I’m a friend of Bob’s. He was born early in the last century, ten years before Pearl Harbor. His life was full — full of people – with time for poker, – the Eagles, – making money and battling the wrongs of government. Mostly his life was a Love Story. Bob and Betty.
He was a mighty spirit. In his eyes, a smile – A smile for his family, for his love, — all was Betty. Husband and wife, They were each other’s best friends. Bob’s life was full of achievements and adventures. Sometimes Storms came along with the achievements. The IRS investigated Bob and long story short, they got him. Bob told me and others that he was sent to jail because of his principles. Bob was about principles.
To fight for the right things takes courage. Bob had courage his entire life. He liked to gamble but for Bob gambling was calculation. He wasn’t afraid to put up and we know he often refused to shut up — right to the end.
A few short months ago Bob took to the barricades at the Council Rock School Board. He wanted to address the board again just as he had done years ago because there was something very wrong about what was going on. Principles. I went with him to the meeting. He had to use a walker. It was a bit of a walk from the parking lot but Bob walked every step of the way himself, without help. He went inside. We had to get someone to use the elevator. Bob went into the meeting and addressed the board, –told them what was wrong and tried to get them to do the right thing. Next meeting —when he wasn’t around they attacked him, not for what he said but for saying it out loud where the public could hear it. Bob went to many government meetings because of the injustice there and spoke up. He did that many times in many places. Bob was the guy who stood up to be counted. He took on adversity with alacrity. Strength was in his DNA. Justice ran deep in his soul. He couldn’t stand injustice — Not even the United States Government could change that.
Bob told part of his story in a book. He called it FEAR THE IRS. Years ago I gave him a copy of another book, ATLAS SHRUGGED by Ayn Rand because it identified and defined a lot of principles. He said he couldn’t finish it because when he got to the place where they prosecuted the innocent main character he had to stop. Injustice bothered Bob. When he spotted something wrong he had to speak up.
It’s a revolutionary world today and Bob was a One man Tea Party all by himself. America is exceptional. America conquered Europe and Asia then left. But the freedom we enjoy today is diminished. Bob didn’t like that.
To Fight the unbeatable foe — was simply destiny for Bob. instead of looking at discussion as just talk, he would use it as the beginnings of action.
Bob wasn’t afraid to Take ‘em on — To show up at their meetings. To explain the problems and the solutions to the whole community. Bob wasn’t shy however he was propelled not by bravado but by the injustice he saw. Moral courage is a rare commodity. Rarer still is showmanship. Bob was a rare, unique man.
America is about Liberty. Bob lived America. Bob came of age in Philadelphia. Liberty came of age in Philadelphia and Bob was devoted to making sure the freedom’s that began in Philadelphia in 1776 do not end. The essence of America is a fighting spirit against oppression. In that spirit, Bob represented America. As we gather to take him to his rest we know the love he had for family, friends and country will go on within each of us.
He was special. We will miss him.