The Story of Bob Job
Written by Rick Archer, February 2007
Louise and Bob Job
to be an expert at Charades. If I remember
correctly, that was
the only game he was any good at. ;-)
Some unknown good-looking girl
Bob was flirting with at the studio.
Bob and Risa
Have you ever had a best
friend who completely disappeared from your life?
It happened to me. One day sometime in the
Eighties my buddy Bob was transferred by Shell to
the Netherlands. His lovely wife Louise, who he had
met here at SSQQ in 1983, disappeared with him.
That is when I completely lost track of both of
Every now and then there would be a rumor that Bob
Job had been in town, etc, but I never knew how to
get in touch with him.
In the meantime, here are some of the fun stories
about Bob and me. I will start with my favorite
IN A LITTLE
CAFE JUST THE OTHER SIDE OF THE BORDER...
Once upon a time Bob and I
decided to take a plane trip to Acapulco (1983?).
We were going down there to
chase beautiful Mexican women. The trip was
short - get there Friday night, all day Saturday, home Sunday
afternoon. If we were going to do any damage, we
had better get right to work!
Bob and I checked into our hotel room at 6 pm Friday
night. We decided to take a quick siesta so we
would be fresh when we went on the prowl later that
Lo and behold, we didn't wake up
until 9 am the next day. Once we came to our senses,
we realized we had thrown our big night away. Hours
and hours on the plane and mucho dinero down the
drain... What a couple of morons!
We both immediately pointed fingers at each other - "You
were supposed to wake me up!"
Well, it was Saturday now. So we played a
couple games of chess, then laid around at the beach
to pass the time. Very pretty beach, by the
That night we
went dancing. Everyone in the Disco danced
Freestyle. Hmm. I decided to show them
some city dance moves. I studied the women on
the floor and identified the best dancer. So when
she became available I asked her to dance.
After we developed a rapport, I started to partner dance
with the Mexican lady. Suddenly every eye
in the room was on us. Wow! I was
Bob was cheering for me. He was more of a
Western Twostep guy which explained why he wasn't out there
Bob was nice enough to enjoy my celebrity without
being jealous. Here in Acapulco, Disco still ruled
in the land that time forgot. I was in my element.
Even though Urban Cowboy was
in full swing back in Houston, Disco had been my
first love. It was fun to dust off my Latin
Hustle again. The Hustle was the forerunner to
today's Salsa. For a moment there, I was
transported back to the glory days of yesteryear.
Turn the Beat Around, makes
me wanna move my body...
yeah, yeah, yeah!
When I sat down, a big Mexican guy came over. He
didn't speak any English, but he could point
pretty well. He pointed towards a senorita
who was sitting across the room. As I looked over, the
girl smiled and raised her hand. Through a series
of gestures, I gathered that I was supposed to ask
her to dance. Why not?
So I walked across the room to her table. As I
approached, I nearly fell over. From a
distance, I had no idea, but now I realized this young
lady had to be the prettiest girl I had ever seen
also noticed she was surrounded by four big
Mexican guys and they were all
frowning at me.
Maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all.
The lyrics to a song haunted me.
In a little cafe
just the other side of the border,
She was just sitting there givin' me looks that
made my mouth water.
So I started walking her way.
She belonged to bad man, Jose.
And I knew, yes I knew I should leave...
then I heard her say..."Come a Little Bit
It was too late to turn back
now. The pretty
girl gestured towards the dance floor. She
wanted to dance with me. Now I knew where the
word 'irresistible' came from. So
we went out on the floor. I
soon found out she didn't speak English
beyond "My name is Elena." Damn, why the hell did I sign up for
problema, Elena, let's dance! So
we danced. Of course all eyes in the
room came back to us. People on the
floor gave us
lots of room. We were officially 'The
Show'. First we danced the Latin Hustle. And then
we danced freestyle. We paused for a
moment as Elena asked me
my name. Then I led her
in a Cha Cha. We were out there at
least for 5 songs. The fifth song is
the one that I remember best because Elena
cut loose. It was obvious that till
now the young lady had just been warming up.
I realized why I had been chosen. I
was likely the only man in the room even
remotely worthy of dancing with her.
Besides her obvious natural talent, I
suspected she had received plenty of dance
training as well. I wondered if she
was a performer. She was THAT good. The moment
Elena started with that hip motion, I almost
died. The temptation to grab her waist
made a danger
signal flash across my mind
I trembled like Pavlov's dog when the bell rings
- one side of me salivated with lust and the
other side trembled with fear at what those
goons would do to me if I was stupid enough
to touch her the wrong way. It
dawned on me that I was losing control.
