On the morning of January 29th, 1920, Walter sat at his kitchen table flipping through the Kansas City Star looking for work. He had been laid off by Pesmen-Ruben almost two months ago and he was getting very nervous. Although he and his friend Ubbe had started their own “Laugh-o-Gram” business it wasn’t making money. And the temporary job at the post office hardly kept him in stale bread.
He didn’t want to have to move back to Chicago. His father would never let him live it down. He could already hear the “I told you so” speech.
“Jelly ... really. Jelly. What am I going to do? Go back and run the bottle-washer?” he said to himself, growing more frustrated at the thought of failing.
He lit his pipe and sat back in the chair with his hands behind his head. He had picked up the smoking habit from his father but really developed it while he was in France, driving for the Red Cross. If there was one thing an injured soldier wants, besides morphine, it’s a smoke. And Walter was always obliging with his tobacco. Somehow, he never seemed to run out. And somehow, he always seemed to have a few coins in his pocket too. He never had to worry about things like money, which is what made his predicament now all the more disconcerting.
He leaned back over the table and slid the newspaper towards him. And then there it was. Right there in black and white, under his nose. He didn’t notice it before.
WANTED: First Class Man for the Kansas City Slide Company, manufacturing and illustrating advertisement slides for motion picture houses. Serious enquiries should be directed to Mr. A. V. Cauger.
With that, Walt Disney began his career drawing cartoons.