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Happy Birthday Walt

Disneyland: I couldn't let the great man's birthday go without a mention

From Rob P
Posted December 5, 2011 at 4:10 PM
Who would have thought that it was 110 years ago that this wonderful visionary was born into this world. And who could have predicted then what a profound impact he would have on so many generations.
Please join me in wishing him a happy birthday with our heartfelt thanks.

Walter Elias Disney ( 5th Dec 1901 - 15th Dec 1966 )


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From James Rao
Posted December 5, 2011 at 5:42 PM
Indeed, Happy Birthday to the man who transformed the amusement park into the THEME park.

From Andy Milito
Posted December 5, 2011 at 5:48 PM
Happy birthday Walt! I don't know where theme parks would be without you. You, sir, are one of my heroes. Thank you, Walt.

From Manny Rodriguez
Posted December 5, 2011 at 6:42 PM
happy birthday to the man and the mouse we give our love to walt may you have a good time in heaven

From TH Creative
Posted December 14, 2011 at 11:45 AM
"Heaven?"

What are you talking about? He's not dead.

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'7097-050719'
Book 2
The Theme Park Trilogy

“It’s maybe two miles from downtown Disney,” Baxter reported. “When it comes to Disney fanboys you are looking at Roswell, New Mexico.”

From TH Creative
Posted December 14, 2011 at 4:00 PM
The sun beat down on the dashboard of the station wagon. It was July of 1967 and Florida was hot. Ron was sitting at the driver’s wheel and Walker was in the passenger seat. The car was in a gravel parking lot next to a steel building that could have easily been mistaken for a warehouse.

They’d traveled about a dozen miles down a dirt road to reach the remote location. Two other men were standing in the doorway watching their car. They were expected, but Walker was suddenly facing an emotional impasse. He was debating whether he wanted to go inside.

Seven months earlier Walker’s home phone had rung in the early morning of December 15th. Ron was calling.

“He’s gone,” Ron reported.

Walker’s heart skipped a beat.

“What?”

“He’s been taken.”

Walker rose from bed and dressed quickly.

During the drive from his house to St. Joseph’s Hospital, he thought of a conversation he’d had a few weeks earlier with Marc Davis. Marc was one of Disney’s “nine old men” – a fellowship of the company’s most talented artists. Over the years Marc had developed a close personal relationship with Mr. Disney.

During the development of Mineral King, someone had come up with a theater production featuring audio-animatronic, musical bears. Mr. Disney had asked to Marc to put together some ideas. As the artist who had designed characters for Disneyland’s 'Pirates of the Caribbean' and the 'Enchanted Tiki Room' he seemed to be the ideal choice to create the whimsical show.

Mr. Disney had dropped in to see Marc during a visit to the studio in early November. Later that day, Marc recounted the meeting to Walker.

“He loved everything I’d put together,” he said. “He laughed out loud at that one”– pointing to a fat bear holding a tuba.

“But when he went to leave he said ‘good-bye.’”

Walker was confused. “And?”

“Well ... it’s just that … he doesn’t usually say that. Typically he says ‘so long’ or ‘see ya later, pal.’” Marc paused and said, “But this time he said, ‘good-bye, Marc.’”

Walker’s expression became somber.

“Is Walt dying?”

Walker remembered looking away before responding, “I’m not sure if that’s going to happen.”

---------------------------------

From '7097-050719' Book 2 in The Theme Park Trilogy (TM) - Written By Tim (TH Creative)

From TH Creative
Posted December 14, 2011 at 2:20 PM
“What else are you going to do? Sell it? You’ll go to jail!”

“I don’t know! I don’t know what I’m going to do! But I’ll be damned if I’m giving away millions of dollars to the Disney company! Not again!"

Baxter flopped down, sitting on the couch. He drained the can of beer he was holding and belched loudly. He was breathing heavy. His face was red. He was drunk.

