Monday, September 30, 2013
Silhouette artist, Cindi Harwood Rose, started cutting silhouettes at Disneyland in 1969 and eventually at Walt Disney World, breaking park records by doing over 600 people in one day at Disney World in 1971! She still does silhouettes today and thanks both Roy Disney and Jess Rubio for believing in her talents, even though she was only a teen at the time. She paid for her entire college degree by cutting silhouettes. Below you can see a silhouette done by Cindi of music legend, Liberace, from Disney World.
Her sister, Holly Harwood, also cut silhouettes at Disney World. Holly battled cancer and finally passed; in her memory, Cindi cuts silhouettes and donates proceeds to cancer survivors through The Holly Rose Ribbon Foundation. The money goes to children who lost a parent to cancer as a scholarship for college, for free reconstruction for breast patients, for children's activities in hospitals such as clowns, book-reading, art projects, and her silhouettes. She can be reached at silhouettesbycindi.com or Cincere@wt.net. Many thanks to Cindi for sharing her amazing stories! Here they are in Cindi's own words:
I actually earned every penny of my college education cutting silhouettes for Jess Rubio in amusement parks (he owned the concessions at Astroworld in Houston), and each summer and December at Christmas, he would send me to Disneyland to relieve the other silhouette artists so they could get a vacation. I would stay in a "guest home" in Orange County, normally with an employee, and they were always shocked that the girl from Texas could out-produce the Disney artists in California. Call it Texas charm, or that I love silhouettes, or that I am the fastest silhouettest in the North, South, East, West, or plain Disney magic...to me, it is a "dream come true!"
I worked 14 hours a day, 5 days a week for Disney World, the fastest silhouette artist they ever had and the largest producer—600 people days! The most anyone else had done were 400 people days. I was the only silhouette artist when Disney World opened in 1971 and on my days off either Vincent (still at Disney World) or Rico (Prosperoso) would take to the stand. They never equaled my production—400-600 silhouettes each day! I think it is the energy of the love I have for the art, which is magic in itself. When I first worked, Roy Disney and Jess Rubio would check the trash at night to make sure my work was done in one cut! I was the only person allowed to have curly (frizzy) hair—no make-up which is fine, and I don't need—as that was natural for me, and Greta (in charge of grooming) approved my hair. It was not the Disney look, but working 12-14 hour days, I would leave for the park showered with wet hair, and by the time I arrived and went through wardrobe, it was dried in a natural blonde little curly bob.
Here is a cute story about Disneyland—I went to work my first day (during Christmas holidays to give the artist there in 1969 a two week vacation) and I was walking down the street to get to wardrobe. The guard stopped me and told me that I did not have a 25 year pin on, and was not allowed to walk on that side of the road! Then, when I got to work, someone joked that I was "A Texan" and was a "fast draw" with my scissors, comparing it to a gun. Roy Disney even greeted me with Jess Rubio (he could not walk well) and I was so excited. My first day there, I did more silhouettes than the other artists had done; they said it was because I would say, "Hi Ya'll" to everyone, and that even in California, Texas hospitality was appreciated! We were paid 25 percent of what we did, and the silhouettes were $1 for one and 50¢ for a duplicate copy. Thus, I was able to pay for my whole college education by cutting silhouettes at Disneyland and other parks owned by the Disney lessors. There was an art manager in the park, named John Raya, and he did silhouettes and caricatures as well at Disneyland. At the time, Disney instructed me, "If they have a double chin, leave it off; the guest is always right." These things I remember and always have my bright, shining Disney personality whenever I hand-cut silhouettes which is very often.
I still have my first manual from Disney World—what a treasure! I also remember Rico Prosperoso very well; he was from the Philippines; half Asian, half Hispanic. His beautiful works are published by Dover Books. His silhouettes had an Oriental style; they did not look like the people as they were very elongated, but his castles, butterflies, etc. are amazing! I remember they let him dress out of costume, unlike me, who had to wear "Main Street" which was not pretty, especially the flat shoes, that I found embarrassing! Rico would come in dressed like a Spanish matador, and he would cut out gorgeous fairy-tale silhouette scenes, then burst out laughing like a coyote—the loudest laugh you ever heard! And then, the whole shop would start laughing as well as all the "guests" around.
I always had a huge crowd around me, as I was taught how to display my work (by Jess Rubio): first show the people, then turn to your right and show the crowd, then sway the pasted silhouette to the left, then back to the people—showmanship! They did try to show me how to flip my scissors in the air as I cut silhouettes, but I did not master that, and I don't think any good silhouette profile artist could do that, but Rico could-- à la food chef style! Below are some of my elaborate scenes that are quite modern, and Rico's work done by my side at Disney World, that he published while I was there through Dover Books for everyone to use; they are not copyrighted. He would be honored to have something written about him, as Dover did not put anything about him in their books other than his name on the cover. He was like perfume; when he came by, there was happiness and laughter and magic! I stopped working for Disney in 1972, after 5-6 years for the Disney Theme Parks...pre-college, college, after-college.
