Friday, July 30, 2021

Two Randos

I just learned that GDB friend Nanook will be retiring today, and I want to wish him all the best! Now he can relax, or go on adventures, read good books, enjoy good food, watch classic movies... sounds pretty sweet! Happy retirement day, Nanook!

I'll be sharing two scans today - snatched from their warm, cozy folder, dusted off, polished, and made ready to present to you.

This first one is dated "June, 1965", and is a nice view of a group of beautiful totem poles, contained in a corral to keep them from wandering off during the night. And possibly also to keep people from scratching their initials in them, as they like to do. I believe that these totem poles were added in 1962; before that, the Indian Village had mainly been a tribute to the Native Americans of the Great Plains and the Southwest. I've always been dazzled by the artistry of the carvings of the Indians of the Northwest peoples. Were these totem poles created by studio artists using accurate references? Or did they find actual native artisans to help? The answer might be gone after so many years.

This next one is from September, 1967, and features a group of kids excited to meet Mickey Mouse on the northeastern part of Town Square (there's the yellow Hills Bros. Coffee House behind them). A note on the slide mount tells us that the little girls in their matching hats are named Ann and Jill (they are also holding plastic Domino masks which must have come with the hats). Some of those boys are looking pretty rambunctious, and Mr. Yellow Shirt thinks he is posing, while the tall girl didn't get the memo. She looks like she could have walked right out of the Great Depression with that sack dress. I can't quite make out the design on the paper bags; they might be generic bags from a souvenir stand near the entrance.



Congratulations Nanook! Any plans??

Major : I’m pretty sure that the totem poles had some authentic reference material behind their creation ....but like the Tiki Gods ...they have been designed more on what “arm chair travelers would expect” to see. I used to have a grouping of 1950’s sign shop artwork and painters guides for the Indian War Canoes . There were elevations on how to paint the canoes to look like bark ....and what graphics went where ....other panels featured larger versions of the Indian motifs to adorn each canoe and what size and color they should be. In the grouping was a Manila envelope with magazine cutouts from unknown sources ( National Geographic? Arizona Highways??) but the magazine clippings were of various Indian designs obviously the inspiration for the designs on the canoes!!

About a decade ago the Fiberglas totem poles featured in the Canada Pavilion at Epcot Center were removed and replaced with actual carved totem poles by Native Canadian Indians .... guests got to watch the authentic wood totems being carved prior to their installation in the “land” the previous Fiberglas Epcot totems were a mixed composite groupings from several tribes and did not tell any tribal stories .

If you look at groupings of the Disneyland Fiberglas totems ( same as the WDW frontierland and Fort Wilderness ones)you can see they were modular in design and feature repeated “carvings” in different locations painted differently to imply complete unique carvings.


Oh my point regarding the Disneyland Fiberglas totems : because they featured repeating “character” sections , I suspect like the early Epcot totems , that they did not really tell any tribal story and were probably arranged for style and look.

K. Martinez said...

Congrats on your retirement, Nanook. Now you can catch up on your backlog of books and movies. Anyway, glad you made it and can now relax enjoy your time which you will have plenty of.

Love the totem pic. I've always assumed that the Disney parks design, while influenced by art, crafts and buildings from different cultures and eras, were not so much authentic, but stylized interpretations to heighten the fantasy of Disneyland. Even in Frontierland and Adventureland it's based on idealized fantasies of what we think those places and times were like and not based on reality. Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

That first one is a beauty, with the bright colors of the totem poles and the Mark Twain captured in the frame.

Is that a Mad Hatter Shop decal on top of those girls' hats? Or were there other DL hat decals?

Congrats on your retirement, Nanook!!!

TokyoMagic! said...

Hey, what happened to Mickey's trademark shoes? The ones he's wearing look like they could have come from Lost and Found.....after they were fished out of the Rivers of America.

Chuck said...

Congratulations, Nanook! May you enjoy some well-earned relaxation time!

Love both of these. The totem poles reminded me that my Marx Fort Apache set (a Sears catalog Christmas present from I think 1973), which featured a wooden stockade and a teepee, also included a totem pole. The Indian figures (as we called them then) are sort of a mishmash of tribes, seemingly based on 19th Century paintings and Hollywood legend. It was many years before I understood that the elements in my possession didn’t quite go together.

Mickey’s human feet will haunt my nightmares. Everyone knows real mice wear giant, black shoes bought from Bozo’s supply company.

Stu29573 said...

Congratulations, Nanook! I have just under 17 months myself! It's a weird feeling...
As a kid, I had no idea what tribes had what. I just figured they all had totem poles, feathered headdresses, and teepees. I think a lot of kids did. However, my grandmother was Cherokee, so as I got older I looked into that tribe and found stickball poles, turbans, and summer and winter houses made of wood and clay. How dissapointing!
However, I got over it, lol!

