Author Topic: Rob Martinson  (Read 3163 times)

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Offline Bill James

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Rob Martinson
« on: March 27, 2013, 09:30:18 PM »
 As many of you have heard, we lost good friend Rob Martinson in a skiing accident in Vail.
Here's a link to the CA forum post:
 Rob was one of the first Eze Guys that I met.
     At Oshkosh ’92 I went up to this guy wearing a fishing cap and a R.A.C.E  polo shirt. I asked him where I could get a shirt like that, just as he was pulling one out of the box for me with a big grin. He asked if I was an Eze driver. I replied that I was the eighth owner of a pile of boxes of VariEze parts that I had just stacked up in my garage, and was trying to figure out what all that stuff was. He grabbed my hand and shook it and said “Welcome to the club, come with me, there’s a guy over here that you need to meet, listen to everything that he tells you,” and hustled me over to Charlie Airesman’s VariEze. And thus my Eze venture was off and running, to put it mildly. Although Rob didn’t suggest or mention his own value as a source of information and experience, he has been such through the years.
     The first thing I learned was not to do something stupid like chase Rob and Charlie from Denver to the Jackpot RACE. The word “chase” is very appropriate. It wasn’t a matter of being a mile or two behind them, it was a matter of how many states I was behind them.  They came back “a hundred rpm” so many times that finally Rob flew a big circle and called out to me saying, “Bill, where the heck are you?”  Not long after that we broke off on our own. I watched as he sped away like a streak and disappeared across the shores of the Great Salt Lake. He occasionally dropped down and circled something interesting a few times and then sped off again. I saw the reality of the Eze life in Rob, and realized the magnificent gift of freedom that was available in these stunning airplanes; of seeing things in ways that only a few fortunate others ever will.
     I saw Rob’s beautiful home and family. I saw his hanger walls literally wallpapered solid with plaques and awards that he had amassed over the years. I saw the talent and passion that he had for these airplanes, for art, and the passion he had for life. He didn’t tell me anything of his prowess in the races and cross country flying. I saw it. He didn’t tell me he was going to do this or that, or that he would be there for me as a friend, he just did it.
     At one point he spoke directly of his appreciation for things I had done. It said more to me about his steady ego than about anything I had done. He was direct and honest.
     There were many times where Rob could have mentioned this or that, something that he had done of significance. But he didn’t. I later found out about him on my own. I began to understand why some of you guys that have been living the Eze life for 35 years and more don’t try to explain it to us. It can’t be done. You can’t explain it.
    Rob’s friend Len said, “Rob and I skied frequently together and it sometimes felt like skiing was more like flying than flying was. That was the way Rob skied.”

     While I don’t ski if I can help it, I do see vividly Rob whisking briskly through the snow, stopping occasionally to circle something of interest, and then disappearing again off ahead.  I look forward to catching up with him again someday…
Our hearts and prayers are with you Pam.
Bill James
Fort Worth VariEze

« Last Edit: March 27, 2013, 09:41:03 PM by Bill James »
Bill James, Fort Worth VariEze N95BJ
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Offline LongEZDaveA

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Re: Rob Martinson
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2013, 08:56:35 AM »
Very nicely said Bill!

I too am going to miss Rob.  I met him at Rough River several years ago.  Later at Rough River we discussed going to Reno for the races.  He got me in touch with security there and I worked along side him manning gates during the races.

When Galloping Ghost crashed in 2011, he was the first one I called to see if he was OK.  I was supposed to be sitting with him in the stands for the race along with Gary Hunter and Gil Hutchinson.  I didn't make it over to sit with them for the race.  From where I was when the plane went down, I thought it went right into the stands.  It was good to hear he was OK when I called.  He was obviously affected by the crash since it happened right in front of them.

He invited me to stay at his house on the flight out to the Reno races last year.  That would have been my chance to meet his wife Pam.  The weather pushed me South on the trip out, so I didn't get to meet her.

Since I've been enjoying racing my Long so much, I've tried to get others involved.  I twisted Rob's arm a few times, but he made it clear that racing was behind him.  Just more effort than he cared to expend to keep the plane race ready and travel to the races.  He was more into flying for pure enjoyment and taking videos from his Long EZ so he could share the beauty with others.
Dave Adams, Long EZ N83DT (Race 83) Villa Ridge, MO