Above are some modern silhouettes that I did and one below from a page of Rico's from Dover prints (you can find his work on-line):
...and the other from 1972, of Abraham Lincoln that I did as a sample at Disney World:
...and then one by my precious sister, Holly Harwood (later Skolkin):
I am not sure why, but in "those days" and I noticed recently still, at Downtown Disney, many "character" silhouettes are on display, such as fisherman, cowboys, army people, and they do not look like real people, which is a mistake of many silhouette artists. The real art was a "history" of the era, as it predates the camera. That is why my work is modern, and I stay up-to-date on fashion, or a person's style statement. My work is real, and the art is supposed to be "intuitive" where we capture more than features…we capture personality! I know that I do, as people from over 40 years ago have always told me that my work had an impact, and that they learned much about themselves from it. It is more than black and white, for me it is LIGHT and LOVE! Please view my video (you can use it) Rocking Paper Scissors, and you will know what the art means to me—the unity of man. Silhouettes know no prejudice or skin color, they see your positive light, not your shadow. They should never be done from a shadow; the real Disney silhouette artists do it from sight, and they do it right!
Many silhouette artists give everyone the same face. A great silhouette artist would not do that, neither would a great portrait or caricature artist; they would make you as you, your handprint profile!
Above is one of my sister Holly's silhouettes; she also worked at Disney World and Disneyland during college vacations—to give the California artists a break and to work at my side in Florida, doing silhouettes. She worked for Rubio Artists in his Houston location, Astroworld (no longer open, it closed in 2005), doing silhouettes. Holly died of breast cancer 2 years ago, and on-line there is a story about the two of us at Disney World doing silhouettes in our Main Street costumes in front of the Magic Castle!
Thank you Cindi for sharing your inspirational story!
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Sunday, September 29, 2013
Some of my very favorite shots from the early years at the park are of the characters themselves. This is just part of my twisted personality. Not only are they fairly "off-model," but some of them look downright creepy. In the first photo, Scary Minnie has grabbed herself two young boys outside of the Wonderland Music Shop on Main Street, U.S.A., and she's not letting go until they empty their wallets. This photo is circa July 1961.
In image number two, our July 1960 Mickey character is attempting to look innocent by putting a finger to his chin. These poor innocent little girls almost seem fooled, but they do appear to be hesitant to get too close. Add smart to their other qualities! Drat that little boy who just had to race in front of the camera. I'm guessing this shot was taken somewhere near the entrance, but wouldn't bet the house on it. Anyone know for sure?
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Saturday, September 28, 2013
I was raised on ice cream. I cannot remember a day from my childhood that there wasn't a box of Breyer's Ice Cream in the freezer. I can eat the stuff until I am sick...literally. Yup, I'm an ice-cream-aholic. Fortunately, Farrells' closest location is over an hour away. Unfortunately (for my waist-line), Ghiradelli's is less than ten minutes away. Photo number one from today shows historic Ghiradelli Square in San Francisco, which was once the headquarters of the company. Below is the Gaslamp District location of the Ghiradelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop.
On this occasion, I was accompanied by my good friend MarMar and her precocious daughter, Maeve. The two of them (separately and together) make formidable challengers to my ice cream consumption. Upon entering, we were each given wrapped Pumpkin Spice Chocolate samples by a friendly Ghiradelli employee. The inside of the shop is a step back in time, when Ice Cream Parlours were found in most communities.
What to get...narrowing down the deliciously tempting choices can be overwhelming!
This is the closest shot I have of what we ate; they looked so good that all three of us immediately dug into our sundaes like savages.
Maeve had a bit of a brain-freeze, which can often happen when you indulge in a frozen treat too quickly.
It's nothing that a little mother-daughter nuzzling can't help thaw out, though.
Maeve picked out a sweet treat for her brother, who did not get the opportunity to join us (it was a mother-daughter bonding session!).
Although I've walked into the new Disney California Adventure location, I have yet to eat there.
The interior includes an homage to the Ghiradelli Square location.
After putting this post together, I am craving an ice cream sundae. I think I'll go to the gym first!
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Friday, September 27, 2013
Judy Garland is seen here talking to a reporter at a party thrown in her honor at the Sherry-Netherland Hotel in New York City circa 1945. Judy was in town to promote her upcoming film, "The Clock," starring Robert Walker. Here are two contemporary shots of the Sherry-Netherland:
"The Clock" was directed by Vincente Minnelli, who had recently married Garland. This lesser known film was a dramatic departure from the musicals Judy had been cranking out for the last five years. The story takes place during a 48 hour time period and covers the whirlwind romance of Judy's character (Alice Maybery) and Walker's (Corporal Joe Allen). The two decide to get married and find it challenging to do so before his leave from the war (WWII) is over.
Because World War II had not yet ended, filming on location was not considered cost-effective. These two photos show MGM's version of Penn Station on their soundstages in Culver City, recreated at a cost of $66,000.
