More milestones for McAllister
June 9, 2008 · Updated 2:56 PM
"Everyone deserves a high school teacher like Bob McAllister. He talks in sound bites no pupil could forget.If I hadn't taken up teaching, I'd be dead, said McAllister, longtime BHS English teacher.His latest achievement is Northwest Folklore Scholarly Journal's publication of his short story, The River Boys. The thriller focuses on the effect of crime on folklore. The work draws on McAllister's own experiences when stalked by a disturbed teenager, and has been dramatized every year since he began teaching. McAllister said he is proud of the fact that the folklorist who transcribed and analyzed the tale is a former pupil. However, seeing the book in print convinces him that now is the time to retire. You have to get out while the applause is still ringing, he said. The 59-year-old teacher has directed numerous high school plays. His swan song will be a high school production of Gilbert and Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore, which runs April 28-29, May 5-6 and May 12-13.The project involves a cast of 40, several costume-makers and a few choreographers. This week, McAllister had to shout to make himself heard above the set building hubbub of girls working with power tools and boys adjusting the lighting. He described the show as a liberated festival of talent . Education offered McAllister a way out of the Vietnam War, but it also kept his love of language alive. Fixing the laces of his pink shoes and adjusting his matching tie, McAllister recalls that he has always been something of a character.McAllister said he loves literature and theater because he finds them truer than real life. Monday, as an interview drew to a close and he turns to rehearse his waiting cast, he smiles cheekily. You can make up the rest, he says."