EDITORS NOTE: We are delighted to introduce you to a new MiceChat column from a name that almost all of you know, Bob Gurr. And if you aren’t familiar with the name, you’ve absolutely experienced the attractions he designed and collaborated on for Disney over his legendary career. Bob recently released an autobiography that was so well received that he’s been flooded with requests for a sequel.  Today’s column is an introduction from Bob, join us again on Wednesday of this week for his first not-to-be-missed article!

I’ve received many requests to write another book from readers of DESIGN: Just for Fun. Being a self publisher is more than a full time job, especially when you value the freedom that retirement provides from timely organized work. Note that work is a four letter word, which ought to be politely avoided. But since some folks are quite persistent that I should share more tales, here’s the compromise; not another book, but a periodic column to appear exclusively on MiceChat whenever the urge to write cannot be resisted. Not necessarily monthly, but whenever.

Bob Gurr takes a ride on his Autopia (note the lack of a center guide rail).

What will the column be about? While Disney and Design have been my main topics, folks have enjoyed many tales of “other stuff” – early Imagineers, attraction craftsmen, and various early Disneyland characters. Tales too, of life as a kid, being a teenager in WWII, what were the 1930 depression years like – Southern California early car culture. Get me started on fighter planes and gliders – you’ll get an earful for sure. Do you thrive on conflicting opinions – history personally experienced, those first person accounts? Stick around, this might be fun.

So here’s the deal; the Wheel of Years will be sent spinning and when the clicking stops, the red arrow will point to a year – that’s where we’ll start. The tale can flow forward or backward, flow into any subject depending on where my 81 year old hard drive decides to go. We’ll both be off on an adventure to whatever we find.
Well folks, do you take me up on my offer? Come back this Wednesday for our first spin of the wheel.
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Bob Gurr is a true Disney legend who was hired on to design the Autopia for Disneyland. Over nearly four decades, Bob would become famous for developing the Monorails, Submarines, Flying Saucers, antique cars and double-decker buses of Main Street, Ford Motor Company’s Magic Skyway (at the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair), Omnimover ride system, Matterhorn and lots more. It has been said that if it moves, Bob probably played a part.

Upon leaving Imagineering in 1981, Bob worked on a number of “leisure-time spectaculars” and “fantastical beasts” for parks and developments all over the world. Most notably, he created King Kong and Conan’s Serpent for Universal Studios Hollywood, A UFO for the closing ceremonies of the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics, and the memorable T-Rex figure featured in Steven Spielberg’s motion picture “Jurassic Park.”

You can find Bob’s column, Design: Those Were The Times, right here on MiceChat. Though don’t pin Bob down to a schedule, he’s busy being “retired.”

  • Jeff Heimbuch

    Can’t wait to read more, Bob!

  • bamato

    Looking forward to it!

  • dland_lover

    Definitely looking forward to this series! Thank you for taking the time to do this!

  • Welcome aboard Bob! Can’t wait to see where that spinning wheel will take us.

  • Donnyabear

    Let’s spin it!

  • ttintagel

    Can’t wait!

  • George Taylor

    Very excited to see this column! Yay!

  • QuiGonJ

    I really enjoyed your book, and look forward to hearing from you. 🙂

  • mratigan

    This is going to be a great look into your projects
    Can’t wait!!!!

  • Irving

    Wow!…what a hit, really excited for this Wednesday and see where the wheel of years will take us

  • CAspace

    Welcome Mr. Gurr! This is
    Amazing! I cannot wait to read more about your adventures.
    Thanks so much for sharing them with us!

  • Joshnyah

    This is absolutely great news!!! I am a huge fan “not just size” fan of Mr Gurr. In fact I was right next to him the whole night of haunt and was way to chicken to even tell him how big of a fan I am. One day I will get the nerve but until then I will love reading the things this legend has done and seen. To pick this brain would unlock stories of magic and wonder I cannot wait. I especially would love to hear of anything about the moments he had with Walt and the love and labor that went into the monorail. I am so geeked out on this right now. Way to go MC!

  • Joshnyah

    Oh man I cannot wait to hear his take on the War! Spin the wheel now:) I would pay for a Micechat story time just like in grade school. Circle around children 🙂

  • Circarama

    And yet another reason why MiceChat is the go-to Disney discussion board. Having been around Mr Gurr before, I can attest to the depth and breadth of his knowledge. The man is an absolute gold mine of historical information, yet so humble that were he standing next to me while writing this he would say, “No gushing!”.
    Bravo MiceChat! Can’t wait for the first installment!

  • Eric Davis

    I am so excited for this!

