Monday, October 31, 2022

The Haunted Mansion, 11/70 and 9/71

It's Halloween! The spookiest day of the year. Except for April 15th, am I right? Man, what a hilarious joke, and it just came to me right now. If only I could have worked a mother in-law angle into it. I'll workshop it. Sue B. was kind enough to provide more photos from her dad (Lou Perry, of course), during two visits to Disneyland, when the Haunted Mansion was still a "NEW ATTRACTION".

The first two are from November 1970, 15 months after the Mansion had debuted. It's rather shocking to me to see how mellow and uncrowded it is! The exterior looks very nice, as if a railroad baron or Rubik's Cube champ had lived there. That lantern to the right is pretty impressive, I wonder if it's an antique rescued from the city of Baltimore or some such place? Or it was purchased at "Just Lampz!" on Lankershim. I'm realizing that my life has been severely lacking in wrought iron, and I'm not happy about it. 

Here's a lovely shot from late-afternoon; I guess November really was the "off season" back in 1970, what I wouldn't give to be there on a day like that! I like the outfit on the groovy lady to the right, the same sort of chartreuse found on fishing lures. She's with Jack Nicholson's brother Scooter. A ghostly Mickey balloon hovers near the entrance - or am I just seeing things?!? Say, that's an alarming number of strollers, all those parents are taking their tiny tots on that scary ride.

The next three are from September, 1971. This one is almost (but not quite) the same angle as the previous photo, with more people at the park in September. A sweeper is near the entrance cleaning up some protoplasm, no matter what he does it keeps reappearing.

Is that style of trashcan only used right near the Mansion? It's pretty swell. I've always appreciated the beauty of the grounds around this attraction, especially those magnolia trees, which always make me think of my grandma because she loved magnolias. 

More strollers! I wonder how many of those young children were traumatized by their first ride on the Haunted Mansion? I'm looking at that little one next to the man with the white shirt, I hope she won't cry.

AND, for one last extra goodie, Sue included this scan (undated) from Virginia City, Nevada, showing the famous Bucket of Blood Saloon (apparently named for a bloody gunfight in 1880). The good news is that I can still call my saloon "The Bag of Entrails". Fun for the whole family. 


Sunday, October 30, 2022

Haunted Mansion Cemetery, September 1971

Today is certainly a Sunday, but it is not a Snoozer Sunday! Being the day before Halloween, I wanted to share some creepy pictures with you, and Sue B. has more great photos taken by Lou Perry (her dad), from a September, 1971 visit to Disneyland. The Haunted Mansion was only two years old, and still had that "new ghost smell". 

Lou took photos of many of the cemetery tombstones that have become so familiar to us 50+ years, it's really amazing how he managed to capture images of things that most people wouldn't have bothered with. This first tombstone is in memory of "Grandpa Marc"; it's the final resting place for Marc Davis, Imagineer extraordinaire. In the background, we can see a tombstone for "Francis Xavier" (X. Atencio) and another for "Master Gracey" (Yale Gracey).

Rolo Rumkin, that friendly bumpkin. Nice to see a tribute to Rolly Crump! I wonder if the grass was somehow treated so that it was not too lush and green? It sounds ridiculous, but they did manage to give it a sickly, on-the-verge-of-dying appearance. I can only assume it was intentional.

I always loved the name "Phineas Pock", though I think it's strange that (as far as I know) this is the only tombstone that was not a tribute to a notable Disney Imagineer. Over at the excellent Long-Forgotten blog, BHG2 speculates that "Phineas Pock" might have been a potential name for the Ghost Host.

Brother Claude... that's Claude Coats to you, pal! The general story out there is that he contributed most significantly to the earlier, more atmospheric portion of the attraction, while Marc Davis's characters and gags could be found in the second half of the ride.

"Wathel R. Bender", a tribute to Wathel Rogers, the Audio Animatronics wizard. His tombstone has been there a long time, it is partially-sunken into the ground.

