When Brandi Kelley was two years old, she arrived in San Diego, California, from Yokosuka, Japan. Her mother loved Disneyland, and she started taking Brandi to the Magic Kingdom. These monthly visits to the happiest place on earth became a ritual.
When Brandi was five years old, she walked through the main gate to the center court and noticed a cluster of men in business suits conversing with themselves.
Brandi stopped. Her eyes grew very round as she stared at one of the men. It was really Mr. Walt Disney himself—the wonderful man who hosted the Disney Show on television.
Brandi ran over to the group of men and tugged at Mr. Disney’s suit jacket to get his attention.
Mr. Disney looked down at Brandi, and his face broke into a jolly smile. “Well, hello there, little one,” he chuckled, scooping her up into his arms.
According to her mother, from that day on, she picked up pencils and crayons and started drawing … and drawing … and drawing!
When Brandi was eight years old, one summer night, while sitting on her bed, she penciled out a young boy with overly large feet and named him Hector. By the end of the summer, she had the rest of the Olympian characters developed.
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