Friday, December 29, 2023

Two Beauties From January 1959

Happy Friday! I hope you have all recovered from your holiday excesses. I was going to lecture all of you about the importance of eating dry toast and one carrot for most meals, but I'll cool it. For today. 

I have two scans from the very beginning of 1959 (or very late 1958, depending on when the slides were processed), starting with this wonderful parking lot shot. We are surrounded by wonderful automobiles, which nobody can identify. What's the point of even trying? A crane looms over the park, possible involved in the construction of the Matterhorn. As for the park, we can mostly only see Main Street buildings, although the tippy-top of the TWA Moonliner is peeking up to the right.

I zoomed in so that you can see the snow-covered hills in the distance!

Meanwhile, in Town Square, Keystone Cops have formed a Saxophone Quartet. Thanks to that record "The Official Album of Disneyland/Walt Disney World", I can only hear "Minnie's Yoo-Hoo" in my brain when I see these fellows. 


Nanook said...

"We are surrounded by wonderful automobiles, which nobody can identify".

Well, I don't know about that - I just don't want to-! What I'm curious about is just what exactly is all that colorful 'hazarai' piled atop that luggage rack, sitting on that 'Newport Blue', 1950 Chrysler, just behind the gentleman on the right.

As there doesn't appear to be any Xmas decorations visible, these images may just be from early 1959.

Thanks, Major.

JB said...

In the first pic (and the close-up), I was trying to figure out what that tangled mess of red, white, and black was in front of the Main Street Station. Then I realized that it is something on the luggage rack of that black car. I still can't tell what it is. It looks like the car hit a court jester, and then they tied what was left of him up on the rack, like a trophy. I suppose that's not what it is though. ;-)
So weird to see hills in the L.A. Basin with snow on them; is that a rare thing?

That's a nice photo of the saxophone players. The tall guy playing the tenor(?) sax reminds me of the tall elf, with glasses, in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. I just found out the elf's name is Hank. Except, the sax player has a beard!

I see that Nanook is also wondering what that stuff is on the luggage rack. I had to look up "hazarai". It's Yiddish for "junk". I still think it's a mangled court jester.

I don't see any sign of the Matterhorn beneath the crane. Shouldn't there be something visible? Thanks for the photos, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Nanook and JB, the tangled mess on top of that car is Imogene Coca.

JG said...

Yes, not only snow, and a crane, but a rocket nose cone too, to the far right.

JB, yes, winter snow on those mountains is a common occurrence, but not often seen in old pics due to heavy smog.

And a sax-playing copper with a beard? In what alternate universe?

Waiting for Bu to chime in on grooming standards, but this guy seems like an outlier. Did he get a pass because sax players are few and far between?

As far as the roof rack stuff, I’m stumped. Maybe a hot air balloon?

Yes, if early 1959, there’s a young Matterhorn in there somewhere, but probably not tall enough to see over the berm yet. I doubt that the crane was needed for construction as the Matterhorn was grown from seed and transplanted. Maybe the crane was used to lower the subs into the lagoon as they were raised off-site at Marineland.

Thanks Major!


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I don’t know, are you the REAL Nanook? Or an AI simulation? The real Nanook loves to ID classic cars. “Hazarai”, that’s a new one (for me). I almost mentioned the stuff atop that Chrysler, but figured that it was a detail that was too small. When will I learn?

JB, wow, everyone noticed the stuff on top of that car. I guess the zoom-in helped (or hurt) matters. Snow on SoCal hills is somewhat unusual, and it doesn’t last long; last year we had powerful winter storms that left the local mountains covered in beautiful snow, it was spectacular. The tall elf (from “Rudolph”) has been mentioned here before, funny how he made an impression on kids even though we did not know his name was “Hank”. I did not look up “hazarai”, but am not surprised that it is a Yiddish expression. If the photo was taken in January of ’59 (or December of ’58), it is very possible that we would not see any Matterhorn evidence from this distance.

TokyoMagic!, ha!

JG, yep, I mention the TWA rocket! Funny, I said that the snow is uncommon and you said just the opposite. We haven’t had any so far (not counting early in the year when we had all the rain). It is pretty surprising to see a beard on one of the saxophone players, but I guess musicians can be expected to be a little different. I want a Matterhorn seed, maybe I’ll remember to ask for one for the next Christmas season!

