Saturday, June 04, 2011

5 Year Anniversary of Daveland Blog!



5 years. Hardly seems possible. What an amazing journey it has been. Lots of surprises and fun in today's post, beginning with this first image which is what I would call a Holy Grail shot. Previous to me recently acquiring it, there was only one known photo of Steve Martin working at Disneyland. This 1957 photo of him posing with two young ladies serendipitously fell into my lap, just like the 1965 Knott's Berry Farm shots (look it up, folks; serendipity is more than just a tasty restaurant!).



Just like Steve Martin, George “Moe” Collins began his career at Disneyland as a guidebook salesman back in the park’s early years, riding his bike to the park down Katella Avenue, which was only a 2 lane street at the time. He would return to Disney some 20 years later, working as a staff writer at WED Imagineering, hired by and working for Marty Sklar. Here are Moe's comments on this photo:

The lyrics from 'Bookends" by Simon and Garfunkel, come drifting back. "Long ago, I have a photograph…preserve our memories…"

In the summer of 1956, I had the good fortune to become a guidebook salesman at a place where most kids in America would have loved to work. Still star struck in the wonder of Davy Crockett, and The Mickey Mouse Club, it was like stepping back in time and onto a stage. I didn't know anything about sales, or money matters for that manner, but I jumped at the chance to do anything that Disneyland would offer. I would have scooped up the expended horse fuel behind the trolley if there had been an opening.

I was so excited about getting the job that I could hardly wait to ride my bike home and tell my family and friends, who lived on Dewey Drive in Garden Grove. One of those Dewey Drive friends was a boy who seemed to be even more excited about my "triumph" and shyly asked if I could possibly help him get a job doing the same thing. Bingo. A Star Was Born. Not only did he become a top guidebook salesman, he eventually became a Disney Legend and one of America's greatest entertainment treasures......Steve Martin.

On the weekends and during summer vacation and holidays, we would ride our bikes to the park down Katella Avenue…a two lane street then…and go to wardrobe where they dressed us in 1890's garb, replete with candy striped shirts and a top hat. We looked and felt the part,.and we appreciated that humble beginning. We still do to this very day, sharing memories and pictures of those halcyon days.

Many years later, I would become a staff writer at Disney's Imagineering division....the master planners of Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and every Disney theme park throughout the world. Although I stayed only 6 years, I am still brushing pixie dust off my shoulders. Steve still does things from time to time for Disney and he, too, never forgets. He remembered my small role in helping him get his first job, and on December 2, 2007, I was thrilled, and deeply moved, to be his guest at The Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, honoring Steve for his exemplary lifetime achievements in the performing arts. Nice going, Steve, and thanks for the memories.


Before snagging this great shot, I had one "close call" with this photo:



Zooming in, you can see the guidebook salesman…



Moe shared Steve's comments:

“Well, this to me is an amazing photo. It’s not me, but only one of two photos I’ve seen of the guidebook salesboys, and the ONLY one I’ve seen of a kid in operation inside the gate. I was beginning to doubt our existence! This kid is standing on the exact spot that I used to work, right in front of the west newsstand, taken from the other view that was in the Robbins Barstow film that I accidentally appeared in at the Main Gate. This boy is older than I would have been and I don’t recognize him. He looks about 14-15; I left by the time I was 13, maybe 12 to go work as a trick roper in Frontierland. And how shocking that his sleeves are rolled up!

He is wearing a straw hat. I wore a felt top hat (because I loved magic) until they made us wear a straw hat, but I loved the straw hat too. The outfit he is wearing is perfect. I may have even worn that vest. It’s so familiar I can smell it. His left pocket is bulging because it’s full of coins from guide book sales. We never wore pins because we worked for a leasee.

When I first started, we worked outside the main gate and worked the crowd as they approached the ticket booth, then we were moved inside because, I was told, it was too tacky to have the first thing the guests see was boys hawking things.”


Martin's next Disneyland gig was selling souvenir spinning lassos in Frontierland, followed by demonstrating and selling packaged magic tricks and joke novelties at the old Merlin's Magic Shop in Fantasyland, where he became an accomplished magician. He learned to juggle from Disneyland Court Jester, Christopher Fair, and modeled his trademark, "Well, excuuuuuse me," phrase on the exasperated outbursts of a woman he worked with.

Moe also graciously shared this image from his personal collection, circa 1956, of a Golden Horseshoe show in progress:



From Moe:

I took this photo inside the Golden Horseshoe with an old Brownie Hawkeye camera! Not exactly digital quality, lol! This was sometime late 1956, when Steve and I were selling guidebooks. Notice the kid in foreground balcony with his legs through the slats, and the Proscenium sign of "Sue" aying homage to Slew Foot Sue, one of Wally Boag's skit characters.

