Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Scenes at Dusk, November 1970

In general, my attempts to take photos at any time other than on a bright sunny day usually resulted in murky, dark photos that were fit for nothing but the trash can. Today's photos are dark, but they have a certain something that makes them still worthwhile.

The Haunted Mansion is looking appropriately gloomy, somehow refusing to reflect all but the bare minimum of light. Even the magnolia tree looks almost black. Look, there's almost no line, how can anybody resist? I love that we get a pretty good look at the sailing ship weathervane, which should be in my collection.

For some reason, lots of people leave Disneyland when it starts to get dark. I don't understand it, but it's true. I love seeing Main Street in blue shadows, with familiar signs blazing brightly. The Penny Arcade! The China Closet! Hallmark cards! The Coca-Cola Refreshment Corner! If ya gotta leave, this a pretty sight to end one's day on.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

More Stuff From the Box!

It's time for another selection of STUFF FROM THE BOX! All the kids are digging it.

Let's start with this impressive Lone Ranger "saddle" ring - a Cheerios premium from 1951. The Lone Ranger was fancy and liked tooled leather.

The brass seat of the saddle slides away. Normally that window would just have a blank glow-in-the-dark rectangle (you'll see why in a minute), but someone has placed a photo of a serviceman in it, which is a really wonderful touch. I wonder if the kid that owned this ring carried a picture of his father around while he was serving in Korea? 

This next photo shows the small film strip (often lost) with four images of the Lone Ranger, his faithful friend Tonto, and of course his magnificent steed, Silver. Once you exposed the glow portion of the ring to light, you could feed this film strip through the ring and get a tiny slideshow.

Next are two tiny celluloid charms featuring a familiar mouse and duck. These are about an inch tall, and were made in Japan. Many rare and beautiful celluloid toys came from Japan, and cost a fortune today - celluloid was fragile, and incredibly flammable too. Fortunately these little charms are pretty easy to find and don't cost that much.

Here's an interesting artifact; it's a metal "blank" that would normally be stamped into a pinback button, but this one somehow survived in its unstamped, uncut form. Captain Marvel first appeared in "Whiz Comics #2" in 1940. Most of you know that Marvel Comics has its own Captain Marvel... what gives? During the time Captain Marvel was out of publication, Marvel Comics snapped up the trademark for the name “Captain Marvel.” So any books DC Comics published with their character now became titled “Shazam!”, though he was still called Captain Marvel up until 2012, when his name officially became Shazam. 

I found this image of a tin-litho Captain Marvel pin online. There's a celluloid pin as well (for those of you keeping track)!

Here's a fun plastic charm featuring the Warner Bros. cartoon character "Sniffles". Chuck Jones created Sniffles in 1939, though he was designed by artist Charles Thorson, who was well-known for his ability to draw cute characters when he worked on Disney's "Silly Symphonies". Jones' Sniffles cartoons are much more gentle and whimsical ("Disneyesque") when compared to his later, mature short films.

I'm sure many of you remember "Funny Face" powdered drink mix, from Pillsbury. It was introduced in 1964 and featured various flavors and characters, including "Rootin' Tootin' Raspberry", "Goofy Grape", "Freckle-face Strawberry", "Injun Orange", and "Chinese Cherry". The last two were offensive stereotypes (they really were pretty bad), so they were changed to "Jolly-Olly Orange" and "Choo Choo Cherry". I only have one character badge featuring Goofy Grape, but I'd love to find the others.

And finally, here's a 1938/39 Dick Tracy "Air Detective Wing Bracelet", a premium from Quaker Puffed Wheat or Puffed Rice. Just mail in five boxtops! I don't know how many girls were fans of the square-jawed Tracy, but there are a few other Dick Tracy premiums aimed at young females, so... perhaps more than I would imagine! This example is in very bright, crisp condition. It's considered somewhat scarce.

That's it for today! If all of these items were falling off a cliff, and you could only save one, which would it be?

