The Two Bobs

When I met Kim she was midway through her Masters and working for the two Bobs at Case’s Center for Professional Ethics.

She loved the two Bobs – Bob Clark and Bob Lawry.

We have a painting of a lighthouse hanging in our downstairs bathroom. Kim loved lighthouses – they always reminded her of Bob Clark. He shared that love.

One of my favorite pictures of Kim and me is of us next to a lighthouse in Fort William, Scotland on the edge of a Loch. I don’t know what it was about lighthouses – perhaps it reminded her of the water’s edge. Kim loved being near the water.

The first time I remember seeing Kim was when I was required to attend a session for graduate students who were teaching undergrads. She and Bob Clark ran the event in the Thwing Student Center. There were a ton of us there hearing about what is and isn’t cheating and how students may see the issues differently than we do.

Kim and I wouldn’t meet for many months but I remembered seeing her there. She had a genuine affection for Bob and was there to make sure his message was heard. Bob was trained as a UCC Minister.

I think Bob retired shortly after that because I don’t remember seeing much of him. The other Bob, Bob Lawry was a law professor at CWRU School of Law – but he was a different kind of law professor. Kim said he had the soul of a poet and a brilliant mind.

Mostly, Kim worked in the same building as the math department way across campus from the Law School. Every once in a while she’d have to go over and work in Bob’s office to get something done – but mostly she worked remotely.

The Bobs didn’t care when or where Kim worked as long as she got her work done. She knew what needed to be accomplished and they trusted her to do it. They also encouraged her to start and finish her masters.

When Kim and I were dating she thought it would be fun if we read a book together. Kim was always reading – she read something every day. She read a wide range of books and always had at least one book on her nightstand.

Bob Lawry loved “The Hobbit” and read it each year so at Kim’s insistance we each bought a copy of the book and started to read it.

I’m not a Sci-Fi guy.

In many ways this makes me unusual for my field. So many developers read and watch Science Fiction.

I’m not saying that “The Hobbit” is science fiction, I’m just saying that the same things that kept me from loving science fiction kept me from relating to “The Hobbit”. Enough people love “The Hobbit” that I’m sure that the failing is mine – not the book’s. I’m working on it.

I’d tried to read “The Hobbit” for years. Friends raved about it in high school, others in college, and others (and the same people again and again) in the years since.

So I read “The Hobbit”.

I noticed that Kim had other books beside her bed. That wasn’t really unusual but “The Hobbit” was never on top.

I finished the book and wanted to talk to her about it.

“I didn’t finish it,” she said.

“How far did you get?” I asked.

“When the guy with the big feet went down the hole I kind of stopped,” she said.

“But that was in the very beginning,” I said.

She shrugged.

That was that.

Years and years later there were the movies. Kim, Maggie, and I went with our friends Paul and Sue to see all of the movies. Kim and Maggie won some contest to see one of them in 3D.

I’m sure it’s me not the movie but it just didn’t grab me.

I liked the first one but didn’t get the point of the last two. I’m sure there are metaphors and meanings that I just didn’t see. I may be too shallow for the movies.

I don’t know that it’s relevant but I think I should confess I’ve never seen or read “Game of Thrones” either.

One of Bob’s other favorite books was “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.” Based on our Hobbit experience I never picked it up.

Well that’s not true.

I actually bought it a couple of times but I “Kimmed”. I never got far enough into it to get invested.

The author recently died and so it’s back beside my bed.

There are so many things I miss about Kim – but I’ve decided if she’s not around to read at night then I should.

Published in: on April 25, 2017 at 9:08 am  Comments (1)