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Hello again to all my TikiHeads and HappyHaunts out there in the Disney universe! In this entry to the Blog I’d like to introduce you to a Character that I have been developing on Twitter based on a Tombstone Epitaph that can be found in the graveyard at The Haunted Mansion in Disneyland and The Magic Kingdom.                            I wanted to find a character that really had no backstory so that I could develop my own. Not to infringe on the rights of Disney or create any controversy, but to enhance the enjoyment for Disney fans all around the globe and show my DisneySide, if you will. So, since my name is Dave, I immediately looked at Brother Dave and found it to be a fit.                                                                                                            I wasn’t able to find any backstory on a character already in the Disney folklore, nor did I find anyone using that as a character on any social media. However, the obvious reason for the Tombstone existing as it does is a nod to a particular man that worked for Disney that I must pay homage to before I go any further.              IMG_1113                    Dave Burkhart graduated with honors in design from California Institute of the Arts and began his career with the Walt Disney Company in 1967 as an artist and model maker for WDI, Walt Disney Imagineering. He was responsible for building architectural and show models, including full scale sets. He later became Show Designer and Field Art Director being responsible for show, ride, and facility concepts. Some of his attraction credits include Swiss Family Tree House, 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, and yes, The Haunted Mansion. In 1996 he left Disney and joined another company and currently can be found at ApogeeAttractions.com alongside former Disney members Norm Doerges and Ken Busch.                                                              IMG_1114     On tombstones and crypts at the Disneyland, Walt Disney World and Tokyo versions of The Haunted Mansion are the names of characters who may or may not be in the actual attraction itself. Most are tributes to Imagineers who were involved in the creation of the attraction or names based on characters created by those Imagineers. The Tombstone for Brother Dave is a direct tribute to Dave Burkhart and reads, Dear Departed Brother Dave, He Chased A Bear Into A Cave.                                                                                                               So, I created this Twitter account, Brother Dave, where I do mostly random tweets in character as if I’m a Ghost residing in the Mansion at Walt Disney World. Sometimes I will give you up to the minute wait time tweets by using one of the several apps I use for up to the minute info. I will also from time to time encourage you to check out the Disney Parks Blog for merchandise, special event or attraction information from my friends Steven Miller, Erin Glover and Jenn Fickley-Baker. I picked the Magic Kingdom version of The Mansion because of my friendship and affiliation with the guys at Enchanted Tiki Talk. It has proven to be a good match for us as you may have heard me do a few intros to the PodCast as Brother Dave. It has also been my honor to be a guest on one of the shows as well as perform an Ad spot. I hope to continue the relationship and really give them credit in getting my creative DisneySide public.                                                                                                   I recently used Twitter to post a background story for my character, Brother Dave. I believe it barely went noticed as I slyly did it during a conversation with a friend of Enchanted Tiki Talk about his podcast, Dixie Landings Radio. It was a short impromptu entry of a story that I had prepared for this media, but I went with it. It is, as follows.                                                                                                                           My name is David Chadwick, a merchant from New Orleans. I had recently invested in a SideWheel Steamboat named Paragon, built by one William Parsons of Cincinnati in 1819. It was not more than a year from then that I embarked on a trip from New Orleans to Louisville to accompany a full cargo of my goods. The ships Master, Mr Cummings, was a tall man with eyes of steel, yet had a comforting disposition that suited the ships elegance. As fate would have it, his sister, Romena Cummings, was also aboard as an observer for the company. I had met Romena twice before but soon became quite enamored with her beauty and soft spoken demeanor. I would delightfully court her until that fateful day. It was on a days stop at the Port of Memphis that Romena and I decided to go ashore for a leisurely stroll and picnic in a nearby wooded area. Despite the fact that the port had not yet been cobbled and was a muddy mess, we set out ashore with a basket of chicken and biscuits from the galley. A Port hand agreed to arrange a buggy transport to a secluded area where we were promised to enjoy the natural surroundings. We found a clearing, but because it was a very warm and sunny day decided to walk further toward the edge of the woods for shade. As we approached our spot we were frightened and surprised by a rather large Black Bear. It had smelled the aroma of our feast and immediately took after Romena before she could put the basket down. She fled down a hill toward a cave that we had passed. I tried to call out for her to drop the basket but in her haste she couldn’t hear me. I ran after her and the bear and watched as they both disappeared into that cave. I then, too, chased the bear into the cave. Alas, the last few moments of my life were spent in darkness… calling out for my love, and measuring the pain of the bear tearing at my flesh only by the pain of losing my beloved Romena. I spent many years as a tortured lost soul, until the day Mr. Disney found me and allowed me residence in his lovely manor.                                                                                                 And so goes, my story of Brother Dave and how he came to be at The Haunted Mansion. I encourage you to follow my character, Brother Dave on Twitter, @DepartedDave and watch for him as he may materialize now and then on The Enchanted TikiTalk PodCast. And, who knows what else he may have planned for the future….I hear he’s thinking of his own HappyHaunts Blog, perhaps? Until next time, Mahalo, David