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Look Back | Look Forward

A dear friend and a very, very funny man has exited, stage left, for the last time. The voice of José from Walt Disney's Tiki Room has been silenced, and the world is poorer.

Wally Boag as Pecos Bill. Those "teeth," by the way, would keep coming forever.

I first met Wally when I was too young to remember, probably in about 1956 - the year after Wally began playing Pecos Bill and the Traveling Salesman at the Golden Horseshoe Revue. He and his wife were friends of my father, and after Dad passed away, I stayed in touch.

In the summer of 1972, I had the privilege of visiting with Wally at his home in Kissimmee, Florida, during his days at WDW:

Ellen, Heather, Wally and some random drunk that wandered in.

There was a lake right behind their home, and he took me out boating. I remember the day I arrived, I found him sitting at a sewing machine creating curtains. He was truly a multi-talented man.

I would visit these fine people any time I had the chance. They were invariably gracious and wonderful to be around. In 2001, I had the privilege of visiting with them in my home town, Salt Lake, where Wally came for some sort of presentation:

In later years, as Wally began his descent into the fog of Alzheimer's, he would proudly show me his office and all his memorabilia, forgetting that he had done so many times. It was always a joy to hear him describe his escapades once again.

Here is Wally proudly showing me the galley proof for his book, Wally Boag, Clown Prince of Disneyland. How thrilled I am to own an autographed copy!

It's difficult to watch a loved one recede into the shadows of memory - my own mother is 94, and in much the same situation. I know Wally and Ellen were consummate humanists, but my own spiritual walk tells me that Wally is now in a different sphere, with all his amazing faculties restored, probably making a very large crowd of people very, very happy - and I look forward to a future association with him. As sad as I am that his turn on earth is now over, I rejoice in memories that will be with me forever.

So long, Wally, and thanks for all the joy!

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Jun. 5th, 2011 09:39 am (UTC)
Condolences, my friend.
Jun. 5th, 2011 10:23 am (UTC)
I've forwarded this to Steve Martin (@stevemartintogo on Twitter), who's also a Wally Boag protoge.
Jun. 6th, 2011 04:23 pm (UTC)
The day after Boag died, Betty "Slue Foot Sue" Taylor died. Ay.
Jun. 16th, 2011 03:51 pm (UTC)
sad to hear about his passing, :( hugs


The Old Wolf

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