Thursday, February 08, 2024

More Bupix™

Before we get started, I wanted to salute our Boy Scouts, since today is National Boy Scout Day. Our friend DW sent me this wonderful photo of him and his Mother, circa 1968. Such a great photo! Thank you for sharing, DW! Let's all BE PREPARED!

And now, on to our regularly-scheduled blog post:

You have waited long enough - it's time for more Bupix™!  I chose four from a visit to Disneyland, from sometime in the 1980s (more on that in a bit). Bu was accompanied by a charming young woman with a dazzling smile. Once again, Bu was kind enough to provide a great commentary, so sit back, relax, have a sip of lemonade, and enjoy!

Ahhh…Kara…such a sweet girl.  The quintenscential girl next door, who’s dad is a CEO, and marries the captain of the football team.

Kara was a lead in Guest Relations and these photos were taken on one of the “audit tours” when we “inspected what we expected” from our guides.  As I’ve said before, this caused a lot of anxiety in the group, leading to poems (really) being written and much discussion.  When the price of the tour was raised (doubled to $8…it was $4) everyone wanted to make sure that guests got their money’s worth.  VIP tours at that time were $25 an hour, and then increased to $30…then to $40.  I hear the prices (and the experience) is different now.

There were a few years of Circus Fantasy, so I would have to do some forensics to see what this year was…perhaps ’86. (Looking it up, the Circus Fantasy "spectacular" ran in the Spring of 1986, 1987, and 1988, so I'm going with Bu's guess of 1986).

Circus Fantasy!  What an odd promotion, but I suppose guests liked it, and the elephants and other live elements: including a trapeze and high wire across Main St…and let’s not forget the “wheel of death” where the Walt statue sits today in Central Plaza.  Wheel of death was a motorcycle in a sphere.  It was loud and kind of scary to watch.  There was a cannon that shot a guy from the mainland to Tom Sawyer Island as well.  That is a story in itself, and for another time- but one of the best leadership lessons I’ve learned in life.

Looks like they are re-doing the windows on Main St, with the “go away beige” and branded barricade.  Looking at the clowns: I guess they gave them name tags (?)  Kind of odd…but I suppose we need to know who is “Boffo” and who is “Klutzi”   Clowns usually creep me out, but these ones were especially “Disneyfied” and very cleaned up, with perfect makeup and very clean and tidy costumes. The second orange hair clown was one of the face painters.  The kiddie winkies love face painting.

There’s Mickey: not much to say there, and I forgot who was inside.  There was a Mickey who was there forever…since Walt times…I forget what his name was, and older guy…and the only other one I remember is a girl with blonde hair…yes, girls play Mickey too.  I think she also played Peter Pan…will have to think about that...  (I know that there was a Mickey performer that Walt particularly liked, but I can't seem to find his name at the moment).

The fourth photo looks kind of odd and strangely situated because it was.  As we were walking to Bear Country, a guest: a handsome, tall, blonde, “matinee idol” type with Pepsodent teeth was walking past us….Kara stopped in her tracks and said “TAKE MY PICTURE!!”   The words kind of came out of nowhere, then I saw the guy and said to myself…Ohhhhhhhhh…. don’t take a photo of “me” take a photo of “ME”. Wink wink.  Alas, my brain was half a second off, and we only got a hair shot.  The story is kind of funny, and Kara: the ultimate professional, is smiling like her Ambassador head shot.

She made it to the top 4 for Ambassador in 1984.  We all thought she was an awesome choice in the Disney branding dept. (clearly), but another TG ultimately got the gig, who we all chums with too.  It was a rather emotional walk to Club 33, where the “after ceremony” was held…Kara…with her bouquet of roses knew she HAD to smile widely, and put on a brave face…her dad was not happy.  Of course, whose dad doesn’t want his perfect daughter to be Disneyland Ambassador.  Kara, with her Disney TG smile, looked at me and said “don't look at me!”….knowing that the emotions may spurn a a Disney smile to disappear.

