This week I learned that one of my personal muses, Disney legend Jack Lindquist, passed away earlier this year. You all know him, even if you don’t think you do – the first president of Disneyland, Jack created the iconic question: “…you just won the Super Bowl, what are you going to do next?”
I had the joy of meeting Jack Lindquist a few years ago at a conference of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA). Because P.T. Barnum is a member of the exclusive IAAPA Hall of Fame among notables like Walt Disney, Marty Sklar, Bob Rogers, and Jack Lindquist himself, I have the distinct honor of meeting many remarkable, creative innovators. At this particular meeting, I had an hour to sit alone with Jack before his panel discussion began. Jack regaled me with wonderful and hysterical stories of his years with Disney. The successes, the challenges, and even the “goof-ups” – he held nothing back in the opportunity to amuse a companion. His humor was natural and effortless, and he was completely generous with it. I listened intently. It was a priceless hour.
When I head to Disney this month for a family vacation, Jack’s memory will fill me with delight. I do believe that was Jack’s life purpose: to create joy and have that joy endure at the “happiest place on earth.” In 1886, P.T. Barnum wrote that “the noblest art is that of making others happy.” On behalf of the Barnum Museum and Barnum’s legacy of making others happy, we salute a true legend who continues to give joy to the world. You will be missed.