Thursday, August 31, 2023

Indian Dance Circle, 1950s

You know kids, when you spend as much time looking at vintage Disneyland pictures as I do, you can get jaded. Photos that might delight a normal person full of hope and laughter will only cause me to scowl and draw the curtains closed so that no sunshine can warm my blackened heart. You know... Jungle Cruise photos that look like every other Jungle Cruise photo. Pictures of the Mark Twain or Sleeping Beauty Castle. I love the actual things, but the photos can get to be mind-numbing.

I often feel that way about photographs of the Indian Dance Circle in Frontierland... but today's examples are an exception! Like this first one, from what I believe was the grand finale of the show, in which all of the children in the audience were invited to hold hands and join in. Even the shy kids could enjoy themselves! The array of fashions is impressive; saddle shoes, floofy dresses, harlequin diamonds, plaids, and my favorite, the "modern art" pattern on the shirt of the boy to the right.

From a different lot comes this picture of the MC, dressed as a traditional Indian Chief (it's what the guests want to see, after all), presumably describing the various dances and their history and meaning to various Native American cultures. "Kelton the Cop" (anybody? anybody?) is making sure that no funny business is going on. I feel safer already.

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Main Street, September 1971

Hooray, it's Lou and Sue time! Photos by Lou Perry, scanned and shared with us by his daughter, Sue B. These are from a September, 1971 trip to Disneyland.

And hey! There's a young Sue, realizing that she could have had a V-8. Until she realized that it was a weird metallic-tasting tomato juice concoction. Then she decided on a Coke, like any red-blooded American kid. I like her sunglasses! We get a great look at classic Main Street, with no weird multi-colored bricks or baby-blue paint. Let's go watch "The Great Train Robbery" at the Main Street Cinema. I will try to not pass out when the cowboy fires his gun directly at the screen.

There's the All American College Band, performing around the flagpole in Town Square. Did they play traditional marching band tunes? Or more modern songs befitting those groovy guys? "Riders On the Storm"? "She's a Lady"? "Mr. Bojangles"??

We're still in Town Square, there's the College Band in the distance. I love the "just right" crowd here, adding color and energy to the scene. Let's grab some popcorn and ride the Horse Drawn Trolley up toward the Plaza!

THANK YOU, Lou and Sue!

Tuesday, August 29, 2023


Everyone loves Leftuggies™! 

Today's first Leftuggie shows the wonderful Skyway gondolas as they passed over Holiday Hill, which has a number of paths for people who were up for a hike, or up for... other stuff. So the story goes, anyway. The Dutch angle makes the scene feel just the tiniest bit sinister. Harry Lime is probably in one of the gondolas! I was going to straighten the image out in Photoshop, but would have lost the tiny bit of the Viewliner train poking in from the bottom (sorry about my dumb watermark). 

Hey lady! I like your orange gondola! I'll trade you!

This next one is from a black and white negative - oversized, I guess it would be 120 medium-format film? We get a pretty nice shot of the Mark VI Autopia vehicles. Why did they name them all "Mark"? It's weird. How about "Jeff"? Or "Sam"? We need an investigation. I give Dad props for letting the kid drive, though he is grabbing the safety bar with kung fu strength. This particular angle gives a good look at some of the complexity of the intertwining tracks of several attractions.

Monday, August 28, 2023

Stuff From the Box

Stuff from the box! IT'S ON! 

Let's start with this enabled medallion from 1921 from the National Dairy Show And Horse Show in Minnesota. Whoever wore this was OFFICIAL, so they had the authority to judge which Guernsey cow was the most magnificent, which cheddar cheese was the most delicious, and which horse would be "most likely to talk when nobody else is around".

This "Bat Pin" badge must be a generic goodie from around the time when the 1966  "Batman" TV series was such a phenomenon. My brother and I were big fans! For some reason, cheap doo-dads like this just make me smile.

Another fun badge features the Jolly Green Giant. Ho Ho Ho! I am guessing that this is from the 1960s, but have no real idea.

Here's a small brass pin advertising KOIN, "Portland News". To be honest I'm not sure what the "TTT" stands for. Is the pin supposed to resemble an old microphone? KOIN's history traces back to a radio station at 970 AM that launched on November 9, 1925, as KQP; the station changed its call sign to KOIN on April 12, 1926. It became an affiliate of the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), now known as the CBS Radio Network, on September 1, 1929. During the golden years of radio, KOIN was one of Portland's major radio stations, with an extensive array of local programming, including live music from its own studio orchestra.

As a CBS radio affiliate, KOIN was the local home for CBS radio programs such as the CBS World News Roundup, Lux Radio Theater and Suspense. You can read more about KOIN on Wikipedia if you so desire!

I found this photo totally by accident, it shows a woman sitting at a microphone very much like the one represented by the pin, apparently this woman announced the time... not sure if it was in a store, or on the radio. Or what.

