THE LOSS OF NAMELESS THINGS

Traumatic Brain Injury

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08/04/2010
Marko Hawk
Des Moines, WA

Tortured genius, brilliant mind, very likely sufffered from some bi-polar disorder, or alcolholism. (Capote, Hemmingway, etc) No crime...a product of the time. I can only wonder about the brilliant work that was never to be. Happy? I hope and pray he is. Happier than befor the accident. NO! No! No! He was an extraordinary talent..his drive, love, passion. His calling was tragically interrupted. Physical problems. Doctor bills. Fear. He has come a long ways. I hope he finishes his book. One in a million talents are rarely replaceable, nor are the works, inspiration, sheer talent, focus, and ability he brought to his company...all the things that were lost that night on the bridge. I was moved, touched, saddened, and ultimately soothed by the fact that he has recovered to the point where he can participate and enjoy his life to whatever extent his mind can wrap itself around.

05/29/2009

I am a young man of 23 years. An accident at 19, paralyzed me. 14 surgeries left me able to walk with a cane, but a ghost of my former self. I remember being much smarter before. I have inklings of a thought, but lose it before it leaves my mouth. Because of my accident, I'm a prophet with no readily available revelation.

I don't know where this thought ends; I'm lost before I step outside. This story made me stop criticizing myself based on an idea of what I was yesterday- to give my brain some grace as my soul yearns to have my mind assemble the language to say more with words I've forgotten the meaning of.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I believe I will come back, not "better", but happy. 3 viewings/one week later- happiness is not when one stops trying, but when still trying for small victories and achievements of the otherwise mundane are celebrated. Miraculous... I feel, finally, like I have permission to walk. What I lost I once had, and now it is gone. Okay. Thank you. A million times. thank you. Pardon the sap, but you just saved my life.

09/19/2008
Stephanie Anderson
Bloomfield, NM

I should have been sleeping instead of channel surfing. What a beautiful and deeply touching documentary I was lucky enough to catch. This is a first for me, I don't normaly get up and onto the net at midnight just to say how truely inspirational someones story is to me. You have shamed my complacent state of mind. I've been uninspired for what seems like years, but seeing such a great mind still striving to be heard makes me think, 'What is my excuse for never trying?' Thank you, thank you, thank you Bill and bless you all!

04/09/2008

This is an amazing story of a young artist literally having his gift taken back. But its an awesome movie none the less. Definately worth seeing several times.

04/04/2008

My sister gave me "The Loss of Nameless Things," thinking I might find it interesting. She underestimated its attractiion. Put the DVD in to watch while cooking supper and was mesmerized. Could not turn it off or do anything else until it was over. And even then, I sat for a long time thinking about the story, the man, and the implications of his accident and life. For those wanting to see it again--or for the first time or again, Netflix does have it available to rent. Well worth a second viewing since there is so much to make one think.

03/20/2008
lori harmon
columbus, oh

As a night owl (rather than an insomniac as so many others seem to have been to catch this wondrous show) I stumbled across this documentary in the middle of the night. I missed the first 1/2 hr. or so but I was immediately entranced by Oakley Hall's picture on the screen when I turned on the TV, and I was unable to look away for the rest of the show. Not a day now goes by that I don't think of Tad and the LCT. I came away from this haunting doc. with the devastating feeling that by not living through the time period in which Tad practiced, I have missed out on some very important and profound art; and by having not been lucky enough to have had the opportunity to have access to all of his plays, I feel deeply as though I am "missing" something and my life is less than full...there truly are no words to even adequately describe this feeling, as I have never had such deep, profound feelings for art before. Kudos to the makers of this film, it is the best documentary I've ever seen before. Unfortunately I didn't order this DVD/tape in time, and it now seems to be unavailable (even though there is still a link to order it, it doesn't come up on the list of available shows and I've e-mailed the company regarding this and received no reply). It has become an obsession searching my TV Guide for the past 2 years waiting for a repeat, to no avail. Again, kudos to everyone involved in the making of this doc. and I'm so grateful that Tad has gone on to have such a great recovery and full life!

Editors note:

Home DVD copies of LOSS OF NAMELESS THINGS can be found at ShopPBS .

Educational DVD copies cantact: bill@thelossofnamelessthings.com


07/02/2008
Susan Klein

Caught this late last night in a channel-surfing caprice; had to double-check to see if it was a dream. Two summers before Oakley birthed the Lexington Conservatory Theatre, I worked as office manager/ bunk counselor at the teen camp cited in the film (then called Lexington for the Performing Arts) and just 7 years prior I had attended the camp as a 12 year-old. Artists of today taking chances with their work? Well here's a great Name-Check: one of my fellow pre-teen campers in 1967 was none other than actor/director Charles Busch, then a diminutive, shy and sweet boy with great hair, who spent the summer creating wonderfully detailed pencil sketches in what was then the art studio (the smaller theatre). Saturday night dances were held in the Barn, "Sergeant Pepper" was in heavy rotation. I have a frozen-in-time memory of Chuck (as he was known) and I dancing to "Getting Better All the Time." The innocence and promise of that moment is echoed in this haunting film, which to me is about transformation, transcendence, and transfiguration. Nothing is promised; the corporeal body morphs -- but the spirit and art lives on.

6/1/07
Victoria Gladstone
Front Royal, Virginia

What an astonishing life! Oakley Hall before the fall, and Oakley Hall after the fall appear to me as two sides of the same golden coin. The pheonix has risen and through this film all has been redeemed. Since we can never know what more he would have achieved it's crucial that we accept what he has already sacrificed for his art. I liken it to the fate of Truman Capote before and after "In Cold Blood", he never wrote anything of much consequence after it and the trauma of the experience, although emotional, shattered something in him too. Thank you for bringing the life of this extraordinary man to my attention.

4/20/07
Arleen Jones
GreenBay, Wisc

This what a great documentry of what i call short story of life. I loved it even more because my best friend and soul mate has an Icanny resemblence, and this is what intrigued me to watch the program. I caught it part way through and understood the greatness of his understandings just by his smile. The greast smile of joy in the heart, where it belongs, and for that nothing else matters. A deaf mute could tell all by a smile or a frown. this is the greatness given for us to know the happiness in Oakleys heart as well as mine. If i had a scanner i would show you the resemblence, My friend past 2 years ago, and is allways remembered to me by his smile that brought joy to all. Thanks for bein happy with us. I would sure like to meet Oakley and if he ever wants to visit GreenBay, evn for a Packer Game or Hall of fame. i would be honored to be his friend and show him My Town. I am the same age and do so understand. Thanks Friend, Leiney

10/11/06
Richard Council
New York City

I was privileged to be a member of the cast in the L.C.T. production of Oakley's "Grinders Stand" in the summer of 1978.I didn't have the opportunity to know him before his unfortunate accident but clearly among the company he fostered a sense of loyalty and devotion to the theater and he could write blank verse like a Shakespearean sonofabitch.I am glad for him that his life continues to be an adventure/mystery that we all may learn from.