"Lou and Sue" said...

Congratulations, Nanook! You'll have a LOT more time for GDB, now! We all win! And, if Major's computer ever goes down, maybe you can fill in for him. ;-)

Nanook, where should we all meet you tonight, to celebrate?

Stefano said...

Best wishes to you, Nanook--- I've heard from some that retirement can be the Happiest Place in Life.

The totem in the center of the group looks like a giant Dippy or Drinking Bird, craning down for a sip and essential on any swinger's bar.

And on that subject, Mickey looks like he's tossed back a few.

zach said...

Congrats, Nanook! I'm in month 22 but who's counting besides me and Stu29573. And, from experience, Nanook, you may not have as much free time as you think!

I think, with no disrespect, Yellow Shirt boy is auditioning for a roll as Goofy.

We learned a lot about Totem Poles in Ketchikan Alaska. The most interesting thing I learned is they were rarely fully painted.

Thanks, Major.


Grant said...

Happy retirement Nanook!! I'm eight years retired next month. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

Cool pix. Especially Mickey with his non-costume shoes. Was there a reason for it or was he just being a rebel. You know how mice can be. :)

JG said...

Nanook, congratulations! Now you will have seven days-off weekly. Do continue to spend some with us here at GDB.

My wife speaks highly of retirement, but I must continue a bit longer. I have my target date set, but I’m a little wistful still for work, I know that sounds odd.

I agree, photo one is very nice indeed. Doesn’t surprise me that the Disney totem poles were show pieces. In a way, that’s ok for the type of exhibit, not to single out the tale of any one tribe. Like Zach, I agree Ketchikan is the place to go for authentic poles. Disneyland doesn’t have precisely authentic anything anywhere, and that’s part of the fun.

Seeing the youngster with the red shirt is like looking in a mirror, I must have looked much like that in 1967. Kids having fun, a classic Disney pic. Mickey was hungover, slept late, and those shoes were all he could find at Minnie’s place.

Thank you Major!


Nanook said...

Dear all-
I thought my retirement day would start-off rather uneventfully, but what a shock to discover Mickey (as Stefano surmised) probably tied-on a few too many, and went shoe shopping at Gallenkamp rather than swinging-by Wardrobe to grab a pair of his 'trademark' shoes-! Poor Mickey.

(I wonder if the towhead gals are twins-??) Other than the gal in the 'sack dress', the other five appear to be related.

@ Sue-
"Nanook, where should we all meet you tonight, to celebrate?" Well, since today's weather in the Puget Sound area is supposed to hit 90°, I would suggest some place with air conditioning-! (or on the water...)

Thanks all, for the good wishes on my retirement. I suppose it is some sort of an achievement warranted of respect-? or something akin to it.

Thanks, Major. (And thanks too, to Sue for allowing me to spill the beans).

DrGoat said...

My sincere congratulations on a career well done. I'm actually about 5 years past my so-called retirement from work. But here I am. I do love the job and have no desire to retire yet. Plus the income is too good to let go of yet. Wasn't smart enough to pick a career with a pension plan, but we are doing fairly well with other stuff including SS.
Glad that you got to retire on your terms. May you have many years of doing what you desire, and other stuff too.
Love the shoe thing. You've got an eye for detail.
PS My plan for post retirement is nebulous. I've always wanted to put together a 3 foot long accurate model of the Ironclad Monitor. With a least 750 pieces and lots of tedious painting.
Sue, Is that your evil, half step sister staring into the camera in that last pic?

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Nanook. You can celebrate by going to...wait for it...Disneyland!! For me I have fought retirement to some degree. While 'retired' by my company at 67, them more than me, I was shortly asked to stay aboard in a support capacity...sound familiar? And so I have, working remotely for 4 years now. When it finally gets in my way...I'll hang it up. And oh yes, I am usually so darn busy I wonder how I handled a full time job for all those years. Buckle up! KS

Irene said...

Congrats on retirement Nanook! Best thing I ever did was retire! Spent a lot of time at Disneyland until I let my Pass go about 5 years ago. Traveled the local area a lot and took classes for seniors about movies! My friend who retired 10 years before me hit the ground running and she discovered all the fun things to do that included free meals for seniors - haha. Much of that has come to a halt due to covid restrictions and my health, but at least I still have Knott's :) I'm still doing OK and really don't have much health wise to report - which is a good thing.

Major Pepperidge said...

Hi everybody! I am so sorry that I can’t respond to comments every day like normal! Once again I am at my mom’s today, so I can check in now and then. I am VERY appreciative of all of the comments, and I do read what everybody writes. I can’t wait until I get my new computer, and all this will be behind me. Meanwhile, it’s a good thing I had months of ready-to-publish posts in my queue!

