Many DHI readers know of my relationship with Ken Anderson, who became a second father to me. I have been thinking about Ken a lot this year and also a lot about the plans that I have for the 34-hour oral history I did with him (yes, it does involve a book). It has been difficult for me to even listen to the tapes over the last decade or so, as I really miss him a lot. Still, I understand I have a responsibility to share Ken’s story. So watch DHI in the future for more to come on Ken.
Part of the reason I have been thinking about Ken so much this year is that my youngest son (eight years old) has taken a great interest in what his “Great Grandpa Ken” did on the Haunted Mansion. The reason for this is that I am giving a presentation called the “Unseen Haunted Mansion” at “Life, The Universe, and Everything” (www.ltue.net) a semi-academic symposium here in Utah. As such, I have been pulling a lot of unseen art on the Mansion and my son has become quite engrossed with Ken’s vision for the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland. So I thought to celebrate Ken’s life I would share this piece of Haunted Mansion art with the Institute faithful (and the legions of Haunted Mansion fans). I have a near complete collection of Ken’s Mansion art, most of which has never been seen. As far as I know, this particular piece has not seen the light of day since Ken created it back in the late 1950s (save for one “Unseen Haunted Mansion” presentation I did at 2012’s World Horror Con). I trust the Mansion faithful will let me know if I am mistaken. Either way, I wanted to offer up this tribute to one of the most influential individuals in my life. I sure do miss you Ken!