In Memory

Frank Peyton (Pat) Glass VIEW PROFILE

Submitted by Bill Kerr:

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PAT GLASS (1939-2018)

"...the line between the past and present blurs and becomes a transparent and permeable membrane through which ideas move freely back and forth."  (Glass, Frank Peyton. "Thematic Use of Space in Contemporary Theater." University of Texas at Austin, 1974.)

"He had decided to live forever or die in the attempt, ..."  (Catch-22. Heller, Joseph. 1961, quoted in F.P. Glass's MA thesis, Oklahoma State)

"Peyton Place." (Sign on Pat's office door.)

Frank Peyton (Pat) Glass, III, 78, passed away peacefully on January 2, 2018, spared of long illness or endless medical intervention. He collapsed in his third floor apartment in Harrogate, United Kingdom, and was discovered by his long time landlady and friend, Siggy Mattison and her husband Des. He was rushed to the hospital where he could not be revived, and offstage he went.  

Our colleague, Professor Glass, taught English and Speech for 35 years for UMUC, starting in the Asian Division (1979) and retiring from the European Division in 2014. 

In the European Division he taught at all the bases, including Iceland, Spain, Bahrain, Germany, and the United Kingdom, to mention just a few. As he put it in the official video (the video is posted below) the possibilities of yet another city or country were always attractive, and the decades flew by. 

His academic background is impressive and interesting: BA and MA at Oklahoma State (his home state). His MA thesis was on the subject of dark humor in literature with a focus on "Catch 22." He later spent two years at the Yale Drama School studying acting, the same school where Meryl Streep and Paul Newman did their training. 

By his own admission he preferred academic life to theater, which is probably why he left Yale for the University of Texas at Austin, where he earned his doctorate writing about the "Thematic Use Of Space in Contemporary Theater" (1974). 

Hence, as a man of substantial learning and artistic talent he was a gift to students who naturally sought in education good language skills and a rich enjoyment of the arts. His classes were always full; he was known as a compelling and imaginative lecturer. 

He was a vital and integral friend and colleague in our Wiesbaden community, which included the late Jean Mandola, Jayne Traendly, Stephen Richards, Tobe Levin, Linda Schmitt, David Pugh, Deborah Griggs, and numerous others.

All would agree that Pat told a good story, variously droll and ironic, well timed, slow and steady, and reminiscent of Jack Benny, or George Burns. He was a man of the fifties. He knew his movies and his radio shows from "Superman" to "Lum and Abner" and "The Green Hornet." He could recite the lead-ins, word for word. 

He always seemed to be wearing a suit. He lived in an old hotel downtown, the Goldener Brunnen, a Wiesbaden landmark, where he could have passed for a local man of culture and manners. 

Not every one knew that he performed locally in a Neil Simon play (California Suite) in the 90's. He played his lead well, but saw it more as a social connection than a privilege of talent, or better, as he said, good proof that he still could remember lines.

We missed him when he settled in England, a place he dearly loved. We saw him last year at the Heidelberg OMA gathering. 

Pat was an only child. His parents are gone. His colleagues and friends shall therefore express our affection and try to keep his memory honored and enjoyed. 

See YouTube video of Pat below.



 
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01/24/18 06:14 PM #1    

John Nolan

What a sad note to read- Pat was a great friend and great colleague. I  wish I could count the number of laughs I had with Pat over the years, but two memories particularly jump out. On one occasion, oh I guess arond 2004-2005,  Elizabeth Trousdell, who was my boss at te time, called me into the office and said "John, we aren't visiting field studies enough, so I am ORDERING  YOU to go to Ansterdam and visit Jena Mandola's class on Van Gogh next week."  Hit me again boss, I think. But no, I haven't got the wrong "in memory", because when I got to Amsterdam, who should be  the first person I meet but Pat! Apparently, he frequently  joined Jean for that particular trip. Needless to say, several days in Amsterdam with Pat and Jean, on the university's tab...  well the rest does not bear telling.  I don't think I stopped laughing the whole time. 

My other memory comes from 2009, when Pat and I trained to go downrange together. That's right, Grafenwoehr, the army, uniforms the whole thing, with Pat deadpaning his way through the absudrities we were subjected  to.  It was hard to keep a straight face- all those NCOs just did not get the joke ( or repeated jokes) Pat delivered- a masterpiece. And, to put it bluntly, Pat did not look natural in a helmet, which only enhanced the effect.  Unfortunately, Pat sustained a serious injury to his arm when they turned him upside down in a humvee- remember he was nearly seventy by then, but he made a wise crack or two and soldiered on- right on to Iraq. 

It was always a pelasure to see him, and for some reason always a surprise- he seemed to turn up in unexpected places, and the conversation was always good- Pat's knoweldge of film was remarkable,  I am glad he spent his last days at Harrogate though- he loved that place, and it hurt him when our program there disappeared. I'm also very glad to hear he had no long debilitation- I remember once his fear of exactly  that came up in conversation. It was too soon,but an exit he would have preferred  


01/25/18 07:06 AM #2    

Forrest Studebaker

My hours in discussion with Pat were too few but highly memorable.  For a time we each found outselves ex-patriot in that most alien of 'foreign' cultures, England.  The Icelanders would have found in Pat a Saga.  How have these passages of youth just become Passages?   Judy B's photos of she and J. Michael reminded one how glorious it was to be 37; well, soon-to-be seventy-seven ain't altogether shabby with good memories of lives such as Pat's,and Mike's to celebrate.


