Grand Old Man of Wooden Roller Coasters

Today I received the most incredible gift from dear friend, Gary Slade, owner of  that great newspaper, Amusement Today and The National Roller Coaster Museum. He’s slowly going through boxes of Bob’s memorabilia we’ve loaned to the museum.  Gary found a poem to me by William L. Cobb. 

When Bob opened Minick Associates in 1983 he asked one of his heroes, William L. Cobb, if we could rent out space in his office.  Mr. Cobb, we never called him Bill, welcomed Bob and his guys.  However, Mr. Cobb, being Bill Cobb, considered our office his domain expecting certain professional behavior.  Not my cup of tea.

When we moved in Mr. Cobb was the Grand Old Man of wooden roller coasters.  He was kinda gruff and scary, but a twinkle in his eye.  My goal was to wreak havoc in Mr. Cobb’s world.  Wonderful Margaret Rowe, his longtime secretary, who was so much more, encouraged me.  Bob hid in his office.  It was truly the best of times.

When Mr. Cobb wrote this poem he and Margaret were busy turning one of the bays in his office into a “sanctuary” a little living room/nursery because I was 3 months pregnant with Randall.  Mr. Cobb had no children and decided this child would be raised in the correct environment of roller coasters and amusement parks.  Mornings and afternoons, Mr. Cobb and Randall took their naps back there.  The good times became even sweeter. 

John Pierce and Rich Poling, two most important people in that office, can testify to this Curmudgeon turned Softie welcoming Randall into the world.  My maiden is Guilbeau and I was going to name our son Beau.  That explains the last words of his poem.  Bob nixed Beau and Randall is forever grateful. 

So many understand this is a tough time of year when we remember those Treasures In Our Lives who are no longer with us.  I miss that Old Curmudgeon, our wonderful Miss Margaret and so many more.  Today’s gift of this poem you sent me, Gary Slade, is the best.  Thank you, Dear Heart.

 Mr. C poem scanned.jpeg
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