Obituary: Words to Lisa & Stephanie on Bruce Dobler, Creative Writer, Emeritus Prof and colleague who passed away recently:
I was so moved by Bruce Dobler’s poem in which he addresses both Lisa and Stephanie. The poems is a bit long and I have edited it to a shorter version.
SIX DAYS INTO THE WAR (Bruce Dobler:January 21, 1991)
…And here in Pittsburgh,
where the trees grow darker
against their burden
the snow falls like memories:
are the children safe?
It’s a holiday. Lisa in Baltimore,
can stay off the Beltway
at least this once.
Stephanie, in Bloomington, will have
the sense to wear a scarf.
I want them inside.
In Pittsburgh, we are staying in all day.
I wish I had been kinder when
snow fell past our windows in Vermont,
twenty years ago
just like today
everyone in their own sorrows
their own joys
everyone looking out the window
and everyone thinking:
how long will it go on
how much will we get?
Es wird stille sein und Leere.
Es wird Trauer sein und Schmerz.
Es wird dankbare Erinnerung sein,
die wie ein heler Stern the Nacht leuchtet,
bis weit hinein in den morgen.
– Satis Shroff
Wer so wirkt im Leben,
Wer so erfüllte seine Pflicht
und stets sein Bestes hat gegeben,
Für immer bleibt Bruce Dobler uns ein Licht.
– Satis Shroff
Bruce Dobler is the author of two “documentary” novels, Icepick and The Last Rush North (Little, Brown) and an “as-told-to” memoir of a counterfeiter, I Made It Myself (Grosset & Dunlap).
He recently completed 1212: The Children’s Crusade, a highly-researched historical novel, and is now working on his new book, Writing Creative Nonfiction: Creative and Critical Approaches, for Palgrave/Macmillan, to be published late in 2007. In addition, he is working on Vacant Lot, a quirky, off-beat memoir centered on one of those plots of ground that old-timers still called “prairies,” down on the South Side of Chicago.
I Made It Myself By M.M. Landress With Bruce Dobler The true story of a respectable printer turned counterfeiter Some observations from one of the few counterfeiters who never served time: On tricks of his trade: “Printing money that’s good enough to pass off on a bank is to a printer what the PhD is to a student.” On temptation: “There is probably not a single printer who doesn’t consider at some moment in his life the possibility of printing counterfeit bills….A standard joke in the trade is ‘are you making any money?'” On the criminal life: “This was too exhausting, physically and emotionally. I don’t think I was really cut out to be a criminal….I really couldn’t see how the ones who were could stand it over the years. No wonder they are called ‘hardened.'” Grosset & Dunlap (New York), 1973—ISBN: 0-448-02206-0
Icepick By Bruce Dobler A novel about life and death in a maximum security prison Icepick is neither the best nor the worst of the nation’s maximum security prisons. It is overcrowded, understaffed. Its plant is antiquated. Guard brutality is comparatively rare at Icepick. Violence, on the other hand—sexual, racial, political—is commonplace. Icepick is not a nice place to visit. It is a far worse place to live and work in. Yet some 850 Americans (of whom 70 percent are African American) do make their permanent home at the Illinois State Penitentiary in Chicago. And most survive….Some do not.
In this sweeping and explosive documentary novel, ICEPICK, Bruce Dobler lays bare the harsh world of the maximum security prison. Little, Brown & Co. (Boston), 1974—ISBN: 0-316-18915-4 Novel About The Last Great American Frontier Adventure—The Building Of The Pipeline Across The Frozen Vastness Of Alaska. Ranging From High-Rise Executive Suites In Anchorage To Remote Base Camps Where Even The Fog Freezes, This Documentary Novel Portrays The Drive To Explore—And Exploit—That Has Dominated The Life Of Alaska…And Dramatizes The Perilous Tension Between An Unspoiled Wilderness And The Desire Of Men To Tame It. Bruce Dobler Traveled And Worked In Alaska For A Year And A Half. He Drove And Flew The Entire Pipeline Route In All Seasons And Visited Every Camp On The Line. Little, Brown & Co. (Boston), 1976—ISBN: 0-316-18916-2