by Kent Sterling
Bob Scott was a big man with a loud laugh, hands like jai alai cestas, and a lightning fast gait. He was a major part of the heart that drives The Salvation Army to be there for you when no when else chooses to be. [Before you send a comment about the capitalization of “The” in The Salvation Army, it was Bob who unapologetically and loudly corrected a memo I wrote over a decade ago when I neglected to use a capital T.]
The WIBC Radiothon to Benefit The Salvation Army simply would not exist without him. Don Steele, JoAnn Remender, Jon Quick, and so many others made that thing go during the years before it started to operate under its own momentum. There is still great work being done, but back in the day when we didn’t have any idea what we were doing, it was Bob who led the charge into the unknown as though doing good was a shield from all harm that could befall a broadcast.
There are people who are driven to sate their hungers. Others are baffled by the mass of humanity and shrink from it. Others, like Bob, trust that helping others is exactly how a worthwhile life is spent and they kind of keep the lamp lit for the rest of us. We can trust that human beings are primarily benevolent creatures because of the way Bob and others live their lives.
I thought so much of Bob that when I was afraid that my son had not grown to understand the joy of helping others – he wasn’t selfish or callous, but we had never made it a point to being aggressive in our charitable exploits and I feared Ryan would grow up believing every life is as ideal as his – I asked if Bob wouldn’t mind shepherding Ryan around for a day to the various facilities where The Salvation Army selflessly helps others.
He did it, and Ryan learned a lot about the responsibility we have to one another that day. Bob would always ask about Ryan after that, and I believe Ryan is a better man today because of his time spent with Bob.
So many of us are.