Featured Author: Kendra Trahan
Kendra Trahan was born and educated in Southern Oregon. As a child her family would make the long drive to Southern California every few years to visit all the major theme parks, saving Disneyland, perceived as the best, for last. She remembers Disneyland as always being the most beautiful, impeccably clean, and having the best attractions. Her interest in Disney multiplied when she created a marketing assignment in college that studied the synergy of the Walt Disney Company.
Spending most of her professional career in pharmaceutical sales she has moved to San Diego, California; Wilmington, Delaware; and finally to Orange County, California. Kendra’s first books were about hospital selling, managed care, and training manuals.
While in Delaware, she missed the opportunity to visit Disneyland and began reading everything she could get her hands on about the park. Kendra discovered that the more research she did, the more it proved that the Disney artists and Imagineers had done their research too. She began looking for a single resource that included movie props and Hidden Mickey in Disneyland. Unable to find one, she started a focused effort to research the subject and write the resource herself.
Her (sales) career eventually moved her back to California affording her the opportunity to get involved with some Disney interest groups. There she was encouraged to meet the Disney Legends and Honorees who built the park. She has met many original designers of Disneyland or their families, conducted several personal interviews, and wrote chapter three as a special tribute for them. Kendra volunteers when possible as a docent at Walt Disney’s barn museum in Los Angeles, Griffith Park as well as being a member of the board of governors of the Carolwood Historical Society. She is a past-president of NFFC – the Disneyana Fan Club — and collects books about Disney.
About the Illustrator
Brian McKim was born and raised in Southern California. He grew up in a Disney family as his father, Sam McKim, spent 32 years at Walt Disney Imagineering. Brian would hear stories at the dinner table about the development of Disneyland and the different projects his father was working on with Walt. At the age of seven, Brian went to the studio to meet his father and just barely missed meeting Walt in person by only a moment. Brian is a great choice for creating the Main Street U.S.A. window illustrations because he grew up knowing and admiring many of the people mentioned in this book. Brian earned his Bachelor of Arts from California State University at Northridge, and B.F.A. from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Brian then went on to work at Walt Disney Studios for 15 years in feature animation. He especially likes painting landscapes and portraitures in oils. For relaxation he likes to spend time with his wife Dorothy, son Tyler, and daughter Natalie. Whenever Brian has some free time, he likes to take the family and go fishing.
About the Photographer
Photographer Dave Hawkins was born in Pasadena California. He remembers visiting Knott’s Berry Farm and Disneyland at a very young age. His family moved away from all that in 1959 and Dave grew up in Southern Oregon. There he married, started a family, and developed an artistic eye with the camera. Dave moved his family to Alaska for seven years, where he began his professional photography career. Currently he owns Dave Hawkins Photography in Medford Oregon where his work is well known regionally. You may have seen his work in catalogs, magazines, or especially around the cars at Reno’s Hot August Nights. Dave and his wife still live in Southern Oregon and is the father of two grown children.