In 2011 the husband, J.W. Myers, of a former student approached me to audition for a role in a movie he was directing about America’s military veterans. It was to be called Doughboy, filmed in Wheeling, WV, and he wanted me to play the part of a WWII veteran. After further discussion it was decided I would be better cast as a Vietnam War veteran.
For the audition J.W. gave me a feel for what the character, Bob, needed and I proceeded to free wheel some dialogue. Apparently it was what he was looking for and I was asked to do the part.
On the appointed day I drove to a veteran’s home in Wheeling where I spun a scenario I had created about being a Navy corpsman serving with the Marines near the Vietnam’s DMZ. As many of you know I was in the Navy but was a radioman and not a corpsman and was never in Asia. Having been a teller of stories in my history classroom it wasn’t a difficult thing for me. I must have been convincing since the film’s two young stars were somewhat stunned after learning I had made it all up.
After a few takes the director decided he had enough footage and I exited stage left. A few weeks later I received a check for $100 and an invitation to attend the movie’s première in August of that year.
Walking the red carpet, watching the film, and rubbing elbows at the reception afterwards was fun but not really our cup of tea. We ducked out early, returned to our motel, and got ready for a trip to Pittsburg the next day and lunch at Lydia’s.
The film’s name was later changed to The Pledge, won a couple of awards, and became a Veteran’s Day favorite with the patriotic crowd. I got my 2.08 minutes of fame and apparently that’s all I’m entitled to. Hollywood hasn’t come calling!
This is a clip of my role in The Pledge.