Friday, May 13, 2022

Coke Corner, 1973

I'm going to be out of town for the next few days, but keep checking in, there's new stuff for you!

It's Friday the 13th, folks! Try to be extra-careful when crossing the street, and don't let any black cats cross your path. 

Today I have two more beautiful photos taken by Mr. X back in 1973. He was armed with his brand-new 35mm camera, and was ready to capture images of his favorite place. Oxnard ("The gateway to Camarillo")!  But first he had to take some pictures at Disneyland. 

X was a particular fan of the Coca Cola Refreshment Corner, or "Coke Corner" as the cool kids (i.e. yours truly) call it. Both of today's photos look like they could have easily been taken for a souvenir guidebook or ad campaign. Here's the side of the Coke Corner that faces out toward the Plaza, the place is abuzz with activity. ABUZZ, DO YOU HEAR? 

Here's another angle, equally great. I love observing the guests. Do you think the man with the sombrero was a guest? Count the number of souvenir hats in both photos! There's a girl with a Mickey t-shirt, how many just like it did you see back then? I had one. Above her head you can see the alternating red and white lightbulbs - most of you have probably seen the photo of the one lightbulb that is half white, half red. It has something to do with the Illuminati.


Nanook said...

I just like "Dad" luxuriating with his pipe, looking as if he owns the place. I certainly hope his 'smokes' didn't interfere with "The Pause that Refreshes"-!

Thanks, Major.

K. Martinez said...

Coke Corner was my favorite place to people watch. I always ordered the hot dog, chips and Coke combo and chose a table near the Plaza to sit and watch the world go by while eating. Inevitably some other single guest would ask if they could have a seat at the table and I'd say yes, and we'd usually end up engaging in some sort of conversation. Also, used to love it when they added cherry syrup to the Coke upon request.

Lots of great memories of the Coke Corner through the years. Thanks, Mr. X and Major too.

JB said...

Colorful, warm, friendly images of Main Street USA; so nice!

Things I noticed in pic #1: The guy-in-black sitting at the table on the left is smoking a pipe. Coca Cola should change its slogan to "Things go better with Coke and a smoke", or, "Have a Coke and a smoke".
The Mickey balloon has a defective ear. The Grinch should take it to his workshop for a repair job.
Long-skirted-Mom is either trying to keep Junior's cowboy hat on, or trying to remove it; not sure which.
On the right, I'm not sure if stripy-shirt kid is wearing a sailor's cap or if he's standing in front of a sailor wearing a sailor's cap.

Things I noticed in pic #2: What are those re and blue things at the feet of the guy on the left (with the pink hatband)? Didn't we see one of those in another photo a while back?
The guy to the left of sombrero-guy, do you suppose that's also a souvenir hat he's wearing? Or is he just being cool?

Major, I also had (still have) a Mickey Mouse t-shirt like that from 1975. Also a Donald Duck t-shirt. But I haven't worn either one for ~40 years.

I looked for the red/white light bulb before you mentioned it but I couldn't find it. Seems like it's on the right side of the marquee, where we can't see it from this angle.

Haha, I see Nanook thought of another Coca Cola slogan.

K. Martinez, two strangers sharing a table, enjoying some food and taking in the ambience= a perfect Disneyland experience.

Thanks to Mr. X for the colorful you-are-there photos, and to you Major, just because.

TokyoMagic! said...

I love today's post, Major. Two early 70s pics of Coke Corner.....perfect harmony. It's the REAL THING.

Melissa said...

Absolutely guidebook-worthy shots! And yeah, there's got to be come kind of souvenir hat record going on. I'd wear that floral maxi skirt from #1 today.

The Florida version of the Refreshment Corner is where I had my first Disney park meal. A plain old hot dog never tasted so good.

Melissa said...

Inevitably some other single guest would ask if they could have a seat at the table and I'd say yes, and we'd usually end up engaging in some sort of conversation.

That's one of the best parts of any Disney trip: striking up conversations with strangers you'd never meet otherwise. Sharing the day's pictures on the bus back to the hotel at night, sharing a table at a restaurant, comparing notes while waiting in line, admiring somebody's souvenir hat or t-shirt... it's pretty great.

Chuck said...

Coke Corner! Stopping here was part of Mrs. Chuck’s and my Disneyland ritual - we’d stop here on the way out just after midnight and buy a large Coke to spilt so we didn’t fall asleep on the hour drive home to San Bernardino. Great memories.

Always loved the design of the tables and chairs here. So…Coke Cornery.

Both pictures show trash cans in a paint job I don’t think I’ve ever noticed before. It appears to be custom-designed for Coke Corner.

