Thursday, December 21, 2023

Christmas With Bu

I'm continuing to share stuff given to me by GDB pal Bu, from his days working for Disney - as a Tour Guide, but in other capacities as well. Among the treasures were a number of Christmas-related items - perfect for this time of year!

Let's start with this Christmas card, with a copyright date of 1989 on the back. The cover features some ornaments, including one with the likeness of Chip and Dale, in their "Rescue Rangers" costumes. "Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers" originally aired starting on March 4, 1989, and continuing through three seasons (65 episodes) to November 19th, 1990. 

As you can see, Michael Eisner and Frank Wells "signed" the card  (along with our rodent friends). By this point Eisner had been the CEO of the Walt Disney Company for five years. Bu said cards like this were sent at Holiday time generally with some ticket books and a note from the boss: be it Card Walker, Ron Miller, Michael Eisner, etc.   If I remember correctly these came from the Disney Execs and not the Disneyland Execs (Dick Nunis, etc.)    We were sent a few ticket books a year, in addition to having our Main Gate Pass, or Silver Pass, or just a Company ID to get in the gate (Summers only).

Next is the cover of what was certainly a non-Disney Christmas card - no date, unfortunately. 

Inside is this awesome photo, featuring Bu surrounded by a bevy of beautiful babes. Bu wrote: This party was offsite…somewhere.  I forget where, but it had a decent wine list, and I ordered a bottle of Chateau Petrus ‘75. Instead of drinking it, I should have saved it…it’s worth about $4K now.  A rep for General Motors recommended it, and said it was like “drinking velvet”: which it was.  Haven’t had it since.   I am in “Queen Mary” supervisor clothing…so I must have come straight from work.  This was probably my first year over there…so perhaps ’89 (?)   I remember that jacket: it was a ridiculously expensive camel hair jacket, with a blue subtle tartan.  I wore that jacket in the “Salute to the 3 Stooges” show I did a decade or so later, and got covered in “whipped cream” (shaving cream) and the jacket was no worse for the wear.  I still wear camel hair jackets to this day for their resilience.…sooo very luscious to the touch.   At this point, I was probably still “on loan” to the QM (hadn’t signed the papers yet…), which is why I was invited to this GR party.

All the ladies are the Guest Relations Leads at the time.   Back row, L to R: Jackie, Natalie, Erin, Suzn, Linda, on my lap: Robin, on the ground: Alexis.  Most of these leads were Cicely hires, and from the late ’70’s.  Linda as I have mentioned before was the "Ringo Hostess", Suzn was (and is) a force to be reckoned with, Erin: Hostess to many many many stars: and big Tom Jones fan.  He came to the park and she brought him back to the phone room (behind City Hall)….which sounds kind of crazy…but MANY celebrities were brought back there due to private restrooms, and of course, many pretty girls to flirt with.

There was also this card, with a related photo: The Santa Elf costumes are actually “Glock Girl” costumes (the pretty ladies that played the glockenspiels behind Santa in the Christmas Parade.)  As with all parties of the day, we had a “photo set up”, and I am sure everything was provided by Disneyland.   Although these parties were not sanctioned by the Company, they were officially unofficial parties…so we had the support of costuming, photo, Cast Activities, etc.  Guest Relations did a lot of things for the park that had nothing to do with guest relations, so other departments were happy to supply various things for various events that we produced ourselves.

The first photo is the official Polaroid photo location shot, and the second: a personal shot that was sent to me later.   The stationery is character fan mail stationery, which we also were involved in.  You can see the glasses of Petrus there….I did share :)

MANY THANKS to our friend Bu!


Nanook said...

@ Bu-
Thanks so much for sharing these fun images - and the cards.

JB said...

OooOoh, more goodies from Bu! Items like this, an inside look at what went on behind the scenes at Disneyland, make us all feel like CMs!

The artistic style of the Santa and Elves card looks very familiar, but I can't place it.

That's a great picture of Bu with the "bevy of beautiful babes".

Thanks once again, Bu. I feel like I'm catching a glimpse of the Wizard behind the curtain, except this time the Wizard, and the magic, is real! And thank you too, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

As soon as I saw those red and white outfits, I thought Clock Girls! It would have been hilarious if they had made them carry the instrument around all night with that special strap/holder thingy. Hilarious, I tell ya!

