Thursday, June 19, 2008

Theme Thursday: Amusement

Is this who I think it is?

It never ceases to amaze me, even after
all these years in the work force, that
when people don't have the ability for
a certain job, and lose it to someone
more qualified, they find ways to blame
others, rather than look inside themselves
and fix what may have not worked, so
they can move ahead.

Imagine my surprise, walking into work,
getting to my computer and finding this
little note, left for me....

Spelling helps on the job also. ; )

I was hired in Jan to scan and process old books.
At one time, or at least when I arrived on the scene,
there were 4 people. Then the company sent me to NC
to learn some "ins & outs." Then there were 2 people,
now there is me. The last person with me also has a
bad habit of spreading rumors, and even saying things
she knows nothing about. Thus, now mad at me since
she is in another job category, some women are
spreading her minor irritations.

Thank goodness I can listen to my Ipod
and focus on my work.

Hence, an "amusement" of another type.
One that continues to slow the world down
for no real reason.

You can't live on amusement.

It is the froth on water

an inch deep and then the mud.

George MacDonald

This was back in the day when Playland
at the Beach in San Francisco was being built.
While a youngster, it was a happening place.
As a teen, it was starting to fall into
disrepair and soon after that it closed
and now is full of Condos.

These cars were long gone, but
up through the 80s, there were
still a few of these in the Avenues
not far from this area. Some friends
showed me a street that they were
on and never did look into the history
then of why they were there.

As weird as she was, you couldn't help stopping
and taking a listen to Laughing Sal.

We thought she was the one and only,
but there were more like her spread
around the USA it appears.

The Funhouse and Laughing Sal.
Inside this little complex was a slide,
a maze, crazy mirrors, and lots of
people, young and old, having many
laughs and a good time.

When we were in HS, we'd go to Playland
and play the pinball machines, but first
we'd go to the Hot House for some
Mexican Food to go and on or way
home, we'd stop and get a couple
of It's Its. Yes, this is where they were
born and consumed by many.

The Cliff House and Sutro Baths were
just up the street. Before our time
this whole area was jumping with
families getting together and
spending lots of time together.

Seems like such a long time ago.

View from the Ocean to San Francisco Bay

In the distance is the Bay Bridge.

Pictures from the book:

San Francisciana Photographs of Playland.

More history at this link here.


Unknown said...

Thanks for the lovely post here, CM, always a pleasure to come back to your blog!

Bobby D. said...

I loved the placard of the various places to eat and their names-- Topsy's Roost?

Caffine is evil? was this supposed to be about you, but you weren't supposed to see it? Yes, co-workers HATE it if you take pride in your work--that's nothing new. Instead of learning something or looking for a new job she'll continue to do her old job poorly and whine.

Thanks for the pics of the old amusement park--It seems like ages since I've been to one with any character other than Coney Island. Like dancing
Sal--also gypsy fortune tellers and so forth, all encased in glass. I wonder what happened to all of those?

Kurt said...

The Musee Mechanique had Laughing Sal by the entrance, but then they moved somewhere, and I never made it to the new location.

Wouldn't it be nice if we had public baths in 2008? They're so civilized.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

great post ....very amusing on all sorts of levels!

I love looking at photos and reading about old amusement parks. I'm not really very keen on going to modern day amusement parks, but did visit coney island earlier this year (off season) and found it a treasure trove of sensory delights. really liked the coney island museum (I think admission was 50 cents - or maybe a buck)

Coffee Messiah said...

damyanti: Thanks for stopping by!

ched: I do not know what "caffine" is, but enjoyed the sentiment. And yes, I replaced both these people and heck, if I knew I had to fit in to get along, I would've acted dumb and let someone else do all the work too, and act indignant that I was replaced. It's the environment and the midwest. Most of the people do not know what it's like to work in the real world. I could go on, but am tired.

We were at Coney Island in the off season when I was a teen and I could hardly imagine all those people trying to move on the beach. Sadly, we only took a cursory look. Time, ya know. Plus two kids and expenses. I'll have to relate our hotel story sometime. I'll never forget the experience.

kurt: I always wondered what it must have been like to jump in Sutro Baths with water from the ocean. And yes, everything around the Cliff House and Playland was pretty fun for a long time.

mouse: We're the same, and actually it wore off quick as soon as I realized how strange some people are in that environment. Thanks for popping by!