8/29/06
Kimberli Morrison
Seattle Washington

thank you so very much for your incredible work on the loss of nameless things, sharing the life and journey of oakley hall. it was a truly mesmerizing documentary, one of the best i have ever seen. i could not turn the channel, could not get up for a snack or drink. before watching this one of my favorite documentaries was be here to love me revealing life of townes van zandt. this reminded me so much of that film, but you have captured someone even more vibrant and talented in a different medium. viewers and fans will be in debt for this compilation of oakleys eclectic and dynamic life.

i am a 33 year old tech writer from seattle, always drawn to indy films and books. this was best in breed.

thank you again bill.

8/24/06
Piper Zeller Hanrahan
La Habra, CA

I new Oakley at UCI hundreds of years ago, and of course Bruce Bouchard, Steve Nisbet and Bob Currier too... I have no idea why Oakley came into my mind tonight causing me to google him & learn of the amazing road he's been travelling. But in reading it I do remember well that I loved watching Oakley, in class, at parties ... but I was terrified, at the tender age of 17, to get any closer. I wasn't even remotely prepared for that degree of intensity. I think I always feared he would inevitably self-destruct, & I'm thilled to hear that he is still with us and again in touch with his gifts. I'm so grateful to read Bruce's description of the "new" Oakley, and yes, I bet he is happier, I know he did it the hard way, but he got to stop running.

6/19/06
Mike Floyd
Bloomingdale, Illinois

I met Oakley on the train when he was heading to New York for the showing of TLONT; I was going home to Chicago from Salt Lake City. This was May 3rd and 4th, 2005.
We talked off and on, across the aisle from each other, mostly about stuff I can't remember now, but a little of it was about him. He struck me as being a relic of the early 70's or late 60's. There was something about him that seemed to be missing and, yet, there was also something that belied the missing.
As we parted ways in Chicago I stood outside the gate, watching and wondering, as he prepared to board the connection to New York. There was something there - a greatness lurking in the shadows.
Even though he couldn't remember the name of the movie at the time, I told him that I'd keep an eye for it. For the next 10 months I drove myself insane looking for this nameless movie through any medium I could think of. Looking for the proverbial ghost.
In March of this year I was told of a movie that aired on Independent Lens. I purchased a copy of it, watched it, and was surprised to find that what was on the film was what I met on the train.
It certainly seemed like Oakley had the remnants of his old "core", and certainly the humor, to come back further to the Oakley that he may only vaguely remember. This can be his true happiness.

4/5/06
KLS

I thinks it might be official that this documentary attracts insomniacs. I caught it on my local PBS while waiting for a midnight thunderstorm to pass. I missed the first few minutes, but I was immediately hooked. What impressed me was the almost total honesty expressed in most of the interviews. But I was left with as many questions as answers, which is why I would like to see it again. Such as, why was Oakley and his pregnant wife left to cope in such squalor? Was anyone trying to watch out for him? Did he get any type of post-hospital therapy, or was treatment limited then? The answers might not be important since the filmaker achieved his purpose in showing that life IS a mystery which we live. And look to high schools for energy and creativity - I can tell you from experience that they are doing more than "Harvey" and "Music Man."

4/3/06
matt rector
alton ; illinois

i regulary stay up & watch pbs because i learn so much/ cant usually find great things in this world/ but pbs brings it on home ya dig!i saw this doc on 4.02.06 broadcast out of st. louis. just as oakley defies of what vortex should have sucked him up and perhaps killed him it did not. and im thankful ; i am a local artist and writer here out of st lou.. and i have seen friends pass way to trajickly and too early. we should learn from our experiences/ and watch out for one another/ so other folks wont go to the way side. stay strong and write if you must oakley/ ihope to meet this man one day and do a pastel portrait of him. EVERYONE TAKE CARE

4/3/06
Daniel Zadek
South Brunswick, NJ

It is interesting how this film seems to attract insomniacs. I too saw the film in the waning hours of night just as the day broke. The film is about so many things: loss,change,growth,acceptance.The story is particular but the themes are universal.I found particularly interesting and moving how the people whose lives intersected with Oakley Hall were affected. How people tried to love him and cope with him both before and after, especially the two women who took care of him and loved hime in the years after the accident; what it takes to love someone who is broken and trying to get whole. Watching this film was experiencing it and it is now part of who I am as well........

3/28/06
bruce bouchard
saratoga springs NY

For those who have posted and those who read on, just wanted to let you know that Oakley Hall III lives on, transformed as one of the kindest, gentlest and most insightful people I know. It was my great pleasure to introduce the film (with Oakley)on the occassion of its screening at the Columbia Film Festival. Oakley stayed with me for a beautiful verdant week in Saratoga Springs, NY, sitting on our front porch, utterly delighted to be alive and brimming with humor and wonder at all times. He is a joy, an inspriation and a sage - wise and loving....and a great friend.
May he help us to re-order "priority" and serve as a lesson and an inspiration to us all.

3/28/06
Barbara
Montana

Apparently a lot of us don't sleep well and resort to TV as a sleeping pill. I too caught this on PBS in the middle of the night and was mesmerized, certainly not tranquilized for sleep. This was a remarkable effort.

3/20/06
Clarkston, Michigan

Look at his photo today!!! That beautiful man IS THE WORK OF ART. He went from ego to being.

3/17/06
MKenton
Omaha, NE

Well, I feel fortunate not to have insomnia. I did stumble onto this well done documentary. As someone who has worked at a brain injury facility for 13 years, I am always fascinated at the myriad of results we see when people have traumatic brain injuries. I see families who smile through it all and those who mourn forever; lives forever changed, people lost forever, new things found. Until I learned about TBI, I never truly realized who we are is our brain. Keep it safe folks...

3/15/06
Shawn
White Salmon WA

This was an intriguing and original film that I very much enjoyed. Oakley Hall III has certainly been through the wringer and back. It has been a long road but with the support of friends and family he appears to have come out on top. Life is a mystery and if you deny that you're in for a surprise. I guess you're in for a surprise even if you accept the mystery. Thanks to all those who contributed to this film, it is much appreciated.

3/13/06
Gary
Los Lunas, New Mexico

Let Oakley do what he is able to do from this point forward in his life. Before you think less of him for what he might have become, appreciate him for what he is now and what he will become.

3/13/06
Joshua Parrish
Greensboro, NC

I wish I could've seen the whole thing, caught the last half hour or so. Still, I was deeply moved. I see myself in Oakley, I know how he feels. Just would like to say thank you to pbs and all involved. What an inspriration! Oakley, thank you, there are many souls like yours out there. I feel i'm one.

