Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Farewell to Disney fan Nolan Woodall

In the annals of literary history, famous artists and poets have long crafted their "final words" and carefully chosen what they would say to say goodbye to the people of the earth. Certainly much of it has been apocryphal, but does it really matter in the end if they were silent after these words (if they even spoke them?) German poet Goethe reportedly said "More light!" as his final words, perhaps to indicate his desire to learn more, more, more. 

The equivalent in 2012 is the final social media posting. In August 2012, a Disney fan named Nolan Woodall died, after years of living with a congenital heart defect. He was widely known in some quarters of the Disney fan community, though I didn't know of him personally and never heard of him until he died.

His death gave me pause. In many ways we are in a "brave new world' here with social media. People who don't know me personally now know of me professionally, and it crossed my mind that I should consider writing my own obituary decades in advance, just in case.

That's morbid, certainly, and I very much doubt I'll find the time. But Nolan did leave "final thoughts" in the form of this Facebook posting:

I didn't know Nolan personally, but it's quite clear to me that this is my loss. Kwahirini, Nolan, kwahirini. I can only hope to muster enough humility to post a final message as thought provoking as you have done.

Kevin Yee is the author of numerous independent Disney books, including the popular Walt Disney World Earbook series and Walt Disney World Hidden History.