Monday, January 21, 2013

Anyone know a good insurance broker?

While scouring eBay the other night, I came across the following image.

I had read about Walt's brother Raymond in Jack Kinney's excellent memoir, Walt Disney and Assorted Other Characters. An Unauthorized Account of the Early Years at Disney's. Kinney's book is filled with great stories of his time at the Disney Studio - he also created all of the the humorous illustrations found in the book, including this one of Raymond, the insurance broker.

The above illustration's accompanying text read:

"Walt's brother Ray was a familiar sight in the 1940s. He lived a few blocks from the studio in Burbank and often came around to sell insurance. The kickstand on his bike was loose and it made a rather loud racket, but he didn't care as long as he saved gas. You could hear him coming for miles.

Ray had a lot of customers at the studio. They bought from him because they thought it would get them in good with Walt. Ray's prices were none too cheap, though, and when people saw that Walt couldn't care less, many canceled their policies."

According to the address on the label pictured at the beginning of this post, Ray's office was less than a mile-and-a-half from the Studio when it was located at 2719 Hyperion Avenue, in Los Feliz.

I highly recommend Kinney's book. Although it's been out of print for a very long time now, copies do pop-up for sale occasionally, and it's definitely worth having in your reference library.

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