Bits 'n' Pieces: N.Y. Times publishes B.G. man’s story

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Robert Roy’s life has been interesting enough to be featured in a New York Times blog in November.

When 73-year-old Roy got a notification that David Brooks, a columnist from the New York Times, was asking for readers older than 70 to submit autobiographical essays evaluating their lives he thought, “Well, why not?” he said. He and hundreds of other seniors sent their stories to Life Reports. His was one of around 15 that were featured.

During a 30-year career in social work administration, Roy did a lot of technical writing, but this was different, he said. Around 10 years ago, his job got so intense he started writing as an outlet.

“I wrote things that I wasn’t able to express.”

After retirement four years ago, Roy got serious about his writing and signed up for a class through the Clark College Mature Learning Program. He’s been in it for three years and was a contributing author in the class’s compilation “Elderberry Wine, Vintage 2010,” published in June by Trafford Publishing.

The Battle Ground man had a short narrative published in the Senior Messenger in December.

“I have a couple short novels I put together,” he said, “I haven’t done much with them.”

His wife, Christine, is his editor, he said.

“Writing’s a hobby of mine,” Roy said. “I enjoy writing, and it’s my daily activity.”

You can read his memoir at New York Times and his Senior Messenger story.

— Ruth Zschomler

Vancouver comic appears on TV’s ‘Portlandia’

photoAlex Gavlick

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“When I grow up, I want to be funny or an elephant,” Alex Gavlick, 18, wrote in a kindergarten paper. “I like to think that I made one of those dreams come true,” he recently said in an interview with splashlife.com.

In May, Gavlick of Vancouver was one of the youngest comedians to be put on splashlife.com’s 30 Under 30: Comedians to Watch list.

He also caught the eye of “Portlandia” casting director Simon Max Hill. Gavlick was called for an audition in July, got cast and filmed the episode later that month. Gavlick played Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein’s adult son in a Season 2 episode called “Mixology.”

“It was a dream come true to perform with them,” Gavlick said.

In the episode the actors were “helicopter parents” and he was basically an adult baby, he said.

“I will always be grateful to them for giving me my first shot (at acting on television).”

Gavlick has been doing stand-up and improv comedy at the Curious Comedy Theater in Portland since he was 15.

He was the graduating class speaker at Vancouver School of Arts and Academics in June, and his humorous speech was captured on video and circulated on YouTube.

Gavlick now attends DePaul University in Chicago. While he’s taking improv classes at Chicago theaters, he says he’s majoring in finance, which he finds “boring, but necessary” and minoring in creative writing, which he said he loves but “really isn’t the most practical.”

“I think they’ll both really help me in my comedy career down the road.”

Gavlick said he chose Chicago for school so he could be in the middle of an amazing comedy town, he said.

Follow Gavlick on his website and on Twitter attalign val="2"/>— Ruth Zschomler

Bits ’n’ Pieces appears Mondays and Fridays. If you have a story you’d like to share, call Ruth Zschomler, 360-735-4530, or email ruth.zschomler@columbian.com.