I just wanted to be Dopey.
While all the other dwarfs clomped around Disneyland in lock step, Dopey got to dawdle and wander, hamming it up for adoring tourists — especially teenage girls. When it came to the Seven Dwarfs, Dopey was the big draw.
Me? I wore tights and a loincloth, an embarrassing ensemble for a skinny 14-year-old coming of age in the turbulent 1960s.
I was Mowgli (a.k.a. Man-Cub), the wayward boy from Disney's animated classic "The Jungle Book." As one of Disneyland's characters, I hung around the park with an ape named King Louie and a bear named Baloo. Their costumes, built largely of fiberglass, were heavy and hot. The only thing heavy on me was the thick layer of cinnamon-brown makeup that Disney's costumers smeared on my face to darken my complexion.