I am sad today. My dear friend Rob has left this world. He is gone way to soon.
He was exceptionally talented. A veteran script writer and editor, or as he called himself, a ‘script doctor’.
Rob worked on many Australian TV shows, including ‘Prisoner’ and ‘The Flying Doctors’. He also worked on numerous kids tv programs, all wonderful, but of course, I have my favorite shows, ‘Fleabitten’ and ‘Dogstar’. He wrote kids books too, including ‘The Greeblies’, ‘There’s Money in Toilets’, and ‘Swimming with Skeletons’.p
Rob was born to write, and he described his writing career as beginning when he won the Best Sentence Competition in Grade 3. It didn’t matter whether it was a book, an article, or a video script, he was quick to cut to the chase, saying, “It all starts with the word”.
He also played a mean harmonica, which he first picked up aged 16, inspired by Bob Dylan. He melded this talent with his wonderful writing skills, and during his illness, turned out his first music album, The Great Wall of Greenberg
Sadly, his deteriorating health meant he was unable to attend the album’s launch in September 2015. But still writing, he sent a speech.
Here is an excerpt:
“Chris Hitchens, the great English writer who died from cancer in 2011 says good things about how I feel about mortality.
I’ll paraphrase him
“To the dumb question ‘Why me?’ the universe barely bothers to return the reply- Why not?”
What is a prayer?
A desperate plea that the laws of nature be suspended. Just for you.
The person who prays thinks that god has arranged matters all wrong.
He thinks that he can instruct god on how to put them right.”
We met through academia, and instantly clicked. Rob had an amazing intellect, was fast to grasp an idea, was witty and very funny. We always made each other laugh. We encouraged each other, sometimes professionally, sometimes personally, sometimes like the two naughty kids in class who aren’t allowed to sit together.
My fondest memories of Rob are of him sitting in my office, helping himself to the large jar of jelly beans on my desk, chatting away about this or that, or as he called our verbal interludes, “putting the world right”.
On Friday afternoons, if we ran across each other on campus, despite him going “off the derech” years before, he would always call out and wish me “Gut Shabbos”. He was a true mensch. I will miss his contagious laugh, his warm smile, his amazing talent, and his good heart.