Remembering Bob

April 24, 2019 at 1:21 pm (Uncategorized)

I don’t think words can begin to convey the immense sense of loss that has been created by the untimely passing of Bob Bansberg.

To his wife Linda and his two children, Claire and Robert, we can try and understand, be compassionate, and extend our wishes of condolence. Though their pain and grief will dull with the passage of time, the hole seemingly ripped through their soul is so hard to heal.

The world today seems to be filled with people deserving of this fate, the list gets longer every day, the wheels of karmic justice seem to move so slowly except for when it comes to a rare gem of a human, like Bob Bansberg. He would never be on said list, for he was loved by many.

Bob was like a ray of sunlight, full of hope, and Joie de Vie. As far as I could tell Bob started every day with the view that something great is going to happen today and I am ready to experience it. Much like the popping of a cork on a bottle of wine, always optimistic that it will be some new gustatory delight.

It was Adam Seger who introduced Bob and I approximately 15 to 20 years ago. Adam was hosting a party at his house, Bob was so engaging from the start, and I immediately understood Adam’s sense of admiration for him. Bob became no stranger to events at the Twisted Spoke and Lush Wine & Spirits, I would bump into him at social events and industry events alike. He always stood out as if there was a hospitality halo surrounding him wherever he went, his glow filling the room.

I stopped by Ambria while Bob was there a handful of times with winemaker friends as they passed through Chicago. I could always count on Bob for being incredibly polite to them, though not once did he ever purchase their wine. A few years later I found myself in the wine making business while Bob was working at PM Prime. I am honored to say Bob was enthusiastic about putting my wine on their list.

I think the most time I spent with Bob was over the last 2 or 3 years after PM Prime closed. Bob was searching for something to do, and I told him that I could not pay him what he was worth, but I would love for him to work at Lush whenever he had the time or desire. This turned out to be most Mondays and Sundays, plus whenever he had a break from teaching.

Monday’s with Bob soon became tasting 100’s of wines, talking about past dinners, discussing inspirational vineyards, winemakers, chefs, food, and hospitality. When Bob was present, you could bet there were stories to be shared and many laughs to go around.

So many times I recall hearing him say, “The attack is good, but the money is in the finish.” With those very words of wisdom he walked out the door, “Thanks for another great Monday! See you next week.” It is with deep sorrow that I realize that next Monday will never be.

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