My friend Linda has an abiding love. I imagine many of us do, but maybe we don’t wear it on our sleeves as obviously. I mean, people know I like SpongeBob (close friends know I like Patrick best), but that’s a relationship that only extends back to 1999, and while I own Many Things SpongeBob, I don’t have an entire school display case’s worth of paraphernalia.
I met Linda a long time ago, when I was working at the Book Worm and she and her family would come in to buy books. Then Linda got a job at the bookstore, then we both moved on and eventually ended up at the airport (different airlines, and my job was part-time seasonal with a lot less responsibility than hers), then her oldest child worked with me at Pat’s . . . Let’s just say we’ve known each other long enough that her oldest grandchildren are about the same age their father was when I first met him.
Now Linda works for the Gunnison Watershed School District, writing the checks I get when I officiate middle-school sports (and stamping them with purple smiley faces). She has to stay late when payroll is pending, so when I ride my bike through the parking lot and see her car, I stop and knock on her office window.
Last night I got invited in to see what has become an annual tradition for her: a display of some (let me say that again: SOME) of her Disney memorabilia. Last Sunday Mickey Mouse — Linda’s first and lifelong love — turned 90, and Linda has celebrated in grand style.
She and her friend Peggy spent much of the weekend putting together a tribute to 90 years of Mickey, and you have to admire not only the breadth of the display, but the vastness of Linda’s collection. She makes me look like a rank amateur, with my SpongeBob pillows and pencil toppers. Linda can make Mickey toast, for gosh sakes.
She even made her display educational, since the bulk of her audience is kindergarten-age. Under the display is a row of Mickey Mouse silhouettes, consecutively numbered to 90. That’s a lot.
This is my favorite part of the display:
Peggy has serious graphic design skills, and Linda has lots of pins and knowledge of Mickey lore, so together they created this very professional-looking timeline of Mickey’s near-century of existence. I think they ought to pitch it to Disney as a collectible option.
Linda did point to the highlight about Mickey being the first animated character to get a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. Minnie got hers a mere 40 years later.
I’m not sure where all this Mickey loot goes in Linda’s house when it’s not filling a display case at Lake School (TL Livermore: proud alumnus c. 1974), other than the toaster: last year granddaughter Lillian was quite put out that she couldn’t have Mickey toast when she came to visit and the toaster was not on the counter where it belonged. (Oh, Lillian, do I have more bad news for you this Thanksgiving.)
I have to say, Linda is one of the two most remarkably upbeat people I know (the other being Kim Eastman), and it just always makes me happy to see her. But when she’s in full-on Mickey mode, her joy knows no bounds, and it’s contagious. So while Mickey deserves kudos for making it to 90 and still going strong, I think we should all tip our hats to fans like Linda who have given him such a life.
Now, this has nothing to do with any of that, but it’s not worth a post of its own, so here, without further words from me, is an update on our house: