I just read an article about Neil LaBute in the New York Times, which called to mind how I almost became his home teacher.
This was a number of years ago (I don’t really have a clear sense of how many years). At the time I was the Executive Secretary, so I attended bishopric meetings. One Sunday as they went over the new move-ins, they read off the name of a guy who had just moved into the ward with his wife and, I think, two kids: Neil LaBute. It was a move-in from Indiana.
I could scarcely believe my ears, and waited to see what the reaction would be among the other men in the meeting. There was no recognition whatsoever; no one had any idea who LaBute was.
I knew who he was. I had seen In the Company of Men and Your Friends and Neighbors and whatever other film work he had done at the time. (I have no scruples against seeing R-rated movies.) I had seen him in person at Chicago Sunstone a couple of times where he had brought in some actors to do readings of some of his work. One featured frequent f-bombs, and I remember one (rather weird) guy who went ballistic over the profanity.
So anyway, I volunteered to be his home teacher. My thought was that I would be able to protect him from the forces that simply wouldn’t understand his work and would be offended by it.
I went on a long drive to try to find the address on the card, but it was nonexistent. I think there was a mistake in the name of the village, and he actually lived in the village to the north, which would have been out of our stake boundaries. So the record went back. I don’t think it was very long after that that he was no longer in the church.
I still in the back of my mind figure I could have protected him, if only I could have been his home teacher.