Tuesday, March 21, 2017
MY BUDDY, BOB SKLAR
Beginning in 9th grade I determined that until I knew for sure what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would focus on Journalism classes. I was lucky enough to have some good teachers and I did well. I also made some very good friends.
By the 11th grade I was the Page Two (of four) editor, with Marty Sklar being editor and my mentor. The following year I was elected Editor and one of my Page editors was Marty's younger brother, the fellow pictured above, Bob Sklar. Bob was a year behind me in school and obviously on the path to being Editor in his Senior Year.
The kids in the Journalism class were a close knit bunch; most of us didn't bother with study halls because there was a paper to put together and we spent that time in either in the "High Life" office or in the print shop downstairs, where we helped put the next issue of the paper to bed.
Bob and I became good buddies and became one of my page editors, too. He was probably the happiest person I had ever met. He wasn't a silly-funny person, he just found the happy side of everything. When I had a decision to make, I always brought Bob into the debate; he was smart, sharp and - well, the laughter you see in the picture above is the way we always saw him. It was always his working pose, too. Such a personable kid; a good friend and a good buddy.
Bob and I said our goodbyes in June of 1953. His little "farewell" to me is still sitting in my yearbook, a treasure I've kept all these years. The next year he did, in fact, become Editor of The High Life, and I went off to college. We never met up again.
He did well for himself, a full and rich life. He graduated in 1958 from Princeton, received a doctorate from Harvard, and among other things, "was a professor of cinema studies at New York University's Tisch School of the arts for more than 30 years," according to William Grimes of the New York Times.
I would never have known this about my buddy, except that in July of 2011, I saw an announcement of his death in Barcelona from a brain injury sustained in a bicycle accident. Damn! I thought, my buddy is gone. All the years from 1953 to 2011 telescoped in my brain and it was as if he still was my buddy helping me put out a good high school newspaper -- and all those intervening years not have any feeling of separation from a really neat friendship. I am so sorry he is gone, but so happy that he made such a life for himself and a mark on the academic community..