Another great sailor passes
Who's in the future?
Wednesday afternoon, we learned of the passing of Roy E. Disney, following a year-long battle with cancer. Disney may not have been as high-profile as Walter Cronkite or Ted Kennedy, but he was also of that generation of gentleman sailors who truly wished to promote the sport of sailing.
Most recently, he produced the Morning Light project, in which he recruited and trained a crew of young sailors to sail in the Transpac race to Hawaii. One of the participants in that project was a student at New Mexico Tech and a member of the Rio Grande Sailing Club, who raced some at both Elephant Butte and Heron. It was great to feel at least a little bit of a personal connection to that effort, and the DVD of that movie was probably the one single disc we most miss that the burglars took last month.
Here in New Mexico, we remember Disney not so much for sailing, but for his other philanthropic efforts. He was a major force behind the establishment of the National Hispanic Cultural Center, and his name is on the performing arts center there. Other entities, such as a major national bank, only get names on little things, like an atrium, but Disney's name covers three theaters and assorted support facilities. He was a strong supporter of the arts in New Mexico, and he especially promoted programs to find and develop talent among traditionally disadvantaged communities.
Vaya con Dios, Roy.