Milo tried to calm things down. “Okay,” he said. “Okay. We don’t need to make a decision right away about any of this stuff. I’m going to put the artwork back in the folder to keep it safe.”

“Don’t you take any of it,” Baxter shouted.

“I won’t! I won’t,” Milo replied. “I just want to keep it safe.”

Milo began to methodically place the sketches in the portfolio. Meanwhile Baxter turned his attention to the contents of the second box. Nervous about the value of the original artwork he was handling Milo exercised great care as he slipped each sheet into the portfolio.

Baxter had removed a healthy stack of paper from the second box. Although Milo was focused on the artwork, out of the corner of his eye he could see that Baxter was intently surveying the documents he’d uncovered. – at one point getting up and returning to his lap top.

It took Milo almost thirty minutes to store the sketches. Before he finished, the process was interrupted by Baxter’s thunderstruck announcement from the other side of the room.

“Oh my God!” Baxter shouted.

Milo turned and faced Baxter. “What?”

“They did it. They really did it,” Baxter replied. “They froze him.”

-----------------

From '7097-050719' Book 2 in The Theme Park Trilogy (TM) - Written By Tim (TH Creative)

From Andy Milito
Posted December 14, 2011 at 5:43 PM
You wrote that? Very neat!

From TH Creative
Posted December 14, 2011 at 7:00 PM
Yeah. A few years back I made a goal to write a novel. Not to get published or anything. Just to experience the process. The first book was titled 'Name Tags'. The experience was genuinely satisfying -- motivating me to write the second (exerpts above) titled '7097-050719'.

I'm actually quite pleased with the second manuscript -- the story of two guys who cross paths on a theme park discussion board (hmmm...), meet at Comic Con and stumble into an adveture to find the cryrogenically suspended Walt Disney.

From Rob P
Posted December 15, 2011 at 3:32 AM
That's well written and engaging material and TH must get a publisher. Can't Robert N point him in the direction of someone ?

From TH Creative
Posted December 15, 2011 at 3:59 AM
The smoking and the resulting cough was the reason Walker was in a doctor’s waiting room. He was startled, and his reminiscing ended, when the entry door to the office opened. A nurse stepped in. She looked surprised to find someone in the office waiting room at quarter to seven in the morning.

“Hello,” Walker said.

“Who are you?” came a demand,

“I’m here with a patient,” Walker explained. “My boss made an early appointment with Dr. Christopher.”

The sound of coughing pushed its way through the door that led to the doctor’s examination rooms.

The nurse’s expression remained suspicious -- almost annoyed. She stepped quickly and disappeared into the back office

Moments later she returned. “They’d like to speak with you.”

Walker entered the examination room. Mr. Disney was buttoning his shirt. He motioned towards his protégé. “Go ahead and tell him, doc. He’s gonna ask me anyway and you can explain it better than I can.”

The doctor looked at Walker.

“Mr. Disney has what’s commonly referred to as a smoker’s cough. What it should be regarded as is a harbinger of potential health problems still to come.”

“Oh my, that sounds scary,” Mr. Disney replied – his sarcasm punctuated with a soft chuckle

The doctor said nothing.

Mr. Disney reached for his jacket. “Doc I feel fine. I’m in my sixties. And yes, that makes me an old man. But I’m fine, I’m fine. I’ve been coughing like this for years.”

The doctor raised his eyebrows, “Sir, I appreciate your positive attitude. It’s an important element to good health. But the cigarettes…”

Mr. Disney interrupted the warning -- his tone of voice bearing a small dose of frustration, “I know. I know.” Walker recognized the affirmation was more patronizing than an act of agreement.

“Cut back on the coffin nails,” the doctor advised. “And, if it’s not too much of an imposition could I get an autograph for my daughter?”

“Well I don’t see why not,” Mr. Disney was smiling. He drew his signature across a slip of paper.

“See ya later doc.” He was out the door.

“Thank you,” Walker said, pausing to shake the doctor’s hand.

The physician’s expression was stoic. “He needs to take this seriously.”

