Saturday, December 19, 2009

Seeing Walt Disney in the Flesh Just Before He Died

The French Quarter in New Orleans is a very small area. It is also a place where you might see anyone at anytime. In the past I ran into and talked with Tennessee Williams in the summer of 1972 and on another occasion I ran into Bob Dylan there at the Mardi Gras of 1964. I saw Margaret Mead there at a Mardi Gras in 1966.
But the biggest surprise of all was one day in 1966 when my wife Rachel and I were walking down Royal Street and we were passing the Royal Orleans Hotel we walked past a man and I told Rachel to stop. "Do you know who that was we just walked past?" "No", she said. "That was Walt Disney", I said. More than meeting William Burroughs this passing of Walt Disney on a narrow sidewalk was the most amazing unexpected event I can remember. Walt Disney died in Dec. of 1966.