Monday, April 15, 2024

Two Pix From April, 1974

I have to be honest, part of me will be glad when I have used up all of the "too dark" scans from the April, 1974 lot. The kids at school are laughing at me! My mom said that they are "laughing toward me", but it still stings.

It's always nice to see one of those big Belgian Draft Horses (do they like Belgian draft beer?), they appear to be gentle in spite of their strength. "I've seen it all!". I'm looking at the man to our left, he's got crutches. Maybe he just sprained his ankle? It's going to be a long day, hobbling around for hours and hours. "You go ahead without me, I'll just lie down in the middle of Main Street". Notice the kid to the right with the patriotic hat - Bicentennial Fever was already starting to take hold in 1974. "America Sings" would open in Disneyland on June 29th of this year.

I'm sure our photographer was going for a view of the Matterhorn, but the fun part is looking at the guests in their 1974 fashions.  Which are surprisingly "normal", except for Mom, who has a long-sleeved red shirt, and then an oddly-patterned shirt over that, with a giant Peter Pan collar. 


JB said...

Well, maybe the horse has "seen it all", and maybe he hasn't. Because he's looking very intently at something; notice how his ears are perked up. Maybe he spots the bag of C&H sugar on top of the water fountain. I can barely see the conductor inside the Streetcar... not sure if there are any passengers.

The kid on the right is munching on something... Or maybe he's about to hurl. The guy in the middle with the camera gear just saw Tinker Bell fly into his camera case.; "What the... get outa there!". The two bros behind Long-sleeved Mom look like they are football players. Besides the number on the shirt, they just have that "football player" look. Oh yeah, and the mountain.

A nice people-and-horse-watching day, Major. Thanks.

TokyoMagic! said...

In the second photo, something is going on in the lower left corner. Did grandma just fall down? Or did their baby just roll out of that stroller and all three are tending to it?


I think Grandma threw a shoe in the second photo ….

Melissa said...

Poor Crutchley McHobblson! I got a crutch tip caught in the streetcar tracks at the Magic Kingdom once. I wasn't worried about being knocked over by the streetcar so much as by the other pedestrians!

Somewhere I have a picture of my Grandma in a dress very similar to the blue floral one at the far right.

I wonder what's up with the three ladies in matching pantsuits to the right of the streetcar? They probably weren't really matching in person, but the lighting and angle of the picture make them look like the world's dowdiest girl group.

Who does the guy in the 39 shirt think he's fooling? He's 40 if he's a day. Jack Benny called; he wants his joke back!

But of course, the VFA goes to the lady with the big collar. She saves time in the morning by just putting her new outfit on over the old one.

Melissa said...

TM! and Mike, the fried chicken must have fallen out of Grandma's purse.

TokyoMagic! said...

TM! and Mike, the fried chicken must have fallen out of Grandma's purse

Melissa, a-ha...I think you are on to something! Or that might just be the spot where they decided to spread out their picnic blanket, and enjoy Grandma's chicken.

JG said...

Crutchley came prepared, crutches AND a cane. But he has his ticket books in his pocket in the best Dad-fashion. I hope he had a good day in the Park. I sympathize, hobbling around with my stick.

That is a beautiful horse, I bet he has a lot of artistic talent, his watercolor box and charcoal is out of sight, but ready for use at a moments notice. I’m glad his successors are still working. It will be a sad day when the bean counters shut down the streetcars. I’m sure it has been discussed by some bright spark fresh from B-school. “We should close all the attractions to save operating costs!”

Look at the flared leg pants on Red Shirt guy, the Klingons are eyeing him.

My Mom used to wear weird outfits like 3-shirt lady in photo 2. I guess it was a style, but I never understood it.

I hope the reason for the curbside conference is fried chicken, my first thought was a diaper change. Chicken would be much better.

Thanks Major!


Anonymous said...

The amazing thing is despite their gentleness, they are big,powerful cast members. Keeping them 'bombproof" in a sea of guests with all the noise around them, is quite remarkable. I deal with it daily, except I'm tethered to them holding a simple lead rope and not standing on a heave trolley with a brake. It is a humbling experience. KS

Major Pepperidge said...

JB, even a horse who has seen it all is alert and aware. Horses don’t miss a thing, especially C&H sugar (preferably cubes). For a while the conductors wore camouflage so that guests wouldn’t be distracted by them. It worked magnificently! Who knows what’s going on with that kid, I’m not even going to try. Kids are goofballs! I think that one football player is Bronco Nagurski.

TokyoMagic!, somebody dropped a quarter, and grandma dove on it. In 1974, you could buy a sensible car for a quarter. I’ve actually seen a baby fall (not roll) out of a stroller, it was very entertaining.

Mike Cozart, they’ll have to take her backstage to the pony farm.

Melissa, your story about your crutch getting stuck is why I never walk with stilts down Main Street. At least not anymore. Thank you for pointing out The Dowdies, my favorite girl group! I love their hit, “I have to curl my hair tomorrow”. I would feel OK about borrowing a Jack Benny joke, he seemed pretty generous (can one be stingy and generous at the same time?). Peter Pan collars… WHY?

Melissa, maybe the fried chicken was in a stroller, disguised as a baby?

TokyoMagic!, if you puree your fried chicken, you can bring it in a Thermos. It’s much less conspicuous!

