Long-time readers of my drivel will recall I seem to have attracted an inordinate number of friends, relatives and acquaintances named either BOB or DAVE. (One guy was even named Robert Davidson!)
This is about yet another Bob…
I met Bob P. when he was a guard supervisor for B**** Security. The Captain. It was his function to travel to all the guard posts, usually at night, making certain the security guard had arrived for duty, was in uniform, awake and not intoxicated. And to obtain a replacement should a guard call in sick, or just not show up. Or, replace the guard himself, if no one was available.
He got to know me, as I was one of the ‘regulars’ who showed up for duty, knew his job, and had some kind of education. He obtained permission from upper company management to make me his ‘second-in-command’. I became a lieutenant, obtained a small raise, and while continuing to work at my regular guard post three days a week, was tasked with doing the supervisor’s job the other two days. The idea was so that Bob could get two days off. Many ‘adventures’ ensued.
Bob was a large man, and had a deep, booming voice. And loved to listen to and sing operatic music – in spite of the fact he had been born in the South. Seriously, in another life, he could have been a professional singer or an announcer.
But, as it is with many people, Bob had a phobia. His was getting up in front of groups of people(!) Doing a long stint in the Air Force and traveling the World failed to cure him of that.
I followed Bob from B****, to D******* Security, and ultimately to TMCCC (in 1987). He knew I’d both education and experience in investigation, and figured if he could do it, I could.
He loved movies, and was the first of the people I knew to buy a VCR! It was a Magnavox, ran on vacuum tubes, and weighed a ton! I believe it cost around $1000 (in 1975). It took VHS-sized tapes, but the recording system had yet to be standardized. He had hundreds he’d recorded off television that were unwatchable when the machine burned up in the mid-80s. Lot’s of sci-fi and John Wayne.
We also shot competitively together in a league of armed security guards he helped form. He reloaded much of the ammo we used. We engaged in friendly competition – sometimes he would win; sometimes I would.
We worked together @ TMCCC for a number of years as credit card fraud investigators. He became involved in a number of ‘beefs’ with management and left the company, returning to physical security. He divorced his second wife, and married a younger woman. Then decided to move out-of-state and return to his Southern routes as a farmer.
We lost touch with one another. Ultimately, utilizing the Internet, I determined he had passed away from a heart attack in Las Vegas(!?) in 2005. I never found out what happened to his wife.
The reason all this came to mind was I remembered celebrating his 50th birthday, with a few other close friends. He had been born October 30, 1939, simultaneous with the Orson Welles’ radio broadcast of The War Of The Worlds. He would sometimes claim he was brought here by the Martians.
He was certainly out-of-this world.
I miss you, Bob. You were a good friend.