No, I still haven’t gotten use to the numbers, 2014. Sounds like a date from The Jetsons or Star Trek, doesn’t it? I won’t even tell you the dates I remember. I’m sure it would sound as if I were reciting from a history book. Although, this particular history book happens to be my life and the dates stretch far into the distant past. Had I seen the date 2014 when I was a kid there would be no doubt I was reading science fiction.
Reflecting on the year past brings sad and wonderful memories. There was dinner in San Francisco with Ron and Diane Miller and another visit to Napa and Silverado. There was that marvelous day of filming at the Walt Disney Family Museum, while back in the Southland, the delightful wrap up of Saving Mr. Banks surprised everyone including myself. My book, Animated Life finally rolled off the press and I was able to share my amazing Disney years with friends and fans around the world. I attended the Academy Awards for the first time ever and even had a cartoonist host the distinguished Hollywood event. My speaking venues included comic books stores and university campuses, and I met eager young students who restored my faith in a art form I feared had seen its better days. I said goodbye to far too many friends and colleagues this past year. And, I know this unpleasant part of any year is something I’d best get used to. Especially when one reaches my age.
I’m not sure what to expect in 2014. This time last year I faced a new year with reserved anticipation. Some good things were on the horizon and the future looked bright. However, a series of tragedies would send a fair amount of darkness as well. That’s life, of course. And this past year has been an epic roller coaster ride of thrills, chills along with tears and laughter. This is the stuff life is made of and it appears I’ve been given a ticket for another spin. An exciting whirl that will last twelve months if I manage to hang on. Of course, you’ll be taking the ride as well. This special “E” ticket is for all of us, so we might as well enjoy it.
Strap yourselves in, boys and girls and make sure that belt is pulled good and tight. I kinda have a feeling the ride is going to be even rougher and faster this time around. 2014 is about to begin - and once we get rolling we won’t be stopping until January 1st next year.