I heard her say..."Come a Little Bit
Thank Goodness I
wasn't drunk. As my pulse raced, I
forced myself to think. For starters, this girl was
way out of my league. If it were not
for my dance ability, I would never have
gotten this kind of attention from a beauty
Then came the age
barrier. At age 33, I was at least 15 years older
After the age barrier came the language
barrier. Maybe if we spoke the same
language we could share a laugh or two, but
as it stood, we could communicate only on
the dance floor.
Then came the culture barrier. I had
no idea what was going through her mind, but
her smile told me she was enjoying herself. In
America, her body language would indicate
come a little bit closer.
It probably meant the same thing in Mexico.
But maybe not. I knew if guessed wrong,
there was one bodyguard for each of my limbs
in case they wanted to play tug of war.
The reason I was getting such a crush on
Elena was her friendly nature. You
would expect some sort of attitude from a
woman this beautiful, but I saw nothing but
appreciation while I danced with her.
Elena was drop-dead gorgeous, but unlike
some beauties, she seemed gentle as opposed
to aggressive and tough. Her elegance
increased my attraction to her. Be
still, my beating heart.
In addition, I had
never seen a woman move like this before.
Beyond her beauty, Elena was a very gifted
dancer. Beauty and Talent - a
Nevertheless, no matter what my heart wished
for, as it stood, this girl spelled
"t-r-o-u-b-l-e" in any language.
And I knew, yes I knew I should leave...
I had to constantly remind myself this didn't have a snowball's chance in hell
of working. Finally I decided I couldn't
bear to watch Elena
dance one more minute.
woman should not be permitted to dance this
gracefully and this provocatively at the
same time. She wasn't trying to tease
me at all, but her dancing had the same effect
nonetheless. Some instinct warned me to
break it off now before it was too late and
I did something foolish.
So I indicated to Elena it was
time to sit down. I walked her back to
her seat, gently maneuvering the young lady to her
seat between the
four men who accompanied her. Surely they couldn't all
be her brothers. They didn't seem
related to her. I had never met anyone with
4 bodyguards before. Who were these
guys and who was she?
Elena smiled and beckoned
for me to sit in the empty chair next to her
that had magically been made available. I was tempted to sit down just for
the opportunity to stare at her a little
my goodness Elena was pretty! Help me,
Lead me not into
temptation... Oops, too late, I am
wondered how dangerous it would be to sit next to
this pretty girl from another country. I
decided 'Mucho Peligroso' - great danger - when she has 4
bodyguards. This was worse than dating
the President's daughter. Then I remembered she
couldn't speak English. How did I keep managing to forget that? What
we going to talk about? That
thought helped me come to my senses.
smiled at her wistfully, then I looked over to
Bob and pointed at him. "Roberto es mi
Amigo", I said. Thank goodness Bob
waved to indicate I should return to him.
He looked concerned. Maybe he guessed
that I was in trouble.
"Don't go, Rico. Stay.
She smiled. Suddenly she was speaking
to me in
English... a huge wave of weakness
overcame me. I bit my lip and
hesitated. I did not want to go, but
some instinct called 'self-preservation'
insisted I leave.
Summoning what little resistance I had left,
I said I had to go. I said it in
English, but I think she understood.
The pretty girl made a sad face. "Adios, Rico."
Then she nodded to the Goon Squad to let me
go without crippling me. They all
stood back and made a path.
This was way too weird. Why don't
girls in America who speak English ever treat me this
way? I guess Elena was simply doing
her best to use body language to overcome
the language barrier. If so, it
worked. Her body
language had me scared to death.
I kept reminding myself to look but
don't touch, smile but don't leer.
I had never come under the
influence of a beautiful woman
before. Her beauty was so
intoxicating and her dancing so riveting
that she made me think in ways that were not
in my ultimate best interest. But I
thought those thoughts anyway.
under the spell of a beautiful woman.
Are you sure your name isn't Circe?
I felt shaky
and disoriented. I walked
slowly back to Bob lest I stumble
and humiliate myself.
I idly wondered to myself if this was a
Twilight Zone episode and no one had told
The dizzy feeling did not leave. I
deliberately kept my back to her. I was
afraid if I
looked back, I might change my mind. I
couldn't help but wonder what horrible fate
I had barely managed to avoid. Or what
I might have missed out on. Why was I
running from her? What was wrong with
me? Why was I so scared to take a
chance? Faint heart and
I sat down, Bob had the most amazed
expression on his face. "Rick, do you know
who that girl is?"
"Yeah, her name is almost certainly 'Muerte Instante'. Why? Who is she?"
were out on the floor, this guy came
over to me. He is with her
group. He was checking you out
to make sure you weren't a drug
dealer or international fugitive."
