It was with incredible sorrow that I learned yesterday of the death of Imagineers and Disney Legend Marty Sklar. Fondly known simply as Marty by so many in the Disney Company, he worked his way up from an intern to Walt Disney during Disneyland's opening to the overseeing Imagineers behind Epcot Center and Tokyo Disneyland.
Busy Bumble and I had the rare pleasure and privilege of meeting Marty earlier this year. He was spry, quick witted, and full of stories. He was clearly a teacher who loved to share his experiences and what others could learn from them. His affection and devotion to the Disney family was obvious, from his group of Disney friends (ranging from the Disney Vacation Club to Imagineering's Blue Sky Program) to his continued involvement with all things Disney. Most recently he was at D23 Expo 2017, but he was also involved with the Disney Family Museum, the Ryman Foundation and other organizations.
I will take with me a little bit of Marty's wisdom. He was a leader who believed that the best way to move a group forward was to be one of the group and not above it. He said that creativity needed to be nurtured and supported, even off the clock. He also said that while there are no stupid ideas there are certainly ones that won't work in certain instances, so get accustomed to the differences and know how to deal with them and the people offering them.
For one day in March I felt like I was part of the inner circle because Marty was allowing us into his world. It never fails to make me smile at how Disney Imagineers, animators, Cast Members, and more simply refer to him as Marty and act like he's a daily occurrence in their lives. He will be missed but his legacy will live on.