Today, as I worked on the rear suspension for the little rail car I was reminded of a choice I made many years ago. It made me smile.
A number of years ago I was extremely privileged to be invited to visit Disney's Imagineering in Glendale, California. These are the extremely creative people who design and build the Disney Parks. Imagineers are the very best in the world at this craft without a doubt. I did the tour and was blown away by all I witnessed. When asked, I showed my host my portfolio. To my amazement he offered me a job on the spot. I was truly honoured, but I declined without hesitation. He asked me why, for most interested in the business would have killed for the opportunity. To explain I showed him a concept drawing in my portfolio and on the opposite page was the finished project. I asked him how long it would take at Disney to go from concept to finish and how many hands would it have to pass through. We both knew the answer. I told him that my concept art was done in the morning and I started on the project that afternoon. It was finished a short time later. He smiled and jokingly asked me if he could come work for me. While I would love to work with Disney for a short time just to learn from some of the very finest in the business, the reality is I already have the best of all worlds. I am still sure of my choice and have no regrets after all these years.
Our projects are definitely much smaller, by choice, but no less creative. I get to work in my back yard in a well equipped shop. I get to do the design, and as much of the fabrication as I can handle. Most importantly, I get to work with those I love - my family and my crew. We get to pick the projects we want to do, for the very best customers. I still get to visit the Disney Parks regularly and have made friends with a few of the Imagineers through the years. It doesn't get better than that.