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Folks Of Interest Bob Klessig

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

  1. winduptoy
    Joined: Feb 19, 2013
    Posts: 2,242


    Never met Bob in person but know the man. We all have Bob in us and need to let him come out more often....or at least I do. It's an awesome thing to be appreciated. Bob, thanks for still being among us.

    Sent from my XT1254 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  2. silent rick
    Joined: Nov 7, 2002
    Posts: 4,128

    silent rick

    my first encounter with bob was at the first billetproof detroit. we shared the basement at denise's house. our group rolled in a little late on friday night but soon found everyone at the pre-party. after introductions, we decided to call it a night and headed back to denise's place.
    i was riding shotgun in cadillac bob's lincoln right behind bob in his chevy, everyone leaving adequate space between cars. a local in an import sped around us only to cut in to hang a right. berto might have been a little late to the brakes and had to lock them up. a four bias ply screeching sideways stop behind bob whose eyes where as big as hubcaps in the rear view mirror. it might have shook the old man up.
    after the show on saturday we went out to eat as a group and the headed to woodward for ice cream. we cruised woodward the rest of the evening. i noted to berto how it seemed bobk kept a watchful eye out for that lincoln. he could be a hundred yards ahead of us but whenever berto got into his lane, bob would change lanes.
    in the years after, the debate continued on just how close cadillac bob's lincoln came to hitting bobk's chevy.
    whenever we ran into bob from then on, whether it was at a pileup or bonneville, he was always quick to shake your hand and ask how thing's have been going. it seems like once you had met bob, you were friends for life. i'll miss seeing him.
    chryslerfan55 and Thor1 like this.
  3. Whenever Bob and Maggie were in town (Clearwater, FL), he's message me and we'd got out for pierogies (because Florida is where you go for good Polish food). We went to the same place 2 or 3 times he came down, the Peirogie Grill. We chose the restaurant specifically for Bob, because... Bob.

    Now, what's so Bob about a Polish restaurant? Well the owners moved to Florida after running successful Middle Eastern/Egyptian food restaurants in Wroclaw, Poland. He thought the American's would also love Middle Eastern food. So he decorated his Clearwater restaurant with an Egyptian theme... pyramids, sphinx, King Tut, etc. The menu was filled with all the things he had on the menus in Poland, plus a few Polish things like sausage and pierogie. He didn't realize how xenophobic we were, and soon realized that we were only ordering the Polish food. So he removed the Egyptian food from the menu, but hasn't changed the decor at all... Right down to the pyramid salt and pepper shakers. We now call it "King Tut's Pierogie Hut." Thing was, they made damn good Polish food. The owners also do a lot of weird things to passively market the place... Like painting up former cop cars like cop cars and changing the name on the side from "Police" to "Pierogie" to literally stop traffic, and a giant fiberglass pierogie trailer.

    So every time Bob and Maggie came to town we went to "King Tut's Pierogie Hut" and we had pierogies together, it was sometimes years between visits and NOTHING ever changed inside. The food was always good and so was the company.

    We'll miss you Bob.

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  4. DeucePhaeton
    Joined: Sep 10, 2003
    Posts: 999


    My Chauffeur, John Hall and Bob chatting at the Lone Star Round Up in 2014 at Customs and Hot Rods of Andice on the Garage Crawl.

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  5. titus
    Joined: Dec 6, 2003
    Posts: 5,066


    Ive looked thru all my pics and i cant believe i dont have any of Bob, being i lived pretty close to Bob i ran into him everywhere, Back To The Fifties, Hunnert Car Pile Up, Cheaterama, Bonneville, Torque Fest, Iola and on and on. as many have posted his greeting was always "hello Son" That greeting will be greatly missed, Bob was definitely one of a kind, a few years back my friend bought a Model A Coupe project so we got the full tour of his place, and then he took us to lunch. One year after Iola we made drove up to Bobs to look at some parts he had, he noticed a valve cover in the back of my car he didnt have for his Valve cover wall, of course we made a deal and it was his! Godspeed Bobk!
  6. Jeff Norwell
    Joined: Aug 20, 2003
    Posts: 13,138

    Jeff Norwell
    Staff Member

    I will miss that damn guy....