From Holy Grail to Prizes! That's right! I am awarding prizes today in honor of my 5 Year Anniversary. First place winner receives a set of 6 50th Anniversary Disneyland plates, still in their original boxes with COA's. Sorry, only continental USA for the 1st prize.

















2nd & 3rd place winners will receive an 8x10 photo of ANY photo on my website that I personally shot, from 2004 to present day. That's right! A high quality lab print suitable for framing!

Here's what you need to do, dear readers (after 5 years, you are definitely dear to me!): leave a comment on this post between now and Monday, June 6, 2011, noon (PST), and I will do a random drawing for the top 3 prizes. Okay all you blog lurkers (I know you're out there!), time to start leaving some comments!

Thanks for following me for 5 years and all of the great interactions I've had as a result of this blog. Stay tuned for more!

Follow my Daveland updates on Twitter. See more vintage & current Disneyland photos at my regular website.

103 comments:

Chris & Andrew said...

Consider me in! I would love to have some 50th anniversary plates!

The Viewliner Limited said...

Congratulations on the 5 years Dave. I have had many enjoyable moments viewing all the great Disneyland pictures you have posted and they have rekindled many, many awesome memories. As always... it is all appreciated, Richard.

BTW: The Viewliner picture from yesterday..... INCREDIBLE !!!

Guy Selga said...

Congrats on five years. You have one of the best Disney blogs ever.

Matt Feige said...

Congrats!

GJHawley said...

Congratulations... 5 years, WOW. Thank you for the wonderful memories and excellent history lessons of Disney. I look forward, every morning, to seeing what you have posted for the day and enjoy your awesome collection of past and present photos of Disneyland.
Thank you again for such a awesome blog site and look forward to many more years with Daveland....

Major Pepperidge said...

Happy Anniversary, Dave! Thanks for the years of amazing photos. Ha ha, a contest brings out comments from folks who don't usually comment!

Momma Nic said...

Wow, those Steve Martin shots are a lot of fun. Congrats on the 5 years, thanks for sharing your journey with us. It has be incredible.

Thufer said...

5 amazing years. Thank you so much Dave; it has been most appreciated.
Those pictures are just wonderful, what an excellent post and celebration of your fifth year. I hope there are many more.

Connie Moreno said...

Holy smokes, Batman! INCREDIBLE post today. I think I read the whole thing three times just to make sure I didn't miss anything. WOW! And 5 years, to boot!!! Amazing! I love everything you post from the travel photos, the Disneyland stuff and the movie gems. All of it truly entertaining. So glad to be one of your fans!

DISNEYMAGIC71 said...

Congratulations on your 5th anniversary of bringing the magic to us. Everyday, I anxiously wait for your blog. Thank you so much Dave for sharing all of your photos and memories. Have a magical day!

Mike said...

Congrats on five years! Love the new Steve Martin photo, amazing how he's so young and in period get-up, but as soon as I glanced at the page, I knew that was Steve Martin.

timoni said...

Yay five years! Congratulations. :)

Anonymous said...

Steve Martin turned 12 in 1957. He looks older in the photo, but his Wikipedia page does say he worked at Disneyland from 1955 to 1958.

Diana said...

What a treasure trove of images! I was part of a high school band that marched in the Disney World Bicentennial parade, and love the place so much that my husband and I honeymooned there.

Thanks for sharing!

Molly said...

I would love to win some 50th anniversary plates!!

Anonymous said...

Great info. Thanks for sharing and for the plate contest.

sdunnebacke said...

Nice blog. Five years ago, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have known what a "blog" was! Hope I win the prize!

claudiamil said...

Thanks for the opportunity to win those plates! I enjoyed your memories and seeing those pictures.

Connie said...

What fun to read how a first job shaped Steve Martin's comedic beginnings!

Anonymous said...

Awesome photos-thanks for sharing!

karla molina said...

5 may be a small number , but the number of memories and amazing drawings/photos you accumulated during those 1,825 days are not small or dull in any way. congratulations. Thanks for all the sharing and good luck. Many more years to come right?

timcrawf said...

Thank you for the past 5 years. Thanks especially for today's post. What a great post for fans of Steve Martin and George Carlin.

DizWiz said...

Congratulations on the 5 year anniversary, and thank you for entertaining us with your wonderful posts and photos. Looking forward to the next 5 years and beyond!

Donna said...

