After High School, I thumbed my nose at Horace Greeley and headed east. I made the journey by train, alone for three days in an increasingly uncomfortable chair. It seemed the romantic thing to do. My parents met me at the other end. (They'd met me before, of course. You know what I mean. Don't nit-pick.)

At Amherst College, I made the distracting acquaintance of the astonishing Albert Shmitzu, whose eclectic brilliance, Wyborwa, and fondness for singing "God Save the Tsar" helped pass the time cheerily. I also stumbled onto the stage—most particularly in Gilbert & Sullivan productions. Lack of innate musical talent did not hold me back from adventures as a patter comedian, performing as King Gama, Reginald Bunthorne, and John Wellington Wells (and, less accountably, in the low bass part of Old Adam Goodheart).


Oh, yes, there were some classes going on too.

I majored in English, of course, having decided in utero that I would be a writer. My honors thesis was a children’s book. Prescience of my future work, perhaps? An innate silliness?

Sometime in my junior year, I found that, with my love of history, I had in fact completed all the requirements for a History degree before completing my English credits. So I left Amherst with a Magna Cum Laude diploma in English and History.

Part 1: Hooray for Hollywood
Part 2: Singing & Studying
Part 3: New York, New York
Part 4: "By Paul Rosenthal"
Part 5: Clan Rosenthal
Part 6: En Garde!

As the fleshly poet Reginald Bunthorne in Patience
at Mt. Holyoke College