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Archive for the category “Walt Disney Family Museum”

STORYBOARD: The Walt Disney Family Museum’s Blog – the blog – The Hat Bronzed with Love

On this special day of love, Reed Milnes, Volunteer Services Coordinator, tells us a bit about a very special gift that Walt gave Lillian for her birthday during the Valentine’s season.


Humor is best shared with those you love. Walt shared a lifetime of laughter with the world, but more importantly, he shared love and laughter with his family and friends. His playful sense of humor inspired our lives and was inspired by his own. Images and stories of the relationship Walt shared with his wife Lilly, showed the depth and humor they fostered. Whether celebrating their anniversary playfully dancing at the Golden Horseshoe Review, or in candid photos taken in an automatic photo booth, Walt and Lilly showed the unique bond forged by love and laughter.

Often at the center of the laughter and fun was one of Walt’s beloved hats. Worn at a jaunty rakish angle, this ever-present fixture became the frequent muse for exchanges between Lilly and Walt. When asked to “fix” his hat, Walt would often respond with an exaggerated crush of the hat on his head. Lilly would occasionally abscond with his hat, sailing it far out of reach before Walt could rescue it from her clutches. A tale fondly recounted is of Lilly offering Walt’s hat as an accolade following a bullfight, flinging it into the ring. It was one of Walt’s favorites, and he narrowly rescued it before it was lost to tradition and a dusty demise.

Their love and laughter withstood the test of time. Celebrating this, was another of Walt’s hats, The Hat Bronzed with Love. In a gift presented to Lilly on her birthday in 1941, she found a cascade of violets pouring over their vase. In removing the flowers, their container was revealed to be Walt’s favorite hat with the crown shaped into a heart and preserved in bronze.  His crumpled fedora, carrying the beautiful bouquet and boasting his feelings, leaves no doubt that laughter and love go hand-in-hand.



via STORYBOARD: The Walt Disney Family Museum’s Blog – the blog – The Hat Bronzed with Love.


Happy Birthday Walt (from Walt Disney Family Museum Blog)

In honor of Walt’s birthday, we asked Paul Anderson to share this story with us about Walt’s dedication to building his dream:


To anyone who has read a Walt Disney biography, you know the story of Walt Disney’s 1926 Moon roadster. Walt was quite proud of that car, and it was the very automobile he used to court Lilly.

However, after losing Oswald, Walt and Roy fell on hard financial times. Of course, that didn’t seem to disturb the ever-optimistic Walt Disney. Instead, he came up with a new character, Mortimer Mouse (aka Mickey).

While there are a number of versions of how Walt came up with Mickey, there is only one story of the relationship between his Moon roadster and Mickey Mouse. This story, is considered to be accepted truth … well, if there ever was any doubt about it, I offer proof now (and the actual dates).

When Walt was back in New York recording the sound for Mickey’s third cartoon, Steamboat Willie, he started to run short on money. He kept in constant contact with Roy back in Los Angeles, and they were looking for extra money anywhere they could.

Walt asked Roy in the summer of 1928 to mortgage their Lyric Avenue homes for additional funds. Still, due to problems with the recording of the soundtrack, more money was desperately needed, so Walt, demonstrating his faith in the project, informed his beloved brother to sell his beloved Moon roadster (the latter being the more likely to bring in the cash). The money was not only needed for the work underway in New York, but there are several accounts that it was also needed to meet payroll at the Hyperion Studio (2719 Hyperion).

In digging around through various newspaper morgues in the past, I have come up with an unbelievable number of Disney related articles (5000 plus–). Towards the latter days of my newspaper research, it was getting discouraging, as rarely would anything show up that I did not already have (thanks to a database I started from day one, I actually knew).

So I got the bright (my wife would say insane) idea of searching for various historical Disney ads. So I present here  Walt’s Los Angeles Times classified advertisement (placed by Roy O. Disney … or perhaps Lilly or Edna) to sell said “beloved” Moon roadster.

The first time it ran was on Saturday November 3, 1928, and the car was listed at $525. Apparently there was no interest at this price that day or on the following Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday, so the advertisement was run once again on Wednesday the 7th of November.

This time, the price was lowered to $475 and, it sold! Mickey got his soundtrack. Disney started an empire. Payroll was made. Thank goodness for this little classified ad (well, and for Walt’s foresight!).



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