Dell’Osso Family Farm could be considered the Disneyland of San Joaquin County.
So says marketing director Yvonne Sampson on Monday when she reconnected with one of the icons of the Magic Kingdom – Tinker Bell.
She met the actress Margaret Kerry about 12 years earlier at the State Fair at Cal Expo.
“I was Tinker Bell growing up,” said Sampson of her old nickname. She also had a family pet named Tinker Bell.
Her chance meeting with Kerry that day included an invite to the iconic Tinker Bell to Stockton’s Pixie Woods. Sampson shared fond memories of the local park with an enchanted forest and magical pathways for children of all ages with the real Tinker Bell.
Kerry, who still resides in Southern California, was in the Bay Area in recent days on a promotional tour.
She arrived at Dell’Osso Family Farms with Sher Madison of Intermission Productions and some family members.
“It was great reconnecting (with Margaret) at the Disneyland of San Joaquin,” said Samson, who is hoping to have Tinker Bell for one of the special events on “The Farm.”
For Kerry, Sampson was a familiar face. More on that.
She’s 90 with no plans of slowing down.
“I’ve travel all over the country talking at school assemblies about show business,” she said.
Born in 1929, Kerry jokingly blames her arrival into the world as ushering in the Great Depression. “It’s true – everything went right downhill from there,” she said.
At age 4, Kerry began work as one of Hal Roach’s Little Rascals with Spanky McFarland and Scotty Beckett in the “Our Gang” comedy short films. She went by Peggy Lynch back then.
Marc Davis was one of the famed core animators of Walt Disney Animation Studios. He was looking for a live action model for, according to her agent back then, a “sprite who doesn’t talk.”
She appeared in numerous television shows including the first network sitcom, “The Ruggles.”
In the Disney animated feature “Peter Pan,” Kerry, who won out in auditioning for the role of Tinker Bell. “I spent nine months, off and on, pantomiming on a mostly empty sound stage,” she recalled, using props such as a giant key hole or a pair of scissors.
Kerry was also the model for the red-haired mermaid in the Neverland lagoon scene.
While she spent 86 years of her life acting, Kerry struggled through the majority of her life with prosopagnosia or face blindness.
“My problem is that I don’t recognize faces. I find myself wondering whether this is the first time or sixth time I’ve met this person. People’s face all look alike to me,” she said.
Her undiagnosed face blindness caused her plenty of stress both professionally and personally. She had a “Hallelujah Moment” at age 84 upon discovering that she had prosopagnosia.
One out of 50 struggle with this cognitive disorder. Included here are Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, actor Brad Pitt and famed English primatologist / anthropologist Jane Goodall.
Kerry recently published a booklet on the matter entitled, “They all Look Alike to Me.”
For more information, log on to www.faceblind.org.