Monday, March 31, 2008

The Golden Horseshoe Revue Reunion

Saturday night I had the good fortune to be able to attend Carlene Thie’s tribute to the Golden Horseshoe Revue & Wally Boag. First photo here is an exterior of the saloon from 1956, showing one of Walt’s favorite attractions at the park, and the site of his 30th Anniversary Celebration (just days before the park was even open). Shot #2 is the original cast of this rootin’ tootin’ entertainment, including Wally Boag, Judy Marsh, Donald Novis, & the Can-Can Girls.

Shots #3 & #4 are from March 1976, showing the songbird of the show, Betty Taylor, and Wally Boag with Fulton Burley.

Flash forward to today (or Saturday night to be more exact...): held at the Anaheim Sheraton, the event included a silent auction of memorabilia & collectibles (picture is my painted reproduction of the original attraction poster).

Carlene is shown with her daughter Rachel, wearing an original Betty Taylor gown & wig/headdress:

With the Can-Can girls:

Entertainment started off with the Dapper Dans, who were in fine vocal form:

And it just wouldn’t have been a show without the Can-Can girls, who still have got it...splits, was all there:

The show continued on with some of the show’s more memorable alumni: Jim Adams’ ventriloquism act brought the house down.

From the current Billy Hill show was Kirk Wall, doing his best Elvis imitation:

There were a number of stirring tributes from Disney legends, like Bob Gurr, Marty Sklar, and Charles Boyer:

The most touching tributes were by Wally’s son & daughter. His daughter gave her account of what it was like to have free reign at Disneyland, and how she & her childhood friends never missed the closing show of the Revue whenever they were at the park.

Although frail, Wally still has the spark in his eye and comic sense that has made him a true Disney legend:

Curtain call by all the participants, including GH alumni Dana Daniels on the right:

It was truly a special evening, and many kudos go to Carlene for arranging it. If you are not familiar with the Golden Horseshoe Revue, be sure to get the DVD Disneyland: Secrets, Stories, & Magic. It contains a 1962 10,000th Show Tribute to the Revue, and is glowing color footage of Betty Taylor & Wally Boag. To see more Golden Horseshoe Reunion photos, visit my website.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

GH Poster Painting: DONE!

It is done! I will take a better photo of this painting once the sun is up!

To see more of my art, visit my regular website.

Matterhorn Memories

I can’t remember whether I posted this first image or not, and quite frankly, am too lazy right now to do the research. What I do know is that I’ve never posted this closeup view of the climbers:

Today, I received an email from Jim Crary, the man standing atop the Matterhorn in this photo. He was kind enough to share the following memories with me about his years at the park: “Dick Erb and I, both 15 years old at the time, were climbing at Tahquitz Rock late spring of 1959. Chuck Wilks, the Sierra Club member who was hired by Disney to place the "pitons" in the side of the mountain, was climbing that morning too. He asked us if we wanted a summer job on the Matterhorn. Well duh...The next issue to overcome was to actually be able to do it. Our soon to be boss, Chuck Corson, told us, “Boys if you can climb it, the job is yours.” On a warm June afternoon, Dick and I reconnoitered for a route. We climbed over the fence erected to keep all out and were about 20' off the ground when accosted by the Disneyland police. We found out that no one told them what we were doing and that we were supposed to take the ride’s elevator to the inside platform and begin from there. Nice start to a summer's job! Our purpose as climbers was to provide something to watch for the folks waiting hours in line for the attraction (some times the sign read 4 hours from this point). So 9 times a day, 6 days a week all summer long and on the weekends between summer 1959 and summer of 1960. Dick quit before the 1960 summer and was replaced by Jeff Winslow. I worked that summer and retired too. The only other things I can remember of interest that I can put in print are the 4 hours hanging by rope waiting to repel for Nikita Khrushchev and a time I sprained my ankle and was carried to the infirmary by the Chip and Dale characters.” As a “bonus,” here is a photo of one of the first supermodels, Twiggy, riding in a Matterhorn Bobsled for her June 1967 TV show, “Twiggy: Why?”

Meanwhile, I have finished the 2nd of 2 paintings for the Golden Horseshoe Event tonight; it is a painted reproduction of the original Golden Horseshoe poster:

To see more vintage & current Matterhorn photos, visit my website.