Monday, June 28, 2021

Grumpy and Fans, August 1965

Here's a fun pair of photos featuring everbody's favorite misanthrope, Grumpy. What chance did he have, with a name like that? I blame society. Still, the Grumpster is making the best of things, and has trudged over to the Plaza right in front of the Castle to greet his fans. Lots of people are facing him, but most seem too overwhelmed by his celebrity to approach any closer. The little boy in the Madras shirt and black socks (he dresses just like the Old Man!) looks mighty amused.

I'm digging the 1965 fashions! 

The shadows are different in this photo, they seem much longer, but also point more southeast, so maybe it was actually earlier than the first photo? Anyway, Grumpy is still there. I have to hand it to him, he's a trouper. Is that a trace of a smile that I see?

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Two Snoozers

Sorry guys, it's "Snoozer Sunday", and these are some real lame-os from August, 1966. Sure, I could just not post them ever, but that's just not my style.

From the deck of the Mark Twain we look down on the shore of Tom Sawyer Island, incredibly lush and green. That guy on the rocks might be taking our picture while we're taking his. I don't see any people on Castle Rock, strangely - usually there is a traffic jam on the way up. The sails of the Columbia loom over almost everything except for Cascade Peak. 

Aaaaannnnd... it's a typical view of the African Veldt scene. Maybe it's atypical because it's not even a very good photo of it. One of the giraffe's has some leaves in its mouth, reminding me of the brontos in the Primeval World section of the Grand Canyon Diorama. To our left, the King of the Jungle is roaring obnoxiously over his sleeping zebra friend.

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Home Sweet Home

Back when I used to buy random boxes of old slides, I would sometimes happen upon photos from people's homes that I found appealing for one reason or another. Mostly because they evoked a particular era, I suppose. I saved some of those slides, and thought I'd share a few scans of them today.

First up is this very 1950s kitchen; it's strange to see ceramic tile on the walls of a kitchen, don't you think? The dark teal color is an interesting choice, but it does look good with the white/cream  cupboards and that red formica table. I hoped I could identify the illustration on the calendar to the right, and thought it might be a painting by Art Frahm, but I've had no luck (it looks like a man lost his hat on a windy day and a lucky hobo has picked it up?). 

I love this great picture of a smartly-dressed woman, proudly displaying those... um... well, what are those things anyway? Not lamps, I assume... are they audio speakers? Whatever they are, they are wonderful examples of mid-century design! Imagine what they might go for in an auction of mid-century modern artifacts.

When I was a kid, my mom loved to do arts and crafts with paper, and even had books on that particular art form. Somebody else apparently liked to work with colored construction paper, and made these six whimsical heads, starting with a tube shape, and adding hair, eyes, hats, noses, mouths, and... voila! Fine art, suitable for display. 

Friday, June 25, 2021

Parking Lot and Disneyland Hotel

I would be very happy to have lots more photos of the Disneyland Hotel; and I would also be very happy to have lots of photos taken from the Disneyland Hotel. Prepositions matter, people.

This first view (from August, 1975) was shot from high up in the venerable Sierra Tower, overlooking the vast parking lot. After a careful count, I can tell you that the lot had oodles of cars parked in it.

Looking past the lower buildings that were part of the Hotel complex we can see the Monorail along the edge of the park; it's fun to be able to discern landmarks inside Disneyland, but other than the Matterhorn and the backstage buildings of New Orleans Square and Frontierland, there's not much to see. It's funny though, over by the Howard Johnson's hotel (upper right quarter) we can see what looks like a church steeple, until I realized it is the Rocket Jets! Is that one of the castle spires just to the left of the Matterhorn?

In the distance (to our right) is the Crest Hotel, or maybe it had been renamed the Grand Hotel by this point (it's now the location of the Pumba parking lot). There is a rather huge number of campers/motor homes and buses in the lot! 

Next is a 1950s photo looking at the Disneyland Hotel - I thought it might be from Katella Avenue, but perhaps it was actually from West Street. But then, wouldn't the Monorail track be running parallel to the building? Help! It turns out that this slide is a vintage duplicate, and you can always tell because the colors get murky and the darks go very dark. Still, wouldn't you love to stay in that version of the Hotel?

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Thursday June 24

Today I have a nice selection of miscellaneous photos, courtesy of the Dream Team - Irene, Bruce, and James. I've shared over 200 photos from them, and there are still around 100 photos left to share! 

