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Bob Scholl Memories


R.I.P. Bob Scholl, age 93By Michael Bromka Bob Scholl has passed away in the private home of his daughter Anne in Odessa TX. Three years ago Bob had enjoyed a terrific boisterous 90th birthday party with quite a crowd of revelers. Thereafter, our Public Library fêted Bob upon his retirement from Library Board. Twice weekly with Stella Davis, Bob had been hosting “Community Forum” on KCCC Radio. He enjoyed ambitious daily walks, both alone and accompanied by his wife LaWanda. Daily he fed cats --both indoor and alley --at home and near the Cat’s Meow Thrift Shop. Carlsbad will be abuzz with fervent love & remorse. And Bob’s afterglow will endure or decades. It’s a blessing that he had wife LaWanda plus daughters Anne and Kathy in attendance during his final hours. At right: This photo in front of the Carlsbad Public Library with lifelong patron Andrew Goodbar was from 9 August 2012, when Bob was almost 86 years old. At left: Bob with his wife, Lawanda. Memories Bob the Educator: By Mannie Bemis Bob was my sixth-grade teacher at Sunset School, 1963-64. The girls found him dreamy, the boys intimidating. He was a strict disciplinarian and was feared for wielding his great paddle, Big Bertha. I never witnessed or experienced a paddling from him--it may be the threat was all that was needed to keep those rowdy boys in line. I learned Geography from Bob. Every week we were required to make a map of whatever country we were studying. Often this meant tracing it from the atlas and coloring it with pencils, but there was quite a competition to see whose map looked best. Sometimes an enterprising apple polisher would make a relief map out of salt dough and lug it in to show off for the class. Bob was interested in correct placement of land and water forms and cities. And you’d better have the names spelled correctly. I remember having Music Appreciation once a week. I think it was Friday. During this time we were to sit without talking and listen to the records he brought in to train our artistic ears. The song that stands out in my mind is Doris Day’s “Why Oh Why Oh Did I Ever Leave Ohio” probably because Bob was from Ohio and identified with the song. He was also a fan of Enrico Caruso. If you talked during Music Appreciation time, you got to stand at the back of the room with your arms held out straight from your sides. Boys got the bonus of holding a dictionary in each hand. If you chewed gum in class, you suffered the indignity of standing with the gum stuck to the end of your nose. I also remember the short stories Bob read to us. He introduced me to Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery,” Franz Kafka’s “In the Penal Colony,” and Ray Bradbury’s “The Veldt”--disturbing masterpieces that he guided us to understand and appreciate. Two notable world events happened during my year in Bob’s class. November 22, 1963, found us out on the playground when a buzz started passing from group to group. Quickly the teachers appeared at the doors and ushered us in where each teacher broke the news to his or her class. We sat silently as dear Mr. Scholl, the staunch Democrat and NEA member, World War II veteran and proud American, held back his tears to tell us that Pres. John F. Kennedy had been shot and killed in Dallas. He told us we would remember this day our entire lives. He was right. The second big event happened in 1964 when the British once again invaded our country. In February, Ed Sullivan brought Beatlemania to a fever pitch as we watched The Beatles perform in black-and-white on our small screen televisions. We teenyboppers all fell in love with the Fab 4 and struck up our own lip-synch bands. Bob and the other upper-grade teachers indulged us by allowing us to go class to class to “perform” “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” and “She Loves You, Yeah Yeah Yeah.” We didn’t know it at the time, but this was another unforgettable event. Bob came back into my life when I returned to Carlsbad as a first-year teacher in 1984. He was still teaching, now at Eddy School, and he became something of a mentor for me. I was especially delighted when my son was placed in his fifth-grade class, and the mapmaking began all over again. I wonder how many multi-generational students he taught--quite a few, I suppose. I got to know Bob better as an adult through Carlsbad Community Theatre. I enjoyed being on stage with him and watching him. He was always encouraging and found the best in the performers. When he no longer wanted to be on stage, he took over the task of managing the box office. Theatregoers loved chatting with him before the show, and he always greeted the old-timers by name. When students showed up at the window with no money, he would quietly usher themin, not wanting anyone to miss out on live theatre. When Bob turned to talk radio, he interviewed me several times about different interests I had. He was a skilled interviewer, always complimentary and able to get his guests to open up. And in case the guest didn’t open up, he was quite capable of light-hearted banter with his co-host, Mario Salinas, whom we also lost this year. I sure learned a lot from Bob Scholl. I’ll sure miss him. Bob the Learner: By Beth Neiman I will always remember Bob Scholl as an avid reader and lifelong learner. He was a delightful conversationalist on just about any subject because he was so well-read and stayed informed on current topics. Bob often told me about books he had enjoyed reading, and it was a pleasure to chat with him during his regular visits to Carlsbad Public Library or anywhere else I might see him around town. Bob was so generous with his time and clearly took a genuine interest in other people. When one of my daughters was working on a history project, I told him about it and he allowed her to interview him about his service during World War II for her research. Bob set a terrific example of service to others, commitment to learning, and community involvement for all of us and I feel blessed to have known him. Bob the Co-Worker: By Rita London So many fond memories come to mind when I think of Bob Scholl. I was privileged to work with Bob for over 10 years when I was at Eddy School. Mr. Scholl was a stellar teacher whom everyone liked. When one thinks of him, many times it was also of Lynne Pitcaithley as they were a dynamic 5th grade teaching team for many, many years. Mr. Scholl and Mrs. Pitcaithley hosted a Fifth grade play each year from which the students learned so much. In fact, many years after elementary school they always remembered what play they were in and that whole experience. Other fond memories are Bob’s many performances in the community theatre plays. He was also excellent in that role too. Bob was a dedicated citizen who loved his community as he was an active citizen and volunteer in many aspects. I am a better person for knowing Bob Scholl—a fine gentleman and respected scholar.

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