Portland teacher, skunk wrestler may have what ‘Survivor’ takes

By Aimee Thibodeau, BDN Staff
Posted Aug. 28, 2008, at 6:15 p.m.

It’s no secret that I’m not a huge “Survivor” fan, but this time around I’m going to have to at least keep myself updated because there’s a Mainer on the show.

Not only is he from Maine, but Portland physics teacher Robert Crowley is the oldest male contestant on the show.

At 58, he describes himself on the “Survivor: Gabon” Web site as a “hybrid of Indiana Jones and Robinson Crusoe.” Hopefully he can use those traits to take on the other 17 “Survivor” contestants in season 17 in Africa’s wild, filled with elephants, deadly snakes and insects, and all sorts of challenges.

An avid outdoor enthusiast who seeks adventure, Crowley lives in Portland (also known as the other Maine) and is a high school physics teacher in Gorham. Crowley also has several other skills and hobbies that should help him be an integral “Survivor” contestant.

When he’s not teaching, he is first mate on a research boat for the Smithsonian Institution in Canada; an entomologist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and yes … according to the CBS Web site he’s a self-proclaimed skunk relocater.

I’m assuming (and you know what happens when you assume) that means he takes skunks that were caught in a live trap and brings them out into the woods, away from civilization where they can happily spray away. Anyone who can wrestle a skunk should be able to make it through a few rounds of “Survivor.”

Crowley’s bio also characterizes him as an ecofriendly kind of guy who built his environmentally friendly summer cabin with recycled materials. He has also built wharfs, saunas, a chicken house and a hunting cabin in the same green manner.

I’ll be rooting for Crowley — and hoping for an interview — right along with his wife, Peggy, and their three children, David, John and Page.

I think he and Gillian Larson of California, the oldest female on the show at 61-years-old, will be able to use their life experience to put on quite a performance.

Check out the premiere at 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 25, on CBS. If you can’t wait that long, visit www.cbs.com to view preview clips of episode one, including a few words from Crowley, and get a glimpse at his competition.

http://bangordailynews.com/2008/08/28/uncategorized/portland-teacher-skunk-wrestler-may-have-what-survivor-takes/ printed on December 21, 2014