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January 2003
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What's up with … Bob Hamil?

Two years ago Bob Hamil, our former appliance repairman, cable installer, and general handyman, moved to the mainland to earn a better living as a photographer and web site designer. Lately he's been working for the Petoskey Theater Festival, mostly stage managing and doing tech work, but he performed in a recent play–God's Country, by Steven Dietz, about the mid '80's trial for The Order, an off-shoot of the Aryan Nation's Church. In their effort to create a “White Homeland” consisting of the five northwest states, they robbed banks and armored cars, and assassinated Alan Berg, a shock-jock in Denver CO. Bob played a former Order member and the lead prosecution witness, as well as some smaller roles.

“The last performance of the play was two weeks ago,” Bob said recently. "I would have liked to have done more than nine performances–I was just feeling like I was getting all the mood and character transitions down. We got good reviews and even a couple letters to the editor, because of the controversial content. Since I was playing a leading role, different times people who I barely know stopped me on the street and talked for several minutes about their reactions to the play. In some ways it was gratifying, and also a bit overwhelming. I'm not used to that degree of attention."

He's stage managing the next show, which has just started rehearsals: Arabian Nights. "After this one there isn't anything scheduled for the spring, which will be a bit of relief. With the skiing and snow-boarding around here, this is a busy EMS season in Boyne City." Bob has been working for the Boyne City EMS. Soon they'll be moving to a new station, so there's been extra organizational and construction work–another trade Bob plies. “It'll be just in time to get in the new place because it'll have a bunk room. My boss may need surgery, so I'd be doing a lot of overnight shifts,” Bob said.

“The service has been short-staffed, but with the new place I'm hoping we'll have an easier time attracting more medics. Because I'm actually doing work (instead of sitting waiting for an EMS call), I am now getting paid for the majority of the time I'm down there. It was nice to have several days off, to get more sleep and to finish many other projects such as my burgeoning web site at”

He's also been working occasionally at the medical job he used to do a lot– cardiac stress-testing. "I'm negotiating to work there more if they'll give me insurance benefits. Maybe if politicians lived up to their promises getting health insurance won't be such a battle. I'm not holding my breath!"

In the middle of all this Bob has found the time to install solar energy panels on a west side cabin in the woods, and may come over in the spring for other work.

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