Short but sweet. Overall it’s been a very fun ride and I hope you have as much fun with your next project
Words cannot express how joyous this whole journey has been for me. Thank you for all your magic, my friend. ❤️👏💙Chapter 33: When Jim Henson left Disney (Cont’d)
Excerpt from In the Service of the Mouse: A Memoir, by Jack Lindquist
You can blame it all on me.
People still question the decision, given the magnitude of Jim’s legacy, but I stand by it even today.
It all started one late July day in 2000, not long after he announced his retirement plans to us, when I encountered Jim in Disneyland. He was staring long and hard at the bronze statue of Walt and Roy near the Castle. I surmised, incorrectly, what he was thinking.
“It will never be your face on that statue,” I told him, much as I’d told a thousand employees over the years, from new hires to retiring executives.
“Thank God for that,” Jim said with a smile.
After a few silent moments he asked me about Walt’s last years, and I told him, frankly, what Walt had said and done. I told him about Walt’s dreams for EPCOT – the true E.P.C.O.T., the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow – and how even as he lay dying in the hospital he spoke about his “tomorrow” plans, never quite willing to admit that there was any other alternative. I spoke of Walt’s legacy, and I spoke frankly about how Walt had told us “I am no longer Walt Disney” when the benevolent and timeless “Uncle Walt” public persona began to eclipse the all too human man behind it.
“When I die, I want to have my ashes scattered,” Jim told me, “Somewhere quiet and magical, far from the city.
“I don’t want to be Lenin,” he added.
At the time I took the comment as the most bizarre of non-sequiturs. From Walt’s statue to Jim’s funeral plans to…the father of Soviet Communism? Was this a weird corporate reference? He’d never spoken about politics before, at least not in such gross terms.
It was only later, while watching a special on the evolving Union of Sovereign States and its complicated post-Soviet legacy, that I got what he meant. When Lenin died, he was placed in a glass sarcophagus in a marble temple, like Sleeping Beauty, there to be observed and worshiped. They built a thousand statues in his likeness. When the Soviet Union fell, so did most of the statues.
No, Jim was saying to me that he didn’t want to become an icon. He didn’t want his name and face plastered on a hundred buildings. He didn’t want a huge bronze statue on a marble column. He wanted to go out the way that he lived: simply, joyously, and surrounded by friends.
When he retired, the Disney employees overwhelmingly wanted to mark Jim’s time at Disney in some big way, something to capture the magnitude of the impact that he’d had on the company. “Second only to Walt,” was the familiar mantra.
Some of the Imagineers drew up plans for a bronze statue of Jim, standing tall, perhaps standing by Walt, perhaps holding hands with Kermit. Others wanted a humbler statue, Jim with Kermit on his arm, seated nonchalantly on a bench in Muppetland.
I vetoed all of it. Jim, as I knew he would insist, got only a window on Main Street, just like everyone else.
It read, simply, “Jim Henson, Storyteller”.
(Image by @Denliner)
Life’s like a movie,
Write your own ending,
We did just what we set out to do……
Thanks to the Lovers,
- Finale to “The Rainbow Connection (reprise)” by Paul Williams
Thanks again, to all of you. To those who’ve been here from the first post and to those who have started after I submitted this last post, and to everyone in between, I couldn’t – and indeed wouldn’t – have done this without your continued support. Thank you all for the likes/loves, the suggestions, the comments, the corrections, the contributions, and simply the enjoyments that made this timeline remain a Work of Passion, not a Work of Effort for me.
And a massive Mount Rushmore-sized Hat Tip to you all!
Long see no time, wow. No worries, just good to see you again.God, I really need to read this again. Sorry to rejoin this journey at the end.
Fashionably late is cool with me, vl. Glad to have you aboard.Sorry for being so late on this but I really love this timeline, I thank you so much for making it, it's one of my favorite alternate timelines
Never obsess on the "if only". I've certainly seen moments where I'm like "I should have...", but that ship has sailed. It is what it is, and it's magnificent for it. I appreciate all of your ideas and inputs and guest posts and look forward to whatever you do next, for this TL or on your own.I too want to, but maybe not for a while. Too much to do in one go, and I don't want to go "We shoulda done this instead of dat" over and over
Thank you for being here to make it possible.Thank you, Geekhis. So much.... for all of this.
Thanks MC M_C. I appreciate all the feedback over the years.So long and thanks for all the fish - looking forward to anything you come up with next.
And now, some music:
Thank you, and yes, "written in 2010", but the words are timeless.
