Hi, I'm Amelia!
I’m a slightly overwhelmed undergrad, scrambling to find time between school in the smallest state in the union and work at a low-rent video store to make a documentary about my grandfather, Carlos. He was a writer who always looked to the future. He’s only passed a short time ago, and I miss him terribly. Read More >

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Hitting the Right Note?

As you know, I’ve gone through a lot of Grandpa’s stuff in his apartment over the past few weeks. As you also know, I’ve posted anything major that left my head spinning here, on my blog, for all of you to figure out. (Sorry. You all are just top-notch dot connectors and world-class sleuths!)


Grandpa and Mom!

Of course, I’ve happened upon came across other stuff. Tons of it. Newspapers. Science magazines. Books. Grandpa had turned his apartment into a small maze with all of it! I also found some family things, scattered throughout his place. Some birthday and Father’s Day cards that Mom had made for Grandpa. A couple of letters Grandma had sent to him. I even found one of Mom’s science reports, which she had aced. Of course. (Go, Mom!)

But this is the kind of stuff I’ve recently come across. And I’ll be honest, I was pretty sure that I’d found everything I could, regarding Grandpa’s mysterious past. Reading through recent comments, though, Derek compelled me to give one last look. This forced me to revisit things I’d already searched through. Like a random folder I had found a while back, which had slides of Mom and Grandma and Grandpa.

Another random folder. Or is it?

Another random folder. Or is it?

I had set this folder aside to focus on the more puzzling items I had discovered. But when I returned to scan those slides, I noticed a small piece of paper I had somehow missed the first time. I unfolded it and saw this:


At first glance, it’s nothing huge. I mean, I feel like we’ve seen or heard of nearly everything mentioned here – a message from the society, talk of “the City,” the “future,” “tomorrow.” And yes, that darned symbol that keeps popping up when we least expect it to.

What boggles my mind, though, is the last bullet point – Tanya, my mom’s name. With an asterisk! And why had Grandpa lumped this note in with family slides. Yes, he was messy (thanks again, Grandpa, for that lovely gene), but unlike me, there was an order to his disorder. A system to his chaos. But Grandpa wasn’t perfect. Maybe it was an accident. Could it have been?

And because these are just too cute NOT to share – here are some of my favorite pics from the slides I scanned in!


Grandma & Grandpa


Grandpa & Mom!


Mom, being adorable.


Look at that smile!



70 Responses to "Hitting the Right Note?"

  1. Rachel says:

    Amelia! Its been too longsinceive been able to actively talk with you on here. I missed you!
    I love all these pictures! They are way too cute. The one of your grandparents touched my heart a little bit. They are such beautiful people!

    His little note DEFINITELY looks like speech notes (that’s how I prepare my notes when I take a speech!). But what’s most interesting to me is that I think his speech was an introduction (or perhaps a recruitment) for this “society.” the last bullet point mentions the future of the society and its future generations. That’s right where your mom’s name is marked… You don’t think he could have intended to make her a member too, do you? A little weird to think about!

  2. Stephen says:

    Amelia, this is exactly what your mom needs to see, to see how much your grandfather loved her. When he writes a out a better tomorrow, I hunk he isn’t just talking about everyone, but specifically your mom and you. He knew the history of the +U and I think you and you mom are more involved than you know.

  3. Angel says:

    Wow! What great pictures. My first thought about the note is that it seems now confirmed it is +U. Also, it sounds like he wanted your mom to be included. I think she knows more than she has told you. Maybe you can sit her down again and ask her some more questions in about what she knows about the society and his involvement. I am sure she is waiting for you to approach her about it.

    • Amelia says:

      She sure doesn’t act like she’s been waiting for me to approach her! Every time I bring it up. But I will sit her down again. We can’t assume anything at this point.

      • Angel says:

        Maybe you were not far enough into your journey yet for her to reveal anything. Just like Wallace has taken his time with us. We had to discover certain things before he would communicate more. Although, I am not sure how much we know now. lol More questions seem to keep arising. ;)

  4. Carolyn says:

    Great family photos!! I also agree it does sound like some kind of speech. Maybe for the induction of new members into the society? Was your mom maybe a member of the society? Maybe try talking to her again??

    • Amelia says:

      If she is a member then she’s the world’s greatest actress. Or I’m the world’s least observant daughter. Could be the latter. But you are right, Carolyn. Talking to her again is a must.

  5. Benjamin says:

    Your mom aced science tests? It seems like she could have been involved more than we know. Maybe it is time for another mom interview.

    • Amelia says:

      Oh yeah, my mom is wicked smart. That’s one thing I’ve always understood. From the beginning.

      And you’re right, Benjamin. It’s probably time for another one.

