The spirit of Thomas Barbour is watching over me. The Church of the Transfiguration offered me a telephone interview for an office manager job last week. While researching the church, I came across a link to “The Episcopal Actor’s Guild”, a non-profit organization that I was already familiar with, due to my affiliation with Thomas Barbour, the character actor who played the role of Arthur’s father in the movie “Arthur”.
Tom Barbour’s photo appeared on the site. I started to laugh and wondered if the ghost of old Tom Barbour had something to do with the interview.
When Tom died, there was a ceremony at the Church of the Transfiguration in mid-town Manhattan. I did not remember the name of the church. Tom left a large portion of his estate to the Episcopal Actor’s Guild. It was only when I received a call regarding the job did I recall what Tom had told me about his favorite charity, one that was affiliated with the Church of the Transfiguration, a church that is famous because it buried dead actors in a time when actors were considered scum of the earth. Tom explained that before Hollywood was where everyone wanted to be, very few houses of God opened their doors to put to rest the souls of those who were what society deemed professional liars. As Tom’s personal secretary, I filled out many checks endorsed for the Episcopal Actor’s Guild on behalf of a blind Tom Barbour.
During my phone interview with Elizabeth Carr, Treasurer of the Church of the Transfiguration, I mentioned that I was a friend with the late Thomas Barbour.
“I’m a volunteer at the church,” Ms. Carr explained, “I’m not sure who he was.”
“He left a large portion of a $25 Million estate to the Episcopal Actor’s Guild,” I shared, wanting to go on about seeing Tom’s ghost while researching for my interview, but instead noted to the church treasurer that I had been interviewed by another church several months ago. I asked what it was in my resume that had attracted so many churches to my credentials.
“What church was it?” Ms. Carr asked.
My mind froze. Like an idiot, I could not remember the name of the church, and instead shared with the interviewer that the name of the church had escaped me, but I do remember that it was the oldest Protestant Church in North America.
I received an e-mail two days later, explaining that Bishop Andrew had filled the position. I thought it was rude that the church did not call, especially considering the ghost of dead actors I know.