    BM 01A.jpg
  7. Jeff J
    Joined: Mar 15, 2007
    Posts: 950

    Jeff J

    Bob has been my best friend for over 45 plus years Bob and Maggie stood up in the wedding party for my starter wife wedding We meet with the corvettes on a color Rama run That night in a very expensive night club remember this was in the seventies ! Bob comes to me and asks me Do you know how a pollack pulls up his SOCKS ? And of coarse we had some alcohol in us ! I said no Bob tell me . Well he unhooks his belt and drops his pants and bends down and pulls up his socks ! We where asked never to come back !!! Been best friends and my insurance agent since then !!! RIP Bobby you the best !!!!

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  8. Mike
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 3,524


    I saw Bob at Bonneville and LARS on many occasions. I probably saw him at some other places that I don't remember, since he just plain went everywhere. He was a good man, it was always good to see and talk to him. In his own good natured way, he stomped on the terra.
    bonesy, Thor1 and chryslerfan55 like this.
  9. Malcolm
    Joined: Feb 9, 2006
    Posts: 7,660

    from Nebraska

    I always enjoyed visiting with Bob and sure do wish we all had more time with him. Just the way he lived his life should be an example for all. No matter what your passion is, live your life pursuing it. Be kind to all and make some friends along the way. Thank you, BobK, for the great memories.

    This photo was taken out of my '62 Ford Galaxie, speeding down I-80 on our way to Bonneville, I think in western Wyoming. I believe Jeff J was with him. That's Denise on the right. One of many fun road trips for us all.

    Saxman, bonesy, Junior Stock and 16 others like this.
  10. Bob K (Klessig) It was great getting the chance to talk with you again at Detroit this year...We had no idea it would be the last time....You were a good friend to many people....and I'm glad you considered me to be one of your friends. R.I.P. Bob.
    enloe, bonesy, Roadsir and 5 others like this.
  11. bobbleed
    Joined: May 11, 2001
    Posts: 3,101

    from Awesome

    Man I am still just kinda screwed up over this. Bob was a true hero and mentor of mine. From warning me about moving to Texas, to supporting me when I was there.. (especially all those Round Ups I had to fix his car ha!) to being a huge supporter of my moving home, and everything in between, he was a rock in my life. He grew up not far from my Dad and Uncle and although they didn't know each other back in the day, They crossed a lot of paths and share a lot of similar stories of Milwaukee in the old days. I would get phone calls every month or two and it was always a joy to here that voice open up with "Robert, what are you up to son?" Then after a quick scolding of being late on my insurance payment we would get caught up on all the latest in the Hot Rod/ HAMB World. He had that distinct WI accent, and always made me feel at home. I called him Uncle B. At one of my shop parties I got to introduce him To My uncle Miles. I said Hey Uncle Miles meet My Uncle Bob, I think you guys might be brothers! ha. They sat there for a long time talking about the old days and mutual people they new. I have a picture somewhere I think on my old phone.

    I would see him all over at shows, but my favorite was when he would pop in the shop on his way to or from someplace..... at least three or four times a year. One day in particular a couple summers a go, almost to this day, he stopped in the Corvette. I was making a hot wheels track For Bobby's birthday party and he sat there and told stories while I worked. It was a good day. Thats what this picture is from.

    I am devastated by his loss, I'm not an overly social guy, and I am bad at checking in on my friends, I'm pretty much a loaner, but the people I hold close, are REAL close. His friendship was special.... True Brotherhood, family to me.