Bob stopped for a second while I
took this in.
"While we were
talking, he said she is the current
Ms. Teenage Mexico. She is
Acapulco for some special event and
this is her night on the town.
And, get this, he said she really likes
dancing with you."
I said nothing for a moment. I
was actually trembling with all the
conflicting emotions. Finally
I calmed down a bit.
what, Bob, that doesn't surprise me
a bit. She is the most
beautiful girl I have ever had in my
arms in my entire life. With
her looks, maybe someday I
will see her again on the cover of the Sports
Illustrated Swimsuit issue."
Bob said, "Let me buy you another
margarita to help you forget her."
I replied, "No way.
I am weak enough as it is. Let's get
out of here before I change my mind
and race to her. And if I do
change my mind, trip me or hit me hard enough
to stop me."
I took a deep breath, then added, "I
swear, Bob, I couldn't take my eyes
off of her. I never knew
before what beauty can do to a
man. I don't know why I am so
crazy, but I honestly have never
felt so out of control in my life.
That girl is so beautiful, I am
afraid of her."
I have no idea who
she is, but she's cute and much too young for Bob
Bob and Leanne
dancing the Western Swing
Bob Job was the guy who helped me decipher the
secrets of Western Swing back in late 1980. If
I remember correctly, Bob was dying to learn the
dance so he could use it to pick up women in bars
who were too young for him.
Actually, now that I think of it, after that last
story, who am I to talk?
All kidding aside, I was completely lost on this
dance. Would someone please explain what
men are using to turn those girls?
Urban Cowboy had sparked an unprecedented
amount of interest in Western dancing here in
Houston upon its debut in July 1980.
In addition, again thanks to Urban Cowboy,
Disco had died an instant death here in Houston.
Left with nothing better to do, most Disco guys had
turned in their polyester dance threads for boots
and rolled with the tide. However, there was
trouble in paradise. Boredom set in very quickly.
Twostep and Polka were ridiculously easy dances
compared to what they had been doing to Donna Summer
music just a few months earlier. As a result, they got restless and
began to tinker with the Twostep. In particular they
found ways to turn girls with one hand.
Whatever they did, it worked. Pretty soon, all
those ex-Disco guys started finding ways to double
turn girls to a western beat.
This was new.
It was also exciting.
Bob and I realized that a completely new dance was
sprouting up before our very eyes. It had no
name, but it was definitely an improvement on the 6
Twostep moves we had been stuck with.
Bob and I called it "Disco on the Run".
However there was something about those turns that
eluded all our attempts to mimic what we had seen.
We assumed it was only a matter of time till we
figured it out, so we made a bet which of us was
going to figure it out first.
Truth be told, I never figured it out.
Actually, Bob didn't either.
One day a guy named Herb Fried off-handedly showed
me the secret. Finally!
Herb was a western buddy of Bob's. I think also they
Bob claimed that since Herb was his friend, he
should get the credit.
Fine, Bob. All glory to you.
I didn't care who won any more. I was just happy not
to be miserable any longer.
Herb's suggestion was all the help I needed.
From that point on, I worked furiously to put
together a system of dance patterns that I could use
to teach this new dance. We were highly
motivated. One night Bob learned a move in a
club and raced to the studio to show it to me.
We practiced the new pattern out in the parking lot
for an hour. That was the night we learned the
With Bob's help, the two of us cooked up other patterns like
the Rope, the Wild West Shuffle, the
Y-Pattern, the Lariat, and the Dishrag. Do
those names sound familiar? Those names go all
the way back to the days of 1981 when Bob and I put the
finishing touches on the new dance.
Mind you, I did not invent the dance, but I did
create what was likely the first comprehensive
teaching system in the city.
However, we had one more problem. We decided 'Disco
on the Run' was not a very catchy name. It
probably wasn't very marketable. So we decided to
call it Western Swing. Twenty five
years later, the name still sticks.
(SIDE NOTE: I wrote a lengthy story about the events
that led up to my discovery of how the Western Swing
worked and how Bob helped me develop the dance.
History of Western Swing
Bob and our famous
photographer Jim Fogo.
Jim was the man who took our
HALLOWEEN PARTY FROM HELL
Bob and I shared one
particular interest - we both loved Halloween
In 1978, we had a Halloween Party
in someone's apartment clubhouse. In 1979 we
had a lame party at Stevens of Hollywood. In
1980, we moved into our new location at Dance Arts
just 10 days before Halloween. That didn't give us
much time, but we threw something
together at the last minute.
