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Walt Disney said that the people present at Disneyland Park were a key ingredient in making the Show what it is. One of the key people for me wasn't even a cast member in the literal sense.
Every Disneyland Resort sponsored brick has a story behind it.
This one is about brick 170 in section C32- Arthur Holmson's brick.
December 22, 1913 was the day Arthur Holmson was born.
I have had this edition of Kenversations in my mind for quite a long time. I have delayed writing it for various reasons, one being the desire to separate fact from fiction. But it is now ten years since he left us, passing away at the age of 78, and I felt the time was right.
Arthur in his Camelot
I don't know of any other park regular who has the status of Arthur Holmson. Veteran cast members loved him and passed down stories about him.
He shuffled along slowly with a cane, his diminished speed the result of a stroke or two. He'd wear a red jacket, a checkered cap with his name embroidered on it by a park cast member, and would carry a bag with him that was surprisingly heavy given his age and physical condition.
Arthur would look around at the cast members, even the ones who were in the distance, wave to them, and greet them by name. If he didn't know your name by memory, it was most likely because you were new. "He's new," he'd remark to those in earshot. He would approach those he was familiar with and would say "Hi boy!", and would often ask (sometimes multiple times) "Are ya off dumorrow?" He'd often ask for other cast members by name, or would say, with distinction, "Where's Harrison? Heezoff!"
Treated like a cast member, if not royalty, he was apparently let into the park for free. Either that, or cast members would chip in and buy him an annual pass every year. He would show up at the dedicated Complimentary entrance turnstile, and in he would go.
He often spoke of Disneyland Park as his place of work. In fact, we was known for doing such things as regularly taking abandoned stroller tops back to Stroller Rental (strollers were different than the current models).
When the darkness of nighttime fell in the Summer, and The Main Street Electrical Parade would light up Main Street, U.S.A., Arthur would be there watching. The characters would all acknowledge him, and those that could call out to him would call to him by name.
The legends of his identity, why he was let into the park for free, and where else he'd hang out on a regular basis were plenty.
"He goes to the beach and talks the
"He lived here before it was Disneyland Park."
"He helped Walt."
"He dove into the Rivers of America to save a kid from drowning."
"He has a car in the bag that he unfolds and drives home in."