Friday, February 03, 2023

Beautiful Frontierland, 1950s

I love early Disneyland, and I especially love early Frontierland; I've gone on and on about what an impressive job the Imagineers did carving a plausible frontier and river out of Anaheim orange and walnut groves. Plus it's fun for folks like us to see the hillsides before the vegetation had a chance to grow in, maybe I like to pretend that I was there? 

This first photo is really gorgeous, with a bunch of guests bundled up for a chilly SoCal day. It appears that the sun is almost down, which might mean that it is only about 4:00 in the winter. To the right is the landing for the Mark Twain - not much of a wait. The folks right in front of us appear to be taking in the sights. Most of them are dressed so nice, maybe this is an "after church" visit for them? 

Tom's Treehouse is probably brand-new at this point (it wasn't there when Tom Sawyer Island first opened), and the scraggly trees give us a pretty good look at it - as well as the freshwater spring that cascades down the hillside into the river. 

Now we're on the island itself, looking past the Suspension Bridge and the Pontoon Bridge toward the river, with the magnificent steamboat heading toward us. 

The Mark Twain seems to be filled to capacity! 


JB said...

"I love early Disneyland". Major, I'm sure all the other Jr. Gorillas are as shocked as I am to learn this. How long were you planning on keeping this secret from us?... Oops, sorry, had my keyboard set to 'snarky sarcasm' there for a sec (meant for another website).

1) I wonder if those kids ever got caught... the ones who snuck into the Park late one night and slapped that treefort together. Gotta give 'em credit though, they also had to build the tree!

2) There's a chimney pipe with an inverted funnel in the foreground. What structure is that from? Surely we're nowhere near the Old Mill, right?
In the close-up, I like how the two guests on the upper deck have their arms outstretched, pointing in opposite directions. Very symmetrical.

The lighting in these photos, although kinda gray and lifeless, creates a certain kind of mood; sort of more like real life, in a way.

Thanks for the photos, Major. I'm glad you came clean and finally admitted your love of early Disneyland. Better late, than never. It'll take a while, but I'm sure we'll come to accept it... in time.

Mark said...

What amazing photos! I only remember Frontierland once the Mine Train was open. What a wonderful, innocent era.

JG said...

The red clothing in these pics are like the pimentos in an olive loaf lunch meat, brings a tasty tang to the composition.

The Treehouse standing in for Yggdrasil, the World Tree, with streams of water bursting from the spring Hvergelmir at its Root placed at the center of the Nine Worlds. You can’t tell me the Imagineers didn’t know that Norse legend! In the Disney version, Vanaheim is translated as Anaheim. I think it’s ironic that two pop culture versions of this legend, Thor, of MCU, and the Tree in Avatar are both Disney properties.

It is not possible to have a bad photo of the Mark Twain, thanks Major!

You should see a specialist about your affliction, if you aren’t careful you will be spending lots of money and time writing, posting and corresponding about it, aiding and abetting dozens of others with a similar disorder. Oh wait… never mind.


Anonymous said...

Ah, more "Wish I was there" photos. I can't even get silly with these, they're so nice. Thanks, Major!

Melissa said...

It's true about the Mark Twain, JG; the old girl doesn't have a bad angle. It's like they expected lots of people to take pictures of her or something.

A late response to Major P. from yesterday: The Monkees paid tribute to that story about Ethel Merman wearing pants to the country club in their 30th anniversary TV special.

Major Pepperidge said...

JB, my secret it out! I figured it was high time I was up front with you all, and stated that I liked early Disneyland. I realize that this controversy is even more heated than the M&Ms brouhaha that tore our country apart, but there we are. I always dreamed of sneaking into Disneyland at night, and of course in those dreams I never got caught, or got tired! I think I imagined being an 11 year old with a hard hat, vest, and clip board. They’ll never suspect a thing.

Mark, glad you liked these.

