20 Mar 1920
6 May 2001
When I was young, we spent many of our weekends with my Uncle Bill and Aunt Dorothy. We would all go to Wisconsin to land we owned there. Bill and Dorothy had a piece of land which had a garage on it. They turned the garage into a home. They spent many weekends there and lots of time in the summer as well.
In the summer, they cut down trees. Remember those manual saws, where there was a person on each side holding an end and moving it back and forth until they cut through the tree. Nothing like today when you take the electric and do it in half the time. I remember snowmobiling. That was always fun. This large machine running the grounds and the snow blowing in our faces. I truly remember just loving the outdoors. The last time I was there I was about 7 years old. I believe my parents sold our land by the time I was 10.
Anyhow, Uncle Bill was a carpenter by trade. He worked for the Riverview Amusement Park in Chicago, IL. If my memory serves me right he was the head carpenter there. One day, Riverview had an important guest walking through the park. This guest offered Uncle Bill a job, to go to California and help him build an amusement park there. Bill went home and discussed this great opportunity with his wife Dororthy. Her reply, “I will not leave my family.” So Bill turned down this wonderful job in California. Where his name would be forever etched on Mainstreet USA. So, who was this mysterious guest that walked the Riverview park and offered my sweet Uncle Bill a job in California? That’s right, Walt Disney! Here is a piece of Disney Trivia for everyone out there. All those that were instrumental in the building of Walt Disney’s parks have there name etched in glass on the store fronts of Main Street USA.
This story is one that I will never forget. We grew up very much a Disney family. Spent many vacations in Florida enjoying the parks there.