I was sad to get an email from a band parent this morning letting me know Bob Spiegelman died of cancer. He'd been bravely battling the disease for some time.
I met Bob for the first time last summer as his band was beginning to prepare for the trip of a lifetime... marching in the 2011 Rose Parade in Pasadena, California.
We met up with them again a couple of weeks before the trip. Bob looked thin but full of energy and passion. I had no idea how sick he was until a week or so later.
I was thrilled to see him at the airport the last week of December as he and his 200+ band kids were leaving for Pasadena after six grueling months of practice as they would have to perform for a couple hours straight, marching nearly six miles.
When I asked him how he was doing he said he felt good and clearly didn't really want to talk about himself. It was all about the kids. Regarding his personal battle he told me, "A lot of it you can forget about a little bit because of all the positive energy that comes out of the kids and the parents and staff and just being around that, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else."
So glad he was healthy enough to make that trip... his second one with Lindbergh High.
He loved his kids at that school and they loved him.
What a sad day at Lindbergh High.
Bob also directed the band at St. Charles West High School for more than a decade.
Mark Schnyder is a reporter at KMOV-TV. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org