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Folks Of Interest Bob Klessig

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

  1. First and only time I met Bob was a brief "Hello!" at the HAMB get together at Back to the 50's in Saint Paul, MN a few years back. He had the Chevy there. Great guy, great car.
     
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  2. Champscotty58
    Joined: Jul 1, 2010
    Posts: 118

    Champscotty58
    Member

    I never met Bob, but I knew his 'vette and ogled it at the Meltdown. For 2 days, my social media feeds have been filled with posts about Bob's passing, which says a lot about the man.
     
  3. RustyRedRam
    Joined: Jan 24, 2005
    Posts: 1,121

    RustyRedRam
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    This news still just sucks. I wish I would have snagged a photo with him. Here's hoping he's burning rubber wherever he is. And Maggie is at peace.
     
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  5. maplefrm
    Joined: Aug 15, 2010
    Posts: 515

    maplefrm
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Central IL

    The first picture is of Bob cruising the Fairgrounds at the NSRA in Louisville in 2014. Shortly before this picture they played the National Anthem over the intercom of the fairgrounds. Bob stopped the car, they all 3 got out, stood with their hands over their hearts while the National Anthem played, then got back in the car and went back to cruising. Classy thing to do. The second picture is of Bob meeting my wife at GoodGuys in DesMoines in 2015. She wanted to meet the man who had entertained us so much writing about his trip to Alaska. We didn't know him well, but he was always happy to talk to us whenever we saw him.

    DSCF3400 - Copy.JPG DSCF6973 (800x600).jpg
     
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  6. Jive-Bomber
    Joined: Aug 21, 2001
    Posts: 3,227

    Jive-Bomber
    MODERATOR

    Hey- Me and Keith were in that video! Getting the Tardel-McKenzie car ready to run...
     
  7. My meeting was brief. Stuck in Austin, because of State business. LSRU was going on, and I was wearing a HAMB shirt .... so of course, I went.

    4 hours of walking, sweating, and wiping dust off my face .... I grabbed a hot dog and beverage.

    Dropped my dog in front of Bob K. .... but I picked it up, and ate it. He saw me do it, and said he'd of bought me a new one. Had a few laughs, and moved along.

    I thought it was cool I had a Hollywood HAMB moment, meeting someone, because you read their adventures on your favorite interweb. I knew him, before he ever offered his advice, on dirty hot dogs.

    "God made dirt ... ". Yes sir, Mr. K, he sure did. That's why I ate it. :)

    It was a cool moment, and I'm sure he couldn't pick me out ... of a lineup of one. Felt good wearing my shirt, and meeting him though. HAMB on !!
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2018
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  8. Anderson
    Joined: Jan 27, 2003
    Posts: 6,473

    Anderson
    Member

    My memory is pretty bad at remembering specific things, and so I can't relate any stories. I don't remember when I met Bob the first time, or where. But it could have been at any of the Roundups, the Jalopy Showdown. KKOA Salina, the HAMB drags, or any number of other places. It never seemed to matter where I went, Bob was there. He never hesitated to do exactly what he wanted to do and I always envied him for that. The thing that blows me away about a guy like Bob is that he has met thousands of people over the years, and if he doesn't remember their name, he will at least remember who they are or what they've done or why they are worth knowing. I'm not wired that way, I have to meet someone two or three times before anything sticks. But not Bob...as soon as he met you, he knew you. He really did give a shit about everyone, and I don't think I've met too many quite like him.

    Here's Bob wringing everything he can out of the straight 6 in his Chevy at the HAMB drags in '07.
     
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  9. Ebbsspeed
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 4,795

    Ebbsspeed
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    “Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.”
    Shannon L. Alder

    And so it is with Bob K.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2018
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  10. Several years ago, Bob and I spent hours watching the cars pull into Salina at the park. He and I were like conversation on ADD. :) the topics were varied and rapid fire. He said two things I'll share. He said one of his friends had said " getting old sucks". Bob countered with, "getting old is great. Think of all the things you do in life. NOW, being old sucks." He was using a scooter to get around by then. Out of the blue, a real slender young woman walked by. He leaned over and said, " I hate that guy that invented those bras with those plastic inserts. What good is life without nipples." We shared a laugh and went on with our whaky conversation. Those of you that really got to know him knew he had a really good mind. He looked like the drunken Santa but was far from it. Rest in peace, my friend. I knew when I heard about your diagnosis, it would be a miracle if I ever got to visit with you again. That was almost to much sadness. BobK, I apologize! :)
    This pic is the oldest that I could find without spending hours looking. This was before the HAMB group photo.
    DSC00269 (Small).JPG
     
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  11. Royalshifter
    Joined: May 29, 2005
    Posts: 15,344

    Royalshifter
    Moderator
    from California

    Bob will always be the Ambassador to the HAMB in my eyes. Dedicated to driving and friendship. He will be greatly missed and not forgotten.
     
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  12. Blakmerk
    Joined: May 15, 2002
    Posts: 300

    Blakmerk
    Member
    from St.Joe MO

    Not one of the best, probably the best...
     
