Monday, May 13, 2024

18th Anniversary - The Celebration

Happy 18th Anniversary to GDB! And to all Junior Gorillas throughout the Universe! Yes, it's true - 18 years ago, I was inspired by Matterhorn1959's "Stuff From the Park" blog and by The "E" Ticket magazine. Hey, I can share MY vintage Disneyland photos too! How do you do a blog, anyway? You just figure it out, that's how. To be honest, yesterday was the actual anniversary, but I couldn't celebrate the occasion on Mother's Day. So it's really 18 years plus a day.

As always, I would like to thank everybody who has participated in this endeavor - many of you have been with me for a long time; I have a small but loyal following! I've even had the pleasure of meeting some of the Junior Gorillas. 90% of the fun is the discussions, the shared knowledge, and the enthusiasm - it has all helped to keep me going.

ON to today's photos! Let's start with this nice photo of a pretty hostess outside of Casa de Fritos, circa June 1963. She reminds me of the "Cigarette Girls" (like Wilma Slaghoople and Betty McBricker) that used to stroll through old nightclubs such as the Cocoanut Grove - only she is offering golden, delicious Fritos corn chips. Hey, Klondike! 

Next is a photo from July, 1957; the Tomorrowland Spaceman, suited up to protect him from the harsh atmosphere of Anaheim. The silver material of his costume shields him from harmful radiation and cosmic rays. Notice that this variation of the costume features a patch showing the Kaiser Aluminum telescope. The family to the right seems to be very distracted by his feet. Or shoes. Or the baffles on his legs (to keep out moon mice)?

The third scan is from a slide date-stamped "September, 1958"; we have a view of the Autopia as seen from the Skyway queue's stairs. And it's a nice photo all by itself! But the most interesting part...

... is the peek at some of the massive construction going on in Tomorrowland, part of the project that would add the Matterhorn, the Submarine Voyage, and the Monorail to the park. All in one go! I'm wondering if the excavation area is what would eventually become the covered, dark-ride portion of the Submarine Voyage? I'm pretty sure I have later photos taken from the same vantage point, but I couldn't find them after a quick search. 

From "sometime in the 1950s" we get this fun portrait of a family posing with Black Bart. He loves to flirt with the pretty gals - when he's not cheating at cards! He must have just won a big jackpot, he's in such a good mood. In the background is the Casa de Fritos. 

Now it's 1957, and we get this great shot of one of the Stagecoaches. And it's a real beauty, only driven to Carson City by a little old lady on Sundays. We can really admire the elaborately-painted pin striping and curlicues. We can even see the painting of Mission Santa Barbara on the door. 

Next I have this photo of Captain Guy, the buccaneer who used to hold court at the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship. He's about to slice off that man's ear, which seems pretty extreme, but the Cap'n did what he had to do. Notice that the pond where the ship rested has been drained. Did they find lots of spare change?

And finally, I showed this photo of me (probably around 7 years old) to Sue B., and she encouraged me to share it on the blog. Why not now? This is from when my family lived in Huntington Beach, and I believe that this giant slide was in Fountain Valley. Some fun!

That does it for today. I hope you all enjoyed today's special photos. THANKS to everyone for the years of support and friendship!


TokyoMagic! said...

Great pics today, for a "Major" anniversary!

I used to love those giant slides! It seems like there were quite a few around So Cal, at one point. Thanks for sharing that special photo of yourself!

Happy 18th, Major! Thank you for all the effort you put into posting, every single day. And also for providing a place for all of us to get together, and share with one another!

Nanook said...


Leave it to Disneyland to have a Casa de Fritos 'hostess' [hubba, hubba] carrying a silver tray adorned with Fritos. (Of particular note, if one looks carefully, is a bag of The New Era - Scientifically Processed - Potato Chips, which is sitting on the far-right of her tray. The New Era company merged with Frito in 1958, who merged with Lay in 1961. This must've been their potato chip offering at that time). [No need to summon Klondike].

That construction photo of Fantasyland/Tomorrowland is a beauty. If my bearings are correct, the back-half of the excavation would "...eventually become the covered, dark-ride portion of the Submarine Voyage".

The details on the stagecoach are so beautiful. There are home movies of me getting in and/or out of one of those.

Oh, Major... from your 'towhead' days-!

