Sunday, June 10, 2012
The Passing of a Major Influence In The Blog's Life
As many of you know, I am a great admirer of public school teachers.
I come from a family that is loaded with them, current and retired. My mom was a teacher, my sisters are or have been teachers. My wife is a teacher and my son is currently getting his teaching degree.
I had a lot of good teachers when I was in school. I probably drove a few of them to drink. I had a handful of great teachers. The ones who "got" me and had the skill and patience to not just teach me, but to guide me.
And then, there was Robert Bolen.
During the course of my public school years, Mr. Bolen was, I believe, my teacher for more individual classes than any other single teacher. When I was in elementary and junior high, he taught the summer school drama and film classes that I took every summer. In high school, he was often my english teacher, and my drama teacher. He was my director in numerous school plays and a couple of community theater productions. He taught me how to use a movie camera, shoot "stop motion" animation, and he took me (and the rest of my class) to my first Shakespeare play. ("The Merchant of Venice" at The Cleveland Playhouse.) Several years after I graduated, I pitched an idea to him for a play that I was writing (an adaptation of "Night of the Living Dead") that I wanted to direct at the new community theater that he was overseeing. He "green-lighted" the idea. I was accepted to make-up school in Hollywood a month later, so the show never happened. But, I have always appreciated the confidence that he had in me!
And, most importantly, he was the first adult (maybe the only one) who never once looked at me like I was insane when I expressed an interest in pursuing a career in show business.
I have just learned that Mr. Bolen passed away yesterday at the age of 85.
Robert "Bob" Bolen's passing leaves an empty space in the world. He will be deeply missed by countless people.