I’d always planned to be a shortstop. Making all the plays. Hitting for average with occasional extra base power. Not flashy, but steady. The guy you could always depend on to help the team win. That was the idea. Always finding a way to win.
Summers in Reno were filled with baseball. Sure, there were organized leagues, but that was just the start. Cleared off a vacant lot for our own field and play every night. When they built a house there, cleared off another lot.
There was the months-long Wiffle ball home run derby. I hit over 700 home runs one summer only to lose the crown to the new kid in the neighborhood. There were other games of course, but only to mark time until it got warm enough for baseball.
Then came college and the coach thought I should spend more time pursuing the academic side of life. Disappointing. Life changing. Doors opening. A lesson in reality.
Started play guitar and singing with my friends. Still doing that 50 years later. The guy you can always depend on.
Began doing “journalism.” Finding things out and writing about them. First, it was sports. Then antiwar protests. Then politics. Always people. Talking to people. Getting to know them. Writing a piece of their story.
Three years as a newspaper reporter. What a ride. Daily writing deadlines. Stories of all kinds. Local government up close. Often ugly. Occasionally up lifting. Always enlightening. Eccentric personalities. Committed public servants. Murders. Prosecutors. Corruption. Idealism. Learning. Always learning. Writing. Always writing.
Got fired. I thought it was youthful idealism, exuberantly expressed. The boss thought it was smart-ass insubordination. Great lesson in how perception depends on perspective. Another lesson in reality.
Got married. So, so fortunate. Most of my students know her as The Lovely and Talented Kristin or simply the L and T. Eight and a half years in Carson City. Four sessions of the Nevada Legislature as a lobbyist. State government up close. More politics. More learning. Always learning Always writing.
Then 14 months as a full-time dad and part time freelance writer. Went to first grade with our son Paul. Helped out in the classroom. Went on all the field trips. Took him to school and picked him up almost every day. More learning. New perspectives. We still depend on each other a lot.
In 1985, an advertising agency found me. This was new. Fun. Interesting folks. Creative people. Much more learning. Another advertising agency. Time on a corporate communications staff. And then an agency I eventually owned a big part of. So fortunate.
About 30 years ago started working with advertising students here at the Reynolds School. Teaching them. Learning from them. Sold my interest in the agency in 2001 and started teaching here full time. Seems like the place I should be.
Bob’s life story: one wife, one son, many jobs, much joy.
Husband, father. Strategist, lyricist. Student, teacher.
Awards? Yes. Look nice on the wall. Don’t mean much. Every good shortstop knows today’s game is the most important one.
- B.A. in Journalism, University of Nevada, Reno