I love Steve Martin. I enjoyed reading your blog. Great shots. Happy 5th Anniversary!

Christiana said...

Thank you so much for keeping this blog running! What a wonderful and informative post! As a fellow Disneyphile, I really love hearing intimate stories like these relating to the park.

Congratulations on your 5 year anniversary!

BusmasterJones said...

Wow. What great info about Steve Martin's start at Disney. That's for a great history lesson.

Jennifer said...

Five years, wow! Congratulations! Great photos and what an amazing story you've got here!

Michael Loves Anne said...

How do I leave a comment?

Man, I crack myself up.
Love the blog, got here from Steve Martin's twitter account (after I uploaded a few pictures of Congressman Weiner for him).

hope I win!

Bearride - Raymond said...

Yay for five years! More!!!!!!
I never knew that there was such a thing as a guide book salesman.

Amy C. Spaulding said...

Congratulations on your 5-year anniversary in the blogosphere! I just wanted to comment. (No need to enter me into the drawing -- I am trying to downsize!)

What strikes me about your blog post is that it supports what I am coming to suspect: That everything we do in life eventually helps us get to where we are going; we just may not know it then.

I understand Steve Martin's comedy a lot better now knowing that he started as a barker at an amusement park as a kid. Is there any better training for being a comedian?

My folks had the good fortune of seeing Steve Martin perform at the Westchester Theatre when Steve was first starting out. They came home late that night and told us that some young guy with white hair was wearing an arrow through his head and was getting booed on the stage. My dad said he was funny; my mom said she felt sorry for the guy.

I love remembering this story because it shows me that genius is often ahead of its time -- that courage and persistence are an equal part of a person's success.

You just never know, do you? Everyone has a little bit of the Magic and we are all part of the Mystery! And if this comment seems a little preachy, "Well, Excuse Meeeee!"

Happy 5th Anniversary!

Corie said...

Oops my last comment disappeared

I love this blog! I found it via Facebook on a post made by Steve Martin. What a fun blog to visit on a daily basis..I am bookmarking this.

I was last in Disneylady waaaaaay back in July of 1976. Because of the Bicentennial, the fireworks were even more spectacular. I visited the Golden Horseshoe review many many times because the banjo player was Cuuuuuuuuuuuuuute as was the boy who took tickets/guarded the line outside. Ah to be 24 again :)
Thank you for this wonderful fun blog.

Louie Mantia said...

Wow, I had no idea that Steve Martin worked at Disneyland, but this photo is gold.

GEC said...

What a lovely story of friendship against the most magical time in Disney. I love the magic that lingers around Disneyland even still.

Reverie said...

Congratulations on 5 years of Disneyland blogs! Thanks for the pictures and stories, and thanks to Steve Martin's twitter directing folks here.

Will Tupper said...

I was just led here from Mr. Martin's Twitter account. Looking forward to reading more of your work from the past five years.

I wish you the very best of success for the next five!

Lee Thomas said...

5 years already! Fun and informative the whole time. (OK, maybe not both all the time, but at least one ;o)

olddisneylandfan said...

Dave, thanks for an incredible five years. Your efforts (along with those of Major, Matterhorn, et al) rank right up there with that of the late "E-Ticket" magazine. Many happy returns and we're looking forward to your tenth year celebration

PeaceLove said...

Awesome blog! 5 years is something to be proud of, as is that badass shot of Steve Martin!

TokyoMagic! said...

WOW, what more can be said about this post. I love that first pic and just like "Mike", I knew that was Steve Martin before reading or scrolling any further. A fantastic find for you! I wonder where those two ladies are today today?

Congrats on 5 years, Dave...and thank you for all that you have shared with us. Looking forward to more wonderfulness from you!

your pal bree said...

Awesome post! <3 Steve Martin. Congratulations on 5 years!

Mia said...

Simply awesome!!! Thank you for sharing! x

Dave said...

Congrat's on a beautiful five years!
The post and pic's in your article on Steve Martin and Your time at
Disneyland are priceless! I had the honor of visiting Disneyland in
1965 for the 10th Anniversary. I was just 12 years old and went with my neighbors and thier son (My Best Pal).
It was the best cross-country trip
of my life. We did the whole Route 66, Chicago to LA! Finally to Disneyland and what a wonder for a kid it was!...
Thanks again Dave for the Memories!

Deirdre said...

Great site. I can't wait to get back to Disneyland

dAvId said...

Oh, this its a blog? I'm here for the free plates.

rachel said...

congrats on 5 years! I found you through steve martin on twitter and love it!

Progressland said...