Walker nodded and walked after his boss.

Walker found Mr. Disney sitting in the passenger seat of the car. Opening the driver’s side door Walker slipped behind the wheel. Mr. Disney reached into his suit jacket and pulled out his cigarettes. He withdrew one from the half-empty pack. By reflex Walker extended a lighter.

Mr. Disney took a short drag to ignite the cigarette. “The guy’s a quack, trying to scare me by talking about Cobalt treatments and x-rays.”

It had been unlikely that Mr. Disney was going to be receptive to any sort of diagnosis. The examination had not been his idea. It was Lily who had implored him to see someone about the incessant coughing -- mostly because she was concerned for his health but partially because the sound had become aggravating.

For months, Mr. Disney had balked at making an appointment. He knew any doctor he saw would direct him to give up his favored Gitanes filterless cigarettes. While his resistance was likely the product of a nicotine addiction, Walker surmised that any doctor’s orders would conflict with his boss’s penchant for being in charge.

“I’m fine,” Walt contended – taking another drag. “I’m fine!” This time his voice was raised. The shout seemed like a preemptive defense against any cautionary reply Walker might have offered.

Walker set his attention to the car, pulling out of the parking space and on to the road. They drove in silence for the next few minutes. Mr. Disney broke it with a question.

“What’s happening with Mineral King?”

At the time, the company was advancing a concept to develop a vacation resort at the Mineral King Valley in the south portion of Sequoia National Park. The ambitious project would include a broad variety of attractions and outdoor recreation activities.

“Our friend in Sacramento is expressing concerns,” Walker responded.

“I’m more concerned with Buzz’s math.”

“It’s incomplete.”

Mr. Disney nodded. He took another drag from his cigarette. “It’s early. It’s still early.”

“Are we going back to the house?” Walker asked.

“No let’s get to the studio?”

“Won’t Lily want to hear what the doctor had to say?”

“No doubt about that. I left a message with Thelma to tell Mother that I’m going to work after the appointment. I’ll call the house when I get to the office.”

Walker nodded.

Mr. Disney turned to Walker, “And I need you to keep quiet about what this doctor said. I don’t want to worry the girls.”

Mr. Disney tossed what remained of the cigarette out of the car’s window. “The guy’s a quack.”

-------------

From '7097-050719' Book 2 in The Theme Park Trilogy (TM) - Written By Tim (TH Creative)

From Andy Milito
Posted December 15, 2011 at 1:50 PM
TH, does that sequence of numbers relate to the story whatsoever?

From Manny Rodriguez
Posted December 15, 2011 at 2:47 PM
Don't press the numbers it makes a call I did but I pressed the end quick

From TH Creative
Posted December 15, 2011 at 5:16 PM
PROLOGUE

On the night of December 14, 1966, at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Burbank,California, Roy Disney sat at the bedside of his younger brother Walt. Cancer had ravaged Walt’s body. A portion of his lungs had been removed a month earlier. Colbalt treatments had left him weak and had robbed him of his appetite. Despite his frail condition, Walt managed a conversation with his brother – discussing their plans to build an elaborate theme park resort and futuristic city in Central Florida. Walt used the ceiling grid of his hospital room to map out the project – at one point indicating to Roy where he wanted to place a bench so he and his wife Lilly could sit and “watch all the happy people” visiting Walt Disney World.

The next day, the world was told Walt Disney had died – the cause of death listed as acute circulatory collapse brought on by complications from lung cancer. His passing was documented on State of California Certificate of Death 7097-050719. It was reported that Mr. Disney died at 9 AM.

That’s what was reported.

-------------

From '7097-050719' Book 2 in The Theme Park Trilogy (TM) - Written By Tim (TH Creative)

From TH Creative
Posted December 15, 2011 at 6:36 PM
Milo could have justified his inquiry but he didn’t have time. Baxter had fished a manila folder from the backpack and set it on the table in front of Milo. The waitress arrived with their beverages.

