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Who tooted? If you asked my little niece this question, she would probably deny that it was her and point to her accuser, because in her vocabulary, the word “Tooted” means to pass gas, fart, break wind…need I go on?
However, because of my broad intellect , “Tooted” could mean a number of things and in this particular case, it means to honk, blow, or toot a horn, (see how smart I am). I recall on long road trips with my family, my dad taught me the “secret” truckers gesture that makes them toot their air horns.
Many trucks had air horns that were typically mounted on top the roof of the tractor or cab portion of the big rig. These were no doubt much louder than the wimpy factory installed horns that came on the truck. And there was a cord, cable or chain suspended from the ceiling of the truck, that when pulled, honked the horn.
Well, back to the “secret gesture”. So here’s the scenario, you’re a kid in the back seat of the family car, and as you pass a big rig truck, you look up into the cabin at the driver and make eye contact. When he’s looking, display the “secret gesture” at the driver, and with any luck, he’ll toot his air horns for you. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.
To perform the secret gesture, you bend your arm at a 90 degree angle with your clenched fist pointing up. Then pump your arm up and down. Simple, but effective. You now know how to do it!
Laura Bush knows the gesture and even Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel knows it.
Check out this YouTube video of a new generation of kids on the sidewalk using the secret gesture (sorry their video is so shaky). I’m starting to think that this is not really a secret anymore.
You Asked For It was an American television show that aired from 1950-1959. Viewers were asked to mail in requests for things they wanted to see on the show. The program showed how things worked, a behind the scenes look at movie effects, curiosities, etc.
The one episode that I remember seeing, was how they made it look like an actor was riding on a moving horse (close-up shot). The horse or fake horse was actually stationary (but would rock back and forth) and the background scenery would move behind the horse creating the illusion that the horse was moving forward. I believe it was in this same episode that they show how they used red colored wax bullets, so when they shot someone in say, a western movie, it would appear as though the person was shot and bleeding.
You know how they say that “Everything old, is new again”. Well, there are a number of current day television shows that take you behind the scenes of how things are done, such as “How It’s Made”. This is a show on the Science Channel and they have a series of episodes that show how just about anything is made. This is somewhat similar, but not quite, because they only show how things are made (hence the title How It’s Made) and they don’t show how special effects are done or any of the other curiosities someone might request. Even good ol’ Mister Rogers on “Mister Roger’s Neighborhood” took you on field trips to show how things were made.
But the one show that comes the closest to the “You Asked For It” show, is a kids show called “Curiosity Quest”. Just like “You Asked For It”, they ask for viewers to send in requests for what they wanted to see. They’ve been to places like, the Vermont Teddy Bear factor showing how the bears are made, how bread, bikes, snowboards are made, to how they train fire fighters. A great show, even for adults that are curious about these things.
A few youTube videos of different You Asked For It episodes:
Wikipedia.com–You Asked For It
Luigi’s Flying Tires is a new attraction at the Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim, California. It’s part of the new Cars Land area of the park. I can’t say that I’ve gone there yet, and you may ask yourself; why am I writing about it if I haven’t experienced it yet? I’m mentioning it because it has direct roots to an old Disneyland ride that I have been on many times–the Flying Saucer ride.
The now defunct Flying Saucer ride was around from 1961 to 1966 and the new Luigi’s Flying Tires ride is a reincarnated version of those saucers. The Flying Saucer ride was probably ahead of its time back in the 60′s, the ride was closed many times, due to malfunctions, no doubt. But the Flying Tires ride uses new technologies to address these problems. Read about my experience on the Flying Saucers at this link: http://yesteryearremembered.com/?p=9
To explain the history of the new ride, I will quote from a paragraph on the Disneyland Resort website:
“Luigi’s Flying Tires uses a completely new, state-of-the-art ride system, but the attraction is inspired by a classic Disneyland Park attraction, Flying Saucers. More than 5 million aspiring space explorers rode the Flying Saucers from August 6, 1961 to August 5, 1966. Even decades later, it’s still a favorite memory of many Disneyland Resort Guests — including Cars director John Lasseter. Now, the unique experience of floating on air can be relived and shared with a whole new generation of fans!”
Here’s some technical specs on the new ride:
- The Luigi’s Flying Tires ride covers 8,000 square feet of space
- There are 6,714 air vents (think of a gigantic air hockey table)
- 1.86 million cubic feet of air per minute is used to keep the tires afloat
- Ride capacity-600 rides per hour
- Ride length-2 minutes
- Tire size-9 foot diameter
- Height requirement-32 inches
- Vehicle capacity-2-3 riders
John Lasseter–Chief Creative Officer at Pixar & Disney Animation Studios, Test Rides The Flying Tires:
Read more about Luigi’s Flying Tires ride at the Disneyland Resort website:
Do you have a favorite dream? Perhaps one that reoccurs time after time.
