Sunday, December 6, 2009

Christmas & Disneyland

{my family in 1958 at Disneyland}

{me at Disneyland for my 53rd birthday 11/25/09, this was before my daughter told me my birthday buttons looked like pasties...I moved them! LOL}

Growing up in the late 50's, Disneyland was every child's dream. If you were lucky enough to have grown up in southern California it was often more then a dream. If you were really lucky, your parents saved their nickles & dimes & once a year would pack up the kids, throw them in the back of the station wagon {without seat belts} & drive to Anaheim to go to the Happiest Place on Earth & if you were really, really lucky, your Daddy worked there!

{excerpt from a past post}

I was born in Long Beach, CA because my Father joined the Marines right out of his High School in Illinois & was stationed in Oceanside. With the VA Bill he was able to go to college & buy our 1st house, but he worked 2 jobs to support his family & we never went without, a gift. One of his jobs was working at Disneyland as a janitor back when Disneyland & the idea of amusement parks was brand new. My brother & I kept empty mayonnaise jars on our dresser. Every morning when we woke up the jars would be filled to the brim with shiny pennies, nickles & dimes. I would find a Disneyland pen light in my jar, while John might find a pop gun or giant pencil in his & of course we would always get TICKETS! Long after the rides had closed for the night & the smiling, sleepy children & worn out parents left the park, my Father swept Main Street. He cleaned the bathrooms & the shops & arcade that lined the street. He worked through the early morning hours while we were home asleep in our beds & at the end of his shift the work crew would divide up the remnants of abandoned toys & lost change & take them home to their children. Every morning when we awoke it was like Christmas!

10 comments:

peggy gatto said...

What a wonderful memory and your family card is the BEST!!!

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

What a wonderful daddy you had! My husband also joined the Marine Corp right out of highschool, except he lived in El Cajon California. He was also stationed on Camp Pendleton and we lived on the base for awhile..as well as in San Diego. Your father was so lucky to have a job there..
My husband also worked nights in various jobs in the area..but not at Disneyland. I doubt if he even thought of it...but how wonderful if he had! Our seven children would have been delighted I'm sure.
Filling your penny jars and leaving little gifts. You had a real life Santa for a father!
Hugs to you and to your family. You are the same age as one of my sons. We were all in the same area at the same time those many long years ago..and your mother and I expected our babies at the same time. :)
Hugs,
Mona

Jamie said...

I love this story so much Susie!! I bet you and your brother shot out of bed every morning!! LOL!! The photo of your family in 1958 is breathtaking. Have a wonderful Sunday Sweetie! Love, Jamie

Lynn Richards said...

My dad joined the Navy just to get the heck out of Oklahoma!!
Looks like you had a lot of fun with your daughter...
lynn

Lucy said...

What lovely pictures and what a lovely story! What a fun childhood! Surprises in the morning and Disneyland too!

Jodie LeJeune said...

Awe...I love this Susie!!! This is such a SWEET story. I love all of the memories your Dad left for ya'll, I'm just speechless!!! Disneyland will always be a special part of your heart, no doubt about it. It must feel special when you walk down Main Street and know that your Dad walked it too every night, just for you! Wow!
And the 1958 photo...OMG!
Priceless~
everything vintage

Diane said...

Hi Susie, so I went to your post about Disney, which led me to this one, and I wanted to share a post that I put up in Jan. (I think this will work :)
http://dianesalter.blogspot.com/2010/01/where-i-was-last-year-at-this-time.html

What a great post this was too!!

diane said...

Hi Susie....
So nice to meet you =)
What a wonderful story! What a different time...right? I am very close to your age, raised in an entirely different part of the country, but your story rings loud in my ears!
I had always wanted to go to Disney, and take my daughter. Finally, three years ago we went together (in Florida) and had the GREATEST time of our lives (I was 50 and she was 32)...Yes, it really is the happiest place on earth =)
BTW...your blog is beautiful =)
diane
xoxoxox

Michele Seraphim said...

Hello Susie:

It was so nice to see you on my blog and you left such a lovely comment that I just had to come and visit you and boy am I glad I did. I know this is an old post but it touched my heart. I LOVE Disney and may be coming back next year once again with my husband! It is a magical place and even saying the name makes me smile.

I know this is an old post but I am so happy to have found it. What a wonderful treasure you have in the memory your father created of your wish jar! What a really cool way for him to spread the magic of a late night job with his children!

By the way, your "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" in your side bar is fabulous!

Looking forward to getting to know you!

Michele Seraphim

Candylei said...

oh, this brought tears to my eyes. It's the little details, the small things that often mean the most to kids. And the photograph, the colors are so dreamy! I would buy a copy if you were selling it. <3
x, Candylei