Grand Years with Frank Morris

Searching for posts in the month of: September 2019

Number of blogs returned: 1 to 4 records of 4

VALE: My friendship with Jack Eden who made certain that Surfabout did it first!

FRANK MORRIS

ONE OF THE CLASSIC SHOTS WAS ‘MIDGET’ WINNING THE FIRST WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP AT MANLY IN 1964. PHOTO: JACK EDEN.

HE LITERALLY, AND PHOTOGRAPHICALLY, OPENED THE DOORS ON A BRIGHTER 1960s.

Jack Eden, Australia’s leading surfing photographer and publisher died on Sunday evening from Parkinson’s disease in a Sydney nursing home. He was 88.

Eden, who infused new life into the sixties, found a new way in this “irrepressible period of our history”.

His Surfabout photos exude a timeless quality that is rarely, if ever, found in collections of this genre.

A leading historian said, “The 60’s was a time when all wrongs of society seemed, for brief moment, to be curable”.
Eden, a photo-journalist, started Surfabout Magazine in 1962 at a time when the new guard of surfers were taking over. It was called the Swinging Sixties.

While it missed being the first by only a few months, Surfabout was the first to set the pace for what Jack Eden euphemistically called “the uniqueness” of being an individual.

Yes, it was the age of being free as a bird.

It was the age of more freedom, rock ‘n roll and less demanding friendships – only when it didn’t interact with anything to do with surfing. This was a time when Australia came of age on the waves.

Eden’s camera captured countless images, which infused the new life for surfers into what can only be described as an irrepressible period of our history.
 

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ABOUT JACK EDEN …
‘MIDGET’ FARRELLY, 1997: “LUCKILY JACK EDEN CAUGHT MANY OF THE MAJOR PLAYERS OF THIS ERA ON BLACK AND WHITE FILM. HIS PRECISION TRULY CONVEYS THE UNIQUENESS OF A NEVER TO BE REPEATED PIONEER PERIOD IN AUSTRALIA’S SURFING LIFE”.
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The historic debut issue, Surfabout, emblazoned with aboriginal motifs, sold out as it hit the streets. The first print-run evaporated in a week. A newsagent in Surfers Paradise reported selling 250 copies in sixty minutes.

“They went like hot cakes,” a very proud distributor said.

Where did the name Surfabout spring from? I asked him.

Eden pondered the question for a moment. He replied. “It took many hours of deliberation before we came up with the idea of adapting the aboriginal term ‘walkabout’ for the magazine title.

So Surfabout it became.

This was long before indigenous cultures became the vogue. Then, and in later issues, the cover design was simple, uncluttered and unpretentious – most of the illustration was left in on so that readers can get some true maturity of the action.

Surfabout was first:

TO pioneer surfing photography, attracting the best photographs from all over the world. Jack Eden was among the best.

TO attain not only national readership, but a worldwide audience: America’s West Coast, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, United Kingdom, and so on.

TO pin-up action spreads in duo-tone, to produce full colour front covers, and to feature an illustrated front cover by Archibald Prize contender Helen Dillon.

TO introduce international coverage, to have its photographs and articles republished in newspapers and magazines in Australia and overseas.

Surfabout sold for four shillings and sixpence, 45 cents in today’s currency.

From its pages, came a permanent reminder of who we are and the way we were.

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ABOUT JACK EDEN …
THIS IS WHAT SURFABOUT SAID ABOUT ‘MIDGET’ FARRELLY IN THE FIRST WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: “AUSTRALIA’S ‘MIDGET’ FARRELLY GAVE AN EXCELLENT EXHIBITION OF TIGHT, FUCTIONAL SURFING AND HIS SMOOTH DROPS AND TURNS GAINED HIM MAXIMUM POINTS.”
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Frank Morris comments:

Australia hit the scene as a surfing nation sixty years ago. I joined Jack Eden and the team as editor of Surfabout magazine.

I wrote him a screed and said that with “my experience” that the journal could go far. He didn’t answer my letter, he called to my house. I happened to be in. I got the shock of my life. I got the job.

Jack was first to find out that I wasn’t a surfer; I was a writer and newspapers were my specialty. That is what Jack liked.