3/10/06
Jim Linde
Phoenix, AZ

I recently awoke at 4:30 am and turned on the television with the intention of having it lull me back to sleep. What I happened to turn on was The Loss of Nameless Things and was immediately drawn into the story of the colony of artists at the Lexington Conservatory Theater. As a veteran of summer stock and conservatory training, I was taken back to the idyllic yet draining life I led as an itinerant actor. The story of Oakley Hall III is completely fascinating, a heartbreaking chronicle of a passionate, brilliant artist consumed by his craft, suddenly and shockingly removed from his ability to create. I am still haunted by Hall's story and uncertain whether the heartbreak I felt was for Hall or myself; after all, I still have the ability to work my craft but have never come close to my potential. And does Hall mourn what fate has taken from him? It's a challenge to ponder whether he might still long for the life of the perpetually dissatisfied artist or if he has found relative happiness in his current life, but Mister Rose has given full shrift to the glory of Hall's past and full respect for who Hall is today. The Loss of Nameless Things is a real revelation.

3/10/06
Keith Solomon
Edmonton, AB Canada

During a bout of insomnia the other night I turned the channel to PBS (KSPS Spokane), and discovered Bill Rose's documentary on Oakley Hall III. I'm really glad the TV blurb didn't give away the ending, because while I found the story of Oakley's (literal and figurative) fall very moving, to me the best part was the final chapter, when we actually meet Oakley today. I think it was a brilliant stroke to leave the audience hanging. I honestly expected him to be a vegetable in an institution somewhere, and was shocked to finally see him on the screen as he is today: functional, intelligent, vastly changed, but content. What I expected was tragedy, but what we got in the end was really an incredible story of redemption. Thanks ever so much.

3/8/06
Angie
Weymouth, MA

I saw this film recently on PBS and I was really mesmerized. I couldn't believe what this man went through and made it out of. Until the end, I was thinking this is such a sad story about this poor man's death, then TA DA - he's alive??!!! Wow, what a great job Mr. Rose did making this film. I'd really love to meet Mr. Hall someday.

3/6/06

Wow, I just watched the loss of nameless things. What an amazing documentary. Thank You Bill Rose. Is Tad happier today? Only Tad knows that. Life is mystery, life is a struggle everyday. Here was brilliant man who had demons. No one will ever know what happen on the bridge that night. But because of the accident that almost killed him and left him with (TBI) he had to learn all over again. Things happen for a reason. Tad was given second chance at life.

3/6/06
Walt Lasley
Farmington CT

This film was my first exposure to Oakley Hall and the LTC. While his horrific accident resulted in his near death and the tragic loss of his artistic genius, there is a powerful post script to the story. This film is a heart felt portrayal of a gifted, courageous individual who through shear force of will and the support of those who loved him, fought his was back from the brink of madness and a life lost, in spite of overwhelming odds.

Medical professionals dismissed the possibility of any meaningful rehabilitation for Hall. In spite of this bleak prognosis, he regained a quality of life that was nothing short of miraculous.

Hall's tale is inspirational, and he is to be admired all the more for his spirit, tenacity, and grace in the face of adversity.

3/6/06
Annie Sauter
Oneonta, NY

my adopted daughter was born with brain damage from fetal alcohol. She is a choreographer. I always drive by lexington, cutting off of 23A onto 42 and i always saw that place and felt something about it. Drawn in. I am a poet and was one of the first people to be part of Word Thursday, Bright Hill Press started by Bertha Rogers in Treadwell. I am 55 and was a wandering freak during the 60s. I used to write, but taking care of my daughter has taken up my life. Brain injury injures all around the injured person. His life is romantic, like my friend who was with migel Pena before he died. her husband shot himself. We just p*** along hoping my daughter will make it. What about the brain injured with 77 IQS? Annie still in the catskills--please come help her find a place to dance in safety--I would love to be in Grass Valley with a 75 IQ

3/6/06
jvc
Boston, MA

As a nurse who used to work with brain-injured people, I think that whatever the person's personality was premorbidly, is the way that it is post-traumatically. Mr. Hall was always brilliant and complex, and cannot easily be dissected, but this film was a wonderful look into the lives that are affected by such a tragedy, and how the pieces fall in life. After the initial trauma, comes that part in the person's life and the lives of his support people where the true impact of the experience emerges. Rehab is putting the pieces back together as best they can and getting on with life. That includes the changes that go on in a healthy person's life as well. It seems that Oakley knows what he's lost on some level and is coming to terms with it. He smiled more and seemed less lost as time went on, and I hope he has found that he is as happy as he can be. Thank you for making this film.

3/6/06
Andriy
Metuchen, NJ

While scanning the channels in Philly the other night, I immediately recognized the scenes from Lexington, NY. We stayed to watch the entire film and I'm glad we did.

We summered in Lexington since 1962 to around 1980, where we could here the "goings on" at the LCT on any given night.

Glad you captured history for all of us. Good film.

3/6/06
Sabrina
Honolulu, HI

As a scholar of disability studies, I found this documentary and film to be quite unsophisticated and absurd. Featuring Oakley's "tragic loss" as a person with a TBI sends our public the message that people with brain disabilities are tragic, helpless, and pathetic victims. This message of social paternalism only hinders the disability rights movement's mission to educate the public that people with disabilities are no less human or at a loss than any other person! If Oakley Hall's community of elite and educated actors and scholars, not to mention family, had led Oakley to resources that would allow him to navigate his world he maybe could have been involved in theatre soon after his "tragic devastating accident." It is also wrong to assume that Oakley had left his original self at the scene of "tragic horrific accident," and he is no longer "with us." This message robs people with any type of mental disorder there human right to hold a WHOLE identity. PBS should not engage in dissecting a person's worth before or after an accident, with or without a disability. I would love to see how much you could get away with if you had chosen one of the people you interviewed and did a documentary on their personal worth and without their complete assent. The words featured in your film depicted Oakley as "pathetic, tragic, a loss, devasting, half a person, and impossible." Perhaps society as whole should adapt themselves to fit Oakley's beautiful mind before thinking to dissect his. Start with your documentary's PBS! Get with the program!!!

3/6/06
Debra
Utah

Like Oakley Hall, my husband suffered a traumatic brain injury as a young man. Like Oakley Hall, he had a promising future. He was extremely bright, imaginative, a lover of science, learning, and good writing. Like Oakley, he was robbed of many of his gifts and talents and is still in the process, ten years later, of trying to figure out what to do. We are all still trying to figure out what to do.

But my husband won't stop trying--which is a new and beautiful gift. And when you really look, it doesn't take long to notice that he has developed many new gifts and talents as a result of his injury--just like Oakley. I do not believe that my husband's sensitivity, determination, ability to forgive and intense love for the people around him would be so refined had he not passed through this experience.

Thank you, Mr. Rose, for taking the time to document Oakley's life. It is both painful and beautiful to watch. I hope some of the millions of TBI survivors and their friends and families have a chance to view your film. Maybe it will help them better understand their own loss of nameless things.

3/6/06
Mark S. Reynolds
Homer, NY

Dear Mr. Rose,

Brilliant.

