Sunday, July 03, 2011

Help needed! Found (?) autobiography of O.B. Johnston

Actually, it looks as if the autobiography of O.B. Johnston (right on the picture above) might even exist in English! There seems to be one copy among the Walter Lantz papers within the Performing Arts Special Collections at UCLA.

Does one of you study at UCLA? If so, would you be willing to try and locate this manuscript and get copies of it?

If you google ""Book manuscript by O.B. Johnston" you will find an answer which says "Book manuscript by O.B. Johnston and Mary Carey, 1981. Incl. letter from Walter Lantz to Charles Schultz regarding same book (2 items)." However the place the links takes you to (Finding Aid for the Walter Lantz Animation Archive, 1940-1979) does not display the location of the document or any information about the document itself.

Could anyone help?


John Stanley Donaldson said...

Unfortunately, I think you will find that this "book manuscript" is not an autobiography of O.B. Johnston; given that the mentioned Mary Carey only wrote, or co-wrote, juvenile titles. I would be surprised if it is something else.

Mary began her career with Walt Disney in 1955, writing for the Mickey Mouse Club magazine, and for the next fourteen years, as assistant editor of publications, practically every novelization of a Disney motion picture, such as "The Story of Walt Disney’s Mary Poppins," would be by her.

She then wrote for the "Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators" series, again, all juvenile; crafting such tales as the "Mystery of the Flaming Footprints," and the "Mystery of the Creepshow Crooks."

Mary Carey died in Ventura, California in 1994, one week after her sixty-ninth birthday.

Didier Ghez said...


While you are right when it comes to Mary's background, I believe the document is extremely likely to have been written for an adult audience based on the type of magazine in which it was released in Japan.

What I think probably happened is that O.B. got to know Mary when he was Head of Disney Consumer Products and asked her for help to write his autobiography, probably based on a series of interviews.

We will see.


John Stanley Donaldson said...

Let the archive librarian know that you are looking for Box 139, which mostly contains legal contracts, correspondence, and the like. Specifically, you want Folder 20, within, which only seems to hold the Johnston manuscript.

Didier Ghez said...

Thanks John! Out of curiosity: how did you manage to find the information?

Cathy Freeman said...

I know Mary Carey co-authored adult books with my father George Sherman one was called "A Compendium of Bunk" that exposed how carnival games are rigged to the advantage of the carny. Since both worked under OB Johnston it is a likely pairing.

Cathy Freeman said...

I know Mary Carey co-authored "adult" books. She and my father George Sherman co-authored a book called "A Compendium of Bunk" exposing the con behind most carny games at Fairs and Carnivals. My father was Head of Publications at Disney and his boss was O.B. Johnston. I think it is likely Mary would have co-authored O.B.'s book.