Friday, June 7, 2019

Grad Nite '82 at Disneyland

Well, we're approaching the end of the school year and that means Grad Nites have already started. Unfortunately, there are no longer any "private-party" Grad Nites at Disneyland. Instead, the graduates have their Grad Nites at California Adventure. I don't think it would be the same having a Grad Nite over there, but maybe the kids these days, don't mind.

I remember being really excited about my Grad Nite. This poster went up inside the trophy case at my high school, once the Grad Nite tickets went on sale. I asked one of the secretaries in the Administration Office if I could have the poster when they were done with it, so she wrote my name and phone number on the back of it. I had forgotten all about it after graduation, but she ended up calling me in the middle of the summer and told me that if I still wanted it, to come to the school and pick it up!

This was the form for ordering tickets:

The tickets came with this brochure explaining the dress codes for the evening.

They don't even make the kids get dressed up for Grad Nite anymore! Why did we have to do it? And when did they stop requiring that?

It only cost $11.00 for a whole night at Disneyland (until 5:00 a.m.!)

More dress guidelines were listed on the back of the ticket:

The price of the ticket included a deluxe program:

Bertie Higgins was not appearing the night of our Grad Nite, so we didn't get to "...sail away to Key Largo!" Sister Sledge was appearing on the floating River Stage out in front of Tom Sawyer Island. I remember they changed the lyrics in their song, "We Are Family," from "I got all my sisters with me," to "The Class of '82 is free!" The only other performer that we saw that night was Tommy Tutone, whose song, "867-5309/Jenny" had gone to #4 on the Billboard chart the previous month.

They were giving out an Entertainment Flyer at the gate with the same cover as the deluxe program:

The cost of the ticket, also included a Grad Nite photo with a Disney character.

I'm not sure why Donald wasn't wearing a cap and gown, like the other characters were. Maybe it has something to do with him not ever wearing pants?

The souvenir photo came in a cardboard frame/holder:

This was the address label that you had to fill out so they could mail the photo to you.

And here's the envelope that the photo arrived in:

The photo came with a form to order additional copies. (I saved EVERYTHING!)

Other than the entertainment and having our pictures taken, the only other memory I have from that night, is getting VERY tired around 3:00 a.m.! Instead of finding a bench somewhere to rest, we decided to go ride the Disneyland Railroad. Since there isn't a point where they ever force you to disembark (like on other attractions), we just stayed on the train and rode it around the park, over and over again!

I also bought a few souvenirs that night. In addition to the pin-back button that we saw at the beginning of this post....

....I also bought a Grad Nite T-Shirt:

And a Grad Nite pennant:

And a Grad Nite Winnie the Pooh plush:

A plastic "Grad Nite '82" mug was also available, but for some reason, I did not purchase one.

Back in 2011, I did a vintage trip report about my eighth grade graduation trip to Disneyland. If anyone is interested in reading that post, here is the link: Eighth Grade Disneyland Trip

Congratulations, to all of the graduates out there!

****Post Update (June 15, 2019)****

I just came across some "non-Disney" graduation goodies and decided to add them to this post.

This '82 Avon pomander was just one of the things my mom gave me for graduation. It was made of a hard plastic and came in the shape of the "'82" pictured on the box. The outside of the plastic was covered with a rubbery material, infused with the scent of "Herbal Mist," whatever that is! It had a blue cord and tassel and it hung in my car until it got very faded and sticky! For that reason, I did eventually throw it out, but I have kept the box that it came in, for all these years.

One of the gifts that my aunt and uncle gave me, was this "Class of '82" mug, which was made by PAP√ČL. I was actually given a second one of these (with red lettering), by one of my teachers, whose aide I had been during the last semester of my senior year.

About halfway through my senior year, Josten's Inc. sent this order form to all seniors. I ordered the graduation announcements, name cards, "thank you" notes and a "senior key."

Here is my "senior key."

I checked online, and Josten's Inc. is still in business today. According to Wikipedia, "Jostens is the primary supplier of Super Bowl rings, and has made 31 champion rings in the Super Bowl's 50-year history, through 2017." They also still make their traditional "Senior Keys." However, now the price for just the key (without an accessory), is $31.00, as opposed to the $6.00 that I paid back in 1982.

Monday, May 27, 2019

The Queen Mary in Long Beach - Special Guest Post!

A few months ago, I was contacted by Gorillas Don't Blog and Meet The World follower, commenter, and special guest blogger, "JG." He had seen my post from June 2018, which included some vintage pics of the Queen Mary, and was wondering if I would be interested in seeing some of his personal (and more recent) Queen Mary photos. He thought they might make a good addition to my post. However, I thought the photos and information that he provided, were worthy of their very own post. So here is "JG," in his own words, accompanied by his own personal photos:

My wife and I visited the Queen Mary in 1983 for a conference, but we couldn’t afford to stay on board then. When we had a chance to return to Long Beach for another conference, we decided to stay one night on the Queen Mary before moving to the Convention Center hotel, since 34 years later, we could afford a nice room.