Congratulations, Major on 18 YEARS +1 day-! Thank you making each day special and for creating a 'community' of great folks.

JB said...

Wow, 18 years!... And 1 day! Even though I've read/looked at GDB's entire 18 year (and 1 day) history, I've only been commenting for... well, I don't remember when I started, but it was 3 or 4 years ago. I'm glad I stumbled upon this group of silly, irreverent, kind, and oh so knowledgeable Jr. Gs.

1) I love how the adobe is carefully chipped away next to the señorita's feet (and over to the left... and well, lots of places), to make the building look like it's been there for centuries.

2) The Spaceman isn't wearing any gloves! So much for radiation and cosmic ray protection! Major, I believe the "baffles" on his legs are to keep out Moondust when harvesting Moonberries at the bottoms of craters.
Wow, that sure is a rickety, bare bones stroller being pushed by the gawkers.

3 & close-up) I was thinking that the pit is the Sub Lagoon. But I think you're right about the dark ride portion. It's probably some of both.

5) I notice that Black Bart's 'secret' stash of playing cards are all aces of spades, which makes it even more humorous.

6) Looks like Don Knotts is in charge of helping folks in and out of the Stagecoach today. "Atta boy, Luther!"

7) The Cap'n does indeed look like he's cutting off that gent's ear. I wonder what the story is behind that? Maybe he's offering to pierce the guy's ear for the insertion of a pirate earring. We can see the Mermaid gesticulating (illegal in 30 states!) to the upper right of the umbrella.

8) Ha! I can't tell if you're grinning with joy or grimacing with fear. Maybe some of both.

I won't be 'that guy' and wish you another 18 years, Major. That would be too cruel. But I hope you're still doing this blog thing for many more years. Thank you.


I have a question regarding Senora de Fritos ( Fritas ?? Seniorita Del Fritos ??)was this just a publicity character or did an employee actually had out bags or Fritos ? We’re these complimentary or did she collect a nickel?

Major : congratulations on 18 years ….. but is that correct? 18 years ago feels like it would be in the 1980’s … but it’s not … so much time keeps passing faster and faster … but your blog helps to make it fun!

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I forgot to mention that I got your "Wilma Slaghoople and Betty McBricker" reference! Maybe if guests didn't have a nickel for a bag of chips, the "Chip Lady" would tell them, "That's okay, you can CHAAAAARGE IT!"

Pegleg Pete said...

18 years!? Where has the time gone? Thanks for all the effort you put in, Major. And thanks for today's bumper crop of photographs. That Autopia pic is especially great and it's always nice to see the stagecoach up close.

Chuck said...

Wow - Gorilla’s Don’t Blog has reached its Porcelain Anniversary! Impressive. Am I right is assuming that this celebration will last at least 18 months?

As you say, “90% of the fun is the discussions, the shared knowledge, and the enthusiasm.” The other 90% is the photos.

And…so many wonderful photos today that I don’t have time to comment on each one. I will, however, offer an observation on something I just noticed - the silver panel in the Spaceman’s helmet does a pretty good job of shielding him from the sun, a thoughtful (and practical) gesture from the costume department. And two Junior Major sightings in as many days - this is truly a rare treat!

Thanks again, Major, for what you do for us each and every day. It really means a lot.

Budblade said...

Thank you, Major for all your work everyday. This is one of the very few sites I visit everyday.
I do so enjoy your wonderful pictures, and the commentaries here cannot be beat.
I really like the “Junior Major“ moniker!

Bu said...

