Friday, September 25, 2020

TGI-Skyway!


It’s time for the weekend, and what better way to do that than to get on the now non-existent Skyway at Disneyland? In this September 1958 image bucket #38 is soaring into the Fantasyland Skyway Station from Tomorrowland. I’d never really paid any attention to these two rooftop details before:


A closeup view of bucket #38:


Our September 1958 guest also got this shot of the Fantasyland Station:


A detailed view of the building which sadly no longer exists, either.


From May 1957, showing the buckets floating over what is now the Matterhorn:


And another shot of the Fantasyland Station from December 1957:


Hope you have a great weekend!

See more vintage Disneyland Skyway photos at my main website.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Oregon or Bust!


That was the slogan on the side of the Conestoga Wagons that were once an attraction in Frontierland at Disneyland. This 1956 shot shows the blue wagon riding along the trail with a Stagecoach right in front of it and the Mark Twain in the background.


It would appear that there were two wagons, as my collection has shots of both a blue and a red/rust colored wagon. This shot is from April 1958.


This July 1959 shot shows the slogan “Westward Ho.” Does this signify a third wagon in the fleet, or just a different covering that was exchanged for the other one? Another mystery waiting to be solved.


Hoping our friends in Oregon are ok with all the wildfires going on these days.

See more Disneyland Conestoga Wagon photos at my main website.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Disneyland Gems from ’56, Pt. 3


The final installment of 1956 gems begins with a shot of the TWA Moonliner. Most interesting part of this shot to me is the phone booth, which probably goes right over the heads of the current generation. A phone...you don’t carry it around...you walk into it...you put coins (what are those?) into the slot and then dial (huh?) the person you want to talk to. Yes...you had to know the number of the friend/relative/business you wanted to talk to. No memory buttons to push. Can you imagine the brainpower one of these things required? Probably not.


Toning down the snark, here’s a shot of what was once known as New Orleans Street, before the quaint Louisiana city got a square of its own. Casa de Fritos was located in the green portion of this building:


You can see the sign for Aunt Jemima’s Pancake House below right:


Look how barren the banks of the Rivers of America look. Obviously the landscaping would take a few years to make this section look believable.


A detailed view of the dock, the Mark Twain, and the cast members:


See more vintage and contemporary Disneyland photos at my main website.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Temple Tuesday: Shirley and the Penguin


In 1938’s “Little Miss Broadway,” Betsy (Shirley Temple) has to escape the orphanage to help rescue her adopted family and friends from a courtroom battle brought on by their snobby landlord (expertly played by Edna May Oliver). When Betsy arrives at her father’s hotel, she runs into Ole (El Brendel) and his penguin, who rush Betsy to the courtroom just in the nick of time. This cute little penguin was a scene-stealer in his miniature tux and top hat. Below is a shot of him “reading” the comics with Ole.


Ms. Wendling (Oliver) visits the hotel that she leases to Betsy’s adopted father, in an attempt to keep Betsy’s sister (Phyllis Brooks) away from her nephew, Roger (George Murphy). While waiting in the lobby, she encounters acrobats, dancing twins, a midget, a fast-talking cigar smoking agent, and then has the bejesus scared out of her by the penguin. Thanks to Oliver, this is one of my favorite scenes.


In this publicity shot, Shirley serves a Happy Birthday fish to the little charmer. Was this a polite offering to prevent him from stealing any scenes from her?


See more Shirley Temple photos at my main website.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Marlo Monday: That Girl!


Although Marlo Thomas’ 1965 “Two’s Company” sitcom pilot flopped, the ABC network realized they had a future star on their hands and promised her a series of her own. Thomas pitched the idea of a young woman who wants to become an actress and struggles to find success in New York City. Not only was the concept of a single working girl being the focus of a show new territory for television, so was Thomas (a female) being the producer (only Lucille Ball preceded her). The resulting sitcom “That Girl” ran from 1966-1971. Despite pressure from the network and sponsor, Thomas stuck to her guns and refused to allow her character, Ann Marie, to get married. She did not want to send a message to women that marriage was the only option for happiness.

