Wednesday, November 08, 2023

Two Nice Views From January 1971

Even though we lost our friend Irene last year, my calendar tells me that today would have been her birthday. It seems like a good time to think about her!

Meanwhile, I have some nice 1971 views from the park, starting with this look at some of the fearsome masks that adorned the bridge between the Plaza and Adventureland. Not to mention plenty of human skulls, which always brighten one's day. Skulls and throw pillows. I'm assuming that the masks (and shields) were purchased at Oceanic Arts in Whittier. Buy three masks, get one free! Oceanic Arts closed earlier this year, but we can appreciate their influence over SoCal tiki culture.

Next is this lovely view of the Rivers of America, near the entrance to the Haunted Mansion (I believe). The warm late-afternoon light really makes the colors "pop". A  very full raft is returning from Tom Sawyer Island (is the pilot wearing one of those furry hats with the ear flaps?), while the Mark Twain loads up with passengers for another trip on the River.


Anonymous said...

I love those tiki masks!
Mike, how many of those do YOU have? ;o)

In the second picture, we also see a lady wearing a large white Tupperware salad bowl on her head. There are some other interesting items on people’s heads, now that I take a second look....

Fun pictures, thanks, Major.


Anonymous said...

Major, thank you for remembering and mentioning Irene. I do miss her [and DrGoat].


JB said...

A wistful happy birthday to our friend Irene. Yes, we do think of you and the Dream Team.

The masks are fearsome, but those strollers! [shudder] An omen of what is to come. Yes Major, skulls are so useful as decor items. They can be used indoors or out. No need to dust them or clean the cobwebs out of the eye sockets, that just makes them all the more festive!

Hmm, it could be a fur cap, Major. But it might also be a coonskin cap with the tail sort of flopped over to the side. Despite the bright, sunny day, it must be kinda chilly (this being January, or possibly December), the CM and guests are bundled up in warm clothing.

Thanks, Major.

Chuck said...

WIFE: It’s a throw pillow!

HUSBAND: No, it’s a skull!

WIFE: It’s a throw pillow!

HUSBAND: It’s a skull!

WIFE: It’s a throw pillow, I’m telling you!

HUSBAND: It’s a skull, you cow!

SPOKESMAN: [ enters quickly ] Hey, hey, hey, calm down, you two. It’s both!

I don’t think we’ve seen many photos of this side of the Adventureland bridge, particularly from this angle. Everyone seems to shoot the standard view into Adventureland as they come from the hub. You can just make out the stream in the shadows beyond the bridge. Note the abandoned (and possibly feral) strollers in the background.

That raftsman looks like he might be wearing a helmet similar to those worn by Roman soldiers along Hadrian’s Wall. Wrong frontier, kid. I actually think that woman may be wearing a colander.

Happy birthday, Irene! You are missed.

K. Martinez said...

Nice mention, Major. Happy Birthday, Irene. Will be thinking of you today.

Love the sight of the Old Mill on the Rivers of America. Thanks, Major.


Sue: I still have two Adventureland bridge masks made by Oceanic Arts . However I used to have about a dozen at one time obtained from a lady who retired from Disneyland Decorating. She worked in decorating from the late 60’s till the early 90’s . She said they used to get hundreds of those masks from Oceanic Arts “raw” then they would be told to fancy them up with an exotic paint scheme. She told me all the Florida opening year tiki masks were done by Disneyland Decorating. And they were told to paint them differently than they did the Disneyland ones. It turned out that Florida didn’t repair theirs and would just install new ones … but she found out that Florida Decorating saved one of each of the ones they painted and continually used them as color guides to paint the new ones! She said Disneyland would repair theirs with automotive bondo until the wood mounting attachments were worn away … THEN they would replace them with a new mask. They kept a full supply of them “in stock” . They also painted the ones used over at the Disneyland Hotel decorating … at one time the hotel offered all sorts of themed decorating and entertainment for convention package and they made at the accompanying props .

The masks I sold off would be worth a FORTUNE now!!

JG said...

I miss Irene, grateful for her contribution here. Thanks Major.

One of my friends has a cow skull in his front yard desert landscape, so skull decorating is a thing. I wonder who modeled for oceanic arts?

Four trash cans on shore and one wooden look on the island, no excuse not to WASTE PAPER today!


Nanook said...

@ Chuck-
"WIFE: It’s a throw pillow!

HUSBAND: No, it’s a skull!"

Heck - why stop there-? Identical twins love to disagree, too...

Major Pepperidge said...

Sue, I regret never going to Oceanic Arts to get my own tiki masks. It was just a *little* too far away for me to ever want to make the drive. That Tupperwear bowl helps the lady LOCK IN FRESHNESS.

Sue, I miss Irene too. And DrGoat.

JB, those are just little tiny strollers in their larval form, they will eventually grow to massive size and consume everything in their paths. Skulls: I used to have a plastic Revell human skull model, and I “yucked it up” with a slurry of flour and water and brown acrylic paint. It looked so disgusting that people wouldn’t touch it.

