(cba:news) memories of bob

Joe Patterson jop at astro.columbia.edu
Sat Nov 15 19:03:50 EST 2003

Dear Joe,
Thank you for informing us about Bob. I was sorry to
hear the news.   My father Vern Campbell was closely
associated with Bob when we lived near Atlanta, GA and
Bob was still flying for Delta.  My current 16"
reflector is the design creation of Dad, who was an
avionics engineer at Lockheed Aircraft, and Bob Fried.
 In particular, Bob loaned us his wood pattern that
was used to make the casting for our fork mount.  This
relationship between Dad & Bob occurred during the
early to mid 1970's, not long after Bob first
completed his own 16" and had it operational in a dome
on top of his house outside Atlanta.  Dad cleaned up &
repaired Bob's wood pattern and we took it to a local
foundry that pressed it into hot sand and poured the
aluminum fork arms from the mold.  Bob always marveled
at Dad's design modifications because following the
installation of our fork and drive system patterned
from Bob's, the similarity to Bob's telescope ended. 
My father went with the Newtonian optical pattern and
designed a rotating tube saddle on ball bearings to
allow our scope's focus easy access to all areas of
the sky.
Later on, Bob moved to Boulder, CO where we visited
him following the 1977 Astronomical League Convention
where he was the presiding president of that
organization that year.  The site that he and Marjo
had picked out to build their home was picturesque but
not necessarily conducive for astronomy.  I remember
the stories he told about huddling in the corner of
the house one winter night while the 100-mile per hour
winds outside rushed down the Continental Divide.  We
suggested Flagstaff AZ would be a better retirement
location, and not long afterwards, he relocated there.
I relocated to the Ozark Mtns of northern Arkansas in
1995 and never made it out to Arizona to see Bob, or
his third location for Braeside Observatory. 
In summary, while I was a young man back in Atlanta,
Bob Fried and Howard Landis also introduced us to
photometry of variable stars, and if it hadn't been
for my dad & Bob's collaboration, and Bob's
willingness to extend to us his help and mentorship,
we might have taken up a different hobby altogether!
Respectfully submitted,
TUT Campbell


This is terrible news. I feel so sad ... actually, it's hard to express this
type of feelings in a language that is not one's native.

Bob has been an incredible mentor and source of inspiration to all of us,
amateur-photometrists, and it always was a pleasure receiving an email from
him. I think we all silently we're admiring Bob's energy - taking into
account his age - and he definitely was an inspiration to myself,
demonstrating that amateur astronomy could be so much of enjoyment after
retirement. I have met Bob in person on 2 occasions : the first time during
the AAS meeting in Winston-Salem (where we spent a couple of days together
with a number of CBA'ers - still one of my best astronomy experiences ever),
and the second time at Bob's home in Flagstaff, to co-observe the Leonids
2002. Actually, Bob flew his Cessna to Phoenix to pick me up at the airport,
and fly to Flagstaff. I listened for many hours to Bob's stories about his
life as a pilot, about his construction of Braeside observatory, and he and
his wife Marian were great hosts.

This is such a loss ...


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