Twas Mary Poppins herself who said that "Practically perfect people never permit sentiment to muddle their thinking."
Course, her parrot umbrella was sorta on to her...I suppose.
Which leads me to the need to admit to everyone here assembled that...well... I cried when Snow White bit into that apple...I cried when Bambi's father told him that his mother couldn't be with him anymore...I cried when Old Yeller died...and I teared up some when Mary was standin' on that porch watchin' the Banks family flyin' that mended kite...
Walt had a way of touchin' folks hearts...we cared for those characters...and, with our tears perhaps came love...love that would last a lifetime.
I remember hearin' some of the animators tellin' about settin' in that theater and watchin' the reactions when Snow White premiered so long ago... People were cryin' for a cartoon! And, they said, it was then that they first began to understand the power of their medium...and the power of storytelling in general.
I believe that the love we share for these characters is real in every way...strong too. It's a love that stands the test of time. A love that really enriches our lives...and teaches us lessons about some mighty important things.
Well...I cried when Walt Disney died. Lots of other folks did too. Why? Because he brought so many wonderful things into our world...into our lives. Happy things. Special things. Things we cherish and always will.
Now...some would say that it's a trick, a technique, a show, a cold hard business with only one purpose and that is to make money.
Some would say that...but I don't believe it. Walt Disney had a way of touching our hearts...of creating joy and laughter and wonder and magic and hopes and dreams...that went far beyond the idea of a cold hard business.
We live in a cynical world...but Walt Disney didn't. He knew the power of the things of the heart...he knew that love was a wonderful thing...and he brought us that...gift wrapped and with a smile.
Now you may think that's just a bunch of sentimental hogwash. And "Practically perfect people never permit sentiment to muddle their thinking." But, I'm inclined to believe that Mary's parrot umbrella knew the truth of it all...
I'm inclined to look up and wish upon that star. Walt Disney's legacy has impacted all our lives in such a wonderful, positive way...The most important thing is the family he used to say...and "If we can dream it, we can do it."
His words ring out today... "To all who come to this happy place...welcome!"
It was about far, far more than money...it was about life and how to live it with joy, and wonder, and hope, and delight.
All that is sentiment I suppose, and I suppose I shouldn't let it muddle my thinking. Practically perfect people never do!
But...when I go through those tunnels at Disneyland...and into the happiest place on earth...I look up at that window above the fire station...and I thank God that light in the window is still on... that Walt's spirit is, indeed, still in the park...and in our weary ol' world...still bringing us...all of us...till this very day..happiness, joy, and inspiration... God Bless that wonderful man...that man who knew the secret of making dreams come true...
Adios for now. Talk to ya on down the trail.
Wild Ol' Dan