Next up is this neat Tom Mis Super Magnetic Compass Gun and Whistle premium from 1948, from Ralston. It consists of link chain which holds small six-gun w/plastic frame and magnetic metal barrel and arrowhead-shaped charm w/built-in whistle at end/small pocket clip on other side. The gun can be used as a compass by suspending the barrel which always points to the North (something I only just learned as I researched the item for this post!). 

Of course you want to see what it looks like when it glows, don't you?

And finally, another tin-litho badge. Vote Shepley? Who he? Ethan A. Shepley was the Republican nominee in the 1964 Missouri gubernatorial election. He lost. Badly. Sorry, Ethan!

I hope you have enjoyed today's Stuff From the Box!

Sunday, August 27, 2023

The Mark Twain SNOOZLES™

Today's photos might be Snoozles, but you know what? They're pretty Snoozles. And as we all know, the most important thing in life is to be pretty. These are both from slides date-stamped "November 1957".

There she goes, the Mark Twain. You can tell that this is the Mark I Mark Twain because it doesn't have a bubble dome. Those passengers looking over the stern rail are worried about the AEDs following closely, hoping for fresh meat. Why do Animatronic Exploding Ducks need meat? Nobody knows. This beautiful sunny day with wispy clouds gives us a nice look at the western shore of Tom Sawyer Island and Fort Wilderness.

Another pretty Snoozle is a familiar (too familiar?) shot looking over at the loading dock for the paddlewheeler. Is it possible to be a POSTCARD WORTHY Snoozle??

Saturday, August 26, 2023

New York World's Fair, October 1964

I scanned a batch of slides from the 1964 New York World's Fair, and found that many of them were too dark to use. But a few were salvageable!

This nice lady is posing next to a fierce grizzly bear in front of the Alaska pavilion (which resembled a giant igloo). Yes, I know the little sign says "brown bear", but those are called "grizzlies" in North America. It is impressive that this bear could stand still for so long!

Next is this "last sunlight" photo taken in front of the Pepsi pavilion, you can just see a part of the "it's a small world" sign in the upper right. And because Walt Disney was so instrumental in the design of this pavilion, he allowed some of his characters to meet 'n greet Fair guests. In this case, it's Alice and her friend, the White Rabbit. Notice that the lady to the left has her Chrysler Pavilion "VIP" badge.

While it is hard to see, the little kid in the lower right is so excited to meet the White Rabbit!

Over by the New York State pavilion, our friend poses in front of large beds of flowers. Tulips and... I'll just call them "purples". In the distance, the huge General Motors "Futurama" building can be partially seen.

Hey, love birds, get a room!

A World's Fair post without a photo of the Unisphere is like a day without sunshine, so here is a pretty shot of more flowers as seen along the Court of Nations. Flags aplenty for you vexillologists (and I know you're out there)! 

I hope you have enjoyed your visit to the 1964 World's Fair.

Friday, August 25, 2023

Beautiful Town Square (1955?)

I have two beautiful, early photos of Town Square. A nice little place! While the slides are undated, I believe that they are from 1955, mostly based on... well, you'll see.

Let's start with this bustling view, it appears to be a summer day, though it's hard to say for certain. The Streetcar is popular, the one in closest to us is loading up fast, while the other one heading away from us (near the Main Street Cinema) is jam-packed. There's a crane looming over Fantasyland, I'm trying to imagine what would need lifting in that general area. All the trees in Town Square are so little and scrawny at this point, too!

Panning east, we see the Maxwell House restaurant, and what I believe is the Mod Hatter shop ) just above the white glass globe to the right).

Zooming in, there's the Site of International Street (along with the partially-blocked "Grand Opening 1956"). Notice the open door with the truck visible backstage. I also love the popcorn cart, and the detail of the one vendor's hat resting on the roof of the cart. In the distance, against the blue sky, we can see some balloons, resembling barrage balloons of WWII.

In some of the earliest Tomorrowland postcards, these balloons can be seen, presumably adding a bit of visual interest to what was still very much a work in progress.

Another early postcard.

"Site of Future Sights - Take a Peek" - guests could look at some sort of displays showing what International Street would be like. I've read that guests looked at stereo views - possibly photos of models? I'd sure love to see what those were!

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Randos, October 1967

It's time for RANDOS! One pretty good one, another that is average (or below average?). 

All aboard the Mine Train! It's the way to see Nature's Wonderland in style, as you relax in your open-air mine car, and feel the breeze and the sunshine, and the spray from the waterfalls. Looks like the red-shirted ride operator is checking to make sure everything is spit-spot before getting underway. Think of the effort required to build that hill in front of us, all so that the train could pass through a tunnel. The old "transition from the outside world to this other world" trick, introduced by Stinky McGee, who still doesn't have a window on Main Street. 