    What is mind blowing to me is the amount of people he seemed to have a similar relationship with! It seems that everyone that new him felt this same way. My Mom was kind of like that, she had deep respect from just about everyone she met. With all the traveling Bob did, he met a lot of people, its amazing. It really is! Some people become legends because of their art, or passion, or things they create. Bob is a legend for the people he touched, the people he made smile, the people he brought together. Man, he did it right.

    A friend of Bob K is a friend of mine.

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    stinson, Sancho, Never2low and 23 others like this.
  12. Chris Casny
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 4,870

    Chris Casny

  13. Gotgas, lothiandon1940, enloe and 8 others like this.
  14. Dan Greenberg
    Joined: Aug 18, 2008
    Posts: 7,542

    Dan Greenberg
    from Parker, CO

    I don't remember exactly when or where I met Bob - probably KKOA in 2010 or 2011, but since then it seemed like I ran into him practically everywhere. I cannot remember a time when it didn't brighten my day just talking to him. I am now especially glad I went to Detroit in March and that I had the good fortune to run into him there, unfortunately for the last time. I liked that I would see his '52 Chevy 2 days in a row and it would have different hub caps both days. He was a great, great person that I wish I had spent more time to know much better. Here are a few images of Bob's cars that I could find right away.
    KKOA 2014-0003.jpg
    At Paul Kruse's (@povertyflats) house in Gypsum, KS prior to KKOA 2014
    KKOA 2014-1253_4.jpg
    An open house during KKOA 2014 in Salina, KS
    At the Rodder's Journal Revival in Baltimore in September, 2014
    AT LSRU in 2015
    CCR2015 D750-1239.jpg
    At the Custom Car Revival in Indianapolis in 2015
  15. wayfarer
    Joined: Oct 17, 2003
    Posts: 1,790


    I first communicated with Bob on the HAMB when we were both in the running for the Asphault Egorama back in 2003. He and Maggie stopped by to visit my wife and I on their way to Alaska. They were the nicest people you could ever meet. I think the most fitting tribute to Bob would be to drive the shit out of your car, something I intend to get back to once I get back from vacation on Thursday. RIP Bob.
    Roadsir, Thor1 and Stogy like this.
  16. He will be Missed I have not met him but he knew my Dad and I miss talking with him online he always wished me a Happy Birthday and I asked him Next time he is in Arizona look us up
    bonesy likes this.
  17. McClutchski
    Joined: May 4, 2018
    Posts: 20


    I enjoyed reading these stories about BobK. Since his passing, I’ve seen so many pictures of him on Instagram. As a fellow Wisconsinite, unfortunately I’ve never met him. But I get a sense that we would’ve hit it off, like so many other car guys I know from Wisconsin. And in a sense, I know he would of joined us in a great north woods cookout eating meat and drinking beer, laughing the whole night through.
    bonesy and Thor1 like this.
  18. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,756


    I met him at the Turkey run in 2011

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  19. At the HAMB drags a couple years ago we got to talking and laughing with him because as he drove through the parking lot of the Holiday Inn, there was a loud clanking coming from the front wheel of his Chevy... The spindle nut grease cap had come off and was clanking around inside the hubcap...
    lothiandon1940 and Tim like this.
  20. B Bay Barn
    Joined: Dec 27, 2009
    Posts: 427

    B Bay Barn

    Damn, this is as bad as when I read about 3WLarry's passing.
    bobwop likes this.
    Joined: Jun 23, 2006
    Posts: 1,476


    I can't add a thing that hasn't already been said - really enjoyed getting to know you - God Speed Bob K.
  22. I was looking for the HAMB meet and greet at the LA Roadster Show, and Bob came up to me and pointed me in the right direction.
    'He was a great guy and will be missed by many.
    RIP Bob.
  23. Pooch
    Joined: Apr 11, 2006
    Posts: 863

    from Oklahoma

    Just Two Words..... Every year the same two words. On the same day every year, Just Two words. Some years we meet and talk for hours. Some years just a few beers. Some years we don't see each other at all. But every year Just Two Words. Always on the same day Just Two Words. Once a year, A message from a friend, Just Two Words.
    Today is my Birthday and I am missing my friend BobK.
    flatheadpete, Saxman, bobwop and 5 others like this.
  24. Okie Pete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2008
    Posts: 3,328