If you made the top four, then you were already schooled in the “image” dept by Cicely, and with the press there…you didn’t muck around.  This was a big deal back then, (don’t know if it is now.)  At the club, it was frowned upon (read: VERBOTEN)  for any of these ladies to have a cocktail.  Kara told her dad that “I can’t” and her dad said “YOU ARE MY DAUGHTER AND YOU ARE HAVING A COCKTAIL!”  Hee hee…he was great.  A big mountain of a man.   We were all very close back then, and everyone knew everyone's parents/family/etc.  Then you all move on to other things.

These photos are fun, but Bu's commentary makes ALL the difference! Thanks to him for sharing his pictures and memories!


Nanook said...

It's always nice to see images of Junior Gorillas. Thank You, DW for sharing yours.

Again Bu - love seeing [and hearing about] your images. Thanks again for sharing them.

JB said...

DW is looking spiffy in his Cub Scout uniform. And his mother is not only his mother, but his den mother as well!.. Two! Two! Two moms in one!

Wow, Kara does indeed have a radiant smile! The stilt-walking clown seems to have the same taste in clothing as Mork from Ork.

This version of walk-about Mickey appears to be very well constructed. But a little too slick, or perfect, for my tastes. His eerie, manic gaze makes me want to drink a can of Slurm.

Haha! Love the story with the "matinee idol". Even funnier because we can't see his Pepsodent smile set into his (probably) square-jawed face. Kara sounds like she was/is a fun person to be around.

It's always great to see Bupix and read about Disney-life behind the scenes. Thanks Bu. Thanks also to DW for sharing his very nice family photo. And to Major for continuing to keep us sane with GDB.

TokyoMagic! said...

Great pic of DW and his mom! I still have my Cub Scout hat, neckerchief, some pins, and the handbook. I never went beyond Cub Scout, but my brother went up to Boy Scout.

Disneyfied or not, those clowns scare me! Were guests allowed to push the stilt walkers over, into the nearby flower beds?

Who's the little girl photobombing Kara in the Mickey pic? She should have waited her turn!

The guy in the background (on the left) of that last pic, is obviously upset. I bet he was perturbed by the fact that Kara wanted her pic with "Other Blond Guy" and not him.

Thank you for sharing, Major, DW, and Bu!!!

Bu said...

Leadership lesson "10-2A.B": "Always know everything, even if it's not your direct responsibility". This may be a Dick Nunis thing, passed down to others as the director of Park Ops who passed it to me: and now I pass it to many others that I coach: Why a Tour Guide would need to know the mechanics of shooting a guy out of a cannon is particularly relevant, I wasn't too clear at the time: but in the grand scheme of life after that short moment in time, it is something that I use and talk about every day. Now I pass it on to all of you. Watching the cannon show, the supervisor asked me if I knew how the cannon worked and what propelled the guy inside to be shot over to his net on Tom Sawyer Island. Of course, I said "no" "why would I need to know that?" response: : "IT IS YOUR JOB TO KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT EVERYTHING WHETHER OR NOT YOU ARE DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE OR NOT. YOU SHOULD KNOW EVERY THING ABOUT EVERY DETAIL OF THIS PARK!!! THIS IS YOUR JOB!!!" Full-on on-stage screaming. This was kind of normal back in the day: the screaming part- I think people would melt now a days. So after that brief humiliation I made it a point to ask questions: a lot of questions, all the time about everything. It has helped me immeasurably in every iteration of career since that day. People often ask me: "why do you need to know all those things that don't have anything to do with you?" EVERYTHING has everything to do with you if you are around it, and work around it. Be curious, be inquisitive. It's not being "nosey". Thanks Bob, Dick and Walt for the lesson.

Steve DeGaetano said...

Thanks Major and Bu for the great memories! Love hearing the behind-the-scenes stories and memories. Kara was a cutie!

I too was a Cub Scout, with a similar uniform. Pack 125, based at A.E. Wright Middle School, but meeting mostly at houses in the neighborhood, with awesome den mothers! My boys were Cub Scouts, but the program was definitely different.

Bu, I plan on taking your leadership lesson to heart, and will pass it along in my own line of work.

Stu29573 said...

Yep! I was a Cub Scout at about this same time! DW and his mom are doing the uniform proud!
Ah, Bupix! It really is fun to hear the stories! I'm pretty sure things are a bit more "relaxed" now. They probably don't need to be...