There's not a soul to be seen in this Matterhorn photo, I guess October was a good time to go to the park if you disliked crowds. Incredible to think that mere months before, the New Tomorrowland had debuted to great fanfare. In those days, once school was back in session, the "off days" were really off! Here's a dumb thought; the single Monorail pylon appears to be a subdued color. Is it just a natural concrete gray? Or has it actually been painted a soft version of "go away green"?

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

A Tribute To Our Friend Peter

I have some sad news - GDB friend Peter Bondante, also known as "DrGoat", passed away last week after a long illness. Going back through my Gmail, I see that Peter and I first exchanged email messages back in 2015 - the first of many! He was always kind and complimentary, and happy to share any personal photos that he had with me and with the rest of the Junior Gorillas. 

Now that GDB is over 17 years old, it's no surprise that we have lost some friends, but it is always a punch in the gut to hear that somebody is really gone. I am grateful to Peter for his friendship and generosity.

I decided to put together a tribute to him, using some of the photos that he's sent me over the years. You've seen some, and others will be new to you.

First up, here's baby Peter with his beloved sister Christina ("Chris"), who he once referred to as "the white sheep of the family". I believe she went on to become a doctor of some kind, but I'm not having any luck finding the info in my Gmail.

Next is this adorable photo of Peter, with his mother and sister Christina, on a bountiful Christmas day. Everybody looks so happy! 

Another Christmas portrait from a few years later. Peter sure got some sweet toys.

Peter sent me a series of photos, unfortunately I can't find the emails that give specific context, but I do remember that they showed the ordered chaos that involved the family's packing before a big summer road trip. Incredible! How many hats were needed? At least four! These family road trips were a formative part of Peter's childhood.

Now let's hop to July of 1961, with a series of photos taken by Peter's Uncle, from whom the nickname "DrGoat" originated. The Uncle (Charles Clement), a talented artist, did the illustrations for a children's book titled "Dr. Goat", still beloved by many who read it as kids (read about Charles HERE).  In this first picture, the family waves to the camera from the top of the Omnibus. From left to right: Aunt Louise, Peter's Dad, his Mom, his sister Chris, and Peter himself.

Here's the cover of "Dr. Goat".... copies in good condition can fetch hundreds of dollars today!

Everyone's hopping aboard the Columbia, still relatively new in 1961. Such a neat, sunshiny picture!

Peter is prepared to fire the cannon, ready to scare off any river pirates, or (better yet), repel any AEDs. 

There's Peter and his Father aboard a cool Mark V Autopia vehicle. Peter loved his Mom and Dad so much, it was very touching to hear him talk about them.

I loved the title Peter put on this photo: "Me somewhere?". He's reclining on an amorphous sculpture that could be found behind the Monsanto House of the Future. It looks like a tooth from a Martian wooly mammoth. As you can see for yourself.

That same trip found the family visiting Knott's Berry Farm, and a chance for a photo with Marilyn and Cecelia, during a break from their jobs as business managers (or something). Peter's wearing the red shirt, and his Uncle Clement is beside him.

Here's a very fun family portrait from the Pitcher Gallery! Peter looks just the same to me, but as you can see, the photo is dated from one year later.

Peter seemed unsure of the year that this next photo was taken, though he is clearly a little older. 

Next we see the Mad Tea Party attraction, with Peter, Chris, and their friend Ray in the teacup to the left.

From that same trip, here's Peter and his father. Pete's looking at his iPhone!

I love this next great image of me and Quentin in ’72 on our way to LA and Disneyland for a week or two, driving my new Fiat 850 Spider which you could lift up the back end with two strong guys, or gals. Fun to drive but problematic at times.

Now we'll hop forward over 20 years for this picture. That's me (sideburns at the time), my wife Peggy and friend Tom in Disneyland 1996. Those are some five-star sideburns!

I included this photo, which Peter titled "Early Entry", because the story was funny. As Peter and his wife Peggy walked into Tomorrowland first thing in the morning, they saw Chip and Dale. One had his Chip head off and when 'Dale' saw us he quickly encouraged Chip to put the head back on. Peter said that Chip and Dale were visible in the high-res version of this photo, but I can't see them here.

And the last of the photos is this wonderful picture (possibly from around 2001) of Peter with his beloved wife of over 40 years, Peggy, posing with Mickey Mouse in ToonTown. He said it was the third day of a much anticipated 4 day trip to Disneyland. I think we were pretty ragged by then. 

My heart goes out to Peggy, who gave Sue B. this kind message regarding the GDB community: "Thank everyone, as Peter got SO MUCH JOY from this group.  Everyone brought him happiness!". There can be no higher praise. Sue says that Peggy is not much of a computer person, but I plan on writing her as soon as I can, so that I can tell her how much Peter meant to all of us. He will truly be missed.