Thursday, June 03, 2021

Vintage Snapshots

I can't look at humble photo prints without thinking of the boxes and boxes of snapshots at my mom's house, going back 100 years or more (my grandmother was born in 1905, and we certainly have baby pictures of her). They're all mixed in with yellowing newspaper clippings, and random paper souvenirs.

Today's first photo print features that most dastardly of gamblers, Black Bart himself! Or is it "hisself"? Look at that cold look in his eyes - he'll shoot us dead if we don't show the proper respect. Behind him is the Miniature Horse Corral, where itty-bitty ponies were on display. 

The next two are in black and white (I needed to tell you this because otherwise you wouldn't have noticed), and feature the Autopia over in Tomorrowland. As usual I enjoy seeing the barely-landscaped hills, everything looks pretty scraggly. Of course there was no center rail at this point (1956, I believe).

And here's a second shot, a little blurry, but it's still fun to see Mom happily driving while the little boy wears his mouse ears with pride.


Nanook said...

Those two 'Grandmas" walking away from Black Bart definitely know how to dress when visiting Disneyland - from their sensible shoes to their [possible] babuskas. Undoubtedly, out of sight are the requisite oversized purses needed to house a typical day's needs - and then some. Classy.

Thanks, Major.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Major, Black Bart may be tough, but Grandma #1 is tougher - she's headin' for a bull fight, from what I see.

In the second photo (first b/w photo (thank you, Major), it looks like the photographer is possibly the Jolly Green Giant.

Fun pix, thanks, Major!

Chuck said...

While Black Bart looks right at home in a Hollywood version of the Old West, I can't help but wonder if the actor who played him had occasional troubles outside 1950s Disneyland with his log hair and beard. Maybe it wasn't an issue at all; I often wonder if the pop culture portrayal of the rigid conformity of American life in the era before the mid-to-late '60s "liberated" us isn't a bit exaggerated.

zach said...

It looks like Mr Baggypants is more concerned with the picture taker than with Black (I call him Black, we're that close). And it looks to me like Black needs to get his head on straight.

No center rail; that's for me! I've hit a curb or two in my day. How you get free from the crowd is my question.

These B&W photos remind me of my old photos which remain hidden to me. One of my siblings must have them (I hope).

Thanks Major P


Stefano said...

Black Bart bears a resemblance to the late Mark Hollis, of Talk Talk.

Disneyland must have stopped its Frontierland shootouts by the late '60s, after rising gun violence and the assassinations, but I recall the Knott's gunplay continuing through the '70s. I haven't been to Wookie World, but I wonder if it is something of an update of this kind of violent entertainment.

Irene said...

Knott's is still doing gunplay! It's up on the roofs of Ghost Town right now due to "precautions", but they're still firing off them pistols! Gotta love Knott's :)

PS - thanks for all your best wishes and prayers Jr. Gorilla's!!!

DrGoat said...

Wow. Oldies but goodies! I barely remember in the Park in the 50's, but I have vague memories of Dad driving the Autopia without the rail. Must have been our first trip. I'm sure he kept it right down the middle. Wasn't much of a risk taker with cars of any kind.
zach, the photographer must have been a glamourous gal.
Stefano, when you mentioned Talk Talk, the only thing that came to mind of a tune from the 60s. by the Music Machine. They all wore a black glove. They came to Tucson in the late 60s, when we were in high school.
Thanks for the trip down memory lane Major.
PS What year do you think the Black Bart pic happened? Late 50's?

Anonymous said...

These pics are so old, I wouldn't necessarily recognize them as Disneyland without the commentary.

Some of the poles in the structure behind Black Bart look like they were "upcycled" into the supports for the Shooting Gallery canopy later.

I love the picture of Mickey Ears Kid and his Mom, that's definitely Disney.

Yup, those ladies undoubtedly have giant bags hidden somewhere out of view. They could survive for days on the packets of saltine crackers, Luden's cough drops and saccharine that lined the bottom of those bags.


