Friday, December 15, 2006

FORTY YEARS WITHOUT WALT!




December 15, 1966 was a very sad day for me and for most of the world. For on this day at 9:32 am Walt Disney passed on from this weary Earth to what he liked to call "greener pastures". I was nineteen years old at the time attending Pasadena City College in the same year that I had lost my father (in January) and the same year I graduated from San Gabriel Mission High School. I remember I came home from school and my dear mother said "I have some bad news for you" And she proceeded to tell me that Walt had died. Trust me when I tell you that I cried on my bed for two and a half hours. I truly thought that imagination, itself had passed away as well. For me, Walt Disney was the most original thinker and the most imaginative power in the universe. There simply was no one individual like him all. Here was a man without formal education and yet he knew intrinsically what the public wanted and needed. He could tell engineers facts about the original Disneyland property that they said was impossible to be true. But he knew these facts to be accurate because he had physically "walked every inch of it" Walt was simply a genius. He was a gift to the earth from God at a time when this weary world needed it most. I can watch "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" from now until eternity and never tire of it. I will cry at the very same parts of the picture that i have always cried and not feel one ounce of guilt. Walt Disney took chances that few people born to this Earth take. He gambled everything for his dreams. He sought and demanded perfection but was a great listener. He loved his family. He adored his country. He simply made this planet of blue a much better place. So now it's forty years without Walt. Walt was in business and in charge for forty three years (1923-1966) So far, there have been five men who have succeeded him.Most have simply been Walt wannabees. They all asked "Gee, what would Walt have done?" The question "How many people does it take to replace Walt Disney?' might be an infinite number but I must say that Robert Iger has come damn close to the best job of all. I think this man has the right ideas to turn this company towards the infinite future. And so, dear Walt, wherever you are inspire the world below you to never be afraid of using their imaginations-- imagination is the greatest power in the universe. Don't be afraid of chasing your dream-- no matter how elusive it may seem. God love, Walt-- boy, are you missed!

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