JG, I’m imagining the poor guy on crutches trying to board (and de-board) from many rides - sometimes it’s not easy, even if you are able-bodied. I can barely fit my legs in some of those tiny dark ride vehicles. I truly wonder if there will come a day when the horses will be permanently removed from Main Street? I will grumble loudly, not that anybody will care. My mom didn’t wear weird outfits as a rule, but sometimes she forgot to take off her apron, and she had some wild psychedelic aprons that my dad bought in Japan. Maybe she looked cool?

KS, I assume that those horses have to go through some sort of training so that they are used to the crowds, and maybe even petting from shy kids who don’t bother to ask if it is OK to do so. As you said, they are big and powerful, so it is impressive that they remain so calm.

Melissa said...

If they ever get rid of the horses, they'll probably replace it with the Dobbin+ app, where guests can pony up $50 to pull the streetcar around themselves.

Melissa, maybe the fried chicken was in a stroller, disguised as a baby?

"What? No! How dare you? This is my son! His name is, uh... Robert Poulet."

Dean Finder said...

They won't just remove the horse drawn streetcars. I figure they'll electrify them into trolleys, then try to turn them into some kind of high-speed trill ride which will break constantly. Then they'll shut it down.

I remember reading about the pre-opening of Disneyland and how they used crowd noise recordings while training the horses to ensure they were used to it by the time the parks opened. I'd guess a similar process is still in use today.

Bu said...

These horses are bred to work, and they like to work! I remember them being so excited to start the day as they brought them on stage, and then SOOOOOOOO very excited at the shift change knowing that they were going to eat!! Like giddy excited like a squirming little kid. It was very cute to watch: and they even made little baby type noises. Looks like employee has his vest buttoned, so I won't have to point it out today. These Main St. vehicle guys are notorious for unbuttoned vests. Not. Acceptable. This photo could be today if there was a queue to get into City Hall...still something I don't understand. I do enjoy red concrete that is almost shiny on Town Square....I don't enjoy pavers that much...I don't hate them: but I'd rather see red concrete. #39 and his BFF clearly are there will Coach blue windbreaker and his pal "staff photographer". Red sleeve lady is a one-off. Peter Pan collar: they are a statement for sure. People on curb: I don't understand this at all. I'm tired: I'm sitting on the curb. It's especially odd, when Mr. Horsie decides it's time "to go". These are the same people that plop down in the middle of an airport. Don't understand that either: and if I was going to plop on floor: an airport is the last place I'd do it. Disneyland actually may be much cleaner. This particular shot is shot a lot...I have this same one, and many are posted. I think it's the awe when you come to the hub and the Matterhorn is staring you in the face. Very photo worthy always: even today. Thanks Major!

Lou and Sue said...

^ ….and then they’ll still leave the tracks there.

Lou and Sue said...

^ oooops….my above comment was in response to Dean’s comment—first paragraph

Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, “Robert Poulet”!! :-D

Dean Finder, yes, I can imagine them spending millions to update the streetcars only to shut them down. Sort of a “Rocket Rods” situation, only slower. Interesting that they used crowd noise recording for the horses, but it makes sense.

Bu, I assume that the horses are trained with positive reinforcement (affection, food, video games) so that they associate work with good things. Maybe. Animals with a work ethic?! I wonder about unbuttoned vests - a few undone buttons won’t make you cooler if it’s hot out. So… what’s the deal? Are they just slobs? I’m not crazy about the pavers, mostly because they feel so “new”, and remind me of the driveways around town. I’m sure they have their advantages - it’s too bad they couldn’t replicate the slightly uneven cobblestones that are found in places (including older sections of NYC), but that would cause tripping, and I’m sure ladies in heels would not appreciate them. But they would look good! I’ve seen people laying getting right down on the street for a photo, and I think about the hundreds of times horses have “gone”. Maybe just stand for your photo?

Lou and Sue, but they could sell pieces of the tracks for BIG MONEY!

Lou and Sue, I know!

Chuck said...

The thing that has me mesmerized - and a little freaked out - is the lady to the right of Coach Blue Windbreaker. Standing there...arms dangling from her arm...and staring. Right. Into. My. Soul. I doubt I'll sleep a wink tonight.

Anonymous said...

Melissa, please don't mention Dobbin+ (tm) so loud, Disney will implement it in a heartbeat and then come out with memorial horse-shaped popcorn buckets.



Regarding the streetcar conductor or horseless carriage motorman vest being open the other day . There were (are) weather conditions - usually heat related that allowed castmembers to work minus certain costume pieces … like coats and hats … but also heat levels that allowed vests to be opened and sleeves to be rolled up… these were for extreme weather situations and only temporary . However I thought the picture the other day was winter so that probably would not have been an exception to leave a vest open.

Regarding castmember hats : hats went optional in 1994 in Florida and then in 1996 at Disneyland. One thing I’ve noticed nowadays is that cast members who do wear hats as part of their costumes tend to wear them incorrectly… like the DL RR conductor caps : the pull the hat down low with the round top part of their skull pushing thru the top creating a “dome” and stretching the fabric . They do the same thing with the cheap straw boaters used in Main Street. This makes the cast member look like a dimwit. Part of it comes from the low class of people being used … but also they are obviously not being shown the proper way to wear their hat or costume.