01/25/18 01:20 PM #3    

Rod Romig

I very much enjoy reading the In Memory comments. I knew so few yet I knew them all. Change the face, change the name. The story remains the same.


01/26/18 09:00 AM #4    

Bill Stewart

In 1983-84 I was enjoying my first long overseas tour, assigned to HQ USAFE. My dear wife enrolled in a few of UMUC's classes at Ramstein. One in speech and one on film ...  both taught by Pat Glass. The reports at home on his classroom efforts were uniformly excellent. Of course. Even then I was looking into what comes after the Air Force. Bumped into Pat at the bar in the O'Club, introduced myself, quizzed him about life as an instructor (remember that title?) for UMUC-Europe. Received some pleasant alternative facts about the dream job in response. After AF retirement in 1990 at Stuttgart and following Pat's advice, I drove up to Heidelberg. Got a job. That gig lasted the next 21 years. Saw Pat last in Heidelberg, October 2016. Reminded him of our first encounter. He repeated a caution about not believing everything a recruiter tells you. In fond memory.


01/26/18 10:52 PM #5    

Chris Payne

Very soory to hear about Pat Glass. He was one of my favorite Marylanders and alawys a joy to be with. I first got to know Pat when I stayed in his Harrogate apartment  in 1996 when he was downrange and I was teaching at Menwith Hill. Later on we both found ourselves guests in David Glaser's house in Heidelberg. I last saw him at the Heidelberg reunion in October 2016. He had not lost his edgy laconic sense of humor.

Pat had a genius for coversation. His learning and scholarship shone through in everything he said. We enjoyed many 'merry' evenings together just chewin' the fat.  Like John, I am so glad his departure was pain-free at the end. Too soon, far too soon. He will be sorely missed by his old colleagues and the generations of students he inspired.


01/27/18 01:27 PM #6    

Bob Barcus

Now it can be told...about the guy with the most elegant name: Frank Peyton Glass III. A true country club name wouldn't you say? But golf will have to wait a moment for an appropriate toast: "Tip one back for our man Pat." Perhaps the bagpipes and a little Danny Boy - despite the cliche I think Pat wold go for the  drama. Or rather, because of the cliche Pat would love it.

 

I met Pat in 1979 when I came over to Asia. Pat and I spent the better part of a year teaching in the the same places in Korea and often living together: Osan, Yongsan,  Seoul, Taegu, Kunsan and traveling together beween terms, notably to Nepal and Taiwan. But the story that can now be told is that of Pat, terror of the fairway...another example of the undaunted spirit of  the gypsy scholar.

There we are in Kunsan, tucked against the East China Sea, surrounded by rice paddies and not much else. Occasionally we see an SR71 Blackbird and beside that not much else. But there is a 9 hole golf course. Pat and I happen to be living in a four bedroom bungalow BOQ about a quarter mile from the golf course. We are teaching four nights a week. Time. We had time.

Days started like this: 8 o'clockish, the sun slamming against our window shades,one of us stumbles out of bed and knocks on the bedroom door of the other, "What? Umf." "Wanna play golf?" "Hummphf, yeah, gimme five minutes." "Okay." "Snork." We are out the door in minutes and stroll down to the caddy shack for a bag of clubs. We' wake up about the third hole, finish our nine, shower and toddle over to the Officer's Club for a civilized breakfast. This routine was unbroken except on the weekends when one of our students, a younger, better player and real golf enthusiast, would somehow get us to play 18, 27 or 36 holes. Pat of course played cautiously, but, making few mistakes, scored well.

Lest you think that life at Kunsan was all golf we did spice things up a couple nights a week by taking the shuttle bus to the little ville about 15 klicks away where the American Legion and VFW bars had blackjack table going in the back room under a very atmostpheric  naked lightbulb.

Pat was a great companion, almost never rattled, always dapper somehow, observant, witty, cultured, and always amused by the endless drama in the great theater of humanity.

RIP brother Pat.


01/28/18 11:38 AM #7    

Ronald Schlundt

Many thanks to Bill Kerr for the excellent retrospective about Pat's life and career with Maryland. Those of us who knew him in the Ramstein area have many good memories of those days.

Ron Schlundt 


02/06/18 05:46 AM #8    

Stephen Richards

Thanks, Bill, for an obituary worthy of our colleague. Another great UMUC Overseas original gone, regrettably. I realise now that we must have started in the same year, 1979, though I in K-Town and Pat on the other side of the world. We didn't get to know each other at all well until 2005, when I called in on his Writing and Film classes at Menwith Hill in a building that he, and possibly other UMUC staff there, called the Little Red Schoolhouse. He was teaching the class sitting cross-legged on the front desk, for all the world like the caterpillar on his mushroom in the Alice story. But Pat wasn't smoking a hookah at the time. Instead, to alleviate his gruelling evening of two back-to-back F2F classes from 16:30 to 22:30, we dived between classes into the Officers' Club for a swift pint of bitter. It wasn't the only back-to-back session I saw him teach there. Afterwards we continued our chat over a more leisurely pint in the town.


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