Robert J. Davidson

A Biography
by Diane Graebner

     Robert grumbled as he rolled over to pick up the ringing phone. He glanced at the clock as he picked up the receiver. It was three-o-clock in the morning. "Yeah, who is it?" he groaned into the phone.

     "Hello, Bobby," the voice at the other end seemed wide awake, even for the early hour. "I hope I didn't wake you or your lovely wife. I just called to tell you that I got you a part on a commercial for that new soap stuff they've got now. I don't know how they can call that stuff soap. I mean..."

     "Get to the point, would you?" Robert whispered. "And you know I don't do commercials, only guest spots and stuff. And one more thing," Robert's voice started to rise, "don't call me at 3:00 in the morning again. I've got a busy day tomorrow and I need my sleep. Some agent!"

     Robert John Davidson, or Bobby, as his agent called him, lived in a small house in Los Angeles, California, with his wife Margerite Davidson and their son John.

     He was an aspiring actor, doing small parts on television whenever possible. Robert had finished high school in Flint, Michigan at the age of 19. He moved to California a year later, where he spent the rest of his life.

     Robert was an auto mechanic, and even though he really wanted to be an actor, he enjoyed working on cars. One day, as Robert, now 25, worked in Parker's Garage, a large Rolls Royce pulled into the driveway. Robert recognized the man in the car as Joseph T. Tylor, one of the biggest television directors in America.

     "Hey! Haven't I seen you on television?" Tylor asked, and it was the beginning of a long friendship between a struggling actor and a big time director.

     It was a lucky break for Robert, as Tylor got him larger and larger parts in television programs. Then one day it happened. Robert was asked to do a lead part in a movie! Robert, and his wife and son, moved to Beverly Hills, where they bought a house. It was a dream come true for Robert.

     Later, the dream turned into a nightmare. During the filming of the movie, Robert's wife, Margerite, who had been ill for some time, died suddenly. Although Robert was sick with grief, he knew that he must continue to work on his dream.

     Finally, after years of hard work, the movie was finished. After a week of being shown in theaters in California, it died, taking all of Robert's dreams with it.

     After that, Robert watched his life crumble around him. His son, John, now 21, moved back to Michigan to become a doctor, leaving Robert all alone. Robert spent most of his time alone in his house. He did an occasional commercial, and he got a part-time job working in a garage.

     After three years of doing commercials, Robert got the lead part in another movie. This movie, although it was only a low budget film, was a big success, and Robert was nominated for an Academy Award. He came out a winner. As he went up to accept the award, he felt a tear form in his eye. "This one's for you Margerite," he whispered under his breath. "This one's for you."

     About 30 years later, at the age of 89, Robert died in his home in Beverly Hills. His housekeeper found him when she came in to work that morning. He was curled up in the old chair by the fireplace, holding a picture of Margerite close to him.

     The wind whispered through the trees of the old graveyard. As John Davidson, now a heart surgeon, kneeled by his father's grave, he cried softly. He ran a hand along the words carved on the stone: "Robert John Davidson, Born 1964, Died 2053" was all the stone said. As he rose to leave, he thought of the Oscar, which stood on the mantle over the fireplace. It was the only symbol left of a man's dream.

(Note: The people in this "biography" are fictional. This was originally written as a writing assignment in the 9th Grade. The assignment: To interview a fellow classmate and turn their answers into a biography. Diane's interview was with a classic underachiever, who only liked to "work on cars" and thought he "wanted to be a movie star someday." Ironically, the subject of her biography totally skipped the assignment and failed to write a biography about her! Probably just as well!)

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