Thursday, June 3, 2010


BOB DOLL It’s not often that we have a feeling of closure when a close friend dies, but I must confess to that feeling among the many that rushed in when I learned of Bob Doll’s passing. It turns out that just last week I had the opportunity to thank Bob for the many ways he enriched my life, all of which sprang from his giving me the opportunity to publish this newsletter.

Read what I said

Our inbox is brimming with notes about Bob, offering sympathy and remembrances. Many people tell basically the same story of their first encounter with Bob: when asked where they’re from, and mentioning the name of some tiny town that barely rates a dot on the map, Bob responds with a complete rundown of the stations in and near that town, replete with ownership history—and, more often than not, at least one colorful personal anecdote.

Bob and I were close, but we only spoke maybe a couple of times a month. As I reflect on our loss, the lyrics of a James Taylor song come to mind:

I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain
I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I’d see you again

I’m not qualified to comment on Bob’s current whereabouts or whether he’s aware of the outpouring that his passing has prompted. But I can conjecture that if he were in fact a witness to the proceedings, he would wonder aloud, probably with a mild profanity, just what the fuss is all about.

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