My journey through life has taken me through three distinct and separate careers. After studying photography in college (BS in Professional Photography from Rochester Institute of Technology, 1974), I worked as a full-time professional photographer for 20 years — 19 operating my own studio. Towards the end of that career, I “accidentally” (another story for another day) started a desktop publishing and printing business, which became my full-time occupation for 17 years and overlapped the last five years or so of the photography career. In 2002 I sold the printing business and began driving motorcoaches all over the US and Canada, a job I had fantasized about since I was a boy, for Hagey Coach, Inc., of Souderton, Pennsylvania. Technically that’s still my job, but the COVID-19 pandemic has cruelly brought an instant end to that. It remains to be seen if that will return to any form of normalcy or not — I certainly hope so, along with tens of thousands of fellow drivers.
I’ve been an avid listener of podcasts for many years. About two years ago after searching unsuccessfully for a podcast specifically for motorcoach operators, and having been complimented on my “pleasant-sounding voice” numerous times by my passengers over the years, and having a face for radio, I decided to start my own podcast for drivers — EightWheels Across America. It’s been and continues to be, a great experience, and I’ve gotten to meet other drivers and company owners from all over the US and Canada that I’d never otherwise have had the opportunity to meet. A few months ago I started a second podcast about some of my passions — gadgets, technology, photography, Apple products, and more — called Bob’s Tech Talk.
Throughout all of my careers, I’ve enjoyed writing. I did the obligatory writing in high school and college but didn’t do a lot more writing until the Internet came along. In the late 1980s, I started doing website development, both for my own company and for others. Suddenly I had a practical need for writing and a ready outlet. Twice over my careers I’ve written a regular column in industry publications — one of which paid very well at the time and opened my eyes to what was possible. At various times over the years, I’ve also maintained web blogs, but with the demands of full-time work, other priorities too often interfered and the blogs would grow stale either from lack of time to maintain them or lost interest in a particular topic.
Now that everyone is sheltering at home and so many of us are at least temporarily out of work and nearing retirement, I got the urge to become more serious about my writing once again. Susan, my partner and number one fan, has encouraged me for several years to do more writing. So I’m giving it another go. I’m working on my first book — or three of them, actually, although I don’t know if any of them will ever see the light of day. But writing has become a real pleasure for me. As long as it continues to be fun, I expect to continue. Writing is hard work, as any author will readily agree. But it’s also very rewarding.
So Bob’s Blog is, for me, another outlet and daily (or weekly, depending on how it goes) exercise for my writing skills. With my nearly 70 years of opinions to share, I have more than enough to write about. And current tools make it easier than ever for me to write — my Mac, iPad, and iPhone all play a significant role — as does the software app I use to write, Ulysses, which runs on all three devices in sync. Pretty cool. I hope you enjoy and might even stop by once in a while to see what I’ve written. Writing isn’t quite as much fun without readers, but it’s still a good exercise for the soul.