I wrote this in honor of a friend who passed. I’m posting it here as it contains moments of guidance, flow and instant manifestations.
A great man, and important person in my life, Paul Roland, transitioned two weeks ago in Ashland, Oregon. Paul was an actor in New York in the 50’s. He studied acting with Group Theatre members Lee Strasberg and Robert Lewis. For three years (1955, ’56 & ’57), he was in the original Broadway production of “Inherit the Wind” with Paul Muni and Ed Begley.
When I heard about his passing, I was in New York. I called his loving partner of many years, Dee Maaske, and left her a message. I was on 41st Street between 7th and 8th. While there, I had a flash of inspiration to honor Paul’s time on Broadway by leaving flowers at the theatre where he performed, as he was incredibly proud of his time on Broadway.
The friends I stayed with in New York, Kevin Hucke and Ryan Rossetto, helped me manifest my idea. Both Kevin and Ryan work on Broadway, and, as part of their love for theatre, have a deep knowledge of its history. I went to their home and told them about my idea. Within seconds of searching, Kevin discovered that the theatre where Paul played in “Inherit the Wind” was The National, which is now The Nederlander – which is on 41st Street between 7th and 8th. It is the same theatre where Orson Wells’ “Julius Caesar” had played in 1937. Ryan has recently worked in that theatre, and offered to accompany me to it.
A few days later, we went to The Nederlander just as a matinee of the Disney musical “Newsies” got out. After taking the attached photo, Ryan wondered if his friend Vanessa was working, who could take the flowers backstage. Through a surge of preteens, we went to the lobby and – boom – there was Vanessa, who instantly agreed to help.
Later that night, Kevin texted Vanessa to say thank you (as they all know each other). She reported that the flowers and sign were placed where all of the cast and crew could see them. Paul’s name was back on Broadway.
Paul valued bonds. We had a good one. He had an incredible thirst for knowledge and insight. He wanted to know, and he knew an incredible amount about a vast array of subjects. He and Dee shared a fondness for each other that sparkled. Their witty repartee made you feel you were at dinner with Noel Coward and Gertrude Lawrence.
I am grateful to have known him.