on a sunday afternoon in august 1994 I got a call from ANDREAS DEJA, if I wanted to join him for a visit to OLLIE JOHNSTON’S house and a ride on his train. you bet I wanted. I had arrived in L.A. in june and started to work in the disney-studio. andreas picked me up and we drove up in the hills to la canada / flintridge, where ollie and his wife marie lived. several other guests were invited – STEVE FIOTT, who was the editor of the STORYBOARD-magazine, LEON and JACK JANZEN, the editors of the E-TICKET-magazine and ANDY GASKILL, art director of THE LION KING, who lived not too far away. later FRANCK THOMAS, ollie’s good friend and neighbour, joined us as well. ollie’s miniature railway was built through his two acre backyard and around the house. it was slightly smaller than WALT DISNEY’S old CAROLWOOD PACIFIC RAILWAY. ollie and WARD KIMBALL had started walt disney’s interest in miniature trains and had helped him to design and build his miniature railway. ollie had several cars behind the engine, where we could sit, he blew the whistle and was our engineer running the train. I videotaped the whole event and treasure these memories. the pictures were taken by steve fiott and can be seen in storyboard magazine vol.5/nr.5 sept./oct.1994.
from left to right – OLLIE JOHNSTON, ANDY GASKILL, STEVE FIOTT, me, ANDREAS DEJA
pictures © steve fiott