On this day in 1957, Parade magazine featured a cover story titled "Luckiest Boy in the World." It was about Disneyland Cast Member Tom Nabbe - the park's first Tom Sawyer.
Tom was just 12-year-old when he began working as a "newsie" for Disneyland - selling The Disneyland News to park guests on Main Street. Eventually Tom himself came up with the idea to be the park's Tom Sawyer. He spent a year pursuing Walt about becoming the star of Tom Sawyer Island.
Walt finally agreed - but under one condition: that Tom keep at least a C average in school. Tom kept up his grades and became Disneyland's Tom Sawyer.
After outgrowing the role, Tom went on to manage different attractions and in 1969 met his wife Janice (who was working in a concession stand). In 1971 he was transfered to the new Disney World where he started as manager of the monorail.
In June 2003, 60-year-old Tom Nabbe retired from his job (which at the time was manager of distribution services at the Florida park). He was the final working member of Club 55 - a group of original Disneyland employees.
Tom Nabbe was inducted a Disney Legend on September 20, 2005 and received a Disney NFFC Disney Legend Award the following year.
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