Friday, December 09, 2022

TGIF: New Orleans Square, Circa 1979

Where better to celebrate TGIF than Disneyland’s New Orleans Square? This batch of 1979 images focuses on my favorite area of the Park. This lovely young lady is being entertained by the Royal Street Bachelors. This was back when the One Of A Kind shop was part of the shopping experience.

A little peek inside at the vintage treasurers that awaited guests:

Another shot of the Royal Street Bachelors, without photobombers:

Another smiling guest:

A rare vintage interior view of the Blue Bayou restaurant, taken by a guest while riding the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction:

…which provides the perfect segue to the next portion of our 1979 tour. This image shows not only the Wicked Wench, but what the POTC boats looked like in 1979:

A closer view of the Wicked Wench:

A detailed view:

Ah, the treasure…how many guests have attempted to purloin a souvenir from this tableau?

Poor Carlos…the eternal dunking.

Our 1979 photographer ignored the red-headed wench and instead, focused on the auctioneer and the stout maiden that was currently up for bid:

These cats want food…not booze.

Will they ever get out? I’m surprised Governor Newsom hasn’t pardoned them with the rest of the people released early in the California prison system.

Our lovely young guest is back, this time in front of the Mansion:

…and closer:

…closer again:

…and as close as we’re going to get. No interior shots from this batch. Sigh.

I am sure most Disneyland fanatics have seen the tragic news of the man who committed suicide at the Park by jumping from the top of a parking garage. He left behind a lengthy explanatory “note” on social media detailing why he took this action (a damaging public accusation by his wife against him that caused him to be put on leave from his job). It is not my place to determine what is true and what is not; but I what I want to focus on from his note is this sentence:

Please, please, please be kind to one another! Treat each other with kindness and grace. There is too much anger in the world and people need to start treating each other better. What I’ve shared with you above is a prime example of how “anger” can really have long-lasting and extremely damaging effects on a person’s life.

Please read that again…especially before you decide to make judgment about what happened. Be kind. Those are wise words. And here’s another piece of advice: detach yourself from social media for awhile and let the ones you love know that you love them.

See more Disneyland New Orleans Square photos at my main website.

Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Remembering Pearl Harbor

In the Woody Allen film, “Radio Days” (1986), Mia Farrow plays a scatterbrained cigarette girl who yearns to be on the radio, circa 1941. Just as she gets her first big break and is about to utter her first line, the Pearl Harbor attack interrupts the broadcast and she misses her opportunity. As all the actors rush out of the studio, Farrow’s character asks with total innocence, “Aren’t we going to do the show? What do we do now? Come back Monday? Who is Pearl Harbor?!?” Eighty-one years later, there are probably those who ask the same question…or at least have no idea of the significance of what happened in Hawaii on December 7, 1941. Today, visitors can take a boat to the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial, which was built over the sunken battleship where more than 900 bodies were unable to be recovered. As eloquently put on the wwiifoundation website:

But the USS Arizona was more than just a battleship. Her oil tears still leaked from below. Tears of those who never lived a full life. Never had kids or grandkids who would sit on their lap. Many would never be married. Many would never live to see their full potential.

Little known fact: it was Elvis Presley who helped make this monument a reality. The fundraising campaign began well, but was still short of the goal. Elvis performed a benefit concert at Bloch Arena in 1961 (while filming “Blue Hawaii”) and raised more than $60,000 towards completing the monument. Even more importantly, Elvis’ concert helped increase the awareness of the memorial fund, which made possible the May 30, 1962 dedication.

The Visitor Center is where tourists begin their journey to get to the Monument. 

Inside you can see the bell recovered from the U.S.S. Arizona after the attack. A similar bell was removed from the ship a year earlier and resides at the University of Arizona, Tucson.

The highlight of the visitor center was being able to hear the stories told by Everett Hyland, who was a crew member of the battleship U.S.S. Pennsylvania. He immediately reported to his battle station when the attack began. In writing this post, I learned that the veteran passed away July 24, 2019.