“Took you long enough,” Baxter said. He reached into his pocket and withdrew a wad of cash as big as a grapefruit. He handed the waitress a twenty dollar bill.

“Keep the change but bring me another one of these in ten minutes.”

Like Milo, the waitress didn’t seem to know how to deal with the fleshy ball of obnoxiousness. Without a word she left them alone.

Baxter motioned to the folder on the table, “Eat this, jerk.”

Milo opened the folder. The first thing he saw was a blown-up photocopy of a California driver’s license for a man named Saul Green.

“Um … what does this prove?” He looked up to see Baxter chugging the sixteen ounce beer that the waitress had brought. He set the glass on the table, wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.

“Turn the page!”

Milo did as he was instructed. He found what appeared to be a legal brief associated with a court filing dated 2003. There were two sections highlighted in yellow. The first, at the top of the page read “Slesinger v. Disney.” The second referenced “cartoon artist Sam Burton (a.k.a. Saul Green).”

Thoughts were racing through Milo’s head as he tried to put the contents of the folder into some semblance of comprehension.

The Slesinger case was a notorious part of modern Disney history. In 1929 literary agent Stephen Slesinger purchased the American and Canadian rights to Winnie the Pooh from author A.A. Milne. In 1961 the Slesinger’s widow struck two deals with Walt Disney Studios. One to license motion picture rights and another for merchandising.

The relationship found itself on the rocks when Mrs. Slensinger concluded that Disney was hiding sales of merchandise and not compensating her family properly. In the mid 1990s, the Slensingers went to court contending Disney owed them hundreds of millions of dollars. Some of the information related to that lawsuit was sitting on the restaurant table in front of Milo.

“Where’s my beer?!” Baxter’s voice was loud enough to cause other patrons to glare in his direction. This time a male server came to the table.

“Is there a problem?”

Baxter dipped into his pocket. He handed the waiter a twenty dollar bill. “Could you take this, keep the change, and bring me a beer?”

Seeing the money the server turned to fetch the beverage. Seconds later the first waitress returned with the beer he’d originally ordered. Baxter dished her another twenty.

Before she left Milo attempted to advise her about the other order. “There’s another server whose …”

Baxter waved his hand. “I’ll drink that one too. And don’t change the subject!”

Milo motioned to the folder. “Where did you get this stuff?”

Baxter smiled triumphantly, “Ya see idiot? I know all.” He picked up the second glass and began to drain is contents.

Milo asked his question again. “Where did this come from?

“You know the case, right?”

Milo nodded.

“My uncle is a private investigator,” Baxter revealed. “A few years ago he hired me to go through Disney’s dumpsters looking for paperwork.”

Milo was stunned. After years of battles in several courtrooms in front of multiple judges the case against Disney was thrown out when a judge ruled that the Slesinger’s legal team had improperly collected evidence … from dumpsters.

The third beer arrived. Milo continued to page through the contents of the folder – which included a blurry photo of former Disney CEO Michael Eisner swimming at his home and an obscenity laced, wrinkled, hand-written note from someone in Jeffrey Katzenberg’s office claiming “We will turncoat on the Slensinger case. We will hammer Eisner so bad he’ll be bleeding!”

“This is incredible,” Milo said. He looked up from the folder. “You were right.”

Baxter smiled. “And that would make you?”

“A … um … “

“It would make you a moron. A total, complete moron!” Baxter laughed. He finished the second beer. The third arrived right as if on cue. Another twenty was pulled from Baxter’s pocket. “Let me finish this and we will go.”

“Go?” Milo asked. “Go Where?”

“Look at the driver’s license.”

Milo returned to the first page in the folder. The address indicated that Saul Green was a resident of San Diego.

“You want us to go to his house?”

“Yes.”

“No!”

“Listen jerkwad, I have you by the throat! The piece of paper in front of you scares the hell out of you. But I’m not going back to the discussion board to find you claiming that you saw a piece of paper that ‘could be a forgery.’ No way!