Here's an interesting rock formation (or is it coral?) where guests could meet Ariel, the Little Mermaid herself. You could buy a little bag of sardines to throw to her! Since "The Little Mermaid" was released in 1989, I presume that this photo was from sometime around that time. The "throne" in the doorway reminds me of an operculum - a sort of trap door that snails can use to close their shell to keep vampires away. Please use the word "operculum" five times in casual conversation today. 

Did the doorway rotate? How did Ariel (with her fins and stuff) wind up in that seat? TokyoMagic! had footage of Ariel when she appeared at a different location that was more of a stage. And we recently got to see a photo of our friend JG when he sat on that throne! (I originally wrote this post long before JG shared that photo).

Ah, Cascade Peak, how we miss ye. Forsooth! I think this photo was taken around 1995, which means that the peak would stand for another three years or so. Even without the yellow mine trains circling it, Cascade Peak looks great. You can't have too many waterfalls, if you ask me.

I am assuming that this quartet is "Billy Hill and the Hillbillies", performing somewhere near the Golden Horseshoe. I never saw this group live, but heard recordings on a few podcasts and actually thought they were really good.

And finally (for today), how about this impressive look up at the towering Saturn V rocket that was part of the Rocket Jets attraction? Very striking against that deep blue sky! Let's light this candle.

Many thanks as always to the Dream Team, and especially Irene who was kind enough to share these photos with me!

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Knott's Employees, June 1970

I have a small group of 35mm slides from Knott's Berry Farm, circa 1970. They're pretty fun, but among my favorites in the batch are photos of some of the employees (I doubt Knott's uses the term "cast member"), looking suitably 1970-ish.

This fellow looks pretty sharp in his striped coat and string tie. I swear I had teachers that looked like this (well, maybe not so stripey)! I wonder what he did at Knott's? I believe that the sign on that wooden structure behind him advertises the Bird Cage Theatre.

Now those are some impressive sideburns. Do they qualify as "mutton chops"? It's another striped fellow, next to what I think is the wagon that held the calliope, which was right near the Bird Cage Theatre as well, I'm pretty sure. So maybe he's trying to drum up customers for the next show.

Here's a serious-looking fellow over by the entrance to the "Gold Mine", where folks could pan for real gold. He's wearing a bandolier, so you know he's not messing around. I wonder if he was a security guard? 

And finally, here's a pair of performers, serenading passers-by. Who can tell where they were standing? I hope they were singing "Afternoon Delight" by the Starland Vocal Band. The man could have stepped out of "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid", but I really like the young woman's blonde bobbed hairdo. She probably spent lots of time at the beach!

Never fear, I have more Knott's Berry Farm photos for you!

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Alice and Friends, August 1966

I have two cute photos from the entrance to Disneyland; guests have just paid for their tickets (four or five dollars per person, if you can believe it), and walked through the turnstiles, to be greeted by Alice and the White Rabbit. These two little girls are surely thrilled to meet such big celebrities only moments into their visit! 

I hope Alice doesn't have a boyfriend, I'm going to ask her out as soon as those kids are out of earshot. Wouldn't it be great to hear some stories from her time at Disneyland?

Monday, June 21, 2021

The Magic Kingdom, December 1978

Let's take a trip to Florida! Walt Disney World, to be precise. 1978. 

This first one was kind of a mystery to me, I confess. I did not know of a riverboat named the "Empress Lilly" (the name is just visible on the sign at the stern), so I had to do a little research. Wikipedia says: The structure originally known as the Empress Lilly is a static full-size replica of a paddle steamer riverboat on Village Lake. It is 220 feet long and 62 feet wide. Though it resembles a paddle steamer boat, it is actually a boat-shaped building on a submerged concrete foundation.

It opened on May 1, 1977 (thanks for the correction, TokyoMagic!), when it was christened by Walt Disney's widow, Lillian Disney, for whom it was named. It originally housed four separate entertainment and dining areas.

The Empress Lilly closed in 1995, and has undergone several major overhauls, and is now a restaurant called "Paddlefish". 

