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Still Alive

2010-03-24 - 12:47 p.m.

No post yesterday.

I got my schedule switched on Monday - I was going to have Tuesday off but Jason needed to make a couple swaps.

I came home yesterday afternoon and found out a game night had been scheduled. I RSVP'd and headed down there...only to find out that it was TODAY (Wednesday).

So I went to the Park instead.


...and opened up a new can of worms, kinda sorta.

Okay. I need to give you all some background info. Then I'll get to the crux of it.

Let's start with the Haunted Mansion. Specifically, let's start with the Haunted Portraits. This is the section after the "Stretching Room".

You're walking down a stretch of hallway. On your left is a series of windows. "Outside", a storm is raging - thunder, lightning, the works. On your right are some framed portraits that change as you go down the hall. The first one was a pale woman with black hair who would change into a reclining panther. Then there was a ship in full sail...that would turn into a derelict with torn sails in a stormy sea. Another was a lovely blonde that became a stone Medusa, complete with snakes for hair. And so on.

When I was a kid, the pictures would "flicker" between the "good" image and the "evil" image as the "lightning" struck outside. Later they "upgraded it" so they would fade in and out. Then in 2005 they changed it back to the lightning flicker, which I always felt was far more effective than the "fading".

Are you with me so far? Okay.

When they did the update in 2005, they took out one of the portraits. It was an image of a lovely young brunette. The "good" portrait had the word "April" on it. The "evil" image was that of a withered old crone wearing the same dress...and the label said "December":

I had always wondered - who was she? Was she cursed? Did she turn evil? What had happened to cause her to age and wither in less than nine months?

I had thought about writing a short story about her. The idea passed.


Now, last night.

The Disneyland Bank of Main Street is now an art gallery with lots of pieces and displays for the Mansion's fortieth anniversary. I looked around...and a painting called "April Showers" caught my eye:

That's her...with the crone reflected in the birdbath.

I corralled the attendant. She remembered the original picture. At the Disney Art On Demand kiosk, you can get a poster of the April/December lady, with images for "June" and September" thrown in. The attendant didn't know the girl's name or her back-story. She got a copy of the new Haunted Mansion reference book and we paged through it.

There's no information about this portrait. There are several references to a Melanie Ravenswood whose story was originally part of the Mansion story - there are even "stretching paintings" of Melanie with appropriate "twist" bottom halves. And while "Miss April" could be Melanie (there is a resemblance), there's no confirmation. All I could find was this page with fictional backgrounds of the portrait characters.

Miss April/December has a back-story. Someone somewhere knows.

I just hope that the person who does still alive.


If anyone Out There who reads this drivel knows anything about Miss April/December, please click on CONTACT up at the top of the page. I'd love to hear from you.

As for today, the Angels play at 1pm.

And then, Tichu Night.

Be seeing you.


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