“What?”

“I’m covering all my bases and I’m not going back to the board just to watch you express any doubt about this thing. I’m right and you are dead wrong!”

Again heads in the restaurant turned toward the shouting.

Milo held his hands up, “Okay! Okay! Fine. Just lower your voice.”

Baxter reached out and grabbed the folder and returned it to his back pack.

“You want these?” he said pointing to the Legos.

“Um … not really.”

Baxter tossed them to a kid sitting at the next table. He drained his third beer.

“Okay, let’s go.” He belched loudly. “I’ll drive.”

-------------

From '7097-050719' Book 2 in The Theme Park Trilogy (TM) - Written By Tim (TH Creative)

From TH Creative
Posted December 16, 2011 at 1:53 PM

On the morning of Mr. Disney’s doctor’s appointment Disney Studios was a busy lot. Many heads turned to catch a glimpse of the company’s namesake as Walker turned the car into an executive parking space. Although the vehicle came to a complete stop, Mr. Disney remained seated. Walker waited a moment – trying to think of something to say that sounded encouraging.

“I’ll get with the boys down at SRI and straighten out the numbers on Mineral King.”

Mr. Disney took a drag off his second cigarette. “Thanks. I appreciate that.”

He exhaled the draw of tobacco. His gaze seemed vacant. Walker felt his boss was wrestling with circumstances. Mr. Disney’s instincts that had always advised him to explore every creative opportunity available to his company had collided head-on with the conversation at the doctor’s office. The reason he’d been stubborn about meeting a doctor was that he hated recognizing his own mortality.

“Things are changing,” he remarked abruptly. “Pop art. Music. We’re still ahead of the curve – but…” his voice trailed off. He took another pull off his second Gitanes.

“I mean are we going to keep regurgitating stories people have been reading for centuries? Cinderella? Sleeping Beauty? I feel like we’ve built the company on the public domain. That’s kind of nagged me.”

Walker shrugged, “People love our movies.”

Mr. Disney resigned the moment to his protégé – nodding, if only to be accommodating.

“But what about next year? He asked. “I know we have Florida down the road and the ski resort, but what will the studios be doing?”

He turned and faced Walker, “Can we animate Shakespeare?”

Walker chuckled, “That might be tough to sell.” Sensing Mr. Disney was mildly disappointed with the remark, Walker tried to salvage some optimism, “We do our own stuff too.”

“Yeah, well I suppose,” Mr. Disney responded. “I just want our work to always be … I don’t know … substantial. It should have weight. That’s who we are. That’s how you guys have been selling us.”

Another moment fell.

“Have you looked into that New York company,” Mr. Disney asked. “The Marvel Comics?”

Walker winced, “They’re small time boss. They’re pulp.”

Mr. Disney shook his head, “Oh come on, Walker. You know Roy and I started shooting our films in my uncle’s garage. We were small time once. We were pulp. Have you forgotten?”

Walker remained silent.

“Look, to be perfectly honest I’m genuinely thankful for those stories, and I appreciate the fact that our success has come from drawing on the talent of artists and writers and composers outside of this studio, And we need to continue to do that. We need to cultivate the ideas of other people,” he said. “And let me tell you something else, some day, years from now, when I croak I sure hope the people running this company don’t waste time and get caught up wondering ‘what would Walt do?’”

Walker responded with a quiet laugh.

Mr. Disney inhaled deeply from the cigarette. “Maybe we should make Salvador’s movie,” he proposed.

“Destino?!” Walker seemed surprised, “When you implied you wanted to do something substantial you also meant coherent, right?”

Mr. Disney laughed out loud. “Yeah you have a point. But you gotta admit the artwork is beautiful.”

Walker nodded.

One of Mr. Disney’s eyebrows arched. He turned to Walker.

“Maybe we turn it into an attraction.”

“Turn what into an attraction?”

“Destino.”

“You’re kidding, right?”