Congratulations on five years of wonderful posts. I know what how time consuming it can be to acquire, scan, organize and publish materials like these and I admire your persistence. And your scans, of course, are always of the highest quality.

Carl said...

5 years of dedication - and we're all the better for it.

gk said...

This is such a cool post! Thanks for sharing.

Christopher said...

I read Born Standing Up a year ago and your post has inspired me reread it. The stories about Steve's early years at Disney Land and Knott's Berry Farm were meaningful to me because it all took place while my parents, newlyweds at the time and soon to be expecting the birth of my older brother, were regulars at Knott's during the time Steve worked at the Birdcage theater there. Your post is especially timely given the passing of Wally Boag and to you, good sir, I tip my hat. Nice job!

Artanis Knarf said...

Congratulations! Love checking the site out everyday for the vintage shots. I also able to check out some of the places from your St. Louis shots a few months ago. Keep it up!

chilebob said...

This is a great blog! Congratulations on the 5 years. I too work at Disneyland and I love looking at old pictures and hearing stories from past CM's. One of my favorite things to tell people is how Steve Martin used to work there too, especially when I'm by the magic shop talking with a guest.

bill said...

5 years of creativity and love of your work........your a lucky man

Matterhorn1959 said...

Dave- congratulations on 5 Years and a fantastic story on the anniversary!! You know I appreciate your blog and the images you present, including the fantastic shots from you personally. I wish I had your photographic skills!! I hope you can keep it up another 5 years or more!!! Thanks again for sharing your finds, your pictures and your adventures.

Jeff B. said...

My first time here (sent via a Steve Martin tweet). Fun stuff AND a chance to win the 50th plates....I'm sure it won't be my last visit!
Zbouch@aol.com

jedblau said...

Congrats, Dave, on the terrific blog and the fantastic goodies that you've provided us since day one.

Margretwood said...

I never win anything.I take that back I won a frozen turkey when I was in 5th grade...so exciting...Loved reading your stuff...

emilycbaker said...

Wow, Jeff B stole the words right out of my mouth! I've passed through Daveland occasionally in the past, but Steve Martin's tweet brought me here today and it was a great article. I'd love to be entered in the contest and I'll certainly be sure to stop by more often!

SuzyA said...

Dave, Happy 5th Anniversary! Your love and knowledge of everything Disneyland past and present is amazing. Your daily blog entries and photos so fun and informative. Finding your blog while doing research was the best find ever! Congratulations and Thank You!

Charlie said...

Thanks for a wonderful five years! I've been following the blog since the beginning and it is still one of my favorites. Here's to another five years!

Isabelle Briand said...

I "discovered" this site after following Steve Martin's tweet today. I love the vintage photos and enjoy reading your vivid memories!

Chilihead said...

Wow! That is a great story! and those plates are simply phenomenal. My fingers are crossed. :)

A Snow White Sanctum said...

Your blog's a real inspiration. Congratulations on the 5 years. Amazing pics today.

pixiegirltink said...

What a way to mark the occasion!! Awesome post as usual, Dave.

Happy Anniversary to one of my all time favorite bloggers. Always interesting, always informative, always entertaining. Here's to at least 50 more anniversaries!

:) Lannie

Thom said...

Thank you to Steve Martin for directing me to this great site. My dad loved anything Disney. He visited Disneyland the first and second year it was open and was among his favorite memories. When he passed away I found a box of his souvaners from those trips. My favorite things was a novilty paper and two guidebook. It gave me a feel for what its was like compared to when I visited it several times in the 90's when I lived in Long Beach. I wonder if Steve Martin sold them to my dad?

George Evans said...

Count me in! Thanks for the chance at winning the prize but even more thanks for your time & effort. Great posts.

Chrispy said...

What a great story. I got here from Steve Martin's twitter post. Nice to read some early history of him and his colleagues. As the song goes "From little things, big things grow".

Tennor said...

Five years of great Disneyland blogging. Thanks so much, I'd love to have those plates!

mike zim said...

I'm another newbie, thanks to a Wild & Crazy Guy's twitter. I'll be watching you. Thanks, Mike

karen said...

What a fun and revealing blog post. I loved it!

J. Radcliffe said...

Wonderful pictures and comments. My grandparents lived at, what used to be the end of Ketella, past where it used to wash out. My family and I would go to Disneyland at least twice a year when we would come down from Northern California to visit my grandparents. Every time I go back to Disneyland I feel like a kid again.
Thank you for your blog.
And thank you Steve Martin for posing it on twitter.

Scrod said...

