Monday, June 14, 2021

Mark Twain, July 1978

It's time for more photos from the Mysterious Benefactor! I'm trying to figure out the best way to present so many Mark Twain photos - there are a lot of them! Not that I'm complaining. It's just... a lot. 

Well, well, well; it's none other than Captain Mike himself! You might remember him from past posts, such as THIS ONE, or maybe THIS ONE. He was a real fixture on the Frontierland rivercraft, and you can tell that he loved his job - and loved to have his photo taken.  

Now that the Mark Twain has come in for a landing, Captain Mike seems to be making some mysterious hand signals, which could only be understood by the men and women who worked the docks. But I know the secret! He's saying, "The angry goose carries many hammers". Captain Mike is wise.

Every day Captain Mike has to tell passengers to walk to the lower exit, and NOT to jump from the upper decks as a shortcut. But what if you know how to tuck and roll? These safety regulations take all the fun out of everything.

After being penned up for an additional two hours (they were being tested for dandruff), the passengers are finally released back into the wild. Captain Mike has everyone's personal records (going back to grade school) on his clipboard, and if anybody misbehaves while disembarking, he will make them get right back on board. One of Frontierland's "hard facts".

THANK YOU, Mysterious Benefactor!


TokyoMagic! said...

I wish I had a lemon yellow jumpsuit, like that lady who is waiting to board the Mark Twain. Not that I would wear it....I just wish I had one.

Nanook said...

Man - that dock is 'longer than three football fields-! It just goes on and on and on... I can see Captain Mike is very serious - he even has a clipboard. (I wonder just how many embarrassing personal *facts* are on that clipboard-??)

Thanks to the M B.

K. Martinez said...

I enjoy all these Mark Twain images. Mysterious Benefactor sure took a lot of great pics of Frontierland. Photos not just of attractions but shops and restaurants in Frontierland as well.

I like to try and figure out who's moved position or moved an arm or leg or turned around in a different direction with the last three pics. You can see the movement of the elderly woman in red as she heads for the exit and steps off the boat.

Thanks to M.B. and Major.

Omnispace said...

No doubt in my mind that Captain Mike was the inspiration for Gavin MacLeod's famous role of Merrill Stubing on The Love Boat. Did passengers of the Mark Twain disembark with their relationship hang-ups resolved under Captain Mike's guidance? It might explain the clipboard. I think we just walked-off.

Mysterious Benefactor faithfully captures the marvelous styles of the mid-1970's. In the first photo there's a Bicentennial visor, and Björn Ulvaeus' American cousin is there waiting with is family. "Peace" to you kid!

Andrew said...

Based on the first picture, Captain Mike lives dangerously, with one leg over the chain barrier all the way around the river! Thanks, M.B.

I have to mention that TokyoMagic! posted an article about Captain Mike as part of his latest post.

TokyoMagic! said...

Andrew, awwww....thank you for the shout-out! After going back to recheck the first photo, to see Captain Mike "living dangerously," I noticed something that I didn't see before. The kid near Captain Mike (in the red, white, and blue shirt) is giving us his best Richard Nixon impersonation.

TokyoMagic! said...

Ooops, I didn't see that Omnispace had already noticed that kid! Maybe his two "V" symbols are actually just a broken "W"......for Waterloo.

DrGoat said...

Great pics. Love the expanse of wood dock captured there.
I think Mike is also flipping the peace sign. That or he's signalling for more coffee.
Also like the 2 parallel metal tracks down the center of the walkway. Anyone know what the purpose of those would be?
Andrew, on a side note, I know you are a theme park guy....saw this the other day.
It was 109 degrees yesterday and will be all week. Literally broiling yourself if you stay out in the sun for more than a minute.
Thanks Major.

DrGoat said...

Forgot to thank you MB. Pretty wonderful photos.

Steve DeGaetano said...

That second photo seems to have been taken from pretty high up!

Melissa said...

Captain Mike can turn the world on with his smile!

Love the little boy with the big grin flashing double peace signs in #1. But all the vintage people seem so happy today. All the vintage people, where do they all come from? All the vintage people, where do they belong?

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, we all need jumpsuits of every color, and also a silver lamé version for formal occasions.

Nanook, ha ha, Captain Mike has notes such as “gum chewing”, “excessive laughter”, “horseplay”, that sort of thing. It’s ALL going on your permanent record.

K. Martinez, I can see that I probably should have switched photos 3 and 4 to be accurate as far as order goes, but I didn’t think anybody would be paying that much attention!

Omnispace, little known fact: Captain Mike did originally wear a pair of shorts just like Captain Stubing. Very authentic to the “old west”! RIP Gavin MacLeod. So funny you mentioned Björn Ulvaeus, since I was just reading about ABBA. What are the odds?

Andrew, nobody can contain the wildness of Captain Mike! He once jumped a mule over the Mark Twain. I saw TokyoMagic’s tribute to Captain Mike, and am happy to give him a plug here.

