Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A Small Piece of the Puzzle that is Walt Disney: W.W. I

As you might have seen from the blog, I have a large interest in all things Disney.  But the thing that I really live for is finding another piece of the puzzle that made up Walter Elias Disney and everything he created.

This piece of the puzzle was actually discovered by accident as I was heading home from a trip to WDW.  I stopped at my parents in New Bern, NC and their local town's culture center was having a WWI re-enactor demonstration.  Dad and I went to kill the time and it was actually pretty good. 

A few gentlemen were dressed up as soldiers from that era.  There was a lot of equipment on display and a couple of rooms with some great exhibits including a trench set-up. 

Along the walls there were some great posters from the time.  Patriotic and volunteer seeking posters.  One that really stood out for me was this one. 

As most of you that read this blog know, Walt entered WWI as an ambulance driver for the Red Cross because he was too young to enter any of the armed services.  Part of the movie in One Man's Dream in Disney Hollywood Studios has Walt telling this story himself. 

"My Brother had joined the Navy, so I wanted to join him.  well, I was still a year too young, I was 16.  Finally this kid come in to me really excited. He said, 'There's something...there's something just forming here that you and I can get in.'  I said, 'What is it?'  He said, "An ambulance unit.'"
Walt joined the Red Cross and was sent over to France as an Ambulance Driver and arrived just as the war was winding down.
As you can read on the poster they were looking for men over 31 years of age which means to old to fight in the military.  And with Walt's story we can easily believe they would take a couple of 16 year olds to young to fight, especially in that part of the century. 
So this small piece of the Puzzle that was Walt Disney might not have come from a Disney source, but it does add depth to the story of Walt.