Wednesday, September 07, 2005


Gilligan (Bob Denver) has died. He was seventy years old. How can this be? Gilligan was older than my parents? Someone should write a poem about Gilligan. Or, better, about Bob Denver and how he never escaped that island, never achieved enough velocity in his career to escape that program. I remember seeing him once on "Love Boat"--good grief, did I ever watch "Love Boat"? Or maybe it was "Fantasy Island"--"de plane, de plane!"

The late poet Walter Pavlich wrote a whole series of poems about Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. Michael Heffernan has an early book of poems titled The Cry of Oliver Hardy, and now I want to find that book and see what it's about. Amanda Blake (Miss Kitty on "Gunsmoke") died several years ago of AIDS. Fess Parker (played Daniel Boone in the TV series) was, many years ago, a car salesman; I don't know what happened to him after that. When I was a boy I wanted a coonskin cap, just like Daniel Boone on TV. (I know now that I probably just wanted Fess Parker to come take me away.)

Poor Gilligan. Poor castaway. Was there life after the island?

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