Conversations with Big Rich

Man of Many Talents, Bob Bower, continues with us for Episode 56

April 29, 2021 Guest Bob Bower Season 2 Episode 56
Conversations with Big Rich
Man of Many Talents, Bob Bower, continues with us for Episode 56
Chapters
Conversations with Big Rich
Man of Many Talents, Bob Bower, continues with us for Episode 56
Apr 29, 2021 Season 2 Episode 56
Guest Bob Bower

Episode 56 of Conversations with Big Rich is part two of an exceptional interview with Bob Bower.  If you haven’t met Bob, read what Ron Stobaugh had to say about him on the occasion of his 75th birthday.  

“Off Road Hall Of Fame. Racers Racer. Marketing Professional. Trainer of the Tire Pros. Most of my friends know these accolades as related to Bob. Many don't know he may or should be in the Tuna Fishing / Airplane Shuttling / Train Car Hopping / Corvette Club Hall Of Fame. Bob not only put up with me as a nor-cal squid that dreamed of Baja racing, he acted. A surprise trip to San Felipe (first time to a desert/Baja/off road race), picking up some kid named Robby Gordon, introductions to every person I had read about or watched on ABC Wide World of Sports, and the occasional kick in the ass when I veered too far off course. Taking me tuna fishing, even though I get motion sick, he hung in there with me - unforgettable experiences. I believe in Karma/Fate whatever you want to call it. I met Bob just before my dad passed away and six months after our son was born. This calm, tough, supportive, willing to let our 2 year old pull on his beard to the point of tears "lawn gnome" was there when we needed that type of figure in our lives. He deserves the Hall of Fame Induction, as well as all of the other known or unknown accolades. But Bob is most deserving of being called - a good human being.”  No kinder words could be spoken.

I’m going to forego the Show Notes for this second part of the Bob Bower interview, because if you listened to part one, you already know you want to listen to part two. One of the pieces Rich and Bob talk about in part two is “What About You?”  It’s the best common sense piece for off-roaders out there.  Written 20 years ago, updated only to change the dates – for you, put in the day after any big event you are attending. It should be top of mind for everyone, it even applies to day-to-day life.  This is what matters most.

Go on over to www.bigrichklein.com and read it there.

 

We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine.

www.maxxis.com

www.4lowmagazine.com 

Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app.

 

Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/BigRich)

Show Notes Transcript

Episode 56 of Conversations with Big Rich is part two of an exceptional interview with Bob Bower.  If you haven’t met Bob, read what Ron Stobaugh had to say about him on the occasion of his 75th birthday.  

“Off Road Hall Of Fame. Racers Racer. Marketing Professional. Trainer of the Tire Pros. Most of my friends know these accolades as related to Bob. Many don't know he may or should be in the Tuna Fishing / Airplane Shuttling / Train Car Hopping / Corvette Club Hall Of Fame. Bob not only put up with me as a nor-cal squid that dreamed of Baja racing, he acted. A surprise trip to San Felipe (first time to a desert/Baja/off road race), picking up some kid named Robby Gordon, introductions to every person I had read about or watched on ABC Wide World of Sports, and the occasional kick in the ass when I veered too far off course. Taking me tuna fishing, even though I get motion sick, he hung in there with me - unforgettable experiences. I believe in Karma/Fate whatever you want to call it. I met Bob just before my dad passed away and six months after our son was born. This calm, tough, supportive, willing to let our 2 year old pull on his beard to the point of tears "lawn gnome" was there when we needed that type of figure in our lives. He deserves the Hall of Fame Induction, as well as all of the other known or unknown accolades. But Bob is most deserving of being called - a good human being.”  No kinder words could be spoken.

I’m going to forego the Show Notes for this second part of the Bob Bower interview, because if you listened to part one, you already know you want to listen to part two. One of the pieces Rich and Bob talk about in part two is “What About You?”  It’s the best common sense piece for off-roaders out there.  Written 20 years ago, updated only to change the dates – for you, put in the day after any big event you are attending. It should be top of mind for everyone, it even applies to day-to-day life.  This is what matters most.

Go on over to www.bigrichklein.com and read it there.

 

We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine.

www.maxxis.com

www.4lowmagazine.com 

Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app.

 

Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/BigRich)


[00:00:01.080] 

Welcome to the Big Rich show, this podcast will focus on conversations with friends and acquaintances within the four wheel drive industry. Many of the people that I will be interviewing, you may know the name, you may know some of the history, but let's get in depth with these people and find out what truly makes them a four wheel drive enthusiast. So now's the time to sit back, grab a cold one and enjoy our conversation. Whether you're crawling the Red Rocks of MOAB or hauling your toys to the trail Maxxis has the tires, you can trust for performance and durability.

 


[00:00:37.920] 

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[00:00:56.040] 

Why should you read 4Low magazine, because 4Low magazine is about your lifestyle, the Four-Wheel Drive adventure lifestyle that we all enjoy, rock crawling, trail riding, event coverage, vehicle builds and do it yourself tech all in a beautifully presented package. You won't find 4Low on a newsstand rack.

 


[00:01:16.510] 

So subscribe today and have it delivered to you.

 


[00:01:20.500] 

I'm sure you enjoyed last week's part one of the interview with Bob Bower today, sit back and listen to Part two. Let's get into the formation of the Bower group and then with that, the different clients that you've had, I know that I believe that you had something to do with the beginning of Offroad Expo. Am I correct on that? Was that part of the Bower group?

 


[00:01:46.540] 

Yes, actually. I should see jobs I've had. Give me a better question. OK, in 90 asking about in 1994 when you started the Bower group.

 


[00:02:02.720] 

Right, which is a for people that don't know it's a marketing and I would say it's probably a marketing and information. Business to help racers, is that correct? No, no, no, no.

 


[00:02:21.380] 

The reason the Bower group was formed, it was because I was no longer employed by B.F. Goodrich, OK?

 


[00:02:28.960] 

And I'm not a genius, I promise you that. But I had I wanted I was in business. I wanted to go in business. And what I wanted to do, I mean, the whole reason I even left the company was I didn't leave mad at all. I I have a son. And in his early years as a young boy, I used to give my son, the dad talk about, you know, you can be anything you want to be, Bobby.

 


[00:02:59.090] 

You know, you can do anything you want to do. It's all up to you. It's a wide open world. You can do anything you want to do. But it's good. Bobby, if you think ahead a little bit and plan it out a little bit, I said, for example, I have a plan. And so I told about my plan. I wanted right from the very early in my early 20s, I recognized that the professional sales was a profession and I wanted to learn every bit about it.

 


[00:03:26.900] 

I could, because eventually in my mind, my plan was in my forties. I wanted to become a teacher of it because I had such a respect for it. And I did take jobs in my in my lifetime that that kind of led me to experience a variety of sales methods or styles is an example. One of my early jobs, oh, mid 60s was with a with a company called John T. Rietz when they were a rep firm that would represent manufacturers and carry in their briefcase five or six manufacturers.

 


[00:04:07.760] 

And they would go into an aerospace company like TRW and say, you know, I have snap action switches, I have knobs, I have circuit boards. I have this, you know, and rep it. Well, that was one way of selling where it's all done by purchase order and long term negotiation. Then I went and took a job with a photocopier company. They made the photocopier and that was the whole story behind that was you take a photocopier out of the back of your company car, wheel it in, wheel it into an office building.

 


[00:04:39.600] 

Hard sell it and come out with just the cart sell machine off the cart. So it's hard, hard, hard close, wham, bam, thank you, ma'am, get out of my way, I'm selling yo a you machine. Totally different.