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In honor of the upcoming October 1 release of "The Little Mermaid" for the first time on Blu-ray, I am sharing some clips for you to enjoy, beginning with the trailer:
The joyful "Under The Sea":
"Part of That World":
"Kiss The Girl":
Thursday, September 26, 2013
Awhile back, I posted a number of photos that Daveland reader Michael Black had been kind enough to share from his Blackened Roots blog. Recently, he uncovered ten more shots that were also taken on the official public Opening Day of Disneyland, July 18, 1955. Beginning with image number one, I will let Michael narrate:
My father’s foster brother, Richard, realizing too late that he’s in my grandmother’s shot of the entrance to Frontierland.
The departure of the Mark Twain Steamboat to an adventure on the Rivers of America:
The Mark Twain Steamboat on the Rivers of America:
The Golden Horse Shoe Revue, taken from aboard the Mark Twain Steamboat:
The half-completed entrance to Adventureland:
What a great shot this could have been…this is a view from a Jungle Cruise boat, back when the ride was intended to be a serious adventure:
A rhino from the Jungle Cruise:
The TWA Moonliner and the Avenue of Flags in Tomorrowland:
Another shot of the TWA Moonliner, this one surprisingly well executed (although the negative has gotten crinkled from rough handling):
And last, but by no means least, the iconic Sleeping Beauty Castle. It’s an odd vantage point; did they go “off trail” to get this shot?
Many many thanks to Michael for sharing this amazing collection of historic photos.
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Wednesday, September 25, 2013
The Casey Junior attraction is one of the most charming hidden gems of Disneyland. In this September 1958 image, you have a wonderful overview of the entry area to Casey, with the Cinderella Castle from Storybook Land towering over the background. One of the Skyway towers provides a place of rest for these weary young guests. I love seeing the mix of young and old in these vintage photos.
Here is a closeup from March 8, 1956, showing the hanging sign above the line queue for Casey:
From the same day, the photographer also gives us an overview of the area, featuring the Casey Junior Ticket booth.
Zooming in, you can see that Storybook Land is still going under its magical transformation from a mud-laden canal ride into a tranquil view of the miniature lands where Disney's classic animated characters reside.
A few contemporary shots to show how the same area and signage look today:
Gone are the Skyway supports, but the little Ticket Booth still stands, carefully tended to so that guests of yesteryear can see this quaint structure and smile with fond memories.
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Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Today's first photo is from Promontory, Utah, on May 10, 1969. The Jupiter (officially known as Central Pacific Railroad #60) was a 4-4-0 steam locomotive. Don't know what 4-4-0 means? Don't feel bad; I used to be in the dark, too! 4-4-0 refers to the number of leading wheels, then the number of driving wheels, and finally the number of trailing wheels.
The Jupiter was one of two locomotives to meet at Promontory Summit during the Golden Spike ceremony commemorating the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad. Built in September 1868 by the Schenectady Locomotive Works of New York, the Jupiter was taken apart and sailed to San Francisco where it was loaded onto a barge and sent to the Central Pacific headquarters in Sacramento, then reassembled and put into service on March 20, 1869. Forty years later, it was scrapped.
A stand-in for the Jupiter was placed on display at the Golden Spike National Historic Site to celebrate the centennial of the Golden Spike. The engine was "portrayed" by Virginia and Truckee Railroad's Inyo. For the May 10, 1969 centennial, the High Iron Company ran a steam powered excursion train round trip from New York City to Promontory. The Golden Spike Centennial Limited transported over 100 passengers including (for the last leg into Salt Lake City) actor John Wayne.
If The Jupiter looks familiar to you Disneyland fans, that's because the C.K. Holliday was modeled very closely to its design. The C.K. Holliday locomotive was named for Cyrus Kurtz Holliday, founder of the Atchison & Topeka Railroad (later known as the Santa Fe) and built by WED Enterprises in Burbank from a design inspired by Walt Disney’s model train engine, the Lilly Belle (his backyard railroad, the Carolwood Pacific) which also closely resembled the Jupiter.
The C.K. Holliday, weighing in at 23,200 pounds, joined the Disneyland Railroad on Opening Day, July 17, 1955. Here's an early 1955 photo of the locomotive at the Frontierland Depot:
Two more from the same depot dated September 1958:
and some time in the same decade:
This Spring 1963 image of Sophia Loren almost makes one forget to notice the Locomotive.
Back at the Main Street Station, the C.K. chugs away in October 1972:
And in March 1974:
To round out the post, two contemporary images from the Frontierland/New Orleans Square Depot:
A trailer for the recent Disney film "The Lone Ranger" shows The Jupiter for a very short moment at the end. The word "Jupiter" can be seen on the tender.
NASHVILLE CONTEST UPDATE: K. Martinez wins one of the two free copies of the Complete Season One DVD set. Please email your mailing address to: firstname.lastname@example.org. I still have one set left; anyone in the Continental U.S. can win it; first person (besides K.!) who leaves a comment today will get it.
Follow my Daveland updates on Twitter and view my most recent photos on Flickr. See more vintage & current Disneyland Railroad photos on my Disneyland Railroad web pages.