As Halloween rolled around in 1981, we had been at our new location for a
year now and we decided to push the pedal to the
metal. For starters, I sprang for some
decorations. A couple ghosts, a couple hanging
pumpkins, Dracula... Woo wee!
As the party approached, Bob said he had a
good idea for the party - why not let him be in
charge of the punch?
Sure. Why not?
I asked him what he needed. Money.
Okay, that was easy. So I gave him
It turned out to be the best money I ever
spent. Bob put on his magician's hat
and went to town. His smoking dry ice was an
especially nice touch. But best of
all, Bob seemed to have the magic touch with
the Rum Punch. He added just the right
amount of Everclear to give the Punch some
punch. Oh yeah.
That hit the spot. Here's the group picture.
What a happy bunch!
Everyone agreed Bob was the early MVP of the
party. Hey, what about my decorations?
Well, obviously Bob
was Mr. Popular. Big deal. So
what? I had an ace up my sleeve that
would make everyone forget about Mr. Pointy
Hat - without telling anyone, I had hired a
bunch of beautiful half-naked dancers to
perform at the party!
Bob as The Mad
This was the
year Bob won the Costume Contest by coming as the
Bob and Mae
West. Hey Big Boy, why don't
you come up and see me some time?
Bob and the ever
beautiful Louise. I think this was the year we told Bob
no more punch.
Bob was friendly
to everyone, even my mother!
No jokes about the family resemblance...
The dancers would provide the
perfect finishing touch. So far, the 1981 Halloween Party
had been fabulous right from the get-go. Bob's
punch was DEFINITELY the hit of the party
to this point and Bob had found
the perfect costume for the occasion.
Dressed as the Mad Wizard with a cloak and a conical
Magician's hat, Bob certainly looked the part as he
hovered over his Witch's Cauldron carefully stirring
his strange brew. Adding to the magic was the smoke
that emanated from the Cauldron. Bob
had added dry ice to give his work the eerie
appearance of mixing a Wizard's Potion. The illusion
was very impressive!
Bob's Magic Punch was the place to go if you didn't
bring your own stuff and wished to become chemically
altered. There was a long line as many of us availed
ourselves of the delicious punch. Yum. It tasted
With the help of the Punch, the party quickly burst
into animation! Everyone was having a great time! We
danced, we laughed, we carried on, we made complete
fools of ourselves. Gosh we were having fun!
Then came the dancers.
As you can see, the outfits left little to
the imagination. The women in the audience
immediately gave me a disapproving look, but I have
never seen more grateful men in my life.
Our women may have been in shock, but the guys
didn't mind at all. They quickly pushed the women to
the back of the pack so they could get front row
views! We all stared appreciatively.
I am sure I was
not alone as I admired the awesome figures and
beauty of each dancer.
Oh, yes, the dancing was spectacular!! The dancing
was lurid, suggestive, arousing, all of the above.
Think of belly dancers on speed. It was a wild,
provocative Jungle frenzy of some sort. They worked
their hips, shimmied their chests, undulated their
waists, and moved with wild
Drunk out of their wits, the men were soon panting
with lust. This was better than a topless bar - the
women were not only naked, they could really dance!
By the time it was over, the men were just barely
hanging onto any self-control. These girls were
Something funny happened - the girls cut their
performance short. They were supposed to dance a
second number, but instead they only danced 5
minutes. I think the girls saw something in our eyes. The
moment their number was over, they sprinted out
before we could even congratulate them!! Probably
just as well - as drunk as we
were, things might have gotten crazy!
After the dancers left, a curious thing started to
happen - People began to act like stark raving
maniacs! That marvelous Jungle dancing had the men so
worked up, they immediately headed for another round
of Bob's Magic Brew.
It was 11 pm. We were now about 2 hours into the
party. Typically the party is still going strong at
Midnight. That's when I announce "Last Song", then
we clean up and go home. But something was different
tonight. The dance performance had altered the
rhythm of the party. After the Jazz Dancers finished
their show, the dancing had a lot of trouble
starting up again.
It wasn't like we didn't try. I put the music back
on and the guests attempted to dance but it was
obvious they weren't doing very well. They were
clearly exhausted. After one or two songs people
gave up and started to leave the dance floor.
Not only were people
exhausted, they began to act bizarre! Our guests
began to wander around the studio like zombies.
Of course Halloween is all about letting loose and
getting a little crazy, but something was clearly
wrong. These people were way beyond "a little
crazy". They were out of their minds!
No, we weren't poisoned. But we were drunk.
We were very drunk. We were wasted out of our minds!
Yes, the whole damn party was drunk on its butt!!