Some of my dreams of flying were connected with nightmares and others were not. One of my most vivid dreams that I remember as a child, took place on the block of my childhood home. My home was on a slight hill and in my dream I would run from the top of the hill down the sidewalk and in my path were a line of monsters, maybe 4 wide waiting for me to approach them. As I got closer to them, I pushed off from the sidewalk and was able to fly over them just barely missing their outstretched arms. I’m sure there was a psychological reason for this dream.
Another dream was again, running down my street, pushing off and flying over the tops of the trees in my neighborhood. It was such an awesome feeling, the only thing that has come close to this feeling today was from parasailing or flying in an ultralight aircraft, which I did many years ago in Mexico.
When I dream of flying, I am primarily in a vertical body position unlike the horizontal flying position of superhero character Superman, although I have seen him hover in the vertical position at times.
Unfortunately, I rarely, if ever have dreams of flying anymore. I guess if I want that feeling again, I’ll have to go parasailing or ultralight flying again or maybe jump out of a plane…hmmm.
Florida, Puerto Rico & Bermuda all share the Atlantic ocean, but that’s not the only thing they have in common, they each make up the 3 points of the most mysterious triangle in history, The Bermuda Triangle. The more ominous name that haunted me the most when I was younger was the Devil’s Triangle.
As a young person, hearing about a vast area out in the middle of the ocean that made planes, ships and people vanish into thin air was mind boggling. It has been speculated that the cause of all these disappearances could have been anything from alien abductions, rogue waves, violent weather and more.
I know I’m not the only one that has been mystified by the Devil’s Triangle, because there has been so many movies and documentaries created about this phenomena. Rather than me repeating everything in the documentaries I’ve seen, take a look at the National Geographic and History Channel documentaries below to get a good insight about; The Devil’s Triangle!
The Truth Behind: The Bermuda Triangle
Devil’s Triangle / Bermuda triangle documentary
Check out wikipedia.com for more details:
Okay, based on my teaser post, I want to see a show of hands, how many of you thought I was going to write about a flatulence problem?
Fortunately, my experiences with gas were not bodily, but mechanical, for our family car.
Service, service, service! As a matter of normal operating procedure, gas stations of the 60′s & early 70′s (and probably earlier) use to provide full service on all vehicles that came in for gasoline, gas, petrol, fuel, or whatever you call it in your part of the world. I remember my dad driving into a gas station and as he pulled up to the gas pumps, the tires on the car would run over a rubber hose that stretched across the driveway by the pumps. This would trigger a bell to ring (ding, ding!) and an attendant would come out to your car and ask if you want a filler up and I think what grade of gas you wanted. After he started pumping gas into your car, he would grab a little spray bottle of glass cleaner along with several powder blue colored paper towels (don’t ask me how I remember that they were blue) and proceed to clean the windows on our car. He would also pop the hood and check the engine oil and would let you know if you the oil level was okay or if you were down a quart or so.
They didn’t have credit card scanners like they do today. They used a roller or pressure style credit card imprinter that you place your credit card in on top of a paper and carbon paper set and either roll the machine over the card or press the machine onto the card to imprint the credit card information onto the paper sheets. The attendant would then place the paper receipt onto a dark blue plastic clip board (at least they were this color in my area) and hand it to you to sign.
1973 brought with it a gas crisis as well as 1979, which was felt across the United States. Problems in the middle east caused a shortage of oil which in turn meant a shortage of fuel for vehicles.
Odd-even gas rationing was implemented in the United States, drivers of vehicles with license plates having an odd number as the last digit (or a vanity license plate) were allowed to purchase gasoline for their cars only on odd-numbered days of the month, while drivers of vehicles with even-numbered license plates were allowed to purchase fuel only on even-numbered days.
I remember people were getting so desperate, that they resorted to stealing gas from peoples cars by siphoning or other means. I even heard that one person made it in the news because they tried sucking gas out of a car using a vacuum cleaner. Gas fumes and vacuum motor sparks don’t mix. Well you could probably guess what happened next. Our family car was even one of the many cars that had its gas siphoned during this time.
As the years flew bye, gas prices continued to climb, so self service becomes the new norm and the usual full service becomes a premium paid option. Eventually, full service becomes a thing of the past at most, but not all gas stations. Oregon and New Jersey passed statutes to disallow self service stations due to the safety factors of a person pumping his or her own gas, among several other reasons.
Folow the two links below for news stories about a full service gas stations making a comeback:
To those observant ones, you may have noticed that I keep pulling off my upcoming post about Computer Generated Imagery due to a bad case of writers block. Plus I’ve been busy with the holidays, work and other things, so I decided to post the links below instead because they were already done.
