Friday, August 2, 2013


"Oh, Kurt! Just a second, my friend. Here, for you! It is, I believe, the largest fish I ever caught. Possibly the largest fish anyone ever caught. You can give it to your master, Duffmeister, the old devil. Oh, don't look at me that way, Kurt. Duffmeister is your master, and he is an old devil...and, it's too nice a day to be talking about it."

These words, typed from memory, were my first lines, and the very first lines in the play The Pied Piper of Hamelin by William Glennon. I played Bertram von Braun. This was the first time I was ever in a non-school play. It was presented by the Clarksville Civic Theatre in the summer, and I was very glad I got to audition for it and got a good role too! ("Kurt" was played by my friend Jimmy Winters.) Clearly this was the beginning of a stronger interest in being an actor.

Remo Russo died this year. This was the first death I was old enough to process, and of course it made me very sad. However, it did lead to Dorothy Ann Russo moving back to Clarksville, which made me happy indeed.

I turned 12, and attended Burt Junior High. I believe my homeroom teacher was Mr. Dowlen. And if memory serves, it was here that Scott Holmes and I began our "Ba" series of books, which we wrote and illustrated. It chronicled the adventures of Morgul, Goz, Blorful, Bug, Egg, and a number of other characters.

The TAG program started. "TAG" stood for "Talented and Gifted". Oh, how many talented and gifted students at Burt were deemed not worthy of being in TAG! It's sad. But I was accepted. Our teacher, Mae Goodlett, was wonderful.

I was also very interested in magic, and in being a magician, and I had a great number of tricks. I believe this interest also began around 1975, with meeting my friend Kevin Souza.

Saturday Night Live began on October 11th, which is notable itself, but of course there were the Henson "Land of Gorch" skits on it as well. Did I see them? Not with regularity, I think. Past my bedtime, I'm sure. But I do think I caught one or two.

A Chorus Line opened. I would never do this show, for reasons any choreographer who's worked with me could explain. But my mother had the cast album, and loved it. I know that my mother always wanted to be an actress. She told me that she did something in a talent show once, and someone told her that she was good, which always made her want to pursue it, and regret that she hadn't. How sad to think of people growing up in a time when they felt they couldn't try to do things, and didn't dare to dare to try. But thus it was for women of my mother's generation. They were "stuck". And of course, it's only fair to note that there were women of my mother's generation who did dare to have careers, and succeeded gloriously. But...back to A Chorus Line. I think my mother liked listening to it so much because she identified with those striving, struggling women in "At the Ballet", and "Nothing". Listening to it made her misty.

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