Squirrel said...

That looks like my cousin Debbie --she'll drink McDonald's Coffee or polluted creek water.

I drank McD's coffee in desperation once about 12 years ago. (Never drive across Pennsylvania on Christmas Day--bad idea--only McD's is open.) It tasted like it was brewed in an old ashtray. (shudder) I threw it away after one sip.
Now I imagine they've gotten all "We take our coffee seriously now!" I'm not buying it.

Unknown said...

The same laughing mannequin plus a man mannequin was located in a local amusement park. Until I was a bout 8 years old I refused to go near where the laughers were because they terrified me.

Coffee Messiah said...

squirrel: Sorry I got U 2 mixed up. Creek water, you're right, sometimes you just can't tell the difference if you really understand the nuance of all the varieties of coffee there are.

nick: I never realized there were more than one until recently. Makes sens though. And when young, most kids felt the same way seeing/hearing her.

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm glad we got past the bad speller, and on to Playland. Great pics, and the first time I've ever heard of a burger being referred to as 'steer meat!' Ha! This kind of history I can enjoy.

Thanks, Coffee.

Enemy of the Republic said...

Beautiful photos as usual.

As for work, sometimes it isn't the fault of the worker (politics), but generally people don't like to admit their own responsibility for their actions. I haven't lost my job, but I am bad at playing politics, so if I lose it, I will take responsibility for that even though I don't see it as an undesirable trait.

I do follow your point.

Mariamariacuchita said...

Great pictures!!

s. douglas said...

You may not be able to live on amusement, but you most certainly can live on an Island.

Anonymous said...

You really know how to draw out my sentimentality, Coffee. Those gentle, innocent times, they will never come again.

We're going to hell in a hand-basket I'm afraid. When the bombs begin to fall on Iran, it won't be long.

How can we have allowed it to happen? Did no one notice?


99 said...

Oh! Those were the days... french fries that drooped and dripped... and that splendid slide....

Bob Dylan said...

Oh for the olden days, just once-- to go back for a day.

DivaJood said...

I think I can drink caffine. It's the latest in coffee: caf, that is fine. The pictures are great - I wish I could hear Laughing Sal - need a does of serious laughter.

Miles said...


your mention of carville needs a bit more background. although not guaranteed to be entirely accurate, my understanding is that retired cable cars could at one time be purchased cheaply from the city. the small community of carville sprung up when a few of the cars were converted into small beachfront bungalows (sort of like surfer shacks) by enterprising locals. many more came along, until the city closed the 'neighborhood' down, due to health code violations (no sewage system). a small handful of car home are still to be found, but now, rather than surfer shacks, they have been incorporated into the larger scheme of a full blown house.

thanks for the memories.

Coffee Messiah said...

decker: A sign of those times, to be sure.

enemy: An undesirable trait, is that which a majority of people out here seem to have, and that's that they can simply "get by" and that should be enough. I've never bought it, nor blaming others for my lack of ability. And I'm with you on "politics" as they always compromise those who can be independent thinkers.

maria: Glad to see you're back and hope all is well with your family.

fairlane: I believe most Islands have already been spoken for.

david: Sadly, when people refuse to question what goes on around them and hold those responsible, this is how we end up. I know I don't need to tell you! ; (

99: Thanks for stopping by!

bd: Some things would be worth going back for, most others wouldn't be.

diva: That's funny and I do know what you mean about needing some laughter. Maybe after Jan '09 we will enjoy some. ; )

miles: Thanks for the clarification. I also know there are/were some of these in Pacifica, on the right side before you make the incline to Devils Slide. THanks too for stopping by! Hope all is well your way!

Anonymous said...

Laughing Sal and some other wonderful memories from Playland are here with me in Santa Cruz at the Boardwalk.
I will send you some pics next time I go.
Love you Big Bro

Coffee Messiah said...

shar: Hey, until I wrote the post, I never realized there were Laughing Sals all over the country.

Anonymous said...

Funny how much info is out there that we do not know about.
I am always amazed.
We just received Laughing Sal in 2004 I think it was and for the longest time the Boardwalk (Seaside Co) was not sure where to put her. They have the Playland info under her and pics. Makes me feel good to have some of my past good memories close by.

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