“We’ve come of age on the waves,” I opined in the second issue of Surfabout. It was one of the first surfing magazines published in Australia and it attracted the best photographs from the world’s top surfing circles.
In many ways, Surfabout was ahead of its time.

To match my flow of editorial, Jack worked literally around the clock.

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ABOUT JACK EDEN …
JACK EDEN HAS BEEN DESCRIBED AS “THE PHOTOGRAPHIC BIOGRAPER” OF AUSTRALIAN SURFING HISTORY. HE REGARDS THE SIXTIES AS SURFING’S GOLDEN ERA. HE CAPTURED ALL OF THE GREATS FROM THE TIME.
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My opening column, On The Surf-Front, was an editorial on the surf culture, Let’s Keep the Sport Fun.
The second issue, in December 1962, demonstrated a significant number of changes that would be influential in Australian surf magazines.

Inside the thirty-six magazines the masthead carried the sub-heading, ‘Australia’s Premier Surfing Magazine’, and also the features – surfers’ portraits, surfing maps, column from the doyen of overseas surfing writers and a general news spread.

“Jack was now listed as manager and John Morris-Thorne (Frank Morris) was listed as editor.”

With me as editor, I had to make the Surfabout-team happy too. They thought that I had “put the icing on cake”.
When Surfabout was sold in 1965, I did various features for the new publisher. One of the timely articles I penned was on the ‘young’ board industry in Australia and it was going to thrive through “thick and thin”. The rest is history.
And I thank Jack, truly. Our association turned into one of the most joyous friendships – a friendship to last for 57 years.

He was my best mate.

VALE JACK EDEN

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 30 September 19

WALT DISNEY STORY: Part 2. The secret life of Walter

FRANK MORRIS

A SUPER-BIG DREAM COME TO LIFE.

I AM AWAY AT THE MOMENT.  GRAND YEARS WILL RETURN 4 OCTOBER.

THE WALT DISNEY STORY, PART 2, WILL BE PUBLISHED NEXT WEEK.

HERE’S AN INTRODUCTION INTO THE WALT DISNEY STORY, PART 2:

“GIRL’S BORED ME – THEY STILL DO,” SAID WALT DISNEY. “I LOVED MICKEY MOUSE MORE THAN I DO ANY WOMAN WHO EVER LOVED ME.”

WALT COULD NEVER LEARN TO DRAW DONALD DUCK OR PLUTO ... BUT HIS INSIGHT INTO THE AMERCIAN COLLECTIVE UNCONCONCIOUS WAS NOTHING SHORT OF MYSTICAL.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 19 September 19

Walt Disney Story: Part 1. Taking the Mortimer out of Mickey

FRANK MORRIS

IT ALL STARTED WITH A RABBIT …

… AND A MOUSE TOOK ITS PLACE!

On the day his beloved Disneyland amusement park opened in Anaheim, California, in 1955, Walt Disney turned to a group of friends, after he’d taken them on a tour of inspection, and said: “I hope we never lose sight of the fact that this was all started by a mouse.”

But, if it had not been for a dispute over a contract with a film distributor in 1927, Walt’s meal ticket could have been a rabbit instead of a mouse.

Disney at the time was animating a character called Oswald the Rabbit, which was owned by the distributor Charles Mintz.

When the series became successful, Mintz confronted Disney in New York with an ultimatum: accept a new contract at a lower price, or lose the character.

Disney refused to haggle. He and his wife, Lillian, on the train back to Los Angeles, spent night after night trying to come up with another cartoon character to take Oswald’s place.

It was not easy.

Suddenly, Walt recalled his days as a commercial artist in Kansas City, when his studio had been literally a breeding ground for field mice. He only remembered one mouse in particular.

The mouse was a regular intruder, which proved to be quite tame and trusting. Disney and the mouse became the best of friends and he trained it not to stray too far.

The new character, Walt decided, would be a mouse – Mortimer Mouse.

But Lillian thought the name too pretentious, so they both settled on Mickey. From that point, Oswald the Rabbit’s luck had run out, his grave has been dug and would soon be buried and forgotten.

Mickey came on the scene in 1928 in two silent shorts called Plane Crazy and Gallopin’ Gaucho.