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  13. I didn't really know Bob, outside of the HAMB. Our paths crossed briefly in Joplin when I drove out for the HAMB Drags one year, I think it may have been 2012, but the year really doesn't matter. I was in my newly finished 5 window and had gotten lost trying to find Ryno's place for the pre-race get together. I was well and thoroughly lost and just about to give up, when Bob in his 'vert pulled alongside and asked where I was going.

    "Trying to find the pre-race party at Ryno's," I replied.
    "Follow me" was all he said and he led me right to it.

    I remember thinking at the time that here was a nice guy. 'Never got to talk to him after that, but the fact that he'd go out of his way to help a stranger made a lasting impression.

    From reading his posts on the HAMB it was obvious that here was a guy who lived his life to the fullest and on his terms. I used to really envy his travels and that brings to mind this: None of us know how much time we have, tomorrow isn't promised and in spite of this it's all too easy to put off things we'd promised ourselves we'd one day get around to doing. Bob's example and the way he moved through the world in his retirement years has re-awakened a spark in me to get out and do the things on my personal "bucket list".

    Thanks for the wake up call, Bob, and Godspeed.
     
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  14. phat rat
    Joined: Mar 18, 2001
    Posts: 4,300

    phat rat
    Member

    That was Bob an ex marine and proud. I remember standing next to him at a show one time while the anthem was played and some guy hadn't removed his hat and Bob hollered "Hey take your damn hat off"
     
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  15. Thirdyfivepickup
    Joined: Nov 5, 2002
    Posts: 6,088

    Thirdyfivepickup
    Member

    Man this is really hard to comment on... Ryan I Can’t imagine the feeling after hearing that voicemail.

    Man I’m gonna miss Bob. Always got a Happy Birthday from him, except for this year, which I’m sad to say I didn’t even realize until I heard he passed. My birthday was the day before he passed.

    My first BobK memory was my first run in with him. I didn’t even know him. I had just joined the HAMB and was at the meet and greet at Goodguys Indy. I sheepishly stood off to the side watching everyone getting ready for the picture. Bob walked up to me and asked
    “Are you a HAMBer?” I said I was. He said “then get your ass in the picture.” At that point I didn’t know him and he didn’t know me.

    Years later at Bonneville I had bought a shirt for ChevyGirlRocks because she was in a bad accident a few weeks before SpeedWeek. My thought was to get all the HAMB people I could to autograph it. The specifics of this part are a little fuzzy due to alcohol abuse... but Andy Greene was there with the JCB Dieselmax streamliner and I thought it would be cool if he signed it too. Well as luck would have it our spot on the salt was close to a port a potty. Here comes Andy to use the john. While he’s in there Bob comes up to use it. We make small talk... and our walks Andy. I start my speech. “Uh, hi Mr Green. You see I bought this shirt for um, a girl who was ejected from a tbucket. Um and I uh...” Andy is staring at me blankly and glances at Bob...

    About that time Bob says something like “oh for goodness sake!” And grabs the shirt from me and says “hey will you sign this shirt for him?” He gets the shirt back and throws it to me then gives me the famous Bob grin and enters the port o potty.

    I’m gonna miss you, Santa... you and your “sarchasm.”
     
  16. I met Bob the first time at a god forsaken color run in Elcho WI in 1983. We talked shit, drank beer, laughed and remained friends ever since. I think we both took pride in who could out sarcasm each other. I won't mention 1986 at the Green Bay ISCA car show and a strip place called "The Bamboo Room". That was a blur of a weekend and from what I remember, we had fun.
     
  17. corncobcoupe
    Joined: May 26, 2001
    Posts: 4,668

    corncobcoupe
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    Fellas.....

    I don’t know if anyone ever looked at
    Bob Klessig’s self profile...
    Occupation....Shepherd

    We all can agree.....80 years ....... a Shepherd.
    He lived it....and lives it....
     
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  18. I met Bob only once at the HRCC garage sale many moons ago, that moment left a lasting impression in my mind. EVERY, and I mean EVERY thing he posted on the HAMB I made my best conscious effort to read. SHIT, the man was a road tripping hero and all his adventures and stories were nothing but the best. I deeply feel that I have known him personally and that he and my departed Father would have really hit it off. I wish that I could be more like him,,,,,, Really a top notch fella, they don't make them like that anymore!!!!!! Mitch.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2018
  19. sentinelT
    Joined: Apr 16, 2001
    Posts: 153

    sentinelT
    Member

    I posted this on the other thread, but it needed a place here as well:

    It would have been about 6 or 7 years ago this weekend at BTT50s that the sky opened up and it started pouring. We were going to get the HAMB pic taken together in a few minutes. Everyone around started scrambling for shelter and to cover their cars. Guy next to us was explaining to his kid how bad rain was on hot rods. Then Bob pulled up. With the top down.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2018
  20. Can't remember when we meet, probably the first pileup, do remember the second one, I had carb issues, and he was offering advice and suggestions to a dumb kid like me...what a standup guy!
    That's when we stayed there, I remember him asking if we needed anything and I remember yelling 'Sprecher beer' at your phone (only sold in WI and at the time I lived in GA) He made a special stop just before the state line to bring me some, knowing I couldn't get it anywhere. He go to TZ's house grabbed his cooler and told me to get a beer, best beer I had all weekend.

