Disney Animator Norman Floyd, 81, is Unstoppable

Photo by Michael Flore

Photo by Michael Flore

A true AGEIST gang member: 81 year old animator at Disney, Floyd Norman  "You see, creative people don't hang it up. We don't walk away, we don't want to sit in a lawn chair, we don't want to go out and play golf, we don't want to travel the world. We want to continue to work.”

Exactly Floyd. Why would anyone want to stop doing something they love? The entire concept of retirement as conceived in the 1930s is being re-imagined by people like you. We love it.

"When Norman turned 65, he says Disney tried to force him to retire, but he wouldn't have it. 'I wanted to continue to work,' he says. 'You see, creative people don't hang it up. We don't walk away, we don't want to sit in a lawn chair, we don't want to go out and play golf, we don't want to travel the world. We want to continue to work.'

And so he did — given the opportunity to contribute as a freelancer, Norman found his way back into the studio. Most freelancers work at home and only come into the office once the job is complete, but not Norman.

'I decided I didn't want to work at home,' he says. 'I missed the camaraderie of the big studio. I missed talking to people. I miss being around the action. And so ... I found an empty office and I moved in. I was probably in violation of some rule or law or whatever, but there I was.'

He continued to work in the office, and his colleagues affectionately coined the term "Floydering" — it rhymes with loitering — in his honor.

Norman — who has met and worked with Tom Hanks — has been compared to Hanks' famous character, Forrest Gump. Norman says it's not so far off:

'Forrest was the guy who just sort of showed up everywhere,' he says. 'So a lot of people have looked at me when it came to the animation business where I was the guy ... just popping up all over the place. That's because I love this business, and I never wanted to be apart from it.'" - Morning Edition via NPR