I’ve attended ToonFest in Marceline, MO (Walt Disney’s boyhood home) every year since 2010. It’s been a constant source of inspiration and magic in my life, and a much needed respite from the every day drudgery. This year was special, however, because I got to meet with Trenton Larkin of the “Who Did That Voice?” podcast!
When I arrived, I hurriedly set up my camera and prepared to capture both video and photos of the annual parade.
After that task was completed, I put away some of my excess baggage and my video gear and set off in search of Trenton. His wife Jessica had no idea that I was meeting them there, or even who I was. She was a good sport and continued along with this weird guy with a microphone. I was excited to show them some historic locations around the town and to share some stories that I’ve learned over the years.
I showed them the local theater that had hosted the world premiere of The Great Locomotive chase with Walt Disney himself on hand. The children learned to sing the Mickey Mouse Club theme song, despite none of them being able to watch it. This delighted Mr. Disney and he told the children how blessed they were to be growing up in Marceline before pointing to the clock and proclaiming it “time for the show.”
Next I lead them over to the Walt Disney Post Office where the Walt Disney Postage Stamp was officially commissioned. Trenton especially enjoyed the old fashioned PO Boxes that still lined the walls.
Our next stop was the Walt Disney Hometown Museum.
The museum has undergone a lot of changes over the years that I’ve been visiting. We arrived just in time for a great tour of the gallery with lots of wonderful stories about Walt’s time in Marceline, and his many return visits. I could tell that the magic of this place was felt by Trenton and his wife. Trenton said it make the magic of Disneyland all the more real. Especially when we visited the original Coke Corner. This was special to Walt as he’d pretend to be dead in the back of a hearse while brother Roy drove it. They had a small job working for the undertaking company mentioned at the top of this advertisement.
After a quick lunch at Ma Vic’s, my favorite local diner, I took them over to see the Walt Disney Elementary School before we headed off to see the old Disney farm house. Walt sent one of his favorite artists to paint murals on the inside of this school, and Trenton sadly observed that one of Mickey’s ears had broken off.
After a brief visit to the ToonFest HQ and an antique shop…
We finally arrived at the old Disney farm. There we could see the ruins of what had once been Walt Disney’s dreaming tree. It’s sad that the weather destroyed such a monumental tree. In this very location, Walt entertained baby sister Ruth with what she recalled as “great stories.”
All that inspired Walt Disney felt a lot more real after visiting that place, and I hope Trenton and his wife are able to return in years to come to experience the magic all over again.