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DISNEYTOONS …
IN 1928, PLANE CRAZY WAS THE ‘TOON THAT LAUNCHED MICKEY MOUSE ON THE WAY TO MEGA-STARDOM. HE FLEW INTO PEOPLE’S HEARTS ON HIS JERRY BUILT AIRSHIP WITH A RUBBER BAND MADE OUT OF DACHSHUND. MICKEY WAS A SUCCESS.
IN 1928, STEAMBOAT WILLIE, THE ‘TOON THAT A MILLION-PLUS FILMGOERS DECIDED THEY WERE IN LOVE WITH MICKEY MOUSE -- FOREVER. MICKEY TURNED A BUNCH OF PIGS, GOATS AND COWS INTO MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS. WHATSMORE, FOR THE FIRST TIME, MICKEY EVEN SANG. – JH AND FM.
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But it wasn’t until he appeared in the sound cartoon Steamboat Willie, which opened in New York on November 18 of the same year that Mickey was on his way to mega-stardom.

The Mickey phenomenon grew. He became a national passion. He helped build an empire.

Today, Mickey might be middle aged, and a little bit grey in the whiskers, but he still bright and perky. He’s changed little since his creation over 90 years ago.

In his book, Mickey Mouse: Fifty Happy Years, David Bain wrote: “There is something most appealing about this mouse.

“There is an intrinsic quality that reaches across time and through artificial, human-made barriers, such as culture and nationality, to enter into the hardest of the hard-hearted and produce a smile.”

American journalist Jim Hokerman, wrote: “When Disneyland opened in 1955, it was with one inescapable stipulation.

“Before being born again within the confines of the Magic Kingdom, each guest had to pass through an idealised version of the Marceline, Missouri, in Main Street, where Walt believed he’d spent his happiest years.”

Disney used to say, “To the people in Marceline, I’m like God”.

SOURCE: The original syndicated story was written in 1988.

Next: His insight into the American collective unconscious was nothing short of mystical.

Below: The crowd hustle into Disneyland on opening day.

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ARTBEAT …
FORMER PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH DISSCUSSED HIS POSTPRESIDENTIAL PORTRAITS OF COURAGE AND SAID, “AS A CHILD I WASN’T ALL THAT INTERESTED IN ART. I HAPPENED TO GET A RECOMMENDATION TO READ WINSTON CHURCHILL’S PAINTING AS A PASTIME, THAT PIQUED MY INTEREST.” SOON.
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Hollywood Murder: Albert Dekker’s hard-to-explain death rocked the movie world!

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

In l968, less than a decade after the George Reeves controversy, two more hard-to-explain fatalities – occurring only months apart – rocked the industry.

Albert Dekker, 63, big, shambling Warner Bros. heavy and noted character actor, came to a grotesque end in his Hollywood apartment. There were obscene inscriptions covering Dekker’s body and other oddities.

Two months before, Nick Adams, who played The Rebel in the hit TV series, died in his Coldwater Canyon bachelor quarters.

In the Dekker case, police swarmed over the apartment after the building manager had reported a “horrible sight” of Dekker slumped in the bathroom with two hypodermic needles stuck into him.

When the police arrived they found a length of rope – too loosely rigged to be identified as the sure cause of death – fastened to his left hand around his neck and tied to a shower pipe; and a hand-cuff dangled from the right hand.

Filthy words were written in lipstick and festooned over much of Dekker’s body.

“There was everything but a vampire’s bite”, the deputy coroner remarked. Suicide was ruled out. And “accidental suffocation” was named as the cause of death. It was a terrorising thought.

A rope had been tightened round Dekker’s neck, it loosened and sagged. The whole idea was full of holes to some observers.

Tightened by Dekker himself! His friends thought not.

Dekker served from 1944 to 1946 in the California state legislature as a concerned liberal representing a portion of Hollywood. He quit politics and went into showbusiness. He then won the awards on Broadway in Death of a Salesmen and other weighty plays.

Insiders agreed that Dekker never would have let himself die like that, with grotesque writing all over him.

Someone, they surmised, must have doped and then choked him. If so, police never could lay hands on a rope artist with a lipstick and drug fettish.

Case unsolved.

SOURCE: From Grand Years 13.

