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  1. #46

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    Re: My father owned restaurant in Frontierland

    Well, glad to see we've got brother David in on the chat...
    Last edited by RD4; 09-25-2008 at 09:13 AM.
    Don DeFore's Silver Banjo barbecue restaurant
    Frontierland 1957 - 1961

  2. #47

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    Re: My father owned restaurant in Frontierland

    David it's great to see you here! I just don't know how your bother got here first. Thank you both for joining MiceChat and telling your stories.

    Katrina

  3. #48

    • Me and Tommy Kirk
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    Re: My father owned restaurant in Frontierland

    Right on, Ron!! And welcome to David. I wish I had met you at the GHR event ~ I think I missed so much by working that night.


    Lannie
    Last edited by Neverlandtink; 09-25-2008 at 07:27 PM.

  4. #49

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    Re: My father owned restaurant in Frontierland

    deleted
    Last edited by IzzyInWonderland; 09-25-2008 at 05:13 PM.


    Facebook me!
    Join in the Disney fun at MyVMK!

  5. #50

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    Re: My father owned restaurant in Frontierland

    Wow! What wonderful stories and photos. Thank you so much for sharing!

    I'm sorry to hear that the plaque has been removed, I certainly hope you discover the location of the missing item.

    The more I read about Disneyland and the history of different aspects of the park, I grow to appreciate the massive affect it has on many people. You must feel very honored to be a part of something so great and wonderful.


  6. #51

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    Re: My father owned restaurant in Frontierland

    Great thread. What a treat having a piece of Disney history giving us wonderful stories.

    Thank you!

  7. #52

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    Re: My father owned restaurant in Frontierland

    These are great stories. Great thread.
    "My mental facilities are twice what yours are, pea brain!"

    The conversation continues at Long-Forgotten, the blog.

  8. #53

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    Re: My father owned restaurant in Frontierland

    How fun!! Thanks so much for sharing the web sites and pictures!!!
    Any day at Disneyland is a Happy Day!!!!

  9. #54

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    Re: My father owned restaurant in Frontierland

    Ron and David, thanks for sharing these wonderful stories with us! I may have been too young to remember the Silver Banjo; I do have later memories of the Pancake House.

    Quote Originally Posted by RD4 View Post
    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 :-)
    Even though it has gone through plenty of changes, Frontierland always feels more like the "old" Disneyland to me than anyplace else in the park. The thought of Walt sitting there and sketching just brings tears to my eyes.
    Last edited by retrodiz; 11-16-2008 at 09:12 AM.

  10. #55

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    Re: My father owned restaurant in Frontierland

    Ron, back again. Well, as long as there's new people coming here and enjoying the thread I'm encouraged to keep writing about our life growing up in Disneyland.

    By the way, my brother David and I gave a presentation last summer at the NFFC convention that was well received. If there are any other "Mice" conventions or get to gethers that may want us to do the same presentation we would definately consider it. We had a great fun time, and believe the audience enjoyed the history, fun and humor.

    So here's one of the memories that we talked about in that presentation...

    I've mentioned a couple times how a lot of the employees knew of the DeFore kids (and it may not have all been positive...especially if you've read my previous post like us sneaking into the back entrance of the jungle cruise ride and pretending we were apes among the amitron animals!). Anyway, one day someone called over to the Silver Banjo asked if any of the DeFore kids were around to help test the flying saucer ride. Well, as bored as we could get sometimes at the Park, testing a new ride would always be something to break the boredom.

    So my brother and I ran over to Tomorrowland (using all the back employee short cuts as we always did). We went behind the boarded up area where the flying saucer ride was in its final stages of completion. The engineers saw us and knew that their ginny pigs had arrived. They assisted us onto what were round pieces of 3/4 inch ply wood with flimsy plastic skirts around them. Several guys had to hold onto the contraption as we got on and because they had not yet figured out all the geometry and strength of the huge air fans they quickly realized that they had to add extra weight or we were going to be jetisoned into outer space (that would have been an entirely different kind of ride..."you only get to ride once!")

    Anyway, they grabbed the closest thing to them which were boxes of nails and placed them on top of the plywood with us to help weigh us down. Once they got the balance correct it was awesome. It blew us a couple feet off the ground and traveling around was extremely fast - nothing like the ride eventually turned out. This was like bumper cars on steroids! Well, as you can imagine we had a ball and they let us play for what seemed like a couple hours testing out different weights.

    Boy those were the days...no trial lawyers!

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

  11. #56

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    Re: My father owned restaurant in Frontierland

    Quote Originally Posted by RD4 View Post
    Ron, back again. Well, as long as there's new people coming here and enjoying the thread I'm encouraged to keep writing about our life growing up in Disneyland.

    By the way, my brother David and I gave a presentation last summer at the NFFC convention that was well received. If there are any other "Mice" conventions or get to gethers that may want us to do the same presentation we would definately consider it. We had a great fun time, and believe the audience enjoyed the history, fun and humor.

