Friday, April 29, 2022

Summer of ’86 and The Apple Pan

It was May 1986 and I was on top of the world, or at least it felt that way. I had just graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana and was ready to conquer the world. My friend Rob (the guy with the cast on his leg) had gone with me to San Diego for Spring Break and fell in love with Southern California living.

When he got a chance for a summer internship in Los Angeles, he grabbed it, staying at the FIJI (Phi Gamma Delta) house on the UCLA campus.

I crashed there for about a month, fruitlessly attempting to find employment but also enjoying partying and time at the beach. One of my favorite memories was a late-night meal at The Apple Pan restaurant on Pico Boulevard. Back in those days, there were no cellphones for selfies or capturing every moment of one’s life. Instead, you just enjoyed what was going on let the gray matter take care of the memories.

Rob’s Honda was stolen from the FIJI house on his first day there; the day before I flew back to Philly the car was recovered. It obviously looked a little different from when he last saw it.

Flash forward to 2022 and I was perusing Hamburger America, the book about classic joints that served the best burgers across the nation. The Apple Pan on Pico Boulevard near Westwood was listed and it sure did stir up my memories. Knowing how time and especially the recent pandemic had scorched many a business, I vowed to return as quickly as I could before this place potentially bit the dust. I am so glad that I did!

While I had changed during the last 36 years, the outside of The Apple Pan looked about the same.

The stools I recall sitting on with Rob and his buddy are no longer open to the public; instead, customers are directed to sit in a picnic area at the back of the restaurant. I was a bit sad that I was unable to sit inside and watch the burgers being made as I had back in 1986, but times changes everything and I was grateful to have the opportunity to savor one of these burgers again.

The menu:

Melissa (aka “The Colonel’), visiting from New Jersey, posed with our large bag of goodies which only took about 15 minutes to get.

My Hickory Burger and fries were delish.

So was the freshly baked apple pie and ice cream, which came with a little plastic container of apple juice/sauce.

Melissa and Shirley Jean (from Baltimore) would agree; good quality lasts forever!

The food was tasty, but I truly missed the retro experience of enjoying the food inside a true “joint” while eating off china and drinking from a paper cup placed inside a retro metal cupholder. Pandemic: you suck.

See more Apple Pan in Los Angeles photos at my main website.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Thursday in Adventureland, circa 1950’s

Welcome to Adventureland, circa 1956! No crowds, no strollers, and very young landscaping. This is my kind of day at the Park! The poor little boy in the nerd outfit wants to stop posing for photos and get on an attraction.

This 1958 image shows the back of what is currently the Jolly Holiday restaurant, themed for Adventureland. You can call this the Jekyll & Hyde building with two faces:

This undated 1950’s image shows the same angle, but from farther back. Tiki’s Tropical Imports looks like a great place to shop!

For all you signage geeks:

Anything look good?

I’m not quite sure what the sign says; Stocking Caps?

In other news, I was asked to be a guest on the “Had A Magical Day” podcast, put together by Scott Oddo. Wearing the shirt I bought for New Year’s 2000, I do my best to be entertaining while talking about the Park. The shirt is probably more exciting.

To listen to the podcast instead of seeing my high-tech computer room, you can access it on soundcloud or iTunes. See more Disneyland Adventureland photos at my main website.

Monday, April 18, 2022

The Leader of the Band

As I have been struggling to replace my old computer with a new one (after eleven years) and going through the hassle of finding the right cables/software to make my old scanners work, and the....let’s just say it’s been a pain in the arse but I think I am finally done! While I attempt to get caught up, here’s a gem from July 1955 (aka month one) showing Vesey Walker and the Disneyland Band in Town Square.

Vesey looks a little fearful of his future replacement!

See more Disneyland Town Square photos at my main website.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Temple Tuesday: The William Powell Connection

I recently acquired the 1935 Saalfield Publishing booklet “How I Raised Shirley Temple,” written by the star’s mother, Gertrude. Besides being a great volume of loving but no-nonsense parental tips (which still ring true today), it had one new (to me) tidbit in the Preface.

It mentioned that Shirley was a cousin of actor William Powell

The debonair 3-time Oscar nominated Powell had a long career in the movies, most notably “The Thin Man” series, “The Great Ziegfeld,” and “Life with Father” (one of my favorites!).

At first I tried to figure out which side of the family the relation must have occurred, and surmised that it was George Temple’s, Shirley’s father.

Enlisting the assistance of my brother who has lately been obsessed with, he turned up this photo of Powell with his parents. 

I saw more of a resemblance to Gertrude (née Kreiger then changed to Creiger) in the stern, sharp features. Not really interested in going down the rabbit hole of research for this one, my brother understandably bowed out.