Here's a familiar view looking north on Main Street. I wonder why that enormous crane is looming over Cinderella Castle? If anybody has an idea, please chime in. Many guests near us are facing to the right, leading me to believe that one or more Disney characters are just out of frame. 

Next is this photo of the massive Haunted Mansion. I might ordinarily assume that the doorway in this photo is the front door, but my understanding is that guest do not enter there - or exit from there, for that matter. At first I thought I could see a light fixture inside the darkened doorway, but realized that it is just a few yellow leaves. 

Next is this nice photo of some lovely totem poles - old friends that used to be on display at the Indian Village at Disneyland until that closed in 1971. 

Some of you may be familiar with this wonderful backstage photo that appeared in a 1963 issue of "National Geographic". Match some of the totems from the previous photo to the picture below!

And this last one might be my favorite, a beautiful look along the Rivers of America, with a single raft (only two people on board??) to Tom Sawyer Island. All of the trees make for a lovely scene, and of course the Spooky mansion peeks up in the distance. I'm not sure what the structure is in the foreground, does anybody know?

I hope you've enjoyed your visit to Walt Disney World!

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Sunset, 1980s

I just scanned a group of slides from sometime in the 1980s (I believe) - no date stamp or anything else to really indicate when they were taken. And none of them were the kind of thing that got my heart beating faster. But a lot of them were taken as the sun set, giving shots of the Rocket Jets a nice pink sunset feel.

But there were also these two photos! I almost rejected them, since they are mostly black silhouettes, but ultimately decided to share them because they are unlike anything else I've posted. The only things really recognizable are the Rocket Jets and the Skyway. The red sky is interesting, but kind of ominous too.

Other than the masts and flags on the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship, there's not much else to glean from this second photo.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Walt Disney's Airplane

Last year I shared some photos that I'd found, pictures of some of Walt Disney's animators and Imagineers at the 1964 New York World's Fair. See some of those photos HERE and HERE. Mixed in with those photos were a number of pictures of Walt Disney's private airplane, a Grumman G-159 Gulfstream 1. 

There it is on the tarmac at the "PAC (Pacific Airmotive Corporation) Terminal" (part of the Lockheed Terminal) at the Burbank airport.

And some of the Disney artists and (presumably) a few wives pose by the starboard wing. The man in the gray coat is Disney Legend Ken Anderson. I've never been able to figure out who the man in the white shirt is, though he shows up in a number of photos from this batch.

There's Blaine Gibson, with his camera hanging around his neck. I wish we could see his photos!

Looking around online, I found this nice photo of Walt and Lillian with their grandchildren, with Walt's plane parked in nearly the same spot as in my photos - but it is clearly a different plane! ALERT THE MEDIA.

And here's another nice photo (or frame grab from film?), I wish I knew the occasion. Walt looks about as happy as can be. Does anybody recognize the gentleman to our right (Walt's left)?

Here's a publicity photo with a large group of mostly younger employees. I believe that the woman looking to our right is 1966 Disneyland Ambassador Connie Swanson. Snow White is there too, along with a mysterious man with an accordion, required on all flights.

One website mentioned that the plane, nicknamed "The Mouse", ...became the highest utilization Gulfstream in worldwide corporate service, due to continuous flights carrying Disney Executives weekly to New York and Florida in 1964-1965, for World’s Fair and Walt Disney World.

Notice the man next to Connie...

I thought he looked familiar, and sure enough, he was a glamorous model for one of the cast member costumes (the mail room, in this case) that Huck Caton shared with us years ago! "Just try to look natural". "How's this??".  I wonder if he moved up the corporate ladder into a position of some importance?

He reminds me of the tall elf from "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"!

Next are two photos taken as the Imagineers prepared to leave New York, back to sunny SoCal. I would guess that this is La Guardia airfield, since that is fairly close to the old Fairgrounds. 

There's Ken Anderson again, accompanied by Les Clark, one of the Nine Old Men who'd worked for Walt since 1927, starting on the "Alice" comedies (pre-Mickey Mouse, and even pre-Oswald the Lucky Rabbit).

This photo was part of the batch, and I just included it in case one of you found it interesting!

Walt Disney's airplane was worthy of its own postcards:

I hope you have enjoyed this post about Walt's airplane!