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Folks Of Interest Bob Klessig

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ryan, Jun 25, 2018.

  1. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 18,845

    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

    Ryan submitted a new blog post:

    Bob Klessig


    Continue reading the Original Blog Post
    mctim64, fauj, bonesy and 32 others like this.
  2. hrm2k
    Joined: Oct 2, 2007
    Posts: 3,627


    I normally envy you and the things you get involved in...………..not this time.

    I met Bob several times at the Jalopy Showdown.

    What a totally damn fine gentleman !

  3. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 26,399


    Do we know who took that iconic photo of Bob? Early one Hershey morning he was standing in front of my pile of parts, one and only time I ever met him, sure was a great way to start the day. Bob
  4. trailer-Ed
    Joined: May 15, 2002
    Posts: 1,734

    from JC, MO

    I have too many stories with Bob, but 2 of my favorites are when we first met at DesMoines Goodguys in 2002. My wife and i were sitting and chatting with Cornfed and all the sudden this white bearded older gentleman came walking up and gave us a big hug and just started talking like we had known each other for years. We were wondering who this crazy old man was? He had reconized my car from pics on the HAMB. He took us out to dinner that night and we spent most of the rest of the weekend together. Then again 2 years ago at DesMoines he invited us and some of my friends to see a private collection while in DesMoines, i had no idea of the treat we were in for! It was the famous Albough collection. Was such a great day. I cant remember how many times we were wrenching on his old chevy convertible in the LaQuinta parking lot in Joplin, cleaning out all the salt and replacing bearings from Bonneville salt and miles. Ill miss him terribly, but definitely feel like my life was better having been his friend. Picture is of our cars outside of DesMoines at the Albough collection. FB_IMG_1529929465151.jpg
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  5. flatheadpete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2003
    Posts: 9,577

    from Burton, MI

    He almost ran me over walking the aisles at Detroit one year. He didn't know who I was but I knew who he was. I shook his hand, we told a few stories. From that day on he always remembered who I was. I'm gonna miss my birthday PM from him this year.
  6. verno30
    Joined: Aug 25, 2008
    Posts: 1,017


    I met Bob for the first time in 2013 at a HAMB Meet & Greet Breakfast prior to Torque Fest in Dubuque. Since then, I made it a priority to say hi each and every time I saw his car at a show.

    I remember wishing him well just hours before he left BTT50s and headed to Alaska.

    God Speed BobK
  7. TheFish
    Joined: Sep 7, 2009
    Posts: 144


    I've transferred this picture to every phone I've had since it was taken at the last Pile-Up. BobK was hands down the nicest guy I think I've ever met in my life. IMAG0181.jpeg

    Sent from my SM-N950U using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  8. Jeff Norwell
    Joined: Aug 20, 2003
    Posts: 12,863

    Jeff Norwell
    Staff Member

    I remember First talking with Bob about some art years back.....
    He knew exactly what he wanted.. and said...
    "Non of that god damn Monster shit!..I hate that crap!"

    I laughed and laughed...... Bob loved cars, had his opinions and stuck with his values.He was a Kustom guy more than a hotrodder...... he had the best sense of humour and always had his hand out for a handshake.

    One thing about Bob..... he did it,.. said it,.... and WAS it...... Was NEVER afraid to speak his mind.... Loved this car hobby so much and was it's biggest ambassador.....

    I will NEVER forget him.
  9. daddy_o's_diner
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 2,775


    The first time I met Bob was during the HAMB meet & Greet at the 2011 Detroit Autorama. I was having a beer and leaning against the quarter panel of my just finished '54 Victoria. Bob was standing a few feet away and looked over at me and asked "Yours?". I nodded back and replied "Yup". Bob cracked a big grin, raised his glass and said "Niiiice!".

    I remember being so stoked by his comment. I mean the dude was a HAMB legend and he liked my first attempt a mild custom! I was a 40 year old man that felt like a nine year old whose father had just told him he was proud of him. LOL...

    I had gotten to spend a decent amount of time with him since. We shared some meals, some seat time in the '52 and always a whole lot of laughs.

    I always enjoyed talking with him and will definitely miss running into him at various shows all over the country.
    autorama 2011 1.jpg
  10. Im not sure when Bob came into my life, Probably somewhere around 2003 and Its been a great time ever since. I took this picture at BTT50's last year, I was standing in one of the buildings talking to Marcy when some idiot rams me in the back of the leg with a Lil Rascal scooter, I turn around to give someone a mean look and it's Bob, he says "Tyler my Son how are you " BobK2017.jpg

    One time when I lived in TX I get a call at 10:00pm frob Bob on his way to LSRU, he informs me he is staying at my place and needs the address. What can you say to that. I already had a full house but we made room and he was gone before I got up in the morning and left cold beer in the fridge and made his bed.

