Blogs » FAITH JOURNEY » Bob Roberts


Tuesday, April 21 Bob Roberts was laid to rest. Bob was my co-worker and friend for many years at the Victoria Advocate. We were worlds apart, yet shared a common bond. Bob, born in 1919, was veteran of WW ll. and I was a baby boomer born in 1951. Bob began his career as a photographer for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, then when the war broke out, joined the service. Bob was comfortable shooting with a 4 X 5 Speed Graphic, considered a collector item now, while I embraced the 35-MM format.

Although we were a generation apart we shared something unique beyond the measure of time. Our love of God and the Holy Trinity was a binding force that bridged the gap in our lives. At work, everyone considered Bob grumpy but as he often quoted, “you could take a preacher and put in the newspaper business and within 2 weeks he would be a hopeless alcoholic.” I guess a little of that grumpy persona wore off on me, cause I sometime hear the same thing said about me. We were just miss-understood, right Bob? Well one thing that Bob taught me was how to appreciate a pleasant glass of whisky. Don’t dare ask for Coke or Sprite cause it’s on the rocks only. Bob was the only guy that I knew that stored his Green label in the freezer and it was entertaining to watch it slurp out like soft ice cream, but with a kick. Bob had a great sense of humor and I delighted in his stories of old Victoria well before my time. I especially like the one when he replaced the light bulbs in the photo unit at Foster Field with flashbulbs, which in those days were huge and looked, like regular light bulbs. Many of you probably never heard of a flash bulb, but in the old days before fire, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, photographers exposed one piece of film at a time and had to use flash bulbs. Of course this was better than using magnesium flash powder, which was like using gunpowder. Well it seems the trickster William Grant Roberts came up with the idea to rattle the officer of the day and according to Bob it did just that, although the officer couldn’t see for several hours after that. No sense of humor. Was that just before you were transferred to Panama?

Bob was great at quoting certain passages like, “ a fool and his money are soon parted.” Bob was very conservative in his lifestyle and attire, always sporting a flat top haircut. Several years after Bob’s beloved wife Ann passed away, he began to let his hair grow out and was always seen sporting a stiff starched white shirt and tan pants. Wow, what a difference, but deep down Bob was simply Bob. A family man, a godly man, a good man.

Bob’s body was laid to rest but his spirit has been lifted to heaven, to once again join hands with Ann the love of his life. Bob rest in peace and I tried to talk Les into slipping a bottle into the casket, but I’m sure where he is going it won’t be necessary. God Bless!