The chemistry between Ann Marie and her boyfriend Donald Hollinger (DONALD!!!!) was key to the success of the show. His love for her was evident, but the twist was that he also trusted her enough to let her pursue her dream of an acting career without trying to pigeonhole her into what had traditionally been the role of women on TV: a housewife. Ted Bessell played Hollinger who also functioned as Ann’s agent in the pilot. Audiences did not care for Bessell, but Thomas fought to keep him, knowing their chemistry was magic. She sensed that what audiences really didn’t like was that Hollinger was profiting from his girlfriend. The agent became a separate character and the rest is television casting history.


One of my favorite (and typically charming) episodes is “Pass the Potatoes, ” which starred Ethel Merman and aired on September 7, 1967. “The Merm” plays herself, and Ann gets a bit part in her Broadway show. Nervous beyond belief about being in the presence of a legend, Ann Marie tip-toes around Ethel, fearful of disturbing her.


It doesn’t take long for Ann to realize that “The Merm” is just as normal as everyone else, thanks to Donald’s calming influence and Ethel’s own reassurances. In fact, “The Merm” invites herself over to Ann’s apartment to cook a dinner of her specialty (stuffed cabbage) for the young couple. Ann and Donald leave her alone for a bit to gather some other ingredients for the meal; meanwhile, Ann’s father, the abrasively protective but loving restaurateur Lew Marie (played by Lew Parker), drops in and begins to tell the strange lady in his daughter’s kitchen that she’s putting too much pepper in the cabbage. Ann comes back just in the nick of time to diffuse the tension and explain to her father who Ethel is!


The highlight of the episode is a quiet moment in the kitchen between Ethel and Ann when the Broadway legend bolsters up Ann’s confidence by telling her how to reach out and grab the audience and really shake ’em up! To see this moment between the two actresses is perfection. Thomas shines here and steals the show from “The Merm” when she shakes her hips and flashes her signature smile.



Another favorite episode is “The Snow Must Go On,” which aired October 30, 1969. Ann is trapped at JFK airport because of a blizzard and is in danger of missing her audition for a Broadway play. How she creatively solves her problem is yet another showcase for Thomas’ charms and completely natural acting style.


Rosemary DeCamp played in quite a few episodes as Ann’s mother. You might also recognize her as mother to Shirley Partridge (“The Partridge Family”) and Buck Rogers (“Buck Rogers in the 25th Century”). Although the role of Mrs. Marie was very much the traditional housewife, she would often be the one who calmed her husband down when he felt his daughter was straying too far into territory that wasn’t appropriate for a single young female.


Lew Parker, who played Ann’s father, Lew Marie, appeared in Charlie Chaplin’s “The Kid” (1921) as an extra and also in one episode of “Gidget” (1966) as Mr. Socrates, the crusty (but caring) owner of The Shaggy Dog, a teenage hangout. Thomas speaks fondly of her real-life relationship with Parker which she believes gave him the child he never had. Some of the best moments in the show are the quiet moments when Lew Marie against type lets his daughter know how much he loves and supports her. Harold Gould was cast as Lew Marie in the pilot, but according to Thomas, test audiences felt he was too “ethnic” and not modern enough. More importantly, I feel Gould’s performance lacked the warmth and genuine love of Parker’s interpretation. Parker died of cancer at the age of 66 in 1972, just one year after “That Girl” ended.


Thomas propelled the name Cardinali onto the fashion scene by wearing their trend-setting clothes in each episode (designer Daniel WerlĂ© on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills was replaced by Cardinali after season one). While it was obvious that Ann Marie in no way could afford the multitude of stylish outfits that she wore, Thomas’ signature look became an important part of the show. Audiences expected to see her with bangs, a double-set of false eyelashes, and eye-popping colorful mod fashions that looked as if they came off the runway with Twiggy.


