Bob was born in Corcoran, actually born at home which was apparently not unusual in those days.
He was raised there too and graduated from Corcoran High School. He attended Coalinga Jr. College and played football which might explain why sometimes at the Silver Dollar Thursday noontime ham get togethers, it sometime looks like a professional football line meeting.
In addition to playing football, he also studied Electronic Technology.
He joined the army, signing up to be an electronic technician but discovered, with all those tests that they give at induction, that he had a undiscovered color blindness. I guess the army figured that you needed to be able to read those bands on resistors. Remember, red is two, green is five? He got derailed into optician school and spent his army years grinding lenses for near sighted infantrymen.
His interest in ham radio started with a Zenith floor model radio that had shortwave bands as a kid. In the Army he studied the code while at Fitzsimons Army hospital in Denver, but didn’t complete it enough to sit for the Novice test.
He moved to Fresno in 1966 with his new wife, Cecilia (Sis) and worked in food processing and got involved in what we now would call human resources but then was personnel management. He liked it so much that he started his own business in 1978 and became a professional “head hunter” also known as a executive recruiter and did this until he retired in 2004.
Interest in ham radio rekindled here in Fresno and he attended the Fresno Amateur Radio Club Novice Class in late 1976. He upgraded to general in 1981, advanced in 1984 and in just 2011 passed his Extra Class.
His original call was WD6AIY. He changed that when the one by three call became available soon after passing the extra license.
His other passion is gems and minerals. His experience grinding lenses for we myopic citizens opened a whole field of grinding, polishing gems and making jewelry. He became president of the Fresno Gem and Mineral Society and was instrumental in setting the the annual display at the Fresno Fair (you know the one where they turn off the lights and the rocks glow!).
When he retired he build a hobby shop in the rear of his property for gem work (dusty) and storing and working on his recreational vehicles. To avoid the dust of his other hobby, he built a small ham radio shack in a corner of the room. His picture is in this room which fits himself and his equipment nicely, but was a contortion chore for me to fit in it too and take the picture. (Remember that we were both linemen in college football).
He and his wife enjoy their three children and now three grandchildren.
Say hello to Bob (one of the four Bobs there) at the Thursday luncheon when you see him there.
By: Joe Capell, W0PJD