This is where Shirley’s Army steps in! Thanks to Army member Cyndi D., who uncovered the connection:

I found the connection, but it doesn’t really make William Powell and Shirley cousins; more like in-laws. William Powell’s Aunt Byrdella Powell married Shirley’s Great Uncle, Michael George Yeager.

This puts the family connection back on Shirley’s dad side. Phew. Always a relief to get to the bottom of the story! The distant connection is no surprise, as the two didn’t work together nor have I seen this mentioned anywhere else. Cyndi was kind enough to send this amazing chart that she put together showing the connection:

See more photos at my main website.

Monday, April 11, 2022

What A Glorious Feeling!

On March 27, 1952, MGM hosted the premiere for “Singin’ in the Rain” at Radio City Music Hall in New York. Seventy years later, it is still hailed as one of the most perfect movie musicals of all-time. Today’s post celebrates the Technicolor triumph that boasted the perfect cast, memorable songs, and a well-written script that balanced comedy, satire, history, romance, and dramatic tension.

Madge Blake (Aunt Harriet in the “Batman” (1966) TV series), as gossip columnist Dora Bailey, breathlessly begins the movie introducing “The Royal Rascal” premiere at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. Well, MGM’s version of the famed theatre at least! Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) & Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen) wave to their adoring fans, as Don’s lifelong friend Cosmo Brown (Donald O’Connor) stands to the side.

After the thunderous applause from the crowd dies down, Don thanks the audience for their kind reaction while obviously preventing Lina from getting a word in edgewise. When Lina’s voice is finally revealed, we realize the reason: her shrill shrieking is a far cry from the dulcet tones her fans believe that she possesses. Fortunately for her, the movies are still silent!

In this deleted scene, Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds) tells the other chorines about her recent chance encounter with movie star Don Lockwood. Little does she know that the cake she is about to burst out of is for Don, who she berated for being nothing more than a ham. Oops.

In this behind-the-scenes shot, Jean Hagen is doted on by the MGM beauty factory to play her role-within-a-role as an 18th century aristocrat for “The Dueling Cavalier.”

Don and Lina portray lovers in their next film, “The Dueling Cavalier.” Does the love affair spill over into “real life” for Don and Lina? After their passionate screen kiss, Lina says, “Oh, Donnie - you couldn’t kiss me like that and not mean it just a teensy-weensy bit!”  Her costar quickly corrects her, “I’d rather kiss a tarantula!”

Don finally tracks down Kathy, who garnered a bit part in a movie at Monumental Pictures. R.F. Simpson (Millard Mitchell), the head of the studio where Don also works, is seen at left.

When “The Dueling Cavalier” flops in previews because of Lina’s voice, Cosmo has the brilliant idea of having her voice dubbed. Kathy gets the kiss though!

In one of the greatest tap duets, Cosmo & Don dance circles around the studio diction coach (Bobby Watson) to “Moses Supposes.”

Lina discovers that Kathy is going to dub her voice. Because she is still a bigger star, she arranges for Kathy’s credit to be removed and blackmails the studio head to continue to have the young girl relegated to only dubbing her voice. What a rotten…

Don and Cosmo give Lina her comeuppance at the movie premiere, and Kathy is restored to a budding film career as well as a romance with Don. Debbie Reynolds later admitted that the tears she shed in the final scene were from glycerine. After that, she was able to do it on her own!

See more “Singin’ in the Rain” photos at my main website.

Friday, April 08, 2022

Let's Make Love at Grauman's!

How about this gorgeous shot of the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre forecourt from September 1960? Even if the slide hadn’t been date stamped, the larger-than-life cutout of Marilyn Monroe on the left-hand side advertising her latest movie, “Let’s Make Love” would have been a tip-off, since the movie was released September 8, 1960.

Here’s an onset celebration of Marilyn’s 34th birthday photo, with costar Yves Montand. From the Marilyn Monroe collection website:

A receipt from Gill’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream, dated June 1, 1960, for 100 ice cream treats, together with a receipt from Paper Unlimited, Inc. for forks, spoons, napkins, plates and a tablecloth, dated May 24, 1960. Both receipts are addressed to Hazel Washington, Monroe’s studio maid at Twentieth Century Fox. Monroe celebrated her 34th birthday on the set during filming of Let’s Make Love. It’s compelling that Marilyn, one of the biggest film stars at Twentieth Century Fox, would have to provide supplies and refreshments for her own birthday party on the set of her current film project.

Compelling? I find it quite sad. A closeup of her “Happy Birthday” card:

Back to the 1960 Grauman’s set, our vintage photographer captured a few of the celebrity cement prints as well:

Zooming in you can see one for Jean Hersholt, right next to Lana Turner:

Hersholt is known for playing Shirley Temple’s beloved grandfather in “Heidi” (1937):

See more Grauman’s Chinese Theatre photos at my main website.