JB, that’s actually a sailor hat wearing a souvenir striped-shirt kid.

Ken, some of the most interesting conversations I’ve ever had have been with people I met randomly. If I’ve learned anything from watching films released in 1951, I’ve discovered you can always depend on the kindness of strangers. Except on a train.

Chuck said...

Oh, good grief! “…buy a large Coke to split so we didn’t fall asleep…” Can’t blame that one on Autocorrect, either - that’s just a plain, old-fashioned tpyo.

Hmmm…maybe I’m supposed to proofread before publishing a comment…

Steve DeGaetano said...

I was 13 in 1980, sipping a coke at Coke Corner, watching the horse-drawn streetcar clip-clop by, when suddenly I was transported to spring, 1890, somewhere in the midwest.

That's when I "got it."

JG said...

Funny that I don’t recall ever visiting Coke Corner as a kid, other than to enter the west buildings to walk through on the way out. I vaguely recall the piano player.

When we took our nieces to the Park in 2008, we sat here for a few minutes and it was everything all of you say. Just a great spot for a cold drink and a nice view. I’m not much of a soda drinker, but once or twice a year when it’s hot and I’ve been working, that sugar rush can’t be beat.

Sombrero guy is a guest, he’s settling in with Mom and a little boy also wearing straw hats.

The boy in green in photo 1 (behind the trash) looks exactly like my son at that age.

Chuck, that trash can livery is a variant of the “x” design used in Frontierland and NOS, but I haven’t seen it in red before. Very appropriate for mr. X, I think.

JB, the split bulb is in the doorway around the corner off Main Street, not visible here. It can be seen in Street View if you know where to zoom in. The Illuminati hide things in plain sight.

Great photos, Major, thank you. Mr. X is an artist. Have good travels.


DrGoat said...

Coke Corner was indeed a stop for us too back then. Mom wasn't crazy about the Coke and hot dog, but anything goes on vacation and they had one too.
I think I had about 3 of those Mickey Mouse shirts, plus a few Davy Crockett ones in that time period. I would wear them out at home and get a new one on the next trip.
That sombrero is cool. He might have gotten it in the park or he is that cool person you speak of. The official hat of Arizona, or it should be.
I think that's a pirate hat that long skirted Mom is try to keep hold of. Long skirted Mom would fit right in in the park. Just pin a name tag on her and find the right venue.
Chuck, I think your explanation of the sailor hat wearing a souvenir striped-shirt kid is spot on. "I see a sheriff's badge with a drunk pinned on it". My favorite line from El Dorado, which, in my opinion, was a not a good remake of Rio Bravo.
I think those 2 things at the man's feet are beach bags or something similar.
Melissa, it is pretty great. In Italy we ran in to a lot of that. Long tables in restaurants and you sit next to someone you don't know and have a conversation etc. Things have sure changed, and not for the better.
Wonderful photos.
Thank you Mr.X and thanks to you Major. Another jump right in set of pics.

Kathy! said...

I wasn’t feeling well and missed yesterday’s anniversary; happy Sweet 16 Major! Thanks for the fun blog and awesome space you’ve given us to visit! In the first pic, I wonder what the tattoo on Camera Pinky Ring Dad is; they would be rare then, so military perhaps? The dreaded ear-deflating syndrome affects another Mickey balloon! I mentioned it once, but I bought a chair exactly like these at an estate sale and the person said they had come from Coke Corner (they had a set of 4 but let me get just 1). I chose to believe them and happily enjoy my chair imagining piano music. Thanks, Mr. X and Major!

Stu29573 said...

Although I don't really remember Coke Corner, I sure remember the WDW version, Casey's Corner. I stopped and listened to the piano player several times. However, I've never gotten a Coke nor a hotdog there. I'm not really a big hotdog eater (or any size, really) so I always opted for a burger or something. Actually, the only way I like hotdogs is grilled, and slightly burned, which is probably even less healthy. Anyway, it IS a very nice place. Thanks to Mr. X for some nice memories (if not the same park).

Melissa said...

There’s a big sign in the outdoor dining area at Casey’s Corner that says, “Please do not feed the birds.” I always joke that the fine should be tuppence a bag.

JB said...

Sitting down at a quaint little table, having a meal, and watching the world go by. "The pause that refreshes". I'm sure there must be other Coke slogans, but they're probably not memorable or recognizable.

Melissa, clever! (My favorite Mary Poppins song.)

Melissa said...

JB, when my cat washes his face with his front paws, I call it "The paws that refreshes."

"Lou and Sue" said...

