The following college entrance essay was submitted along with an application to Catalpa University.
Question: Describe an encounter with a famous or notable person.
He’d been dead for a couple of years at least, but there was Vincent Schiavelli sitting on a park bench. He was alive but not well. He never looked well. Maybe he’d faked his death as a deliberate final performance, spurning the entertainment industry that used him but never seemed to want him. Danny DeVito, one of his co-stars in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, found his niche, but Schiavelli never did. I wouldn’t call myself a fan. Maybe no one would but seeing him on that park bench, strikingly tall even sitting down, with his heavy-lidded eyes and head that resembled an ivied silo so many memories came back. First I remembered a dozen cameos. He had that bass baritone voice, but a lot of times it was just his voice that did the talking. But I also remember what seemed like every single Christmas having to watch his “Dorf On Golf” video. Schiavelli’s quiet passivity was the perfect foil to Tim Conway’s ludicrous behavior. As I passed him I said, “I never saw Venice.” He nodded, but there was a twinkle in his eye that said, “Seek professional help.”