Mike Cozart, I suspected pretty much what you said, about how the totem poles are based on real native examples, but idealized - like everything else in Disneyland. Wow, too bad you don’t have that artwork and guide for the Indian War Canoes! Long ago I posted a photo on my blog showing a Native American craftsman carving a totem pole in Disneyland’s Indian Village, but I have no idea if that one was ever displayed at the park when it was finished. I hope so. I wonder what they did with the fiberglass totems that were removed from the Canada Pavilion? THANKS for all the info.

Mike Cozart, yes that makes sense.

K. Martinez, he can take line dancing classes, learn macrame, and yodeling. Just more ideas! I remember that famous photo from the 1963 issue of National Geographic with the new freshly-painted totems backstage, and thought they were so neat. I looked at them for a long time soaking in the details. Just part of what makes Disneyland great.

TokyoMagic!, I do believe that the patch on top of the hats has the Mad Hatter shop logo.

TokyoMagic!, hey, YEAH! Where are Mickey’s giant, loaf-of-bread shoes??

Chuck, those Marx sets are so classic, and I am sure that the Fort Apache set must have been one of their biggest sellers. Cool that you had one! Disneyland at least made an attempt at some form of accuracy, I think that the Marx toy company really did rely on movies and TV for reference. At least Mickey isn’t wearing flip flops, am I right?

Stu29573, wow, neat that your grandma was Cherokee. Did you know her very well? Some people are not fortunate enough to have grandparents that live a long time. Cherokees wore turbans? I didn’t know!

Lou and Sue, thanks to you for the heads up about Nanook’s retirement! You are our Social Director, just like Julie on “The Love Boat”. I’ll bet Nanook wants to meet up at Applebee’s. Good times!

Major Pepperidge said...

Stefano, that one totem DOES sort of look like a Dippy Bird. I remember that one of those was part of the set in the original “Alien” movie, and I was thrilled. Mickey does look a little “off”!

Zach, 22 months, why you’ll be retired before you know it! Nobody wants TOO much free time, you don’t want to sit around bored. Busy is good, often. Maybe you’re right about Yellow Shirt Boy, he looks like he has been bonked on the head. I went to Ketchikan years ago, but it was part of a Princess cruise, and they give you such a brief amount of time in each port. I wasn’t very happy about it!

Grant, I know that the costumes often changed and evolved over the years, but it really is strange to see Mickey wearing “normal” shoes. Maybe his real shoes were being resoled?

JG, I think it is very understandable to want to keep working and stay busy. Work has its down sides, but it is also the way many people fill their day and accomplish goals. Of course people can pick new goals to accomplish when they’re retired! Learn to cook. Learn Latvian. Go skydiving. Three more ideas! It’s too bad Frontierland doesn’t have something like those totem poles anymore (as far as I know). Seattle has its share of Northwest Indian carving too, I found out a few years ago. Aw, now I’m picturing you as a little kid with a red shirt!

Nanook, thanks for all you do to help make this blog such a fun place! So many great comments, and just good friendship. Puget Sound is about as hot as L.A. today, what gives? I’m glad I visited in November, it was lovely and cold. And rainy on some days, I loved it.

DrGoat, hey, why retire if you don’t want to? Income is certainly nice, and feeling creative and “useful” (perhaps not the right word) is pretty great too. I hope you invested in Beanie Babies like I did, those things are sure to be worth a fortune. Any day now! You HAVE to build that model of the Monitor! And take photos along the way, and send them to GDB to share!!

KS, ha ha, I wonder if I would want to go to Disneyland? It’s just so different now. That’s not to say that I wouldn’t have fun. Based on some of the photos you’ve sent me, you are living a pretty sweet life, with your horses and the beautiful scenery!

Irene, thanks for the health update, like you said, no change is a good thing! I’m glad you are enjoying your retirement, it sounds like you are having lots of fun. Free meals can be a double-edged sword. If it doesn’t cost anything, but tastes lousy… who needs it!

Stu29573 said...

I knew my grandmother and grandfather very well. I actually lived with them for a few years in elementary school. Other than my grandfather jokingly calling her his "squaw" there wasn't a lot of Native American discussion. And, truth be told, the Cherokee were one of the "Five Civilized Tribes" which meant that after settlers moved in, they adopted their ways and lived and dressed like everyone else (which makes the Trail of Tears seem even more tragic somehow).
Anyway, I was named after my grandfather (John Roy Stewart) so we were close.

JG said...

Irene, thanks for the good news. Thinking of you.

Major, one of my retirement projects is to create scale drawings of the Mary Blair Tomorrowland murals. I have a big collection of reference photos, thanks to you and Daveland.


