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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Thursday, November 09, 2017

Uncle Grumpy Remembers

Recently, I was contacted by the niece of a former Disneyland employee who found a vintage photo of her Uncle on my website. She was kind enough to interview her Uncle about his years there and share the information with me. This is the kind of stuff I love! One of these images contains Uncle "Grumpy" (not saying which one for purposes of anonymity!) and the rest are appropriate to the period that he worked at the Park.

Grumpy, my uncle, worked at Disneyland from 1959-1961. It was back in the day when it was mostly college kids working there. They had a lot of fun joking around with guests or hiding out on an attraction waiting to scare them...all in good fun of course! Grumpy’s Disneyland employment started with a friendship with a girl who already worked there. She arranged for him to meet her uncle who was a supervisor there. He met her uncle who interviewed him and then walked him over to the personnel department. He was interviewed by a few more people, then hired two weeks prior to the opening of the Submarine, Monorail, and Matterhorn rides in June 1959. His first job at the Park was as a driver on the Submarine Voyage. At the time the attraction opened, some local laws in Anaheim had to be changed to allow underwater vessels to operate inside city limits. With eight submarines, Walt Disney was the commander of the world's eighth largest submarine fleet.

There was a lot of excitement at the time with a movie being filmed to promote Disneyland. They were also testing the new attractions and preparing for the arrival of Vice President Nixon and his family for the dedication ceremony. Grumpy didn't get to see Vice President Nixon but he saw Walt Disney in the park many times. Walt was there during the testing for the new attractions and was spotted up by the loading area for the Monorail, looking down at the Submarine Voyage. One of the supervisors walked up to my uncle and told him that he had been promoted by Walt Disney to be a Monorail driver. It was quite an honor! Walt Disney and his family made the choices for all of the transportation rides, and Walt only had certain people that he wanted for these positions.

In the beginning the Submarine lagoon had live mermaids that swam around the subs, and they would also sunbathe on the rocks. It eventually became a problem when young men started jumping into the water and swam out to meet the mermaids! The girls practiced swimming in the Disneyland Hotel pool but soon realized that the chlorine was changing the color of their hair. There were also costume malfunctions; Grumpy recalled one instance when one of the girl's shell bras came off and she was sitting on the rocks yelling for someone to bring her a towel! They had him row out to her in a little boat and save the day. Disney eventually decided not to use "real" mermaids and they became part of Disneyland history.

Most cast members do not stay in one place; they get scheduled to work in many areas throughout the park. Grumpy also worked on the Monorail and the Matterhorn. These attractions (Submarine, Matterhorn, and Monorail) were the reason for Disney adding the "E" ticket to their ticket books. My uncle worked all three rides (and a few others) during his time at Disneyland. When he wasn't working, he would call his friend Bill and some of their buddies to go have fun at Disneyland. His favorite attractions were the Jungle Cruise, Matterhorn, and the Submarines. The park was especially fun at nite with all of the lights, and the lines for the rides weren't as long. He didn't really have a favorite place to eat since they were young and broke! But he has always liked to stop by the Carnation Ice Cream Parlour.

While driving the Monorail one day, a group of guests insisted on sitting in the back of the Monorail. Grumpy explained to them that it's winter and the windows in the back of the Monorail will fog up. The guests had heard that you have the best views in the back, and that's where they demanded to sit. When the Monorail came to a stop, the guests were pounding on the windows and yelling to get out. The windows had completely fogged up and they couldn't see a thing!

Since he worked on the Matterhorn, I asked if Grumpy saw a basketball court up in the top of the attraction. He did not recall it being there at that time. Occasionally there were technical difficulties on the Matterhorn. One day one of the bobsleds was stuck on the track, so Grumpy and an electrician ran up the stairs inside the Matterhorn. They reached the disabled bobsled and the electrician released it, but Grumpy didn't have time to get out of the way. He was okay but a little banged up. Disney scheduled him to work in Town Square over on Main Street for a while until he felt better. They had him dress up as President Lincoln and talk with guests. He saw a mother and her son walking toward him and decided to freeze like a statue. The little boy asked his mother if he was real, and the mother replied yes. Despite this, the little boy said he was a fake. She told her son to touch him and find out. The little boy hesitantly reached out with his finger and poked him. Grumpy yelled "Boo!" and the little boy took off running down Main Street. The mother looked at Grumpy and said, "I told him so!"

A painter was hired once to touch up some paint on the guns at the Shooting Gallery in Frontierland. All of a sudden the painter ran out screaming. When asked what was wrong, the painter turned around to reveal a dart in his backside. It turned out that a little boy had a dart gun and shot him in the rear!

Grumpy was also a Skipper on the Jungle Cruise. One day some guests ran up to him claiming that the natives in the jungle were real! No, he told them; they're mannequins that move. Just in case, Grumpy decided to check it out for himself. He and his supervisor walked back through the jungle to find some college kids that had hopped the fence and were dancing around with the Native Indian mannequins. Interesting fact: the water in the Jungle Cruise is dyed brown so that it looks real and you can't see the bottom, which is only 3’ deep. Walt had originally wanted real hippos and elephants on the attraction.

Disneyland still has a special place in Grumpy's heart. It is there where he can still be a kid and his memories will live forever.

MANY thanks to Uncle Grumpy and his niece for sharing these amazing stories!

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