Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Word Gardener's Harvest

The UFO subject plays no part in today's entry, but a key reason why you're able to read about the UFO subject coherently in this blog does.

Upon entry into college in 1972, following my Air Force discharge during the Vietnam Era, it was truly a pleasure to take a total of three English courses with David Feldman, now Professor Emeritus of English and Journalism at Onondaga Community College, just outside of Syracuse, NY. He developed the school's journalism program and was the founding adviser of its student newspaper.

Admittedly, I took classes so boring from other instructors that attendance was akin to watching paint or academia dry, but Mr. Feldman's classrooms showcased a teacher with the energy to inspire and encourage students who wanted to learn and improve their abilities to communicate via the written word.

As stated, you'll find no UFOs here today -- yet, strangely, mentor Feldman, an Army veteran, recently surprised me with disclosure of his familiarity with the legend of Camp Hero in New York, said to be the source of some very peculiar (not so peculiar, in his view) incidents (Google Camp Hero for more).

Perpetually engaged in life's activities, he also taught in the Department of Drama at Syracuse University, and at Lesley College and SUNY (State University of NY) College at Cortland, NY. In the typical male tradition (!) David also knows and loves cars, and several years ago wrote a newspaper column about automobiles and regularly attended popular racing events at Watkins Glen in NY.

However, there's another side to the professor, that of successful playwright. Feldman's plays have been produced off-off-Broadway, in Brooklyn, Los Angeles, the Boston area, Ithaca and Syracuse. Notably, he proudly founded Armory Square Playhouse, Central New York's only theater company devoted to the development of new plays by area writers, serving as its artistic director for 23 exciting years.

Pictured is David Feldman today and in 1977, when his one-act play, "Steinberg" was produced off-Broadway at the Quaigh Theater in NY City.

So, dear reader, should you happen to like the way I write (as opposed, of course, to the things I say and those rare instances when I start raving), a demonstrable portion of style can be directly attributed to my teacher and friend, David Feldman. Yes, this is a tribute, and I'm willing to bet that his name never appeared in a stranger place. Oh, most assuredly not.