02 August 2009

It's your birthday and you're special

Today is the birthday of the Walt Disney World knowledge bank, and all around great guy, Lou Mongello. Since I can’t be in Florida this weekend to wish him a ‘Happy Birthday’ in person, like so many of us who would like to, I thought the Gazette would be a wonderful place to wish him a wonderful one. So, I, along with many others, are here to wish Lou a Happy Birthday. Here are some the stories and warm wishes that many in the community have sent to Lou, including the one person in the world who probably knows Lou best.Tim Foster – I remember first meeting Lou at Mousefest many years back, walking around with my prototype book in hand and not knowing anything or anyone. Who would have imagined we would have arrived here! I consider myself extremely blessed to have crossed paths with Lou, and I can't imagine a better partner to have (well, except for the nicknames he bestows upon me from time to time). Lou, you are my inspiration, my Photoshop tutor, my occasional culinary companion, but most of all (and most importantly) my friend.
Happy birthday buddy!

Beci Mahnken – When I think of Lou… I think of…. food… and maybe the need for affordable cloning technology because there is no way he can possibly be one person with all he does on a weekly basis. But! I also think of a very passionate guy with a deep-rooted desire to make a difference in people lives. Whether its sharing the love of a magical vacation with a family or a child in need, he makes himself available to offer a hand.

Lou, I am very thankful that our first little spark of a conversation has blossomed into a great partnership. But I feel very blessed to call you ‘friend’ as well. (even if you force me into eating at really good restaurants and throw unexpected math questions at me now and then.) Happy Birthday!

Pat Whitson – I've been working like crazy on a big auction because some guy came up with this idea to raise money for seriously ill children who wished to go to Walt Disney World. My house is filled with boxes and piles of papers and forms and my computer is covered with sticky-notes of reminders of things yet to do and I think I lost my kids in a box here somewhere. My neighbors thought I had moved out because they haven't seen me in weeks and my husband says I'm mumbling things like "Lot #53 still needs a whoziwhatchits" in my sleep. But it is all worth it because it makes dreams come true - both those of the kids who need the magic, and of the man who had this crazy idea to begin with.

Oh, what were we supposed to talk about again? How Lou has affected our lives? See above :)

Happy Birthday!

Greg Grimsley (Doc) – I recall first meeting Lou. It was on April 20th, 2009, just outside the Columbia Harbour House in the Magic Kingdom. A group of us were getting together for a late lunch. I had the humus. Lou was standing outside with Glenn when I walked up. He was showing off his new “man” purse and asking the question, “Do you think this bag makes me look fat?” From that first meeting I have come to appreciate three things about Lou: 1) that he hosts an incredible podcast that I occasionally get to be a part of (hint!), 2) he has a unique sense of humor coupled with an appreciation of equally unique senses of humor, and 3) that he is a friend. Happy Birthday Lou!!!

Lori Schatz Burke – Wow! Everyone is writing such nice things about this Mongello guy. What is up with that?

How about Happy Birthday to the shortest Italian man I know. Or Happy Birthday to my Pepsi drinking, M&M loving friend. Or Happy Birthday to the guy that runs away screaming when he sees me coming down Main Street towards him.

Does April have any good photos of Lou left from when she made the scrapbook for him last year when he turned 40? Now there would be some great stuff there!

Deb Wills – I'm trying to think of the very first time I met Lou in person, perhaps at MouseFest? I got a very warm hug and was thrilled he autographed a copy of his book for me. Lou shows us what it's like to let your dreams take wings. Happy Birthday!

Justin Muchoney – Trying to summarize my thoughts and experiences with Lou into just a paragraph is nearly impossible. From my first interactions with him on the earlier version of DisneyWorldTrivia.com, to my many phone conversations with him, to sharing breakfast on the Boardwalk in WDW, every encounter has been nothing short of uplifting and inspirational. His enthusiasm for Disney is one thing, but his heart and passion for people is really what shines through. He has been one of the most consistently encouraging influences in my life over the past year and I take great joy in knowing that I have a friend who is relentlessly pursuing his dreams. In Lou I've found a great ally, a brilliant entertainer and reporter, and someone I'm very grateful to be able to call a friend.

Now, if that is all too sappy for you, I could also point out that I love the fact that when I'm with Lou I can be guaranteed that I'm not the shortest guy around....

Ryan P. Wilson – There are so many things to say about Lou, and so many stories that I can’t share in keeping with the ‘Code.’ What I can say is that, since the moment I met Lou, he has been supportive of everything I do, from my various projects and ideas that tie-in to Walt Disney World, to checking on my wife, and how my everyday life is treating me. This, I have found, is the way in which he treats every person he comes in contact with, and is just one of the reasons he is a remarkable man. Thanks for everything Lou! I hope your birthday is as special as you are to all of us!

Glenn Whelan – Although I liked the food, Lou embarrassed me in Restaurant Marrakesh. Oh sure, he'll throw the blame my way. Seriously though.. ever since we first met over sushi in Downtown Disney, we have been fast friends... trusting friends... the best of friends...

Proud to call him my brother.

A younger brother. Which by logic means I can beat him up.

Deanna Testai Mongello – I don't think people know this story.
Lou, has always been a writer, when he was a clerk for a judge in NJ he wrote a handbook for the clerks to follow, which I believe is still in use. He also was a DJ back in the day, and wrote a DJ handbook. He just got rid of his turntables... So writing has always been in his blood.

I am so proud of all he has accomplished and what lies ahead for him. I love you, and "keep moving forward".


Princess Fee said...

Belated Happy Birthday Lou!!

Netmongrel said...

Yep, Happy Birthday Lou. Hope to meet you one day. I admire your relentless pursuit of your dreams and turning a past-time into a full-time job. Awesome! That it happened to be Walt Disney World is just that much more genius!