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VIETNAM: HOLLYWOOD VIEW …
THE BEST OF THE VIETNAM-THEME FILMS, COMING HOME, TACKLES IN DRAMATIC FORM THE MORAL DILEMMA OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. THIS MOVIE WAS HIGHLY RATED BY SMH FILM WRITER. SOON.
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YOUR DOG: Virgo. Hi, Mr Terrier speaking, and this is my story!

FRANK MORRIS

MUM GIVES ME A CUDDLE.

I’m a well-bred, well-behaved and diligent little terrier.  Two decently bred terriers got together and produced me, so you can’t deny my bespoke breeding. That was three years ago.

Mum and dad were terrific dogs. They were both playful and frightfully energetic; and so was I. They played with me until I was eight months older. The literally put me in the spotlight.

My love deepened for them.

Then, of course, times must change. While I was having a lovely upbringing, the rug was pulled from under me.

While mum and dad went for their daily stroll, a human came into the kennel, picked me up, and put me in a card-board box.

I caught a glimpse of my new owner. He was 65, upright (you beauty) and had a softly spoken voice. His house was big and was trimmed to treat.

He got me out of the box, clung to me with both hands, and said: “What will we call you?” I almost choked. I’ve got a name and it, and it … Jut.”

“Let’s see, now. I know. I’ll call him Mr Terrier. That’s it, Mr Terrier.” For better or worse, that was my name.
Mum and dad came home they found me gone.

You know something that was strange to me. My relationship drew closer to this person, my new dad. I began to take to him.

Here’s another significant event I’ve been struggling with for a long time: I’m house-bound. I’m going on four-years-old, and have been out on one day a fortnight to go shopping. On a lead.

My owner won’t play with me, ever though I’d bring my ball up to him. He would kick it a fair distance, then turn and go into his house. He would fall asleep until tea-time.

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AUSTRALIAN PLACE NAMES …
BRIAN AND BARBARA KENNEDY WRITE: NEARLY THREE-QUARTERS OF AUSTRALIAN PLACE NAMES ARE OF ABORIGINAL ORIGIN. FOR EXAMPLE, MILDURA, IN VICTORIA, COULD MEAN ‘SORE EYES’ OR ‘RED SAND’.
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“Come on Mr Terrier, its den time. He would follow me and close the hand-engraved gate with “Mr Terrier” on it.
Then he’d take the wrap off Mr Terrier’s dish and push it towards me.

He’s an event that will leave you with a few options. A young man came around the back and knocked on the door. My owner appeared.

“Can I help you,” he said. The lad, who was about 21, spoke first. “I was wondering if we can take your dog for a walk every afternoon. We’d take him down to the park and let run with other dogs …”

The girl, about 20, butted in: “… we’ve moved into a house up the street …” The girl’s voice tails off.

I witness it all. This is the event that I could say yes to without any compunction. Yes, yes and yes. My owner didn’t reply for about 60 seconds, then he spoke.

“Of course you can. Mr Terrier is his name and he is an Australia Terrier. At this moment, my owner started to feel his age.

That was the start of an honest but friendly relationship – Geoff, Margaret and me.

The move showed how good-humoured, how intelligent and tender I could be for a scruffy, multi-brown Australian Terrier.

I ran mad. The dogs who were chasing me dropped before I did. The larger dogs lost interest.

We ate every ice block and ice cream ten times over during my umpteen years of going to the park. What days we all had! There was tomorrow, and the next day, and … You know what I mean.

Then I saw my mum and dad from a distance. They looked very old. I blink and they are gone. My owner went into a nursing home and there he stayed.

I now live with Geoff and Margaret, husband and wife. We still play when we can. My age? That’s not important. All I can say is I am impulsive as ever but I noticed recently that I need more rest during the day.

So, there you are!

Below: Mum and dad together!

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AUSTRALIAN PLACE NAMES …
BRIAN AND BARBARA KENNEDY WRITE IN THEIR VOLUME OF PLACE NAMES: THERE IS SOME DEBATE AS TO THE LONGEST PLACE NAME IN AUSTRALIA. IN THE AUG-SEPT I956 EDITON OF SOUTH AUSTRALIAN MOTOR … IS MENTIONED THE NAME, CARDIVILLAWARRACURRACURRIEAPPALARNDOO. NOBODY COULD SUPPLY ANY OTHER DETAILS.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 13 September 19

HISTORY MAZE: Teach your children to love the tales of the past. That’s if you don’t mind dressing up.

