| Joe and I met
Ollie in the late 1980's and had the joy of their friendship for over
15 years. I was working as an engineer on an Apple research
project called the Vivarium Project, which was headed by Apple Fellow
and computer guru, Alan Kay. Frank was the animation adviser on
the project, as he had been for Alan through many projects, companies
and decades. Joe was an active parent at The Open School, the
site of the Vivarium Project. One of his major projects was to apply
his talents as a television art director to the set design at the Open
Schools annual, gala play.
I had the joy and responsibility of
being Frank and Ollie's computer support person. Frank loved
playing around with his computers. Creating animation with a Mac Plus
was difficult. But with the latest gadgets, video capture devices,
scanners, and instruction on VideoWorks V1.0 from its creators, he did
produce results, and as usual it was funny! (Frank
spent the next decade with the honor of helping Frank and Ollie with
computers and their projects on them. When the Vivarium project
ended and I left Apple, I continued to see Frank and Ollie to help
with their computers. It was at one such visit that I learned of the
problems they had with two other companies, trying to get a website
Ollie, Joe and I went to work on the site which was put online in 2002.
This one of the most enjoyable things Joe and I have done in our lives!
It was not work. Frank and Ollie, along with their wives Jeanette and
Marie were always ready to joke around. They were also wonderful
hostesses, always feeding us when we were there at lunch time.
the site was running Joe or I would visit them once a week with the
emails that had come in during the week. They would read them and we
would record their response and send reply's the next day. It was
watch these two, both into their 90's, get so excited helping
The Tales from the Table sessions were equally amazing.
They would sit down and recount the tales of working with Walt and the
other "Nine Old Men". The taping usually took place between 9 am
and noon, when Ollie had to get home to have lunch with Marie.
Frank died there were pages of obituaries. Later, the Disney
organization organized a "Celebration of Life" at the El Capitan in
Hollywood. Family and friends, and animators who Frank had mentored
filled the 1200+
seats of the theater. Diane and Roy Disney attended along with many
people from Disney studios. Jeanette even had chocolate chip cookies,
Frank's favorite, available for the guest.
After Frank’s death,
I continued to meet with Ollie to answer emails and help with his
computer. But his interest in the site waned as his health
deteriorated. Living alone was also taking its toll, so Ollie’s sons
moved him to Oregon to be close to him. When he passed there was a
"Celebration of Life" for him at the El Capitan. As the last member of
Walt’s "Nine Old Men" an era sadly came to an end.
Thank you both for the honor and privilege of being your friends.
Mike and Joe