Straight from my heart â€“ A glimpse into what makes my fellow Panelists so very precious to me.
The Moms Panel family is made up of a very diverse group of people who all share a commonÂ bond through our passion for the “Happiest Place on Earth”. We have Moms, Dads and Grandparents of varying ethnicity, religion, family size and geographic location. It is in embracing these differences thatÂ our bond is strengthened.Â I joined the 2010 Panel andÂ we had a particularly diverse and unique group of people. In fact, six distinct dads joinedÂ duringÂ that year.Â We had a single dad, aÂ former athlete, an intentially geeky dad, a gay married dad, anÂ African-American dad and a NASA Rocket Scientist…and they are all like brothers to me now.
From left: Marc, Jonas, Bernie, Disney’s “Gary-Jerry”, Chris, Terry and Joel
Today, I’m excited to share a little about my dear friend Bernie, aka: “My Favorite Rocket Scientist”Â with you.
During our Training Trip, I sat with Bernie when we dined at the California Grill. It was then that I discovered that Bernie is the perfect example of, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” I have Disney to thank for bringing such an amazing guy into my life. If I had met BernieÂ somewhere outside of Disney World, we might never have gotten past the first few sentences. Let me explain: Bernie is truly brilliant. A NASA engineer, he is currently involvedÂ inÂ developingÂ a laser communications project. Sorry, Bernie, I know I totally simplified that. 😉 During dinner, I had asked him what he does for a living and he told me that he had been the Chief Engineer in charge of the communications for our next trip to the moon…or something along those lines. 😉 I didn’t even pretend that I could hang with him in a technical conversation. Instead, I sought common ground and we chatted about something we both know and love. Space Mountain is naturally Bernie’s very favorite Disney attraction and it just so happens to be one of mine as well. I also discovered that Bernie is the proud Dad of 2 incredible boys and a friendship was born…
I chatted with Bernie a few more times during Training and was left wanting to read moreÂ pages of his captivating story.
Bernie’s work with NASA brings him to New England quite often, and it’s because of those trips that I have gotten the chance to really develop a strong friendship with him. Bernie, Chris and I started getting together for dinner every few months beginning early last year. Here are a few photos of some ofÂ our get-togethers…
and a photo of us at Mickey’s Backyard BBQ together in October, 2010…
Naturally, we chat about Disney World during our dinners, but the conversations go so much deeper than that.
Here are a few more photos of some of my favorite memories with BernieÂ over the past 2 years…
Bernie and I have chatted often andÂ I’ve learned many things about my “Favorite Rocket Scientist” in the past 2 years.Â For starters,Â he’s very much a Type A planner. Granted, this is a given for people who are on the Moms Panel.Â He’s alsoÂ super sensitive, chivalrous and a class act. Bernie wouldÂ do just about anything to make sure the people he cares about are happy. From time to time, I’ve joked that Bernie is like a “dog with a bone” with certain things…but I know that he always means well and his heart is always in the right place.Â Bernie is a quintessentialÂ Boy Scout. In addition, he’s a gentleman, a perfectionist, an introvert, an over-achieverÂ and he prefers smaller groups. He enjoys Disney World, Disneyland and Disney Cruise Line. He loves Touring Plans, podcasts, my son’s tree house, Space Mountain, Muppet Vision 3D andÂ he has a classic sense of humor. Bernie has more integrity in his pinky than most men have in their entireÂ being.Â Â One thing I’ve learned above all else…I am very blessed to call him my friend.
You can follow Bernie on Twitter: @MomsPanelBernie
Want to get to know some more Walt Disney World Moms Panel Moms & Dads? I share a different Panelist with you each Monday! Hereâ€™s the link to all of them so far:
Love ya, Bernie!