You have given me a new obsession. I can't tell you how inspired I was by your documentary. Not only have I made the people around me watch it, I can't wait to watch it again. It reminds me of why I can't do anything other than theatre. Those who share my addiction to the realization of text into the living, breathing, bleeding world of Theatre know how hard it is to live without it.

You taught me about an icon in American Theatre that I never would have known about if I did'nt watch. This should be shown to every Theatre 101 class across the country.

Thank you so much.

Mark S. Reynolds
the concieptual perverts.

3/6/06
Cindy Brown
Pandora, Ohio

I just wanted to say that this story was so captivating. If it wasn't for my insomnia the other night, I would have missed a great show. So great that three days later I'm looking up Oakley Hall, III on the internet trying to get more info. Anyway, as always, leave it to PBS to broaden my horizons. Thank you.

3/6/06
Laura
Philadelphia

I saw this film last night on the Independent Film Chanel network, by accident. Knowing nothing about Oakley Hall III, I was quickly drawn in to the unfolding story about this utterly tragic life, and the many people he touched during his life. A wonderful, moving, and really deep artistic film. Beautifully crafted: For instance, the filmmaker elicits in-depth memories from Hall's close theatre friends - later he shows Hall recounting these same men's names, wistfully commenting how they have all changed. Hall's lack of self-awareness about his own amazing transformation, mourned by these very same close friends, results in an almost mystical story: Before our eyes.

This documentary is one of the best I've ever seen, real art, and I hope it wins every award.

3/6/06
Sharon T.

While flipping through the channels late at night, I stopped on this beautiful face that filled my screen - captivating, rugged face that made me sit up in bed. I sat spell bound by what I was watching. Although painfully tragic, this film made me think about life and how beautiful,fragile and transient it is. So yes, Filmmaker Bill Rose achieved his objective with me. It also made me wish that I had been a part of the LTC experience of Oakley's time! The passion they all felt for Oakley was palpable. What presence he seemed to have had in his early years! It was almost tangible just observing his photos on the television screen.

Is Oakley happier post accident? Hard to say. His face seemed softer, his eyes less penetrating and intense which leads me to believe that he may be happier now than the LCT period.

3/6/06
Vera-Ellen
Fairmont, NC

BRAVO! I enjoyed this more than any program I have seen lately. I was a child of the 'nothing can happen to us' 70's. Little did I know after years of working as an EMT and RN, in my dream job, life as I knew it would end in 2004 when I was diagnosed with MS. There went my custom 1500cc motorcycle, & 2 1100cc's that were featured in V-Twin, car, and dreams. I hope this documentary is made avalable to high school students, for review and thoughts. They don't know when their dreams will come to a halt either. Tad could nor more chose his parents, than his birthdate! Hence, he came thru the hippie era.

(ps: Hippie is not a bad word)

3/6/06
Thelma O'Connor
Philadelphia PA

At first we thought that this was a brilliant mockumentary. The level of self-absorption exhibited by all of the players is hilarious! When we discovered that the film was serious, however, it was like watching a train wreck.

The literary world is littered with drug addled, alcohol-fueled posers like this Oakley character was in his youth. The fact that it took a traumatic brain injury to induce a personality overhaul in him is unimpressive--he clearly had no intention, at the age of 28, of changing willingly. The film indicated he was physically abusive to his wife and basically banged whatever came his way. If this makes for genius we are all in trouble.

No one who deviated from the party line "he was a genius" was interviewed. Nothing was investigated or questioned.

3/6/06
Bill Machold
New York, NY

An inspiring story of the possibility of regeneration of a spirit wounded by time and circumstances.

3/6/06
Thomas Middleton
Lawrence, KS

In viewing The Loss of Nameless Things, it reminded me of my many downfalls through life. I'm 43 years old and have returned to school to study theater and film. I have ADD and with the proper medication am able to explore my dreams. I feel very blessed to come to terms with what I may have accomplished in the past, but I am moving forward. I was very happy to see Oakley coming back and working out who he is as an artist and a human being. I believe Oakley's genious wasn't in his high IQ but in his humanity. And Oakley never lost that. He's a great inspiration.

3/6/06
Lee
central Mass.

Monsters. We all have them inside of us. Monsters Just wanting to be loved for being ourselves. If the outside appears a demi-god, very beautiful. and the mind's ideas highly creative and intelligent, being loved just for being here gets complicated. In those "before" photos, is it really so difficult to see the monster flickering behind the eyes, trying to stay hidden lest worhip and adoration be denied? Yet knowing beyond the certainty of any written words that the monster is oneself. One day a crack occurs--a play is optioned but not produced. The monster must stay hidden behind the next really good idea, the next artistic coup. Okay: for awhile. Then another crack and another--your helpmate turns up with a blackened eye that you gave her, and the critics don't like your next great, cutting-edge idea, and you have made a son inside the woman whose eye you blackened. The monster won't wait his time any longer, the adorers cannot save you. If you were a man, you would eat your failures and spit them out as something better. But you're only a boy with a monster inside. And blessed boy til the end, you are allowed to take only your own demi-god body with you on your journey through hell; you didn't, for example, kill anyone else while driving under the influence. God is merciful: finally, finally, you are loved just for being yourself.

3/6/06
Aaron Lee Davidson
Tuscola, IL

Stumbling, that is all that I have seemed to be able to do since the day I got out of the hospital and then two nights ago I stumble across Tad's story and nearly became nauseous from the wave of deja vu that swept over me. Nearly eight years ago to the day I fell from a third story balcony landing on my head. When I arrived at the emergency room they apparently didn't expect me to make it through the night and as my condition stabilized the next questuion was how much of me would be left. My family and friends had been told that I might not be able to even talk much less pursue the muses of theater, film and music as I had prior to the fall. No, I hadn't yet written my magnum opus and I wasn't on the lips of all of the hipsters-yet. That is not the point though, I know Tad's pain for it is my own. I also lost the use of an eye so rearranging my world upon release from the hospital became even more maddening. Alcohol was also involved in my accident so yes, I do bear responsibility for what happened

and no, I do not expect anyone to feel sorry for me but. But, what if, who knows what we could have been, if only. I'm losing the string. These are the echoes that bounce off of the newest welds of the inside of my skull over and over. I thank the filmmakers for their sensitive and unflinching portrayal. I thank Tad for his perserverance. I thank anyone who gives a damn. I am finding new ways every day to continue creating and I, hell, what are the chances that two of us coming from the same place go to the same place, come back again and are able to share the impressions of such a trip along with other remnants of our native gifts with the world.

3/3/06

I don't know if Oakley is happier. I do believe that God gave this man a second chance. After seeing this film, I did not sleep very well. I was captivated by this man's story.

Yes, I believe that the film did achieve the goal that "life is a mystery". We will never understand why this happended to him until we are able to ask our Creator. God had different plans for Oakley. He was living a dangerous life and had so much potential. He gave him a brilliant mind and has slowly given it back. Maybe not what he had before, but he is definitly a walking miracle.

