Tony’s Corner: Visiting the happiest place on earth

Author. Painter. Historian. Critic. Grocer. Movie fan. Theater attendant. Friend. Traveler.


The history of Tony Shea’s life can be found in every corner, nook and cranny of his Oak Street apartment in Anaconda, Mont.Up on the fifth floor of a sturdy brick building,

Tony Shea

Tony Shea

Shea has three comfortable rooms jammed, crammed and stuffed with ceramic collections, photographs of family members and mementos from trips across the country and to Ireland.But the most striking thing about Shea’s apartment is the movies. There are thousands of them, stacked in piles and sorted on shelves.

“I don’t even know how many I have,” Shea said. “There’s too many to count.”

Shea is well known in his home town, and not just because he’s the town’s most famous movie buff. Shea is an Iris man recognizable to almost everyone in this largely Irish town.

If you’ve lived here, you’ve probably met Tony — either at a show at the Washoe Theatre or from his days working at local markets. Or maybe you checked out one of the books he wrote from the library.

So begins the story Apostrophe published about Tony Shea in 2009.

Tony is still writing today. This is the second installment of Tony’s Corner, a regular Apostrophe web feature.

Years ago, when I was working at the Washoe Meat Market, I would go up and get changed with Betty Swanson, and one time I did go up there she had a Disney book and she let me borrow it.

It was December and I decided to find out how much it would cost to go to Disneyland. When I get to Butte the bus station is right near the travel agency and when I get in there was a nice lady and I asked the lady how much it would be to go to Disneyland. She said $3,000. When I got home I started to save my silver dollars in

my piggy bank. I put my quarters in my dog bank, and I got money for Christmas. I wrote my first book about Disneyland and I got money and that’s how I got to Disneyland.

When I walked into Disneyland there was a big tunnel with Mickey Mouse and a train. The train takes you around the park, and of course, what I really liked was the story about Walt Disney. I also got to see Tomorrow Land and I saw a rocket ship. It’s really neat because you look like you’re landing on the moon.

Every step of the way you would meet Chip and Dale, Cinderella, Snow White, the Big Bad Wolf, and etc. Of course, you would go to Alice in Wonderland where they had many rides. I took many videos of Disneyland so that I would never forget what I saw and cherished.

Of course, I was afraid to go on Space Mountain, but I conquered my fears even though it turned my stomach completely around. The places you eat at Disneyland were great such as the Pirates of the Caribbean. When you’d look in the water, there were people riding on the water and then I went around and rode on the ride.

You start on the top and a deep voice comes on and you go down a roller coaster where you get nice and wet. You then go down a second one and you see a pirate ship. The third time you go down, you see pirates and mermaids. At last we start to go up and we see a bunch of other cool things, and it’s magical.

So what I’m saying is, Disneyland is the happiest land on earth and I was able to make it ten times which I’m thankful for

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