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Early in my career (1979) I had the opportunity to work with Roger and his good friend Jim Elliott at the "Only Animated Display and Design Company" founded with Fredric Hope Jr.. They were my first contact with the "can-do" generation that lent the horsepower to the ideas of that First Generation of Disney Imagineers. That was what I remembered the most about Roger and those who surrounded him, was that no idea was too ridiculous, even if they came from a young mind like mine. It was not "if" it could be done, it was "how" it was going to be done. It was guys like Roger that truly embraced the notion behind Walt's quote "it's fun to do the impossible". It dawned on me that this was the true secret success of places like Disneyland. It wasn't just the ideas, it was the willingness to take the mechanical risks and to think beyond what was considered possible and find joy in the journey to get there. It's all in the execution and he had the respect of those around him. I was a young art director at Knott's Berry Farm at the time and their company was contracted to build all the motion effects and do the show set design for an attraction I was responsible for. I had no previous experience in design, yet was blessed with the opportunity to be taken in by these ex-Imagineers. Growing up as a rabid Disney fan, the chance to sit in a room with minds like that was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It was a learning experience in working together that influenced my career from then on. Roger was very patient with me and my inexperienced demands and the rest of the team was very generous with their knowledge. As the world gets more serious and design becomes more corporate, I will always be grateful to Roger, as he gave me the confidence to explore the wildest notions because builders like him were just as excited to take on those challenges and make them real. We need more of that today. When I think of what true Imagineering is, the combination of imagination and engineering, Roger Broggie Jr. will always be one of my most positive examples. He was just as zealous about building the idea as the designers were at having them. Of course, this is a great loss and we will all miss him, his talent and his wonderful positive spirit. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Broggie family and all those close to him.Eddie Sotto
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