FRANK MORRIS

READY TO FIGHT FOR GLORY AT THE JOUSTING TOURNAMENT.

let your imagination do the rest. And wouldn’t that mean that your family would think the world of you!

Have you ever seen a knight joust? In the movies, maybe, but in real life? How would you like to joust with a Tudor knight, or learn to become a gladiator at the Colosseum? Or fight for glory in a jousting tournament?

Luckily, at Hever Castle, England, there are bespoke, interactive programs designed to both entertain and teach kids about ancient warriors and martial arts.

Kids will never be the same after the summer jousting tournament. Did you know that Henry VIII’s favourite sport was jousting? He initially made it popular in Medieval England as a way for knights to show off their cavalry skills.

Hever Castle was Anne Boleyn’s childhood home and features a tiltyard arena where spectators can view the long-forgotten history of theatrical jousting and exploring the castle’s caverns of antiques and Tudor paintings.

The kids will be captivated by exploring the surrounding woodlands and ornamental gardens; as well as the Water Maze, and the over 100 years old Yew Maze.

Before the tournament is staged, the crowd walks in a procession towards the arena behind Anne Boleyn and Henry V111, impersonators, decked out in Tudor costumes.

Many excited kids are dressed in medieval knight costumes or bedecked in thrilling royal gowns.

In the arena, each jouster has their own colours and performs impressive stunts on horseback.

Onlooking kids and adults watch in awe as two jousters ride to unseat one another; a four-metre-long lance is used in the final act.

Check with Medieval Horse Sports Australia com.au to see when they hold their programs for kids.

SOURCE: Jousting Tournament, Five Star Kids magazine, England; fivestarkidsmagaznine.com.au

A tudor knight comes to life. 

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HISTORICAL HIGHLIGHT …
IT’S BEEN 80 YEARS, 1938, SINCE BRITAIN WENT TO WAR ON GERMANY. GERMANY DIDN’T RESPOND TO THE ULTIMATUM ISSUED BY BRITAIN. THEN THE COUNTRIES WERE AT WAR. AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER, MR MENZIES, ALSO SAID WE WERE AT WAR.
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ROAD CCCCRASHED …
FACT: A STUDY BY AN ORGANISATION COMMITTED TO AGED CARE REVEALED THAT PEOPLE WITH DEMENTIA WERE UNSAFE TO DRIVE BUT CONTINUED TO DO SO.


Celebrating Australia: The flying 18s are on in your city water-ways!

FRANK MORRIS

AN ‘OLDIE’ GOING THROUGH ITS PACES.

THE RACING SKIFFS ARE OUT AND ABOUT.

The flying 18-foot racing skiffs, arrayed in amazing state of art finery, make a compelling sight.

If Mark Foy, the father of the 18-footer racing, could have witnessed this spectacular homage he would have cried with joy.

Foy regarded Sydney Harbour as the “world’s leading aquatic playground”.

THE FIRST skiff race was in 1891 with six entries sailing three times round a triangular course on Sydney Harbour. The winner, Lottie, won 30 pounds.

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ROAD CCCCRASHED …
FACT: SOME EFFECTS OF PRESCRIPTION AND OVER-THE-COUNTER DRUGS MAKE IT UNSAFE TO DRIVE.
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THE FATHER of 18-foot racing was Mark Foy who believed racing must be exciting and faster and boats had to colourful and easily identifiable.

QUEENSLAND pioneered interstate competition in 1895, bringing by steamer to Sydney a number of 18-footers and 22-footers for racing.

BEN LEXEN, the man who designed the winged keel on the America’s cup winning Australia II, won the world 18-footer title in 1961.

ONE OF the pioneers of skiff racing was Alf Beashel. His son Ken won the world 18-footer title in 1968 on the Daily Telegraph.

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ROAD CCCCRASHED …
FACT: ANY DRIVER TRAINING PROGRAM IS NOT THE WHOLE ANSWER, BUT IT CAN BE PART OF THE SOLUTION.

