It is with a heavy heart that I must report to you the passing of Robert H. ‘Bob’ Hall.
Like some folks, Bob was one of my ‘newer’ friends. We met when he interviewed me for a private investigation position at Tom Ezell & Associates, in 1981.
I had applied because I had been working for other P.I. firms, and wanted to get the requisite three years under my belt to obtain my own license. I saw an ad in the paper and called. Jack Wheeler answered, and I thought I had the job!
Jack had been the salesman for Burns Security when I worked there as the assistant security supervisor (lieutenant), so we knew each other. But Jack said it would be inappropriate for him to hire me without the chief investigator interviewing me, so I was introduced to Bob. We became colleagues almost immediately, and fast friends.
You see, about five minutes into the interview, it was determined that Bob had attended high school with one Mary R. The same Mary R. I had married a year previously! They grew up in the same neighborhood. Bob also had a serious firearms fetish, as did I. He just had more firepower than me. Like legal full-auto stuff! (including an M60 and MAC-10, both of which he no longer owns.)
And thus began our friendship. He sold me my favorite 1911 ‘Bobbie’, aka The Bob Hall Signature Model, in 1983. She still works and I still own (and sometimes carry) her. We have been shooting together, on-and-off, ever since.
He married, fathered two terrific girls, and moved on to run his own P.I. agency. In the 90’s, he also became the general manager of Legendary Guns of The West, a store where I hung out, purchased many firearms, and even worked part time.
Bob was one of my closest friends. He taught me, as he taught his girls, not to take life too seriously. Oft times, my phone would ring, and there would be Bob on the line, not ID-ing himself, but quoting the Firesign Theatre or Monty Python out-of-context! “Shine-sheen. A little Egyptian! Chanting a stream of ancient Egyptian holograms – hieroglyphs, that’s it!” or “We dreamed of living in a hallway – we lived in a cardboard box!” Then he would get to the heart of the call – “let’s go shooting, or I’ve got a gun here I know you’d like…”
Bob’s health had been failing in the past couple of years (as recounted in these pages). First diabetes took the lower half of his left leg, then esophageal gastric erosion devolved into cancer, which after chemo and radiation treatments were performed, won.
I remember him for his unwavering support of two family members and one friend through their battles with addiction, his gifting his father with an M2 – just like the one he carried in The War, and his pride in his daughters. Both college graduates, one now on the cusp of getting her doctorate in clinical psychology from Northwestern! Her focus is on veterans with PTSD! Both are responsible firearms owners.
I know it’s a truism that the older we get, the more ‘this’ appears to happen. Life isn’t fair! Dammit, Bob, I still have the two books from Brigid I promised you! (He refused visitors, not wanting them to see him in his emaciated state.)
Goodbye, and Godspeed, my brother.
I Love You!