Melissa said...

A lot of those totem birds look like Sam the American Eagle. I'm hearing a chorus of deep voices telling me I'm a weirdo. Like I didn't already know.

We had SO many rickrack-trimmed gingham dresses. SO MANY.

Ann and Jill went up the hill
In matching cowgirl hats.
They'll prob'ly fall down and break the crowns,
The rotten little brats.

I think we're just catching Mickey early in the day before his feet get all swollen.

One Thousand Congratulations to Nanook!

Andrew said...

Happy retirement Nanook! Relax if that's what you like.

A local county park used to have a totem pole as did a local amusement park. Sadly they both disintegrated after so many years and were taken down. I like the bright colors on these ones.

Chuck said...

I got to work and there was a retirement party for a guy named Steve. What are the odds? I had a cupcake in your honor, Nanook.

Andrew, I’m sorry to hear your local amusement park disintegrated.

Melissa said...

Retirement: More pension, less tension.

Melissa said...

Two randos, both alike in dignity,
In fair Anaheim, where we lay our scene,
Where ancient poles break 'neath new scrutiny,
And Mickey's shoes are tiny and unclean.

Major Pepperidge said...

Stu29573, I’m glad to hear that you knew your grandmother and grandfather! I consider myself so lucky to have had three of my grandparents live until I was in my 40s. I have friends who barely remember their grandfolks. How did your grandma react to being called a “squaw”?? I was told early on that that word was a real “no no”. Neat that you were named after your grandpa!

JG, oh man, I need to send you a scan of a postcard that DrGoat just sent me! It should help with your scale drawings.

Melissa, ha ha, I’m like you, some folks think I’m a weirdo, but who cares? I remember my mom having spools of rickrack in her sewing chest, I guess she used to make clothes for my sister when she was little. Poor Mickey, suffering from the gout!

Andrew, too bad you don’t have photos (or do you?) of those totem poles. I’m sure pictures like that are rare, but if you had one… just think!

Chuck, if both of those Steves were in the same room at the same time, it would cause a disturbance in the very fabric of space and time. Or so I’d like to believe, anyway.

Melissa, that’s the theory!

Melissa, that is a pretty good poem, even though you didn’t mention daffodils once. I’ll allow it.

"Lou and Sue" said...

DrGoat, if that's my half step sister, then my dad has some explaining ('splaining') to do. ;o)

Also, DrGoat, if you plan to put ANYTHING together with 750 pieces, do it in a room separate from any kitties! Someone sent me a funny photo of a big (1,000 piece?) puzzle, with most of it on the floor, and kitty resting nearby. If I find it, I'll send it to you. The picture, not the kitty.

Irene, am so glad to hear you're doing OK!

JG, if you do create those Mary Blair scale drawings, please show us!

Fun post and comments today - thank you, Major and everyone! I needed the laughs!

Hey, Nanook, we're all waiting for you at the Puget Sound air-conditioned Applebees, by the water...where are you??

Melissa said...

" if both of those Steves were in the same room at the same time, it would cause a disturbance in the very fabric of space and time."

A Steve divided against itself cannot stand!

Nanook said...

@ Irene-
That's the kind of good news we like to hear-!

@ Chuck-
What are the odds-??!!

@ Sue-
Applebees-??!! Merciful heavens, no-! Chinook's at Salmon Bay, at the very least-!

Again - thanks everyone for the well wishes.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Nanook, rebook Chinook’s! We’ll see you there, tomorrow night!

DrGoat said...

I'll take the kitty too, Sue
We have plenty of experience with kitties that like to deconstruct things.
Major, I didn't collect Beanie Babies, but a friend of mine did. He passed away and left me a shopping bag full of unopened Beanie Babies. Interested?


Major is correct : the word “squaw” is a Indian word for the female sex organ and does NOT mean wife , partner or mother. The term was used by fur trappers in the late 1700’s and into the 19th Century

but again not in regards to a wife. I think that is another example of hollywood coining a word that was miss used.

Despite my blonde hair and blue eyes I have some. Cherokee ancestry as well on my dad’s side from the Carolinas. The Cherokee are a very Caucasian looking tribe and when British colonist began to document the Cherokee garb and look the people back in England thought the artists were showing the Cherokee clothing on “white” people .... in fact the artists were very much accurately showing the look of the Cherokee people.

If any of you have seen the series FORBIDDEN ARCHEOLOGY or FORBIDDEN HISTORY shows on Discovery Channel There has been serious discussion the Cherokee people are the Lost Tribes of Israel.

My Cherokee name is YONAH ( bear ) ironically the name of one of the locomotives involved in The Civil War Great Locomotive Chase!!