Thanks Kyle, glad to have you aboard.
Hasta la Vista would be more appropriate, as I won't completely banish. I may even drop an occasional Guest Post if an idea strikes me.Farewell Geekhis. Thanks for bringing us along for the ride. It's been a lovely time working with you.
This final post was small but seeet, a befitting ending to a humble guy like Jim.
Mrs. Khan is from the Boston area. As long as you mean Wicked Awesome I'm Wicked Please to hear it."...That was totally wicked!"
Jokes aside, that was one of THE greatest timelines I ever read.
Thanks, Your Imperial Majesty, I appreciate it.A magnifecent timeline Mr. Khan
Thank you, Ranger, I appreciate it.I logged in from work to make sure I read this finale. I'm filled with warmth and I'm on the verge of tears. Thank you Khan for frankly the best piece of alternate history I've read.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
And thank you for all that you added to the TL. Greatly appreciated.This was a wild, wonderful ride, Mr. Khan, and I'm so happy to have been a part of it. I'm actually on the verge of tears. A Hat Tip to you, sir, and I will enthusiastically read whatever comes next from you.
Thank you, Count, for being here the whole time.Absolutely wonderful! Thank you for everything, Geekhis.
Thank you, and I'm trying.An end to a era, a tip of my hat to you and hope that you shall have more AH that will eclipse this
TFoA, your contributions were great and greatly appreicated. Do what you want. You don't need to compare yourself to anyone but yourself. I'd be glad to see your next idea.I think Jim's humble persona has started to rub off on me, because I don't know if I would even want to make a timeline of my own again. I mean, between the SNES-CD trilogy, As Dreamers Do: American Magic Redux, That Wacky Redhead, The Enterprise Completes its Five-Year Mission, and this...
I should just probably stick to being a timeline Shemp for my time on this forum. Who knows if I'll ever compete in the pop culture space with timelines like these.
And thank you Damian. It was educational for me as well. I appreciate the input and the guest posts.Three years and so much has changed in that time, but plenty has stayed the same too. What an end to a legendary timeline!
I don't consider myself that good at thank yous, so I'll keep it brief: Thank you Geekhis for this TL. A lot was learned about OTL pop culture when contrasted and compared to TTL, and it was a fun ride all the way through, so bless you and everyone else that had contributed! I even learned stuff about Yugoslavia doing research for this TL, both in terms of politics and in terms of pop culture that will maybe someday resurface in the guest thread.
I hope you take a deserved break after this, and come back swinging with your next work when it's time! You deserve it with all the progress you've made in this time!
Thanks your Lordship. I appreciate the support and the input.Short but sweet. Overall it’s been a very fun ride and I hope you have as much fun with your next project
No issues, as long as you give it away for free. I made some pdfs of my Master Docs and will post a link for free download here at some point. Post a link to the epub here if you like.Great story, my writer! Um, would you mind if I made an epub of this? Not for public use but just so I can add it to my story collection?
Thanks KF. I appreciate the support!Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened..
An emotional end to a amazing journey of films and pop culture, all changed by one man.
Thank you for writing this bahamouth of a story that is so full of possibilities. Look forward to whatever you write next 🙂
Thanks BB, let me know how the experience differs the second time through.It’s been a fun ride, Gheekis. Even started rereading the timeline just so I could enjoy it again .
Thanks WHC. I've appreciated your support and suggestions.Words cannot express how joyous this whole journey has been for me. Thank you for all your magic, my friend. ❤️👏💙
I'm glad for the help that you gave, DL. Literally all the way to the last post. The Parks and Resorts of this TL are more magical because of your input.One of the best timelines I've seen on this entire site, full of energy, positivity, and hope.
I'm very glad to have taken a part in it and will continue to keep this timeline going in some way since there is still so much to go through and create within this tiny little universe of ours.
Thanks for the magic, Geekhis!
Yep...............This really is it. Only six days left for the main timeline of the Hensonverse. It's still so sudden to me.
Same here!I wish you and Mrs. Khan the best of luck. And hey, if you guys decide to "put the lime in the coconut", at least there's a lot of ways you can introduce your future kid to the Muppets.
"To Introduce our Guest Star, that's What I'm Here to Do..." The Hensonverse Fan Contribution ThreadHi-ho and Welcome Again to yet another Thread in the ever-expanding Madhouse that is the AH-dot-com Hensonverse. By Reader Request here is a Guest Contribution Thread. This is the place where works that go beyond the scope of the Jim Henson at Disney saga that began with A Hippie in the House of...www.alternatehistory.com