And finally, Cousin Victor (Vic Green). I guess it was hard to find something to rhyme with "Victor". They could have changed it to "Victus" (you know, like Rolly became "Rolo"), and rhymed it with "rictus". Please pay me a million dollars, Disney! Vic Green has been called the "head architect of the Haunted Mansion". Shockingly, he has not yet been deemed to be a "Disney Legend" as of this writing. What gives, Disney?

 MANY THANKS to Lou and Sue! You each get a fun-sized Snickers in your lunch.

Saturday, October 29, 2022

New York World's Fair, September 1965

Oh boy - I hope that you are sitting down (and wearing pants), because it's time for more choice photos from the New York World's Fair, circa September, 1965! 

I love this first image, taken over in the fabulous Transportation Zone, where companies like General Motors, the Ford Motor Company, and Chrysler had some of the most amazing pavilions at the Fair. Dead ahead we can see some of the Chrysler pavilion, including the giant car (it looks a lot like my Honda), and the rocket that looks like a party decoration, next to the angular building painted in the 1965 colors of pink and orange. Luminaire alert! Do not be alarmed! Please walk (do not run) to the nearest exit! But then come right back, you fraidy cat. To the right is the Port Authority building, which was irresistible to helicopters. The man with the striped shirt is holding a Yugoslavian flag. Just sayin'.

Fair guests could have never imagined that rockets would eventually look just like this example! Again, pink and orange - it makes me think of rainbow sherbet (yum). In the distance is the Ford pavilion, while to our right is the Lowenbrau Gardens - if there's one thing that we need in our transportation sector, it's a beer pavilion.

Here's an interesting angle on the Swiss Sky Ride terminal. I like the orange and yellow paint scheme, those colors would be big in the 1970s. In one of the highest rides at the Fair, cabins holding four passengers each are suspended on cables 113 feet in the air. The cables run between the Korean and Swiss pavilion; a one-way trip covers 1,875 feet, takes four minutes and provides panoramic views not only of the fairgrounds but of Manhattan Island. Tickets may be purchased at booths near the two pavilions.

Folks are walking along the Avenue of Peace, with the Belgian Village right in front of us - one of the largest pavilions of the entire Fair. The Vatican pavilion is mostly out of frame to our left, and it's possible that our photographer just crossed the Meadow Lake Bridge (which would be out of frame to our right) over the Long Island Expressway, where the Amusement Zone was. 

What a Fair!

Friday, October 28, 2022

Coke Corner, 1973

Huzzah! Nobody says "huzzah" in real life, but it's fun to use it on blogs because it gets people's attention, and then they send bags and bags of cash to the blogger. Hint hint. Anyway, I say "huzzah" this time because I have more wonderful photos from Mr. X, circa 1973. We're back at the Coca Cola Refreshment Corner. I told Walt they should call it the "Coca Cola Cavity Corner", but he pretended that he didn't hear me.

Here's an unusual detail view of one Main Street entrance to the Cavity Corner (eh? EH??) with that cool vertical sign. It looks like it's very late afternoon, and as you can see, the lights are already a-flashin' and a-blinkin'. The young woman in the lower left is looking at Mr. X either seductively or suspiciously, I can't decide which.

Inside, the Coke Corner is hopping with activity. I hope you weren't expecting to get a seat, because there are none to be had. And the gutter is too good for you! Sorry, sometimes I forget where I am. Folks are theoretically enjoying their hot dogs and hot frogs with their glasses of cold, refreshing Kokomo Kola.

Let's zoom in for a look at the little display. Is it a diorama? Or a "tableau"? On the left, a baseball game is being played. Ty Cobb is preparing to dig his spikes into the shins of the catcher, or at least that's what I'd like to see. To the right, I believe that a saloon keeper is being roughed up by two young children who are out of control thanks to the five glasses of Coke they've each had. "Give us your money!".