    So here's one of the memories that we talked about in that presentation...

    I've mentioned a couple times how a lot of the employees knew of the DeFore kids (and it may not have all been positive...especially if you've read my previous post like us sneaking into the back entrance of the jungle cruise ride and pretending we were apes among the amitron animals!). Anyway, one day someone called over to the Silver Banjo asked if any of the DeFore kids were around to help test the flying saucer ride. Well, as bored as we could get sometimes at the Park, testing a new ride would always be something to break the boredom.

    So my brother and I ran over to Tomorrowland (using all the back employee short cuts as we always did). We went behind the boarded up area where the flying saucer ride was in its final stages of completion. The engineers saw us and knew that their ginny pigs had arrived. They assisted us onto what were round pieces of 3/4 inch ply wood with flimsy plastic skirts around them. Several guys had to hold onto the contraption as we got on and because they had not yet figured out all the geometry and strength of the huge air fans they quickly realized that they had to add extra weight or we were going to be jetisoned into outer space (that would have been an entirely different kind of ride..."you only get to ride once!")

    Anyway, they grabbed the closest thing to them which were boxes of nails and placed them on top of the plywood with us to help weigh us down. Once they got the balance correct it was awesome. It blew us a couple feet off the ground and traveling around was extremely fast - nothing like the ride eventually turned out. This was like bumper cars on steroids! Well, as you can imagine we had a ball and they let us play for what seemed like a couple hours testing out different weights.

    Boy those were the days...no trial lawyers!

    Ron DeFore
    You lucky duck!!

    My big sister has faint memories of riding the Flying Saucers. So faint, she actually thought it was a dream until she saw a picture of them a few years ago.

    Another great story ~ Thanks Ron!

    Hey, tell us about your Dad and Uncle. What were they like?

  12. #57

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    Re: My father owned restaurant in Frontierland

    Quote Originally Posted by RD4 View Post
    My father, actor Don DeFore,
    Whoa. It's a genuine pleasure to have you here.

    I also remember Love's, and if your sauce is better than theirs, you MUST share it. That's some darn good barbecue sauce.

    This thread is officially awesome.

  13. #58

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    Re: My father owned restaurant in Frontierland

    Kewl! Youve got Disney in Your Blood!
    Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things... and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths." -Walt Disney

  14. #59

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    Re: My father owned restaurant in Frontierland

    Quote Originally Posted by AlwaysImagineer View Post
    Kewl! Youve got Disney in Your Blood!
    Make that Disney BBQ sauce!!

  15. #60

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    Re: My father owned restaurant in Frontierland

    Quote Originally Posted by Neverlandtink View Post
    Ron, that is the COOLEST story!! So funny. I miss David so much. I can absolutely picture the delight he had in being "in" on the prank. That's his wife Carole with her hand toward the plaque and I also recognize Stacia Martin (pink sweater next to David), a longtime Disney talent and historian.

    One thing about David, he was not the head of WDI. He was a Show Set Producer/Designer and worked for WDI for about 25 years. I believe Disney Legend Marty Sklar had the head job title at that time. I'm sure David would've loved knowing that somebody thought he was in charge!

    You and your family are brave and nobel people. Right on!! Now, is the plaque still there? Did you ever get "busted" for it?

    Thanks again for sharing ~ more please!

    Lannie
    Yeah, I recognized Stacia, too. I just ran into her at DCA the weekend of the Wally Boag event. She has some great stories about DL, too!

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidD4 View Post
    Hi Brother Ron, you have shared a wonderful and heartwarming family story about our beloved Silver Banjo and The Plaque. But wait folks, Ron has perhaps the best part of the story comming!

    I was a part-time bus boy at the young age of 12 to 15 working at the Banjo from 1957 to 1961. (Actully, the Banjo Restaurant closed on March 4,1962, eventhough the copy of the Disneyland/ Banjo lease I have has an experation date of June 14,1962). I believe I was the youngest, non-entertainment employee (now called a Cast Member) to ever work in the park, since Disney employees have to be at least 18 and a High School graduate. No one questioned me because I was employeeed by my Dad, Don DeFore and my beloved Uncle Verne DeFore, the Banjo's manager who was well known and well liked throughout the park. One of the Mice Chaters mentioned that a 17 year old High School honer student can be hired at Disneyland (?)

    I met many Mice Chaters at the well orchestrated and exciting Golden Horseshoe reunion and show last month and on Sunday at noon in front of Walt's statue at the not so secret Main Street meeting place. I shareed some stories and really appreciated the hospitality the Mice Chaters showed me. A group of us walked over to the Banjo site and I proceeded to tell The Plaque story and many fond memories of working and playing at the happest place on earth.

    Thank you for your interest in our family memories, David DeFore
    David, welcome to the MiceChat Board! It was nice to meet you at the Wally Boag event, and to hear these stories from you personally, right in front of The Silver Banjo's original location!

    Ron, welcome to you also, and thanks for sharing the story with everyone here!

    Todd

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