    Okie Pete

    Condolences to his Family and Friends .
    I never met Bob . Everyone's thoughts ,stories and his Friends words have woven a good picture of the Fun loving ,generous Man he was even to the end of his run.
    RIP Bob.
    Thor1 likes this.
  25. Although I never had the pleasure on meeting Bob. He came up in conversations with my own father. I always thought that my father hit a lot of shows and events... But I was quickly corrected. Dad said, pointing at the green chevy vert... "That is a guy that hits alot of shows."

    I will never forget that... Because after that, I noticed that car at almost every big show from then on.

    I hope that life and this hobby puts me in a position to enjoy it as much as Bob did!
    Big A and Thor1 like this.
  26. First time I met that old buzzard was in Detroit, at Hotrodladycrusr's house. She had to run an errand, and Bob was on his way, so I stayed at her house to meet this legend one-on-one. True to form and everyone's recollections, Bob never knew a stranger. His friendliness stole my heart the minute he came thru the door..."So you must be Earl Schieb--good to meet you son! Let's go!" Five minutes later we're in his Chevy, top down, blasting thru Detroit at about 70mph. The minute we rolled into one of the tunnels in downtown Motor City, Bob flatfooted the gas pedal--the old green convertible dropped down a gear and the angry 6 cylinder screamed it's "BLAAAAAATTTTT" out the tailpipes. I looked to my left, and Bob was wearing his trademark devilish grin. I knew right then this guy was nuts, and I liked it. Every event I traveled to from then on there was a 51% chance I'd get to visit with him--the Drags, the Nats, Cinematic, RoundUp, the Salt--just about any place worth going to, he was gonna be there. Sometimes I'd drink his beer, sometimes we'd share a room---he always felt like family.Always the same, always "BobK". I can't say goodbye to him, even though I know he's gone....I'm just going to pretend he's around, and I'll run into him again someday
  27. Deadbird
    Joined: Jul 28, 2005
    Posts: 1,116


    I don’t have any pictures of Bob to share. But I’ll never forget that guy. Definitely one of the best.
    Malcolm likes this.
  28. I think this was coming back from the HAMB drags in 2012 on 35W North of Des Moines. We were on different gas stop sequences and I got to blast past him twice in my Roadster......

    I met Bob several years before that at BTTF in MPLS. He had some very nice things to say after my brother had passed.....Just a class act all around and a great example of how we should strive to live our lives for sure.
    Summer and Fall Pics 2012 064.jpg
  29. BenD
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 1,591

    Alliance Member

    I actually don’t remember exactly when I met Bob. Most likely it was @ Bonneville around the turn of the century. The more shows I went to, the more shows I saw Bob at. He was EVERYWHERE! Met him on the freeway in the middle of New Mexico once. Counted up 12 states that I’ve had meals with him in. Between myself & my two boys, we’ve covered a few thousand miles staring out of that chopped Chevy windshield with him. It became habit for us to caravan from the Salt to the Drags every year. He stayed at my house, I’ve stayed at his. We may or may not have raced each other across this great nation once.

    He was literally Family, and My Family Loves BobK.

    One hot August day we were barreling down I-80 west. Phone rings, I answer “Yes Sir”.
    The most desperate & direct voice on the other end says,
    “SON, Where ARE you?”
    Green River Wyoming.
    “Pullover THERE!”
    Why, What’s wrong?
    “I’ve been to Smith’s AND the liquor store, there is NO Quervo Margarita pre-mixed in the WHOLE town of Wendover!
    Stop & get a jug, I’ll see you in 4 hours”.
    Gotgas, teach'm, Sancho and 15 others like this.
  30. corncobcoupe
    Joined: May 26, 2001
    Posts: 5,263

    Staff Member

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