I wonder if this experience possibly brought him to know our Heavenly Father?

3/3/06
Deb Lukjanovs
Dayton, Ohio

This movie is beautifully written and painstakingly researched, photographed, and edited. I woke up in the middle of the night and it was just coming on PBS--no more sleep for me! This is very compelling stuff, employing rich metaphors, including a Frankenstein adaptation Oakley wrote and produced, explored beautifully and unobtrusively (sometimes a difficult feat.) The intelligence and sensitivity of this film come through in every frame.

We need much, much more of this--excellent, quality independent films that intrigue and sometimes provoke, but always entertain. It is SUCH a respite from the onslaught of crap with which we are bombarded on the other networks! Thank you, Bill Rose, for giving us this gem! And thank YOU, PBS !!

3/3/06
Chris
Elk Grove, IL

It seems that many of us stumbled across this magnificent film while trying to find a cure for our insomnia. Well, obviously LOSS is not a film that will help us into unconsciousness. I watched this film on my local PBS station without knowing anything about Oakley Hall III. At first, I began to think that this documentary was a bit of a �This is Spinal Tap fantasy doc. Could such a person really exist? Did the theater group really exist? I was just mesmerized by the story itself. As the story progressed and I learned of Oak�s brain injury, it hit some chords with me. I am a physical therapist and have seen patients struggling to find something they think they�ve lost, but they don�t know what it is so how can they ever expect to find it. And with Oak being as ethereal as he was, it had to be overwhelming. It can be bewildering to friends and family as well. I hope that many people, in an awake state, also stumble upon this film. It�s good story telling of a very unique person under very interesting circumstances and the ending isn�t really an ending as much as an introduction to a beginning.

3/3/06
Laurie Ellison O'Toole
Lynbrook, New York

Wow, I bumped into this program about Oakley Hall III the other night when I couldn't sleep and was fascinated. Maybe because it was my era & he's close in age to my 56 plus I went to college upstate N.Y. around the same time but have never heard of him before. The show just made me want to find out more about him, his parents, the plays, the other actors, and the Lexington group. I wondered what happened to his son and does he have any artistic talents? Thanks to the film maker for making such a thought provoking story available to us.

Peace & Love from an Old Hippie at Heart

3/3/06
Steve Rose-Fleming
Norfolk, VA

Mr Rose,

I saw your wonderful documentary tonite on PBS about Oakley Hall III.

I couldn't help but wonder...could it be that G-d doesn't give a fig about sexual and intellectual prowess....that He's more concerned about our broken-ness and our will to triumph? And could it be that the influence a loving uncle has upon a single young nephew is more important than all the lives touched by his prose?

I dunno, but I'd much rather know the thoughtful "mensch Oakley" than the self-absorbed "dynamo Oakley." He is hero in my book...just the way he is.

Thank you for a terrific experience.

3/3/06
Anthony DiFatta
Jackson, Mississippi

I just watched the The Loss of Nameless Things the other night on PBS and I was blown away! I am a painter in Mississippi with a mental illness and I also teach others with mental illnesses including addiction and head injuries.

Please show this film again, so that others can be inspired!!!

3/3/06
Robert Dotson, M.D.
Oak Ridge, Tennessee

A recent airing of Bill Rose's THE LOSS OF NAMELESS THINGS on PBS's "Independent Lens" afforded me the opportunity to see this extraordinary documentary film about an extraordinary playwright, Oakley Hall, III. Like so many of life's chance discoveries, I was completely surprised by the beauty of this film - both in its subject matter and its crafting.

It is more than apparent that Mr. Hall was - is - one of those uniquely gifted individuals who appear rarely on life's stage. Unfortunately, such exceptional characters seem inevitably to be cursed with flaws which lead to their own "falls." Though this was largely the case with Oakley, too, his tale ends on notes of redemption and rebirth.

Changed though he may be today, few among us will ever be able to create anything of lasting significance as Oakley has done. In his achievements, he is a fortunate man, indeed.

Bill Rose has captured this man's dramatic life in an artful and sensitive way. His use of old photos and films, interviews with friends and family, and visual references back to the LTC environs (especially, the haunting old bridge and the river below) are all superbly done. The care that has obviously been put into the creation of this documentary betrays a genuine fondness for the subject and the genius of the film artist behind its production.

As to whether or not Oakley is "happier" today? It is impossible to tell, of course, from the film, but he does appear at least contented and he has every reason in the world to be happy. The saddest piece of the story, of course, is the apparent lack of reconciliation that exists between Oakley and his first wife. Hopefully, she - and their son - will one day see this film and it will serve to awaken those memories that are good; and, perhaps, they will be proud and thankful to have participated in Oakley's life.

3/3/06
tom mccoy
denver, colorado

Thank you so much for such an extraordinary experience. Having made some lame docs for our local PBS station a thousand years ago, I was undone by your skill and sensitivity. I kept thinking of Willie's notion that to "airy nothingness" the poet gives "a local habitation and a name"

and yet it is the nameless things that are at our center....keeps poets and filmmakers busy trying to name them. If I have enough $$ I want to get a copy of your film. Also, I worked in the theatre in the 60s-early 70s when Julian Beck and Bill Ball and Hall were working and sooo many things seemed possible and then, based on what we now face, we all got brain injuries. Thank you again for a superb effort. If you're ever in Denver, I'll buy the coffee.

3/3/06
Renetta Frederick
Monmouth, Oregon

.........beautiful........

Although only a simple construction worker when my husband suffered a devastating head injury, he too became immersed in a world of "nameless things."

Be it an intelligent, creative, and gifted mind...........or one that is gentle, tender, and humble... head injuries....by their very nature.... are the great equalizer.....

As I watched your film tonight on PBS.... for the first time in years........ I was able to grieve for Jim...the husband I lost......... And gain...from your amazing insight into the life of such a talented man as Oakley Hall...the importance of rejoicing for the person which Jim... has become....

Thank you Bill Rose....

3/3/06
Patricia

"The Loss of Nameless Things" is a brilliant, stunning piece of work. Having stumbled upon it on my local PBS station just as it was beginning late the other night, I was immediately drawn in. Knowing nothing about the subject or the players, I was completely engaged as the story unfolded. The film is wonderfully executed, with images, sounds and revelations that are lovely, fascinating and at times breathtaking. I ordered the DVD the very next morning. I can't wait for it to arrive so I can share it with my friends.

3/3/06
Dave O'Connor
Chicago

Your film is irresistable. I walked in the room & picked up the remote to turn off the TV, but whoever was talking caught my attention and I barely moved till the show was over. A fascinating person. Have his plays been published? Are they available?

Thank you.

3/3/06
Steven Heinig
New York, New York

The story of Oakley Hall III intrigued me so much I had to seek out more information; a very inspiring story! The tragedy wasn't the accident, no one could predict that, the true tragedy, the true injustice was how this man was left to suffer for years in convenient isolation afterwards, spiraling through the cracks of both an indifferent healthcare system and rarefied social fabric. Thank god, he finally received the dignity, compassion, and equality that creates the core sense of our human rights and values in this society.