With Season Two, the opening credits featured the classic theme song and a colorful tour of New York City with Marlo Thomas displaying all the youthful enthusiasm of a small-town girl who has fallen in love with the Big Apple. I could (and have) watched those opening credits over and over again. Below is a shot of Thomas from the opening credits, posing in the window of Bergdorf Goodman department store on the left; the iconic dress that she wore shown at right:


How many of you from my generation remember seeing “Miss THOMAS’ Fashions by Cardinali” flash on the screen just as the trumpets began to blare during the closing credits of each episode? Marilyn Lewis was a self-taught fashion designer who went by the name Cardinali as an homage to her Italian grandmother. Her clients included Dyan Cannon, Nancy Reagan, Dionne Warwick, and of course Marlo Thomas, who personally signed Lewis up to design her improbable wardrobe for “That Girl.” Although Thomas definitely looks sexy in her Cardinali fashions, you will also note that she rarely shows much skin. Marilyn Lewis’ fashions were simple, bold, elegant, and timeless. She gave up fashion in 1977 to focus on her marriage to Harry L. Lewis, with whom she cofounded Hamburger Hamlet, a Sunset Boulevard restaurant that eventually expanded to 24 locations before closing in 2014. 


While some of Ann Marie’s neurotic whinings tend to grate at times, “That Girl” still stands the test of time and is definitely worth a re-visit. Like “Gidget,” it is a glimpse into a still mostly innocent world that brings a smile to your face and a tinge of sadness at just how jaded we have all become. Can you imagine a sitcom today that could revolve around the scandal of a parent finding a pair of men’s pants in their single daughter’s closet? Not a chance, but in “That Girl,” thanks to good writing and the chemistry of a great cast, it works.


See more Daveland caricatures and paintings at my main website.

Friday, September 18, 2020

The Friday Finish


When last I shared the progress of the commissioned vintage portrait I was painting, I still had a ways to go. Once I finish the faces it’s often a struggle for me to keep enthused about the rest of the details. Probably the biggest challenge of the painting was the lady’s sweater which I saved for last. I’m not really sure how happy I am about it, however, I have to admit it came out better than I thought it would. Attempting to put a lot of detail into a "background” element can take the focus off the main subject, which for me is always the face/eyes. Still, being the OCD person I am it is not easy for me to just skip/fluff over details, even if they aren’t central to the painting. So here it is, signed, sealed, and on the way to being delivered.



And because Lou & Sue requested it, here’s the original source photo that was emailed to me:


The world’s toughest art critic seemed to approve.


See more of my paintings at my main website.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Poolside at the Cavalier


In my batch of 1956 Disneyland and Mission Inn slides there were a few of the Cavalier Hotel, located at 10724 Wilshire Boulevard near Westwood Village in Los Angeles. Zooming in to see the sign:


This shot of the pool area is everything. ALMOST postcard perfect.


Look at those gals soaking up the sun, slathered in tanning oil. Yes people...oil, not lotion, back before SPF, harmful rays, and ozone had become part of our lexicon.


There didn’t seem to be too much info about this place on the net, other than this vintage card which had sold on ebay. The front:



…and the back. Apparently it was part of the Lee Hotel chain. Is that Sara Lee? Or Robert E. Lee? Inquiring minds want to know.



I also found this image of a vintage ashtray for the hotel:


Apparently the Cavalier is long gone. This is the massive building that replaced it. Sigh.


See more vintage and contemporary hotel photos at my main website.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Disneyland Gems from ’56, Pt. 2


Today’s 1956 Disneyland gems take us to Fantasyland, the heart and soul of the Park. One of our dapper vintage guests is standing in front of Merlin's Magic Shoppe. Unfortunately, the camera being used did not produce images that were all that sharp, so the zoom in window view is meh at best. However, you can see the vintage shop sign above the guest’s head.


A nice overall view of Fantasyland that shows the tea cups, Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship, and the Casey Junior Circus Train off in the distance.


Zooming in, you can see that the Storybook Land attraction is taking shape, as the framework for the rocks is in progress.


This image yielded a wonderful surprise. At first glance, it just appears to show the mini-lake/pond behind the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship, with Casey Junior chugging along in the background.


A closer look reveals the old Canal Boats of the World sign, unceremoniously dumped against the fence:


A previously posted shot of the sign before it came down for good:


And this image was the reason I purchased this set in the first place:


What a great color detail image of the original Snow White's Scary Adventures dark ride mural!


Still more great 1956 gems to come!

See more vintage and contemporary Disneyland Fantasyland photos at my main website.