In Disneyland's early days, it's nothing less than amazing how the Gurly was built out as a hodge podge mess of parts - many of them shot. How funny yet true is Jerry Best's comment, "This shows how a sow's ear can be turned into a silk purse if enough money, time, patience and skill is put into it."
I glad that walt repaid his friend Fred Gurley by honoring him on the name plate. Gurley must have been quite a guy himself for assisting Walt with train aquisition for Disneyland when all other train companies turned their nose up at the park. Bet that they would give their eye tooth to be associated with Disney today.
The 96 year old Indian chief that blessed the engine is fascinating. Just think, he actually lived life as a young buck during the days of the old west!
Amazing story, Steve. Thank you!
Last edited by Ride Warrior; 12-07-2007 at 11:49 PM.
To Boldly Go Where No MiceChatter Has Gone Before!
Tim, there was no bad blood between Gurley and Disney. As far as I know, they were friends until the end.
But in the 1970s, Santa Fe sponsorship fees were going through the roof. Plus, Santa Fe didn't even run passneger trains any more, so there was really no benefit to them in sponsoring Disney's trains.
They proposed some ideas, like using a more-modern diesel train, which DL rejected. Disney countered with some proposals of their own, which Santa Fe turned down. Eventually, negotiations broke apart, and it got ugly.
How ugly? Disney sent a bill to the Santa Fe for the costs of removing all the AT&SF logos around the Park!
It's thought that if both Gurley and Walt were alive at the time of the negotiations, the trains would still be sponsored by the Santa Fe.