Read existing messages or submit your own
comments or anecdotes by visiting
the guestbook link below
Those of you who knew
Bob understand that he was not the most patient man in the world... and so
began his life.
Bob, in his impatience, was
born on the steps of a maternity home in Oradell, N.J. on February 10,
1933. He spent his early days living in a funeral home, there in
Oradell, owned by his parents, Herman and Johanna. Somewhere on this
web site is a photo of that funeral home - if you look very carefully you
will see a little guy about six months old, sitting on the railing.
Thatís our Bob!
Growing up Bob was a
little wild and not overly disciplined. He wanted to do things his way -
that never changed. Book learning didnít interest him, but show him how
to use a new tool, or how to build something and he would learn instantly,
and probably tell the instructor of a better way to do it. As a matter of
fact he did have to teach a wood shop teacher how to use a new machine
brought into class. It remained in the crate until Bob convinced the
teacher to let him open it and set it up. For the rest of the semester
Bob was the only student allowed to use. I donít remember exactly what
kind of machine it was - only that he loved to tell the story.
I donít know much
about Bobís late teens or very early twenties - only that he met and
married Sandra Fairlamb and they had a terrific son, Bob Jr. I didnít
meet him until 1956 while they were in the process of divorcing. I was
trying to sell my 1946 Ford Convertible, so his cousin Cliff brought him
over to look at it. I sold the car and kept Bob. We hit it off right
away - and about a year later I discovered he had a photo of me hanging in
his delivery truck (His job at the time was delivering furniture for
Packard-Bamberger). He told people I was his girlfriend six months before
we had even met. I said it was destiny, he said he just knew what he
wanted. We married in 1958. We lived a darn good life, never rich, but
very wealthy in other ways and certainly never bored. How could I be
bored living with the infamous Big Bob. One never knew what each day
would bring, but thatís a number of different stories. Two terrific
things life brought were our daughter, Robin and our son, Thomas - add big
brother, Bob, Jr. - we had a good family, not perfect, but we were happy.
Just before Robin was
born in 1962, Bob left Packardís and joined Bergen Welding and Supply in
Hackensack, N.J. where he put his vast talents and knowledge to use.
Eventually this small company was sold to Compressed Gas, Inc. and Bob
continued to manage it, until they decided to send him to manage a newly
purchased shop in Wood-Ridge. He was never really happy there and decided
to retire in 1995. But, believe me, he never stopped working! For eight
years we owned a shop called ďThingsĒ, with collectibles, some antiques
and lots of fun junk. As well as selling, Bob became very active in
repairing many antiques for dealers, pinball machines and pachinkos, old
time gas engines, toys, etc. He loved it - he was in his element - could
pick and choose the jobs he wanted and refuse any that bored him. Even
after we closed the shop, just before Hurricane Floyd, Bob continued to
take on all sorts of jobs, including many for Rolls Royce Coachworks. He
was very happy doing what he loved!
Bob was loved and
respected by many people - for his honesty, his abilities, his near genius
in analyzing mechanical problems and fixing them, his very talented
hands. He had a rather unusual sense of humor and thoroughly enjoyed
sitting around, drinking beers and swapping stories.
To all who care, Bob
Seitz, Sr. was a good man, who loved well and was very loved, who adored
his grandchildren, Patricia, Gabrielle and Damian, and who was adored by
me, his wife Patt, for fifty years and still is. So many of us miss him
and know there will never be another like him. If you agree, or even if
you donít, sign on to this web site and tell your story about Bob. We
really want to hear from you.
Here are a few
anecdotes that come to mindÖÖ..
One day, the road
department in town decided to rebuild the curbs in front of some houses on
our street. That would have been fine, except they covered part of
our driveway entrance and re-did half of the pathway to the front door.
Unfortunately the new half was approximately four inches higher than the
Well, Bob got home
from work, and was steaming when he came through the door. Those of you
who knew him know that when he steamed he was going to BLOW, and blow he
did. He went down to the basement and I heard the garage door open.
Naturally, I was
holding my breath, until I heard a lot of yelling out front. I ran out,
to see Bob swinging a very large sledge hammer totally destroying the
curb. The road department men were yelling, someone called the police,
and when they showed up they were joined by the Mayor, some Councilmen,
the Chief of Police and various other people. I just stood there and
watched. The Chief asked me to stop him and I said, ďHe has a very large
hammer, if you want him stopped, you do it!Ē.
Well, Bob did stop and
very quietly said, ďThere now, rebuild it properly. If you donít Iíll
just knock it down again.Ē He turned, walked back into the house and sat
down to dinner. Although he had been threatened with arrest, he was never
charged with anything.
There was a fire down
in the landfill between the railroad and river behind our house. The
smoke was terrible, frightening everyone on the block, including Bobís
stepfather. He couldnít breathe and at first thought his house was on
fire. We were all very upset, especially when we learned it was being
cause by the DPW burning green branches they had picked up following a
storm. The Fire Department had already told them not to and that they
would not be involved. The DPW, learning they
had to handle it themselves, ran hoses from hydrants on our street, down
our driveway (flooding it), across the railroad tracks - and proceeded to
make the smoke worse. Bob sat in our yard, kind of leaning against a
baseball bat, watching men run through the yard to the landfill. Then
some of them came back up only to reappear in a bit with cups of coffee,
and down through the yard again. Bob was getting angrier by the minute.
Finally he called to one of the men and asked what they thought they were
doing running through private property without permission, laying a leaky
hose and flooding our yard and acting as though they had every right to do
this. He said that they could have asked for permission, or run the hose
from River Edge Road and gone out that way to get their coffee. He then
demanded they remove the hoses and get the hell off his property. They
ran! Bob and I had to go
out. While we were gone a DPW man came to the door. Robin said he kind
of sneaked up to the door, and asked if Bob was home. When Robin said no
he told her they wanted to remove the hoses. She advised them to do it
quickly, since we didnít intend to be gone long. It gave her quite a
laugh watching them hurriedly pull the hoses up the drive, not even
rolling them up, just to get off the property as fast a possible. It also
gave us a laugh when we got home.
The next day I was up
the hill at a local candy store and luncheonette. As I chatted with the
owner we overheard two women at the counter talking. The one asked if the
other had heard about the terrible thing that had happened the day before,
down on Park Avenue. Naturally, my ears perked up, living on Park Avenue
and all. I asked what had happened. They told me that a nasty man had
chased two DPW guys down the street with a baseball bat and put both of
them in the hospital. I just stared at them for a second, then told them
their gossip was crap. I said the man with the bat was leaning on it,
never raised it and certainly never chased anyone down the street. They
responded, saying I didnít know what I was talking about. Their faces
went white when I told them the man was my husband, Bob, and I had been
there all the time. I also said that if I heard that ridiculous story
again they would find out what nasty really was. Bob actually got to love
his reputation as a dangerous man and loved to repeat the story at every