My Story, Yours Too.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Me and Jack Black

Forgive me while I slam your already disabled dashboard with a variety of posts -- before I leave for a vacation from the real and virtual world. I'll be away from June 29-July 5th. The "schedule posts" function doesn't work. Sorry. And sorry to miss IWSG. This, my history with Jack Black, is sort of (but not really) a replacement for my absence next Wednesday.
 A few of my longtime blog friends might remember this story; I've recycled it from 2011.

  I grew up gazing at the stars. If you’re from or have ever visited LA, you know that the only stars you see there are famous people and Ryan Seacrest. So it’s not too surprising that Jack Black went to Temple school with me and my siblings. 
   Yep, Jack Black and the Engel kids attended Temple Jeremiah in Westchester (a little suburb of Los Angeles), CA. Sadly, the Temple folded for fiscal reasons years later. Jack Black’s mother attended a Temple Jeremiah Reunion, about ten years ago, along with my dad and his then girlfriend.
   I should backup and state that Jack Black is the man’s real name, not a stage name. I always thought this weird, and I mocked him for it: “Jack Black can eat no fat! Jack Black can eat no fat!” I’d spout off. I was quite proud of this insulting teaser I’d clearly stolen from a nursery rhyme, though my siblings were my only audience. 
  Jack was blonde, small and scrawny (I know, right?), and dressed shabbily. I recall his mom wearing fake furs and heals. I felt sorry for them, as it seemed his family was down on their luck. I knew back then that Jack’s parents divorced. In the 70’s, this was a big deal.
 One day, Jack’s mom failed to pick Jack up on time from Temple school. Jack and my brother, Jonathan, were about 5 years old at the time. I was 7 or 8-ish. Mom kindly offered Jack a ride home. She was generous like that. Jack sat in the middle seat of our red and white striped Rebel station wagon. It was a quiet trip but one I remember vividly. Perhaps I knew I should.
  I sat in the very back of the wagon, with Jack just inches from me in the middle seat. He didn’t say anything except “Thank you” when we got to his humble abode. 
  We were all shy kids. I don’t think I ever spoke to him. In retrospect, of course, I wish I’d proposed marriage.
  Jack really was a warmhearted, quirky and creative kid. Jonathan recalls a day when Jack sneakily meandered the Temple playground, hiding pieces of candy in various spots for other kids to find and enjoy. 
Glenn-David, Jonathan, Robyn, Dawn Engel (circa 1974). Jack Black was in this station wagon, in the middle on the passenger's side. I don't have proof, and my memory is fading, but I promise it's true.


  1. Awww. Such a family of lookers.
    And the memories of trips in the back of the station wagon - though ours was gun metal grey and not nearly as attractive as yours.

  2. You really CAN say you knew Jack Black when! Great story.

  3. Oh wow this is so cool. If only you'd have known... :)

  4. I remember this one!! And I believe you.

  5. Damn, if only you jumped on his train before it left the station, figuratively of course lol

  6. Wow! You can say you remember him when..... !!!

  7. I didn't know anyone who grew up to become famous. Very interesting.

  8. Love the picture! Great story, Robyn. A brush with fame! :)

  9. Wow, what a great story, Robyn! And I love that photo.

  10. Jack does seem like a very genuine, down to earth kind of guy. What a sweet story about him leaving the candy behind. Makes me like him all the more.

  11. I remember this one. And that makes you famous by proxy. So I think you have some money you should cash in!!

  12. Cute story, and I love your family photo! Jack missed out big time!