  6. Benjamin says:

    I am having these shirts made for the expo. If anyone would like one, they are $20 and I can meet you on any one of the days. I just need to know size and contact info.

  7. Kristina says:

    Oh my goodness Amelia! These family pictures are beyond adorable and priceless! I wonder if your mom does know more, but is trying to protect you. Hmmm…so many questions. Since your mom was a great science student, maybe your grandpa wanted to bring her into the Society.

  8. Carl says:

    The more we learn about the Society the more I have to compare it to the Army of Toy Soldiers…. their goals are almost identical though the Toy Soldiers do put more of an emphasis on changing the world through technological advancements and fun.

  9. Louella says:

    Now wasn’t your mom just the cutest little thing! It’s very obvious your grandfather adored her but also was inspired by her. What was the science report that she aced about? The fact that he kept it shows he was very proud!. I think the note was with the slides because your mother probably was his inspiration and motivation to build a better tomorrow. Sure wish he elaborated on the +U but I wouldn’t be surprised If your mom knew what that symbol meant. I agree with my fellow optimists… If she’s willing able, maybe another interview might be a good idea.

    • Amelia says:

      The science report had to do with mammals and how they depend on social learning.

      I do like the way you think, Louella, that Mom might have been a source of inspiration for Grandpa. I think it would be tough for Mom to see that, though. Really tough. Which is why I should probably try harder to explain everything to her.

      • Dan says:

        Mammals and social learning? Seems to integrate quite nicely with the ideals of The Society. Maybe your Mom subconsciously (or maybe consciously) is more like her Father than she thinks. That could be a way to start up a conversation with her? Talk about her project and how she thinks it would apply to humans, or a group of humans that are trying to expand the species through social learning…

  10. Eric says:

    Look at that note. “History of tu” or is it “+u”?

    Also, who is “Tanya”?

  11. Renee says:

    Don’t know if this has been done before, but I channeled my inner Robert Langdon and did some searching:

    (Simplified) U symbol, ‘the society’ connection:

    In the astrological system of symbols U stands for the assimilating, receptive aspect of man that the spirit, life, o, creates in its interplay with matter, +.

  12. Jennifer says:

    Hi Everyone! I discovered all of this about a week ago and have read every page and every comment trying to hop onboard. What a cool adventure! I wish I had discovered this sooner. I have a few thoughts that I just want to share and maybe some of you who are more versed with the big picture can chime in and either straighten me out or let me know if I might be on to something.

    There has been a LOT of discussion about Carousel of Progress, but then that seemed to subside. I think there’s still undiscovered territory there. Yes, Carousel of Progress at Disneyland is no longer, but that very same building is now Innoventions. It is a building that is all about technology, science, future, education, etc…. That sounds like concepts Amelia’s grandfather would love, no? I was at Disneyland a few days ago and took a walk around Innoventions with everything I’ve been reading here, just looking for — something. I have three thoughts to share:
    1. There are three phone booths right outside of Innoventions. I know there was a lot of discussion about three bells. I don’t know what to look for there, but have THOSE phones been explored?
    2. There has been a lot of discussion about energy and Edison. There is a solar panel hanging on the wall in Innoventions. Behind that solar panel, there are gears, kinda (but not exactly) like the ones behind Lincoln that someone posted a photo of somewhere along the line. I don’t know what exactly we (am I part of we now?) do from there, but just throwing out information.
    3. There was something that Amelia said somewhere along the line about “keys.” On a wall in Innoventions, there is a large bronze (?) key mounted on the wall.

    4. There is an entire room in Innoventions where there is a train and world landmarks, including a London phone booth. No clue what to look for or if any of that matters. I just wanted to mention it since Carousel of Progress seemed key — and the postcard that was posted recently had King Arthur’s Carousel on the front.

    Does any of that mean anything? Is there anything there to ask Amelia about?

    Oh yeah! I was flipping through the D23 program a few days ago and saw the ad in there before it had been discussed here and – wow! – just clever Disney.

    So, that’s my introduction and thoughts. Anything there of interest? Looking forward to trying to uncover the pieces with all of you!

  13. Jennifer says:

    Hello! I’m new around here, but I have been reading everything related to your search and I am excited to attempt to help out a bit if I can. I was wondering… One of the pictures you posted above has your mom in a wagon with “Rex 80″ on it. I seem to recall you have an interest in dinosaurs. Did you know that Rex is a dinosaur in a wonderful Pixar movie series, “Toy Story”? Just something I found interesting and thought I’d ask you about as a way of introducing myself.

