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  1. #16

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    Talking Re: My My father owned restaurant in Frontierland

    When I saw the title of this thread I thought I was going to see David's name. Ron, I'm very happy to see you here! Thank you for posting the information about your dads restaurant. Now we have to get your brother on here.

  2. #17

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    Re: My My father owned restaurant in Frontierland

    My grandpa used to own a mexican restaurant, just a few blocks away from Disneyland when it was being built. And every so often, Walt Disney would walk into the restaurant because he really enjoyed the food. Just a few months before completing Disneyland he went up to my grandpa and said "Would you like to put your restaurant in Disneyland" and because my grandpa had put so much effort into his restaurant and people were doubting Disneyland, he said no. Since then he has been kicking himself in the face for saying no.


    Oh and my other grandpa, (on the other side of the family) designed the water system for the origional subs, (The same one that Disney recently screwed up and flooded Tomorrowland with.


  3. #18

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    Re: My My father owned restaurant in Frontierland

    Ron, I'm so glad you joined the gang and are posting your stories. I can't wait to read more!! (LOVED the story about you riding with Walt.)

    When I was young, my parents and sisters and I would watch reruns of Ozzie and Harriet every Saturday morning. (This was in the early 1970s). Your Dad's character "Thorny" was our favorite! He made us laugh harder than anyone. It was always a disappointment when they didn't show one of his episodes.

    What kind of a Dad was he? Seems like you have some happy memories.

    Lannie
    Last edited by Neverlandtink; 04-06-2008 at 03:21 PM.

  4. #19

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    Re: My father owned restaurant in Frontierland

    Wow! That's great! Keep the stories coming!


  5. #20

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    Re: My father owned restaurant in Frontierland

    We DeFore kids were well known in the late fifties among those who worked in the park, but not as well known (and liked) as my Uncle Vern who managed the Silver Banjo. He was there every day as opposed to us kids who were there only on weekends. So it's my Uncle Vern who is the one who had all the best stories - I have a taped interview my brother and I did with him before he died - it has a number of his favorite stories as well including the fun we would all have when they drained the water around Tom Sawyer's Island. They would close Frontierland when they did so while they did repairs ( I guess to the Columbia track?). Anyway, me and my cousins had a great time watching them find all the wallets, cameras, and other personal items folks had dropped in the water.

    My brother and sisters were occassionally called upon to test new rides...I'll save that story until next time.

    I'm glad there are folks interested in this stuff. By the way, when is the next NFFC convention? My brother and I were at the last one and gave a presentation with photos, slides and memories of the Silve Banjo and park. I'd like to go to the next one and spend more time at the exhibits - - I'm starting to collect Disney production cells - is there anyone out there who knows an expert in that field? I've already bought two on eBay but have no way of knowing how to tell if they are authentic.

    Ron

  6. #21

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    Re: My father owned restaurant in Frontierland

    Quote Originally Posted by RD4 View Post
    I'm glad there are folks interested in this stuff. By the way, when is the next NFFC convention? My brother and I were at the last one and gave a presentation with photos, slides and memories of the Silve Banjo and park. I'd like to go to the next one and spend more time at the exhibits - - I'm starting to collect Disney production cells - is there anyone out there who knows an expert in that field? I've already bought two on eBay but have no way of knowing how to tell if they are authentic.

    Ron
    Ron, I believe the actual NFFC Show and Sale is on July 20th this year. The convention part of it will be the week of the 13th through the 20th.


  7. #22

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    Re: My father owned restaurant in Frontierland

    Love the stories! Any old stories of DL and people who knew Walt himself are so welcome here, because there's so much supposition about what Walt Disney would think about this and that. It's nice to have someone here who actually KNEW the man!! Welcome, Ron!

  8. #23

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    Re: My father owned restaurant in Frontierland

    Welcome Ron. You came to the right place for people that appreciate great Disney info!