Throughout the evening, Bob had spiked the punch
with Ever Clear, an alcoholic additive that had no
taste and no smell. And Bob did not hold back. He
used a lot of Ever Clear. I mean a lot of it!!
So we were already drunk to begin with. But things
were about to get worse. After
the dance performance Bob decided to pour all his
remaining supply of Ever Clear into the punch. He
had some extra bottles and didn't feel like taking
We had no idea what was going on. Sucking us in like
the Pied Piper with the smoking cauldron and the
delicious punch, we drank as if there were no
consequences. As a result, many of us were in big
We didn't even realize the punch was double-spiked
until it was too late. And like idiots we went back
for more because at that point we were too far gone
to know any better. There was not even one remotely
sober person in the whole building!
Suddenly we were so drunk none of could even dance!!
The floor quickly became deserted. The people who
could still move began to leave. But many people
were way too drunk to drive. They began to look for
a place to collapse.
The partiers staggered around like extras from the
"Night of the Living Dead" hoping to find a chair or
a couch to fall down on. Soon every seat in the
house was occupied. Eventually the rest of the
people sat down wherever they happened to be because
they were too damn drunk to stand up any more. Some
would fall on top of someone already sitting on a
couch. The others would semi-collapse on the floor
next to the people on the couches.
That's when the hysterical laughter began. The ones
who were still conscious laughed their drunken butts
off. But it didn't last very long. Soon people began
to nod and doze off.
The music kept playing, but the dance floor was
empty. Everyone was in the hallway where the couches
were. Bodies were strewn everywhere!!
Sorry to be gruesome, but the hallway looked exactly
like the infamous Jim Jones massacre in Guyana years
back. Bob had killed all of us.
Truth be told, I drank as much as
anyone that night. I completely passed out.
I finally woke up
around 4 am. The studio was totally deserted.
When I finally came to my senses, I realized
everyone was gone and the music was still playing.
I rubbed my eyes and looked around. That's
when I realized that all the trash from the party
was still sitting right where everyone had left it.
I had the unenviable task ahead of cleaning up after
the entire party.
After the Halloween Party from Hell, I think I
gently suggested to Bob that maybe next year we
would get a keg. I think I hurt his feelings,
but tough. He didn't have to clean the whole
damn studio up by himself at 4 am!
(Side Note: Something else
really weird happened that night that I think you
would enjoy reading about.
To discover the bizarre conclusion to this story,
Bob Job and Louise Campodonico.
My Birthday Party at Bob's
Dancing and Romancing
Hail to the Master Chemist,
my friend Bob
BOB AND LOUISE GET MARRIED!
The moment I
began to write about Bob and Louise's marriage, I
realized I didn't have a clue what to write. I
honestly don't know when they got married!
It seems to me that Bob and Louise Campodonico went
together for a long time. If I were to guess,
they started dating in 1983. They acted in
public like married people, but maybe they didn't
feel like getting married.
My vague recollection is that Louise didn't want to
get married. I think they broke up and got
back together several times. I remember their
romance as having several rollercoaster ups and
If I had to guess, Bob and Louise got married
somewhere else because I just realized I wasn't at
the wedding. Hmm. Aren't they sneaky?
What I do remember is that Bob and Louise quietly
disappeared from the studio in 1988. They were
not the only old friends I lost - at some point or
another I estimate 30 people left SSQQ to go over to
the Southwest Whip Club in 1988. This exodus
was a very painful experience. Friends who had
been in my life for many years suddenly quit coming
to the studio to go to another studio. Ouch!
After that, I didn't see much of Bob and Louise
anymore. I guess we went our own ways.
One day Bob showed up at the dance studio to tell me
that Shell was transferring him to the Netherlands
for a year. Louise was going too. I guess this
was around 1989 or 1990. He said he would be
coming back to Houston, but quite frankly I cannot
remember seeing Bob again after that.
I had completely lost track of the man who once was
my best friend.
Sometime in the
90s a rumor floated through the studio that Bob and
Louise had been seen dancing at some Western club.
Theoretically they had moved back to town and had
bought a house out in Katy. That's what they
said, but I do not recall ever seeing the guy.
The rumor drove me crazy, but I didn't know to track
him down. I suppose I could have asked for a
phone number. Isn't a shame we get so busy we
don't keep track of people we care about?
When the SSQQ web site went online in late 1998, I discovered that I
enjoyed writing stories. Finally I figured out a way
to deal with my sadness about losing my best friend
- I would write some stories about Bob.
The first story I wrote about Bob was in the article
History of Western Swing.
That recounts the tale of how Houston went from
Disco to Western overnight and a new dance was born.
