Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Big Al

I’ve been inspired by many performers and entertainers in my life... Walt Disney, Jim Henson, Dr. Seuss, Chuck Jones, Bill Peet, Tim Conway, Dick Van Dyke, Jerry Seinfeld, Brian Regan, Jim Gaffigan, Kirk Wall, John Denver, George Lucas, the Sherman Brothers, maybe some woman I’m forgetting, and so on.  But as much as those people have inspired me, none of them has altered my life’s course more than a performing bear did in April of 1978.  That’s when I took my first trip to Disneyland, where I was introduced to the Country Bear Jamboree and its least enthusiastic performer, a dim-witted oaf of a bear named Big Al.

Consider the direction my life has taken since that day...  First I drew several thousand bears, then I drew a bunch of animals playing musical instruments, filled my iPod with guitar music, and eventually got a job working for Disney.  So as much as I may have been entertained by the works of many people in my life, I probably wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing if it weren’t for this guitar-playing bear.  He's so inspiring.


Josh said...

Hey, S.T. I really enjoy your blog! Big Al is one of my family's favorites, and even today, my 87-year-old grandpa will sometimes break out into "There was blood on the saddle..." for no real reason than because he loves Big Al so much, so that doofy bear will always have a special place in my heart.

Kris L said...

This is all very true, I can remember each moment.

Ron said...

Love your blog, S.T.! I've long been a fan of the Country Bear Jamboree as well. Nice that they're still performing in Florida, but I do miss the Vacation Hoedown in Critter Country.