    And he was one of THEM, Bob will always be with us.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2018
    Woogeroo, bonesy, teach'm and 22 others like this.
  11. GordonC
    Joined: Mar 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,761


    Ryan I didn't know Bob but I can sure feel the sense of loss being reported by the folks who do. I think it would have been an honor to consider him a friend just from what you reported about him. Condolences to his family and I hope he rests in peace.
  12. scarylarry
    Joined: Apr 24, 2001
    Posts: 2,541


    First things I think of about Bob is when we would run into each other at a show was a big smile, a hug and hand shake, and that silly accent of his.."oh yaaa"! Then I think of the time he ran into the back of my Model A pickup at a stop sign when following me to my place! I laughed and he shook his head apologizing! What a life!! We could only wish to live half as much as he did!! Love to Maggie
    Tony, Mtn Goat, chryslerfan55 and 9 others like this.
    Joined: Sep 18, 2007
    Posts: 3,586


    I never had the privilege of knowing Bob and Maggie and I know that I missed out on something great. I followed their trip to Alaska and I let him know how much we all appreciated them taking us along with them. My heart is broken for his wife Maggie and his family. He was a lucky man to have so many dear friends. May he always be in our memories.
  14. TagMan
    Joined: Dec 12, 2002
    Posts: 5,966


    The first time I met Bob was at the Bowling Green HRR, 10-years or so ago. I was in my '55 Buick, in line to leave after a hot, humid day, when Bob appeared at my window and started asking about my car. From his first words, I felt like I'd known him for many years and he was my best friend. We talked for several minutes and I could have talked with him all day.

    When traffic started moving, we said good-bye and I told him I looked forward to talking with him again sometime.
    I left the Reunion, no longer tired & thirsty, but with a warm spot in my heart - I guess Bob had that effect on people. He was one of the nicest human beings I ever met and I'm not ashamed to say, news of his passing brought tears to my eyes.

    God bless you, BobK - R.I.P. my friend
  15. WiredSpider
    Joined: Dec 29, 2012
    Posts: 625


    We should all aspire to be more like Bob,always happy,never a bad word to say and everybodys friend.I,ll miss crossing paths with him on the road.
    Darryl Deir, Unkl Ian, LSGUN and 8 others like this.
  16. corncobcoupe
    Joined: May 26, 2001
    Posts: 4,756

    Staff Member

    Nicest, coolest guy you would ever want to meet.

    If I can find the picture on Goodguys 09 of having a Friday night cook out at my place I'll post it.
    I can say that Bob enjoyed Pineapple Glazed grilled pork chops. I think he had 3...

    Thoughts of Maggie and family. Be strong - celebrate Bob's life.
    verno30, Jeff Norwell, hrm2k and 6 others like this.
  17. Uncle Bob
    Joined: Oct 20, 2007
    Posts: 1,097

    Uncle Bob
    from Salado, Tx
    1. Northwest HAMBers

    Reader's Digest had a frequent feature titled "Most Unforgettable Character"...………….that would be the real life travelling gnome…...Bob K. I'd read his stuff online, heard a few stories about him, but didn't get to meet him in person until one day at Carl Brunson's shop in Vegas over a decade ago. He was everything you'd imagine and more...……….put his picture next to the definition of "The real deal".

    He embraced the gnome joke, he was rather short of stature for those who've never been with him in person. In spirit he was a giant. It doesn't surprise me to read that he faced his own end without remorse...………..the man knew how to live, and faced whatever is next with equal gusto. Bon Voyage Bobby...…...
  18. Tom davison
    Joined: Mar 15, 2008
    Posts: 5,425

    Tom davison
    from Phoenix AZ

    I was walking along at a show, he was driving the convertible, stopped and introduced himself. "You want a ride?". "Uh, Yeah!"

    One of a kind, Bob personified the whole hot rod/custom experience.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2018
    Gotgas, Mtn Goat, The37Kid and 4 others like this.
  19. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,229


    As we can see from Bob's life, "It costs no more to go first class."
  20. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 3,391


    I met Bob back in 2000 when coming back to the car hobby, bought my Roadster and started to go to the big shows, MSRA, NSRA, GOODGUYS. I was given his name and phone # to get a motel room for events for these shows as he had blocks of rooms reserved, first conversation (phone) and meeting at a show, I thought, what a nice man, made me feel welcomed, said my Roadster was Kool and my car was NOT a HAMB type vehicle. Sometime in a later conversation he was the one that put me onto the HAMB site, something I have enjoyed much though the years, grateful to him for his suggestion. Being a Wisconsin resident, about 120 miles from Bob, I would see him at local shows every summer and we would talk for awhile, (always enjoyed) thinking last summer was the last time we talked, wished him well on his health. The MAN was a great ambassador for the hobby and a Genuine Good Man, will be missed by many.
    Stogy, jim snow, Mtn Goat and 4 others like this.
  21. NoSurf
    Joined: Jul 26, 2002
    Posts: 4,104


