J.R"Bob"Dobbs Described in Newsweek

From: jimvan@gate.net (Jim Vandewalker)
Date: Wed, 16 Apr 1997

J.R."Bob"Dobbs' activities during the 60s have always occasioned much
speculation among SubGenii. Here's some information from an unlikely
source: Newsweek magazine for this week. For some reason, possibly having
to do with Stang's copyright, a different name was used in the actual
article, but it's easy to see who it's REALLY about.

The Begining of the Journey

An old friend on how ______'s sexuality sent the future guru into the
By David Daniel

When I first met______ at the University of______ in the early 1960s, he
was probably not yet 30, and struck me as the most glamourous man I'd ever
seen, and the most poised. He had the presence of a star, and I knew it at
once, even though I'd never met a star before. It was his look, we used to
say, not his looks.

Certainly the man I remember with fondness is unrecognizable to you. His
journey to______ began, it seems now, when his life first went off track
in______ all these years agao. He lost his job, and his family: he paid
for being gay in a place that was largely hostile to homosexuality -- the
Deep south of George Wallace and buttoned-down manners. I know; I was
there. I was close friends with a young man who had an affair with ______:
the liaison broke up ______'s marriage and drove him from ______. The
mystery everyone is trying to solve is how______ could lead so many to
their deaths. But if you can appreciate the persuasive charm he had back
then -- no matter what his sexual orientatation -- you can begin to
understand the force of his personality.

Mr.______, as I first knew him, was my______ teacher. I also attended
his______ class,______ and______. I saw him every day for as long as he
taught at the university. Sometimes after my lesson, we'd go for tea at a
hangout in the old quadrangle. When I was no longer his student, we became
friends and often went to Howard Johnson's with other friends after a class
or concert. We always ended our meal with chocolate fudge brownies. If
someone was short of cash, Mr.______ would treat, saying, "You can buy me
coffee tomorrow at the quadrangle." When I stopped studying with him, he
asked me to call him "______."

When______ smiled, which was often, his teeth gleamed like a double row of
Chiclets. His speaking voice was resonant, a rich baritone brightened by
an unexpected metallic ping. He was polite, even courtly. He wore
expensive Harris tweed jackets, Oxford-cloth button-down shirts and
Weejuns. He always looked as thought he'd just gotten out of a shower,
having scrubbed himself to a pink glow.
No one thought him perfect, however. There was always something suspect
about him. He smiled too much. In that time and place, other, more
sinister things were seen as wrong with him even though there barely
existed a language with which to discuss them.. Allusions were made: some
were veiled, others were not. He had long hair -- at least an inch on top
-- in an era when men in______ wore theirs cropped like GIs. (In______,
the '50s lasted until at least 1968.) ______ often winked at you when he
talked. You couldn't tell whether his wink was supposed to lock you into a
complicity with him or just italicise a word for emphasis or if it was a
tic. I never heard anyone call the gesture effeminate, but knowing glances
were exchanged behind his back. ______ owned the regulation black, navy,
heather gray and oatmeal crew-neck sweaters. He also had cherry red,
emerald green and Prussion blue ones. No one ever said exactly what was
wrong with them. They didn't need to. Merely to name the color said it
all. ______ was skating on thin ice.

Of course______ was a talented teacher. Besides his duties at the
university, Herff was also the music director of one of the largest
churches in town, preparing the weekly services as well as special programs
for Christmas, Easter and feast days. Always working, he had such a gift
for organization that he added to his university schedule another smaller,
elite choral group, the______ Singers, with whom he made a professional

______was married to a beautiful woman with whom he had two lovely
children. I don't know how many times I saw______ with my friend, a gifted
young man, before I realized I couldn't remember the last time I'd
seen______ with his wife. ______'s public encounters with my friend were
innocent enought; it was their frequency and pitch that incriminated.
Their chats in the hall came to be seen as more than chats. Their arrivals
together in the morning and their departures together in the evenings were
the equivalents of confessions. It was not long before Mrs.______ left
with the children and never came back.

My friend told me that he and______ were lovers, but no matter what anyone
else suspected, no one knew for certain. Things, however, didn't work out
for______. One professor, who was married with children, had been
suspected of having sexual relations with his male students for years. Yet
this man had the grace, if that's what you can call it, to be prudent out
in the open. He supported ______'s dismissal. Whether the fact the he was
involved with the same young man as______ had anything to do with his
outrage, I cannot say. Before the ink was dry on his forced resignation,
______'s relationship with my friend had dissolved. The last time I
saw______ in______ he was the color of cigarette ashes, and unshaven. I
thought he would snap out of it. He apparently never did.

DANIEL, a music critic has written for The Wall Street Journal and The New

Jim the Prophet
Licensed SubGenius Preacher

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