Attending (20): Bill Dowd, April Dowd, Murray Forth, Pat Bailey, Jim Leyhane, Terry Brewer, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Ray Hannan, A.J. Amato, Geoff Brewer, Dick Drumm, Charlie Foote, Debbie Rodriguez, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras, Stewart Wagner, Rommel Tolentino, Carol Orvis, Jim Butterworth.
Guests (4): Robert S. Woods, Barbara Foote, David Taylor, Willie Widby.
PROGRAM: “An Actor’s Life”
Charlie Foote introduced fellow Columbia County resident Robert S. Woods, longtime soap opera star as Bo Buchanan on “One Life to Live.”
Bob, who was born in California, came east for more regular theater and television work and wound up being a longtime New York City resident. In his long career, from which he says he recently retired (“I guess that’s what you call it when you pack up everything you own in boxes, move away from your place of work and don’t look back”), he has appeared in numerous television shows, national commercials, plays and movies.
Bob said his first job was during college when he worked at Disneyland in Anaheim, CA. In college, he was a radio-and-television major with aspirations to become a director. But, the Vietnam War was raging and he decided to enlist rather than wait to be drafted. He wound up serving 15 months in Vietnam as a Special Forces “Green Beret” soldier.
After being discharged, he returned to working at Disneyland and his college studies, then switched to fulltime study on the G.I. Bill. After graduation, his first primetime TV job was a two-line role on the “City of Angels” series starring Wayne Rogers of “M*A*S*H” TV fame. He went on to a recurring role on “The Waltons,” toured with the play “Barefoot In the Park” opposite Dorothy Lamour, and had several other jobs before being asked to audition for “One Life to Live.” He actually auditioned for a different role than the one for which he was cast in 1979. He appeared on that soap opera until 1986, winning a Daytime Emmy Award for Lead Actor in 1983 for his portrayal of the character Bo Buchanan, then returned to California. A second stint on the same show began in 1988 and lasted until the show was cancelled in 2012.
Bob said he succeeded in his ventures despite the difficulties of military life and the vagaries of the acting profession by adhering to his father’s advice: Never quit. If you undertake any venture in life, stick it out and finish your commitment. But, he also showed a carefree side when he described some of the practical jokes he regularly pulled on fellow actors over the years.
POCKET CHANGE FUND-DRIVE — Tonight was the last opportunity to contribute to “The Great American Milk Drive” via our “Pocket Change” weekly push. President Bill Dowd said he has checked with Price Chopper and it will match our contribution to that food bank-oriented program dollar-for-dollar. The final accounting will be announced next week at the Presidential Changeover dinner.
PRESIDENTIAL CHANGEOVER — Our next meeting, the Presidential Changeover dinner, will be held at 6 p.m. next Thursday at the Castleton residence of Debbie and Peter Brown. Attendees are asked to bring a salad or appetizer; the Browns will supply everything else.
SUMMER CASUAL SCHEDULE — We have only two open dates to fill for the summer, August 13 and 20. The latest additions/changes: Ray Hannan will host one casual picnic event at Eastwyck on Monday, July 13 (a change from our usual Thursday night schedule); Dean and Doris Calamaras have switched their hosting date to July 23; Terry Brewer will host a casual picnic event on August 20. To keep up with any additions or changes, go to the club website and click on EVENTS at the top of the page to get a link to our calendar.
DINNER & A BASEBALL GAME — Terry Brewer said he has reserved 35 tickets, although more may be acquired if needed, for our annual pavilion picnic and ValleyCats pro baseball game on July 30 at Bruno Stadium on the grounds of Hudson Valley Community College. See Terry ASAP to submit your reservations. Tickets are $25 each, the same as last year.
DINNER & A SHOW — Doris Calamaras said a block of tickets has been reserved for our scheduled August 6 visit to the Mac-Haydn Theatre in Chatham for a perfomance of the iconic musical “West Side Story.” Tickets are $34 per person, with $2 of each ticket going to our club treasury. Reservation deadline is July 23 with Doris. In addition, she will need names no later than July 23 of those who wish to have a pre-theater dinner at the Four Brothers restaurant (2960 Route 9, Valatie), which is a short drive from the theater. We will order off the menu, but a headcount is needed for the restaurant to be able to set up tables and place settings.