It was funny... I had this urge to watch the round table discussion with current animators on the second disc of Cinderella, Monday. I think I just wanted to immerse myself in that element a bit. Sometimes, after a hectic day, I find it helpful to get into the artistic "zone" by listening to others who so frequent the "zone" as well. Ollie came to mind and I was wondering how he was doing... and yes, how much longer he'd be with us.
When news of him came the following day, I met it with mixed emotions. I was never fortunate enough to know or even meet Ollie, as many in the Disney community have, but so many of my beautiful childhood memories are wrapped up with the incredible work he did. I have been so thankful for the blood, sweat, and tears he put into his craft to help deliver something to the public that would become a part of their soul in many ways. Those films are a part of me, and I've been long appreciative to the incredible Nine Old Men, as well as the lesser known artists for giving me countless of remarkable, unforgettable moments.
So, yes. I was sad. But in another way, happy. Happy to know that Heaven is a greater and even more creative place than it was just a few days ago. Happy that I know he was greeted by incredible people that we all have come to respect, and most happy to know that he was reunited with his wife and best friend, Frank Thomas. I never knew how he was able to carry on without the both of them. I don't think I could if put in the same situation.
So, here's to a life superbly lived. May we all strive for similar excellence in our crafts. My life-long admiration to you, Ollie. To quote a song sung by another amazing artist in his own right, "Thanks for the memories..."