JG, olive loaf? Yuck! I don’t care for olives. Yes, I am that picky eater who drives everyone crazy. That being said, I don’t mind black olives on pizza, so I’m not a total loss. the tale of Yggdrasil sounds very “Simarillion”, but you said it was Norse mythology, so it shows what I know. And no, I have not read the Simarillion, a friend said it was not a story in the way that the Lord of the Rings is, it’s more of a “textbook” of Middle Earth history. I guess I should give it a glance? “You’ll be spending lots of money and time”… you have no idea! ;-)

Anonymous, you are welcome, mysterious stranger!

Melissa, I thought it was Esther Williams who wanted to wear pants to the country club, not Ethel Merman. I’ll have to watch the Monkees 30th Anniversary special later, but I’m interested to see it!

Melissa said...

Well, there was a bit earlier on in the special where they mixed up Merman and Williams like we did in our show, so maybe they were still riffing on that.

JG said...

Major, most of Tolkien's backstory is either based on, or at least heavily influenced by Norse mythology, so there are plenty of cross-over sounding elements in Silmarillion.

And you are right, that story or "textbook" (great phrase) is pretty hard to get through. It is a series of short sketches, not even really stories, that describe the history of the creation of the world, origin of the Elves, Dwarves, and Men, as well as bits on the origin of the Silmarils, and the causes of the millenia-old quarrel between Elves and Dwarves as alluded to in LOTR. Reading it makes the backstory references in "Lord of the Rings" more accessible and adds a deeper understanding of the story, including the incredible sadness of the Elves fighting the Long Defeat knowing that whether they won or lost, all they created would be destroyed, but the LOTR story can easily be enjoyed without reading Silmarillion.

Also, the Amazon version of the story is almost, but not quite, completely unlike the Silmarillion. There are characters with the same names and general appearance, but it is not Tolkien's Middle Earth (Midgard). The Amazon version is a travesty that seems intended to keep people from reading the real books by boring them to death.


Stu29573 said...

Oops....That was me. Too early in the morning, I guess!

JB said...

JG said it all, and much better than I could, about the Silmarillion; definitely a textbook, not a story. I can see consulting it for some obscure Middle Earth fact. But the Silmarillion is not something you read for enjoyable recreation. I barely got through it the first time... and now I've forgotten most of it.

JG said...

Thanks JB


Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, I got home too late to watch the Monkees special, now I am just thinking about my cozy bed and new fuzzy blanket. It sounds like you are right, those crazy Monkees were riffing!

JG, I’m glad to see that I am not alone in being disappointed in the Amazon series… I gave it a fair shot (I believe) watching the first three episodes. It just didn’t grab me. There were things that I liked, but more things that I did NOT like. The idea of seeing Galadriel as a cool warrior sounded pretty neat, and yet I found her to be sort of unlikeable and not very smart. “I’ll barge into a place, and demand that people do what I want, instead of being diplomatic and convincing them that what I want is what they want too”. I still might peruse the Simarillion, mostly out of curiosity, but my best friend LOVES Tolkien and he said he can’t really recommend it. I clearly enjoyed LOTR without any of that additional knowledge, because I used to reread the whole series every few years!

Stu29573, I should have known!

JB, it sounds like the Simarillion is really aimed at those folks who are such die-hards that they actually wind up learning to speak and write in Elvish! I’m not one of those people.

JG, should I read the “Twilight” series? ;-)

JG said...

Major, I think you’re completely right, you can enjoy LOTR without the Silmarillion.

We learn there that Galadriel was a warrior queen and many other stories, but not essential to the later novels. The Amazon character isn’t the Tolkien Galadriel at all.

I enjoyed the backstory of the Silmaril Gems, source of the light in the glass Frodo receives from Galadriel, and namesakes of the whole book, but again, minutiae. I read it once and never went back to it, but reread LOTR regularly as you do.

And there is no need whatever to read the Twilight series. I can tell now you are just pulling my chain. LOL