Thanks for sharing these CM items with us, Bu and Major!

JG said...

Great stuff, Major and Bu, thank you!

I have a camel hair jacket and fully endorse this description of durability.

Lucky guy this Bu, chateau Petrus and all the babes, and being Robert Conrad’s body double.

Every time I watch Wild Wild West, I think of you!

Merry Christmas all!


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, it really is fun to go “behind the scenes” with the tour guides!

JB, maybe the card style reminds you of R.O. Blechman, who was famous for his wiggly-lined illustrations? And yes, regarding the photo with the beautiful babes - nice work if you can get it.

TokyoMagic!, I’m glad that Glock Girls carry glockenspiels and not handguns. That would make for a completely different parade. How heavy is a glockenspiel, anyway?

JG, there are a lot of bald camels walking around somewhere, that’s all I know. And it isn’t pretty. Stay tuned for lots more from Bu!

Anonymous said...

What a Christmas treat! And a glimpse behind the curtain. The latitude we cast members had back then made it all "magical". Back in the 70s, the passes would come in the mail to our homes with a greeting letter...not a card like what is pictured. Appears BU was playing the role of Santa...but forgot the costume! Camel hair it is. Erin, Linda and Suzn were new hires during my time in the mid 70s. Remember seeing them standing in the Jungle Cruise queue with their tour guests behind as I'd pull out with a boat load of excited guests ready for the 9 minute journey into Adventure. Many times they would wave goodbye to us. I always hoped they were waiving at me, but, alas. KS

"Lou and Sue" said...

Bu, I bet I know what you're thinking at this moment. "WHY did I leave that job?!?!"

What a wonderful time you must've had with a lot of fun co-workers. And they obviously had a great time, too. Just look at all of those beautiful smiles.

Thank you, Bu and Major, for sharing more Christmastime memories.

Bu said...

Late to my own party: thanks Major for all the memories and for those who I can share it with. A very good decade in my life that I have fond memories of. In the end, it was actually a "real job" too: and with that came the usual things that jobs provide, however: there has been no experience like it in my numerous careers since then 35+ years ago. Christmas time felt truly "Christmas" after the weekend of Candlelight: when crowds made it feel "exciting" and not drudgery. Literally it was stone slow one day, and the next: "Kapow!" Summer we could kind of work up to the "Zenith" : 4th of July. Christmas day was always totally unbridled...with the "in-park" always touching the tops of capacity. Really something to see and experience! And, as "Kapow"-ish as it started, so did the postpartum depression of January: which now-a-days would be dreamy: but then: low attendance, attractions in rehab, weather, hours cut...etc. Only to start the crawl to the "dress rehearsal" of the Spring Vacation in SoCal, and then onto SUMMER! They all had their merits. Why DID I leave that job: well: all good things must come to an end, and my expiration date was up. You never actually "leave" this job: it does stay with you for life: and everyone has their bevy of memories both good and bad that KS could attest to. Whether we like it or not: as of us Disneylanders are "lifers".

Dean Finder said...

My wife just suggested we print out that Chip and Dale card, swap Michael & Frank's signatures with our own, and send it to friends and family. I say we keep their signatures and just add ours.

Lou and Sue said...

Dean, I suggest you also include that first photo of Bu and the pretty gals—but superimpose your face and your wife’s face. That’ll keep your friends and family talking. ;o)

Dean Finder said...

Lou and Sue - Ha!

Anonymous said...

BU...You pretty much summed up the experience we had riding the rhythms of the guest count throughout the year. The Park had a heartbeat and you just knew what was in store. Some periods was flat out GO while others were about as slow and easy as one could dream of these days. Hours were cut, but we could anticipate that...taking vacations, studying for finals and taking the bus trips to Mammoth for skiing. As Summer arrived, there was a fresh injection of excitement with the "Seasonals" coming on board. A new crew of CMs to mix, mingle and date. I've had several great work assignments during my 'real' career, each different and exciting. But I tell you...some of those wouldn't have materialized if I hadn't started with Disney and learned how to successfully navigate difficult situations with basic common courtesy and communication learned and instilled as the "Disney Way". KS