 


[00:04:52.820] 

So so like a fuller brush on the first one and then the vacuum cleaner salesman on the second one, or worse or worse, but then I wanted to learn, how do you sell something that doesn't come in a box?

 


[00:05:07.530] 

It isn't a part an intangible. I got a job with Dunn and Bradstreet in their marketing services department where we sold the information they collected on their reports, you know, and reformat it into, you know, the metalworking guide, the, oh, all kinds of directories, things like that.

 


[00:05:28.890] 

OK, so selling intangibles and and that's kind of how it went with me. And I knew I wanted to do that. Well, so I'm with BFG. I didn't expect to stick with BFGoodrich, I thought I was. I approach it at first in those first years as a is a chance to still work inside the major corporation to find their soft underbelly and how to sell to a major corporation without going through purchasing that. I know it sounds crazy, Rich, but that was Bob's goal when he started and I didn't realize.

 


[00:06:03.440] 

But I fell in love with the job and it it took me it really did it. And I was I was known to be pretty decent at it. Well, now my son is like 12, 13, 14 years old.

 


[00:06:18.800] 

And I'm realizing, you know, he knows I've been telling him his dad's plan is what I'm going to do. Well, I realized that if I didn't do it, he'd never have to follow through on a plan of his own ever, right.

 


[00:06:36.460] 

So I mustered up the courage and and tendered my resignation and went out to get my first client, which was going to be a training, I wanted to be a training agency at first. That's what I thought my first client was. Let's see, was it was discount tire company out of Scottsdale. OK, I designed and developed a kind of like a management training program for internal use where they were they recognized that they were having some challenges and that they they were not opening stores at the increased rate that they had been.

 


[00:07:21.710] 

Therefore, the store managers were not moving into bigger, better stores, bigger, better paychecks. They were in the doldrums.

 


[00:07:30.520] 

Plus, they were also have a marketing problem is that their business was built on selling the cheapest tire you could get that would fit  on the car and the industry changing, too. You had to sell the right tire for the right car, right. So they had culture change.

 


[00:07:46.540] 

They had, in fact, and that's what my program did. In fact, they still use to this day. It's set the store manager up as the dad e e and he is the mentor, the dad. And he's the cop. He's the mom, you know, in the store. And that worked out really great. But then, you know, Rich, when you start a business saying, hey, I'm going to do X, Y, Z.

 


[00:08:11.210] 

Look, the phone rings and somebody says, hey, you know how to do something like this, don't you? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, what would you charge me to? Ba ba ba ba. Oh, well, that's not the field I was going for, but it's a phone call with somebody who wants to hire you. What do you do? What do you do.

 


[00:08:31.010] 

Hey, do this for me or teach me this. I'm going to give you some money, ok. Yeah.

 


[00:08:36.080] 

Yeah, go. Actually when I start at the most terrifying thing I had to experience was sending an invoice.

 


[00:08:46.090] 

I honest to gosh, I thought it was almost like criminal to say you can have me for money. And that wasn't the way it was. It's like, oh my gosh, I'm so appreciate it. Thank you so much. But yeah, I, I got a to you. And meanwhile they're all tapping or just say, where's my invoice.

 


[00:09:00.350] 

Bob, come on, come on, come on. It was a steep learning curve there, but the phone rang and said, could you do this and could you do that? And and and one of them was a but was a guy who was a cameraman that shot off road races videographer makes Mark Mark Lecoq. And he and I used to say that the races and have beers and talk and just shoot the shit. Basically I was Bench racing with him.

 


[00:09:27.860] 

Never. He gave it a second thought until he said when basically, Bob, you ever thought about bench racing with more than just me? What do you mean? What did you what did you bench race with like a million people. You know, what you talking about, Willis, and and that's how I ended up getting my my first TV job. Is just as a color analyst, you mean the craziest ways you don't go to agents, you don't do that.

 


[00:09:56.820] 

They just say, hey, you want to tell a story, tell that story. Oh, yeah, what the heck? And and that launched me in that direction. So pretty much the training part of my world or the business I envisioned never happened. Because the phone kept ringing and and that's kind of like what led me to Offroad Expo, frankly. Let's think about it. It was a phone call. That's a phone call from a guy who said, hey.

 


[00:10:36.370] 

We need an announcer for this show, you probably have heard of it, but it's a little show and it was it was like, first off, our Expo guide Peterson did, I think was like. 35 or 40 exhibiters, tops. And he needed an announcer, so I go to the show and be an announcer guy doing what I can while I'm doing it. You know, people I know in the industry who knew me would take me off the side and say, Hey, Bob, Bob, Bob, you need to hook up with this guy, this fellow guy, Peterson.

 


[00:11:08.640] 

You guys would be a good mix because he's honest and he works hard and they kind of know about Bower. That's those are the things that are very high on my list of must haves. Meanwhile, they were given him the same talk. The officer as they want to hook up with this old guy, Bower. He knows a lot of people. He knows a lot of stuff you guys do well together. And when the show is over, that first one.

 


[00:11:31.120] 

We sat and talked and decided to hook up, and then I became the the guy who sold the space at Offroad Expo was so much fun. So much fun. Nice people, and we we sold it. I mean, the first time he took me in the building 4 at Pamona Fairgrounds empty, there was nobody in there. I mean, the place is huge.

 


[00:11:58.700] 

I didn't realize how big it was when it's empty and it looks all rich, honest to gosh, I swear to God, it looks like it could cloud up and rain in there.

 


[00:12:09.190] 

Yeah. Were you or did you tuck the blimp big? So that worked out really well because we built the show up to be a pretty good thing. You know, nobody realized it. But for the first. Three or four years, that will, for an expo was pulled off by two guys, one in Arcadia and one in Lake Forest, who saw each other only about three times a year. But on the phone every day, two guys and a gal who came in on Tuesdays, that was it.

 


[00:12:43.430] 

Wow. That was. And I'm sure that I do know this, exhibiters, that for any show, you know, we must have been one of those mega things.

 


[00:12:54.050] 

You know, now just a couple of guys and a gal who came in on Thursdays.

 


[00:13:01.220] 

But if you do it right now and I talked a lot about it and with the story he had been given by the guys in the industry where he repeated back to me when I remember flipping the tailgate of the Bronco down with sitting on it, and I was sitting on a talk and he says, you know, you're old school. And we agreed that we do the old school way, these people, and we change our language. You know, when people say vendors, I got vendors in the show, I said, no guy.

 


[00:13:30.230] 

We don't have vendors. We have exhibiters. Let's get that straight why and elevates them. It's it adds a whole new sense of responsibility as an exhibiter. First, keeping neat and clean straight and all that kind of stuff. Plus, it's a it's a method of showing your respect for your customer, right?

 


[00:13:51.450] 

Maybe I overanalyse. I don't know. No, but but it's how we went about it, because that show was about the little guys. And I because I've always had a feel and that's been one of our mainstays, I guess, when I think about it, since I've always been a little guy guy, let's do something with a little guys. And so when little I can't remember her name, she had a little jewelry company. She made Jeeping jewelry, earrings, necklaces.

 


[00:14:20.980] 

I remember that dog on it, which I can't remember a name.

 


[00:14:25.470] 

I could look it up, but she was a 10 by 10 customer. And and that's all she was ever going to be. You know, she's a 10 by 10 customer and they have her in something larger, would have wasted her money, wouldn't have been fair. But I always believe that, you know, your customers, your customers, so I created for offload expo a seniority system. Where your seniority earned you a point every show you did. And we would open up spaces for reservations based on seniority, so if you have the most seniority points, you get to go first and pick your place next is next and so on.

 


[00:15:12.200] 

So a newcomer just couldn't come in and and Highroll everybody and get the what was considered the best location.

