Monday, September 15, 2014

A loving tribute to a great man, Bob Leong


The account of Bob's passing struck me hard. It was like a sudden blast of emptiness that hit me with overwhelming force and left a void where once there was Bob.

Like many in Bob's vast extended family, I met Bob through the internet. He reached out to me through my blog. First a comment, then an e-mail, then a phone call, and so it went.
Bob infused my blogging experience with life. Vibrant, compelling, gritty, amazing, adventurous, life. When I just wanted to get together for coffee or lunch, Bob seized the day, two days in fact, and squeezed out two amazing mind-blowing days of moto-friendship that paid dividends I could never have imagined.
But wait, there was more, so very much more. I found myself, alone, in a borrowed tent, in Bellafonte Pennsylvania, waking to the sound of songbirds and peacocks. Magic. I was there because Bob asked me to meet him there. So I went.

Bob invited me to share slices of his life. So I invited him to share slices of mine. I visited his home, I met Yvonne and his kids. He spent a few nights in my home. He met Susan and our kids. Susan, Yvonne, Bob and I had dinner in Vancouver, and breakfast on another occasion.

More than anything else, I was blessed to ride with Bob. Bob blessed my life in a small but deeply marking way.

Bob was truly one of the kindest, most gentle, most generous people I have met. Most importantly, he gave of himself. He made things happen.

None of this came easily to Bob. He was candid about the challenges he faced as a child. Challenges no child should face. Many of us might have fared worse in similar circumstances.

How Bob will be missed.

Now is the time for tributes. To sing the praises of one who touched our lives. A fellow being who lived life the way life should be lived. With love, generosity, kindness, and courage.

Safe travels Bob. You left this life the way only the very best do. Doing what you loved, living an adventure, in the company of your loving wife.

25 comments:

SonjaM said...

Beautifully written, David. I am all teared up. He touched many lives, and turned the moto blogger community into a virtual family.

David Masse said...

Tears indeed. And quite the virtual family.

Dar said...

David, this is beautiful and I know Bob was such a humble soul that he would probably be thinking on how to deal with the accolades from all his friends, he would smile, knowing that he was well loved, and deservedly so. He was a rare person in this world and I can't help but think if there were more Bob's in the world how much nicer it would be.

David Masse said...

Too true. I can see Bob looking down and away, with a little resigned smile when compliments were cast his way. Then he would hasten to change the subject and move on, uncomfortable with the praise.

Charlie6 said...

Great posting in Bob's honor, Dave....well done. Do you know what date it was that Bob passed in? I'd like to remember him specifically on that day, though I am sure he'll be in our thoughts more often than that!

Conchscooter said...

Crap. He was looking forward to and fearful of retirement and I think he would have ended up enjoying it immensely. He seemed like he was getting into the swing of grabbing life by the balls. Bugger.

Robert Wilson said...

Well said David. Well said.

VStar Lady said...

Perhaps that's Bob's message for us ...

VStar Lady said...

Lovely tribute David!

David Masse said...

Michael, I agree with Karen, that may be the message for us all. Bugger indeed.

David Masse said...

Thanks Rob. Normally posts and comment threads are a source of pleasure. This one's a source of pain.

The better the person, the greater the grief.

David Masse said...

It's heartfelt, I can say that.

I am struck at how ephemeral this process is, how ephemeral we are. Here today, gone tomorrow.

I want to find a way to hold on to Bob's memory. Dom has some ideas. It's at the front of my thoughts.

Hopefully something useful will come.

David Masse said...

I'm printing all the tributes to Bob that I can find.

The blog posts are messy when they print to PDF but maybe I'll be able to do something half decent with them.

Here's what I've got so far, 22 posts.

Please point out anything I've missed.