A spin-off from that story included the Tales of the
Winchester Club, the dance spot where
I first got to know Bob in 1981. And then I
wrote my masterpiece about the
Halloween Party from Hell.
Then in 2006 I wrote a story called the
Matchmaker which included a special section on
the people who had been important to me during the
Naturally Bob and Louise were mentioned there as
You want to know something? I secretly hoped
he would read one of those stories and check in to
say hi. You might say I was sending up a Bat
signal of sorts.
Believe it or not, my strategy worked! One day
in 2006 I got a very special email.
From: Robert Job
Sent: Tuesday, October 31, 2006 2:37 AM
Subject: Halloween message for Rick Archer from Bob
Dear Rick; Greetings!
As usual around this time of year, I fondly
recall your 'Halloween Party from Hell'.
Louise and I are now
safely ensconced in our log home atop a mountain
northwest of Ft. Collins, Colorado. After we'd been
here a couple of weeks, the dancers found us. I
guess the Archer two-step
we do still catches as much attention as it did 25
years ago when you and I practiced your new moves
late at night in the Sears'
parking lot. If you ever get nostalgic about
Ft. Collins, please come by for a visit. We've got a
comfortable guest suite and some beautiful
sunrises and sunsets to show you. (I might
even let you win a game of chess.)
Sincerely, Bob Job
From: Rick Archer
Sent: Tuesday, October 31, 2006 1:43 PM
To: Robert Job
Subject: RE: Halloween message for Rick Archer from
Holy smokes! What a great Halloween treat to hear
from you, Bob!
I heard a rumor you were living in the Houston area
and couldn't figure out
why you never came to visit. Now I feel better
knowing where you are.
I am no stranger to Ft Collins having gone to grad
school at CSU for a year.
Plus I am a big fan of Rocky Mntn Nat Park
and Estes Park... just a quick
drive into the mountains from where you are.
Marla and I try to come to Colorado once a year
around Memorial Day... the
next time I get a chance, I WILL look you up! My
chess game is pretty good
- I play a handheld computer chess game all the time
to amuse myself any time I
have a free moment.
How did you run across the 'Halloween From Hell'
story? Did you google your
name? You are all over my web site. I can think of
at least three places
where you could read about yourself
on my web site. I miss you so much I write about you
all the time!.
At this point, I smile when I think of the Halloween
Party from Hell. It was
miserable when it happened but everyone loves the
story! It has been passed
around the story all week long ("Have you read the
story about the drunk lady
at Rick's studio?")
Do you remember anything from that night? If so,
please share! Was my story
accurate? Did you know about the story of the drunk
lady? To be honest, the
ravages of time dull the memory, so anything you can
contribute would be great.
Give Louise a big hug for me!
Sent: Thursday, November 16, 2006 3:39 PM
To: Rick Archer
Subject: Re: Halloween message for Rick
Archer from Bob Job
All the time we've been away, I periodically
check out the SSQQ website. A few years back
I ran across the story about the Halloween
party from hell. I must
admit that you do tell a good story
but, since my date forced me to leave early,
I missed out on the later drunkenness
I looked up the other stories you indicated
in your e-mail and generally felt a strong
pang of nostalgia. Also even some guilt for
not being there for you during your breakup
with Pat. I completely understand your
nights of whip dancing).
Through the years since you fist taught me
to dance, I've always headed for a dance
hall whenever severe depression hit. My
problem is that I never thought country
would die so I
didn't take advantage of the many
opportunities to get good at Whip/West Coast
one time there were 26 clubs around Houston
where C&W could be done properly. Now there
are approximately 3. Whereas Whip/Swing has always
been around and is still alive all around
If you can find the time for a visit, we'll take you
to the only dancing place in Fort Collins.
We came up here to retire but, since our
builder walked out at least
3 months before the house was done, we've had
nearly a full time job getting the house finished
and live-in-able. The Chemistry Department at CSU
voted me in as a faculty affiliate - which doesn't
mean much more than I have
library privileges and can attend seminars and
assist in a bit of research. So, hopefully my brain
won't be allowed to
Hopefully by next spring or summer, we'll have the
house sufficiently under control so that we can take
the time to explore Colorado.
Sincerely, Bob Job
From: Rick Archer
Sent: Thursday, November 16, 2006 5:37 PM
To: Robert Job
Subject: colorado state
Fort Collins is a good choice for a place to retire.
Seems like you told
me you had a mountain home in that area.
Do me a favor - help me figure out where you have
been over the past 20 years! I
keep thinking you have been thru Houston a couple
times and I can't believe you didn't drop by to say
have another favor... send
me a picture of you and Louise so I can add it to my
studio's romance page
From: Robert Job
Sent: Thursday, November 16, 2006 11:06 PM
To: Rick Archer
Subject: colorado state
Not a home, but a mount in the foothills.