    • Patrick says:

      I wondered about that as well. I’ve heard of ‘Radio Flyer’ wagons.. but not a Rex80. After some research, it seems that there were, in fact, Rex80 brand wagons available. While it seems this would be a great clue, I don’t believe there is anything out of the ordinary with this photo.

  14. Timothy says:

    Walt was always building a better tomorrow for future generations and it sounds like Carlos had Tanya on his mind when we was helping

  15. CYNTHIA says:

    Jennifer great thoughts! I wish I was at DL to check all that out.

  16. Sharon says:

    Amelia that note is the Key, I think he left it with the photos hoping that your Mom would find in at the right time and continue in his foot steps, since it is usually a child who goes through a parents stuff after a loss, not the granddaughter. But how lucky we are that you were curious enough to delve in.

  17. Deborah says:

    Someone had mentioned creating a written transcript of Wallace’s chat last night. Has that been done? Just curious since I haven’t seen a link to anything. It is much easier to review a written transcript at work than to loop-listen to the recorded audio and video. Boss-woman frowns on such loud activity!

  18. Megan says:

    What wonderful photos! The one of your mom and her dad on the brick ledge with the sort of fairytale looking house behind them reminds me King’s Castle Land, which used to be in Massachusetts – maybe that was where they were? I thought that was the coolest place when I was a kid – your mom might have some happy memories from their visit that you could ask her about – maybe that would break the ice before you bring out the note!

  19. Eric says:

    Amelia, don’t you see….your Grandpa cared so much about the future because he cared so much about your Mom…and you too! It’s clear to me his motivation now. His loving wife, his wonderful daughter. This is personal…when you do your best work, no?

    • Amelia says:

      Caring as much as I do about Grandpa…and about Mom…that’s what drove me to think about making this film in the first place. It was always personal.

      Pretty insightful, Eric.

  20. Mercedes says:

    Oh, the cuteness! I think it’s super important to show this to your Mom – he loved her, no matter what she thinks now.

  21. Jennifer says:

    Thanks, Amelia. I love trying to piece things together. I was fascinated reading about everyone’s records you sent out. I only wish I had been along sooner, but we can’t change the past, right? Only lie a path for the future. :)

    I’m curious, Amelia, in the picture above with your mom in a wagon, the wagon says, “Rex 80.”. I remember reading that you (or was it your mom?) loves dinosaurs. Are you familiar with the dinosaur Rex in the Toy Story films? Does he hold any special spot in your heart? I love the family photos, by the way! Keep them somewhere safe!

  22. Ryan says:

    I wonder if your mom has been torn between the optimist world of a better future and your grandfather, and the reality of life, work, bills, sorrows, setbacks, etc.-the world it sounds like your grandma dealt with more. If it is true that she knows more about +u than we know, she has struggled to do both. I think of the clues in the cans of chili. Many of them list pessimistic traits as things to avoid. It reminds me of the relationship Walt and Roy shared. Walt was the dreamer, and Roy saw the numbers. Funny thing about their relationship though, Roy had learned to trust Walt’s vision and found ways to make it financially happen. Now is your chance to remind your mother of the dual nature of life and the necessity to dream, act, and share. Good luck! We are all behind you-and that is saying a lot!

  23. Teri says:

    A few things are not hitting the right note:
    1) the slides appear to be super 127 film, which is square, but the scans of them are rectangular.
    2) As a child, your mom has a prominent widow’s peak, but not as an adult.

  24. Teri says:

    Anyone able to see what is on the fridge in Amelia’s interview with her mom in the kitchen?

  25. Cody says:

    Not much to add, but Amelia, I’m super eager to see what your mom says. I have a feeling this will blow the doors open. :)

  26. Joe says:

    Sounds like preparations for a speech. The bullet point of your Mother is him noting to talk about your Mother in his speech. A reason he cares for the Future and Tomorrow is your Mother and you Amelia. My Mom is just like your Mom while you and I day dream and push for the impossible they kinda get stuck in a thing called reality, but I’ve learned reality is what you make it! I’ve always been an artist and a dreamer with my head in the clouds. Thanks Amelia for bringing us along on this adventure.

  27. Katherine says:

    Great find Amelia and thank you for sharing those photos. I truly believe your mom knows more then she is letting on. Maybe she just wants you to discover it for yourself. I am still suspicious about her “nursing conference” this weekend!

  28. Stephen says:

    Amelia, something keeps sticking out to me about that note, and upcoming events. In the first line your grandfather mentions something about the final stage, its recruitment message, and finding a venue. We know that from the WED Voicemail that we heard that no presentation of any of the devices would be made public until the word was ready for them. What if that was the final stage? The time that it would be at least made public to the people that have been recruited, and what if the time is now. If that time is now, I know a perfect Venue to introduce those recruited, to the society projects that Walt and WED built for a better tomorrow. The D23 Expo! The World Fair was also known as the World’s Expo. Wallace also alluded that the last clues would be at the Expo, well it only make sense.