    The last time our car club had there annual meeting here in WI, after a cheater car show, he stopped by supporting a few jars of cherries, which were enjoyed and followed up by a few jars of clear liquid from down south:).

    Last time he stopped by, i bought some shirts from him earlier in the year, refused to ship them, but insisted on dropping them off in person. He was early and i got stuck in traffic, pulled in the driveway and him and Maggie were sound asleep under a shade tree in the 62. Talked and BS'ed a bit, looked at the junk in my garage.

    He was such great person, I'm happy to have Bob in my life.
    That and i'll never be able to see the Antigo sign without remembering him yelling at me......"Jeffrey if I hear you drove through Antttegoooo without stopping I'm going to............................."

    RIP Bob

    Only pic I have with him in it....can't remember which pileup it was
    hcpu.jpg
     
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  21. Ever been to the GM Heritage Center in Detroit? Its an AMAZING place and something I NEVER thought I'd get to see. At the Autorama in 08, Bob arranged for a bunch of us HAMBers to visit. Truly the trip of a lifetime for us car junkies...... WHAT A GUY!!!!!!!
     
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  22. Well, on top of what I wrote about a Bob, a guy I hardly knew, I come to tears reading all that everyone is telling of their adventures with him. Just to have SO MANY FOLKS have so much good to say about Bob, it speaks volumes about the type of person we should ALL strive to be !!! Mitch.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2018
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  23. RottonRon
    Joined: Aug 22, 2005
    Posts: 97

    RottonRon
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Met Bob at the motel at bONNEVILLE He reserved a whole row of rooms and passed them out to whoever needed one ! how's that for coolness??!!
     
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  24. While this is very sad news, you gotta admit, Bob had a pretty good run and didn't waste any of the time he had on this Earth. I was lucky enough to meet him at Bonneville back in 2013 and was rapt to go for a cruise in his Chevy. Looking at his Facebook page and on here, it's obvious he was much loved and will be dearly missed.

    RIP old mate. See you on the other side.
    bonneville13_spd2566.jpg
     
  25. I don't remember the exact time I met Bob but we met many times afterward. When he'd pass through Omaha he'd always stop by the house or at least call. Once he called from Council Bluffs [just across the Missouri river from Omaha] at a fellow buddy's shop and said come on over. I did and took these photos. I had Mister Bones and gave him to Bob that day...he really appreciated that. bobknco.jpg bobkentourage.jpg
    Once he called to say he was staying at my house that night. He limped the rag top in and complained it wasn't running right so we pulled it in my teeny garage and I found Bob had installed one of those dangerous glass fuel filters and it was fulla crap....engine wouldn't go over 2500 rpm. I cleaned it out for him with a stern warning to swap it out for a good fuel filter ASAP...He regaled my wife and I with cool stories all night and was gone when we got up.
    Once he called and asked me if I was going to Bonneville and I said I couldn't get a room...
    "Don't worry about that shit, son" he says.."I gotta whole shit load of rooms and one is for you." I drove my old 41 Pontiac out there and had a blast with Bob, Wz Junk, his brother Sam, Tex Smith, Ron Ceridono and countless other big name guys that Bob introduced me to at Motel 6. We rode in Bob's chevy rag top on the salt with yards of clear plastic on the floor and seats.
    I don't know how many times we got together at the HAMB drags but we always got caught up on family BS in the parking lot. I called him several times in the last weeks. I knew he was feeling shitty but he always talked about going to BTT50s and meeting me at this year's HAMB drags...I'm sure gonna miss him[[/ATTACH] bvillebobKsodbusterlurkermicksmokinjoe.jpg bobknmrbones.jpg
     
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  26. lo-buk
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 270

    lo-buk
    Member
    from kcmo

    I met Bob several years ago at the hamb meet and greet at btt50s. Very easy to talk to and always had a smile on his face. Over the years that I would see him there would always be a big smile and a handshake. Bob, you will be missed... Rest in peace my friend...
     
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  27. chevy57dude
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 5,122

    chevy57dude
    Member

    R.I.P. to a great guy.
     
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  28. ...................This may well be the best quote that I've ever read. Godspeed to you Bob. You've apparently carved your name and legacy on hundreds of hearts.
     
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  29. gasmanm01
    Joined: Nov 24, 2009
    Posts: 572

    gasmanm01
    Member

    Met bob and Maggy at the meat heads bbq in Taylor , tx in 2012.
    Treated me and my wife like he had known us forever. IMG_0186.JPG


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
  30. Thirdyfivepickup
    Joined: Nov 5, 2002
    Posts: 6,088

    Thirdyfivepickup
    Member

    The other day I came up with:

    “In a world full of hate and despair, be BobK”

    I’m sure someOne could come up with something that’s a little cooler but I thought it sounded right.
     

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