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, Grandmas gonna grandma! Nothing surprises them anymore, except for maybe long hair on men (like Black Bart). I’ll bet they have complete turkey dinners in their handbags.

Lou and Sue, Grandma #1 is heading for a bullfight, but she won’t be hurting those poor bulls; instead she will tend to their wounds and make them all better. I wonder if the Jolly Green Giant brought his kid (the Little Green Sprout) to the park that day?

Chuck, I have the feeling that actors received a bit of immunity when it came to the bias against long hair and beards. Everyone knows that actors are nuts! I’ve always felt a bit sad for Bart, since he wasn’t at the park for very long. I wonder what he did afterwards? Maybe he did hundreds of bit parts and background characters in the oodles of TV westerns that populated the airwaves.

zach, those baggy pants were straight from the fashion houses of Milan! The gentleman wanted to be sure that any photo of him displayed his physique in the most flattering manner. “I know I look GOOD”, he’d say, snapping his fingers three times. As for hitting a curb, how can you drive on the sidewalk without hitting the curb?? It’s not possible, I say. I am speaking for myself and for Sue, you need to find those black and white photos!

Stefano, whoa, “Talk Talk”, that’s sort of a deep cut, these days at least! I liked that band. I think you’re right about the gunfights at Disneyland, I can find nothing past the mid-1960s. To be honest, it surprises me that they had gunfights at all, except that it was pretty much expected in a western-themed amusement park. I think the only violence in Galaxy’s Edge is present in the rides, though the storm troopers like to hassle the guests.

Irene, I still remember having a heart attack on the Knott’s train when the armed robbers boarded (unknown to me) and fired their blanks about ten feet from me! I assume they still do that bit too. You know all the Junior Gorillas are routing for you!

DrGoat, I can’t remember if the photo of you and your Dad on the Autopia was pre-central rail or not. Your Dad probably respected the fact that these little cars were somebody else’s property, and he was trying to be responsible. Unlike the little monsters who did not care, and were happy to crash them into anything! Check out the Music Machine. I’ll never let my kids near those long-hairs! The “Talk Talk” that Stefano referred to was sort of a New Wave band, I liked their music though the videos didn’t age that well. I think that the Black Bart photo must have been pretty early, maybe 1956 or ’57. I don’t think he was there into the 1960s.

JG, your comment reminds me of some that I've seen on Facebook; somebody will share a photo of the Viewliner, or some other long-gone attraction, and inevitably somebody will reply, "This isn't Disneyland". Little do they know! Hmmm, you might be right about those lumpy wooden poles being repurposed for the shooting gallery, it would make sense. Funnily enough, I don't remember my grandma carrying candy in her purse. She liked chocolate (See's Candy especially) and that doesn't do well in a hot handbag.

"Lou and Sue" said...

My grandma always carried Chiclet gum in her purse. Us grandkids always bugged her for some - which she gladly gave us. She never carried the mini-Chiclets, but I loved those, too (fruit-flavored, if I remember correctly).

Nanook said...

Since the Miniature Horse Corral closed in July, 1957, that would date the Black Bart image from no later than that point in time. Somehow, it feels 'older' - as if from 1955 or 1956 - but simply a guess, which could easily be wrong.

DrGoat said...

Major, the photo you posted of me and Dad was a couple of years later. Definitely an older model than this post. Plus I was driving, so that was a year or 2 later.


Regarding gunfights at Disney theme parks . Walt Disney World performed scheduled gunfights in the Frontierland during the 1980’s . Disneyland featured some gun play in Frontierland in the late 1990’s with CHIP & DALE MEET AND GREET that started off with the two chasing down Black Bart Goofy . ( interestingly during the meet and greet part of the show the background music playing was the 70’s WDW Frontierland area music !)