Here's another nice interior view; the kid in the yellow windbreaker has such a headache. Mel Blanc is waiting to order, and he's thinking about doing one of his famous voices. Marvin Martian, perhaps. Notice the bottles of Coke to our right, each with a tag indicating the country in which it was sold. You can find Coke in practically every corner of the planet! (Insert Oxnard joke here).


Thursday, October 27, 2022


I have a pair of "randos", or maybe Leftuggies™ would be more apt. But I think you're gonna like them!

Let's start with this look at the Tomorrowland Autopia, taken as the scene was bathed in warm, orangey light of the setting sun. I could perhaps wish for a little bit less of that fence, but then again, it's the old style of fence, so maybe it's not that obtrusive. The little Mark 1 (or Mark II or Mark III, they are visually identical as far as I am aware) vehicles look so great, especially those two-tone babies up on the overpass. Telephone poles that lined Harbor Boulevard can easily be seen in the background.

Next is a scan of a 1969 slide that was damaged, so I cropped it to eliminate the bad bits. A Saxophone Quartet (of Keystone Cops!) is playing, always a fun sight to see. Since Main Street was supposed to represent a turn-of-the-century era in America, I am wondering if saxophone quartets were much of a thing 100+ years ago?

I noticed a "go away green" construction wall, and zoomed in to discover that the bridge that crossed the moat was closed to guests, I   wonder what was being done?

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Canoe Landing 1950s

Here's a pair of nice photos of the Canoe Landing in Frontierland (a part of the Indian Village), bustling with visitors on what was probably a cool winter day. Our photographer was standing on Tom Sawyer Island, I believe that he or she was at the top of the hill, near Tom's Treehouse, but not in the treehouse. 

One of the Indian Warrior Canoes (later renamed the "Explorer Canoes") is just getting underway, and its looks like another one is coming up right behind it. There are 22 people on that Canoe, pretty impressive. On shore, more guests wait for their turn to explore the wilderness from the relative safety of a watercraft. Notice the highlights of red clothing, as seen in these photos.

Another interesting feature is that tunnel through the berm, I believe that that's where guests could enter the park from Holidayland.

Here's a zoomed-in view. I love the sign with the map of Tom Sawyer Island, that should be in my collection. Near the teepee to the right is the little ticket booth, where it appears that some cast member's  red garments (hopefully not undergarments) are draped.

Well. Hmmm. Now I am rethinking my theory that the first photo was taken from Tom Sawyer Island, since this shot was clearly taken from the Mark Twain. The "Disneyland nerd" in me is pleased to get a good look at the slips for the Canoes. And look at all the people! The Indian Village was a popular destination back then.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Ambassador Parade, October 1981

Today's post is a continuation of one that appeared on October 4th; that one featured some of Lou Perry's photos of the announcement of the new Disneyland Ambassador (scanned and shared with us by Sue B). What do you do after such a momentous announcement? Why, you have a parade, Disneyland style. That means marching bands, old-fashioned modes of transport... you know, that sort of thing.

Speaking of marching bands, there's the Disneyland Band! I'm sure they are playing "Jessie's Girl", a song made popular by old-timey artist Rick Springfield And His College Boys. The man in the blue shirt is having the time of his life, but he expresses it by tapping his toes almost imperceptibly.

Here comes the hearse! Well, maybe not. Those horses are so glossy, they must have been shined up with new "Shimmer" for horses. The driver keeps a hoagie in his top hat in case of parade emergencies. "Get out of the way, I have a hoagie!".  

Now the Disneyland Band has switched to a new song, this time it's "9 to 5", sung by Dolly Parton. America's sweetheart! Did I ever tell you that I saw her at an El Torito restaurant?

"Say boys, what should we do next? 'Hit Me With Your Best Shot'? Or 'Celebration'?". Kool and the Gang, come on! No disrespect to Pat Benatar intended. 

