Ward Greene: the unsung local boy who made good


The Truth About Asheville

We all like to think that we leave an indelible mark on the world around us. That we'll leave the world a better place than it was when we came into it. That the next generation will have better, fuller, easier lives because of us. Asheville is no exception. We are the host of a complex culture that has been influenced and brought to new heights by the people who settle in the mountain folds of our city. While everyone does leave a mark on those around them, of the thousands of people who have added their touch to what we now experience in Asheville there are a few who stand out.

Lady and the Tramp author Ward GreeneLet Me Introduce You to Ward Greene

Ward Greene was born in Asheville in 1892 and spent his formative years here. After moving to Atlanta Georgia he went on the University of South Tennessee for one year before getting a job at the Atlanta Journal. He began as assistant sports editor and moved on to the police beat before being sent as a war correspondent. While working the police beat he was assigned to cover the Leo Frank Trial where he got the inspiration of his first book that would be translated to film. The book was titled "Murder in the Deep South" and the film adaptation was called "They Won't Forget. His best known and his last published work, though not often associated with him, was put to film by Walt Disney and is still cherished as a family classic. Lady and the Tramp was hand-selected by Walt Disney when Snow White was in post production stages. He wanted so much to keep the integrity of the work and the spirit of the writing, he brought Ward on as the writer for the project and later he even co-authored the Lady and the Tramp Golden Books. He passed away in April, 1969 in London of a heart attack. Ward Greene accomplished what so many of us strive for; his stories are still read and enjoyed by families as well as children. His mark has been made and it won't be forgotten any time soon.

Stuck with a Rainy Day or Just Want a Night in? Lady and the Tramp novel title page signed by Walt Disney

As I'm always saying it's who you're with more than where you are or what you're doing that makes a trip worth while. No matter what you're doing, it can be easy to take your eye off what's important with all your efforts to have a great time and totally miss the point. So, if your plans get rained out or you just want a quiet (or if you have a family like mine, not so quiet) family movie night, spoon out some spaghetti and meat balls and plug in Lady and the Tramp. Play games with the kids and see how many times you can throw them for a loop. At the end of the evening send them to bed and bust into a local wine or micro brew for a little grown-up night cap! A vacation will be as fun as you let it and with a tip from Ward Greene you can have a night relaxing and enjoying the best memories Asheville has to offer.
* both photos courtesy of moviepictures.org