It has been fun rummaging through my library to find obscure Disney related books and, believe it or not, I still have a wide selection for future installments. However, as I was browsing through the books I occasionally run across one book that is so unique that it needs to be shared more fully. "Lion's Paws" is such a book. It was written by Nellie Simmons Meier and published in 1937 by Barrows Mussey in New York.

Meier began her study of palmistry in 1895 and for roughly the next forty years she "read" and took impressions of celebrities' hands. She lectured and wrote articles for magazines in an attempt to transform palmistry from "fortune telling" to a science that could be used as a guidepost to character. Her book, published the same year that "Snow White" debuted, featured the palm prints and readings of dozens of celebrities from Harold Lloyd to Amelia Earhart, Jasch Heifetz, Mary Pickford, George Gershwin, James Montgomery Flagg, Booker T. Washington and......Walt Disney.

Just when you thought just about everything that could be written about Walt has been revealed, here is another aspect that has never been referenced previously. I studied palm reading in college primarily as an attempt to pick up women and it was surprisingly successful. I had to laugh when I discovered that Imagineer John Hench also frequently "read" young ladies' palms right up until he passed away. I suspect he never "read" Walt's palms so this may be the only analysis of Mr. Disney's palms.

Of course, having read palms myself, I wonder how much of Meier's descriptions were influenced by the fact that she knew her subject and his accomplishments. However some of her assumptions like Walt's "natural dislike of details" and preference for black and white rather than color for artistic expression seems at odds with what we now know about Walt and how he worked.

In the interests of oddball Disney history, here is Meier's analysis of the palms of a thirty five year old Walt Disney as it appears on pages 155-156 in her book. Yes, she does have the black imprints she took of Walt's palms so you can look at the palms as you follow her description or if you track down a copy at a used book site, maybe you can develop your own analysis. Anyway, here is another glimpse of Walt from 1937 when the Disney Renaissance was in full swing at the Disney Studio.

"Although Walt Disney has spent little time in making a fitting background for his personality, nobody can dispute the right of the creator of Mickey Mouse and The Three Little Pigs to walk alone. The Mickey Mouse Studio is quite ordinary, not at all in the 'Hollywood manner'. Disney's own office building is unpretentious, much like that of a small town newspaper.

"I climbed a wooden stair which led to a door with 'Office of Walt Disney' in plain black letters on the glass, and entered a small room sparsely furnished with desk, chairs, tables and floor loaded with drawings, paper, odds and ends. Someone swept off a chair load to make a place for me near Walt Disney who was busily engaged in working out another Mickey Mouse story.

"His thumbs are double jointed, disclosing his liking for dramatic episodes and the ability to create them in life. His palms are square and very firm, an indication of tenacity of purpose and the practical side of his nature that makes him a worker and not a dreamer. His thumbs are very flexible: he adapts himself easily to all people and all circumstances; no background is necessary for his work, the work alone and the drama of the work count. The flare of his fingers reveals his natural tendency to fly off at a tangent, not a fortunate quality for him. Disney has developed the motto 'curb the impulse' because experience has convinced him of the necessity of conserving his time and his strength for his work. He has made use of the wisdom and the deep seriousness shown in the long, heavy, second finger, Saturn, to accomplish his purpose.

"The mount of the Moon in Disney's hand has a high development, indicating an active and original imagination. The mark of intuition leading to genius is there, and, coupled with the development of the mount, makes a bottomless well of joy upon which he can draw.

"His fingers, curiously enough, are rather short, which indicates a natural dislike of detail: but the nail phalanges of the third fingers are long, showing a quick eye for line and form, and with the square tip, a recognition of the necessity of practical preparation for successful results. The second finger, Saturn, shows in the shape and length of the first and second phalanges the sober second thought and the prudence which are essential to his progress, and the length of the first finger indicates executive ability and great initiative. The first phalange of the third finger is longer than the second, revealing Walt Disney's liking for lines, form and construction and, with the square tip, his appreciation of technique. Color, shown in the second phalange, is therefore subservient, and he prefers black and white as his medium of art expression.

"His fourth finger is unusually long, extending above the first joint of the little finger. Disney is a real diplomat: he has rare tact in management of his affairs. This finger also shows a great gift of expression in the length of the nail phalanges on all of his fingers reveal the innate conscientious qualities that make those who deal with Disney trust him wholly."