Tuesday, September 13, 2016

What Will be Missing from the Fly-In?

Bob Dalzell - a good spirit.
If you've attended any Lee Bottom event, you've most likely met or seen Dr. Robert Dalzell Jr.  Or, as we knew him, Bob. Back at the end of May, he was flying one of his treasures when his body decided to retire without written notice.  It was a totally unexpected and heavy loss for aviation in our area.

Ginger and I both really liked Bob.  He was one of those Lee Bottom family members you couldn't help but look forward to seeing.  Although short on words, he left a tall impression wherever he went.

Bob was also one of those pilots you expected to see wherever you went, because wherever you went there he was. If something aviation was happening, chances were good he'd be on hand.  Right there with him would also be Chris May.  The two of them were great friends.  Together, they often made an event qualify as such.  Heck, half the time they were the event.

Bob with his Sea Ray
When word began circling Bob was missing, I was out of town. What I remember was wishing I could go search for him.  He was the kind of guy you expected to find sitting unharmed, with a dead engine, in a hundred foot square patch of land.  When the truth was discovered, something much more important had quit.

Looking back through our Lee Bottom photo collection it was surprising to see how many photos contained an image of Bob.  He even made the calendar, possibly more than once. Like I said, he was always there.

Ultimately though, what keeps coming to mind is how much he'll be missed at this fly-in. Airplanes aren't the same without propellers. The sky isn't the same without flying machines.  And the fly-in will not be the same without him.

Here's to you Bob. Thanks for being part of our lives.  Our family feels much smaller without you.
These two guys were great friends.  Chris May (left) Bob Dalzell (right)

1 comment:

Harold Cannon said...

A good spirit is such a great way to describe Bob. He is so missed, but celebrated as well. I find it hard to be sad thinking about him. Those memories make me smile, and most of the time laugh. Tailwinds friend.