I just needed to get that off my chest.

Sincerely,

Steven Heinig (a disabled writer)

3/3/06
Janine
Charleston, SC

I think the creative one here is Bill Rose. He managed to take a most ubiquitous story: One of an out of control, narcisistic alcoholic/drug addict and lure this viewer into believing I was watching a legend, a Shakespeare of our time.

I was temporarily hypnotized. However, It didn't take me long to start wondering why Mr. Rose thought this kid, among many of that type and time was so unique. There are millions of creative people who self-destruct.

To me, the moral of the story is that if you are going to live on superficialities like a family name,"charisma", good looks; you will end up surrounded with shallow people.

I was struck at how his "friends" who were so enamored of him before his fall, wanted very little to do with him afterwards. I would include his parents in this group.

I would say his last wife was a perfect example of substance and inner beauty. She was the real thing: a genious at the art of living.

Oakley reminded me of a benign Charles Manson. I don't see what is so charismatic about an unbathed, drugged out man who manages to lure a cadre of fair-weather friends to stick around, hoping his talent will rub off on them.

There are many creative talents in the world. The great, are the ones who are humbled enough by their talent to honor it, by respecting themselves and those around them.

The real talent here was Mr. Rose and his ability to captivate so many with

so very little.

3/3/06
Mishelle Beagle

WOOOWWWWWW!!! I was so deeply touched by Bill Rose's film about Oakley Hall III!! What an interesting story of a genius who lost it and is gaining it back again. Thank God for his wife who found him and recognized that he could improve with the right help. Thank you for a fascinating viewing experience about the notion of "Never Give Up".

P.S. I read "Ubu Roi" in college but I'll always have a different perspective now!

3/3/06

"Filmmaker Bill Rose said he hoped viewers would come away from THE LOSS OF NAMELESS THINGS with an understanding that �life is a mystery, which we live."

HUH?! WHA?! WHO?!

Bill! Put down your crack pipe!

Or, at least throw your hippie-era stash off the same bridge that this tragic, alcohol, drug fueled morrison-mason-esque-rich-boy-"genius" fell off of (or jumped off of) during a week long intoxicated stupor, okay?!

All because he couldn't handle the rejection from the real world of one of his plays...

Boo! Hoo! POOR BABY!!!

An interesting albeit sad story, but COME ON!

GET REAL!

He alone, the great genius OAKLEY HALL III (and maybe to some extent the naive, suck-up, cult-of personality worshipping "actors" that surrounded him during those early days) is (are) responsible for what happened to him. Not some "shadowy figure" who your film suggests may have thrown him off he bridge.

Cold as it may sound? He's lucky to be alive, brain damaged or not.

Okay, now that I've gotten all of THAT off of my chest:

I'm glad to see that he's alive, well, and enjoying what appears to be a pretty decent quality of life.

For what it's worth (Buffalo Springfiled) I had a childhod friend who similarly fried his brains although mainly on drugs and alcohol an evenually died of hepatitis under the age of fifty.

I miss him (the "Roy" I knew as a young man) and as with Oakley, wonder about what might have been.

Pass me a toothpick, please...

FIlmmaker Bill Rose's response:

Fair enough. What happened to Oakley on the bridge was bound to happen, one way or another — dark stranger or not. And certainly Oakley was a poster boy for the excesses of the time — not only in his idealism, but the anarchy, romanticism, and vanity of his generation. But make no mistake, he was driven by the demons that accompanied those lofty expectations. I don't think he ever set out to be the leader of a tribe. He was, and is, a very private person.

For me the wonder and awe come post accident, not just the long road back to a creative life, but more importantly, the gentle soul he has become. This kind, open, unjudging man, free of the regret and sorrow many others feel. I am a little younger than Oakley, but I know how hard it is to lead an artistic life, ESP as you get older. Yet, Oakley does it. He gets up every day and writes. He may be unable to clearly frame what he wrote the day before, but he re-boots his machine and begins again. I think he is incapable of "being" any other way in the world — in spite of everything which has happened. There is something so elemental in this. Pure. After four years of working on this film, I remain in awe and wonder at the mystery of it all.

— Bill Rose, Producer/Director


3/3/06
Rick Rundle
Chicago, IL

For Bill Rose Producer/Director of THE LOSS OF NAMELESS THINGS. I felt

good about the subject and the film. During the film the way people

talked I thought Tad had died. But don't we all die a little? Every day,

We are never what we were, we grow and die somewhere. I love the sidebar

about the brain injury confrerence in Albany, NY. My brother, John who has

downs syndrome is going thru his final act with Alzheimer's, happy but

distant at times. What an upbeat way to end the film with a B-party and

smiles. Reminds me of my mother who at 86 just passed away last year, she

had a shrap mind but became child like, in all things were fun and a new.

THANKS

3/2/06
Jim Kennelley
Mercer, PA

I couldn't sleep well last night so I got up and took Buddy (Golden Retriever) for a short walk about 3:45 A.M. Then turned on the t.v., hoping to be lulled back to sleep. Wow, what a 'shocker' I was intensely drawn into your film - and deeply enjoyed the terror escallating among the players who were so totally immersed in the dark, macabre, and deeply skillful theater -- -- How terribly exciting it must have been for them -- the transformation of living characters so evident -- and the fragilly semi-controlled paranoia resulting from multi-drug abuse, deep creativity and limitless experimentation of personal boundaries and behavior with intended and unintended consequences -- -- Wow! I HAVE to see it again - I lived through those same years - about the same age as the characters -- but drug free -- and cultural inhibitions restricting my behavior -- but terribly envious of the radicality of theater groups living their dreams - even if they have nightmare qualities to them -- --

What a 'flashback' experience to days that might have been, but never were for me, but seriously were for your cast and their families and friends.

3/2/06

I just want to say this was a inspiring event. I myself am a 37 yr old disabled vet and realize how lucky I am to remember the past.

3/2/06
Rachael Brown

What an amazing story of a young man destined for great things. So many stories we hear begin as this one did, full of promise, hope and ambition. The stories that usually make it onto the screen are the "feel-good" stories of individuals striving to overcome obstacles and achieving greatness. Here we find a story of a man with greatness in his hands and it slips through his fingers like the water that he fell so quickly toward on the night of his accident. No chance of holding onto this life so fluid and unpredictable. What a sobering tale, one that makes me cherish each moment of lucidity, each day that I have to reach my own potential and most importantly, each second of joy I find in my life because that's really it isn't it? Whether Hall became a great playwright or not, did he live fully in those moments of success or did he berate himself for not living up to his own expectations or ability to continue in his messiah-like leadership of his artistic troupe and the critics that clamored for genius? Does he more so now revel in his personal successes as he is rediscovering himself? I think that this film, moving and haunting as it is, really forces us to evaluate those questions not only in the life of this creative and complicated writer/director but also in our own minds. To question not only the fact that life is mysterious in it's unpredictability but also whether our joy in life is so hindered by the ambitions of our own success that we fail to fully realize what we have achieved enough to truly enjoy it. Hall to me was like the gambler that could not leave the table after some really great wins; he just kept upping the anty. Had he not crapped out that night on the bridge would he have ever left the table to enjoy the fruits of his success? Sadly, most of those that are remembered for great achievements, the "successful" ones, are too often slaves to their potential and ambition to the point that most never experience the pure and simple joys that Hall has in his later period of rediscovery. That, to me, is the greatest mystery brought out in this film.