From his obituary:

“If we ever go to war, the last place in the world I wanted to be trapped was down in the bowels of the ship,” the longtime Honolulu resident said in a Navy interview. “I wanted to be top side, so if something happened, I could get off it. So I volunteered for antenna repair squad. I was with the radio division.” When general quarters sounded, he realized there was nothing to be done at his battle station, so he and others began collecting ammo for a 3-inch 50-caliber anti-aircraft gun. The “Pennsy” was in Drydock No. 1 at the time. “We took one hit. The one that hit our ship just happened to be where we were,” Hyland recalled. The 18-year-old was so badly wounded by the aerial bomb that his own friends did not recognize him, the park service said. Flash burns covered his body. He had an ankle wound, a chipped bone in his right leg, his right hand was ripped open, he had a bullet hole through his right thigh, five pieces of shrapnel in his left leg, a chunk blown out of his left thigh — among other injuries. He spent nine months in recovery, and then went back to sea, the park service said. Since 1995, Hyland had volunteered at the visitor center weekly, sharing his story with visitors. “Uncle Ev” had a dry sense of humor and heard a lot of sea stories from the Dec. 7 attack but always “took great pride in telling what he knew and what he actually saw rather than enlarging the story,” said Daniel Martinez, chief historian for the Arizona Memorial.

Also nearby is the U.S.S. Missouri, which was the site of the surrender of the Empire of Japan, which ended World War II.

The plaque on the deck:

Just in case you need to see it closer:

As we get further in time away from each of these historic events, the meaning and ramifications diminish over the years. It is difficult today to imagine how the bombing of Pearl Harbor rallied our nation together, especially now at a time when this country is so divided.
See more Hawaii photos at my main website.

Tuesday, December 06, 2022

Temple Tuesday: Burnin' down the (school)house!

Shirley Temple’s 18th birthday celebration was held on the set of the lackluster comedy (and I use that term loosely), “Honeymoon.” The caption for the photo above read:

4/23/1946: Shirley called on husband, John Agar, for help in blowing out the 18 candles on her birthday cake. In addition to the cake, RKO provided a soft drink bar and buffet supper for the guests who attend the part on the “Honeymoon” set.

I had to zoom in on the matchbooks that were strewn around the table,

Here is the Lucey’s (circa 1939) that they advertise:

From the Calisphere website:

Lucey's Restaurant, owned by Antonio Luciano, who went by the nickname Tony Lucey (hence the name "Lucey's" Restaurant), first opened its doors in the 1920s as a place to wet your whistle during prohibition. It quickly became a big star hangout catering to movie industry clientele such as Robert Preston, John Wayne, and Ronald Coleman, to name a mere few. In 1945, Luciano sold his restaurant to businessman Nathan Sherry, one of Los Angeles' more important restaurateurs in the Golden Era of the 1940s. At the height of his business Sherry operated almost 12 nightclubs and restaurants, but in 1954 - just nine years after purchasing Lucey's, Sherry died of a heart attack at the age of 65. Lucey's Restaurant continued on, becoming Lucey's New Orleans in August of 1959, and then Casa Lucey's Mexican food in April of 1963. This restaurant was eventually demolished and replaced with Walter's Plants Rentals years later. This is a corner view of Spanish style Lucey's Restaurant, located at 5444 Melrose Avenue and Winsor Street in Hollywood. It shows a white, 2-story round Spanish style structure on the right, and a cupola can be seen peeking up from atop another portion of the restaurant on the left, behind several large shrubs.

A color shot taken during the festivities:

In this shot, Shirley stands over the charred remains of a miniature schoolhouse. Now that she was eighteen, she no longer had to take classes on set in between takes of her movies.

What the little red schoolhouse looked like before it got torched:

Shirley attempts to show costar Guy Madison and former costar Jack Oakie (“Young People”) how to dance on the nightclub set from “Honeymoon”:

A screengrab from the movie showing Shirley teaching Franchot Tone how to dance:

When looking closely at the previous shot from the birthday party I noticed this man who appears to be a deadringer for Douglas Fairbanks Jr. The timing is about right, as he was also working for RKO on “Sinbad the Sailor”:

However, in this view of Shirley and then-husband John Agar dancing, the gentleman in the background looks a bit less Fairbanksian:

The girl itching her scalp appears to be Joyce Agar, Westlake classmate and sister of John Agar:

Here she is at Shirley’s wedding, fourth in from the left:

What a party! Now I’m hungry for cake. See more Shirley Temple photos at my main website.