Hello Cal Shakes blog readers,
I want to share with you an event from the past few days. I very recently heard that one of my ex-students had entered hospice treatment for cancer, and arranged to see him at 9am yesterday. On a mad whim I emailed our own L. Peter Callender the night before, very late and said:
“A student of mine (A.) is in hospice treatment for cancer. He has been a huge fan of yours for years. I’m visiting him at 9 am in North Berkeley tomorrow. Is there the slightest chance you could make it?”
Peter immediately wrote back “yes,” and set about clearing his schedule. At 9 the next morning I met him, beautifully appointed and unflappable as ever. We went to A’s home together. The look on A’s face was something to remember: pure joy at seeing an actor he so admires, and pure happiness at experiencing an undiluted hour of Peter’s honesty and wry humor.
I keep thinking of the way our time together closed, with Peter saying: “Well my boy, I am opening a show in September and another in January. I absolutely insist that you be there. You must not fail me. I am setting aside tickets for you.”
A. promised to do his best.