Rob Sangster: A Man of Great Passion for Life

Rob Sangster Great Writer Great Friend

Rob Sangster
Great Writer
Great Friend


Rob Sangster is a friend of mine from our days at St. Thomas High School as members of the writing staff for the St. Thomas Eagle. Rob’s solitary sense of humor was always a trait that attracted me to his company. A very bright and expressive fellow, Rob never held back from peripherally sharing his current state of mind in class, even if he had to do it with the cartoons he drew in class as the only safe option under the spell of the school’s tight policy on classroom silence. One hot afternoon in the spring, (we had no AC at STHS back in the 1950s), Rob and I were sitting side-by-side near the back of the room, just trying to stay awake  through the drift of a Latin class review when I looked over to check out why Rob was taking so many notes. There should have been no need. We already knew this stuff.

Rob wasn’t taking notes. He was drawing what appeared to be a self-portrait of himself, falling asleep at his desk. The caption he wrote became iconic to every memory forward in my own lifetime of all the instances I’ve found myself feeling the same way in certain organizational meetings.

In Gothic letters, Rob had described his self-portrait sketch in these precise terms: “Chairman of the Bored”.

Rob Sangster and I lost track of each other for fifty years after our 1956 graduation from high school. He went on to Stanford and then UCLA for law school, if memory serves, and I burrowed into my own academic track at UH, Tulane, and UT as a mental health professional. Neither of us immediately became writers as we once may have each dreamed of becoming, but the writer gene in each of us never died, even if mine blossomed late with a few books and this almost daily blog. Thanks to the Internet, Rob Sangster and I found each other again at some point in the past ten years – and I got up to speed on the general awareness that this ancient friend of mine had been living a life that some of us only have dreamed of living.

I learned that Rob’s early success in law could have launched him up the political lines from Los Angeles, but he turned the opportunity down. Rob wanted more than money and power. He wanted substance and wisdom. So, instead of becoming the next “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”, Rob Sangster decided that he didn’t need the trip to DC to confirm his belief that it would only serve to tell him what he already knew, that it wasn’t for him , and, if he went to Washington, that he could be vulnerable to watching his life get gobbled up by some of the ambition alligators that still live in those federal political swamps. So, Rob Sangster went out and had his own open road life instead, complete with the all the risks that come with living outside the box of any established lifestyle entitlement system.

That decision is probably the reason that Rob Sangster now appears to me, his age contemporary, as someone who more closely resembles literature’s Dorian Gray. He’s also not the shorter guy that I went to high school with at St. Thomas. After he went to Stanford years ago, he grew to 6″4″ and, as you may be able to easily tell from the recent picture of him that has been included with this column, and another one, a close-up that you will find at the linked website. It is tempting to conclude that Rob’s youthfulness most likely is the synergy result of good genes working inside of someone who has been willing over his lifetime to live the risk of finding and then delivering his true self to the world. Not everybody does that these days, but pay attention to those who do. These people are our greatest teachers, if we are but open to hearing what they have to say.

From here forward, my information from e-mails and limited phone contact about Rob’s life gets spotty. Out of respect for his privacy, I won’t speculate about what I don’t know, and I would never do so about a friend, or anyone else, for that matter. I just know that he has lived the life of a world traveler, that he got back into writing travel articles about some of his adventures, that he is married, and that the Sangsters now have homes in both the USA and Canada – and that he is now dedicated to writing fiction, and that they are both dedicated to issues of social justice, great literature, the lessons of history, art, music, and the beauty of the world and it’s people.

Speaking of the man as a writer, Rob Sangster has authored two of the most compelling, well-written action/adventure novels of all time. You simply have to read them to discover that assessment for yourself. Attorney Jack Strider is the lead character in both of these serial adventures,  “Ground Truth” and “Deep Time”. Another in the Strider Series isn’t mentioned on Rob’s Website, but we do understand that it is deep in progress. Rob’s fiction work also is available at, by the way.

For a look at all of Rob Sangster’s work, check out the availability of his novels and earlier travel book material at this site:
(901) 458-2722 (U.S.A.)
(902) 688-1122 (Nova Scotia)

Here too are three photos that Rob Sangster took the other day from his office home study in Nova Scotia. He sent these and several others to me earlier today with the following one liner: “I took all these moonies from the second-floor deck that opens off my office. – Rob.”

During the Super Moon Nova Scotia Photo by Rob Sangster

During the Super Moon
Nova Scotia
Photo by Rob Sangster


 During the Super Moon Nova Scotia Photo by Rob Sangster

During the Super Moon
Nova Scotia
Photo by Rob Sangster



 During the Super Moon Nova Scotia Photo by Rob Sangster

During the Super Moon
Nova Scotia
Photo by Rob Sangster


 Bill McCurdy

Publisher, Editor, Writer

The Pecan Park Eagle

Houston, Texas


5 Responses to “Rob Sangster: A Man of Great Passion for Life”

  1. Mike Mulvihill Says:

    Nice to wake up and reading latest about 2 successful & happy classmates. Great pictures Rob. Take care

  2. strider49 Says:

    I was thinking last week how much I admire your understanding of the psyche, your expertise as a care giver – advisor – confidant. And, of course, there’s the baseball savant.
    Many thanks for your friendship, Bill.

  3. Patrick Callahan '56 Says:

    . . . . great piece of work on Rob; as Mulvihiil remarks – great to see articles on class mates that were successful……pleased with their own accomplishments…..might look into the “Strider” books; sounds like might be similar to some James Lee Burke material?

    Semper Fidelis

  4. Rob Sangster’s Deep Time Wins Lit Award | The Pecan Park Eagle Says:

    […] […]

  5. Ward S. DeWitt Says:

    As a fellow SAE at Stanford, I can now reveal that Rob, or Bob as we knew him, was tall, thin, and had an appealing Southern accent, beyond which he had no attractive characteristics. No, seriously, Bob was a leader in our fraternity, which had many of leadership quality. He was two years my senior, so that as a junior classman, he wanted little to do with me. I remember meeting him one day at our dining table and he asked me, “who are you with?” Nonetheless, even after he went off to the Navy, he is said to have manipulated flights off the carrier (I think) to get back to solid ground whenever possible. He was a fun guy to be around, and now, I’m trying to follow his excellent example by becoming a writer. BTW, I was afraid at first that I might be reading an obituary. Glad to know I was wrong. Congratulations to Rob and Bill McCurdy for featuring him.

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