Enjoy the old pics, and when they are linked to a story like Steve Martin, makes it more exciting.

Steve Gibson said...

I can almost smell the heat of the slide show projector bulb and hear the whir of the projector fan as I scroll through these shots! Great stuff, Thanks!

Top Secret said...

Congratulations on five fabulous years!

ilovecwbyz said...

Congrats on 5 years! Newbie to the blog looking forward to looking back at past entries. LOVE the photos!

Hanna said...

Wow these are some fancy plates! Very nice! Great blog! :)

Joe said...

One of the things I love about Steve Martin is the reverence he has for Disneyland. It warms my heart.

Hazel said...

Wow, we just visited Disney not too long ago and did a web search to see if Steve Martin actually worked there. How ironic. I follow Steve on twitter and one of his tweets led me here. Thank you, what a lovely set of photos and me worked.

Hazel said...

Darn auto correct, that should say, lovely set of photos and memorIes.

-idogcow said...

Your anniversary and we all get presents! Thank you for every day you post!

Colt Neal said...

Congratulations Dave! I love your blog, your posts make my day!

Best,
C.

Marjorie said...

Long time lurker, first time poster! Thank you for a great blog!

JG said...

Hi Dave. Congratulations on five years. I really enjoy your blog, as you know. Many happy memories I thought were lost forever.

I don't need a plate, but thanks for the offer.

JG

B. Weenie said...

hi Dave!

Tyler said...

Great pics. Very interesting read. I like many others got here through Steve Martin's twitter post. Now I have 5 years of posts to go through.

VSW said...

Hi Dave!
You have Seve Martin to thank for this new follower. I am very glad he posted a tweet about this blog entry. I love Disneyland and I really enjoyed the photos included with the blog. My first visit to Disneyland took place when I was 8 years old in 1972. I went back each year for 22 years. Since then, I've managed to go back about 5 more times! I am one of those that truly envy that you got to work in such a beautiful place daily. I will be reading your blog from now. Happy 5th anniversary! I hope I win a plate! Greetings from Tucson, Arizona!

Loren said...

What an amazing blog this is. And I have Steve Martin to thank for sending me here.

Raaawb said...

So great to see that picture of Steve there; he looks like I always imagined him looking at DLand! Nice going on five years; now just do that nine more times and maybe you'll make some plates of your own!

Shadarus Semloue said...

Well done! *round of applause*

Susan said...

Congratulations on five years! It is very cool to read about all this and see the pictures. I came across this through Steve Martin's twitter post.

Jill Ann said...

5 years in blog years is a LONG time! Congratulations Dave!!!

George Taylor said...

Congratulations, Dave.

It has been an honor to call you a blogging brother over the past five years.

Kelli said...

Lurker here, de-lurking to say congrats on 5 years! Thanks for the memories!

Mark Taft said...

Congratulations, Dave!
Thank you for all your work and your obvious love for Disneyland!
Mark
www.InsightsandSounds.blogspot.com

AF said...

Congrats on your 5 year anniversary (and pick me! pick me!)

AlexValve said...

Congrats Dave!
It's been wonderful having your blog for over 5 years. Thanks for all the great information you have posted over the years about Disneyland.

stu29573 said...

How did I miss this post???? Congratulations, Dave! You are an inspiration to all of us!!!

GCA said...

Wonderful blog! It has been great time-traveling through your posts and I look forward to reading more. Thank you for sharing your blog with us!

DeanneMK said...

Congratulations on your five year blog anniversary Dave.

I found you last October after I returned from my last trip to Disneyland. I was all charged up about anything and everything Disneyland and your pictures and thoughts keep me going until my next visit.

Thanks so much, Dave.

Jen said...

What a wonderful post! Reading about the friendship between Steve and Moe is extremely touching. It's always fun to hear these kinds of stories. Congrats on 5 years!

The Halfling said...

Steve Martin has always been one of my favorite comedians. For him to remember those that helped him on his path is wonderful to see. Congrats on these five years.

Diana said...

My dad took me to Disneyland the first summer it opened...I was 5. I still go back at least once a year. ~Diana, Ariona

Kabobbins said...

Thanks for helping keep me sane during the week. Your blog is one of the highlights of my workdays.
I visited Disneyland for the first time last summer and it was absolutely magical. I only wish I lived closer to visit more often.
Here's to many more years of your fabulous blog!

MagicJoe-WTTM said...

Just wanted to say Happy 5th Anniversary on your blog, et al. Appreciate all the hard work you have made for the past 5 years in sharing Disneyland info, photos and stories such as Steve and Moe's.