Wednesday, May 12, 2010

"Kelley, Please report to the Disneyland information office."


When I was a little girl I was quite the daydreamer. That probably wont come as a surprise those of you who know me. I spent so much time dreaming and looking for tiny treasures among the everyday things that I many times, never heard anyone who was talking to me. My Mom would call me several times before she could break the spell of my imagination, and always said I was somewhere lost in Fantasyland. We had a family joke about it. When I was busy daydreaming my big sister would say, "Kelley, please report to the Disneyland information office!"

It was no less than ironic that just after graduation from high school I was hired at Disneyland. Even funnier, I was hired to work at a restaurant in Fantasyland! It was the sweetest job ever. Disneyland treated their employees great and I had a gazillion friends. As an employee, I only fell deeper in love with the Magic Kingdom. I've been in love with the park for over 40 years and as a mother we visit Disneyland no less than once a year.

So, in attempt to show you Disneyland from my point of view, here are the pages from my hand made book titled "Childhood." I only made 5 of these books in attempt to create a portrait of a place that holds a very special spot in my heart.

When I sent this book to my Mom, she said the most wonderful thing about it was that she was finally able to see what it was I was looking at all those years...

Here are a few pics or what four of the books look like.

Here is what's inside:


Childhood, sweet and sunny childhood,

With its careless, thoughtless air,

Like the verdant, tangled wildwood,

Wants the training hand of care.

See it springing all around us

Glad to know, and quick to learn;

Asking questions that confound us;

Teaching lessons in its turn.

Who loves not its joyous revel,

Leaping lightly on the lawn,

Up the knoll, along the level,

Free and graceful as a fawn?

Let it revel; it is nature

Giving to the little dears

Strength of limb, and healthful features,

For the toil of coming years.

He who checks a child with terror,

Stops its play, and stills its song,

Not alone commits an error,

But a great and moral wrong.

Give it play, and never fear it -

Active life is no defect;

Never, never break its spirit -

Curb it only to direct.

Would you dam the flowing river,

Thinking it would cease to flow?

Onward it must go forever -

Better teach it where to go.

Childhood is a fountain welling,

Trace its channel in the sand,

And its currents, spreading, swelling,

Will revive the withered land.

Childhood is the vernal season;

Trim and train the tender shoot;

Love is to the coming reason,

As the blossom to the fruit.

Tender twigs are bent and folded -

Art to nature beauty lends;

Childhood easily is moulded;

Manhood breaks, but seldom bends.


  1. Kelley,

    Yet again another 'thought provoking' post. Reading what you've put here, especially about your Mother's reaction to your book is exactly what photography is all about ie being able to express the feeling that something gives you and being able to give that feeling to others; something that would be very difficult to do by words alone.

    Really diggin' the way you present your images here on the blog too; very 'story book'.

    A great read!
    All the best to you,

  2. Great work Kelley, I like the detail shots... and the poem, as Glyn says, is very thought provoking, nice way to start the day...

    A great read, reminds me of when I was in Eurodisney when the children were younger...

    take care

  3. Hi Kelley. Lovely story & set of picture panels.

    What were your feelings / emotions / memories going through this piece of work? I only ask as I recently created a photobook of some shots of my sons first 4 years. The wife & I sat down, looked through it and how many times did we say "Do you remember when he..." whilst looking at the pictures.

    That's an added bonus with what we can do as photographers. Yes we capture a moment in time, a story, an emotion with an image but that's not where it stops. We can also envoke something personal (most likely completely unseen or unknown to us as authors) to the viewer and act as a catalyst for triggering their own memories & recollections.



  4. Dear Kelley, What a Beautiful post of your vision. I have seen these images so many times in the past and they still never cease to amaze and move me. You my friend are a true Artist with a true heart and soul. You are always a breath of fresh air...and in a world that is sometimes difficult you are that welcoming breath! Keep those posts coming my friend for you are a true inspiration. Your posts provide much JOY and positive Energy!

    Love you my dear friend,

  5. Thanks guys for your comments. @Glyn I'm super glad the images worked as a "story book" it's what I was going for and it took all day! Hee hee. I agree whole heartedly about the expression.
    @Noel, Thank you! Would love to go to another Disney somewhere in the world. I loved the poem too and loved the serendipity that occurred when I put the two together.
    @David You reminded me of my great plan to create a book for my soon to be 18 year old daughter. It will be filled with her pictures from birth to now, with things she wrote and song lyrics she loves. Its so cool for the kids to have when they get older. I would have loved to have more from when I was a child.
    @Kim, Not only are you a breath of fresh air to me but sometimes I think you're more like an air tank when I'm in the deepest part of the ocean... You're a JOY!