Bob Vogel Interview: Beloved College Professor Finds New Stage
Diana Landau | June 14, 2022
This week Carl has the pleasure of interviewing the one and only Dr. Bob Vogel who has moved on to a very unlikely second act. Dr. Vogel had an illustrious career as a top educator at Miami University in Ohio. (Carl took courses from Dr. Vogel in the 1970's.) After a successful, award-winning career of 40 years Bob retired. Professors usually then go into research and publishing but Bob wasn't interested in that. Instead, he embarked on an entirely new career in the entertainment industry.
Bob grew up in Long Island. After their wallpaper business went bankrupt, his family went from affluence to poverty. "The experience really shaped me," Bob says. After high school he was excited to enter college and reinvent himself again. "I am such a positive person, my family wondered if I was adopted," he laughs. In college he dreamt of going into entertainment but instead went on to graduate school, eventually obtaining his Phd and accepting a position at Miami of Ohio, teaching media and communications. "I love inspiring and encouraging young people!"
After decades in education, he was given a big send-off from students all over the country, the university established a scholarship in his name and then it was over. Bob was not sure what he wanted to do. He made a demo CD and saw an ad for a pianist. "My wife literally had to push me out the door, my hands were shaking. I hadn't interviewed in 40 years!" But he tried out and got the job. Then a former student, Lenny Dave asked him to join his national comedy tour, adding Bob's music creating "Great Comedians and their Music". At age 80, Bob and Lenny still perform all over, delighting (mostly retired) audiences everywhere.
Dr. Bob Vogel's (Un)Retirement advice:
"Look at your 'incompletes.' Are there some things you didn't finish that you want to achieve now?"
"Life is like a smorgasbord. Try different things!"
"Push beyond your comfort zone. In retirement, you have the freedom to fail. Then you can start again."
P.S. from Carl: "Take a chance! If that doesn't work out, do something else. People will admire you for trying."
Diana Landau is the Content Wrangler for Pickleball Media. After 15 years in corporate marketing, in 2012 she pivoted to write and wrangle content for Niche Media's weekly blog. She now manages the “I Used to Be Somebody” blog.