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Event marks teacher-turned-author’s book ‘The Restoration’

He may no longer be in the classroom, but Bob Pacilio is still finding ways to teach.

In his latest work, “The Restoration,” the retired teacher-turned-author educates his audience about life’s lessons through four fictional characters, intertwining their stories with the true tale of Coronado Island’s Village Theater.

“The book is about how to restore ourselves, and how to bring life back after tragic moments,” said Pacilio, who was an English teacher at Mt. Carmel High School in Rancho Peñasquitos for 32 years and San Diego County’s Teacher of the Year in 1998. He retired in 2010.

Pacilio will discuss his novel in detail from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 19 at the Encinitas Branch Library, 540 Cornish Drive. But it won’t be a “typical” author presentation – there will be music and slides during this free event, which will include a book discussion, question-and-answer session and a book signing.

“The Restoration” is the first adult book penned by the 59-year-old Pacilio, who began writing in 2008 at the suggestion of a student. His debut novel, “Meetings at the Metaphor Café,” and its sequel, “Midnight Comes to the Metaphor Café,” focused on high school life, yet “adults seem to like (my books) as much as the students,” Pacilio said.

A couple of years ago, the Encinitas resident was watching an episode of “Ken Kramer’s About San Diego” when a segment on the Village Theater piqued his interest. He turned to the web to acquire additional information, and was further inspired by the photos of the Art Deco-style building.

“I had been thinking of writing a love story – love lost and then found again – and the idea just clicked,” Pacilio said.

This “factional” story – fiction, but based on fact, Pacilio noted – follows two couples from 1970 to 2008, and they are united by their love of movies, and in particular, the Village Theater. Both of the men end up going to Vietnam, and the tale follows how the experience affected them in completely different ways, from the effects on their relationships to post-traumatic stress disorder. The theater serves as an escape from the turbulence, and after it falls into disrepair in 1998, the veterans and their wives decide that by restoring it to its original grandeur, they will also restore themselves.

“It steers readers to the light about how love can regenerate you and make you bloom again if you have the courage to take the risk,” Pacilio said.

While “The Restoration” was actually published last April, Pacilio said he has been focused on growing his audience over the last 10 months.

But he did admit that he’s thinking ahead to his next book.

“This morning, I looked up the La Paloma (online) and read that (actress) Mary Pickford rode her bicycle from Fairbanks Ranch to see the first movie there,” Pacilio said.

Indeed, the wheels appear to be turning.

For more information about Pacilio, go to www.robertpacilio.net.


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