“Not at all,” Mr. Disney replied – the energy rising in his voice. “Think about it. We could put in our City of Tomorrow. It could be the cornerstone of the city’s art museum.”

Walker’s skepticism began to fade. His boss’ greatest ambition was to build a technologically utopian community as part of the Florida project. The suggestion of adding an art museum – especially an art museum with one or two elaborate attractions – seemed an inspired idea.

“That might work,” Walker remarked.

“Of course it would,” Mr. Disney responded .

“Do you want me to commission some sketches?”

“Yeah … yeah, I do. Put that Jewish kid on it. He worked with Hench on Destino. He’s got talent.” He took another drag from his cigarette. “He thinks I hate him, so let’s make him happy.”

Walker smiled at his boss. “Why not?”

“I may even call Salvador – I haven’t talked to him in awhile.”

Mr. Disney exhaled the smoke and tossed the remains of the cigarette out of the car window. He smiled broadly. “You know I’m really enjoying this. Every new idea seems to find a place in the Florida project,” he remarked. “Wait until they see our EPCOT. I’m gonna feel ten feet tall standing at the entrance on opening day.”

The remark was invaded by a single hard cough. His expression flickered and the smile faded a bit. “It’s a long way off, but I’ll…we’ll get there. The company will get there.”

“I’ll handle SRI,” Walker remarked. “You have enough on your mind.”

Mr. Disney nodded. “Let me know how it goes. And keep a lid on that doctor’s visit. It’s nothing. I don’t want to worry the girls.”

“Yes sir.”

Mr. Disney exited the car and walked toward studio’s offices. Walker heard another cough before the building’s door closed behind his boss.

As he passed through the front office Mr. Disney responded to the salutations of the secretaries with a small wave – his mind still weighing the possibility of an attraction based on the artwork of Salvador Dali. He entered his office and closed the door behind him. He settled behind his desk and brought his hand to his chin.

He wanted to talk to Dali. He’d need someone to translate the conversation. “Hell,” he said aloud to himself, “When it comes to Dali I’d need a translator even when he’s speaking English.”

He chuckled at his own remark. The laughter caught in his throat. He began to cough.

It wasn’t a cough that passed quickly. It was one of those uncontrollable fits. Hard coughing that would last for almost a minute. It ratcheted his throat like a drummer. It made his chest ache. The faint taste of blood crossed his tongue.

“God damn it!” He shouted between gasps for air – leaning forward in his chair. He was feeling every moment of his six decades. His eyes had started to tear with the violence of the episode.

Eventually the coughing subsided. He regained his breath. He reclined back in his chair, his gaze surveying the office. He was surrounded by concept artwork – images of great ideas. The Florida castle, Mineral King, some rough character sketches for an unnamed animated film. He eventually focused on one of the paintings of his proposed Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow.

A thought he’d considered in the car made a second pass through his mind. “Will I make it?” His eyes had begun to water during the violent coughing. An annoying tear rolled down his face. He became agitated.

“This is nonsense.” He hissed. “I’m gonna be fine.” He picked up the phone on his desk. “Tell Fowler I need to see him.”

--------------

From '7097-050719' Book 2 in The Theme Park Trilogy (TM) - Written By Tim (TH Creative)

From Rob P
Posted December 17, 2011 at 6:14 AM
Who was it who recently complained about their thread being "hijacked".

Mine has........and I'm enjoying every minute. I like it when an idea spawns more ideas and then takes you to places you never thought you'd go. That's the beauty of this particular site.

From TH Creative
Posted December 17, 2011 at 8:51 AM
Thank you Rob.

The Theme Park Trilogy

Book 1 - 'Name Tags' (2008)
Book 2 - '7097-050719' (2009)
Book 3 - 'Thrill Seekers and Danger Lovers' (2012)

From Rob P
Posted December 17, 2011 at 12:13 PM
My pleasure. You've got a talent there mate........and not a hippo in sight !!
Yet.

