More than 50 years ago, Walt Disney had a vision.  It was a vision of a magical park where children and parents could have fun together.  It was also 50 years ago that a young boy sat in the trumpet section of the Van Nuys High School Orchestra during the annual Winter Concert. 

His eyes were directed towards the violin section where a beautiful young lady’s eyes were looking back as if God had placed a laser beam between them connecting two sets of eyes.  The young boy already knew that this beautiful young lady sitting across from him would be the love of his life.  At that time the young, naïve and innocent girl had no idea what the future held and as fate would have it they eventually fell in love and became engaged.  As the boy graduated from high school and went away to college she waited patiently for his return.

As Disneyland grew in size and popularity, so did the love of this young boy for his girl.  In September of 1960, Chuck and Gerry were married and spent their honeymoon at the Disneyland Hotel.  What did they do on their honeymoon?  They went to Disneyland.

This year is the fiftieth anniversary of Disneyland, the fiftieth anniversary of the meeting of those two sets of eyes at that Winter Concert and the forty-sixth anniversary of the marriage of Chuck and Gerry.

On September 17th thousands of runners from around the world gathered to celebrate these anniversaries by running in the Happiest Race on Earth.  Among the runners was a man named Chuck.  Gerry was also there to cheer him on.  Now senior citizens, Chuck and Gerry returned to the place where they started life together.

From the start line on Disneyland Drive, with Mickey, Minnie and Goofy waving from the Monorail above, the runners headed towards the Anaheim Convention Center experiencing the break of dawn through the palm trees and then into Disney’s California Adventure park before entering Disneyland and running down Main Street.  Chuck was inspired by the thought of his girl, Gerry, waiting patiently at the finish line.  Gaining momentum, Chuck left the park and ran around the Arrowhead Pond and unto the Santa Ana River Trail before heading to the Big “A” at Angels Stadium and finally back to Disney’s California Adventure park sprinting down the home stretch through Downtown Disney to the finish line.  Waiting patiently there, looking as beautiful as ever, was Gerry.  For finishing the half marathon race, Chuck was awarded a Sleeping Beauty Castle Medal.  But, the real prize was a woman named Gerry.  To Chuck she looked as beautiful and radiant as that young girl sitting in the high school orchestra.

Chuck Branda is a personal Trainer in the Santa Clarita Valley.  For more information, please call 661-645-1656.