In Memory

Robert Tahse

  Post Comment

04/29/18 10:33 PM #1    

Sue Quist


Dianne M. and I did a little number (If’n) in the Variety Show. It ended with a kiss wherein she ended up with a smile and my chewing gum (it might have been the other way around). Bob was furious with me for kissing his girl.  He even thought that I was trying to move in on her.  I was petrified of the possible confrontation that was rumored. Bob was powerfully upset, but he managed to deal with his feelings by peaceably meeting me and by finding a way to like my singing & acting.  It was amazing. He even came to Miami to see me in a musical.  Then he offered me one of the biggest favors of my life by sending me to brother Martin a theater (and later a film) producer in NYC.  After a couple of meetings, Martin offered to set me up in one of the many Broadway musicals David Merrill was producing at the time. (not a lead, of course, but with lines and song)

No one gets such an undeserved break.  It was kind beyond measure. And I am pretty sure Martin Tahse was not the sort of guy known for helping young midwestern rubes with dreams of a life on Broadway. It was all because of Bob.  

Unfortunately, the Draft Board let me know that, if I accepted the job, I would lose my student deferment. They made it clear that a draft notice would follow soon thereafter.  Consequently, I turned the offer down.  Later, I did some summer stock, but figured I would never get such a big break again & probably didn’t have enough guts for getting to Broadway the normal nearly impossible way.  Ironically, once I decided to put pro acting behind me, I got two draft notices and flunked the physical both times.

I was never one of Bob’s friends, but, while I was fearing a jealous beat-down, instead, he offered a kind and generous opportunity that might have been a life turning point.  I don’t even know whether or not Bob was a good guy. I never spent much time with him nor knew what his life was like after marrying Dianne.   But I will never forget the huge gesture he made which had come to me out of the blue. His influence has been with me ever since.  He makes up that tiny portion of the my brain (conscience) that reminds me to do something for others when the chance appears and reminds me that a kindly gesture can change a life. 

This sounds irredeemably corny, but the strategy works, and, from time to time, has made me feel like a much better person than I may really be.  I am sorry that I never got to tell him how much he influenced my life.  See below:

  Post Comment