    If this is the final stage and everything is coming, it seems too coincidental that the Daughter (your Mother) of the man, who we have found to be key player in the society, its secrets, and its inventions, is going to be in the very town were we have found clues of the society and less than 30 min away from the D23 Expo. What if your Grandfather didn’t write this outline for himself, but for your Mother. What if she is the one who will present the Recruitment message in its final stage?

  29. Amber says:

    I have been following since the beginning but never felt like i had anything to contribute. And unfortunatley even though i am a season passholder to Disney i work and was unable to make it to any of the meet ups :(
    But i am so proud and excited for all the progress that everyone has made! I wish i had spoken up earlier and tried to help out even a tiny bit…
    And Amelia i think your family is so beautiful and your grandpa had so much love in his heart for all of you! It really does seem like he wanted to include your mother in the Society, but maybe he didnt have the approval from the rest of the Society so he never got the chance to tell your mother about it…

    It wouldn’t hurt to try and ask her again.. she might surprise you!

  30. Matthew says:

    Hey Amelia, if all your school work is done, maybe you should ask your mom to come out to Los Angeles as well. Maybe bring Vivian as well. I’m sure we’d be able to find someone to be able to take you ladies into Disneyland. Wouldn’t that be a fun reward for all your hard work. Plus you might get a chance to meet up with a few of your new friends.

  31. Olaf says:

    Thanks for sharing the cute family pix Amelia! So cool! I have been also meaning to follow up on the record album you sent me (thanks again). Just neat info on some research I did: the album number is ST-3929. This number coincides time wise to the 1964 worlds fair period although any web site you look into seems to have skipped that number (among others) in the series of Disney albums. Makes me wonder if there are other secret albums out there with more secret messages. Now to find them!!!

  32. Christopher says:

    Your Grandpa was a real cutie, Amelia! And, anyway, I agree: though she may not know anything about it, your Mom and you was quite literally “Carlos’ Future”, so there’s no doubt he had plans… that isn’t to say that his plans went awry, but… And if it means anything at all (like how your name connected to a Society Member), Tanya’s name means “The Fairy Queen” in Russian. Definitely a tie to Disney in some way or another. It sounds like you’re Mom’s too busy at work to believe in fairies anymore, though… :C

  33. Jennifer says:

    Hmmm… I found something interesting. Per wiki, tomorrow is the date that the film “Tomorrowland” is to begin shooting.

    Visionaries, inventors. Restaurant handing out special items. Marketing people following Optimist participants at that awesome outing? Changing the morse code at the NOS train station? These are not just simple things to make happen without some staff, planning, and budget. I don’t think all the time and money that has been spent on this is just for a fun online adventure or some little something at D23. A huge major movie announcement/reveal regarding a movie that has been guarded with secrecy? Sounds plausible to me. Anyone else?

  34. Fred says:

    Amelia, as other have said, I think it might me time to interview your mom again. :)

    Also, I know this sounds far out, but it’s possible that the tU (or +U) might be the initials of an organization.

  35. Jennifer says:

    Hi Amelia!
    I hope you’re having a great day. I was looking at the photos here and I saw something I wanted to mention to you. When looking at the folder, great find by the way, it seems clear that several pages were torn out from the top of the right hand page where the slides are. Were there some other papers maybe that you saw that could possibly have originally been in this folder? I think they could be important, especially the way your grandfather seemed to group things together. Maybe if you can find those and share them, we could help you piece together a bit more regarding the co tents of this seemingly important folder.

    Cheers to sleuthing for truths,

  36. Jennifer says:

    * … the contents of this… (Sorry about that typo, Amelia. Typing to excitedly, I guess!)

  37. Ryan says:

    Interesting finds…
    First, I realized that there is now more than one Ryan, glad to have a fellow Ryan aboard!

    Second…I knew I could place the location of your grandfather and mom in the second slide…it is storytown u.s.a. A theme park in New York in the 60′s built by a Mr. Wood, who had also a hand in Disneyland’s construction. However, Walt and Wood had major differences, and Wood split. It makes me wonder why your grandfather would visit another theme park…

    Check out the photo here

    I am not sure it explains anything important, but I am getting good at chasing red herrings :)

    At any rate it is a pleasure to be along for this dream story this go-round. Although I feel we may be near the end of one adventure, life is full of so many more!

    Thanks for the optimistic experience!

  38. Teri says:

    My sister just pointed something out to me… if this IS all about the movie Tomorrowland, maybe, just maybe, George Clooney will be at D23!

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