 


[00:15:20.940] 

This may sound a little ballsy, but I turn down people. Yeah, that's awesome. There's, there's one large company with a really good name in the industry who came in and said, well we want our 40 by 50 over here in this part of the building. And I said, well, I'm sorry, but there's exhibiters there already and that's their that's their spot. And so we won't move them well. But I'm going to buy this big and get them out of there.

 


[00:15:49.310] 

I'm buying the space. Well, no, I'm sorry to say you're not. And but I could I could put you over here to put you over here. Here's you know, I try to work with them and someone just said, you know, they wanted to bully their way in. And I. I've been known as a pretty agreeable guy by most folks. Yeah, yeah, you know, and so it's a competition.

 


[00:16:19.540] 

OK, I am competitive.

 


[00:16:24.400] 

It doesn't need to be if it doesn't need to be. And so seniority system is what filled those buildings with people who said, hey, this this show promoter is treating it straight, you know, and when you tell when you learn exhibiter stories, you point out that, you know, that their whole budget of everything they have all year long is put into this three thousand dollar experience, of which the booth is seven hundred feet like that kid, Jim Webb, that that learned so much in the seminars improved his life so much.

 


[00:17:02.240] 

You realize that this isn't just space we're selling. We're giving these people a shot at earning a living. So let's let's do it right. And that's how the show built itself up to the size it was. What was that first year? What date was that? Two thousand 2000 AK. And then and then in 2001 is when w when my sales took over, and that's when we started building the show went from a little show to that big show.

 


[00:17:29.790] 

And in all four or five and six.

 


[00:17:32.600] 

And I I must confess, I was intimidated as heck when I saw the space I had to fill. But but I just, you know, just went right at it. I didn't make it easy to buy, Rich.. I may have even had this conversation with you at one point of view exhibited in the show. I can't remember all these things, but people call and say, you know, I think I want to get in the Offroad Expo. And instead of getting what they expected to hear, which is sure bet, I’ll sign you up..

 


[00:18:02.570] 

I said, well, why why do you want to get the show? And my strategy was simple how could I ever ask an exhibitor after the show if it was a success, unless we penciled out exactly what a success was to them before the show? And so to do that, I had to put them through a little interview process until they they answer some questions for themselves. How will you measure what you're doing? And also give me a chance to help them out a little bit with some tips.

 


[00:18:36.140] 

Some people need a little bit of extra tips. I remember one company who shall remain nameless invited me to to lunch at Denny's. He and his wife had a little to them and they want to meet me and have lunch with me at Denny's. OK, good. And so they said, Bob, we we want to get your show. But, you know, it's a lot of money. So, you know, and I remember he pushed five hundred and fifty dollars across the table to me and he said, with all the gravity you can imagine, Rich, he said, this is a lot of money, so please take care of this.

 


[00:19:20.830] 

So I did. I said, well, here's the first thing you're going to want to do, print something that you can pass out that has your name and your address and your phone number right on where you buy shirts with collars and wear a nice shirt, a brush, your teeth.

 


[00:19:43.540] 

And and that's kind of how I put I put people through a process before I let them by. But really so they had to rethink and think carefully about what they were going to do and why. Plus it gave me a chance to understand what they really wanted out of the deal. So if we got a phone call from a new and up and comer who has a new unique product, because, I mean, you know, the off road was full of artisans and fabricators who are extremely skilled and talented, but not necessarily businessmen.

 


[00:20:12.820] 

Then I find out this guy's got an interesting part and he's hoping somebody at four wheel parts sees it. So he might sell some. OK, so do this conversation, I understand. So if you were close to four wheel parts, that'd be a good deal, right? Yeah. Then here's your booth number across four wheel parts. So they weren't really selling to the attendees at off road expo they were selling to the other exhibitors. Right.

 


[00:20:38.270] 

But, you know, if you listen long enough, you find out you can help people just by thinking it through a little. And that's what we did with Off RoadExpo, was we made it easy for them to be in the show and successful in their minds. That's that's as much of our next story as I can cough up.

 


[00:20:57.370] 

OK, our first time having a meaningful conversation is the first time I I remember talking to you. I know we had probably met somewhere else.

 


[00:21:13.950] 

And I don't know where, but. Can I guess, is this the window, that conversation? Oh, yeah, this is that's the conversation. Yeah, I haven't forgotten it either. I don't know what year it was.

 


[00:21:25.600] 

I think it was probably somewhere around 2000, three or four at Offroad Expo. My goodness. Because that's how I started Cal Rocks in 01 02 is the first season. Then I took over Vorra from Ed Robinson in 2003. So I had or the end of 2002, so I had two, three, four and five, and then I let VORRA go and then we changed to WE Rock. But I had a conversation with the U.K. You know, we I don't know how we ended up talking, but you came to me and said, you know you're the one in rock sports that needs to bring the rules in.

 


[00:22:14.480] 

So people are safe. And because when we started, we had no safety. I mean, I am so shocked that we didn't we didn't have fatalities in those early events, you know, a seatbelt was all you needed, no helmets, no fire suits, T-shirts and shorts and flip flops. You know, guys wear sandals or going barefoot, you know. You know, it was it was crazy.

 


[00:22:44.230] 

In those early days, the Wild West basically is what it was.

 


[00:22:48.940] 

And and you came to me and said, you know, you got to do this. And I like I told you, I said, Bob, you know, if I do it.

 


[00:22:56.940] 

As an organization and and put all these rules in, like offroad racing has, I won't get any drivers because they can go over to the other organizations where there are no rules and they don't have to spend the extra money for safety. And you said you, rich, have to do it. You kept telling me I had to do it. leadership step, right? And so I did, but I, I used. I use situations to make changes.

 


[00:23:32.070] 

The first thing I did is as I went and talked to a vice president somewhere of Anheuser-Busch, Budweiser and all right, I said, hey, I want I really want you guys to get behind our sport because our sport is is absolutely your demographic. You know, it's the beer drinkin redneck, you know. Cheering from the sidelines You know, we are those people, we've just created a sport where we're doing it right. And so they looked at the presentation and they said, well, you're not professional enough.

 


[00:24:07.790] 

And I'm like, what do you mean? And they said, well, you know, you're in T-shirts.

 


[00:24:11.360] 

You got you don't you don't have fire suits on and you're in a motor sport. You know, you're and I'm like. Yeah, but this is your demographic, and they said, OK, look at, look at look at our involvement at NASCAR. Yes, the NASCAR people that are watching the show are those beer drinking out there to see carnage or, you know, to be excited by what they're watching. Your sport gives us that. But we want the participants to be professional.

 


[00:24:45.260] 

And so I looked at it and said, OK, so I and they said, you bring me that. And Will will be able to you know, maybe we can work something out. So I went back to the drivers and I said, OK, we need fire suits because we have to look more professional. You know, we have to single single layer because we're right there with fire extinguishers. You got fire extinguishers on your car. We have them at the at the gate at each obstacle or each gate course.

 


[00:25:12.590] 

So, you know, you'll be near something. But, you know, you need a fire suit. So we ended up with fire suits and then it was, well, OK, now you got to have a helmet and you know, everybody started with open face because, well, you know, we're going to get TV and all this other stuff. You know, we had grand plans.

 


[00:25:31.940] 

And then and then once we were in the fire suits, it was like, OK, you know, we got to have window nets because we don't want body parts falling out. One of our drivers got a pinch on his forearm because no window net, his arm got part way out the window and he went up against a rock and, you know, pretty severely injured himself between the body panel, roll, cage and rock. And so the next the next year that was it.

 


[00:26:00.620] 

A finals. I think the next year I said, OK, because of that, you have to have a window net. Well, there was a lot of teams that said, you know what, you're making this too difficult on us. You want harnesses, you want all the safety gear. And it's like but these these accidents can happen. And I it took me like two years. To get everything that you wanted. And a safety rule book written.

