Today, a very different blog post: I am testing the power of social media in an attempt to find an old shipmate and an ongoing legend in the Gue Family: Mr. Bob Weber—formerly Lieutenant Bob Weber, US Navy, crew member of USS Guitarro (SSN 665) in the late 1980s. Bob was senior to me but still a junior officer onboard Guitarro when I joined the boat in 1987. We did a Westpac deployment and other operations together. I have many fond memories of Bob, but one thing stands out, and it is the reason Bob’s name is spoken in our family multiple times every week. Let me explain.
At the time Bob and I served on Guitarro together, the wardroom (a place where officers gathered for meals, but also the collective name of the officers onboard) held its first meeting around 0700, as I remember it, and there was always a box of donuts. We milled about the wardroom eating and drinking coffee until the Captain came in to start the morning meeting. Most of us just grabbed a donut and coffee and went at it, but Bob did something really special. Bob would always publicly, almost ceremoniously, cut a donut in half and walk around with his half donut and coffee. Then he always returned nonchalantly to claim the second half. Bingo—a whole donut consumed, but with the appearance of never eating more than half a donut. Sheer genius, that.
Of course, nothing escapes the notice of one’s fellow Junior Officers, so we used to give him grief for it. Bob always took the abuse in good spirits. Eventually we enshrined this behavior with the verb (in its infinitive form) “to Weber,” meaning “to cut in half and consume a culinary indulgence, and then return for the second half a short time later.”
My family has used this word for decades now because we so often, well, Weber our donuts, cookies, pieces of pie, and so on. We have even extended the lexicon to include the “double Weber,” meaning “to cut the halves in half, and then to scarf down all four pieces;” and the “anti-Weber,” meaning “to steal another person’s second half, thereby denying them a full Weber”—an almost unspeakable violation of family etiquette, which can lead to fisticuffs.
Over the years we have taught many of our friends to Weber, and we have increased their vocabularies to boot. About a year ago I started to think, “Bob Weber has a significant place in our family history now. I should try to find him and thank him.” And try I did—Google, LinkedIn, etc., but trying to find someone named Bob Weber with no other leads? Forget it. (I don’t do Facebook.)
So if you know Bob Weber, or if you know someone who might know Bob Weber, or perhaps someone who might know someone who might know Bob Weber, would you do me a favor and make an inquiry for me? We would love to find Bob, the Man, the Myth, the Legend.
If you’re reading this and you are Bob Weber, I just want to say Thank You, Bob! You have been a part of our family for 30 years, and we smile every time we utter your name—although not for any reason you would be proud of. Do reach out, shipmate, and let me know how you’re doing. And thanks for the memories.