Robert Haught, retired journalist and NSNC Newsletter Editor, is a lifelong fan and student of Oklahoma humorist, Will Rogers. Recently he helped headline a fundraiser for the Madison County Library in Virginia, giving two brief interpretations of Rogers.
“I call what I do an interpretation of Will Rogers, rather than an impersonation,” said Haught. Bob wore Western costume and read some of the columns Rogers wrote for the first act and in the second act, he wore a suit and appeared as Rogers did when doing his home-spun humor on radio broadcasts.
In addition to the live entertainment, a dinner featured some of Rogers’ favorite foods — chili, beans and cornbread and there was a screening of the film, “The Roping Fool.”
In 1999, Haught created the Will Rogers Humanitarian Award, which is given each year by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists during its annual conference. The award recognizes columnists who go beyond their normal duties to do something for their community that produces actual results.
“The thing I most admire about Will Rogers is that he really did good works in his time beyond his joke telling and so forth,” said Haught, who also was born and raised in Oklahoma.
The event produced a tangible result, raising $2000 for a summer reading program for children. To learn more about the event, read the feature article in the Charlottesville (VA) Daily Progress.