CLINTON - Four days before a new concept in amusement parks opened on what had been 160 acres of orange groves, Ray Van De Warker stopped by an old farmhouse near where he once hunted rabbits. The recent high school graduate was looking for work at Disneyland.
A neighbor quickly arranged an interview, and Van De Warker and a friend were hired at $1.55 an hour.
They began work on July 13, 1955, just as Disneyland was preparing for a nationally televised grand opening July 17.
Van De Warker, who moved to Utah in 1996 after completing a 41-year career at Disneyland, couldn't believe the park would be ready.
"Main Street had yet to be paved," the Clinton man recalled. "It was still dirt, and there were construction workers, gardeners and workmen teeming like ants everywhere."