JG said...

Another Cub chiming in here. My career ended at Webelos, but I have only my neckerchief slide and some pins. I did 14 years as a uniformed leader during my son’s years. He finished as Eagle Scout with Silver Palm. I stuck on for another 8 years. Thanks DW for the great pic.

And thank you, Bu for the fun CM photos. Always entertaining.

I never understood the “yelling” model of leadership. Usually counterproductive. My Dad could achieve results without raising his voice at all.

An architect is also expected to know everything about everything, and so, too, are Eagle Scouts. I would tell the boys they are “marked men” who will be expected to do open-heart surgery with rubber bands and paper clips and similar feats.

Great stuff today! Thanks Major.


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, there are more photos of Kara to come, along with other BuPix!

JB, my older brother was a Cub Scout for a while, until we moved (we moved a lot), and that was the end of that. I remember being jealous of his kerchief and uniform! How come I don’t get cool stuff like that?! Kara is adorable, I’m sure many CMs had a crush on her. I don’t mind that version of Mickey, especially compared to more recent versions where it looks like he’s had Botox.

TokyoMagic!, can you tie a sheep-shank knot? I ask because I remember Linus learning to tie a sheep-shank knot in “Peanuts”, and I thought that the name of the knot was weird. Do you regularly help old ladies crossing the street? I’m not crazy about clowns either, and remember going to Cirque de Soleil - a pre-show clown was interacting with the audience, getting closer and closer to me. “Please leave me alone, please leave me alone!”, I screamed loudly. Well OK I didn’t scream it, but I definitely thought it. That other guy in Kara’s last pic is too aggro, he needs to take a chill pill. Yes, I know all the slang! Meanwhile, the “just missed” guy has George Michaels’ hair.

Bu, as you know, I already know everything about everything, so they should make me King of Disneyland, which I assume is a very high-paying gig. It’s weird that your supervisor would ask you such a random question, and then scream at you for not knowing the answer. I wonder if HE knew the answer?! Ask him about quantum mechanics, or how to do rhinoplasty. He should know! For some reason this makes me think about those chefs who scream at their employees. Is that really the best way to achieve your goal? Or is it just accepted for some reason (years of everyone doing it makes it OK!)?

Stev DeGaetano, I remember going with my mom to pick up my brother at Cub Scout meetings and again (as I said to JB) I was jealous that I couldn’t participate. There was always a nice Den Mother, and all the other Scouts with their accoutrements. I guess I was too young at the time.

Stu29573, part of me hopes Kara doesn’t see today’s post! Maybe the names should have been changed to protect the innocent. “Her name was… ‘Agnes’”. I hope Kara went on to live happily ever after.

JG, I’m still not sure what a Webelo is, but I’ve heard the word. Is that like a Wendigo? Wow, and Eagle Scout, from what I understand, that is quite the accomplishment. I wonder if employers note that somebody was an Eagle Scout? Screaming at employees seems to me to indicate a deep insecurity. Or something. I like to teach by telling a folksy parable, like Sheriff Andy Taylor did. Then I go to the fishin’ hole and skip some rocks, and then I play my guitar.

Steve DeGaetano said...

WE-'ll BE LO-yal S-couts

Anonymous said...

BU...could that be Bob G you were thanking for that educational moment? He certainly made an impact on me though it was more of a firm discussion rather than a rant. Kara looks to have been another one of the gems that inhabited the Park during my tenure...of whom all of us on the JC were in love with. That smile is emblematic of an Ambassador worthy candidate. I look at the pictures and always wonder where they are now.

DW...that is one wonderful shot with your Mom with both of you in full uniform. When cleaning out the family home, I found my Mom had tucked away my Cub and Boy Scout shirts. They bring back so many happy memories which your picture have brought to life once again. KS

Chuck said...

I love all of these photos.

DW, both you and your mom look sharp in your uniforms. The female leaders' uniform had changed to a yellow blouse and blue skirt or slacks by the time I joined in 1977, but we still had the same caliber of moms who stepped up to help boys grow. In fact, we still do today (along with a lot of dads).

