serendipitous reflections

Friday, February 02, 2007

Rest in Peace Walter

Today the Columbia Theatre community is grieving after losing one their cornerstones - Walter O'Rourke. Walter suffered a stroke in late January and died yesterday. Walter was a master carpenter and was the Technical Director at Workshop Theatre for over 17 years. And he build some of the most amazing sets you have ever seen.

The first time I met Walter, I was so intimidated. He was very gruff and I thought well this guy definitely doesn't like me plus he ignored me. Later I had a conversation with Randy, his partner, and he said "oh don't worry about that. Walter's a little gruff on the outside, but he's got a warm heart. Oh and don't think he's ignoring you, he's pretty much deaf. He only hears half of what I say to him and I yell." A couple of months later, I was talking to Walter and he said something to me that made me feel like all of the hard work was paying off. He said "You're doing a good job. It's good to have some young blood in here." It doesn't sound like much, but it meant the world to me.

Walter and Randy had 31 years together. I never saw them apart. I wanted to say something about Walter and Randy's life together, but I really couldn't put into word, so I'll use someone else's.
Walter's devotion and respect for his partner, Randy, was an inspiration and lesson to us all--watching them work together, on the stage as well as in life, defined mutual respect, love and extraordinary talent."-Susan H.

Walter will be missed greatly. I know that his devoted crew will continue his work.



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