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I was at DL on 7/17/05 and found Mr. Linkletter to be quick, spry, and very youthful. I got a chance to shake his hand and tell him thanks for all he had done for the history of Disneyland and for being a prominant figure during my childhood. He told me that he was happy that he lasted long enough to be present at the 50th. I was not only shaking the hand of a absolute legend in his own right but also a living, breathing, link to Walt himself. Walt considered this man to be a true friend, and in kind, any friend of Walt's is automatically a friend of mine. Walt had good taste in the people he chose to surround himself with and Mr. Linkletter proved him right. I often wish that I had been born sooner so as to have been able to meet Walt myself. As it was, Mr. Linkletter is probably the closest I will ever come. I got to shake the hand that Walt shook and for one brief moment, I was shaking the hands of both men. Now, I miss them both.
Last edited by Crazee4mm; 05-27-2010, 12:52 PM.
One Special Friend is All it Takes to Get You Through a Bad Day. And One Good One is Better Than a Dozen Casual Ones
I was really sad yesterday to hear that Mr. Linkletter had died, but then I remembered that he was 97 years old... he was able to attend both the opening ceremony and 50th Anniversary of Disneyland, that is a gift that not even Walt himself was given. Just like Fess Parker and so many Disney legends, he was able to contribute so much to the world and lived more fully than most people will ever experience.
Although it's never easy to give up such a legendary person, the sad fact is that no entertainer can live forever. Eventually you just have to realize how much they've given us and then let go, while hanging on to their memory and contributions. I couldn't ask anything more of Mr. Linkletter, I'm just sad that I never got a chance to see him at the 50th Anniversary, but he will always be a part of Disneyland history.
Farewell, Art... you will be missed but never forgotten.
I truly think that the 2010's decade will be the last we ever see anyone who ever worked directly with Walt Disney. Sure, there's Haley Mills or Julie Andrews, but they were kids at the time and really didn't work with Walt so much as they did underneath him. With Ollie Johnston, Art Linkletter, Fess Parker, Roy Disney, and John Hench dying recently, it kind of reminds us just how much of the Walt-Disney connection still remained just a few years ago.
I honestly hate to say it, but we are rapidly approaching a time where 1st-hand links to Walt Disney are relayed only by childhood memories of those working under him. I'm just happy to have been around when so many of Walt's friends and workers were not only still alive and well, but actively contributing to the company. It's sad to see the links slowly ending, but it was an amazing time to be a part of for decades after Walt's death.