In the 2000’s Disneyland featured a series of Golden Horseshoe “ front porch plays” performed in front of, Around , and on the balcony of The Golden Horseshoe Saloon ..... by the SOAPBOX PLAYERS - mostly Golden Horseshoe actors st one time. The majority off it was all comedy and the audience was pulled in for parts of the show ..however there was some gun play in several parts of the skits like when the town bank was robbed and it varied what character was the culprit. My favorite show was when the Frontierland mayor was trying to marry off his beautiful daughter and along with the sheriff, two male guest volunteers were blindfolded in a sort of “Frontierland Dating Game” ....the best part was when the Mayor’s beautiful daughter cane strolling down the wooden sidewalk that had the audience screaming with laughter ( and the blindfolded men very concerned) as the marriage desperate daughter was played by a not-so delicate man !

During the 1990’s Disneyland Paris also performed “attempted train hold-ups “ with gun fire and life actors along the Euro Disneyland Railroad. On the stretch of rail past the Grand Canyon Diorama Tunnel exit and before the abandoned covered wagon remains .... train robbers attempted to rob the trains . The trains actually slowed and came to a stop. These performances came to an end because guests in passengers cars slightly ahead or behind where the actors were standing would get out of the passenger coaches... This has also been a problem off and on with guests getting off trains if they had slowed so they could take photos of the MARK TWAIN or MOLLY BROWN riverboats!!!!

In 2007 Hong Kong Disneyland had a “Pirates Takeover “ of Adventureland. A way Disney marketing could promote the newest Pirates movies in the only Magic Kingdom Park without a Pirates of the Caribbean attraction .... the live pirates roamed around adventureland threaten guests to tell them where the treasure was or they would take their money from them!! They had no guns but wielded prop knives and clubs. Myself and friends agreed it was hilarious but also kinda uncomfortable at the same time. Ironically all of Adventureland featured written threats from Jack Sparrow including the Jungle Cruise and Treehouse.

Major Pepperidge said...

Lou and Sue, those mini-Chiclets were my favorite, but my mom always got mad at me because I would swallow them! There was something so satisfying about the firm candy shell and the squishy gum inside. I wish I had some now so that I could swallow them.

Nanook, thank you for the information! I guess I could have looked online, but you know how lazy I am. I agree, I do think that today's photo is from 1956, if not from 1955. As you said, it just feels older than 1957.

DrGoat, ah OK, I couldn't remember if you were driving or not. It always makes me laugh when I see a grownup and child in an Autopia vehicle, and the adult is driving. Hey, let the kid have some fun! That being said, maybe some less-confident children were happy to let the parents drive.

Major Pepperidge said...

Mike Cozart, I had no idea that WDW ever had gunfights! Amazing. I wonder why they bothered to make different background music for the two Frontierlands? Not that I am against the idea, but it just seems surprising that they would already have a perfectly suitable loop (probably about an hour long, I’m guessing) of music, but would make another one for the other park. I have a photo of the Soapbox Players performing in front of the Golden Horseshoe at Disneyland, though I had no idea who they were at the time. You probably told me! The photo shows the “beautiful daughter” that you mentioned! Wow, crazy that the guests at DLP would actually climb off the train to get a better look, and yet… not that surprising. I’ve seen plenty of videos at zoos where guests climb into the animal enclosures, out of sheer stupidity. Kind of a shame that they had to stop the gunfights at DLP just because of the unexpected crowd response. I didn’t know that Hong Kong does not have a Pirates of the Caribbean attraction - I wonder if there is a reason beyond lack of space or that they didn’t want to spend the money?? Are pirates considered to be “taboo” (kind of like movies about ghosts are not OK in China)? The idea of pirates threatening guests seems very “un-Disney”, but now they have storm troopers doing it in Galaxy’s Edge (though from what I’ve seen, it’s not that intimidating).


Well regarding the background music: Jack Wagoner would get paid twice if he created 2 different frontierland BGM tracks FRONTIERLAND BGM is one payment .... WDW FRONTIERLAND BGM and DL FRONTIERLAND BGM is TWO payments!!
Even most tracks that seem identical include some variants. But up front Disneyland never really had overall back ground track until 1992. Prior to that there was a Frontierland Stockade track ( a continuous banjo track titled OLD WEST SALOON) then Casa MEXICANA had its own BGM....big thunder had its BGM .... the mark twain landing had its own BGM.