All Things Rogey - Bob Leong - 20140915.pdf

bluekat's Journeys - Bob Leong 20140916.pdf

Bob Leong _ Scootin' Old Skool - 20140915.pdf

Find me on the Road_ Bob(skoot) Leong - 20140915.pdf

Life on two wheels, the scoot commute_ A loving tribute to a great man, Bob Leong - 20140915.pdf

Life's Ride As I See It - Bob Leong - 20140915.pdf

Motorcycle Blogger Bob Skoot Dead ~ Rude Biker Chick - 20140915.pdf

Motorcycle Philosophy - Bob Leong - 20140915.pdf

Motorcycle Touring - Riding on my V Star_ ... Wearing Pink crocks - 20140915...pdf

Ms M's Place - Bob Leong - 20140915.pdf

Redleg's Rides_ Farewell, Bobskoot - 20140915.pdf

Richard's Page_ Good Bye Bobskoot - 20140915.pdf

Ruckus Scooter Love - Bob Leong - 20140916.pdf

Scooter Revolution!_ Bob Leong - RIP Bobscoot - 20140915.pdf

Scooterpie - motorcycle adventure with Bobskoot and the RTE Scooter Crew - 20140916.pdf

Scooterpie- Goodbye Bob my dear friend - Bobscoot of West Coast Scooting blog-20140915.pdf

The Great Motorcycle Pizza Tour - Bob Leong - 20140916.pdf

The Motorcycle Obsession_ Miscellaneous - Bob Leong - 20140916.pdf

transport of delight _ what it is about motorcycles - Bob Leong - 20140915.pdf

Trobairitz said...

I think out of all the moto bloggers you were the closest to Bob. I think you and he visited more than anyone else and it is fitting you let the rest of us know of his passing. He will be missed.

My heart was too heavy to read all of the tribute posts yesterday so I am doing it this morning and will be posting my own as well. Thank you David for being such a good friend to Bob.

David Masse said...

Brandy, the easiest thing in the world was to be Bob's friend.

I don't think I was closest. I think that Dar and Karen had Bob on their radar before I did. It was Karen who reached out to me with her concern for Bob and Yvonne.

All I did was put up the trolling post that resulted in an acquaintance of Bob's who is friendly with one of Bob's Corvette Club friends who knew what had happened. He was Googling Bob (not sure why) and found my "Where's Bob Leong?" post. He then Googled me and got my professionnal contact e-mail and reached out to me with the news of Bob's passing.

David Masse said...

Here's an updated list of tribute posts.

All Things Rogey - Bob Leong - 20140915.pdf

bluekat's Journeys - Bob Leong 20140916.pdf

Bob Leong _ Scootin' Old Skool - 20140915.pdf

Find me on the Road_ Bob(skoot) Leong - 20140915.pdf

Life on two wheels, the scoot commute_ A loving tribute to a great man, Bob Leong - 20140915.pdf

Life's Ride As I See It - Bob Leong - 20140915.pdf

Motorcycle Blogger Bob Skoot Dead ~ Rude Biker Chick - 20140915.pdf

Motorcycle Philosophy - Bob Leong - 20140915.pdf

Motorcycle Touring - Riding on my V Star_ ... Wearing Pink crocks - 20140915...pdf

Ms M's Place - Bob Leong - 20140915.pdf

Redleg's Rides_ Farewell, Bobskoot - 20140915.pdf

Richard's Page_ Good Bye Bobskoot - 20140915.pdf

Riding the Wet Coast_ Historic Diamond Caverns, Park City, Kentucky - 20140830.pdf

Ruckus Scooter Love - Bob Leong - 20140916.pdf

Scooter Revolution!_ Bob Leong - RIP Bobscoot - 20140915.pdf

Scooterpie - motorcycle adventure with Bobskoot and the RTE Scooter Crew - 20140916.pdf

Scooterpie- Goodbye Bob my dear friend - Bobscoot of West Coast Scooting blog-20140915.pdf

The Great Motorcycle Pizza Tour - Bob Leong - 20140916.pdf

The Motorcycle Obsession_ Miscellaneous - Bob Leong - 20140916.pdf

transport of delight _ what it is about motorcycles - Bob Leong - 20140915.pdf

Trobairitz' Tablet_ Our Beloved Bobskoot - 20140917.pdf

VStar Lady said...