 


[00:26:26.920] 

Or safety rules written into the rulebook, but we did it, and I want to thank you for forcing me to do that. And I think all the drivers out there, if they see you, should thank you as well, because you've saved limbs. You've saved lives by doing that. So that's that's my biggest personal story or or involvement with with you and what the influence that you had over our sport and a lot of guys out there don't know what it was, all because of the safety in the rock.

 


[00:27:01.390] 

Sports started off all because of Bob Bower.

 


[00:27:05.680] 

Oh, my goodness. Well. I'm not sorry. Actually, I'm not sorry either, you know, it's it's another good example, a bad example. I'm not sure what as is as I might have said one time before, I never lack an opinion. Right. And safety is is has always been kind of up there with me, you know, one of the one of the byproducts of doing being a volunteer versus a wet rag in the cockpit, you know, then it's carry this over.

 


[00:27:39.760] 

Here's the keys to the truck. Ba ba ba ba ba. But or over a number of events. And Miles, you're witness to some things that sometimes it's not something you want to be a witness to.

 


[00:27:52.300] 

Oh, yeah. And I remember the first fatality, that I saw happening at my feet because there's nothing I could do for the guy who was in Nevada, 500, and he was in a class two car. And probably shouldn't have been there because he was well nourished and I get it.

 


[00:28:19.980] 

And he also he was also a heavy drinker, like the night before the race, you know, all the all the things that are probably not well advised red flags. But it hit me. It's like, wow, this can happen. Then I came across my first highway mess up a chase truck. This is down in Baja. And it just it just hit me is, you know.

 


[00:28:47.520] 

Gosh, well, hear about this race car. We all know the guys in the race car this year.

 


[00:28:52.440] 

Here's a dad or a brother, you know, and and now he's out cold. How is that going to go at home? And maybe all he is is out cold. That's good. Versus anything else that could happen. So it became really a focus. I just I, I don't know quite how to explain it articulated, but the people of this sport have always been the thing that really hooked me into it. Yes. It's the thrills and the ideas and all that great stuff.

 


[00:29:16.080] 

But when you take the people out of the equation and I'm not interested in being there is no agreed, but I care so much about them. And as one builds years and then experiences, I'm not sure if I develop or one develops a crisper vision of the future than maybe your first day. But you sure to see cause and effect and so safety became one of those things that was important. We always, always were.

 


[00:29:46.120] 

So we'd have talks at our meetings and, you know, you'd become an evangelist for taking care of your your partner like your business. I remember before the remember when the Baja two thousand showed up. Yes. That was it was you were you said your first Mexico was all three, but you probably heard about it ahead of that. Oh, absolutely.

 


[00:30:11.410] 

I was going to be a big race, going to be a big deal and a Long one and all these kind of things. Well, I was on a board back then. They called the boards and they called groups today on Facebook. But where you kind of get to know people by what they post, but you've never seen them. You don't actually know. You just they have a personality they have on their keyboard. Right. And and there was this one young young guy who lived up in central coast of California, was on the board a lot.

 


[00:30:39.460] 

And he was he was a newly graduating engineer. I remember that. And good guys. And he had a brother. And they you could see that these these are a good couple of good guys, you know, let's let's help them along. Well, two thousand comes up in the news and about on three weeks ahead of the race. One of the brothers posts, we're going to the Baja 2000. We're going to get all drunk and messed up.

 


[00:31:08.650] 

We're going to Marathon. We're going to leave. We're going to leave Ventura. We're going to drive straight to L.A. No brakes, no nothing. We're leaving at night. And I'm thinking to myself, oh, shit, dear. Here, where have I seen this? Where am I? Watch this. This is and these are two good guys are going to kill themselves. I don't know if they're going to kill themselves. And that's why I got on a rant, I posted a rant on that on that board on the cheese that's known today as a writing called.

 


[00:31:40.220] 

What about you? Yeah. And. Basically, it just described in a no no B.S. terms what could happen, what should happen and what you get if you do it right. I don't know that maybe I'm minimizing it. But when you said that that talk you and I had had this ripple effect of benefits to the to the rock world, that same writing has it must be. Well, I know. I know it matters to a lot of folks because every year before the Baja.

 


[00:32:17.350] 

One thousand. Every year for the last 20 years, rich people said, please update the date and send it to me so I can put it in our books so I can give it to everybody on my team or put it on my board. So, I mean, it's like safety matters always has been part of what I like. So between the safety and level that people want to tell war stories, I'm pretty happy guy.

 


[00:32:44.250] 

That is one of the most important pieces of any pit crew that I've been on that that we've when we've been in, especially Baja, is to make sure that everybody reads that and understands the consequences. When I was with pistol and helping his crew, safety was number one because we were a small team.

 


[00:33:08.880] 

And during the thousand, you know, especially point to point races, we we leapfrogged or we all drove together. You know, there was times where we had a big enough crew where we could leapfrog down the course, but that still meant that, you know, you were switching off or you were driving for, you know, it could be, you know, in a trophy truck, you know, up to 30, 35 hours just trying to stay ahead of or with the truck.

 


[00:33:37.110] 

And, yeah, it's really important for people to understand. And I wish more people down there. I mean, the amount of times that I've been run off the road or nearly run off the road by chase teams trying to stay up with their car towing a two car trailer, there was one. And I'm not going to mention the team that when there was three times in one night. That this team and they were a class. Twelve or one, anyway, I was with.

 


[00:34:11.400] 

A trophy truck team and three times at night, the same three vehicles pass me, the last one to pass me was a was that a truck with a double car trailer? And he didn't understand that he had a double car trailer. But nearly ran me off the road three times or into guardrails or off cliffs because he passed and cut in and I'm just doing the speed limit and these guys are racing. 80, 90 miles an hour. To get to the next pit and there there are class one, and they were not.

 


[00:34:46.680] 

In with the trophy trucks, but they all had to be down there, you know, an hour, two hours before their car was going to show up and the next that was at the thousand.

 


[00:34:57.630] 

The next year I met in San Felipe at the 250. And I'm sitting on this guy's trailer, the same trailer that tried to cut me off. And Roger Norman walks up and goes, Rich, what are you doing? Because I was with Roger at the time. I go, I'm waiting for the driver of this truck to come out because this guy cut me off at the thousand three times. And he goes, do you understand that the guy driving this truck, this race is probably not the same guy as last time?

 


[00:35:26.510] 

And I said it doesn't matter. He's going to learn something for his team.

 


[00:35:30.200] 

And I mean, I was going to we were going to have a confrontation. And even though Shelley was telling me, no, no, no, no, no, don't do this, I was sitting on the trailer in the morning waiting for this guy to show up with this truck, you know, to get the truck and trailer. Well, Roger, Roger talked me off the edge of the cliff.

 


[00:35:46.400] 

And, you know, and Roger can be kind of the guy that's always standing on the edge of the cliff. So, you know, it it really it hit home with me. I try to remind everybody that I see that, you know of your writing. You know, what about you because. It it really all the teams need to understand that they really do.

 


[00:36:12.720] 

I tell you, I'm I'm surprised, naturally pleased that it seems to have stood the test of time so well. I really haven't changed a word except the dates on that thing and in years. You know, somebody says, oh, I won't mention his name because it's negative, but. Someone asked me, why don't you just change it up a little? Rewrite it. So add something new. And I thought about that and I said, why?

 


[00:36:49.270] 

You know why it's just just the way it is. It is absolutely.

