Fond memories of a friend and fellow MGWC are shared.

Every year, Bob Cole, MGWC, and his wife come to Virginia Beach in their motorhome to visit relatives. Bob and I almost always manage to spend the day together to visit and swap stories. When attending the state driller and pump shows in Ohio and Michigan, and the NGWA Exposition, we usually would see Bob. We’ve known each other for some 30-plus years, even though we only saw one another occasionally.

On July 4 this year, Bess and I visited Bob in Eau Claire, Mich. Bob and his wife were camped in their motorhome at a nearby campground. We followed Bob to Eau Claire to watch the town’s Fourth of July parade. Bob’s wife was involved in the parade in some way. We were able to meet Bob’s wife for the first time and only for a few minutes, as she had to get back to business at hand.

Bess and myself took photos and movies while we watched the half-hour parade. It was a great parade for a small city. Shortly after the parade, Bob took us to the fire station. The Eau Claire fire department was sponsoring a midday barbeque for a small donation, and Bob treated us to lunch.

Bess and I excused ourselves and retreated to check into our motel room in South Bend, Ind., some short distance away. We were to return to the campground for a cookout with Bob, his wife and some of their friends from New Mexico.

Once Bess and I checked into our motel, being elderly folks, we found we were a little tired. We called Bob and told him that we wouldn’t be returning that evening. We ordered in a pizza and didn’t go out anywhere.

I called Bob and told him that we needed to get on down the road, doing my job telling people about cycle control valves. I told Bob that we would be returning soon for another visit. He was to travel with me for a day or so, calling on driller friends in his area. We worked our way home from South Bend.

Several days later, another mutual driller friend called me to ask if I knew that Bob had passed away. I had no idea until that call. I called Bob’s wife, and she informed me his passing was quite sudden, shortly after an operation.

We never know today if we’ll be on this earth tomorrow. Make use of every day and every minute. Take time to visit friends and relatives because you could be gone in a second. I’ll be having knee-joint surgery on both knees about the middle of September. I understand I’ll be in therapy with limited walking for about six weeks. Bess says I’ll be fine as long as my mouth still can work. Maybe the next time you see me, I won’t need my electric scooter, but I’ll probably have it anyway. Like my eyeglasses, the scooter’s become a part of Porky.