Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Conestoga: more than just a wagon

Conestoga is the name of the high school that I attended many moons ago. On the side of the building, there was a metallic cutout of a Conestoga wagon, and fittingly, our mascot was a Pioneer. This 1979 photo shows our high school band, ready to march in the 1980 Rose Bowl Parade (yes, we had some good trips!).

You can see a very disinterested me, 4th from the right, with the rest of the saxophone section. The tall hat really sucked; balancing it was a pain in the a#$.

My dad drove me crazy taking photos of us during the games; of course now I treasure these.

The band trip during my senior year included a detour to Walt Disney World in Orlando. Couldn't complain about that.

On graduation day in June 1982, you can see my high school in the background.

This vintage April 1958 Disneyland image shows a Conestoga Wagon, which once graced Frontierland and provided a very bumpy ride for guests looking for an authentic old west experience.

Zooming in for a closer look:

This shot shows the Wagon barreling out of the loading queue area:

Unfortunately, this attraction bit the dust a few years before I was born, so I am unable to say that I've actually been on a Conestoga Wagon. However, the name of it sure provides a few warm memories of my high school years.

See more Daveland vintage Disneyland Conestoga Wagon photos at my main website.

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K. Martinez said...

Nice high school pics. It sure seems so long ago now, doesn't it?

Yeah, the Conestoga Wagon bit the dust about four months before I was born. Talk about just missing it.

Love the across-the-river view of the Conestoga Wagon with the Pack Mules, Painted Desert, tip of Cindrella Castle and Skyway chalet roof.

It's also cool to see in early Park images the plant life go right up against the water in Rivers of America and Jungle Cruise. Nowadays it's that exposed clay (concrete?) edging that separates the foliage from the water and it looks fake.

Major Pepperidge said...

Those two Conestoga Wagon pix are beauties… it's funny how it seems that 1958 was a good year for Kodachrome.

MRaymond said...

I can't imagine balancing that hat while playing an instrument and marching.
I have a picture I took, from 1979, of my brothers high school band at Disneyland. They marched into Tomorrowland and up the ramps of the CoP building. They played a few tunes then marched out.

Fifthrider said...

Very cool on being able to visit WDW as the marching band, congrats.

I love the dynamic of that early Frontierland. You can see several attractions overlapping each other, wagons, mules, mine train, Mark Twain, etc. The way those attractions inter-weaved with each other is a major component of what makes Disney, "Disney" to me. ( And what many other theme parks aren't doing and missing out on. ) It would take until the '67 redo of Tomorrowland until we'd see that many attractions intersecting with each other for that kind of dynamic again.

JG said...

I rode a wagon like that once, but couldn't have been that one.

Fun pictures, Dave. Thanks for sharing the personal touch.

Reminds me of my high school years, which I mostly hated, but there were a few bright spots.