1)Question- Well for starters, Walt, what was your childhood like?
Ahh, my childhood... Well, I was born in 1901, on December 5th, in Chicago. But I didn't live in Chicago for long. Actually, I don't even remember living in Chicago, unless you count the train station. I remember asking my brother Roy why we were taking a train, and why. He told me that we had bought a farm in Marceline, Missouri and we were going to live there. I remember imitating the conductor when he yelled out 'all aboard' and everybody started laughing. That was my first memory of entertaining people, and I remember the feeling. It was exhilarating. Well anyway, we got on the train and went to Marceline, where our ...view middle of the document...
My father actually overworked me. He eventually had me milking the cows on the farm, and doing all the handy work around the farm, and that was not bad. It was when we moved to Kansas City that he really overworked me. He had me delivering the morning newspaper, The Kansas City Morning Times, the evening newspaper, The Kansas City Evening Star, and the Sunday newspaper, The Sunday Star. I woke up at 3 in the morning and went to bed at approximately 10. I was expected to successfully deliver the newspaper to each and every customer, be in class on time, and do all my homework. I never complained about it because my dad had drilled into our heads that because he clothed and fed us that it was our duty to work for him. I didn't mind working for him, but he never cut us any slack. If a customer's newspaper blew away in the wind my father would blame me for not securing the newspaper and I would have to bike all the way back to the customer's house and deliver the newspaper.
3)Question- Wow sounds tough. And to think you still had to go to school through all this. How was school, anyway?
Well, it wasn't that bad. I tried out for the part of Abraham Lincoln in a school play, and I got it. I drew lines in my face with a pencil, attached a fake mole to my face, wore a top hat and a fake goatee and recited the Gettysburg Address. But besides the play, school was kind of hard. The teachers showed no empathy. I woke up at 3 in the morning every day and I was always tired. In addition to that, I was always bored because I never had time for fun, because of my tedious schedule. My over imaginative mind took advantage of my lack of fun during school and kept me daydreaming. As a result I didn't learn much and whenever the teacher called on me, I usually made a fool of myself.
4) I'm sure you didn't make a fool of yourself.. But speaking of fools did you ever graduate high school? What did you do after high school?
No, I didn't graduate high school. But when I did drop out, I did because I had gone into business. My first business began when one time I was waiting in a barber shop for a haircut. I had recently begun sketching cartoons before that, and my technique was that I would pick a certain part of my sketch and exaggerate it. So I was sketching the barber, Tony, and some men had been watching me and admiring my work. They started laughing, because I had exaggerated the razor, making it un-proportionally large because Tony was notorious for his slips with the razor and how close he let it go to his client. Tony liked my sketch and we made an agreement that for a quarter per week I would sketch him another sketch, because he thought it would be good for business. Later I became interested in Charlie Chaplin, who was a famous motion picture actor back in 1914, which by the way was when World War I began. Me and a friend, Walt Pfiefer began an act which we called the two Walts. One skit which was particularly well liked was called "Fun in a Photo...