It's called Mount Simon and is located about
11 miles west of Livermore (~30 miles NW of
Fort Collins). At 7580 ft, its the tallest
hill around. When I bought the 37 acres of
land in 1977, I got to draw my own property
lines so I drew them halfway down the
granite cliffs to the north, halfway into a
gulley to the west and down to the access
road on the other sides.
We have a 360° view from the Colorado plains
to the east to Fort Collins to the southeast
to Rocky Mountain National Park to the South
to the Mummy Range to the west and to the
high plains of Wyoming to the north. The
chief of the local volunteer fire department
has been using our mountain as a fire
Like a lot of the old crowd, we had deserted
SSQQ to go over to
the Southwest Whip Club and to the Space
City Ski Club for social activities in the
late 1980s. Shell Development Company had an
exchange program where one scientist from
Houston exchanged places with a scientist
from the parent company in Holland for a
1990 it was my turn to go,
so Louise and I got to spend our honeymoon
year in Holland.
the only place we could twostep in Holland was at
the local bowling alley (and only to Tom Jones
music) we took ballroom dancing lessons
in Holland for a while.
After returning to Houston in late 1991 we eased
back into the C&W club dance scene (Louise threw me
a surprise 50th birthday bash at the Post Oak
We must have dropped in to a couple of SSQQ parties
from '91 to '95 - I remember getting you to play
Mary Chapin Carpenter's "The Bug" at one of them.
In 1994, the
FTC made Shell spin off our part of the
company as a separate entity. I tried to
stay with Shell but upper management said
that, since 30% of the patents in the new
company's portfolio had my name on them, I
was required to be a part of the new
In early 1996, Union Carbide Corporation
bought that company and their management
decided that, if I remained in Houston I
would be likely to bolt towards other
employment - so they shipped us off to Bound
Brook, New Jersey (that in addition to
assuring we senior scientists that we should
never expect another raise or another
Dow Chemical Company bought Union Carbide.
It looked like the Bound Brook site would be
subverted into a weak sister joint venture
with Exxon/Mobile with future prospects
looking bleak. So I petitioned Dow to sent
me back to Houston. Shortly after returning
to Katy (in September 2001), I sent you an
e-mail about the Midnight Rodeo in Katy
having a nice dance floor and decent dance
Over the next 4 years, we showed up at a
couple of SSQQ parties but didn't recognize
anyone and didn't stay long. I called
861-1906 and got a person (named Judy?) who
said she would forward my message to you.
This selfsame person was also in charge at
one of the SSQQ parties and said she would
relay our greetings.
After those abortive attempts I told Louise
I would drop by your house but she pointed
out that would be rude and that I should
call first. However since you old personal
phone number didn't work -- catch 22.
By late 2004 the writing was on the wall
that Dow Chemical didn't want any of their
senior scientists working in the laboratory.
me in a very uncomfortable position since
I'm not a library chemist and firmly believe
in doing exploratory research and that it
should be hands-on.
2005, Dow was undergoing a huge downsizing.
They wanted their first round of people out
by June 30. This timing was nearly correct
for me since I would be eligible for
retirement on July 9. They agreed to give me
credit for the extra 9 days I officially
became a retired person at the end of June.
The sad part is that, because I had in
effect worked for 4 companies, Dow refused
to give me any official notification of what
my retirement pay would be (even though I
could do the calculation in 10 minutes on a
pocket calculator and come within $14/ month
of the final amount they came up with). As a
consequence of not having official
notification of income, we couldn't get a
mortgage or a builders' loan for our house
in Colorado so we've had to pay cash for it
all. That meant cashing in a chunk of my
retirement kitty as a lump sum which not
only means lower monthly retirement pay but
also put us into a ridiculously high income
tax bracket for that extra amount.
Chopin (our springer spaniel) and I moved to
Colorado just after last Christmas while
Louise followed on Valentine's Day. That
first winter was cold since the cold wind
blew through the logs at a higher rate than
warm air could flow through the heating
registers. We spent the whole first month
caulking the walls from the inside. (This
summer we hired someone to caulk all the
walls from the outside.) We didn't have
shades on any of our 40 windows so I had to
cut coverings for them from leftover
cardboard boxes (in the spring we had a
contractor install cellular blinds
everywhere). We couldn't use the fireplace
because the builder had not installed the
hearth according to code so that I had to
rip it out and redo it properly. This winter
I believe we're ready. Since I saw you last,
I've joined the Antique Wireless Association
and have accumulated over 100 wooden console
radios from between 1927 and 1942 which I
plan to fix up if I ever really get to
Sincerely, Bob Job
From: Rick Archer
Sent: Friday, November 17, 2006 12:31 PM
To: Robert Job
Subject: Bob Job timeline
I cannot imagine how you and I failed to connect
while you were living in
Katy. I do remember 2001 as being my year from hell
because that's when I got my
second divorce, but I still can't understand
why I would not respond to an email from you
about the Katy Mills dance hall. After all, I am Mr.
email! Please forgive. I am really regretting not
I am so glad we have reconnected, albeit since you
moved to Colorado.
