It was with some trepidation that I sent to Bob my first contribution to the village web site, AudlemOnline.
It was with even more trepidation that I tuned in and read it when he published it. My computer had checked my spelling, but it failed completely when it came to punctuation. However, Bob modified my punctuation, so all was well.
It soon became a joke between us that Bob must punctuate my pieces and, with this benign criticism, my confidence grew. My excuse was always that he went to a better school than I.
For the life of me I could not grasp the technicalities of electronic transmission of my pieces and Bob decided it was a chore to type the whole thing out again from the typed sheets submitted to him.
Nothing daunted, he drew up a line by line plan of how I should proceed to email him.
That was OK as far as it went but did not solve the puzzle of how to deliver pictures. So, with a few exceptions, he provided his own pictures when it was practical.
This led to him searching for pictures to suit each piece – and led further to my challenging him to find a string of suitable pictures.
Since this goes back ten or more years I can't remember them all, but a couple come to mind. When he found a copy of the picture called 'The Boyhood of Raleigh' and he beat me when I challenged him to find a picture of winglets added to the wingtips of airliners.
I have sent to him pieces on such a variety of topics as 'Local Weather' and aircraft incidents.
He never rejected one. I was never sure whether he was pleased with them or whether he needed to fill a space. Anyway, none of this mattered as I was in fact writing for him and his great sense of fun.
I was rarely sure that all you people – all two thousand of you – enjoyed what I wrote. I find it hard to envisage writing without him. He understood my inability to write to order and was content that I wrote by inspiration and on subjects that interested me.
Farewell Bob, I shall miss you.
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