 


[00:36:54.640] 

You know, that little scenario that you just described of of race team A being a back marker in the clump that you're in and still forging ahead and knocking people around. You know, it's maybe they were always rushing. This is Pollyanna, by the way, which call on maybe they were rushing so hard because they didn't know how far they really had to go. And that's something that was has been part of chasing, especially in Baja, since I showed up in seventy six or seven.

 


[00:37:32.330] 

I had the same problem on the team when I was there with the Randle's and Independent, the Chase guys never knew what the racetruck was and the racetruck never knew what Chase guys were. And it didn't seem right. And so I started making trips down there on my own, begging rides from guys on their reruns runs. If you could, you take me with you. I'm making a map. I'm going to make a map and chart these these little rabbit roads that go off to the side where they go and what kilometer marker they can they can be found around and all kinds of stuff.

 


[00:38:09.380] 

So I started making maps and for myself and the team, and so with rainbow racing, we ran the race it from inside the race car from my lap. And I could get on radio and I knew where I was because I knew where I was in the race course, because I made a map and then I could call the chase crews and say, you know, you're a kilometer or so. And so give me another kilometer reading. I can tell you, you know, how far you have to go.

 


[00:38:35.790] 

So you got about a 30 minute drive to get to the crossroads.

 


[00:38:40.040] 

Ba ba ba ba. And that's when the match got started after after a while, I was making them on my own and giving them to teams, even teams that didn't have the BFG’s on them.. Go figure.

 


[00:38:52.640] 

Well, I can remember as being part of a team that was not on BFGS. At one point, those that book, if you could get your hands on one, it was like gold.

 


[00:39:08.410] 

You know, and I know that The BFG Limited how many each team got and what you could do with them and, you know, it was kind of a a secret, not a secret, but it was it was held close to the vest, you might say. But, you know, it was everything you could do to try to get your team one of those and then get get copies of it made while you were down there, at least, you know, lay out that that map and the log of where you needed to be into and you know what mile marker that dirt road would take and where to make the branch to get to that that spot of the race course.

 


[00:39:44.260] 

It was extremely important. And I the last time down there, I was helping a team after contingency. We were just helping for the for the first day. And I had not run had no idea where the BFG Pit was at that point. And I drove by the road twice after I'd already seen the car, the rest of the team. Almost all the rest of the team, chase crews and everything were back in San Felipe having tacos. We looked at it and said, we don't have time to stop and we have fuel.

 


[00:40:21.980] 

We have to fuel this team. And so I'm trying to find the turnoff on the road at night. The there is no road straight to it. It actually diagonal. Hard and I didn't see anybody coming in or out, we ended up having to fuel the cans from the highway so that the only other t the only other part of the chase team could take those cans to the pit while our car was sitting there waiting to get fuel. And I was never so mad in my life that night.

 


[00:40:56.500] 

Because before before we left the pit at after Valette, I said, OK, now let's let's fill the gate, let's fill the cans so that we're not doing it later on. Oh, no, it'll be easy. We got plenty of time. It's going to take these guys this amount of time. We're going to be there an hour ahead of time when we can stop for tacos. And I'm like, no, let's fill the cans now.

 


[00:41:19.060] 

And they're going, no, no, let's get going so we can go have tacos. And as we're driving down, we're listening to the radio chatter and knowing what cars are, you know, we're in with and what the pack is doing. And I'm like, these guys are moving a lot faster and we didn't get there on time. I mean, we went by a road, we parked at a road crossing for like 30 seconds. I go that the team's coming here, is going to cross here within the next three or four minutes.

 


[00:41:46.870] 

And 30 seconds later, the team crossed and I said, all right, now we got a really haul. And if I could have found the turnoff the first time, we would have been there. But it took 15, 20 minutes until I realized I was not going to find the turnoff. And then I'm calling the that part of our team that was at that pit stop. I said, you got to come out to the road and meet me right here because I can't find the road.

 


[00:42:09.850] 

I now have a flat tire. You're going on inside dually. I'm like, you know, oh, you're stuck in the gravel. Oh, it was a nightmare.

 


[00:42:20.110] 

But, you know. And you can't wait to go back. Oh, yeah. True, true. I can't. But I'm going to be, well, more prepared that time because I didn't even become part of that pit crew until that contingency, I knew I was going to help them get the pre runner back into the states. But I didn't expect to go out on the you know, to be part of the race crew towing the pre runner and having the fuel with me, the bulk fuel at the beginning of the race, and that's what ended up happening.

 


[00:42:56.340] 

And, you know, I had no idea I had a general idea where the pit was, but I did not know exactly in what road to take. They go, oh, you're going to see it off to the side. Well, at night I can see the lights, but I couldn't see the road. I can't miss it. Yeah, can't miss it. Bullshit.

 


[00:43:12.660] 

You can't miss you know, it's it's almost predictable.

 


[00:43:18.570] 

But you know what? What a terrible feeling when you when you know, oh, I'm screwed and and there's no solution except the guy standing in my shoes.

 


[00:43:28.720] 

Yeah.

 


[00:43:29.510] 

Yeah exactly. Yeah. It was a it was kind of a cluster. It was but it was. It reminded me of why I always knew every other year exactly what I was supposed to do and where I was supposed to do it at, you know, it was I'd study and study and study. And that that morning when I was told, hey, this is what we want you to do, I was like, OK, this wasn't in the cards, but we'll do it.

 


[00:43:56.310] 

And then, you know, I didn't I didn't study well enough. And that was my downfall. So being. You know, I'm maybe it's just because I don't know, I don't believe anybody can prepare enough. You just got to prep prep prep for whatever, especially carabao when thousands, particularly a peninsula run. But the others included, you know, it's gone. It's just it's get to prep for. Yeah. And part of knowing how that all works is really important, frankly.

 


[00:44:33.570] 

I agree 100 percent. So let's talk about let's talk about ORMHOF, OK.

 


[00:44:42.180] 

And your relationship with with the Off Road Motorsports Hall of Fame. It started. I'm not sure what year maybe. Ninety four, I'll go out on a limb and say, I think it started about nineteen ninety four, Rod Hall was trying to promote an off road race. It was an off road race up in Reno. They call called the Reno four hundred. And. People who came to work at our department were part of the old NORRA group, Jack Brady was the race steward.

 


[00:45:21.470] 

I think they called him and and that problem was there. Well, Ed Pearlman is the one that created NORRA and also created the road well, created just the one he called the Off-Road Hall of Fame, I think. Right. There was no word in the in the title, but he created it, but it folded. And he when he inducted seven or eight or 10 people, my numbers are probably off. But back in the beginning, in the late 70s, and you can see by selections that Ed used it pretty much as a as a method of gardening, garnering favor with certain people or honoring his buddies.

 


[00:46:03.200] 

Get good press take care of your friends. Yep. So he brought this Hall of Fame in a cardboard box, all the remnants of it. And it was a small box to Rod. And said, I want to give this to you, Rod,, maybe you can do something with it. You know, I'm I'm typing out basically I'm getting all the do. So I put the box in the house and gave it some thought. And Rudd called me up and explained.

 


[00:46:37.620] 

You know, he has this thing that he'd like to he'd like to get something done, every legitimate sport I remember Rod saying this many times, every legitimate sport in the world as a hall of fame. And off road racing does not I want to change that, but and then Rod's self-deprecating style said, I'm not smart enough to do that. You've been around about. And what he's really saying is, I'm a wizard and I know it. So he he asked me if I would be willing to to jump in on this project and help help bring it along.

 


[00:47:25.080] 

And I and I did, because I really believe that also that, geez, you know, this this Hall of Fame idea that started in seventy eight with Ed Pearlman. Lasted for about three or four years and then then went away. And here we were. 10, 15 years later, and it just sat in the box and we'd had all that amazing accomplishment happen in the sport in the time it was dormant and it was those people weren't getting recognized.