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AMERICA’S CUP skipper Iain Murray, Bob Holmes and Trevor Barnabas are the most prolific winners of the world 18-footer titles, winning five each.

ANOTHER PIONEER was rugby league player James J. Giltinan; he was also a major player in 18-footer racing

SINCE the inception of the world titles for the JJ Giltinan Trophy, Australian sailors have won all but eight crowns. These eight were won by seven New Zealand crews and one UK team.

IN the early1900s to 1930s the average speed of an 18-footer (wooden, with 10-15 crewman) over 9nm course 6.45 knots. IN the year 2000, with high, state of the art, carbon fibre, an 18-footer can reach speeds in excess on 30 knots downwind and costs $350,000-$400,000.


Film Great: Gay Seabrook was the first official voice of Minnie Mouse!

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

GETTING THE VOICE OF MINNIE SHE HAD TO SPEAK LOUDER.

GAY SEABROOK’S VOICE WAS HER FORTUNE IN THE 1930s. IT IS A LIGHT, YOUNG VOICE WHICH SHE PITCHES A FEW TONES HIGHER FOR MINNIE MOUSE.

Walt Disney, four years ago, heard her in a radio act in a baby-talk part, and invited her to take the part of Minnie in a radio act which was being planned then as a highlight of American programmes.

A grand orchestra was engaged for the act, and everything was in train to make it one of the biggest items being offered to American listeners, but it was never put on.

Without the antics of the little black and white figures Minnie and Mickey just somehow didn’t exist, so instead the radio act was split up and became two Mickey Mouse pictures, one of which was called “The Dentist’s Office.”

Miss Seabrook says she is not the original Minnie. A girl in the studio, one of the staff known as “an inker,” who inks-in the figures in the cartoons, was Minnie in the early pictures when Minnie only said a few words.

She is not an actress, so when Minnie began to play longer parts with more dialogue it was necessary to call in someone with stage training, and so Miss Seabrook took over some of the work.

Walt Disney is, of course, Mickey, and will remain so, and his strongest rival is the man who plays Donald the Duck, whose strange nasal “yap” (for want of a more expressive word) has made him famous.

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ROAD CCCCRASHES …
FACT: PRINCESS DIANA AND DODI FAYED COULD HAVE LIVED IF EACH HAD BEEN WEARING A SEAT BEAT, ACCORDING TO THE UK TRANSPORT ROAD RESEARCH LABORATORY.
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Donald’s leading lady is an engaging chicken, a part which Miss Seabrook has played. “Oh, he’s lovely,” is what Miss Seabrook says when you ask about Walt Disney. He is, she claims, the most generous and genuine of people.

This story bears out her statement.

“When we were signing up a twelve-page contract for the first proposed radio programmes,” she said, “Walt Disney’s lawyer had to turn round to him at last and tell him he was being unfair to himself. He kept saying, ‘Now, this point’s not fair to these kids,’ and so on." He is a grand person.

In the making of the cartoons the timing is of the utmost importance, and each little speech has to be made to the beat of a metronome in a gadget fastened to the orchestra leader’s ears, so that the speech will fit to a certain number of feet of film.

There are several months between the making of the dialogue and the release of the film, but at the beginning the cast is gathered round a table and the plot and the characters are explained to them.

The idea-men and writers and artists who work this out are tremendously keen,” said Miss Seabrook. “The little creatures are all absolutely real people to them, and they go to endless trouble to make their ideas absolutely real to us, too.

“It is most fascinating and delightful work, though it is more or less anonymous and therefore does not offer any promise of a glamorous personal career.”

SOURCE: from Sydney Post, 1930.

NEXT: The Walt Disney story. “I don’t have depressed moods – and I don’t want to have any.

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ROAD CCCCRASHED …
HOT TIP: HEADACHES, FIDGETING, TENSION, NERVOUSNESS, YAWNING OR POOR CONCENTRATION ARE SIGNS OF FATIGUE. DON’T FIGHT IT. LET FRESH AIR CIRCULATE IN THE CAR, SHARE THE DRIVING AND EAT LIGHT FOOD.

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Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 06 September 19

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