This week's Round Robin Photo Challenge, "Nostalgia," comes from Dorn, author of the blogs Through the Eyes of the Beholder and Dust Bunny Club of North America. As you may know, large parts of my home, Casa Blocher, a.k.a. The Museum of the Weird, are filled with fondly remembered items from the past, ranging from a particular end table from 1960 to vintage Barbies, toys and games. Most of the furniture is midcentury modern or recreations thereof, which is to say furniture that would have been in style circa 1960.
But over the years I've shown you a lot of that stuff, and right now most of it is either in boxes, behind boxes, or under boxes. So I asked John for advice, and he mentioned Disneyland. Well, okay, I've showed you Disneyland before, too, but let's try for a different angle on the subject.
When I was a kid, I used to watch Walt Disney introduce his own program on Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color. Disneyland was often featured on the show, and I longed to visit the place. But I lived in Manlius, NY, thousands of miles from Disneyland. It was clear that I wasn't going to get there any time soon.
So I made do with watching TV, and displaying one of my most prized possessions on my bedroom wall: a plain map of Disneyland on brown paper, which my parents brought me after they went to California (without me or Steve!) in 1968. John and I have a much older and nicer map of Disneyland (which is horribly difficult to photograph!) than that 1968 guide map I had, but I'll never forget that little brown map.
Was I jealous of my parents for going to Disneyland without me? You betcha! But I loved picking out on the map the one Disneyland ride I'd actually been on. You see, before it got to Disneyland, the G.E. Carousel of Progress was at the New York World's Fair (1964-1965). I was there, and I loved it. So I guess you could say that even at the ripe old age of eleven, I was nostalgic for a Disney attraction I first saw when I was seven years old. But mostly I was looking to the future. Someday, somehow, I was going to get to Disneyland!
Once my Mom moved to Florida in 1976, I got to go to Walt Disney World quite a few times: with Mom, alone, and later with John. Because of this, I'm not quite certain whether I finally got to Disneyland the one summer that my mom lived in San Bernardino. I kind of think not. If that's true, then I didn't get there until John and I had our vagabond year in 1986, in which we spent months traveling the U.S. and Canada. That first night at Disneyland, we saw Chubby Checker perform there, of all people, a nostalgia act if there ever was one. I should probably scan a photo from that trip for you, but they didn't come out well (cheap camera, probably not well developed, either) - and besides, John probably took most of those photos. The one above is from 1998, and could have been taken by either of us.
John loves Disneyland as much as I do, possibly more. He comes at it from a true nostalgic perspective. He was actually there circa 1960, so he has memories to relive when we walk down Main Street USA or go on the monorail. My memories are from TV, from Florida, and from that brown map. John's are the real thing. He's very interested in collecting memorabilia from that era of Disneyland, with pictures of attractions that in some cases have been gone for decades - especially old Tomorrowland attractions. For example, he has several postcards from the Monsanto House of the Future (also called the plastics Home of the Future). It used to stand near where Ariel's Grotto is now, at the entrance to Tomorrowland. I wish I could have seen it! This is stuff I love, too: vintage visions of the way our parents' generation thought the future would look. Even the Carousel of Progress (and its Walt Disney World "sequel," Horizons) tapped into that, happily prdicting that "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow."
John also collects View-Master reels of early Disneyland. The top left one is a related subject, the New York World's Fair, which had four Disney attractions.
Of course, John and I have made more memories of Disneyland together since 1986. Every time we've gone there, we've had a camera of one sort or another, even if it was a disposable one. So I can show you a ride that hasn't operated since the night we last rode it in 1998: Submarine Voyage. It's coming back sometime in the next year or two with a Finding Nemo theme, but it will never again be what it was.
Now go see what everyone else is posting on this topic. Better yet, join in yourself!
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