Thursday, November 23, 2017

Plymouth for Thanksgiving



Originally known as Plimouth, the town of Plymouth, Massachusetts is viewed as the home of the first Thanksgiving feast. It is also well known for Plymouth rock, the traditional site of where William Bradford and the Mayflower Pilgrims landed when they founded Plymouth Colony in 1620. The rock is housed inside a large granite columned structure. When you see the rock itself, you'll be amazed at how small it is. Once known as "The Great Rock," it looks more like a lawn decoration from Home Depot. What happened?!? Back in 1774, it was removed from its original spot to put it on display in the town square, at which point it broke in half. Over the years, pieces of it were sold for profit and what you see now is all that remains. Yes, people paid to get a "piece of the rock."



While Plymouth Rock "tells" the traditional story of Thanksgiving, another nearby rock on Cole's Hill tells the story of "National Day of Mourning." Every year since 1970, thousands of Native Americans have gathered in the area as a reminder to all that their people lost: their culture, their land, and especially the millions of lives at the hands of those who traveled by ship to settle here. It was an eye opening experience to see this small reminder of what actually occurred here. It wasn't all turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie. My friend Brett, who is a descendant of the Wampanoag Tribe, gave me a tour of Plymouth and a Reader's Digest version of its true history.



The first Pilgrim burial ground, known as Burial Hill, was established on Cole's Hill in 1620.



Some of the tombstones had very simple inscriptions:



while others had interesting carved details. I love this stuff!



The view of Plymouth from the cemetery was spectacular:



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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

When a Wrong Makes a Right



As I was driving home from Venice Beach, I thought I knew which way to go and rather than rely on any navigation, I went with intuition. It wasn't long before I realized I had probably gone the wrong way. Still, my intuition was spot on, as I realized I was approaching the former MGM studio gates! I had never been through Culver City so this was a first. Of course I had to park the car and get out the camera.



Yes, yes, I know that it's no longer MGM but rather Sony Studios. Still, the building definitely bears the hallmark of its original occupant. Check out those lions on the light fixtures!



I have no idea what the rainbow beyond the gate was, but I can guess it must have had something to do with "The Wizard of Oz" which was shot here back in 1938.



Back in the car, I next found myself in front of the former Selznick Studios. This iconic building can be seen at the beginning of every Selznick picture, including "Gone with the Wind." Many have mistaken this as the fa├žade for Tara.



Then I saw signs for the Culver Hotel, where the Munchkins (according to myth/legend) ran rampant during the filming of "The Wizard of Oz."



How about this marquee for the Kirk Douglas Theatre?



Obviously, I need to come back!

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Temple Tuesday: Shirley and The Rat Pack



Here's a shot of Shirley and Peter Lawford circa June 1946 in a publicity shot for a Command Performance Radio Broadcast. Was Peter trying to get Shirley into the Rat Pack? Or was he attempting to get something else from Shirley with his charm? I tried to zero in on the script, but couldn't read a durn thing.



Don't even think about it, Peter. She's a married lady, so wipe that smile off your face. And that better be water in the pitcher!



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Monday, November 20, 2017

San Diego Santa Fe Station, 1958



As many prepare to travel for Thanksgiving, let's start the week off with a vintage shot of the San Diego Santa Fe Train Station, circa 1958. Of course I especially dig the details, like those vintage autos in the parking lot!



Anybody care to see the Incinerators at the Spring Fair?



Here is a contemporary shot of the Station just so that you can see this historic landmark is still alive and kicking!



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Saturday, November 18, 2017

San Diego Airport, 1958



I have been told that pilots hate landing in San Diego because of the short runway. For me, because you fly right over the downtown (and my house), it is a thrilling experience to peer over the top of the iconic skyline. Here is a vintage shot of the Airport circa 1958. I had to take a closer look at the vintage cabs. Sorry...no Lyft or Uber, folks.



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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Graveyard at Monticello



Today marks the final post of my Virginia trip, finishing up business in the Monticello graveyard. I was a little surprised at the ostentatious gold TJ on the front of the gate. It looked like paint and gave a bit of a tacky look to the insignia. Other than that, it was a beautiful little plot for the family of Thomas Jefferson.



Here is the marker for the third President of the United States.



Surprising to many is that the Presidency was not on the list of what Jefferson wanted to be known for.





Signage can assist you in finding the plot you are looking for.



Even Jefferson's mother is buried here.



