Friday Find: Disneyland Souvenir Book written by Marty Sklar
I was saddened to hear the passing of Disney Legend, Marty Sklar. He was fresh out of college when he started his career at Disneyland about one month before it opened. He retired after 53 years but he was an active "Disney Ambassador" and fan favorite. He is one of the few who had been present at every Disney Park opening (Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Tokyo, Paris, Hong Kong and Shanghai). I always tried to attend any local event that he spoke at because there is just something about hearing from a person who was an actual witness and participant to Disney history. Marty had a lot of stories to tell and he was always willing to share them.
Digging through my Disney library, I remembered that I had gotten this old Disneyland book. With a publication year of 1969.
The book is loaded with great vintage photos and stories. According to the inside cover, this Disneyland souvenir book was written by Marty Sklar.
I love that he has his formal name on the book. It makes sense that Marty would have been the one to write such book. Before Marty was hired at Disneyland, he was the student editor for the UCLA Bruins. Then he was the one to create The Disneyland News which was a Main Street tabloid style newspaper. Marty was pretty much Disneyland's first Marketing and Publicity employee. Digital cameras and computers were not a thing yet. There are a lot of words in this book so it has been a really great read. The book is loaded with information about each land with accompanying photos. There is history about how Disneyland came to be and all that it was up against. It tells Disneyland's story in those first 15 years.
Here is one of my favorite pages from this souvenir book. It is an introduction by Walt Disney.
According the introduction page, the first DIsneyland souvenir book was published in 1964. Walt died in 1966. I have to believe that this particular souvenir book, was not only written by Marty, but also had Walt's input and approval during its creation.
Luckily, with the technology there are lots of video clips and interviews that you can find on the internet so you can hear Marty's stories and passion for all things Disney. Just as good, grab one of his books, One Little Spark: Mickey's The Commandments and the Road to Imagineering and Dream It! Do It!: My Half Century Creating Disney's Magic Kingdoms. You'll get to read about Marty's personal stories, learn about Disney history and enjoy lots of anecdotes.
Thanks for the magic, Marty!