I was sorry to hear that my friend Bob Berry passed away recently. I met Bob at Critical Mass almost 20 years ago, and saw him regularly on the last Friday of the month most of the years in between. In that time, he was always upbeat, happy to see me, and full of strange stories and jokes.
Bob worked at CalTrans, proving that the agency that relentlessly promotes the expanded use of the automobile had at least one mole working inside it. Bob was a serious cyclist, a lifelong advocate of sane traffic priorities (hint: biking, walking, and public transportation), and was never afraid to speak his mind on these issues.
Bob was a “character” — an unusual, offbeat guy who took some getting used to. Once you got to know him, he had all sorts of stories about why CalTrans is fucked, why bad decisions are made there, and how the system works (or doesn’t). And he was always eager to tell stories about the Whig Party of the 1970s, (which he co-founded) and the hippy airline he once worked for (yes, there was once a hippy airline — Zoom Zoom Air).
It appears Bob died of natural causes, having lived a rich, creative life. He was 62, and had one daughter. My condolences to Bob’s close friends and family. Goodbye, Bob! It was great knowing you. You’ll be missed every last Friday!
(Photo by Joel Pomerantz)