 


[00:48:01.370] 

And so that was that was really motivated Bower to get involved. As you know, we have to help the next generation of offroad fans feel and realize they have a heritage that they are a part of. And you can be proud of and I don't care if you wearing a black everything with a flat bill clock at two, two o'clock, you got tats and you've got piercings and rings and things like that. I do not care. I don't care.

 


[00:48:32.220] 

That's about it doesn't matter. You're an off roader. You got it just as bad as I do. You just don't know it.

 


[00:48:42.300] 

So I wanted to help legitimize that. And so I did I did a little bit of work in it. I, I wrote out the structure and the criteria and everything for nomination or for membership and different categories. I remember I remember frankly thinking of you. Rock crawling was not particularly old at that time. It was still pretty much emerging, as I recall. Yep. And this is in the mid 90s. But I wanted to put a rock crawling category in there, even though I knew the rest of the criteria.

 


[00:49:19.620] 

That must have been something something something for 15 years minimum. And I said, rockcrawling is not 15 years old, and then I said the word really mattered yet. Because I had faith that this is going to go. This is a good thing, you know, and you were doing it very well. I mean, a lot of my judgment was based on what you did, and the way you did it. Well, thanks.

 


[00:49:42.860] 

And, you know, I'm impressed and survived that you not only survived it and made a living at it, you got your next generation a little rich in the same damn thing.

 


[00:49:54.810] 

True enough. That was a success in my eyes, but. Or left my place here. We were talking about the Hall of Fame in the beginning. Yeah, yeah, well, that's right.

 


[00:50:08.040] 

I remember putting the criteria in there on purpose, knowing that in time these people will now be eligible. And I wrote it out and then we started. Visualizing it right, right, spent some money on with attorneys and accountants and things like that to get it incorporated as a nonprofit legit deal, and we wanted it to be run legit, created a board of directors, many of which had no off road experience whatsoever, which was a smart thing to do.

 


[00:50:41.680] 

Because then it didn't become an all boys club. Mostly, I think if I had to say, you know, how it started was I wrote the criteria for nomination. And and it's tough. Frankly, I don't know if you've ever seen the nomination form, but it's difficult because there's only four questions that get answered and they're open ended questions. And the fourth one is really sort of a catchall, as if in, you know, anything else you'd like to say kind of question.

 


[00:51:15.460] 

And I am very pleased with the result of that thinking that that I applied in the. Well, just an ethic, I think that's a better word, Rich. The ethic I put in there, I did not want this to become an old boys club, right? I did not want to become. Or allow it to become something where some say, hey, buddy, I like you a lot. Why don't we put you in the Hall of Fame, make you famous?

 


[00:51:42.780] 

I hate that. I think it's just as my ethic and it's and it gets me in trouble sometimes and it keeps me from doing some other things that other times, but you got to play it straight or it doesn't mean anything or you're making a mockery. I agree 100 percent. Oh, it's you know, and I and I did a lot of volunteer work and leg work and and I ran it for a few years and, you know, did the behind the scenes things.

 


[00:52:15.280] 

I have an awful lot of my heart invested in the Off Road Motor Sports Hall of Fame. Now, I'm one of the things I did do. Well, I will take credit for this instead of the off road housing. Rob and I talked, I wanted to be off Road Motorsports Hall of Fame, I didn't want it to be an off road racing hall of Fame. Thank you so much. Well, there's so much other methods of us doing things with what we own off of the pavement.

 


[00:52:44.800] 

That's pretty broad. But, you know, rock crawling made a big difference. Recreational for real. Holy moly, it's 100000 times bigger and a bigger market and a bigger emotional attachment than off road racing is right now. Yep. And so I felt it important to to make certain that we were inclusive as opposed to exclusive. And the rest was just a matter of planning an event or two and getting it get it launched. And. I remember the first couple of I don't remember how many I did for seven or eight induction ceremonies.

 


[00:53:23.450] 

No. And it felt just it was so right. But I had to I had to exit. And for for a lot of reasons, but most of which is that I knew my life was about to get really, really busy. And I couldn't. I mean, I just couldn't do what what the Off Road Motor Sports Hall of Fame required to be done with the time that I had and I had to kind of let loose let go of it, which was I still shake my head when I think about it.

 


[00:53:58.990] 

Is that was hard to do. And that was like you opting out of the race car. Right. Knowing that if I tried to keep my nose in this thing, it was it was going to be a mistake for them as well as me. So I departed.

 


[00:54:17.230] 

I can't remember what year was I don't remember what these two I really don't think.

 


[00:54:26.260] 

But I had I had to walk away and I think was two thousand eleven or twelve somewhere here. Ten, eleven. Twelve. And it's done very well since, you know, it's it's under great guidance now and has been and now there's funding, which is a little different than my situation when I was there, we didn't have postage money, much less. The ability to build nice websites or archive footage or some of the some of the things that Ormof is doing today.

 


[00:55:02.260] 

Are so important to preserving the spirit and in the essence of who this variety of people are. You know, the inductees.

 


[00:55:18.110] 

Sometimes amazed me that they they let people like that in me included, you know, as because for me and I said this to Barbara and I'll say to anybody who listens, you know, it's just I am quite sure that I do not belong up there on the wall. With Bill Strupp, Whoo! Who? Made such a difference in my life. Not like there was a plan, Rich, because. You can't beat luck. True, but to have, you know, for me to be on the wall with the likes of a Bill Stroppe or Ivan Stewart or or or a Bob Ham.

 


[00:56:03.480] 

You know, I'm intimidated by it, but, you know, the one thing that I know having. Been in this. Industry now for quite a while. And not just as a promoter, but an enthusiast and before that is, you know, just being around the competitions and events and everything and just watching. And I guess a student of the study of of what is happening, the awareness type thing is that some of the people that you've not some of the people, almost all the people that you've brought into the world of off road have made huge differences, whether it's with specific companies or just in general.

 


[00:56:51.710] 

You know, I mean, Richard Winchester, Jeff Cummings, you know, I mean and those two guys back to back days, basically, you know, and then, you know, the relationship that you had with D'Angelo, you know, that's and and with Rod Hall and everyone else, you know, coming, being able to calm Robby Gordon down. There's not very many people that can say that for one thing. But, you know, it's it.

 


[00:57:22.630] 

You have a great impact that and we and I guess because I hear the same thing from people, you know, on how I've impacted their life on the rock sports area, and I'm looking at them like all I've done is put on an event. You still had to get there. You still had to get involved. You had to spend the money to be there. You know, all I did was put on an event. And, you know, being able to change somebody's life without intentionally setting out to do that is so, so important now that I'm older.

 


[00:57:56.930] 

And I guess it's you know, that that that's kind of my legacy and your legacy and the legacy that a lot of us have that maybe didn't do this for the Checker's and for holding the trophy. But just because we love the people or loved the the sport itself, whatever part of the sport of Off-Road that we were in. Yes, and, you know, even if it's, you know, from recreational four wheeling to to high end trophy truck racing to, you know, to rock racing, I'm not even certain of the terminology today.

 


[00:58:35.120] 

But the fact is, it's it's all just about fun. Yeah. And the people that do it are the funnest. And the sad thing that I see is the people that are not having fun doing it. That that they go out there and do it and they they don't seem to have fun, and to me that's just a shame. I hope at some point they're having fun when they're not in the public eye. Well, it's a good sentiment, Rich, but I think some of those folks that don't have fun don't have fun.

 


[00:59:13.250] 

Yeah.

 


[00:59:14.240] 

And and I have an opinion about that too, by my observation, a slew of those folks turn out to be the takers.

