Getting Personal: Robert E. Picklesimer
Getting Personal is an email Q&A with a local personality. Here, a chat with Robert E. Picklesimer, the creative and managing director of the Creative Dramatics Workshop, who also is a rural mail carrier. In the Oct. 21 newspaper, we'll have a chat with Mike Boedicker, the audiovisual librarian and webmaster at the Danville Public Library who also is an independent filmmaker.
What time do you typically get up? What do you do the first hour of the morning?
I have a daytime job at the U.S. Postal Service. I am a rural mail carrier out of Champaign. I typically get up before 6 a.m. and spend my first hour driving to the post office and casing mail (getting it in order) on my mail route. You could say I am a "man of letters."
What did you have for lunch today? Where? With whom?
Today was a federal holiday, Columbus Day, so I had lunch at Biaggi's in Champaign with my parents, who also are on the board of the Creative Dramatics Workshop.
Best high school memory?
I was part of the marching band and the drama club in Montana, and we had multiple bus rides for meets and other events. My fondest memory is of our band from C.M. Russell (named for the artist) High School taking a long bus trip on four buses to the Tournament of Roses Parade in 1968.
Tell me about your favorite pair of shoes.
My favorite pairs of shoes have always been Hush Puppies, I used to say, "I wore Hush Puppies before anybody knew they were dumb," and I wear them today.
What does a perfect Sunday afternoon include?
Meeting my family for lunch at El Toro in St. Joseph, play rehearsal in Sidney, gaming with some of the older kids (graduates of CDW now in their 20s) in the late afternoon.
Was there one book you read as a child that you still cherish? Own? Read?
"Gray Dawn" by Albert Payson Terhune. I still own it. He was a contemporary of Sinclair Lewis but mostly wrote about his heroic dogs.
Where on Earth are you dying to go? Why?
Yosemite Park in California. I have been to most other national parks and monuments in the U.S. and have missed that one.
Tell me about your favorite pet.
My parents had a dog called Snooper, who was the ugliest dog I remember, a cross between a brindle dachshund and a pit bull. But he was the most lovable dog ever. He adored "his family."
Have you discovered that you are becoming like one of your parents? Which one and how?
I am not really like either of my parents. My mother was talented, and my father wise, and I like to think I combine the two.
What would you order for your last meal?
Yeesh. Morbid. El Toro fajitas probably.
What can you not live without?
My vehicle. I need to be mobile to do everything I need to do.
Who do you have on your iPod?
Pink Floyd, Moody Blues, Led Zeppelin.
What's the happiest memory of your life?
Graduation from high school, spending the whole night in and around the Missouri River in Great Falls, Mont., swimming in Belt Creek, etc.
If you could host a dinner party with any three living people in the world, whom would you invite?
Robert Redford — he's cool; Anne Hathaway — she's hot; and Michael Connelly — I'm into reading his books right now.
What's the best advice you've ever been given?
Don't have any regrets about what you didn't do in life.
What's your best piece of advice?
Anything that seems too good to be true, probably isn't.
What was your first job and how much did you make an hour?
In an industrial bakery in Great Falls. $1.43 an hour.
What was a pivotal decision in your career and how did you arrive at that decision?
Most decisions were accidental. Buying the old church building and starting the Creative Dramatics Workshop in Sidney. I am self-actualized there every day.
Do you have a bad habit? What is it?
How do you handle a stressful situation?
I usually go to the movies, any movie, to take my mind off of stress, but then it delays me taking care of the situation at hand. So that doesn't necessarily work out the best.