The 1980’s were a period of excitement, change, and hard work. They marked my transition into the them park industry, and the culmination of Linda’s efforts since starting at Disney in 1979: Epcot Center opened October 1, 1982. As two-week business trips turned into two year relocations, we learned to move a lot, and began to see the world in our spare time. We learned to move around a lot: from West L.A. apartment to Santa Monica Townhome, Fort Wilderness trailer, Lake Buena Vista apartment, Westlake Village home, and finally ending the decade back in Orlando, we’d lived in something like 15 places in a decade!
By 1981, we’d moved into a townhouse in Santa Monica, 1/2 block from the beach. Believe it or not, 12% interest was something to brag about in those days. We didn’t stay long before we headed for Florida to work on Epcot.
This is a contact sheet of interiors.
Here is Linda walking along Pacific Palisades.
Christmas, 1982 at my Mom’s. A brief respite from Epcot.
My favorite white blouse, 1982.
Saddle sore, 1982, Fort Wilderness.
My favorite beige blouse.
My Dad’s Slides from 1983. Steve and Ginnie in a brand new World Showcase
Ginnie and Steve at Spaceship Earth
Steve at the leapfrog fountain in front of Imagination
Linda and Ginnie at SeaWorld
Norv and Ginnie at SeaWorld
Most people have never seen me without a beard. Here’s why.
Linda asked me to grow this beard shortly after we were married in 1978. (It was part of a deal, but I can’t tell you the other part.) So all our married lives everyone we’ve met and worked with has known me with the beard.
But in 1983 it got itchy and I decided to shave it off temporarily. Linda wanted to know what I’d look like with different kinds of facial hair, so I shaved it off progressively while she took pictures. Some of the results were OK.
Others not so OK.
Some made me look like a low-rider.
Others just stupid.
So… would you buy a show control system from this man? Needless to say, no one ever asked me to shave it off again.
One of our bigger financial blunders. A pair of triplexes we bought as an investment using per diem we’d saved during Epcot’s construction. We should have bought lakefront lots…
Silver Springs, 1983, Linda and Marjorie.
Silver Springs, 1983.
The glasses weren’t replaced by contacts until 1986.
When we returned to California after Epcot opened we wanted someplace out of the city. This is the townhome we bought in Westlake Village.
It was one of the better financial investments we made…
… and a lovely place to live.
Picnicking with my Dad in the Angeles National Forest mountains above Los Angeles., 1984.
I learned to scuba dive at Walt Disney World, and went on my final check out dive to Ft. Lauderdale during spring break, 1983.
Diving off Anacapa, Channel Islands, California, 1984, with Ira Frank and Dave Green from Cambrian.
Taken with a timer in front of our bedroom fireplace, 1985.
Linda looking sultry, 1985.
Linda’s 1985 birthday present, Cinders. I got her at the Westlake Village animal shelter.
The other cat, Molly, also came from the Westlake Village animal shelter. They didn’t get along.
Cinders, Christmas 1985.
Kay, Christmas 1985.
Linda, Christmas 1985.
I had a small recording studio in the Westlake Village house, which I used to test gear we designed at Linn Electronics.
In 1986 Disney decided they wanted to take on outside work, and they contracted to provide electronic systems for four pavilions at Expo 86 in Vancouver, B.C. This is Herb Webb in one of the equipment rooms.
Their resolve to take on outside work soon evaporated, however, and Linda ended up handling design, import, export, project management, planning, scheduling, installation and support for all four. Here is one of the CircleVision projectors.
If you’ve ever wondered how theme parks and expos could run the same film all day without stopping to rewind, now you know. It’s a loop cabinet.
In 1989 we moved back to Florida, and bought a “practice” house on Ron Den Lane while we designed our permanent one. We fixed up this place and learned a lot–how to build a wall, for example–in our total remodeling of it. We sold it in 2015.