Tuesday, October 23, 2012

How to Build a Flying Sasser

Anaheim's famous "Flying Sasser"- 1953

Little green people from Mars, UFOs, rockets and ray guns... folks in the 1950s were really into outer space.  Way before Walt Disney's Tomorrowland even existed, kids were already using their imaginations to explore distant planets out in the backyard and battle Martians on the playground.

"Welcome To Mars" - 1953 Kress Five & Dime Employees

The Anaheim Hallowe'en Parade's theme in 1953 was "Out of This World" and featured, among many things, a witch riding a missile instead of a broom, a platoon of pretty young Martians wearing kitchen colandars on their heads, and, most memorable of all, a "Flying Sasser" built by neighborhood kids. 

Thanks to the one-and-only known photograph taken of it, the "Sasser" managed to survive obscurity over the passing years.  Four boys, wielding toy pistols. pose in front of homes on a suburban street (presumably Broadway or Center Street).  A TV antenna, possibly borrowed temporarily from a rooftop, supplies a hint of a high-tech to the otherwise homemade-looking spacecraft. The scene is so charmingly Americana, it's no wonder the photo's been published in several books on Anaheim history. Even our local Ruby's Diner has a framed print on the wall over one of the tables.

This year the Flying Sasser returns to the Halloween parade, 59 years years after it first appeared, thanks to some creative people in the Anaheim Historical Society.  Anaheim resident and AHS member Bill Couture has recreated the Sasser from scratch, and we think his might be even better than the original!

So... take a look!

First, the size and shape were plotted out with chalk on Bill's driveway, followed by the painstaking process of bending tubing for the inside structure.

Did you know?  Dogs love sassers even more than people do.

This is Harley, and he has SASSER-EYES.

Next, the wooden "skin" is attached and trimmed.

Splendid, but...

...what are our Sass-tronauts going to wear?

Well, in keeping with the original artistic intent... it appears that foil-wrapped helmets are the way to go!

A few more details and we'll be ready to save the universe....

Look for the "Flying Sasser" in this year's Anaheim Halloween Parade, on Saturday October 27th, 2012.

You better be there.  No sassin'!

1 comment:

  1. Boy oh boy, I wish I could be there to see this! Kevin, please take plenty of pictures.