I hope you enjoyed my photos from Virginia; it was a wonderful trip and at some point, I do hope to return. Especially to Charlottesville.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Pluto in Fantasyland



Time only permits a quickie today, so I present this February 1964 shot of Pluto posing with guests in front of the Welch's Juice Bar in Disneyland's Fantasyland. Despite the cooling temperatures, a Frozen Juice Bar sounds heavenly. The mom on the right looks like she could use a Juice Bar. Maybe even a fermented one.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Temple Tuesday: The Little Princess Returns Home



You might recall my previous post about the missing Shirley Temple "The Little Princess" costume, thanks to the bungling of UPS. Looks like we might have a happy (albeit slightly incomplete) ending to this story. Just when many were feeling the beloved gown was gone for good (either destroyed or shipped to parts unknown), it magically reappeared on November 6. Tonya received a message from UPS that the gown was in their hands. Based on what little information is available, it appears that Cargo Largo found the gown and returned it to UPS. Just to catch you all up, Cargo Largo is the auction house that sold the costume when UPS turned it over to them to sell, dubbing it "unclaimed" only a few days after Tonya Bervaldi the owner shipped it. Most of the credit to the outfit surfacing must go to Melissa Tonnessen and Shirley's Army, a dedicated group of Shirley fans who were tireless in their efforts to get the word out about the missing costume.



To add insult to injury, instead of hand-delivering the outfit, UPS shipped it back to Tonya. No surprise that it was delayed a day. What did Tonya get for all her worry and stress? A bouquet of flowers. It also appears that "somebody" received a $5000 reward for the return of the gown. While I can't verify who that person is or if it actually happened, I can assure you it wasn't Tonya, who is shown here, happily reunited with the iconic film costume that Shirley wore almost 80 years ago! She was very thankful that it was still in great condition.



Fingers are crossed that she can be successful in bidding on the crown and scepter that Shirley also wore in the film. These two items are being sold in a Joseff's of Hollywood auction on November 18. Wouldn't it be nice if UPS contributed to Tonya's fund to help her attain "the crowning glory" so to speak? It would make a positive turn to a VERY negative publicity story for UPS. Let's make it clear. UPS and USPS are not affiliated. The company that did all this bungling was NOT the United States Postal Service. It was UPS. The folks in the brown uniform.



I am sure Shirley is smiling down on Tonya, Melissa, and the rest of Shirley's Army. Still, the work is not done.



There are still two Aviator caps that are missing. Shirley wore these in the 1934 film "Bright Eyes." This is the movie where she sang her signature song "On the Good Ship Lollipop." There's a good chance they are still floating around Kansas City. If you have ANY information about either or both of these caps, please call the number on the flyer! 352.872.7612.



Give this story a COMPLETE Happy Ending!

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Monday, November 13, 2017

Return to Monticello



It had been sixteen years since my one and only visit to Monticello, the creation and home of Thomas Jefferson. Although he was the third President of the United States, the three things he wanted to be known for did not include that office. But I digress; all of that will be covered at a later date. It was a bit rainy when I arrived at the visitor center, but that did not deter me from embarking on the tour. Here was my first view of Monticello after all this time:



I didn't really mind the mist and fog, which weren't even noticeable when I zoomed into the bright flowers that surrounded Jefferson's estate.



The back view of the house, which is my favorite side:



Since I arrived early, I walked around the grounds:



Exploring the tunnels underneath the house:



The kitchen where many meals were prepared:



The view from Mulberry Row, known as the principal "street" of Jefferson's 5000 acre plantation.



Photos were not allowed inside the house; it was explained to me that many of the items were on loan and therefore not allowed to be photographed. However, I was told that I could shoot inside the dome of the house. I didn't have to be told twice.



This little secret playroom can be found inside the dome as well:



One last shot of Mulberry Row before ending the post:



Jefferson is buried at Monticello, and I was given the option of taking the bus to the cemetery or walking. Can you guess which one I chose? Come back again to find out.

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Friday, November 10, 2017

1950s Town Square Blowout



Let's spend a day in Town Square, circa 1950s! This first image was marked 1957. Whether that's correct or not, you can tell by the sparse landscaping on the hill behind the Fire Department that it's definitely early Disneyland! In this detailed view, you can see the Disneyland News available in front of City Hall.



A closeup of the Fire Department and Bekins Storage, which is now part of the Main Street Emporium.



The rest of today's images are from the Harry Pollak collection, circa 1957. This is the same gent who brought you images of New Orleans, which was most likely from the same trip out West that he journeyed on from Wilmington, Delaware.



Were the three gals in front of the Fire Department waiting for Walt?



Harry shows us the newfangled Horseless Carriage in this image:



...as well as the never-to-be-finished International Street:



Two more gorgeous shots of early Town Square from Harry:



He was a photographer after my own heart!



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