Cal/Poly Researcher Visits Waynoka...
by -- Sandie Olson, Waynoka Historical Society
[Photo caption: Todd Pierce, left, California Polytechnic University, interviewed Dan Delasantos, right, Castle Rock, Colorado, at the Waynoka History Museum. Pierce visited Waynoka seeking information about C.V. Wood, Jr.]
An article in a recent issue of the Waynoka Chronicles prompted a visit to Waynoka by Todd Pierce, professor of English at California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, California. Dr. Pierce is working on a narrative history of the theme parks of the 1950s and early 1960s. One of the central figures of that history is C.V. Wood, Jr., who was born in Waynoka in 1920. The Winter 2005-2006 issue of the quarterly newsletter of the Waynoka Historical Society, Waynoka Chronicles, featured the life of C.V. Wood, Jr.
Wood was the first employee of Disneyland, and was the park's masterplanner. After he left Disneyland, he formed a consulting firm which contributed significantly to the building of other major theme parks, including Freedomland in New York and Six Flags Over Texas. Most of the parks were built because of the strong success of Disneyland.
Theme parks weren't Wood's only accomplishments. Dan Delasantos, Castle Rock, Colorado, graduated from high school in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. He was living in Lake Havasu City when C.V. Wood, Jr. and his partner Bob McCullough bought the London Bridge and moved it to Lake Havasu. He watched Wood in action as a developer and promoter. Delasantos and his wife are the owners of Advantage Property Rentals in Waynoka, catering to visitors at Little Sahara State Park. Dan is on the board of directors of the Colorado Off-Highway Vehicle Coalition and a member of Colorado Quad Runners ATV Club.
Delasantos contacted the Waynoka Historical Society after he read the C.V. Wood, Jr., story in the Waynoka Chronicles. He was excited to be in the birthplace of the entrepeneur he knew in Lake Havasu City. For Professor Pierce, it was an added bonus to get to interview Dan Delasantos who knew C.V. Wood, Jr., personally. In addition to the interview, Pierce learned more of the history of Waynoka, and was given a tour of the former Wood home at 400 W. Broadway by the owners, Clarence and Mildred Sampson.
The book will be the fourth written by Dr. Pierce. He has authored two novels, a textbook on creative writing, and a collection of stories that won the Drue Heinz Literary Prize for 2006. His work has appeared in about 60 magazines and journals, and his short stories are anthologized in varioius college textbooks.
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While Mr. Delasantos attended Lake Havasu High School he did not graduate.
Additionally, he most certainly did not personally know Wood Jr. nor did he "watch him in action". Also, when Delasantos moved to Lake Havasu in 1971 the London Bridge's reconstruction was completed, therefore he did not live there during the initial purchase in 1968-he was still living int he Los Angeles area.
~ 2008-01-02 16:35:33
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