TokyoMagic!, I’m afraid I’m going to have to charge you my standard “shout out” fee of $50. Plus a $5 “restocking fee”. And reading ahead, I see that you noticed that Omnispace was already on the same brainwaves as the kid with the twin “Vs”!

DrGoat, I do wonder what Captain Mike could have been saying (apparently to those two people). Maybe “Wait two minutes!”? And gosh, how could I have not noticed those metal tracks? In fact, I have never ever noticed them. What’s the deal?? Oh man, I’m sorry about your 109 degree temps. We are supposed to have a heat wave shortly, but even then it won’t be THAT bad. Now you have a good excuse to go buy cherry Slurpies!

Steve DeGaetano, I assume that the photographer was standing on that ramp that loaded guests onto the deck of the Columbia, since it seems to be about the right height.

Melissa, that kid probably went into showbiz. He loves the camera! Those vintage people belong right here on GDB!

Anonymous said...

Dr. Goat, the rails in the dock are for the stairway to the Columbia. The photographer is standing on those stairs to take these shot.

The stairway is rolled over from the storage location for embarking/disembarking the Columbia.


Anonymous said...

That's 'take two trips for lunch' signal. KS

"Lou and Sue" said...

How cool is that?!!
MB captured the hand signal, and we have KS to interpret!

Bu said...

Something more is going on in these pictures. At the end of the dock, nicely dressed red hair lady with purse and Disneyland employee with name tag on tie seem to be very engaged with what is going on with Capt. Mike. They are also standing in an area that would be verboten during docking time- and Mike is signaling them in pic #2 with a "two" signal...I don't think he is communicating "Peace", but you never know. Something is going on in the wheelhouse...too many people looking up- including the dock workers...I'm trying to figure out who those two people in the distance's tough in those days since all the guys had the short haircut and wore those kinds of slacks, shirts and ties. Red hair is a Dody Goodman type, but not Dody Goodman...both super familiar...but I dunno...

Melissa said...

All’s I know is, that kid is not a crook.

Kathy! said...

Nice pictures, MB and Major. Nixon-Boy’s brother seems to want to jump over that chain too, like his idol Cap’n Mike. Like K. Martinez, I like seeing the slight differences in the passengers’ positions between photos. The woman in pink with her glasses on a chain around her neck seems very concerned about the ship bumping or scraping the dock. I like the couple in the floppy green hats in the last photo, I bet the hats were that washcloth material!

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, I never knew that the stairway rolled!

KS, “two trips”… is that about a half-hour? Thanks!

Lou and Sue, I know, I would have never guessed.

Bu, you bring up some interesting questions - none of which I have the answers for! I might have guessed that the red-haired lady and her friend were waiting for somebody to disembark, but that doesn’t entirely make sense. Or maybe they were going to be allowed to board first so that they could go up to the wheelhouse. I could see that explaining why Captain Mike seems to be calling up in that direction. We’ll never know for sure!

Melissa, but he IS tricky.

Kathy!, it does seem like mom has a firm grasp on her two boys in case they get any funny ideas about moving forward before it’s safe! Those floppy green hats aren’t very good looking, but I guess the important thing is that they protect their noggins!

Anonymous said...

Major, I don't know that from experience, but I have looked at a lot of pictures, and the boarding stair for the Columbia is always at the far left of the dock (from the ship perspective) when the MT is docked. It makes sense that the rails are to ensure the stair is always correctly aligned to the Columbia, and easy to roll.

Maybe one of our resident CM's can chime in.

Looking at Google Aerial today, the MT is at the dock, but the stair is deployed at the south end of the dock (right side from the ship perspective). The rails are clearly visible in the satellite photo. Oddly enough, in the older satellite photos (now removed), the Columbia was at the dock and the MT was nowhere to be seen, not even in Fowler's Harbor. The new aerial now shows the completed Wookie World, and both ships are shown, the Columbia in Fowler's and MT at the dock.


Chuck said...

Melissa, you're thinking of Mary Richards. It was Murray Slaughter who went on to become Captain Stubing.

Everybody else has already answered any question I could have answered. Which is cool - time for bon-bons and cartoons!

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, I’m sure you are right - I guess in my mind the Columbia could be moved forward or backward using the (hidden) propellers, but it makes sense that they would need to move the steps (or gangplank, whatever it is!). Mostly it’s something I didn’t really consider. Regarding that satellite photo, I wonder if they somehow removed the Mark Twain from the park for a while??

Chuck, I thought that Murray Slaughter could turn the world on with his smile too? I mean, anything is possible.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Right after the last shot, Captain Mike spun around and flung his hat up in the air...

Anonymous said...

Major, since Google assembles the aerials by stitching together photos from different times and maybe even sources, I figured that the loss of MT from the aerial was because they used photos with the ship on the opposite sides of the river, and it just worked out that neither of the two pieces that were used had it shown.

It's all fixed now, and the aerial shows MT at the dock, Columbia in the harbor and all the Wookie World buildings finished, or apparently so.