  9. #24

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    Re: My father owned restaurant in Frontierland

    Quote Originally Posted by RD4 View Post
    My father, actor Don DeFore, was the only person to own a concession and have his name displayed in Disneyland. Between 1956 to 1961 we owned Don DeFore's Silver Banjo barbecue restaurant in Frontierland. It was located where the original Frito Lays was in between Aunt Jemima's and the Malt Shop. (many of the vintage maps shows it as "Silver Banjo").

    One of the many wonderful memories I have was riding in the opening day parade. It was our family you see in the Autopia cars riding up Mainstreet.

    I would like to here from those interested in the many stories I have growing up in Disneyland and am particularly interested in those that may have photos, slides or film of the restaurant.

    A few web sites have more info and photos on the restaurant - my own: www.defore.net
    www.yesterland.com
    www.davelandweb.com/disneland

    Thanks for your interest,
    Ron
    Ron - this is so wonderful. I was four years old for my first visit, circa 1960. I do remember eating at Aunt Jemima's, but don't necessarily recall your Dad's restaurant.

    But I usd to watch "Hazel" with my Mom every week, and years later I saw the first years episodes of "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" and your Dad was great in the role of "Thorny" the next door neighbor.

    Any stories about that, or oh yeah Disneyland - greatlt appreciated! Welcome aboard!
    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

  10. #25

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    Re: My father owned restaurant in Frontierland

    Welcome Ron! I'm loving all your stories!
    <o>

  11. #26

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    Re: My father owned restaurant in Frontierland

    Really loving these stories Wow look at those prices on the menu!

  12. #27

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    Re: My father owned restaurant in Frontierland

    You should post about the cels in the Collectibles section.
    Good morning, son
    In twenty years from now
    Maybe we'll both sit down and have a few beers
    And I can tell you 'bout today
    And how I picked you up and everything changed
    It was pain
    Sunny days and rain
    I knew you'd feel the same things...





  13. #28

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    Re: My father owned restaurant in Frontierland

    Quote Originally Posted by Radiobarry View Post

    But I usd to watch "Hazel" with my Mom every week, and years later I saw the first years episodes of "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" and your Dad was great in the role of "Thorny" the next door neighbor.
    !
    I loved Hazel! I did an IMDB search of your dad's name, Ron, and thought he looked familiar and even almost asked if he was on Hazel before doing the search. He was Mr. B !! I can still hear her voice. Memories of childhood!

  14. #29

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    Re: My father owned restaurant in Frontierland

    Ron back again...

    Wow, what a pleasant surprise to hear from so many that love Disneyland early days and want to hear more stories about growing up in Disneyland. First, thanks to NeverNeverland for the advice on Collectables section for finding out if my Disney "production cells" are authentic.

    For those that want to hear more about my father, Don DeFore, as Ozzie and Harriet's next door neighbor Thorny or as Hazel's boss "Mr. B" - you are either as old as I am or you were really into reruns! Here's some timely trivia: My father starred in Charlton Heston's first picture - "Dark City" My father also co-starred in Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis' first film -"My Friend Irma."

    Here's some other trivia: My father was the first honorary mayor of Brentwood; he has a star on Hollywood Blvd; He was president of the Television Academy from 1954-1955 and sold the first nationally televised Emmy Awards to NBC along with Ed Sullivan; and here's one that will hopefully not offend anyone: he was a delegate for Ronald Reagan at both Republican National Conventions when Reagan was running for president!

    As far as memories of Walt - as he told me once, his favorite part of the park was Frontierland. He would often come sit in front of our restaurant and sketch. I specifically remember being with him and watching him sketch the Columbia. Now, why I didn't ask him to sign and give it to me is something I've asked myself many times :-)

    I'll have more when I have time to write...like the time we DeFore kids were asked to test out the flying saucer ride before its opening!

    Ron
    Don DeFore's Silver Banjo barbecue restaurant
    Frontierland 1957 - 1961

  15. #30

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    Re: My father owned restaurant in Frontierland

    Ron, do you know... Did your Dad leave Ozzie and Harriet to do the Hazel show?

    And yes, definitely tell us more stories! I love that your Dad was a delegate for Ronald Reagan. Very cool. Wow, he was all over the place, wasn't he?

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