Answer one question or many - using words, photos or other media.
Who did Robert like or admire?
I was lucky enough to edit some of Bob's pieces for Beliefnet and in piece after moving piece, Nylen painted loving portraits of regular Americans, getting the job done without fanfare or posturing. For example, Rico Colalucci, his 19-year-old platoon sargeant in Vietnam:
“Where bad things happened, he arose like a phantom, M-16 ablaze, rallying us....Don't misunderstand. He wasn't calm when bullets zinged by. He was no John Wayne, code in Vietnam for glory-seeking hot dog. Far from it. As time passed, he was a twitching, scared mess who often looked trapped in a mythic caricature he'd created for himself. We expected him to act heroically, and he delivered. It got harder when people nearby him were getting shot and maimed. Rico's eyes would go wide with fear, but his body still did the job....Whatever his inner demons, he quelled them and soldiered on. Golly, I loved that guy. No one who faces death isn't afraid. It's what you do with the fear that counts.”
What did Robert dislike?
What did you learn from Robert?
If you pray, what have been the messages or requests in those prayers?
Who were some famous people Robert met?
More or less on time, the King of Pop strode from an anteroom: Michael Jackson went straight to work. A young man assisted, holding two dozen illustrated storyboards. Jackson wished to build a Peter Pan theme park. A misapplied Band-Aid held his nose to his face as he spoke diffidently, then with mounting confidence as his voice dropped from alto to tenor. It wasn’t a bad idea, aside from the unbelievably creepy factor. Theme park? Peter Pan? From a guy living a pedophilic life that J.M. Barrie only simulated? Hmm.
Mr. Jackson took financial questions for fifteen minutes,. His concentration began slipping. He lobbed grapes at his colleague, who reciprocated. Rebbe Shmuley asked us to pose, one by one, for photos with M.J., and oh, by the way, how about donating to a new charity to benefit kids? Each of us in turn grasped the naked right hand of the famous germaphobe, flesh-to-flesh, and chatted him up, too. Subsequently, I coughed up a hundred dollars for the charity, but no photo. As I recall, the charity was called 'Save These Children.'”