Friday, March 28, 2008

GH Poster Painting 3

When I decided to do this reproduction of the original GH Poster, I figured I’d knock it out in a few days; no blending/shading needed, it would be a snap. I didn’t take into account the lack of opacity for the metallic gold or the preciseness required for the lettering...duh. Down to the wire here, I am at the touch-up stage, where I go over every inch of the painting to make sure all the blemishes are fixed up. To see more of my art, visit my regular website.

Evolution of a Train Station

In 1948, Disney released a movie titled, “So Dear To My Heart,” which features a small Victorian-styled Train Station called the Fulton Corners Station. Once the film was finished, Walt offered the Train Station set to Ward Kimball for his backyard railroad setup, The Grizzly Flats. Since the building was a set, it was somewhat flimsy, and Ward & Team spent much time making it sturdy (including adding a backside to it, since the set had none). Picture 1 from today shows the station in Ward’s Backyard, circa October 1962. This photo also features engine #1, Chloe (named after Ward’s daughter). Two more shots from this set show Engine #3, Olomana; both engines came from Oahu.

Flash forward to 1955; Walt is busy with Disneyland, and of course, being the railroad enthusiast that he is, he wants a train to circle the park. For the Frontierland Train Station, he remembers the Fulton Corners set and asks Ward if he can have it back; after the amount of time and labor that Ward put into it, his response is a firm “no” (can’t blame him!). So instead, Walt just recreates the whole darn thing, using a different paint scheme. This black and white shot shows the original location of the Frontierland Depot, which was much closer to the New Orleans Street area. Eventually, it was moved back when the New Orleans Square area was built. The slob on the left definitely has a modern sensibility about him.

Here are two color views from 1958. You can see the corner of Adventureland/Frontierland in the background, which gives you an idea of how close it was.

And here is how the Station looks today, in its present location. Sadly, it is on the other side of the tracks and we do not get to sit inside or look around this quaint looking turn of the century building. Note the removal of Western Union from the Telegram signage; and who says Disney is all about crass commercialism!

If you love this station and want one of your own, you can always dig up one of the model kits made years ago by a company called PIKO, and hunt down one of the Chloe models; Ebay is probably your best source.

To see more vintage & current Disneyland Railroad photos, visit my website.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

GH Poster Painting 2

I believe I found the last 3 tubes of Antique Gold paint in San Diego...and will probably use every one of them to finish this painting, as the gold will take at least 2-3 coats for solid coverage. 2 days from my deadline. To see more of my art, visit my regular website.

The Ron DeFore Collection: Silver Banjo 3

These boys from the military got a hearty welcome from Don DeFore and his younger brother, Verne. 2nd shot is a rare interior view of the Silver Banjo Barbecue. If you look closely at the waitress’ tray, then shot #3 will have much more meaning to you. And if this photo makes the interior look cramped, was cramped. It was a tiny space, both on the customer side as well as on the kitchen side.

Here is one of the original serving trays from the Silver Banjo Barbecuu:

To see more vintage Silver Banjo photos, visit my website.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Devlin Collection: “New” Tomorrowland, 1966, Pt. 3

Sad but true, today is the last post for the “New” Tomorrowland Construction photos from the Devlin collection. These guys are working against the clock, trying to finish the PeopleMover in time. Shot #2 is from the Monorail Station, again, showing the PeopleMover track construction.

Looks like the Autopia is shut down for this one; no doubt, with all the timber and stell flying around!

Back over in Knotts land, here are a few 1956 views for you:

See more vintage & current Tomorrowland photos at my website.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Devlin Collection: “New” Tomorrowland, 1966, Pt. 2

More amazing construction photos today from the “New” Tomorrowland, courtesy the Devlin family; first shot shows the construction of the PeopleMover track, crossing over the Monorail track. Rumors have been abounding for the last few years that the PeopleMover (or some form of it) will be returning soon. Shot #2 is somewhat blurry, but still a great view of the PM track being built over the Autopia.

Don’t quote me on this one, but I believe this could be the Motor Boat Cruise, drained of its life force…or it could be the Submarine lagoon. Or maybe just a shortlived rock garden attraction of the Future.

Still a few more “New” Tomorrowland photos for tomorrow. See more vintage & current Tomorrowland photos at my website.