Chuck, that skull/pillow is just the thing I need! Perfect timing, as I am making my Christmas list. You are right, there are not many photos of the Adventureland bridge from this side - it makes sense, but still, I appreciate that our photographer did something different. Maybe in the original Davy Crockett series there was a wacky character who wore a genuine Roman helmet? It’s been a while since I’ve seen it! Thanks Chuck.

K. Martinez, the river looks so beautiful in that photo.

Mike Cozart, I have to say that I like Disneyland’s approach better. Keep fixing those weathered masks until they can’t be fixed any more! Having a dozen of the masks must have taken up a lot of room. Was there anything on them (a stamp, a label) that indicated that they were from a Disney park? Right now there is a guy who regularly sells generic items and he puts fake “vintage” Disneyland price tags (clumsily aged) and puts them on eBay as “prop from Pirates of the Caribbean” or “Frontierland prop”. It makes me mad! I should add that I know yours were genuine, I just started thinking about that guy and his scam!

JG, my large collection of Georgia O’Keefe paintings includes several examples with cow skulls. They’re a hoot! Walt could have eaten a hotdog with no worries along the shores of Frontierland.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Mike, I truly had no idea, but I know you have/had really cool stuff. Hurry up and open your museum, please.

Nanook, that commercial is definitely a blast from from the past.

"That Tupperwear bowl helps the lady LOCK IN FRESHNESS."

* burp * (I wonder if Andrew "gets" this.)

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I don't remember that specific commercial, but I definitely remember old CERTS breath mints!

Lou and Sue, Andrew is pretty smart, my guess is that he would get it.


Major: none of the ones I have or had said Disneyland or oceanic arts …. But the person I got them from was very reliable … and I purchased other things from her as well including lots of park used “blue” flags … and “tiki lanai “ awnings . When I see these Van Eaton auctions it’s amazing how much of it originated from me and the mass exodus of Disneyland and WDI employees I was buy stuff from when they retired , got laid off … or some passed away and their wives were selling off stuff. I sure wish I had the stuff now to sell . I think I got 1,800 for the Wood Tiki Next show click sign from Howard Lowery….. that same piece sold not long ago at Van Eaton for 30+ K !!!!!!

Major : I’ve seen the seller you are talking about … the odd thing is: look at his /her selling history : people are buying up that junk!
So the souvenir items with tags are fake price tags too?

I think now you will star to see people who purchased raw wood versions of the tikis and masks or shields from oceanic arts and are giving them the “Disneyland” versions of the paint schemes … there used to be a company in Long Beach called Bensons Tropical Imports …. They also sold the same wood tikis so I assume they got them from Oceanic Arts or some of the tiki masks /shields were
from another importer. They later offered plastic copies of the wood ones when the wood ones were no longer available .

JB said...

Major, I too had a human skull model (not sure if it was Revell; probably. I mean, how many companies were there that offered full-sized skull models?) And, like you, I "yucked" it up with plaster of paris, fake wispy hair, and an eyeball in one of the sockets (a painted rubber ball). This was used in a Halloween haunted house (for charity). I also pumped 'blood' through the nose and mouth, using a small battery-operated pump. I enjoyed hearing people say "That's disgusting!" and "That's just sick!".


JB: Revell, Renwal, Lindberg , Pyro/Life-Like all made human size skull models … sometimes realistic … sometimes clear with brain and eye inserts…. And sometimes a pirate skull .

Major Pepperidge said...

Mike Cozart, in a way it makes more sense that real props purchased from a supplier would NOT have any markings. I’ve read many accounts about employees buying up props and items from the parks at bargain prices - because these were the days before things went sky-high. I even know several people who pulled amazing items out of dumpsters, one or two things that would blow your mind. The mere thought of it makes me so jealous! It’s the collector in me. And YES, that eBay seller has sold TONS of his fake junk, I guess Disney fans are a trusting bunch. Yes, even the price tags are fake, it would not be difficult to manufacture price tags. I once made some in Photoshop just to see if I could do a good job! I think you’re right about the idea that we will eventually see the non-Disney, “raw wood” tikis showing up as “authentic” park props. Argh.

JB, I even used tissue paper for a “mummified skin” texture, it came out surprisingly well. I wonder what happened to that skull?? The thing that really sold it was that I removed some of the teeth, instead of leaving all of the perfect plastic teeth as intended. It really made it look dug-up.

Mike Cozart, I miss the days when we could go to our local hobby shop and find something like that. Kit-Kraft in Studio City just closed, it was a real time-warp of a hobby shop, I miss it so much.


Major; the main model supply room - called “the hobby shop” is located in the 1401 building …it has vast amounts of current things … but also lots of old unused ( or yet to be used) supplies and sooo many of them
Have KIT CRAFT tags on them . Sad they are gone .