3/2/06
Bray Hayes
Franklin, TN

Flipping through the channels the other night, I saw this film and decided to watch it. I am glad that I was able to hear this story as it made me feel fortunate for what I have in this present time. I now feel that a persons talents should be exhausted every day as you never know when they will be cut short. Bill did a great job of creating this film. The emotions from Tad's freinds are shown and the story leaves off where he is still pushing on in life despite the past. As far as his happiness, I believe that anyone would feel pretty low if they woke up one day and was told that they had great abilities years ago but inside they had no recollection. Overall, it's a great story and told very well. Best wishes Tad and good luck.

3/2/06
Theresa Williams
Bradner, OH

I watched this documentary late into the night (our local station repeats programs between 2 and 4 in the a.m.) on my bedroom TV. And long after I turned the lights out I thought about it. I thought about how close Oakely Hall seemed to be to mythology, how he was able to see the great patterns our lives fall into. How he was able to carve away the excess, the deadwood, and leave only the part that constitutes the grand story. The readings of his prose captivated me. I am a writer, so I thought a great deal about the function of the brain in making art. To me, Oakley Hall III is a very heroic figure in the way he has had to accept his limitations. This was just a wonderful documentary.

3/2/06
doreen galuska
ninilchik ak

i never heard of oakley hall 111 until last night. i couldn't pull away from the tv. i don't realy think he is happier today, than he was before the accident. i say that because my son suffered tbi when he turned 21. i could see he managed, but had a void in his life. by the age of 29, he is no longer with us. oakley definatly gave many,many people hope. thank you for a wonderful film i will never forget.

3/2/06

Excellent title; love the title and the story and the life of Oakley's gift of endless giving....
Only Oakley Hall knows the answer what is happiness....
however, I feel he has come full circle "home" a sense of peace/place (?)for Oakley and again, only the "Great Spirits" can speak on his behalf....
Oakley's life experiences are heart felt and definitely inspiring .... no words could express and the "mysteries of life", indeed it is a mystery. Oakley is truely and example of the trials and tribulation and the courageous return back to life anew in the present-Now,with such graceousness, unconditional care and compassion.

My warm regards and best to Oakley and thank you very much for being .... you.

3/2/06
Stu Naegele
Boulder, Colorado

I can't help wondering whether Hall's genius might have been fueled in part by the manic component of bipolar disorder. Mania brings rewards of great creativity as well as euphoria, but that doesn't necessarily engender happiness, particularly when tempered with alcohol and drug abuse to quiet the attendant demons. To see the present-day Oakley Hall is to see a person who appears more measured and content than the one portrayed in the 1970s. And contentment is surely akin to happiness.

As to the mystery of life, this documentary dramatically and emphatically reinforces that. There is so much uncertainty in our existence, where an illness - or a fall - can change everything in months or in an instant. And yet most of us forge blithely onward in search of a brighter tomorrow. Isn't that level of faith and optimism in today's world a great mystery? I must confess I had never heard of Oakley Hall, but I watched, rapt, last night as Oakley's story unfolded on the TV screen. This is a beautifully edited and artistically successful work.

3/2/06
P. Keating
Tucson Arizona

I was very moved by the film about Oakley Hall. He looked at peace with his life at the end of the program and I believe that is partly due to his wife who seemd to be the first person who actually got what was happening to him. When the program was over, all I could do was wonder what happened next. I was very captivated by this story. As a widow of a brilliant creative force that died of Brain cancer I had to wonder what it would have been like had he lived with out his "normal" faculties, and would he know what was missing.

3/2/06
Adam Colvin
Edmond, Oklahoma

What an inspiration! I truly enjoy independent lens and while flipping channels last night came across the video on Oakley Hall III. I could not stop watching.

I was moved by the love these people had for Oakley and even after the injury - the art that lived inside of his head.

Who cares that another Oakley Hall III play never sees the light of day? The fact that he smiled so many times - the fact that he still writes - if only for therapeutic and cathartic reasons.

I was just so amazed - Oakley Hall III is one of those people who goes on the list of people I would love to meet.

Bless you to all who made this film and the family and especially you Oakley Hall III - for your perseverence, honesty, transparency and art.

3/2/06
Maril Lynne
Mt Shasta California

Life's tradgedys are often unexplained and yet the unfolding of Oakley's story seems even more profound than his writing.

I am grateful to have experienced this bit of artistic sharing of a time when the talents of a man were so much more than box office numbers and media attention.

The film brought life to not only the man but comitment to a dream that is strongly felt through out the remembrances of his friends.

For all who made The Loss Of Nameless Things, possible thank you.

3/2/06
Melissa
Vernon CT

I stumbled upon this documentary and was instantly caught up in it. I lived many years up in the catskills before and after college. I had no knowledge that this type of theater group once existed. Although I am years younger you would think that such a place would have left more of a legacy I suppose. Also working with many people who have suffered from traumatic brain injury I can tell you that many of them recall glimpses of the person they were before the accident, the friends they had, and like those who once surrounded them mourn the loss of who they were at one time. Happier maybe not, but as happy as he once was possibly. The daily struggle to find some connection to who you were can be just as tormenting as the artist who tries to create brilliant works of art and comes up against blocks.

3/2/06
Leah Fritz
Stroudsburg, PA

High praise to Bill Rose and "The Loss of Nameless Things," a film nearly as remarkable as the man it portrays. It moved me in so many ways, on so many levels, and unavoidably so, in relation to my own family's loss of an artist.

My brother, though no genius or man destined to be written about in the New York Times, but still a very gifted human being and musician in his own right, was murdered in South Africa in 1994 at the age of 45. He was a principal french hornist with a symphony orchestra there, and had he survived his brutal beating and stoning death, most likely would have suffered severe brain damage and certainly would never, ever have been the same man, possibly to never play french horn again.

In the film, one of Tad's sisters speculates that initially they could have handled Tad's death better than his tragically altered state in survival. She can never know for sure, had he died that night, just as I can never know, had my brother survived, which course would have been more painful for our respective families.

But I do know that Tad's sisters and parents and friends can speak with him and hold him and watch him grow, amidst the sadness of what might have been. That my family can never do.

A thought-provoking film of great depth and significance, which allows us all to speculate on the many "might-have-beens" of our own multi-faceted lives.