Happy Porc Day! Is the 18th really Porcelain? If it is, I am going to ship you boxes and boxes of dishes that I don't need anymore. These photos are really dilly's today: I will go from the bottom up, just to be all rogue! What is the mop of blond hair? Where did that come from? Is it true that blondes have more fun? I rode the same type of slide at Marineland: with the burlap sack: then skidding to a stop on some industrial carpeting or something. The simple things are the best. I don't need to be shooting lazer beams on my way down. I am befuddled by Pegleg and strange guy who looks like one of those guys that takes you to your seat in Vegas after taking money from you. As a teenager impersonating someone over the age of 21 in a Casino showroom, I thought that was odd...why can't you just buy the seat you want and sit wherever you want? The rigging on the bow of the ship seems to be all sloppy and messy...all must be some rehab. Perhaps getting ready for skull rock. Stagecoach: so very pretty: with the hand painting of a California Mission and such. Too bad the coaches went the way of the Keel Boats: "oops". Black Bart: wow: what a full resolution photo. I have two words: Sun. Screen. That woman's hair is a bit Cruella: but perhaps she was going for that look. That gun seems to be close enough for Johnny Huck Finn to swipe. Wonder if it was always "capped" and ready to roll?...Autopia: I still don't get it: but these cars are cool with their Disneyland license plates. Let me drive on a freeway to drive on a mini freeway...hmm...nope...still don't get it. NASA guys are always cool. Very neat and tidy. Looks like Dick Nunis was running the joint. Not a hippie to be seen. Spaceman with very tight bracelet: Seems like he would fit in with the Autopia guys. There was probably no shortage of NASA types in these days to moonlight (no pun intended) as SpaceMan. That costume is pretty brilliant: Hope it's still around somewhere. The señorita looks very happy: I would too holding a basket of delicious snack foods. I wonder if that fireplace behind her actually was lit from time to time: looks like the painters did a good job of replicating it. Many happy people in these photos: something that seems to be missing in modern photos unless "posed" or "Instagrammable"...18 years ago: where was I? Thanks Major for all that you do!

K. Martinez said...

Happy 18th Anniversary to Gorilla's Don't Blog.

To me, GDB is The 'E' Ticket magazine of today. Always a joy and full of fun and humor. It can't be beat.

Thanks for all that you do, Major. With all your hard work, you have touched many and made a difference.


Stefano said...

!8 years! GDB is legally adult, though at heart all its fans are like Major on the slide.

Muchas gracias Major, as the pretty senorita would say, and por favor for many years more.

Anonymous said...

Here in LA it’s still a bit early for sharp wit and snappy banter, but just the right time to Thank You again Major for the miles of smiles, barrels of laughs and bevy of beauties.



zach said...

Thanks, Major! Happy Anniversary! Why, I remember when your avatar was animated!


Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, I have vague memories of the swooping sensation, going down that slide! Thank you for the kind words.

Nanook, I have a few Golden Horseshoe table menus that mention the New Era chips, I always wondered if they were basically like Pringles? Thank you, Nanook!

JB, 3 or 4 years ago? You mean when I’d already been going for 14-ish years?? Outrageous! The Spaceman didn’t need gloves, since his hands were robotic at this point, with realistic “flesh”. “Don Knotts”, ha ha! I have no idea why the Cap’n would be cutting off that guy’s ear, but it must be some sort of tradition. And I am grinning with joy! Thanks JB.

Mike Cozart, I’m afraid I don’t know the answers to your questions, I can’t imagine that she gave out free bags of chips, but you never know. Thanks Mike.

TokyoMagic!, I was sure that you would get the reference! You know your classic TV like nobody else.

Pegleg Pete, it really is pretty sobering to think about how much time 18 years is! Thanks for checking in, Pegleg Pete.

Chuck, Porcelain? Lame! I want gold, gold, GOLD! Early on you can see that the Spaceman didn’t have that silver panel on his helmet, so they obviously learned that the poor human was slowly roasting inside. The panel was a good solution! Thank you, Chuck.

Budblade, I’m glad you take a look every day!

Bu, ha ha, we have been getting rid of boxes and boxes of old dishes from my mom’s house, nobody wants them. We used to have dreams of selling them for big money, as much of it belonged to my grandmother or even great-grandmother. In my case I cannot really claim that I have more fun (!). Good eye on the rigging, something must have been up. I love the good look at the beautiful Stagecoach. Bart would only be at the park for another year or so, so he didn’t need to stock up on sun screen. Folks love the Autopia, so I don’t need to “yuck their yum” so to speak. Maybe the “tight bracelet” is a flexible watch band? And I am all for more pretty girls smiling at me at Disneyland. Thanks, Bu!

K. Martinez, thank YOU!

Stefano, say, your Español is pretty good! Thank you.

MS, Many thanks for the kind words.

zach, there you are! I wasn’t sure if you still checked in. Glad you are still along for the ride.

JG said...

Major, congratulations on a significant anniversary!

You should do something nice for yourself, maybe buy some more slides or a funny hat.

The GDB community is something you have created and it’s a testament to… well, something good. Thank you so much! As noted above, GDB has made a huge difference to many. I would be very lonely without my gorilla chums.