 


[00:59:28.410] 

There, take something away that they want for themselves. And the other way that it seems to work out well for folks that seem to enjoy themselves a lot, those are the givers. And it comes down to something I came to believe early on in my life, I don't know if I'm right or wrong or, you know, old and stupid, but for me. Well, like when I came and talked to you about you got to do something for safety, you didn't invite me over.

 


[00:59:58.940] 

I know you brought your opinion.

 


[01:00:02.360] 

Yeah, yeah.

 


[01:00:04.220] 

You know, it's like giving I've always felt giving it away has never been a debit on my account. It's an investment in someone else's account. And maybe that day when I was snooping, snooping around with you was because I really felt I wanted to give somebody something that would be good for them, not not to change into my will necessarily, but but giving it away. And those are the people I find to be the most happy with its recreational four wheeling, rock crawling, off road racing, driving on the beach in North Carolina.

 


[01:00:43.750] 

I don't care. You know, it's it's easy to give stuff away. I've never I've never felt the loss of anything I knew or thought.

 


[01:00:52.860] 

That's awesome. Yeah. My goodness, let's delve into some of your passion or passions outside of. Off road, we touched on the Corvette Club, know that you still enjoy Corvettes. I know that you enjoy fishing and also your forty three or forty four years marriage and family and everything. So let's talk about your 63. I believe it is.

 


[01:01:25.740] 

You have yes, it is 63. Split window fuel injected coupe got.

 


[01:01:31.350] 

It's a gorgeous car. Well, it goes back to the Van Nuys Boulevard, which I'm driving my my 1960 Corvette down VanNuys Boulevard, I found this lot with these Corvette people. They said, well, we're a club called Corvettes Unlimited. We come here and this is our lot and all at.

 


[01:01:53.290] 

Well. I was the only one down there chasing women, that's kind of what you did, but but at that stage in your life and back in the 60s was where it was, you know, sometimes that's an awful lot like the dog that chases the bus and barks at the tires of the bus stops and says, oh, jeez, now what? Well, you know, here we're cruising for a women in most of the time, it's the same deal when you when you link down to one, it's like, oh, now what?

 


[01:02:25.720] 

I'm not I haven't done that much of this with my buddy Art. Art Sorrentino, nicknamed Skip was one of those guys. He had the sixty three window coupe. And if he reined in a gal named Linda, well, then a year later, he and Linda got married. And then she waited about a year after that and said to Art, she says, you know, Art, if you if you sell that car, you're going to make a little bit of money.

 


[01:03:00.170] 

But Art, want to tell you, if you keep the car, it's going to cost you half of everything you own.

 


[01:03:09.800] 

Feel the community property state, he was wizard enough to figure that out. So he calls me up and says, hey, Bob, this is here's a story, blah, blah, blah, blah, I'll sell you the car if you want it. And he says it's going to cost you a thousand dollars, but I'll throw in two sets of blue streaks. That was our race tires. Right.

 


[01:03:34.590] 

So it took me about a month to find a thousand dollars because it's a ton of money today, but it's a ton you know, back in those days when I bought it for a grand and took it on. And and I wanted to autocross it because this fuel injected, it meant that I could I could run Holtville down at sea level or below on Saturday and go run an event up in Big Bear 5000 feet on Sunday. And I didn't have to mess with jets because the fuel injection to compensate for all the air density things.

 


[01:04:09.140] 

That was it was a big deal. And the car has been with me ever since I took it to Ohio with me and brought it back. Oh, I'm I'm lucky father, too, because my son growing up, sw it always in the garage, but never heard it ever because it was it was just sitting there vegging, you know, kind of rotting back then. The brake cylinders, the brake cylinders were growing fuzz. It was that bad.

 


[01:04:42.410] 

So I'm a lucky dad in that he says, hey, dad, this is why don't we bring that car back to life together, which which we did took us about two years of doing it all on our own. You know, no, no professional painters involved, just just rattle can disagree on that, but we pretty much took it apart and put it back together driveline wise, not the. Chassis runs like crazy when I when I drive it.

 


[01:05:07.510] 

I love that loud pedal here. And with four elevens, things happened suddenly, even better.

 


[01:05:15.340] 

No traction control, no power steering, no. No powers. Well it had the sixty three ninety three version of power steering, which is a steering wheel about the size of a bus. Yep.

 


[01:05:30.160] 

It almost gets in the way when you try to look out the window.

 


[01:05:35.170] 

That's awesome. So let's let's talk a little bit about your fishing habit. How did that come about? Well, I guess I should get disqualified or the qualifier out of the way fishing is where I hemorrhage money.

 


[01:05:52.100] 

It just kind of put that on the ladder there, you know, it sounds crazy. I learned I learned about fishing from my mom. Oh. OK, my mom loved to fish, and as soon as I was probably safe and reliable to take out of the house, she she took me fishing and that grew. And that grew. And that grew. And so by the time I was a teenager. You know, I really love to love the idea of fishing.

 


[01:06:25.670] 

So that when I came back from. Living in Ohio, it relocated back to the Southern California area. I wanted to do more fishing. I mean, I had already known some great spots, but I started going back again on a three quarter day boats and some of them left the night before and fished all the day, came back the same night. One Christmas. There's an envelope from my bride, a Christmas gift, and I open it up and it says, you know, this is a three day trip on the vessel, amigo, out of.

 


[01:07:06.760] 

I don't know if this data point or. As Dana Point and I study that thing, Rich, I couldn't believe I said wait a second, three days, as I said, you know, they can't go out and come back and go out and come back three days in a row. That's when we sleep on the boat. And she said, yeah, so that was my first multiday trip and I didn't understand it until I realized, holy moly, we sleep on the boat.

 


[01:07:33.510] 

And that was that was a a major event in my life. I said, oh, I like this. What do I have to do to do more of this? So that's what got started and then I started this is. Eighty three or four. And I just started fishing more and more all the time by buying all the gear, it was sometimes a little bit of a sneaky move on my wife because. You know, fishing gear is not free.

 


[01:08:08.260] 

We know that. But I figured that I figured out that Shimano Reel's at that time were all black. Every one of them was a black real. As I was buying graphite or whatever it was. Well, what that meant was, is when she saw a real hang up, they all look black. She didn't know it was a new reel. Just a reel. And I feel pretty good, I'm kind of a fuzzy guy about my fishing gear and keeping it clean and nice and everything else, and so they always look new.

 


[01:08:41.980] 

But I was buying one about every six months and I built my own and then my son got to be old enough to fish.

 


[01:08:51.280] 

So I started duplicating what I bought because it never made sense for me to have the good stuff. And have you have, you know, the Barbie version.

 


[01:09:02.690] 

And we go out on multiday trips three days and sometimes a five day. And we just had a ball. And we love the fish. We love to eat, we love to cook it. And it's just become a thing. And so now. I don't understand how I'm doing them too many trips because it's starting to get expensive. You know what? It really works out sometimes, this covert thing. Let me address COVID. covid has killed the event's business.

 


[01:09:33.670] 

Am I talking to the choir here?

 


[01:09:35.410] 

Yeah, no kidding. So my role with BFG was no longer an employee, but I was a valued friend and then then a supplier for years and years and years and became later on a contract trainer, meaning ten, ninety nine guys come in to teach the class and. Oh, I know it was in itself when that ended because I got sent off to a different direction inside BFG, they had me doing other presentations, didn't work out really good, because when I'm on this performance team thing, which is a group of us that really keeps a handle on, we meet two or three times two times a year generally.

