I could say, were I inclined to indulge antiquated cliches, that I knew Bob since he was knee-high to a grass-hopper.
He used to hang out around my buddy Kipling's place back when Kipling had a '66 Hemi-Charger and a pair of 396/375 Novas for sale on his front lawn out there at his place on the 24 Highway.
Bob was in his early teens and walked up to Kipling's place to catch the school bus.
It was Kipling who called me with the news today; Bob is dead.
The "hanging around" eventually led to Bob getting married off to Kipling's sister-in-law.
Several years on, of course.
Bob was into the fast cars and he was into the quality home-grown. In fact it was one of Bob's buddies who pretty much introduced my circle of accomplices to the fine art of indoor grow-ops.
If you were gonna be hanging with Bob for the day it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that there would be some quality weed involved.
But we all grew up and everything changed. Bob and I had a falling out over some Mustangs that just had to be rescued from a storage garage over in Kitchener.
All we had to do was winch them onto a trailer and drive away.
I lassoed Bob into the mission thinking it was a no-brainer.
Didn't work out that way. The guy who owned that garage went on to start a major REIT. He also knew I could not be counted on to get a free car out of storage.
I remember Bob asking me, after he'd been at Hammond's a couple of years, if he should take a chance and enter their apprenticeship program. They had an opening for a millwright trainee. His other options were staying on the line or driving truck for the company.
I said, Bob, you can always drive a truck. Do the millwright thing if you have a chance and if you don't like it, you can always drive their trucks.
Bob took my counsel, got his millwright ticket, and eventually ended up as head of maintenance at the Hammond plant at Edinburgh and Speedvale.
He had a very nice run.