  • BC_DisneyGeek

    I haven’t read the book yet, but looking forward to this column.

  • IndianaJenn

    So excited!! Bob Gurr is amazing!

  • SiRocket

    awesome!!!! 🙂

  • daveinfontana

    What a catch for Mice Age . I’ve read the book now we get more stories from the man himself.GREAT!

  • Algernon

    One of the greats. Disney should fire everybody and bring guys like him back.

  • richboi117

    Yahoo! Can’t wait!

  • Rick Wright

    WOO HOO! Cant wait!

  • Jeff Wesson

    Great news! Welcome Mr. Gurr! I’m a huge fan and the proud owner of signed copy #590 of “Design Just For Fun”. Can’t wait for the first installment!

  • Puck2DaHead

    I’m excited and looking forward to WEDnesday!

  • agent321

    2013 starts of on the right, or rather, the write foot!

  • JulieMouse

    Wow, this is going to be great, welcome aboard Mr. Gurr, can’t wait to see where the wheel takes us!! Congratulations MiceChat for showing, once again, why this site is a place where Disney fans must visit for all the best information!

  • penguinsoda

    This is awesome beyond words!!! Welcome Bob! Glad you have joined us and I look forward to reading more of your thoughts and adventures!! This is great!

  • tonecapo

    Can’t wait, Mr. Gurr! Loved your interview on Communicore Weekly, and looking forward to reading your book.

  • daveyk

    This is very cool! I look forward to hearing from Bob from time-to-time! Thanks to MiceChat for working this out…and thanks to Bob for agreeing to do it!

  • jcruise86

    To quote Baby Bear, “Intweeging!”

  • Bruce Bergman

    I await the tales of old when you went off into Uncharted Territory, past the “There Be Dragons Here!” sign, and drew the map. I do it on a smaller scale every day – but hearing how other people found their way helps you chart your own.

    Remember Rule #1: Never EVER Say “Now I’ve seen it all!” Because Murphy is always looking for a challenge…

  • Amy VandenBoogert

    Welcome, Bob! So excited to read your stories!

  • Gregg Condon

    Can’t wait for Wednesday!! It’s like Xmas all over again.

  • kat3010

    Absolutely wonderful! Thanks Micechat and Bob!

  • DisWedWay

    Bob, having discussed your Hot Rodding background with you, and how you built the Mainstreet vehicles out of variouse wrecking yard parts, I was wondering if you ever worked with fellow Rodder Boyd Coddington while he worked at the park maintaing the steam engines and other projects. PD

    • Atomobile

      Wow! I never knew Boyd worked at the park.

  • CrazyDreamer

    What a great idea for a source of stories! Looking forward to it. 🙂

  • HeeHee

    Beyond thrilled!! I am a huge fan of Mr. Gurr’s work, knowledge and personality! I hear he makes a mean martini too (something about a monorail olive spear?)..ah hem, anyway, this is one series I will not be missing~Thank you MiceAge for bringing us the best of the best!

  • darkamor

    I <3 this – thank you Mr Gurr, Sir (penciling in every single Wednesday now)!

    C J

  • Werner Weiss

    Bob,

    What a pleasure to see that you’re now doing columns for MiceChat!

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading Design: Just for Fun. I look froward to reading more here on MiceChat.

  • QPerth

    Wow Micechat, this is quite a scoop for an already terrific website, and Mr Gurr, I very much look forward to reading any and all of your columns here, your time, achievments and experience is great appreciated.

  • Awe_inspired

    Walt was the engineer of the Carolwood Pacific Railroad. Bob was the engineer of Disneyland.
    Bob helped take Disney’s dream and make it reality.

  • whitestrat

    Micechat never fails to amaze!

    Welcome to Micechat Bob! I can’t wait to read your stuff!

  • Bongo

    To quote Animaniacs…

    “Wheel of Morality, turn turn turn…give us the lesson that we shall learn.”

  • Trevor

    Incredible! Looks like I will be sitting at my computer madly refreshing all day Wednesday!

  • Kandace Sparkles

    Bob, this is very exciting! I am looking forward to your articles whenever the creativity strikes and you decide to write. That way you can still relax and enjoy that martini with your well-deserved retirement! 🙂

  • Atomobile

    Bob, I wanna hear more about your Burning Man adventures!

  • Lost My Slipper

    Your column is every bit as delightful as you are! Thank you.

  • 4Apples4Disney

    What an absolute treasure!! Thank you Mr. Gurr!

  • PhilJohnson

    Sweet! Great to have you aboard Bob! Any Disney geek worth his ears is always itching to hear more stories from you. 🙂