    Bob was like a shining sun.
    His brightness and warmth
    gathered us all in
    to his world of happiness and friendship.
    All those miles he drove,
    all across this country,
    to see each of us,
    hang out with us,
    and make more memories with us.
    Life is measured by the people you touch in a positive way,
    Bob was surely
    the richest man in the world.

    general gow, belair, Saxman and 17 others like this.
  22. Eagletucky
    Joined: Feb 21, 2005
    Posts: 728


    I met Bob in 2006, and we hit it off immediately. I ran into him no less that 20 times over the years and couldn't believe that he he recognized me and always remembered my name. He was quick to offer up a few of his "special" cherries whenever we were together. But i have to say the one thing that really knocked my socks off was he always sent me a birthday greeting through the HAMB every year. He really was a thoughtful guy and I hope I can take some of that and have an impact on someone else the way he did on me. Godspeed Bob, you are one in a million!
    bonesy, Stogy, Mtn Goat and 6 others like this.
  23. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 16,947

    Staff Member

    Bob was the kind of guy that the first time you met him you thought you knew him your whole life...Super easy guy to talk to and a million stories , every one of them amazing.....
  24. WildWilly68
    Joined: Feb 1, 2002
    Posts: 1,718


    I first met Bob at the Pile up the first year in Morris. He was always one to stop and say hello. When we had the RockNRods show the first year in Bloomington I hosted a cookout afterwards and Bob came driving his Chevy. My favorite story was that day he and my dad were talking and dad asked him what mufflers he was running and Bob laughed and said “what mufflers” as he revved it up knowing full well I was a cop. We all laughed about that one. Saw him at Speedweek a couple times and he would drive by, stop and say hello, and invite us to his viewing area to visit. I hope I can live as full a life as Bob did.
    bonesy, Stogy, Mtn Goat and 5 others like this.
  25. catdad49
    Joined: Sep 25, 2005
    Posts: 3,862


    Outta the park, Ryan. Don't have any stories so I'll just sit back and 'listen'. Thanks to all that share your experiences, Carp.
  26. I met Bob at the HOPUP magazine 100 MPH banquet (s) at the Bend in the Road. I was just this unknown photographer-wanta-be trying to hustle some calendars, and cook hot dogs.
    Bob was a REAL Hot Rodder, he knew everybody.
    Bob was always there to by a calendar, and as money and calendars would exchange hands, Bob would always ask "Tony when you gonna put a custom in this thing?". So one year finally I was able to find his Chevy in the background and in it went.
    I will miss his smile at the salt this year.
  27. there a "like" button for every post on Bob?
  28. I only met Bob once briefly at SEMA. I was walking the aisles when this short Santa Claus looking guy jumped out in front of me and said "I know you!" I had no idea who this guy was and was kind of taken aback but he introduced himself as BobK from the HAMB. It took me a moment to realize I had a HAMB T shirt on and he had no idea who I really was just wanted to say hi. We didn't talk for long but it was clear he was a genuinely nice guy.
    bonesy, Gotgas, Stogy and 7 others like this.
  29. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 14,804


    I am enjoying my life more or less cruising to the finish line trying to be the best I can and hanging around good is big part of that medicine and the Late Bob K exemplified putting your best foot forward and enjoying life just the way I like till the tap turns off. Glad he had a good run at it. We have it very good in the free nations we inhabit.

    Ryan that is a pretty moving story and I certainly have been in similar moments beside those that had precious moments left here in our present life as life is. As many have said including the late Bob K...enjoy our precious short time here...I am...:)
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2018
    Hank37, hrm2k, catdad49 and 5 others like this.
  30. I don't have any pics of Bob except in my head. I keep things of importance in my head, Bob is an important character in the book High Adventure with Wilbur. You'll have to find your way into my head to read it.

    My first real encounter with Bob was under the canopy at the Ramada Inn in Joplin. Actually most of my physical interaction with Bob was in Joplin. If you are not old enough to remember under the canopy at the Ramada was the birth of the HAMB Drags and under the canopy was where you met men and women would would have a lasting impact on your life from there on out. Bob became a part of the HAMB Drags for me as much as anyone. Everything from a room at the host hotel hat did not exist ( the night manager at the Ramada was an old acquaintance Bob I know you can still get this from wherever you are) to a sip of whiskey and an escort back to the Pharos when I had had over my two beer limit and was at the point of not playing nice with others.

    Anyway I am rambling sorry. That first time that Bob met the missus and I, we left for home a few minutes after him and his riding partner for the year. Up the road on highway 71 he pulled over. We stopped to see that everything was alright. He mentioned his age and morning coffee, we stopped 3 times between Joplin and Nevada, once we all needed to get rid of our morning coffee. Somehow between Bob and the missus the stops became a picnic, and that remained our inside joke for all this time.

    I have another story or two, but why clog the thread.

    I have a really hard time seeing people as not with me any more so let me leave you with this, BobK is good people.
    scarylarry, bonesy, GordonC and 13 others like this.

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