I recently went on a Holland America cruise to the Panama Canal with my wife and other family members. Here’s a few links to some videos that I shot during that time. I chose these, because they were short snippets of our vacation.
Sorry, I don’t have one of the Panama Canal itself, but I’ll post if and when I do.
Miami Beach Botanical Garden:
Jet set–that was a term coined back in the 1950′s to mean ‘an international social set made up of wealthy people who travel from one fashionable place to another’. If you were one of those persons, then you were a jet setter–but of course, you knew that.
Travel by jet in the 1960′s was expensive by today’s standards. According to USInflationCalculator.com, a flight that costed $75 in the ’60s, would have costed $574 today. If we use a typical cost for airfare today, like $300 back in the ’60s, it would have been equivalent to $2,296 today. Wow!
Flying back in the 1960′s was so different from today. Following are some of my recollections:
- If you were a nervous flyer or just someone that enjoyed smoking, then you could puff to your hearts content anywhere on the plane. Much to the chagrin of your neighboring non-smoker. Eventually they cordoned off a section for smokers only (which was pretty much useless on a plane). Then they did away with smoking altogether on the majority of flights.
- Back in the early days of flying, it was considered a luxury, so people use to dress up when they traveled. Unlike today where casual wear, such as shorts and jeans is the norm (I actually prefer this mode of dress, due to the comfort factor).
- I remember as you walked towards the gate for departure at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), they had these Mutual of Omaha insurance machines that allowed you to purchase flight insurance right from the machine. You put your money in and out comes a policy, right on the spot.
- Back in the ’60s, to check-in for your flight, you basically just walk up to the counter, check-in, drop your bags off and go straight to the gate. There was no pat downs, X-ray machines or taking off your shoes. Plus, if your family or friends wanted to, they could park their car, and meet you at the gate to see you off. Today, you have to stand in one line to check-in, then you cart your bags over to another line to get them X-rayed and possibly searched for explosives. They have bomb sniffing dogs cruising the airports, you are subjected to searches if you set off the alarm going through the metal detector. You have to take your shoes off and have them X-rayed. Oh, and now they have full body scanners, that check you from head to toe…don’t even get me started on this one. Isn’t this a great way to start a relaxing vacation.
- Meals on planes were better back then, plus you usually got a choice of entree and you got real metal utensils. Compared to today… what meals! A bag of peanuts and a sandwhich.
- I remember at the baggage claim area, you had to wheel your bags up to the exit and have an attendant check your baggage claim tags that were stapled to your ticket/ticket holder, against what was on the luggage that you were taking out. This was a nice idea I guess to cut down or eliminate baggage theft, but if sometimes took a long time to get out the door. I’ve never had a bag stolen from baggage claim, so I guess this was a good decision to eliminate it.
If you can think of any other 1960′s flying experiences, please send me a comment!
Airlines that I remember from the ’60s, that no longer exist today: Pan Am, TWA, Eastern & PSA to name a few. The stewardesses from PSA reminded me of Go-Go dancers with the uniforms that they wore.
Pan Am was the largest international air carrier in the United States from 1927 until it’s financial collapse on December 4, 1991, according to wikipedia.com. According to another website, it was stated that after the Laukerbee, Scotland disaster on December 21, 1988, that killed all passengers and crew, this is what caused the demise of the airline.
The subject of this post, “Flying In The 1960′s” has been in my draft set of posts for quite some time, but since I saw that a new television series named Pan Am was coming to our local television network, I decided to get working on it and post it.
Following are supposedly true comments that airline employees made over the years. I find some of these hard to believe, so take it with a grain of salt, and consider the source (the web) and enjoy them for their entertainment value:
–On a Continental flight with a very “senior” flight attendant crew, the pilot said, “Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve reached cruising altitude and will be turning down the cabin lights. This is for your comfort and to enhance the appearance of your flight attendants.”
–On landing, the stewardess said, “Please be sure to take all of your belongings. If you’re going to leave anything, please make sure it’s something valuable.”
–”Thank you for flying Delta Business Express. We hope you enjoyed giving us the business as much as we enjoyed taking you for a ride.”
–As the plane landed and was coming to a stop at Ronald Reagan, a lone voice came over the loudspeaker: “Whoa, big fella. WHOA!”
–After a particularly rough landing during thunderstorms in Memphis, a flight attendant on a Northwest flight announced, “Please take care when opening the overhead compartments because, after a landing like that, sure as hell everything has shifted.”
–From a Southwest Airlines employee: “Welcome aboard Southwest Flight 245 to Tampa. To operate your seat belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seat belt; and, if you don’t know how to operate one, you probably shouldn’t be out in public unsupervised.”
–In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face.
–If you have a small child traveling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are traveling with two or more small children, decide now which one you love more.
–Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, we’ll try to have them fixed before we arrive. Thank you, and remember, nobody loves you, or your money, more than Southwest Airlines.”