 


[01:10:20.900] 

And as opposed to having it be a luxury trip, it's it's actually very respectful. And that senior management of the company and of the B.F. Goodrich brand come with questions for us. Opinions they want or opinions they they really do believe and act out, which is so important that the the authenticity, the guys like Richard Winchester and Jeff Cummings and they include Bob Bower in that the authenticity that we represent about people in the performance world performance market is something they can't buy, they can't go out and create.

 


[01:11:05.210] 

So they keep a lot of us who are influencers in today's vocabulary and they ask difficult questions that sometimes have difficult answers, but we tell them the straight scoop. So we would have a gathering in an event a couple of times a year. Well, Rich, that paid me enough money to go fishing.

 


[01:11:28.970] 

Perfect. So, you know, I get to go be with people I dearly care about. You know, Richard and Jeff, it's just, you know, those kinds of guys, a bunch of them. And and I guess I get a little bit of money and I take it go fishing. Well, but in the end, I didn't I didn't get any fishing money, so. But I'm going anyway because I can't not go. So it's an important part of my life, it's something I've become known, known for and about in the family, and it's given me just so many great experiences, you know, getting on a fishing boat alone where you don't know anybody.

 


[01:12:14.800] 

For some folks is a no go, but not for me. Oh, no. Before we get off the boat, we'll know each other. I'll take care of that. Yeah. And and so now, because I fish in a certain boat, the searchers, the name of the boat. I've been fishing that boat for over 30 years, and so you get to be known as a return customer, and if I call it the cheer syndrome, you know, you go back to is where everybody knows your name.

 


[01:12:45.320] 

Yep, and so that's that's what the fishing is for me, it's. Strictly selfish and totally fun. Excellent, so I'm going to I'm going to put out an offer. All right. If you ever get down to the third coast, I'm talking that the Gulf of Mexico coast where I'm at right now, and you want to go fishing, we will go fishing now. It can't be during what I call the events season, which is that, you know, march through September because I'm too darn busy putting on events.

 


[01:13:22.740] 

But sure. In that off season from road. If you ever want to come down here, so that means after this fall, this winter coming up. Think about it. Give me a call and I will. I've got a lot of people down here with fishing boats, all types. We can go out in the bay. We can go out deep and just about any kind of fish that you can think of we have in this area. So keep that in mind.

 


[01:13:53.850] 

And I'd love to to show you the Gulf Coast area.

 


[01:13:57.870] 

That would be I mean, Gulf Coast rocks to that. And as far as the event season goes, you know, I looked rich. Fish eat almost every day, all year. They sure do.

 


[01:14:11.850] 

So, you know, if you're not getting them, you're just not getting them. Well, that's why they call it fishing and not catching.

 


[01:14:18.750] 

This is so true. Listen, I during covid, I did take some fishing trips last year and it was all covid protocol and blah, blah, blah, blah. I did very little else. I took up surf fishing a couple of months ago because it's challenging. But you can do that and be COVID safe

 


[01:14:37.200] 

You know, if you find a beach that that Newsom will allow you to be on. Well, true. And so I've been fishing hard a couple of times a week in the surf at certain places, and I've got the right gear, I've got the right everything. In fact, I just went up the Central Coast and spent some time in Pismo and Morel Bay and I fish the surf up there like crazy, but to this moment I am still skunked.

 


[01:15:07.790] 

I have not caught a thing. I haven't even caught a rock. And I'm tickled to death about it because I know if I go out after you and I are done talking today and and and I think, again, that's perfect because that's just one day closer to the day I'm going to get hooked up.

 


[01:15:25.910] 

Yep. There you go. There you go. That's awesome. Pushing the drug, definitely a drug, so I think we set a record. On how long we've talked, which is awesome, but is there anything that we have not touched base on that you would love for our listeners to know about Bob Bower? Gosh. Well. You know, I'm 200 pounds and nothing go nowhere. I. Give give time, I would suggest to people is to give it time.

 


[01:16:03.970] 

Be patient with yourself. When you're off roading or get ready for it. You know, everybody starts off something and it's new to them, and so it's awkward to. And I think that's the stage where a lot of folks quit on themselves, calling it quitting on something else. I just tell you that the off road world for me has provided. Just such a wonderful host of memories, you know, and see what else is it? I'm rambling here and I'm sorry about that.

 


[01:16:39.580] 

No, no, you. I love the. I love the way you're going.

 


[01:16:44.260] 

Well, take pictures. That's the take. That's one of the things I did inside the race car. Not a whole lot of pictures in cockpit at speed, but I did. And the reason is because when you're racing, days are done, you know, it doesn't matter how well you did or you didn't do it. All you're going to end up with is memories, friends and 8x10’s.. So take pictures. And and technology has made that easier nowadays.

 


[01:17:14.100] 

Oh, yeah, yeah, I think about just how stupid I was inside the race car doing unsafe things, for example, when I'd have a driver. But for me, this is silly. I'd have the left side chest, like over my heart area. I'd have them put a bulge in there so that I could slide my camera down inside my suit. And on it was strapped around my neck so I wouldn't lose it. I could pull it out and take pictures well around my neck, you know, if you're gonna do a motorsport and you're put stuff around your neck, what are you doing here?

 


[01:17:55.920] 

Take pictures. Absolutely memories. Build those memories.

 


[01:17:59.430] 

You bet. You bet. And and that's I don't know what else to say about these. He's a car guy. Fishing guy, dad, husband, grandpa. Great grandpa. And he doesn't lack an opinion, that's awesome. So, Bob. I'll end it right there. I'm going to say thank you so much for spending the time today. Discussing your life and your experiences off road and the stories that you've shared are phenomenal, I think that the our listeners that didn't know anything about Bob Bower do now after listening to this and even those some of those that know you will have learned more.

 


[01:18:49.620] 

I hope that's the one thing I've there's only been one or two people that I've interviewed in the well, let's see, we just did we just the last week or this week yesterday posted our 50 second interview. I've learned and I've got probably 60 interviews that I've done. I've got a couple in the bank, you might say, and I've learned something from each person that I didn't know, even people that I considered extremely good friends. We spend a lot of time together.

 


[01:19:21.180] 

So it's these conversations are great for me. They're great for the listener. And I hope it was great for you.

 


[01:19:28.500] 

It was. I've never done this before, which in that I've never sat down and talked about me, like you said when we were talking before the podcast is I my least favorite topic, but. But I don't know, but my e-mail, my math goes like a duck's back in here, IRA, where you are here and you've got some badass debate.

 


[01:19:51.840] 

I guess it's awesome. It's great when you can sit down and talk with somebody and just feel at ease. And that's that's what I learned. My job is during these is, you know, I'll share some of the things that that have happened to me so that the listeners over the 52 episodes that they've listened to pick up a little bit more each time about about me, but also get to learn about. The person I'm interviewing, so it's been a great experience for me and Bob, I just want to say thank you for the way you've impacted not only my life, but everybody in rock sports and everybody in off road that you've touched.

 


[01:20:33.090] 

And that's a that's a whole lot of people, whether you understand it or not. It's a whole lot of people. Well, I'm I'm thankful and I'm still one of the luckiest guys in the world after, so good luck to all the operators, you know, be kind to one another, have fun with it. I agree, so, Bob, thank you for spending the time today. It's my pleasure, Rich, take care of yourself.

 


[01:21:04.730] 

Go to work.

 


[01:21:05.630] 

Yep. Works one of those four letter words. I know, but so is life. So, you know. Anyway, thank you, Bob.

 


[01:21:16.100] 

You're very welcome. We'll talk to another time. OK, thank you. Bye bye. If you enjoy these podcasts, please give us a rating, share some feedback with us via Facebook or Instagram and share our link among your friends who might be like minded. Well, that brings this episode to an end. OK, you enjoyed it. We'll catch you next week with conversations with Big Rich. Thank you very much.