My dear friend Bob Hall passed away February last. He had suffered complications from diabetes (first losing a big toe, then the lower half of a leg), then ultimately acid reflux lead to GERD, and then esophageal cancer. The last few months of his life, he was eating through a feeding tube. Lost half his weight, and was fighting pneumonia which finally took him.
I had known Bob, first as my investigation boss at Tom Ezell & Associates; later as my boss at Legendary Guns of the West (where I worked part-time), since 1981. More than being a boss, he was a dear friend. We saw each other through the stuff of life. I’ve a stepbrother – Bob and I are much closer.
He was always honest and true to me. His trademark was nothing is so serious that a joke cannot be made about it. Irreverent humor – Firesign Theatre and Monty Python quotes were often exchanged between us.
He was a crack shot and loved to go ‘to the desert’ to go shooting. Even in his final days, using a walker. And he passed his love of guns and The Second Amendment to his wife and daughters.
He didn’t want a somber funeral.
I heard from one of his daughters that this Saturday (yesterday) was to be his memorial celebration. A caravan of his friends and family went to the desert to one of his favorite shooting spots, did some eating, shooting, then spread his ashes.
Bob’s favorite things, family, shooting and grilling – combined!
I was honored to have been invited, and was honored to bring and shoot my 1911 – a National Match slide on a Vega frame, with lowered Bomar sights, a Micro bushing, and Swenson ambidextrous safety, hand-fitted by gunsmith Burke Hill. Which Bob sold to me in 1983.
I dubbed her The Bob Hall Signature Model. My roommate calls her Bobbie.
It’s been probably 20K rounds, and except for occasional cleaning, lube and replacing the recoil spring @ 3000 rounds, not much has changed. She remains a tack driver.
Essentially a race gun (c) 1977.
And she is my companion when the Phoenix weather permits.
Bob sold her to me for a pittance. He never profited from guns he sold to friends. And I had to make payments to him, I was so poor! (having been a new father at the time.)
It’s only fitting I take her to what Bob called Burro Town to shoot her one more time.
So, about eighteen of us gathered yesterday. Did some shooting – ate BBQ chicken with all the fixings. (including cherry cheesecake – Bob’s favorite!)
Then, we stood in a circle and shared memories of Bob. There was tears and laughter. Then Anita (Bob’s wife) asked those who wish to to take some of Bob’s ashes and place them about Burro Town*.
Then, we shot a simultaneous volley in his name. All of us using guns once owned by him!
This is the photo the family chose to place on the food table. Bob hated having his picture taken.
(*It was named Burro Town by Bob, due to the wild burros that wander the region. Usually, we see a few. Yesterday, they were absent.)
But we who loved him were there.