–”Your seat cushions can be used for flotation, and in the event of an emergency water landing, please take them with our compliments.”
–”Should the cabin lose pressure, oxygen masks will drop from the overhead area. Please place the bag over your own mouth and nose before assisting children or adults acting like children.”
–Once on a Southwest flight, the pilot said, “We’ve reached our cruising altitude now, and I’m turning off the seat belt sign. I’m switching to autopilot, too, so I can come back there and visit with all of you for the rest of the flight.”
–”Last one off the plane must clean it.”
–”As you exit the plane, make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses.”
–And from the pilot during his welcome message: “We are pleased to have some of the best flight attendants in the industry… Unfortunately, none of them are on this flight…!”
–Overheard on an American Airlines flight into Amarillo, Texas, on a particularly windy and bumpy day. During the final approach the Captain was really having to fight it. After an extremely hard landing, the Flight Attendant came on the PA and announced, “Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Amarillo. Please remain in your seats with your seatbelts fastened while the Captain taxis what’s left of our airplane to the gate!”
–Heard on Southwest Airlines just after a very hard landing in Salt Lake City: The flight attendant came on the intercom and said, “That was quite a bump and I know what ya’ll are thinking. I’m here to tell you it wasn’t the airline’s fault, it wasn’t the pilot’s fault, it wasn’t the flight attendants’ fault…it was the asphalt!”
–Another flight attendant’s comment on a less than perfect landing: “We ask you to please remain seated as Captain Kangaroo bounces us to the terminal.”
–After a real crusher of a landing in Phoenix, the Flight Attendant came on with, “Ladies and Gentlemen, please remain in your seats until Capt. Crash and the Crew have brought the aircraft to a screeching halt against the gate. And, once the tire smoke has cleared and the warning bells are silenced, we’ll open the door and you can pick your way through the wreckage to the terminal.”
–An airline pilot wrote that on this particular flight he had hammered his ship into the runway really hard. The airline had a policy which required the first officer to stand at the door while the passengers exited, smile, and give them a “Thanks for flying XYZ airline.” He said that in light of his bad landing, he had a hard time looking the passengers in the eye, thinking that someone would have a smart comment. Finally everyone had gotten off except for this little old lady walking with a cane. She said, “Sonny, mind if I ask you a question?” “Why no Ma’am,” said the pilot, “what is it?” The little old lady said, “Did we land or were we shot down?”
–Part of a flight attendant’s arrival announcement: “We’d like to thank you folks for flying with us today. And, the next time you get the insane urge to go zipping through the skies in a pressurized metal tube, we hope you’ll think of us here at US Airways.”
–Heard on a Southwest Airline flight. “Ladies and gentlemen, if you wish to smoke, the smoking section on this airplane is on the wing and if you can light ‘em, you can smoke ‘em.”
–A plane was taking off from Kennedy Airport. After it reached a comfortable cruising altitude, the captain made an announcement over the intercom, “Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. Welcome to Flight Number 293, nonstop from New York to Los Angeles. The weather ahead is good and, therefore, we should have a smooth and uneventful flight. Now sit back and relax.. OH, MY GOD!” Silence followed, and after a few minutes, the captain came back on the intercom and said, “Ladies and Gentlemen, I am so sorry if I scared you earlier. While I was talking to you, the flight attendant accidentally spilled a cup of hot coffee in my lap. You should see the front of my pants!” A passenger in Coach yelled, “That’s nothing. You should see the back of mine.”
–A crowded United Airlines flight was canceled. A single agent was re-booking a long line of inconvenienced travelers. Suddenly an angry passenger pushed his way to the desk. He slapped his ticket down on the counter and said, “I HAVE to be on this flight and it has to be FIRST CLASS.” The agent replied, “I’m sorry sir. I’ll be happy to try to help you, but I’ve got to help these folks first, and I’m sure we’ll be able to work something out.” The passenger was unimpressed. He asked loudly, so that the passengers behind him could hear, “DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHO I AM?” Without hesitating, the agent smiled and grabbed her public address microphone. “May I have your attention please,” she began her voice heard clearly throughout the terminal. “We have a passenger here at Gate 14 WHO DOES NOT KNOW WHO HE IS. If anyone can help him find his identity, please come to Gate 14.”
–On a Southwest flight (SW has no assigned seating, you just sit where you want) passengers were apparently having a hard time choosing, when a flight attendant announced, “People, people we’re not picking out furniture here, find a seat and get in it!”
Pan Am Flight 103–Lockerbie, Scotland Bombing
History of Pan American World Airways (Pan Am)
Former Napa stewardess recalls flying in the 1960′s
Frank Sinatra Sings “Come Fly With Me”, a song used in the new Pan Am television series and the movie Catch Me if You Can.