Pearson had show biz in his blood

Concordia native, Robert E Pearson, died in Clay Center on the 4th of July, a day Bob would have picked as the perfect day of departure. According to an Internet site, Bob was involved in making more than 100 movies and television programs.
At the age of 12, Bob grew bored with Concordia and hopped a freight train to Hollywood. After several days traveling back and forth across the country in a boxcar – supposedly on his way to California – Bob’s train slowed and came to a stop. Unbelievably, he was back in Concordia.
This is but one of Bob’s fantastic tales of a daring youth and his determination to make a mark in show business. According to a <i>Lawrence Journal World<i> article, Bob made the decision to go to Hollywood after “witnessing a band concert at Concordia High School when he was ten years old.” This inspiring concert took place around l928, so it would be interesting to go back and try to find the event listed in an old Blade.
The Brown Grand Theatre showed movies during Bob’s early youth and he remembered telling his mother, Dorothy, “someday I am going to be a movie star just like them.”
Bob finally made it to California. Even though his first try landed him back in Concordia, Bob once again climbed aboard a westbound freight train. Using a combination of hitch hiking and riding the rails, Bob finally arrived in Hollywood.  After a string of door-to-door sales jobs, Bob joined the Army at 15, but a knee injury led to his discharge a year later.
It was then that Bob started getting bit parts in movies and stage shows. TV was gaining in popularity about that time, so Bob made a number of appearances on popular shows like “Bob Hope Chrysler Theatre,” “Perry Mason,” “Day in Court,” and numerous others.
Bob claimed in later life that he had given producers the idea for “Ironsides,” about a wheelchair-bound detective. Raymond Burr was trying to make a comeback but was no longer the slim actor audiences remembered from “Perry Mason.” Bob told producers to put Burr in a wheelchair and his added weight wouldn’t be noticed. Thanks or not to Pearson, “Ironsides” became a big hit for its star, Raymond Burr.
Hollywood was a small company town back in the l950’s, and Bob claimed knowing all the big stars of the day. He helped Ronald Reagan with landscaping at his new Bel Aire home. One day at the famous Schwab’s Drug Store, Frank Sinatra drove into Bob’s new car parked in front and gave him a handful of cash to pay for the damage. While his car was being repaired, Marilyn Monroe gave Bob a ride to the studio. And on and on. He had a thousand stories.
Later on, Bob started writing his own scripts, directing and appearing in his own films. One was, “The Devil and Leroy Bassett,” the last film shown at the Brown Grand Theatre before it was closed for restoration. Bob finally made it onto the screen that had inspired him to make movies.
 
~ Susan Sutton, friend

PEOPLE

Birth

Mark and Dea Novak, Haddam, announce the birth of their son, Garett Allen Novak, born June 2, at Belleville. He weighed 7 pounds, 14 ounces, and was 20 3/4" long. Siblings are Destyn, 6; Blake, 4; and Arika, 2. Grandparents are Jan Bergstrom, Larry and Gloria Bergstrom, all of... [More]

Prom dresses are needed for Rosebud Reservation

thumb

 When Sister Beth Weddle heads to South Dakota early in September, she hopes to have the van she'll be driving packed with a vibrant array of taffeta, silk, satin, velvet and chiffon—all in the form of donated prom dresses.  So far she's collected 11 dresses that... [More]

Birth

 Amber and Chuck Lambertz, Concordia, announce the birth of their daughter, Rowan Elaine Lambertz, born July 2 at Salina Regional Health Center. She weighed 8 pounds 6 ounces and was 19" long. Rowan has a sister, Norah, 2.  Maternal grandparents are Jim and Susan Jackson,... [More]

More People

NEWS

Concordia man arrested for attempted murder

 Officers arrested a 27-year-old Concordia man Thursday evening, charging him with attempted second degree murder.  According to Cloud County Attorney Rob Walsh, Jesus Reyes was arrested after an investigation into life-threatening injuries sustained by a 16-month-old... [More]

Courthouse 8-29-14

District Court CRIMINAL  Joseph Leroy Tholstrup appeared Aug. 28 and was found Guilty and Convicted of Disorderly Conduct. He was sentenced to 30 days in the Cloud County Jail, ordered to pay costs of the action, $158, attorney fees of $100 and a fine of $200 by Sept. 3.... [More]

For the record 8-29-14

Fire Dept./EMS Report At 6:28 p.m., Thursday, Medic-2 went to Cloud County Health Center for a long distance transfer of an 18-month-old to Salina Regional Health Center. At 1:42 a.m., Friday, Medic-5 went to the 1800 block of Broadway and transported a 53-year-old male to Cloud... [More]

More News

SPORTS

Former CCCC coach remembered

 Last week, Cloud County Community College lost one of a kind with the death of its first head basketball coach Larry Forsythe.  Forsythe coached the Thunderbirds from 1966 through 1975, compiling a record of 167 wins and  99 losses. His teams never finished lower... [More]

Garden City hands CCCC 3-1 defeat

GARDEN CITY — The Cloud County Community College volleyball team opened the Jayhawk Conference Western Division season with a 3-1 loss to Garden City Community College. Garden City rolled to a 25-15 victory in the first set of the match. Cloud County, now 3-2 overall, evened... [More]

More Sports

Buy Photos