When “Rustin” hit theaters late last week, Christopher Anglim joined other moviegoers at the Avalon Theatre in Chevy Chase, Maryland, to catch the major motion picture directed by George C. Wolfe and starring Colman Domingo, Glynn Turman and Chris Rock.
Anglim, a rural Benton County resident, has an intimate interest in the movie. You see, he landed the role of Eugene Carson Blake, which tells the story of activist Bayard Rustin.
Rustin faced racism and homophobia as he helped change the course of Civil Rights history by orchestrating the March on Washington in 1963. “Rustin” had a limited theatrical release in specific sections of the country on Nov. 3 — not in Oregon — but it will be available to stream on Netflix beginning Nov. 17.
Anglim, 66, said he got into acting back during his high school days and continued in college while in Minnesota. He landed the role in “Rustin” after answering an ad and auditioning.
“I and about four other people went through an interview process and went through a screening,” he said. “I put tons of Brylcreem in my hair to see if I could look the part and apparently I did. … It was a very interesting experience and something that I will always remember enjoying doing. It was very much a surprise, a lot of it, and it was pretty much a lot of serendipity.”
Anglim’s part required filming scenes on location in Washington, D.C., and Pittsburgh.
“I have a few lines here and there … It wasn’t a big part but was a significant role and I very much enjoyed the screen time that I did have,” he said.
Blake, a Presbyterian Church leader, was among those who organized and participated in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on Aug. 28, 1963. Blake and Martin Luther King Jr., and others met with President John F. Kennedy at the White House prior to the event. Afterward, he was among those who spoke to marchers at the Lincoln Memorial not long before King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech.
Up to this point in his career, most of his acting gigs have involved live stage acting with a few smaller firms worked in. He plans to continue to look for acting jobs in industry publications and hopes he might have an opportunity to land something in an upcoming movie on the life of Martin Luther King Jr.
“There’s also another film like this that’s going to be directed by Chris Rock and the executive producer is going to be Steven Spielberg,” Anglim said. “It’s going to be a dramatization of Jonathan Eig’s ‘King: A Life.’ Some of the events portrayed in that are going to be much of the same that we see in ‘Rustin.’”
Anglim’s Oregon property sits on Greenberry Road about 9 miles southeast of Philomath. He and his wife, Gretchen, who works at HP Inc., are building a house at the site. His job currently forces him to spend most of his time on the East Coast.
2. ‘Veterans Day Reflections’
Before the Philomath City Council gets into the topics of the meeting appearing on the Nov. 13 agenda, councilors will take a few moments at 7 p.m. in recognition of Veterans Day with a special program.
Dean Aithwaite, who founded Willamette Valley First Responders Chaplains, will present “Veterans Day Reflections” — a short perspective and reflections on military service, America’s veterans and the role of his organization in helping serve local veterans in need.
Aithwaite served with the British Armed Forces, married an American and moved to the United States where he pursued firefighting as a volunteer opportunity.
Eleven years ago, he began the process to become a credentialed chaplain. He started serving in the Mid-Valley region in 2015 and three years later, established Willamette Valley First Responders Chaplains. He currently serves as an incident response or support team member to various law enforcement agencies, including the Benton County Sheriff’s Office.
Elsewhere, the county had a special proclamation event at its Nov. 7 meeting. There were veterans in attendance, including retired Sgt. Major Vinnie Jacques, a Purple Heart recipient who served in the Oregon Army National Guard and Benton County Veteran Service Officer Mark Lapinskas.
“This is a great reminder of how important our service members and their families are to this community,” Commissioner Pat Malone.
During the meeting, Jacques presented the county commissioners with a book that covers the 2nd Battalion, 162nd Infantry Regiment’s call-up from 2003-05. Lapinskas provided information on the Veterans Service Office.
Benton County Sheriff Jef Van Arsdall acknowledged the contributions veterans make to Benton County, pointing out that numerous county employees, including sheriff’s deputies, served in the military.
Said Van Arsdall, “I am fortunate that we have a lot of folks in my division who are veterans who have been in the grease and came out the other side. All I can say is, ‘thank you.’”
Video of the program is available online.
3. Blodgett man’s murder conviction
A Linn County Circuit Court jury convicted a 36-year-old Blodgett man Oct. 27 for second-degree murder.
James Loren Anderson was arrested in July 2021 at his home in Blodgett on charges that included the murder of 33-year-old Albany resident and former girlfriend Angela Nicole Christian, whose body was found down an embankment off Marys Peak Road.
Anderson initially suggested to law enforcement that Christian had committed suicide. But the investigation, which included evidence at Christian’s residence in Albany, led police to determine that a homicide had occurred. Anderson confessed to the crime while testifying at his trial.
Anderson had been facing domestic violence charges prior to the murder and violated an order of no contact. He was released from Linn County Jail 23 days before the murder after bailing out.
The jury also found Anderson guilty on felony charges of second-degree abuse of a corpse, strangulation and unlawful use of a weapon. Misdemeanor charges of fourth-degree assault and menacing were also part of the conviction.
The Benton County Sheriff’s Office was among the law enforcement agencies that assisted with the investigation.
Anderson is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 11.
(Brad Fuqua is publisher/editor of the Philomath News. He can be reached at News@PhilomathNews.com).