I found out today...quite by accident...that a good friend of mine passed away. I say good friend, but as I think about it, I didn't know that much about him. But our hearts were connected, and that's all that really matters. I scoured the web for an obituary--anything that might have memorialized him--but I couldn't find anything. So I'm going to memorialize him here. Because he was a good man. A GREAT man. And he deserves some tribute.
I don't even remember how I met Rodger. We worked together at Disneyland. He was a union technician in the Entertainment department while I was a young just-out-of-college stage manager. I believe he was my tech on a little show I managed at the time--Aladdin and Jasmine's StoryTale Adventure.
While working that show, another tech flirted with me. Being young (and stupid), I blindly pursued a relationship with that guy. Rodger was there to pick me up when things went south. He talked me through my feelings and supported me in every way.
I loved making Rodger laugh. He had the best laugh! I wrote a series of Dr. Seuss-esque poems about people we worked with. I'd visit him on his shift in the workshop and read the poems aloud. His approval came in bouts of raucous laughter. Those were some great moments.
He took me out once. We saw Star Trek: Insurrection. He gave me a ride to the airport for a trip home--we saw the Hershey Kissmobile on the freeway. He watched my car for me. Before I left Disneyland, he gave me a walk-through tour of the Haunted Mansion as my goodbye gift.
Rodger and I kept in touch with emails and texts. How precious those are today. He would send me pictures of various installations he worked on--Halloween and Christmas, in particular. And I still have all the poems I wrote for him. I called him Good King Rodger, and he called me The Lovely Princess Ashley. We didn't communicate often, but when we did, our words were full of encouragement and love. I could always count on him.
In 2015, I got to take my family to Disneyland. We visited with Rodger in California Adventure as he worked on the Mad T Party. I'm so glad my husband and kids got to meet this man who meant so much to me.
Oh, Rodger, how I wish I could give back to you all the love you gave.
I don't know the circumstances surrounding his passing. I hope it was peaceful. I hope he found rest. And I hope he knows how dearly I love him. GKR, I look forward to the day when I see you again. I know you'll be there. I can't wait to hug you and thank you for getting me through some pretty rough times. You will never be forgotten, my sweet king. Be at peace, dear one.
Award-winning sci-fi author * Christ follower, wife, and mom * broadcast content producer. And yes, I am a real duchess. http://amzn.to/2eLTlH3