by Paula Sigman Lowery
Walt on travel and international relations (and the beauty of America!)
“…It is my opinion that there is no surer way to bring about better understanding between nations than travel. Our own country, with its wealth of scenic beauty, should be the mecca of travelers from all over the world. All of us should do our best to encourage their visits here.”
Walt on libraries (near and dear to my heart as I started my career at Disney having graduated from UCLA’s library school)
“All during the early years of my youth, and a long time before I had given a career any thought, the Public Library has always held a tremendous interest for me. Needless to say, any book that offered information on drawing was likely to be found listed on my card, and over-due books were the chief reason for my usually depleted bank account.”
Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, MO
Walt on doing what you love
“The secret of success if there is any, is liking what you do. I like my work better than my play. I play polo, when I have time, and I enjoy it, but it can’t equal work!”
the Psychology of the Nation–Walt Disney Tells How
He Makes Animated Cartoons,” by Alice L. Tildesley,
San Francisco Chronicle, 12/31/33
Walt on history (and schoolday tips)
“History was always an intriguing subject to me. Through history you get an insight into human nature, the turn of events, how they happened and how they are resolved.”
Washington Star, Washington, D.C., 8/25/57
From the same article, here are his specific “schoolday tips/guidelines for success”:
1. To understand people and events, study history
2. Do part-time work while going to school
3. Pick out-of-school activities that relate to what you plan as a career.
4. Have personal goals that tie in with your studies.
5. Get all the education you can.
Walt on “after Walt”
In 1963 Walt sent Roy an article he’d found in an English newspaper about a man whose corporation became vulnerable after his passing. The accompanying memo (currently on exhibit at The Walt Disney Family Museum) expresses his concern for their own situation “of having all our eggs in one basket.” He concludes, “It is not myself I am thinking about, but it is the effect of what might happen to whatever is left that bothers me. When I am up in heaven playing my harp, I really couldn’t put my heart into it, if I thought I had left things in a mess down here!”
Walt’s “alias” in 1930
In 1930 when Walt was in New York he stayed briefly at the Piccadilly Hotel, under the name “Walter E. Call.” Call, of course, was his mother Flora’s maiden name.
PAULA SIGMAN LOWERY is a Disney historian, author, and former archivist for The Walt Disney Company. Most recently she helped develop the story and content of The Walt Disney Family Museum, for which she serves as creative consultant.
I first met Paula back in the 1980s when I did my first research trip to the Walt Disney Archives. She was gracious and helpful, and probably a bit worried by the glazed, starry-eyed look I had upon entering the great Library of Alexandria (well, to me anyway). My sincerest thanks to Paula for her contribution (and for the most fantastic tour of The Gamble House — a stunning 1908 masterpiece of the American Arts & Craft movement in Pasadena, California. If you have an extra day in Southern California, and you appreciate architecture, don’t miss this opportunity).