Stu29573 said...

The tip of the Moonliner is the tastiest bit of all! Yum!!!
Yep, that's a lot of heavy American steel in that parking lot. 5 mpg isn't bad when gas costs a nickle! Still far classier than anything produced today. I call modern cars "rolling sucked on throat lozenges." To people's faces. And then I run away, giggling. I'm a hoot.
Thanks, Major!

Anonymous said...

Major, I have never lived year-round in the LA area, so my experience of the weather is limited, but I do recall snow on the peaks when visiting. So to my partial awareness, I guess it was common. Maybe we just visited in snow years.


Bu said...

Those in entertainment sometimes (very very very rarely) strayed from the global and general grooming standards. A full beard was never seen in my time: although there were a few mustaches, and a couple of goatees. Probably grandfathered-in, friend of Walt people. This guy looks like he has "mustache + lazy": and that is how it looks to me. I am currently sporting a version of that....on my way to my "Duck Dynasty Phase". For authenticity, a cop may have a mustache, but he would not have had a beard: unless he was the big daddy chief/etc. and even that is doubtful. No beards is due to face masks not being "fully engageable"....which is why (allegedly and speculatively) that Fireman are known for their mustaches in various degrees up through "Walrus". I only know this a a friend of mine: both cop/pilot/et al: would always grow a beard on vacation, and then it would be shorn off prior to returning to work. I thought it was a grooming standard, but it was for more practical purposes. Not sure where the military stands on these things now, and I do see a beard or two on airplanes: but more on flight attendants. An "implied" beard: scruff/stubble/etc. is more for today's overall standard: and since maybe this Hank guy might have been a sax player from the El Toro Marine Base: he just might have a couple of days off, and hence: 5 O'Clock shadow plus +.

Anonymous said...

If we could have an attraction to take us back to that parking lot, well I'd even give my E ticket in exchange because what a collage of styles and those luggage racks of the time. Snow on Baldy...that was always a treat to see as other commenters have mentioned. The smog pretty much prevented one from seeing it back then, unless there was a Santa Ana wind. It is amazing to those of us who experienced the smog of the 60s to see the change. The air is most definitely cleaner these days. KS

Anonymous said...

A very rare view of West Street. This particular archway has been under Carnation awnings a very long time. I think someone here has mentioned that this is one clear example of architectural re-use on Main St. - it would be great if they could elaborate further…for instance, the bay window sure reminds me of the one with Elias’s name on it (which used to have a Castle miniature hanging under it).

The flower market must be across the street in this era (but I think it moved to the side in the 70’s), or not in existence yet?

Nailed it on the audio Major, can’t Not hear that ditty.



Major Pepperidge said...

Stu29573, I prefer rocket filet, but I admit that I am kind of a snob! I love those beautiful American cars, even a humble station wagon has so much personality. Truly an era when Detroit was on top of the world!

JG, it’s OK, we definitely have “snow years”, and they make a big impression!

Bu, I’ve pretty much only seen beards and mustaches in Frontierland - Stagecoach drivers and such. I have a photo of a man playing the accordion in Frontierland, he has a mustache. And maybe some of the Dapper Dans were mustachioed? But I get it, overall Disney had their standards, and that meant no facial hair (sorry Walt!), sideburns within reason, etc. I never thought of old-timey Firemen having mustaches, but I suppose it was true. Not sure about the Disneyland version though. As for the Military, my guess is that they are pretty strict, but… it’s only a guess.

KS, is that Mount Baldy in the distance? I’ve gone to Orange County and seen snow-covered Baldy in the distance, but did not know that you could see it from that angle at Disneyland. Folks don’t realize that Mount Baldy is a real mountain, didn’t a famous actor recently die from attempting to hike it during the snows?

MS, Happy New Year to you! I vaguely remember reading a comment about “architectural reuse”, but it’s all a faded blur now. Normally I don’t think of the Flower Market as being on East Center Street until the 1970s, but I sure don’t see any evidence of artificial blooms in that photo!