I try to keep things happy and light on Broken Cookies Don’t Count. I had planned to tell you about a lemon that I brought home from Florida that’s bigger than my head. I had planned to tell you how proud I am for getting right back on track with Weight Watchers after 2 weeks in Florida.
Instead I have to talk about something sad. Something that makes me feel old today and makes me want to reminisce about when I was so very much younger.
The news came by text at 6:30 this morning. What a modern age we live in. The text was from my sister, Ele, telling me that she had heard on the news that Robert Hegyes had died. You might ask, why I should write a post about the passing of a TV actor?
I was lucky enough to know Bob. We attended Glassboro State College together back in the 1970’s. Yes…I’m That old. Of course, it’s Rowan University now and from what I hear, it might soon be part of Rutgers University. A step up? I don’t know, but I don’t have all of the facts.
Back when Glassboro State College was a crazy, exciting, wonderful place to be, I was part of the Speech and Theatre Department. The theatre department was a very insular, close-knit entity. We were like a family with all of the characters, intrigues and secrets that are a part of many families. We were all so much a part of each other’s lives back then.
Bob was part of this. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, I can share a photo of Bob as I remember him in college.
That’s how I remember him…always smiling and full of fun.
So many memories are coming back to me today.
I remember people referring to us as “Benson and Hegyes,” like the cigarettes. (My maiden name was Benson.)
I remember being locked in a booth with him for most of a day doing a radio production of “No Exit.”
I remember helping him with costumes for a number of production, most memorably his “fat suit” for a production of “The Birthday Party.” If I remember correctly, that thing had to be burned when the production was over.
Most of all I remember a kind and gentle man, as crazy as the rest of us were back then.
He made us proud on “Welcome Back, Kotter.
And “Cagney and Lacey.”
The last time I saw him was at a theatre production at Rowan University, probably 10 or 15 years ago now. But he was friendly and warm and I was happy to receive that great big bear hug I remembered so well. Sending one, last hug to you today, Bob.
Rest In Peace, Old Friend.