Upon returning to Anderson College for my sophomore year, things had gotten much better for me. I was the hero of the Theatre for pulling off "Up the Down Staircase". I had a private room in the same suite, where Louie used to be. People started liking me more. Things were good. I changed my major to Speech and Drama from English. I was still in the Ivy Leaves literary group, but I dropped all of the religious organizations. I also stopped going to church.
During the Fall of 1972, I took much more of an active role in both politics and the stage. I was also in great physical shape. On Saturdays, Phil and I would play tennis. I also ran a lot and walked. Mr. Vivian was looking to direct a play called "Laura". It was a murder mystery. I thought for sure that I would get the male lead, but that went to Dennis. I was not pleased. After all, people liked me. Mr. Vivian felt I needed to get some technical work under my belt, so I was cast in a very minor role of a detective. I only had 2 lines--"You mean it was him? C'mon let's go". Funny how you remember stuff. I worked backstage on the set design, lighting and sound. One of the props needed for the play was a stereo. Mr. Vivian and I went to a local stereo store and asked them to loan us a stereo for the play. They did, but they wanted free advertising in the program. Done. The stereo had a demo record attached to the back. Mysteriously, the record went missing. I had it for several years. Confession is good for the soul.
The play went well. There were two actresses who played "Laura". One was a little older than the other. Linda was the younger one. She died the next year in a car crash. Jimmy played the villain. He and I became very good friends. Howard played a suspect. He and I were at Flora together. He went on to play golf and is now a motivational speaker.
The one thing I learned from "Laura" is not to get your ego in your way. All jobs are important to the overall success of a piece. It may hurt not getting the lead every time, but one can do things that will enhance one's part no matter how big the part is.