Mike, the systematic closure of so many of the TSI attractions certainly seems to be a prelude to making the whole island "Unfriendly Indian Territory".

I've thought that Winnie-the-Pooh in Critter Country was a stretch, but so was the Splash Mountain theming. The only thing in common is they are all "critters", which is pretty thin. They really clash as you point it out. But I was willing to overlook it because I liked W-T-P and the Park needs more little quiet rides like that for small kids.

Now that Splash Mountain is being re-themed, I have read some folks wondering if this would be a prelude to moving more New Orleans theming into Critter Country, or even a re-naming of the whole area, since WTP might be the only "critter" left?


Major Pepperidge said...

Jonathan, it’s funny, Sea Hunt aired when I was a kid, but I guess I was more into “Flipper” or “Gentle Ben” or some other dumb show! Double babushkas are good luck, as everyone knows. Wow, amazing that you have snow, it’s so warm and sunny in SoCal - and I’m not happy about it! We have too much warm weather, I like a few months of cool or cold if we can get it.

JG, I think a lot of ladies, especially mothers, had purses that carried an amazing assortment of items. “Mom, I need a Phillips-head screwdriver”. “Big? Or little?”. Now that both bridges have plenty of netting along the sides, there is no danger of falling into the drink like there was back in the old days. I wonder if it’s because too many people actually DID fall in? It is pretty amazing how Disney (and in this case, I really do mean Walt, since I believe he had a lot to do with the design of Tom Sawyer Island) knew what would appeal to kids and adults alike.

Nanook, I figured that was probably the case. Still, it seems weird to imagine Archie Bunker on any of the classic Disney rides. Or wearing mouse ears! I guess WDW was just in the zeitgeist at that time, and it seemed like a good idea for Edith and Archie to go visit like everyone else wanted to.

TokyoMagic!, it makes sense that the Golden Girls went to WDW; didn’t they actually film that show on the Florida “MGM Studios” backlot? Funny that they were there but spent the entire time in their “hotel”.

Mike Cozart, oh yeah, I vaguely remember the episode where Edith is going through some stuff, and of course when she told Archie to “Stifle it!”, eliciting gales of laughter from the live studio audience. I finally got one of the WDW Preview Edition guides, after mistakenly buying a repro that D23 made. I hate that they lazily reproduced early Disney collectibles. It would require much too much creativity to actually make something unique. And yes, I have a few photos on which you can see the WDW Preview guide on the racks with the postcards. I hate to think that Tom Sawyer Island could be removed, but at this point, nothing would truly surprise me; nothing is sacred anymore, all because of that “Disneyland will never be completed” line. That gives them carte blanche to do anything they want! I can’t really comment on the Pirate’s Lair, since I never have bothered to go see it since it replaced the classic TSI.

JG, I agree that the Pooh and Splash Mountain rides can loosely fall into the “critter” category, but at least Splash Mountain was a great ride. I am fearful of what it will turn into when they add the “Princess and the Frog” overlay. A mountain in the swamps of Louisiana? I assume that Dr. Facilier will factor in for the scary parts, which does appeal to me. We need more “scary” at the parks, I say!


Yeah that WDW preview guide was reproduced by D23. It was really sad.... D23 cones up with terrible merchandise for anniversaries. For the WDW merchandise line they couldn’t cone up with anything that wasn’t a direct copy or art lifted from the WDW lunchbox!?? All that artwork and design development and they make reproductions lifted from a tacky lunch box?? The theme was the WDW preview center for their convention ..... so they talked about doing direct reproductions of the WDW pre opening concept art cards - (WHY!!??) I suggested do images that were NOT ever featured - I showed them that collectors were always curious to the odd numbering system to those postcards ...there were giant gaps and skips ( it was thought maybe they had planned to add other postcards - but that many??) I showed them that the missing card numbers were used for the concept art images on 4 different packs of souvenir color slides sold at the preview center . I suggested releasing some “lost WDW preview center postcards using THOSE other concept art images . Another suggestion I had was to release a TOMORROWLAND bonus postcard folder that never had been for Florida ...... they were excited at first but - I think it was too much work for them ....

Another proposal was for two sets of miniature attraction posters - both sets equaled all 20 of the 1971 opening year attraction posters.

Ok well good luck with those lunch box patches .........

Nanook said...

I don't know if you're kidding, but The Golden Girls was shot at the Ren-Mar Studios, on Cahuenga Blvd., in Hollywood. And just because... it was the first DesiLu Studios, where most of the I Love Lucy episodes were filmed. The GG's house exterior was located at 245 N. Saltair Ave., a stones-throw from where I spent a great deal of time growing up. (Sorry, Major - you still can't escape I Love Lucy-!!)

TokyoMagic! said...

Nanook beat me to it with the Ren-Mar Studios info. I went and saw The Golden Girls filmed/taped live there, multiple times. They actually moved there after the first two or three seasons. Prior to that, they were over at the Sunset-Gower Studios. In addition to the "I.L.L." connection, Ren-Mar studios was also used in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, as "Maroon Studios."

And there was a recreation of both the "Golden Girls" and "Empty Nest" houses, at the MGM/Disney Studios, as a part of their "residential street" on the tram tour. However, as Nanook stated, the original house used for the exterior shots on the show, was in Los Angeles (Brentwood?)

Nanook said...

@ TM!-
Thank god your research was better than mine. I thought I was going nuts, as I saw a Golden Girls taping from Season 2, and could'a sworn I was at the Sunset-Gower (old Columbia) studios. And obviously I was. Whew-!

And yes, the GG"s house exterior was in Brentwood.