I do like the Spaceman photo, since I wear a shiny suit like that every day. Those flanges in the suit are to keep your socks from sliding down.

The submarine construction photo is a real winner even if it is hard to orient to. Notice the construction wall along the track, probably just to minimize driver distraction at the critical point of returning to HQ, as there is no chance of hiding the whole excavation. Looks like sheet pile soil retention at the far end, where presumably the hole will be deeper?

Thanks very much again!


Kathy! said...

Wow, these are fine photos for this momentous occasion! You’re right, JB, that stroller by the spaceman looks more like a wheelchair you’d see in a Shirley Temple movie. And I noticed his bracelet/watch too. Speaking of watches, the younger brother with Black Bart has a watch, while the older might have a compass on his belt loop. The straw hats say “Tom Sawyer”. I like the mule visiting the trough in the background of the stagecoach pic. Hip hip hooray for Major P!

Melissa said...

Happy Gorillaversary! It couldn't happen to a better bunch of bananas!

This is a great group of pictures today, but my favorite is little Minor Pepperidge at the big slide. I've always wanted to ride one of those, ever since I saw one in a documentary about an abandoned funhouse when I was a kid. I always put an insanely long one in every park I ever built in Roller Coaster Tycoon.

Steve DeGaetano said...

"The thoroughbrace is broke."

(Google it).

Happy anniversary, Major! I remember the 10th anniversary and you didn't think you had enough material to continue! So much for that legend!

Stu29573 said...

Congratulations, Major!!!
Bonus points for the Flintstones reference!
Gotta run right now, but will be back for more in depth picto-wisdom (more likely, I'll crack some dumb jokes...)

LTL said...

those carnival slides are great low tech fun, and no noisy generator needed to make them operate.

in the spaceman pic, I like the partial spheres attached in random order on the side of the building in the background... even though we are living in the future *now*, you don't see that design used to much in daily life.

happy 18, truly amazing

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, I don’t know if I can take credit for creating the community, to me it just sort of happened, by some miracle. Maybe Sue can take more of the credit! I just watched an Adam Savage video about spacesuits (he loves spacesuits), and he said that the silver fabric was largely used because that’s what the public expected. Yes it had some other factors, but it did look COOL. Yes, the little wall was surely there to prevent looky-loos! Just like on real freeways. Thanks JG!

Kathy!, I guess this was from the days when a stroller was strictly utilitarian, and not luxury transportation for children. They sold straw hats like that in Frontierland, but that one definitely looks like one that Huck Finn or one of the other boys might wear!

Melissa, I’d be up for trying one of those big slides again, even if it means going up 200 steps!

Steve DeGaetano, I have upped my spending on old slides, probably way too much, really. But what the heck, you only live once!

LTL, yes, those partial spheres look cool, and at night they were backlit, which looks even cooler! Thanks!

Dean Finder said...

Congrats on 18 years (and a day). It's great to have a little spot for coffee and conversation on the internet like this.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Zach, I miss the winking avatar, now that you mentioned it. If I remember correctly, when I joined this group five years ago, only the earlier ones were winking. Then they all stopped winking. It did freak me out, the first time I noticed it wink.

I see that the little white wire fencing also made an appearance today, to celebrate.

There was a 'super slide' near my house and us kids loved it. But if your bare arm or elbow [or leg] rubbed on the slide while flying down, you got a 'burn' (skinned). You quickly learned to keep your hands and arms inside the burlap at all times. Our burlap wasn't a bag to sit in, but a long piece of material that you sat on and then folded over the front of you, and you then grabbed onto - and it could become undone while sliding down...ouch!

Major, I'm up for trying one of those slides, again, too! We could all join you, and most-certainly take a few breaks on the way up. It'll be worth it!

Major, I ditto all the kind words that everyone else has said about you and this blog, today. I'll also add that you are one of the funniest, and humblest, persons I have the pleasure of knowing. You get ALL the credit for creating this happy space. THANK YOU!

walterworld said...

Totally agree with K. Martinez that "GDB is The 'E' Ticket magazine of today".

Thank you Major for gifting us so well, and now for 18 times around the sun.

HBG2 said...

Congratulations! You are a must-see, must-read blog for anyone interested in park histories.

Funny too.