Thursday, December 15, 2011
The following is reprinted with David Pickeral's permission:
Subject: Bob Beard - A Tribute
I know Pete and surely a couple others among present company made it to
Bob's service going on right about now. I am writing this from an airplane seat
about an hour out of Dulles; I managed to sneak out of a meeting and get an earlier
flight back from Europe planning to head straight up to the service only to face
a multi-:hour mechanical delay. As a fellow transportation professional
I know Bob would have understood but I am sorry to have missed his farewell.
As some of you may know I first met Bob almost 18 years ago when I was at WMATA and
I read his new book "Square Wheels on the Interstate"--he was always so proud of
it--and wrote him a letter (remember those?), after which he became a steadfast
friend and mentor in areas that went far beyond driving a bus.
My fondest memories of many concerning Bob involve our road trips together during
the 90s up from DC for the Gatherings of Buses at Wolf's in York Springs or CAT in
Harrisburg, or for the annual MoBT business meetings Dick Maguire held in Lemoyne
before the Museum itself existed. Never used to being a passenger, Bob always
insisted on doing all the driving. Our all time favorite stopover was the Cozy
Restaurant near the MD/PA border off US 15 and the owners were always glad to see
Bob even if I know they must have come out on the short end of the deal on the
Since then I have been blessed to meet many talented and committed bus and other
transportation professionals around the world, from CEO to cleaner-shifter, but none
that surpassed Bob in is dedication of and advocacy for his lifelong calling--through
Trailways, his union, PGC Transit, and of course the Museum Bob gave 110% year in
year out, start to finish.
So farewell to Square Wheels, and hoping we meet again when I too have finished my
run and clocked off the board. I like to think both he and Dick are saving all of
us a place in the buffet line!
David E. Pickeral, JD