Leon and Jack Janzen grew up in the San Fernando Valley. Their first visit to Disneyland was in 1958. The brothers were hooked. The became frequent visitors to the Park and began to collect souvenirs, photos, and memories.

Many years later, in the Spring of 1985, they read a Disney News article about Disneyland collectibles by former Disney Chief Archivist David R. Smith. The brothers were inspired and decided they would produce a newsletter for dealers and fans that collected vintage souvenirs from Disneyland.

In 1986, Issue #1 was released. The brothers Xeroxed 200 copies for $60 and put the black and white pages between a two-color printed cover. They decided that the back cover would always feature a photo of Walt Disney. They gave the first issue away for free. The response was positive and immediate.

The first four issues featured mostly vintage Disneyland souvenirs from their own collection. Issue #5 would suggest the future when Imagineer Tom Scherman contributed an article about the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

The real breakthrough came in Issue #7 with an interview with Imagineers Marc and Alice Davis. This was the beginning of a long series of talks with the people who worked with Walt Disney and built the Park. The brothers recorded the stories of Bob Gurr, Rolly Crump, Roger Broggie Sr., Ken Anderson, Ward Kimball, Harper Goff, Wally Boag, John Hench, Sam McKim, Ollie Johnston, Bill Martin, Blaine Gibson, Tony Baxter, Bill Evans, Wathel Rogers, Frank Thomas, Marvin Davis, Bob Sewell, Marty Sklar, Fess Parker, Bud Hurlbut, Ray Bradbury, Michael Broggie, and Art Linkletter.

Tragically, on September 9, 2003 Leon Janzen passed away. Jack continued a few more years but decided to cease publication in 2009 with Issue #46.

Sam Gennawey is an urban planner, historian, and author.

If you enjoy reading SAMLAND, you'll love his book. Walt and the Promise of Progress City is a detailed look into how Walt Disney envisioned the future of communities. Along the way, we explore many facets of a fascinating man.

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