Since we were only staying one night, we chose one of the fancier suites, which was comparable in price to our room at the Convention hotel.

We got the Queen Elizabeth Suite, which was quite a large suite of rooms. There were two bedrooms, one large and elegant, the other small and humble, for one’s valet or maid. There was a foyer off the main corridor, which opened into the trunk room (!) to store one’s empty luggage, the bath, a large elegant sitting room, the big bedroom and the servant’s room. (I took a picture of the servant’s room, but only after I unpacked my suitcase and had clothes scattered all over it, so I didn’t include that photo.)

The large bedroom:

(JG has informed me, that the round items on the wall on either side of the bed and also the dressing table, are the original ventilation outlets. However, they have now been disconnected.)

The sitting room had a built-in dresser/make up table and a built-in writing desk. It was updated with a large screen TV. The original furniture was changed out to modern pieces, somewhat the worse for wear, but compatible with the original style.

The sitting room:

The large bedroom had similar built-in dressers, desks, and closets as the sitting room. Many old original light fixtures. The information guide said that these rooms were set up so that several could be connected together to make very large connecting suites of up to 10 bedrooms if desired. Hard to imagine that kind of entourage.

The bath was modern for 1930’s standards, but far from today’s norms. The old tub still had the original valves for hot and cold, fresh and salt water, but had been refitted with a modern shower valve. It was all set up in separate rooms so multiple people could use at once.

Our suite was on the west-facing or port side of the ship and was quite warm, even in October. The rooms were re-fitted with air conditioning as part of the Long Beach remodeling, but the AC didn’t work. We asked for a fan, but none were to be had. We decided that the heat was part of the experience that Clark Gable or Myrna Loy might have had, and so we sweated while pretending we were film stars of the 1930’s silver screen. Fortunately, the amusement park setup was not yet running, this would be a reason to avoid staying during mid to late October as the suite would be quite noisy with the rides running right outside.

We ordered a bottle of wine and read quietly, did not turn on the television at all, as this would spoil the cinematic mood.

The next day, we took the Steam and Steel tour, which was interesting and somewhat disappointing. I had remembered so much of the old engine room and equipment remaining, but a lot has been removed. I’m not sure when or how this was done, but I think the stories of the ship no longer being seaworthy are probably accurate since a lot of structure seems to be taken out.

The interior public rooms on the upper decks are still in good repair, but the exterior areas are suffering.

I remember being able to walk out on the side bridge walkways (not sure what these are called), but now they are boarded off, probably because the wood decks are rotten.

We had a drink in the Observation Bar, (the old First Class Lounge) which I vividly remembered for the beautiful Art Deco design and red enameled lighting. Most of this was unchanged, but again, run down and shabby feeling. There are a lot of TV’s now, like a sports bar, and a lot of loud people. No longer the quiet elegant experience I remembered. The drinks were not exceptional either.

Staying in the Queen Mary now is like staying in an 80 year hotel, it’s genteel but shabby. If you want a first class lodging experience, go elsewhere. But, if you can overlook the broken AC and the loud people in the bar, you can still hear the echo of the old days.

(I hope everyone enjoyed this tour of the Queen Mary! And a great big "THANK YOU," to JG, for sharing your photos and memories of your experience aboard the ship!)


***Editor's Notes & Additions:***

I thought I would include some interesting "odds and ends" bits of information about the Queen Mary, here:

The Queen Mary has had a long and fascinating history, since her maiden voyage in 1936. In 1967, she was retired from service and sold to the City of Long Beach (for $3.45 million!). Unfortunately, after she arrived in Long Beach, many areas of the ship were severely altered or completely gutted and removed (as JG mentioned above, about the engine room.)

One of the areas that was altered was the Observation Bar, seen in that last photo taken by JG. This vintage image shows the Observation Bar, before an expansion that took place in 1967. Here, the seating area ends with that drapery, which was covering up a long curved wall and a row of windows.

The other side of that wall and it's row of windows can be seen here, in this photo of Walt Disney, standing on a covered walkway just outside of the bar. When the Observation Bar was expanded, that wall and those windows were removed and the interior space of the bar was bumped out, towards the row of windows seen on the far right.

If we go back and take another look at JG's photo of the bar, we can see a wooden support column on the far right. That was originally part of the back wall of the bar (behind Walt Disney). When JG took his pic, he was actually standing in what used to be the covered walkway seen above!

We'll end today with this photo from 1945, showing the Queen Mary arriving in New York Harbor. During World War II, the Queen Mary and her sister ship, the Queen Elizabeth, were both converted into troop transport ships and their exteriors were painted battleship grey. According to Wikipedia, the two ships were the largest and fastest troopships involved in the war. Because of her new color and her speed, the Queen Mary was given the nickname, "The Grey Ghost."

And with that, I would like to wish everyone, a Happy Memorial Day!