With loving memory to my brother, Eric Birnbaum.

3/2/06
Christine Shacklett
CA

Amazing story . . . of brilliance and return to life after tramma with acceptance and grace. Thank you for this amazing life story.

3/2/06
William Lever
New Haven, Connecticut

First, I thought it a beautiful film...both heartbreaking and thought provoking. Do I think he's happier today? I think a better question might be do I think he's as satisfied as he might have been had the accident not happened. Agreed, the stress caused by the pressure to succeed is no doubt lessened, as is the angst and frustration one endures in the process of reaching for excellence. However, is the main goal of one's life to achieve happiness, or is life meant to be an enriching journey, striving to reach one's full potential?

I think Bill Rose's film illuminated very clearly the mystery of life, as well as it's fickle side.

In Oakely's case, I'm not sure if his injury dulls any awareness of the awesome potential that was lost on that bridge that night. For his sake, I hope it does, and I also hope that he is happy and contented in his life now.

3/2/06
stephanie ferruzza
croghan new york

I forced myself to stay awake,as I am here on the Oregon Coast...where everything is on later..I thought the oakley Hall 111 was excellent..now I cant sleep thinking about it and him..Cant seem to type very well either...Is it better to have love and lost than to never have loved at all???? Life is a mystery for sure and Bill Rose has certainly made us think about that..Its 2 am I must sleep..Will I dream? I hope it will be one of me at the LCT....

3/2/06
L. K. Walters

This man is remarkable. The genuis he posessed seemed to be a two edged sword. There where many who hitched their wagon to this star, yet it is ironic that the lesson he stiil gives is to grab onto life. Live it. He seemed peaceful and able to be as opposed to being in angst and non stop creative energy. Tad has still much to give. He is not less he is more. Tragedy did not keep its dark hand over his spirit forever. He is stilla bright star. Peace Be and Light. 3/2/06
enoonmai
Sandusky OH

"On a foggy night in July 1978, after weeks of heavy drinking, drugs and general out-of-control behavior, 28-year-old Oakley �Tad'' Hall III fell off a bridge near the Lexington Conservatory Theater in upstate New York, where he had built a reputable repertory company."

"When Hall hit the rocks below, he suffered traumatic brain injury (TBI) that robbed him of his ability to reason, create, comprehend and even perform the simple tasks of everyday life."

So: Whose fault is this?

Should we be feeling sympathy for Hall and his hippie ear cronies as the film suggests?

Or: Disgust and regret for his own and "hippie actors collective" naive, irreponsible and DANGEROUS habits, behavior and actions that led him to and resulted in this sad decline?

I'd say the latter.

peace, out...

3/2/06

That was a total mind blower. Thank you.

3/2/06
kt
south bend Indiana

"Life is what happens while were busy making other plans" ~John Lennon

I liked the story about this man, and am just glad he's still alive. I kept thinking during the show there was gonna be some tragic death. I didnt agree with the whole notion about what he could have been. Anybody could have been somebody different if they took a different path in life. We should just be glad we're alive as well.

3/2/06
D. Hooks
Austin Texas

Just saw the documentary on PBS and was both touched and intrigued. As a psych RN I see alot of TBI. Heartbreaking for the family, change in personality equals change of person. Regrets and what could have beens are a waste of time and energy. A brain injured person may lose cognitve abilities, but they also seem at times to lose some of that cynicism and jadedness (is that a word??) one develops during a lifetime - regaining a bit of that innocence that lets them enjoy life a little easier than the rest of us "normal" folk. My best to Tad.

3/2/06
Dorrie Blakney
South Hadley, Massachuset

Your commentary and title focus on loss rather than gain. However, certainly, the accident tamed the reckless ego and perhaps, ultimately, rescued Oakley's mind, body and soul from the fires of alcoholism, drug addiction, sexual debauchery and damnation...He seemed to me, at 52, less changed, physically, than many men in their middle years. And in the audio that accompanied your footage, Oakley came across as articulate. There was no evidence of permanent neurological damage in his demeanor or speech. If he were to work at his writing, my guess would be it would come back...My husband suffered a massive bleed to the brain and I was urged to let him go. After a month in a coma, he awoke, initially, pretty much unable to move. Now, 10 months later, he walks, with a wobble, but he walks. He talks. And he's writing a book...The resiliency of mind and body, supported by faith and prayer, is a wonder to behold.

3/2/06
Pittsburgh, PA

I couldn't help thinking as I watched the documentary tonight, and was introduced to Oakley Hall for the first time, that the vision of all his potential is overshadowed by the depression and addiction that he was probably under before the accident. Had he not fallen from that bridge, chances are he would have died in those years.

It was a terrible bargain that was struck, but Tad is still alive. I disagree with those who say that this is not that person -- it is Tad, injured and needing love and help, and there are remnants of the writer that remain. His friends and family can learn as much or more from their relationship with the injured Tad as from his formerly "healthy" self.

As to your Talkback questions, yes, I think Oakley is happier now. And one shouldn't read too much into the correlation between his accident and the pressures that he was under -- I suspect that there were other issues -- alcoholism and depression for starters.

Do I think the film achieves the goal of me seeing "life as a mystery, which we live?" I'm more interested in facts than mysteries.

Who are the artists today who are taking chances in their work as Oakley Hall III and his colleagues did at LCT? The Mattress Factory comes to mind. I think Ira Glass and Howard Stern are on the cutting edge of radio. In art I like Ben Matthews, Steven Hazard, Grayson Perry, and Richard Notkin in ceramics.

3/2/06
Hi Kaufmann
Mancelona Michigan

As someone who suffered a closed head injury I thank you for showing this film. It's always interesting to me see how other creative people survive living with a "different brain". NOrmal people can't comprehend how difficult and frustrating it is when your brain short circuts and your creativity is trapped inside you.

Thank you Tad for sharing your journey with the world. I was very happy to see your smiling face.

2/27/06
Connie Cass
Palmyra, NY

Oakley Hall III??? You mean Tad!I met Tad as "Uncle Tad" and many of the Halls while helping rebuild "The Chipeta House", a Colorado house bought fire damaged by his sister Tracy, my dear friend. I know his accident affected them all deeply, but I cannot say whether he is happier or not...odd question anyway, considering the mystery life really is.What I can say is Tad is an interesting man who is dynamic and animated about many things. Those days together working on that project are cherished memories. Getting to know Tracy's family was a great experience for me- great conversation, creativity, and energy abound in each of them! I look forward to learning about Tad's earlier days in this film - I wonder if it will be as inciteful as the PAN video I saw at his folks home in Squaw?! Miss you all!

2/23/06
Barbara Hall
Wayne, New Jersey

Hello,
I am a Hall from New England...perhaps there is a connection somewhere...
My grandfather Watson Hall was a local actor in the Athol, Massachusetts area.

My brother Jon and I are authors and my daughter is in theater...
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