Imagineer Rolly Crump remembers his early years with Disney

Legendary Disney Imagineer Rolly Crump has kicked off a weekly column describing his early years with the company. This week: How Walt Disney’s incapacity to remember his name turned “Roland” into “Rolly,” with a brief detour through “What’s His Name.”

I’d been sitting in on meetings with Walt for over a year when all of a sudden he started calling me Owen.

I finally figured out that the reason he called me Owen was because there was a writer who wrote for the live action pictures and his name was OWEN Crump. I think Walt mixed up his Owen and his Roland.

So I was Owen Crump for awhile, and then I became Orland. I don’t know where that came from. I spoke with Walt’s daughter one time and she said that Walt always had trouble with names.

But as far as I was concerned, Walt could call me whatever he wanted.

The coup de grace happened one day when Walt and I were in a meeting with Yale Gracey to talk about The Haunted Mansion. Walt turned to Yale and said, “I want you to work on the Mansion together with [and here he pointed to me] What’s His Name”.

So I became “What’s His Name’, which I got a big kick out of.

The Truth of the Matter Is (Thanks, Bob!)