First off, I have two black cats and they are wonderful. Definitely good luck! Maybe the one cancels out the other's bad luck??

Kathy, I'm glad you're feeling better!

I LOVE everyone's comments - especially about reminiscing back to Coke Corner. I could've been there, at this time. Great photos, Mr. X. During this time and in this area, I remember a piano was rolled outside, and hearing ragtime (probably played by Rod Miller). I bought Mr. Miller's CD and it takes me back to this spot instantly. All I need is Kathy's chair.

In case you Jr. Gorillas are wondering where our leader is...
he won "Blogger of the Year" on the Blogger-net, after hitting his 16th anniversary. He won a trip to Hawaii. Major, I hope you're having a blast. Enjoy a pu-pu* platter and drink, on me.
(* On the GDB 3/7/21 post, Major said:
"Important Lesson: Never miss out on an opportunity to say "pu-pu.")

BTW, and this IS TRUE: My friend took a job with Zurich Insurance (a few years back). They told her that one of the perks was: After 50 years with the company, you get a free trip to Zurich's headquarters in Switzerland. Yes, you read that right - after FIFTY years. I wonder if you can bring your spouse?

Melissa said...

I totally missed yesterday's anniversary post, but I'm not surprised in the slightest that the Major won a big Blogger award. GDB is the [insert whatever the cool kids are calling great stuff these days].

The fifty-year trip to Zurich reminds me of an old Monty Python sketch where a father is meeting his prospective son-in-law:

"And what job do you do?"

"I clean out public lavatories."

"Is there promotion involved?"

"Oh yeah. After five years they give me a brush."

JG said...

Coke Corner is the Cafe de La Paix of Disneyland.

“For has it not been ever said that all the world one day
Will pass in pilgrimage before the Cafe de la Paix?"

Except all the meetings there are happy Meetings.

I’d love to meet you all at Coke Corner.


JG said...

And yes, there is a Disney tie-in, see the history hit link…


Chuck said...

Sue, that’s not much of an incentive if you live in Geneva.

JG, you go on ahead and grab a table. See you there as soon as I finish this game of checkers with DrGoat. And while you’re waiting, be sure to keep a weather eye out for crazy Spaniards…

JB said...

Wow, our Major is now a famous celeb! Of course you know, this will all go to his head. He'll be lording this "Blogger of the Year" thing over us from now on. There won't be any living with him. (Major, I'm Joking!... You know I'm only joking, right?!!!) ;-)

Sue, thanks for spilling the beans!... pu-pu.

Melissa, ewww and ick! (and haha!)

Melissa said...

He'll come back as Colonel Pepperidge!

JB said...

And then he'll start opening fried chicken restaurants all across the country. A free Mint Milano cookie with every meal!

JG said...

Chuck, I think I saw the man with a wen on his nose. He was buying popcorn after getting off the People Mover.


Chuck said...

I hope Bu warned him off. I wonder when he, Amazon Belle and KS get off shift?

DBenson said...

I've mentioned before, on my last visit (a month or two before Galaxy's Edge), sitting at a table on the plaza and looking at the Astro Orbiter while hearing the Mark Twain whistle. Disneyland is cozy.

Even if you're not fond of the soft drink, Coca-Cola is a brand loaded with nostalgic associations, carefully nurtured -- rather like Disney. When watching an old movie on TV, I have my comfort food on a metal Coca-Cola tray and then serve the popcorn in a Coca-Cola logoed bowl.

Bu said...

My shifts were generally always closing…we seemed to always be the trickles of the last normies of the day shift. In my popcorn days anyway. Coke Corner IS Cafe De La Paix. Coke Corner- Refreshment Corner, Coke Terrace - Tomorrowland Terrace. But Sunkist is Sunkist I Presume, not Sunkist Adventureland. I’m so confused. When I was in Paris to visit some x-pats for the Disneyland thing, they joked that I should go to Cafe de La Paix for a coffee…I think I did pay about to what amounted to $15 US for an espresso. Coffee was more expensive in a seat, and it was more expensive in a seat outside. It was a tasty espresso, but due to a bit of a gloomy weather day was not really the experience I was expecting. What was better was seeing the expression on my friends faces- which to this day still mystifies me. I wonder what that espresso costs 30 years later? Coke Corner was always kind of a zoo inside, and Rod’s music seemed to add to the overall chaos. I’m not sure I would have been successful in Main St. foods. Rod was a nice guy however, and I would hang out there if I signed myself in after a shift. Drinks were free for those food people in costume, but only while working. I probably didn’t have a Coke and a smile if I had to pay for it. At the time probably .50. A much better value than a thimble of coffee in Paris.