I just did the math and realized I have 31 years of experience in the Scouts - 11 as a youth and the rest as a not youth. Been a great ride...and I still haven't been able to figure out how to get off the train.

The word "Webelos" was derived from the first letter of original Cub Scout ranks of Wolf, Bear, and Lion and the first letter of the word "Scout" - "WBLS." The secret message "We'll be loyal Scouts" was then developed from that as a sort of backronym. Then they threw some vowels in there so it could be pronounced by humans without spitting on other people. And then after the original Lion rank was discontinued in 1967, they stopped explaining where the letters came from.

Bu, I love that story and the pictures. It's always a good idea to know as much as you can about how the whole picture comes together, especially if you are in a leadership role. I have worked with too many people who aren't curious about what they are contributing to and - even worse - too many leaders who aren't interested in what their people contribute to the mission - only results and their own personal glory, regardless of the number of broken bodies they leave on their trip to the top. Those people are called "jerks." I don't like them very much. May they plagued with clowns.

Thanks, everybody!

Chuck said...

Oh - I forgot to mention - the sheepshank is a long-running joke between me and Mrs. Chuck whenever I am teaching knot tying.

It stems from a scene in Disney's Follow Me Boys, where Fred MacMurray's Boy Scout troop gets rolled up into an Army war game during WW II. He's captured while shaving, dressed in a t-shirt, green slacks, and a campaign hat, and is brought to a command post for interrogation by a lieutenant (played by Steve Franken). He keeps trying to explain that he's a Scoutmaster and not on the other team, but they won't believe him because he can't remember how to tie a sheepshank.

Much madcap hilarity ensues with his Scouts on the loose in the middle of a war game without any adult supervision, and when the boys eventually turn up at the command post with a tank they've captured, the lieutenant finally realizes that his prisoner is actually who he says he is.

"What do we do with him now, Lieutenant?"

"Show him how to tie a sheepshank and let him go."


Q - What's the difference between the Boy Scouts and the Army?

A - The Boy Scouts have adult supervision.

Major Pepperidge said...

Steve DeGaetano, well, I admit I didn’t expect that!

KS, I’m assuming by “Bob G” you mean a certain Imagineer? Or maybe there’s a less well-known Bob G. It sounds like Kara’s dad expected her to marry somebody of high status. Money! Power! “What, you’re dating a Jungle Cruise skipper??”. Very fun that you found your old Scout shirts. Do they still fit? ;-)

Chuck, wow, 31 one years of experience as a Scout! That’s 31 more years than me (I did the math). This is why I am mean to old women and like to spit and curse. Thank you for further explaining “Webelo”, it’s cool that they combined Wolf, Bear, and Lion, though they left out “Cobra”, which was my nickname in High School. Because I was a bada••! Why did they eliminate the Lion rank? I’m outraged and I know almost nothing about it. From what I’ve gleaned over the years, many people picked up some good life lessons during their time at Disneyland, even if some supervisors left much to be desired. If I was a supervisor my advice would be “Blink as little as possible”. Think about it.

Chuck II, one of the things I would have liked to learn as a Scout is useful knots. My best friend loved to learn new knots, when he and I were roommates he would watch TV with a piece of clothesline and tie various knots constantly (using a book for reference). I’m much too lazy to do that, I need a supervisor to scream at me to motivate me to do anything. “Follow Me Boys”, what are the odds that that movie is on Disney+? Not great, if I had to guess. I hope your joke didn’t make any Army guys cry.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Another day of GDB-Gold! Thanks, DW, Bu, Kara and Major!

Chuck said...

Cobra, unfortunately Follow Me, Boys! is not currently on Disney+. Fortunately, I have it on DVD.

Funny about your best friend and knots. I remember going to my boys’ baseball games, sitting in a lawn chair (there were no bleachers), and practicing splicing rope (I was preparing to teach Pioneering Merit Badge). I keep some 550 cord by my home office desk and will sometimes find myself practicing knots during Teams meetings when I am not actively involved in the discussion.

JB said...

Too bad the Scouts didn't adopt the "cobra" as one of their ranks. We could've been treated to "Webeloco". :-D

Lou and Sue said...