While Kevin Bacon made the concept of 6 degrees of separation famous, Dayton should be famous for 1.2 degrees of separation- in my time in Dayton, I’ve criss-crossed with Rob Lowe a few different ways, never actually meeting him- but I have talked to him on the phone once. His father was the first attorney willing to take my mask case, his step-mom was crafting her sculpture in South Park for a few years- 2 doors down from my office.
Dayton has been well represented in Hollywood, with Martin Sheen (a South Park native) and Allison Janney joining Rob on the West Wing- as well as all their other projects.
We’ve got the guy behind the storyboards for the Cohen brothers films living in Oakwood- J. Todd Anderson, and my good friend Mike Webber, who has made a bunch of movies, while living in Springboro. We’re well represented in IMDB.
And although I haven’t had a chance to read Rob Lowe’s new autobiography, from the review, it sounds like Dayton gets more than a mention: from the NYT review:
Rob Lowe’s “Stories I Only Tell My Friends,” by contrast, sticks mostly to the 1970s and ’80s and this mortal coil, though he does share some of MacLaine’s preoccupations. Lowe writes a cohesive, lively and engaging narrative that, despite occasional evasive maneuvering at critical junctures, captures a particular time in a surprisingly evocative way. He recounts his childhood in Ohio; his parents’ divorce; his mother’s subsequent marriages, divorces and emotional troubles; and his unlikely origins as a musical theater nerd. The memoir gains steam when Lowe’s mother (a New Age seeker herself, who come to think of it would have gotten on like a house on fire with MacLaine) follows her third husband-to-be to a “spartan” Malibu, taking her sons with her. There Lowe encounters a strange, enchanted world with a sinister undertow, as well as an entrée into the world of film.
I’ve recently noticed several local businesses displaying the “Dayton Patented” logo as a Dayton Original, and although Rob wasn’t born in Dayton- he did spend his formative years here. I’m surprised that we haven’t seen any Dayton Original messaging with some of our Hollywood stars- or our sports stars like Mike Schmidt.
If you’ve traveled in Europe since the Dayton accords, you’d be surprised how well Dayton is perceived- yet, at home, we have no clue to our position in the perception of the world. If we’re going to start undoing the damage to our community psyche- it’s time to enlist all the help we can get.
Rob- would you like to help? Martin? Allison? Mike?