Footnote: A strange omission in Pernell Roberts life story
A long time People of One Fire member emailed me last night with a question. Did the packet sent me have any photos of Pernell Roberts as a baby or child? No! There is absolutely nothing about Pernell’s childhood in the packet. No baby pictures . . . no mention of childhood friends . . . no childhood memories of growing up in Waycross. His life story, as created by him, begins in high school. It begins in a big way. He was obviously very popular in high school. He was a star athlete, had many girlfriends, played in the school band and played in a dance band. There are several newspaper clippings from the Waycross Journal Herald about his activities as a teenager. You would think that since he was his parents only child, he would have inherited all his baby pictures and photos of him growing up in Waycross.
What this all means, I don’t know. Pernell’s birth coincided with the beginning of the Great Depression. His entire childhood was spent during the Depression. He became a teenager just as World War II began. When Pernell was born, his father was a syrup mixer at the local CocaCola plant. At least he had a job! Later on in the 1930s, his father became a sales and deliveryman for Dr. Pepper. Maybe the memories of the Depression Era were too painful for him? Perhaps there is some deep family secret that he was hiding? It is interesting that all of Pernell’s four wives were highly educated, two with doctorate degrees. Perhaps Pernell was embarrassed by his parents’ lack of education and the fact that he was obviously intelligent, but flunked out of college three times. Anything else I say would be pure speculation.
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