David ... Bob will always live on in my memories and my heart ... as will the scoldings I had to give the two of you that summer - 2013.
I'm pretty good with computers and graphics and publishing ... I can help with a memory book, if you'd like (provided you promise not to lane split and yada, yada, yada...)

David Masse said...

Karen that's a great idea. Yvonne, Ryan and Tammy should have an understanding of Bob's contribution to this community. I'll send the PDFs along. There's Blog2Print that does a very nice job and produces PDFs from blogs. We'll figure something out.

len@RE-GLAZE-IT said...

Hi David,
Been away awhile .....I log in and find this!
I can't believe it , so shocked.
Len

David Masse said...

Len you can't turn your back on the internet for a second these days, stuff will rear up and smack you :)

I think it's fair to say that shock was the universal reaction. Sorry that news had to greet your return to cyberspace.

All the best,

d.

len@RE-GLAZE-IT said...

Really makes you stop and think mate.

Dar said...

David,

I think it is brilliant that you've put the posts to PDF. I think Yvonne would like it and would bring comfort. I am still teary over Bob and haven't had the heart to write a blog post over the last few days. How do you say goodbye when your not ready too? I am struggling with this. I think next year I'd like to have a Bob Leong Pink Croc memorial ride to commemorate our dear friend.

David Masse said...

Doesn't it?

David Masse said...

It's all right. Bake us a pie and post all the steps. Ask your daughter to make a video of the tricky baker bits and post them for us so we can learn. How about a peach blueberry pie?

David Masse said...

Here's a further update to the tribute posts (24 posts):

All Things Rogey - Bob Leong - 20140915.pdf
bluekat's Journeys - Bob Leong 20140916.pdf
BMW Triumphant's Blog_ Remembering Bob Leong-20141017.pdf
Bob Leong _ Scootin' Old Skool - 20140915.pdf
Find me on the Road_ Bob(skoot) Leong - 20140915.pdf
Key West Diary_ Eight Bells For Bobskoot - 20140915.pdf
Life on two wheels, the scoot commute_ A loving tribute to a great man, Bob Leong - 20140915.pdf
Life's Ride As I See It - Bob Leong - 20140915.pdf
Motorcycle Blogger Bob Skoot Dead ~ Rude Biker Chick - 20140915.pdf
Motorcycle Philosophy - Bob Leong - 20140915.pdf
Motorcycle Touring - Riding on my V Star_ ... Wearing Pink crocks - 20140915...pdf
Ms M's Place - Bob Leong - 20140915.pdf
Redleg's Rides_ Farewell, Bobskoot - 20140915.pdf
Richard's Page_ Good Bye Bobskoot - 20140915.pdf
Riding the Wet Coast - last post - 20140830.log
Riding the Wet Coast_ Historic Diamond Caverns, Park City, Kentucky - 20140830.pdf
Ruckus Scooter Love - Bob Leong - 20140916.pdf
Scooter Revolution!_ Bob Leong - RIP Bobscoot - 20140915.pdf
Scooterpie - motorcycle adventure with Bobskoot and the RTE Scooter Crew - 20140916.pdf
Scooterpie- Goodbye Bob my dear friend - Bobscoot of West Coast Scooting blog-20140915.pdf
The Great Motorcycle Pizza Tour - Bob Leong - 20140916.pdf
The Motorcycle Obsession_ Miscellaneous - Bob Leong - 20140916.pdf
transport of delight _ what it is about motorcycles - Bob Leong - 20140915.pdf
Trobairitz' Tablet_ Our Beloved Bobskoot - 20140916.pdf

The copyright in all text and photographs, except as noted, belongs to David Masse.