Sunday, January 15, 2017

At the Right Place at the Right Time

So….. Here is the real story about the making of  Steam Boat Willie….

Now a lot of people thought that the short movie plot for the movie was a long drawn out series of events that brought about this great achievement by a master mind of his time. 

Actually it was an unusual event that actually started Walt's mind gears to start turning. Few people knew that in the month of January of the year 1918 it snowed in a little town called Hollywood, Ca.  

Walt’s wife demanded that he shovel the snow off their driveway so she wouldn’t slip and fall.  Having no shovel himself, he went next door to the dude and borrowed his metal scoop that he found in the garage since the neighbor wasn’t home.  The shovel worked so well and Walt was feeling a little guilty about using the shovel without the neighbors permission that he felt he should help his neighbor out and went ahead and shoveled his neighbor’s sidewalk and driveway too. 

He was just finishing up his sidewalk as the sun set and he was plumb worn out.  His arms ached and his fingers seemed frozen but he was proud of his accomplishment.  He sat in his chair with cup of coffee while his wife prepared his supper.  Walt dozed off and slipped into a dream about a small mouse who had to shovel his yard with a huge shovel almost as big as him.  The mouse huffed and puffed pushing and scraping the edges of the sidewalks to clear it of the snow and ice.

 The work was hard but he never let him get him down and laughed and sang as he worked.  What he didn’t know was his neighbor who was a great big guy had come home and seeing that the mouse had shoveled his pathway he got mad because he had wanted to take a series of pictures, one right after the other, of the snow since it had never snowed in Hollywood before. 
  He walked up behind the mouse and grabbed him around the waist and stretching him out like a sausage in the middle.  He let the mouse go and ordered him to go shovel the coal into his furnace to warm his house up from the freak snow storm.  

The mouse was on his way to shovel the coal with the same shovel he had used to shovel the snow and stopped to watch an ice cream truck go by with whistles on top to call out to the kids announcing he was coming down the block….

That was when Walt woke up from his wife calling him for supper. 

The rest of the evening he thought about the dream but make believe plot didn’t seem quite right, coming to the conclusion that no one would get the story line or find it funny so he thought, “Hey maybe if I made the Mouse a crew member on a Steamboat on the Mississippi River and instead of shoveling snow he had snuck into the wheelhouse and was steering the boat since no one was there. But then the Great Big Ship’s Captain eased up behind him and pulled him away from Boat’s wheel throwing out to go work below to shovel the coal into the steam engines belly.

Walt told his wife about the dream he had and his idea for a "Moving Picture" which would tell the story.   She said that it just may work if he could persuade his new partner to go with the idea.  Walt said he thought that the guy may just do so and his wife said “I don’t know… Will he”……?

Now the rest of the story… I had the opportunity to purchase an old shovel at a garage sale a few years ago. I was told by the owner who was sell the shovel that he had been found in Walt Disney’s tool shed a year or so after Walt  had passed away and his wife seeing it as nothing but a rotting old 2bit shovel decided to sell it in a garage sale she had since it hadn’t snowed in Hollywood California since 1918 nor expected needing it in Orlando Florida where she was packing up to move to. 

This guy,  a Texan, who was a tourist there, saw the shovel and said “I bet I could use that shovel to scoop up snow at my house in the Texas Hill Country if by chance it ever snows there.  “I’ll give you 2 bits for it….”  She sold him the scoop, for 2bits, with a smile, after telling him the life story of the shovel.  

I was told this story by the very same old fellow at his garage sale in the hills outside of Austin, Texas as I rooted through the old tool shed he was clearing out and said he had no need for it since it never had snowed in the Texas Hill Country enough to need a shovel.  But it could be mine, if I gave him the 2bits he had given for it in 1967. Why of course... I bought it.


Here we stand in my carport at my garage sale in Lake Charles Louisiana and you Sir, being the sharp and obviously street smart marketing expert that you seem to be since you have stood here and listen to this long winded story ask me how much do I want for this old 2bit shovel?
 Why I think $10.000.00 could persuade me into letting you have it…   Smile..

Thank you… I know you will enjoy it….

Oh yea, just a reminder... If  your going to borrow you neighbor's tools... make sure you return them. Good Neighbors are hard to keep....

See folks... Sometimes you just gotta be at the ....

Right Place, at the Right Time..

Written as a Storytellers'  Story..... With Respect and a High Degree of Admiration to a Great Movie Maker.....

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