Friday, January 6, 2017

Bob Torrison Retrospective I & II Mary Jo McKeag

As I expected we are triggering all sorts of great memories.

Begin forwarded message:

From: "Mary Jo McKeag" <>
Date: January 6, 2017 6:11:32 PM CST
To: "'Don Sessions'" <>
Subject: RE: Bob Torrison Retrospective I & II

Hi Don –
Thank you so much for the lovely tribute of Bob. Dave would have loved it. It has brought back so many memories.
I remember Bob was taking classes at Purdue and would come stay in Dave's tiny apartment on many weekends because he had nothing in common with the college kids. We would go out to dinner and Dave and Bob would attend sporting events, sometimes with me tagging along. I have no idea where he slept in that small apartment it must have been in a sleeping bag on the floor. Bob continued to visit after we married and lived in that same apartment. I think he stayed there the evening before our wedding. I remember Dave becoming very tired of his playing Edelweiss over and over again.
In 1966 Dave and I took a cross country driving trip to CA, stopping in Denver to see Bob. Bob took us up to the top of Pike's Peak (I think) in his Carmengia (I have no idea how to spell that). It was a small car with the motor in what should have been the trunk. Guess who got to ride in the back seat. I have never been that sick. These two gentlemen asked if I would like a hot dog when we reached the top. They were happy as larks, never noticing I was pea green.
The only other time I suffered motion sickness was when Bob took us out on his father's sailboat on Lake Michigan. It was beautiful, but once again I wasn't enjoying it. This may have been the first time I met Bob. His father was on this trip with us. I  had no idea he worked for Chicago Screw. My sister's first job was at Chicago Screw and my best friend's mom was a long term secretary there. Who knew?
Hamburger Heaven is still there. Just in case you ever go looking for it – it is in Elmhurst, not Glen Ellyn. It hasn't changed. Same corner, nowhere to sit.
Bob was in our wedding. Dave always considered him one of his best friends. We attended his wedding in Kansas (I think Dave was in it). I remember sitting in the motel watching his mom sew up his pant legs and putting them back in the suitcase for the honeymoon. It was so long ago that when he and Bobbi left we followed them through the airport right up to the fence around the tarmac tossing rice all the way.
Our daughter lives on Park just west of LTHS. That bell still rings. Our girls, one son-in-law and our four granddaughters have or are attending LTHS. Tommy  is only in 8th grade and will be heading there next year.
We, too, attended many White Sox games parking in Mr. Sloan's spot. The Torrisons' house is still there on Ellington Avenue. I think it has had an addition or two.
Again, thanks for the memories. (I think Bob Hope said that.) Hope all is well with you and Jan.
Mary Jo
From: Don [] 
Sent: Thursday, January 05, 2017 10:44 AM
To: Mary Jo McKeag
Subject: Bob Torrison Retrospective II
Several years after high school Bob and I got together in Denver. I think he was living there and I came out from La Grange for some summer action.We went to several old mining towns, Black Hawk and Central City, west of Denver when they were still picturesque - before they got into the casino business. Bob had some friends
in Central City and I remember sleeping on a front porch in my sleeping bag after a night of too much fun.  It was a clear night and I woke up to see the full moon. I can still see it now.
Several days later we went up to Estes Park to climb Longs Peak, a 14,000 foot mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park. With us was Bob's childhood friend form Maywood, Illinois, Richard Ellis. Rich was very energetic and almost ran up the mountain. Bob and I paced ourselves as it was a 12 hour day. We started out from Longs Peak campground about 5:00 am and got back about 5:00pm. 
After arriving at the boulderfield we got a good look at the east wall of Longs Peak.
We headed  across the boulderfield to take the Keyhole route. The trail on the other side of the Keyhole was marked with painted circles for which it was  called the "fried egg trail". On the back side of the mountain was a somewhat exposed area called "the narrows". The day was perfectly sunny and clear and there was no ice so  
safety was not an issue. After " the narrows" we came to a gradually  steep slope called 'the home stretch". At 14,000 feet there was minimal oxygen so Bob and I were struggling and Rich took off to the summit. We encouraged each other and completed the climb. The summit is flat with boulders and with an area larger than the size of a football field. It was exhilarating too say the least.
Here is a previous photo of me on the summit taken when I was 14 years old. From the top of Longs Peak you can enjoy  the entire Front Range and a magnificent view of the great plains. It is the real purple mountains majesty above the fruited plains.
We could only stay on top for a few minutes because it is  important to get down to the boulder field because of the possibility of early afternoon storms and lightening. We descended slowly and went down the trail with only a light rain. A long but memorable day like this creates strong permanent bonding. Even today when I see the peak I remember times I have climbed it and especially my climb with Bob.

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