It's the paparazzi! The "National Enquirer" and "World Weekly News" need fodder for their next issues, since Bat Boy has been quiet for a while. Notice Goofy, Br'er Bear and Br'er Fox, one of the Tweedles, and Mickey Mouse are there to pay their respects to the next Ambassador.  

There she is! Joanne Crawford, who would assume her duties the following year. "My first act will be to make Disneyland 'clothing-optional'", she declared to some controversy. "Just kidding!" (sighs of relief all around).

What a great photo of Mickey and Minnie Mouse. They look as bright-eyed and vivacious as they did in 1928, when they were just two crazy kids. They didn't have two nickels to rub together, but they had songs in their hearts and a pocketful of dreams.

I've always liked seeing Tigger at Disneyland, with his day-glow orange fur, which is actually visible from space. Pooh Bear's popularity rivaled that of Mickey Mouse's, but he remained humble and lovable.

MANY THANKS to Lou and Sue!

Monday, October 24, 2022

Stuff From the Box

Did you have trouble sleeping? Are you feeling anxious, jumpy, or filled with ennui? Maybe some Stuff From the Box will make it all better!

You already know about my fondness for vintage employee pins, and this one is a beauty. I like "inflated triangle" shape. It's not even an inch across, pins like these are often tiny. Anything larger would just be too much. Some young man (presumably) must have gone through a training program at General Electric's Schenectady plant (once called "The Electric City", which is pretty cool). Between 30,000 and 45,000 people worked there in the Depression/WWII years. Our graduate learned how to screw in a lightbulb ("righty-tighty, lefty-loosey") and use one of those cool wire strippers that dad would never let him play with. 

Next is this really cool 1940 Tom Mix "Gold Ore Watch Fob", a premium from Ralston cereal. Under that clear (?) dome is genuine gold ore from the Comstock mines in Nevada, "America's richest gold district". I'm sure that the gold ore is worth thousands of dollars, and is not just random gravel found in a vacant lot.

The next four pints were all given out to members of the American Legion. Founded in 1919, the American Legion... commonly known as the Legion, is a nonprofit organization of U.S. war veterans headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. It is active in issue-oriented U.S. politics. Its primary political activity is lobbying on behalf of interests of veterans and service members, including support for benefits such as pensions and the Veterans Health Administration. This first pin, from 1958, says "Gleason Gunner" and features a miniature howitzer. "Gleason" refers to National Commander John S. Gleason, Jr. 

My favorite pin from this batch is the 1959 "Moore Missileer" example. National Commander Preston J. Moore was running things in '59. These pins are pretty easy to find! The character atop the missile makes me think of Slim Pickens as Major T.J. "King" Kong in "Dr. Strangelove".

A stylish cowboy boot (with spurs!) was used for the 1960 membership pin.

And finally, here's the 1961 "Burke Bo’sun" pin in the shape of a ship's wheel. I admit that I haven't done a ton of searching, but as far as I can tell, the tradition of making a unique pin each year stopped after 1961. National Commander William R. Burke is the man of the year this time.

 Stay tuned for even more Stuff From the Box!

Sunday, October 23, 2022

In Frontierland, October 1967

I have a pair of genuine, officially-graded (by the International Consortium of Grading Stuff, or "ICGS") Sunday Snoozers for you today. Please be seated.

If you ask me, a place called the Golden Horseshoe should be painted GOLD, and it wouldn't hurt to have a few giant plastic crystals and flashing LEDs as well. Apparently not everyone agrees, believe it or not. Instead, we were given this completely un-sparkly building, yuck! Luckily the show inside had lots of pretty gals and corny jokes, my two favorite things after sparkles. 

Apparently the Native Americans kept bisons as family pets, like this one. His name was "Frisky", and boy, he was a rascal! He didn't move much, but he could make you laugh with a wry look. In the 1950s, kids had pet bison, but when they got too big, they released them into the sewers, where they still live today. Happier than ever!


