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Bob Scholl Turns 91


By Michael BromkaOn Friday 4 September 2020, Bob Scholl --local retired teacher, actor, library board anchor, MLK Jr Scholarship Foundation officer, and radio interviewer --will turn the vintage age of 93.If you see him out on a walk about town,be sure to wish him the best!Bob Scholl was born on Sunday 4 September 1927 in Wadsworth, Ohio.In that town as well as nearby Sterling and Rittman, Bob enjoyed his boyhood and teens.His mother was a homemaker, while his father worked as a railroad foreman, repairing the tracks.Bob graduated high school in 1945 as the WWII allies won victory in Europe and the Pacific.Drafted into the Army in January 1946, Bob qualified as a technician repairing binoculars, telescopes, and eventually timepieces.Embarking from Brooklyn on a troop ship, Bob traversed Panama by train, sailed to one day’s leave in Honolulu, and arrived in Yokohama, Japan for duty at Camp Itabashi, north of Tokyo.While in Japan, Bob climbed Mt. Fuji, although did not summit.Also in Japan, he once chanced to lay eyes on General Douglas MacArthur –who was not particularly well liked by his troops.After the Army, Bob attended Northwestern University two years, then in 1951 graduated from University of Akron with a B.S. in Education.He began his teaching career in Ohio.In 1957 Bob moved to Carlsbad to alleviate a daughter’s asthma.First at Sunset, and thereafter at Eddy School –plus two years on the Pacific island of Palau –Bob continued teaching.He greatly enjoyed collaborating with fellow teacher Lynne Pitcaithley and Principal Rita London.During his forties, Bob began acting in the Carlsbad Community Theater.In his first role inThe Lion in Winter, Bob was urged by fellow actors to commit to character with greater passion.Lynne Pitcaithley –playing his manipulative mother –in one scene felt convinced that Bob, with his fiercely brandished sword, would stab her in the neck, slaying her on stage.The moment passed without bloodshed.Bob went on to act and direct for forty years.In his final scene –said by some to be his finest –he expired face first in a bowl of breakfast oatmeal.In 2003, Bob completed attendance in the Carlsbad Citizens’ Police Academy.He is now a record holder with the CPD, having done 148 ride-alongs to witness our Police maintaining public safety.If officers make an arrest while he is in the patrol car, Bob vacates the back seat and gamely walks home –from wherever.Aside from thunder storms, Bob walks seven days per week, two-to-five miles per day, more than ninety miles per month.Bob has volunteered at Cat’s Meow Thrift Shop since they were at their old locale on Canal Street.These days he takes out the trash andhevacuums.A devotee of cats and dogs, Bob has gleaned that dogs have masters while cats have staff.For twenty years twice weekly, Bob has hosted a noon hour talk show for KCCC-AM –Community Forum.Co-hosts have included Ted Karas, Dick Cantwell, Guy Lutman, Ernie White, Lin Tusha, Gary Hardesty, Stella Davis, Kyle Marksteiner, and Mario Salinas.This past year Bob has transitioned from primary interviewer to more of an ancillary role.Recent troubles with a cataract have bedeviled one eye.Perhaps diminished Bob's verbal acuity and repartee as well.But daily he keeps up his streak of cracking the newspaper's Cryptoquote.Bob had grown fond of phone-in regular the late Fern Lawson, whom he never met face-to-face.By the magic of radio, both personalities gained renown with folks who only knew their voices.On local cable TV Channel 23’s showFaces of Carlsbad, Bob conducted more than 164 interviews of local notables. Bob is delighted with his wife La Wanda –“a good cook, hard worker, lovely gal, who keeps me on the straight and narrow.”Together, they have traveled to Japan, Ecuador, Scotland, Morocco, Ireland, New Zealand, and the Canary Islands.Bob speaks with pride of his daughters –Kathy an artistin Odessa, and Anne a veterinarian, wedded to Bob's son-in-law Jay in Orlando.Bob has drunk no alcohol in nineteen years, nor eaten meat in twenty years.For thirty-seven years he served on the Carlsbad Public Library Board –and read plenty of borrowed books as well.A devotee of mysteries, biographies, and history, Bob usually has one each of non-fiction and fiction going on any given evening.Upon retiring from the Library Board, Bob received a White House certificate of Commendation signed by President Barack Obama --himself a prodigious reader and writer of books.Under the guidance of its president James Williams, Bob Scholl has served as vice president of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Foundation, to which he’s belonged since 2007.Prodded to assess where he’s settled, Bob Scholl says –“Carlsbad’s been my home for sixty years.For some dear friends I could name, that’s more than a lifetime.Every day I am grateful for this vibrant and warm-hearted community.”

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