My life is pretty good, but not perfect. My wife
Marla and I are awesome together. We are just as
much in love five years later as we were when we
My daughter is smart, but she is a bit of an
underachiever as a HS sophomore.
My ex-wife Judy has made my life a living hell for
the past six years, but I am restrained by a recent
custody agreement from sharing the story on the
Internet. I probably should write
all the gory details down anyway before I
My shopping center was taken over by a ruthless set
of doctors who have made my life miserable for
several years now.
My two biggest problems are fighting burnout and
finding a person to continue the legacy of the
studio. I am very uncomfortable thinking all this
work might go to waste without the right person to
hand the reins over to.
Sounds like all the shuffling around your various
companies made you do in the past several years had
to drive you nuts. How can a scientist be effective
when the political situation around him is
constantly being disrupted?
From: Robert Job
Sent: Sunday, November 26, 2006 6:47 PM
To: Rick Archer
Subject: Pictures from Bob Job
I finally downloaded Chessmaster 9000 so
that I can practice up on my very rusty
chess game. It was actually quite an ordeal
because, since our satellite internet only
allows us to download 450 mB per day, it
took over 48 hours to download. Why so slow
you ask - when the satellite advertises 750
kb/sec? That's because one is only allowed
to utilize the 750 kb/sec rate for a very
short time. After about two minutes the rate
decreases to about 1/7 of that then after 30
minutes it gets choked down to about 1/3 of
what dial-up would be for the rest of the
day. I do miss not
having DSL. If we had been willing to pay
the phone company the $35,000 they
requested, we not only could have had a land
line, we could have had DSL too. We just
didn't think it was worth it (not to mention
the fact that we didn't have any money
We finally have got the basement walls
plastered and painted. Now it's ready for me
to put in shelves and to unpack and set up
my shop. I had hoped that being retired I
could have time for rest and relaxation but,
as far as I can tell, one never really gets
One more thing - here is a picture of
Louise and I for your scrapbook. I've also
included a collage I put together of our
house when it was almost finished (just in
case you decide to visit next spring and
need to recognize it from the outside). Also
included is a collage of the views from
various windows and decks in almost every
Sincerely, Bob Job
EPILOGUE TO "In a little
Cafe just the other side of the Border"
From: Robert Job
Sent: Monday, February 26, 2007 12:19 PM
To: Rick Archer
Subject: Rick's latest SSQQ article
As usual you've told a colorful and humorous tale. I've only
one point to bring up.
1. The reason we stayed in the hotel room so long
in Acapulco was that you had brought along some game played
on a checkerboard, with pieces which were light on one side and dark
on the other, and you insisted that we
play game after game until I let you win one.
I hope you can make it up for a visit sometime.
Sincerely, Bob Job
From: Rick Archer
Sent: Sunday, March 04, 2007 12:27 PM
To: Robert Job
Subject: RE: Rick's latest SSQQ article
Hi Bob, just got back home from a ski trip.
I do not recall you dominating me at chess. I have a declining
memory, but I still find it hard to believe I would lose a string of
matches because I remember FAILURE much better than success. -;)
Since you seem to have a good memory, are there any other anecdotes
or adventures you recall?
One more thing - what do you remember about the young lady in the
Disco? Was that my imagination or
did the story go the way my memory told it?
From: Robert Job
Sent: Sunday, March 04, 2007 12:59 PM
To: Rick Archer
Subject: Re: Rick's latest SSQQ article
The game wasn't chess. The pieces were round and flat and were dark
on one side and light on the other. One player was light and the
other was dark. When pieces were captured,
by surrounding them on the board, they were flipped over so that
they became the color of the other player.
The object of the game was to get all of the pieces to be one color.
Maybe it was called "Reversi" or something
I freely admit that you were probably a
better chess player and that I really had to concentrate in order to
win the few games that I did.
The story about the Mexican Senorita is pretty much accurate as well
as I remember it. Any embellishments you've made are certainly the
same ones I would have added.