Reader Profile – Bob

Bob reading in the cob cottage he built

Bob came to California in the 1970s from Pennsylvania where he grew up (though, asked where he grew up, he answers, “I have not yet grown up”). Born in Rochester, NY, the son of a Hanover Foods salesman, Bob and his family lived in Hanover, Mount Holly Springs, and Allentown, PA (the last he considers his hometown). In California, Bob became a Letter Carrier, first in Santa Barbara, then continued in Fort Bragg (on the Northern California coast) for 26.5 years, “30 years and one day total.” He was President of the National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 3656 for 25 years and Shop Steward for 20. “Never lost a grievance,” says Bob.

When he retired, Bob started a public radio station, KNYO-LP, maybe stemming from his early interest in short-wave radios and electronics in general. The station will have been on the air for 15 years this Friday, May 7; they’ll celebrate with a First Friday art exhibit. Happy Birthday, KNYO! The station moved to a visible street location in 2012 after its start in a trailer in the woods. About having a radio station, Bob says he likes two things most: making people happy with the music and making them think with political news shows. “The Thom Hartmann Program out of Portland is our most popular show. He is brilliant.” Bob says his ulterior motive is to get people hooked on the music and then slip in some persuasive progressive politics. 

A recent passion of Bob’s is cob building. His cob cottage is fantastically featured at the Facebook page Cat and Clay. Cat and Clay is an old term used in the UK for earthen buildings dating back 700 years. “Humans have been building earthen structures for at least 10,000 years. Some of the oldest man-made structures, in Afghanistan, are rammed earth and cob. As the most affordable and available building material on the planet, soil, when mixed with sand and straw, makes a very stable, fireproof, and earthquake proof building material.”

Bob also loves to garden. “I am intrigued by the plants and bugs. I feel Mother Gaia’s energy come up through my feet, and feel like She loves me, constantly gifting me with new wonders and treats. I am grateful to be on this planet.” Now isn’t that beautiful!

Cob crew

Bob reads mostly nonfiction political treatises. About the fantasy novel, Braided Dimensions, he says “I enjoyed the strong, mysterious Baird character.”

Bob has a grown son and daughter and two grandkids.

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