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
Jason and Michelle Fahring, Attica, announce the birth of their son, Jadon William Fahring, born Aug. 22. He weighed 8 pounds 10 ounces and was 20" long. Jason has three siblings: Emelia, 10; Caleb, 8; and Addison, 4 1/2. Grandparents are Marvin and Carol Fahring and Stanley... [More]
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]
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]
Concordia High School will celebrate Homecoming next week, Sept. 22-26. Themes will be carried out each day with special events planned for Thursday and Friday. Theme days are as follows: Monday, Gender Defender Day; Tuesday, Swag-out Socks Day; Wednesday, Urban vs. Rural... [More]
Police Dept. Report Theft–At 1:55 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 18, Luke Chism, Concordia, reported a Theft which had occurred in the 2200 block of Campus Drive. Investigation continues. Accident–on Sept. 18, at 3:25 p.m., officers investigated an Accident which occurred... [More]
A low bid was accepted by the Concordia City Commission Wednesday night, and work should begin next month on Concordia’s long-awaited 21st Street dam project. The low base bid of $1.4 million from Ebert Construction, Wamego, includes construction of both the... [More]
CLAY CENTER — Concordia's Isaac Sprague and Tori Reed recorded top 10 finishes in the Clay Center High School Invitational cross country meet Thursday at Clay Center Country Club. Sprague turned in a time of 18:09.48 to place fifth in the boys' race. Reed finished 10th... [More]
LARNED — The Concordia High School girls' golf team placed fifth in the Larned Invitational Thursday at Larned Country Club. Concordia finished with a score of 466. Pratt won the tournament with a 434. Thomas More Prep-Marian was second with a 436 and Hoisington was third... [More]