Monday, July 28, 2014

A Picture Is Worth...

Only one photo today, but with plenty of details to see, you get so much more from this 1961 Castmember spectacular in front of Disneyland's Main Street Train Station. The first detailed view shows jester/juggler/unicycler Christopher Fair:

Here's a color shot of Christopher from my collection from June 1963:

And a shot of his backside in front of the castle:

At the center of this detailed view is Roy Williams from the Mickey Mouse Club:

He was performing various duties in the park, including doing drawings/caricatures on Main Street:

The shoe shine dancing duo of Kenny & Teddy can be seen at center here:

And in New Orleans Square in this 1966 image:

Bill and Lloyd Elliott of the musical Elliott Brothers can be seen here:

They played in the Plaza Gardens that have now been replaced by Fantasy Faire:

The Gonzalez Trio made it to Main Street for the group photo:

Here they are back in Frontierland:

And last, a shot of the trio of stars from the Golden Horseshoe Saloon, Wally Boag, Betty Taylor, and Donald Novis:

They can be seen inside the 'shoe in the same order in this vintage color transparency:

I'd say I got my mileage out of that photo!

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

The (not so great) Mystery of 1961

This one image has it all; a beautiful closeup of the Red Monorail:

And a great shot of the Skyway buckets as they sail through the Matterhorn:

According to the seller, this shot is from 1961, and also came with this view from the Skyway of the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship:

I don't see any part of Skull Rock, which was completed in December 1960. This would make me guess it is either from 1959 or 1960. These are the kinds of things that keep me up at night. I need some serious therapy.

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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Crystal Pier Bodybuilding Photo Shoot

Last Sunday I had a photo shoot at Crystal Pier. It was a bit overcast and cloudy, which wouldn't seem like an ideal situation to take photos, but in truth, it worked out just fine.

Since it was early, Pacific Beach was pretty quiet with most of the people I saw either surfing or getting coffee and breakfast at Kono's, the local hot spot.

My subject was bodybuilder David Anthony Tassin, who just the night before had earned the NPC National Physique Athlete Runner-up in the Los Angeles Championships Physique Tall Class. Here he is prepping for his photos. He looked pretty ripped even before the pushups.

The back of a champion.

I don't think I've ever had a waist that small.

I had to laugh a little when he said he was going to do some sit-ups to make his abs stand out. Wow.

Doing his show routine:

His idea of shooting under the pier worked out well; really love this shot.

Elsewhere in PB, you can see what Crystal Pier looked like back in the day with this hand painted mural:

Pulling back, here's the entire mural:

Just down the street, you can also find John Lennon advertising Five Guys restaurant. Wouldn't Four Guys have been more appropriate?

Tonight, David competes in Las Vegas to hopefully get his pro-card at the USA Championships. I can't imagine him not succeeding.

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Happy Anniversary, Ernie!

55 years ago today, the Ernset S. Marsh (aka #4) took its inaugural run around Disneyland, with none other than Walt Disney himself acting as Chief Engineer. Built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1925, it was named after the Santa Fe Railroad President. Previously it had served the Puritan River Sand Company in New Jersey. Disneyland was definitely a move up!

Walt always looks happiest when he is with his trains; once again, the hat askew is so awesome to see!

I can only surmise that the Marsh is not run as frequently as some of the other Disneyland locomotives, as my collection of images is fairly sparse. Here are two shots from December 1960:

Zooming in to see the bromance:

And the view from down below:

I hope they didn't get reprimanded for taking a long break!

I am embarrassed to admit that the most recent shots I have of ol' Ernie at the Main Street Train Station are from 2009!

From 2008 at the Frontierland/New Orleans Square Depot:

Back one more year for this 2007 Fantasyland/ToonTown Depot view:

Finishing Ernie's Anniversary Grand Circle Tour, I have two from the Tomorrowland Depot, starting off with a 1969 view:

and one from 2008:

I know the next time I go to Disneyland, I'll be hunting down ol' Ernie for some new photos! Happy Anniversary, #4!

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Court of Angels Celebration

Sometimes when the idea well has gone dry, I visit This Day In Disney History for inspiration. Today, I was reminded that it is the anniversary of the opening of New Orleans Square, a 3 acre parcel that was once my very favorite land in the park. I have not been back since the completion of the Club 33 remodel, but based on the photos I have seen, the design perfection that Walt personally oversaw has been marred. Rather than focus on the current mess, today's post will celebrate The Court of Angels, that special corner of New Orleans Square, showing it from beginning to end. And yes, I mean end, as the regular ticket-buying guest can no longer experience its beauty.

A view of the original model for The Court of Angels:

Here is a shot of New Orleans Square under construction:

Zooming in, you can see the stairs still under wraps:

"I had the honor of standing next to Walt for the opening of New Orleans Square. His eyes missed no detail and he spoke of how he would improve on the concept. Accompanying us was the mayor of New Orleans." -1966 Disneyland Ambassador Connie Swanson

Here is New Orleans Square on opening day, with a gala celebration:

Zooming in for a closer view of the Court of Angels:

This staged publicity shot shows what a perfect place this area was for photos:

It didn't take long for guests to figure that out; here's an August 1981 shot of a lovely lady posing there.

What made The Court of Angels so wonderful was that it always felt as if you had stumbled upon a very secret place. New Orleans Square (unlike its Louisiana namesake) has a number of curved streets with twists and turns, which makes it feel larger than it really is.

And once you enter, wow…what a gorgeous place.

Now, blocked from view by a pair of poorly designed colored acrylic windows, it is gone for the masses.

At least I have my memories and my photos. Adieu, Court des Anges.

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