Saturday, October 22, 2022

Boat & Camper Show, 1957/1958

It's October, and is probably past the time of year when most people might choose to go camping (unless you are on the west coast or southwest). I recently went through a batch of slides that featured a woman and her husband, we've seen her before and you will definitely see her again. She and her hubby (and some friends) went to a local boat & camper show, maybe just for fun, or maybe in the hopes of buying a nice Airstream trailer or beautiful Chris-Craft boat. 

There she is, the two-million candlepower flash made her blink, even with her green-tinted lenses. She looks very put-together; no plaid flannel and dungarees for her. The tomato-red overcoat reminds me of a Disneyland photo from roughly the same year. Maybe she picked up a brochure for that "BoaTop" motorboat, my dad and brother and I used to love to go to the big Auto Show in Los Angeles, and we'd have fun collecting brochures from all of the vendors.

Oh boy, vintage campers! But brand-new. You now what I mean. I'm always fascinated by these houses on wheels, especially the older ones that have so much beautiful wood, and the way they make the most of the small space (like sailboats), with tiny kitchens, showers, hide-away beds, and so on. The red one to the left is priced at $3,195, which translates to about $33,000 in today's spacebucks.  I have that in my wallet right now!

The woman in the middle is wearing a different outfit, so unless she changed several times during the day (like Cher), this is likely from another year. She's run into Hal and Norma (love Norma's hat, with the pheasant feather angled jauntily upward). Every year they love to go to Lake Kabetogama and fish for a week. Well, he does anyway. They can use those Eagle-brand fishhooks, which might have been a free giveaway (sweet!). Look at those guys in the background, they look like extras from a Billy Wilder movie.

Friday, October 21, 2022

Beautiful Disneyland, 1996

I have some more scans from some negatives that Mr. X wanted to share with you! They're from 1996; sure, that wasn't that long ago. But 26 years ago isn't nothing either. Remember when Disneyland celebrated the "First Quarter Century", and it seemed like a big deal? In any case, the park looks wonderful here.

We'll start with a photo of a Horse Drawn Streetcar (jam-packed with guests!) making its way around Town Square, past "The Walt Disney Story (Featuring Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln)", and on its way up to the Plaza. Folks are wearing their white Reeboks and New Balance sneakers, a smart move for a long day of walking. I love the color and quality of light in this one.

This one is bittersweet; the old Skyway Chalet in Fantasyland is up there, mostly hidden amongst the pines, but we know how wonderful it used to look in happier days. In 1996, the Skyway had only been closed for two years, but it the Chalet looks like it's been abandoned for longer than that. Still, it's a pretty picture. I remember feeling a strong temptation to try to sneak up those steps so that I could take a look around.

And finally, what could be nicer than a photo of Casey Jones Jr. as he starts his journey through Storybook Land? Monstro the Whale is mostly obscured by that tree, but his pointy teeth can still be seen.

Many thanks to Mr. X!

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Two Nice Ones From March, 1962

I have a pair of pretty nice photos, circa March 1962 - starting with this view primarily featuring this tower (pylon?) from the Fantasyland Autopia. It is adorned with international traffic signs, and topped with a big freakin' eagle! The Richfield Eagle, that is. His buddy is over in Tomorrowland, but Richfield Eagles are very territorial, so they avoid each other for the most part. Some say that, late at night, you can hear them calling to one another. "Screeeeee! Screeee!". It's pretty annoying, frankly.

Notice that more international traffic signs have been hot-glued to the Monorail beamway nearby. 

Next we see the back of the same man's head as in photo #1, he used Vitalis to keep his hair neat and tidy, but never greasy. He's heading into Tomorrowland, gazing at that crazy Clock of the World. At the moment he can't decide if he likes it or not. "Nuttiest dang clock I ever saw!". It probably didn't help that the clock wasn't working, you can see it says that it is sometime after 9:00 PM. Somebody forgot to replace the uranium again.