Florida was spread out so it tended to have more overall area back ground music. In fact WDW’s Frontierland had three different General BGM tracks from 1973 to 1992 . It even had a separate BGM just for the small Frontierland entry bridge !! And that doesn’t include the BGM music for Tom Sawyer Island , Aunt Polly’s , Fort Sam Clemons, The Mile Long Bar, The Pecos Bill Cafe , Keel Boats , and the on board Riverboats.

1992 was a big change for area music at DL and WDW as much of the Jack Wagoner 70’s and 80’s arrange park music was replaced with newly recorded or arranged BGM created for Euro Disneyland .

Anonymous said...

@Mike Cozart, thanks for the music background!

I have a Frontierland loop track that was presented as being from DLP. I have no way of confirming, just that the person who shared it said that is where it came from. It's about an hour long and it's all traditional American tunes, no Disney themes that I can recognize, except maybe Davy Crockett (is that a traditional song or a Disney theme?).

I have two other Tomorrowland loops from DL, each about 40 min. long. and they sound exactly like the standard ones I hear at the Park, when they are not doing Seasons of the Force. These have themes from Carousel of Progress and other attractions as well as what sound to me to be original compositions, but all very pleasant. These are different enough that they could play continuously and not get old.

I also scooped a DL monorail narration track (in English and Spanish)which is fun to hear about once a year, because you tire of it quickly.

I think these were current when I got them, which was about 15 years ago. I suppose it should not be surprising that Disney would have a strong music game, but I am a little surprised that every area has to have background music. After all, it costs something to produce and broadcast, so does it help guests spend more money? Since that seems to be the goal now, maximize guest expenditure.



CORRECTION: Disneyland’s FRONTIERLAND never really had a overall BGM until 1992. I also forgot to mention Disneyland’s Thunder Ranch area music which was comprised of Tokyo Disneyland’s WESTERNLAND area BGM. Later that was mixed with Tokyo and Paris WESTERNLAND - FRONTIERLAND tracks .

Disney park area or BGM has always been a mix of needle drop music ( sourced from existing record albums some publicly available and some media licensed only music) and specifically Disney project recorded music.

1970’s Mile Long Bar , King Stephens Banquet Hall , Richard F. Irvine / Admiral Joe Fowler Riverboats , New Orleans Square are examples of Disney recording their own arrangements for BGM.

1970’s needle drop music used for BGM examples include Sunshine Pavilion - Tropical Serenade exterior , Main Street USA BGM, PeopleMover BGM, Adventureland Veranda , Frontierland BGM , Plaza Inn, Liberty Square , Caribbean Plaza area music .....

So if you were at WDW in the 70’s and 80’s strolling thru Frontierland and you thought you heard the MIGHTY DOG food commercial theme..... YOU DID!!

"Lou and Sue" said...

Mike, you are an amazing wealth of knowledge. Do you get your info from Disney in-house records, or books or where, may I ask?? There’s no way all of that info can be coming from memory?? Thank you for sharing! Love that Mighty Dog commercial trivia!

"Lou and Sue" said...

Mike, or do you just make up stuff, like Major??


From all the above. If it’s something I’m passionate about I can remember most of it. But have me memorize a paragraph in a physics book? Nada!

Getting older some of it is starting to fade however.

If I make something up here .... you will know in the tone or by the end of the post!l

Melissa said...

JG, there are probably two Grandpas babysitting the purses on a park bench somewhere.

Melissa said...

I’m sure all the Junior Gorillas are already familiar with the deep-dive posts over at the Passport to Dreams Old and New blog about the area music loops used at WDW over the years. I don’t remember off the top of my head any discussion about overlaps with the Disneyland versions, but I’m sure there were some.

Chuck said...

Melissa, you mean there are Disney blogs other than GDB??!!