From Tim Hillman
Posted December 17, 2011 at 1:21 PM
THC, can you give us an insight on the name of the second book? I'm truly clueless about how you came up with it.

From TH Creative
Posted December 17, 2011 at 2:15 PM
His passing was documented on State of California Certificate of Death 7097-050719.

It was reported that Mr. Disney died at 9 AM.

That’s what was reported.

From TH Creative
Posted December 17, 2011 at 3:52 PM
Jeffrey already had a flight scheduled so he passed the job to Alex. “Can you believe it man?” Jeffrey told him. “You’re gonna make a hundred and twenty-five bucks for a two hour flight.”

Alex was elated – although the logistics surrounding the flight to the oddly named town of Ocoee were a bit unnerving. He feared finding the little known runway would burn up needed fuel. The return trip could be a bit dicey.
But fate turned in his favor. And while he was surprised by the primitive runway, he was able to find his destination quicker than he had expected.

With the passengers aboard, the small plane soared above a chain of lakes and acres of un2developed land that was dotted with swamps, cypress trees and, occasionally, wide swaths of citrus groves.

Throughout the early part of the flight the passengers said nothing – the silence broken by Mr. Parker’s incessant cough. He had taken off his white cap and was holding his face close to the window of the plane.
A few minutes later Joe shouted “There it is! That’s the farm! Pilot can you turn a little to the east?”

Alex obliged and tilted the wings to the left. A couple of minutes later Joe shouted again. “That’s the lake. The one we’re calling Bay Lake. Pilot can you circle around its south side?”

Again, Alex followed the instructions -- looping the plane into a graceful bank. Glancing over his right shoulder, Alex saw Mr. Parker staring transfixed at the landscape below.

“This is it!” he shouted. “This is where we want to be! Look at all of that space.” He laughed out loud and cleared his throat. For a moment his voice became raspy. “How much are we talking about?”

“Our people are guessing $200 to $250 per acre,” Joe reported. “Maybe a bit more.”

Mr. Parker said nothing. Joe hesitated and continued.

“Considering the amount we are looking at the banks might …”

“Oh to hell with the bankers,” Mr. Parker shouted – he was suddenly angry. “Those bankers and the union lawyers! To hell with all of those miserable bastards!"

His angry tone was punctuated by a series of hard coughs. Mr. Walker and Joe stiffened to silence.

Alex continued to traverse the skies – turning circles and figure eights. About ninety minutes into the flight Joe tapped Mr. Walker on the shoulder. Mr. Walker nodded, turned to Alex and said, “Okay that’s enough. Take us back.”

The return trip to Ocoee did not take long. As they approached the dirt runway Alex whispered his quiet homage to Nancy and Tonya. The Piper bumped along the ground before coming to a halt. Alex decided not to cut the engine as he wanted to begin his flight back to the coast.

As soon as the plane had come to a complete stop, Mr. Parker began to fumble with the handle of the door. Joe reached over and assisted him. The door popped open, Mr. Parker coughed again and said to Alex, “Thanks pal.”

He slipped out of the plane and walked toward the car. Joe exited and stepped quickly after the old man.

Still seated, Mr. Walker turned to Alex and passed him some cash. “There’s $300 for you. Now remember, you never saw us.” He opened the door and stepped out.

Alex was overjoyed with the payment – more than twice what he’d been promised. More than enough money to get the ticket he needed to return home.
His attention to the money was diverted when he spotted Mr. Parker’s white cap on the floor of the back seat. He grabbed the cap and hollered over the engine.

“Hey Mr. Walker,” Alex yelled. “Mr. Walker!”
Mr. Walker turned and saw Alex holding the forgotten hat. He jogged the short distance back to the plane and took it from Alex,“Thanks,” he said – shutting the door and turning toward the car.

“Hey Walt,” Mr. Walker shouted. “You forgot your cap!”

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From 'Name Tags' Book 1 in The Theme Park Trilogy (TM) - Written By Tim (TH Creative)

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