Park Square’s Oldest Worker Dead On The Job

“She’ll be missed, but more than anyone else, she’d want us to go on,” said artistic director Flordelino Lagundino when he heard the news. “She helped build more than 300 sets here,” added executive director Michael-jon Pease. “She and Richard Cook (former artistic director) had their fights, but she was the first one he chose for his team when he became artistic director.”

Coworkers gather to grieve the loss of their beloved colleague.

Bessie, Park Square’s table saw, gave out during work on the set for The Rocky Horror Show yesterday afternoon at the age of 65. She’d suffered a stroke earlier in the year, but facility director Dave Peterson rewired her motor in a daring triple bypass, after which she returned to work the next day.

Bessie rolled off the assembly line in 1954 and joined the Park Square team as a seasoned professional in 1980. In her early days, when Richard Cook still built sets in addition to everything else on his plate, Bessie claimed the one of his fingertips during a late night dispute over one of Richard’s designs. “He told me that was the last time he listened to pop music while working,” said Michael-jon. “Abba was playing on the radio. When he got back from the ER, he switched to MPR and never went back to Top 40.”

The staff gathered briefly to remember their cantankerous comrade, fondly recalling her high pitched whine when she was in high production mode. “And unto sawdust she shall return.”

In lieu of flowers, donations are requested for a new SAW STOP table saw ($4,000), which  can stop rotating in 1/1000,000,000 of a second, saving staff member fingers. Saw Stop also features 99.98% dust collection efficiency for safer air in the workplace. Visit to learn more about SAW STOP and donate securely online at


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