A young Marine Band trombonist, Walt Disney, and the 1960 Olympics
One of my colleagues who recently retired from the college was a featured soloist in the United States Marine Band for over two decades. He was the youngest-ever member of the group, second only to John Philip Sousa, and he played for five presidents, from Eisenhower to Ford. And what stories he has! But one day he brought this photo to my office—here’s the backstory:
The Marine Band was participating in the 1960 Winter Olympics, and Jim was off in a hut somewhere, getting warmed up on his trombone. So he’s blowing away when someone darkens the doorway, peeking in to see what’s going on.
“Are you who I think you are?” my incredulous young friend manages to blurt out.
“Yeah, I guess so.” Walt chuckles. “I see you’re in the band.”
“Yes sir, Mr. Disney.” Always “sir” and “Mr” in the Marines, no matter what Walt says.
So they chat for about ten or fifteen minutes and Jim asks if Walt would let him take a picture. And here it is. Oh, and there was something else he mentioned, like the son of Rin Tin Tin hanging out with him…but I don’t remember anything else about that. At any rate it’s a pretty neat, casual pose of Walt in a setting quite different than we normally see.