Friday, March 13, 2009
Knotts Interlude & Witch Mountain
I haven’t been to Knotts Berry Farm since December 1979. There are 2 reasons I have avoided it, even though it is just minutes away from Disneyland, my second home. Biggest one is that I definitely don’t need another theme park to cover! Second, is that I have been told it has really gone downhill. Reading the recent news that some of the Ghost Town buildings have been torn down kinda’ confirms that. Having just gotten back from the east coast, where buildings last 200+ years despite winds, rain, snow, and humidity, it boggles my mind that with the fairly consistent temperatures of Southern California, the average life expentancy of a building appears to be about 40-50 years. Another difference between the coasts is that the east coast seems to have embraced its past (some say it lingers too long in the past!) and has learned the value of restoration whereas California is way behind when it comes to restoration; scrape and burn seems to be the typical mode of operation. Apparently the Knotts buildings will be re-built; wouldn’t it have been wiser to protect the originals over the years and do some restoration rather than let them get to the point that they need to be torn down? End of rant. Enjoy the photos...I can’t tell you a durn thing about them (other than that they are from about 1957), but I do know there are many of you out there are love Knotts! Hey Merritt - get that cotton-picking book of yours published so that people can start appreciating the history of Knotts!
A detail shot of the Indian figures on the rocks:
And one from September 1960:
One of my favorite movies as a child has been re-released on DVD (with tons of great extras), “Escape to Witch Mountain.” Sure, the 1975 special effects seem a little less than state-of-the-art today, but the film is still tons of fun to watch today, thanks to the chemistry between the leads, Kim Richards and Ike Eisenmann and its universal theme of 2 children trying to find their origins and a place to fit in. The sequel, “Return from Witch Mountain,” is also still fun, but despite the campy casting of Bette Davis & Christopher Lee, does not quite match the level of the original.
Order “Escape to Witch Mountain” at Amazon.com and “Return from Witch Mountain” at Amazon.com.
See more vintage Knotts Berry Farm photos at my regular website.