Silva was a gentle, friendly, soft-spoken man. He was quite approachable and seemed bemused, if not slightly overwhelmed, by all the attention he was given at the festival.
I'll never forget when I first saw him. It was Friday night and the festival banquet at the Issaquah Holiday Inn had begun. People were sitting and eating, eyes focused on a table at the front of the room where guests Al Strobel (Mike, the one-armed man) and Jan D'Arcy (Sylvia Horne) and others were seated. Rumor was that Frank was coming but that he was running late. Would he get there in time for the banquet? No one knew.
I was fortunate to be sitting at the front of the room where I could see the entrance. We had finished dinner and had listened to various speakers and it seemed like the banquet might be winding down. Then I saw Frank Silva appear. The response in the room was electric. The man who played Bob was here!
Silva took the podium and recounted us with great tales from the set of Twin Peaks and Fire Walk With Me. It was surreal. I was sitting a few feet from him and was instantly captivated by the man who played the forceful, frightening and indelible Bob. But nothing could compare to the moment when Frank gave us a live performance of Bob: He bent his head back and laughed/screamed. He went all out. It was a roar! It was piercing! It sent shivers down my spine!
The next day, Frank was due to appear at another Festival event in Snoqualmie Falls. He had missed his ride from Issaquah and my wife and I offered to give him a lift. For the next half-hour we had Frank Silva chatting away in our car, commenting on the time he spent in the area during the filming of the Twin Peaks pilot and Fire Walk With Me. He pointed out places where they shot. He told us about working with David Lynch. He seemed to be truly enjoying himself.
We said good-bye to Frank Silva later that day. We hoped he might return to future Twin Peaks festivals, but it was not be. His visit in 1993 was his first and last. Frank Silva died on September 13, 1995. While many Twin Peaks fans would never get the chance to meet Frank and see, for themselves, what a kind and caring man he was, they will always be able to look at his stupendous, visceral performance in the series and the film. Frank Silva will forever be the chilling, inexorable BOB.