How Random Babbling Becomes Corporate Policy (t3knomanser) wrote,
How Random Babbling Becomes Corporate Policy

Bob Morlang

When I was working at Tri-Mount, we had these camp trucks. They were army surplus, and while they could take a beating, they only sort of worked. And they took lots of beatings. Never in a million years could they have passed a roadway inspection, but they could haul a tent platform from one side of the mountain to the other. When they ran, anyway. To give you an idea of how they were usually maintained, the camp handyman filled the tires with cement so that he wouldn't have to keep a compressor handy to re-inflate them.

There were two trucks, and usually when one broke down, the other was still operable. But one week, both trucks broke down, and they were seriously broken. Nobody believed that they'd work again. One day, I walked past the area where they were sitting and found Bob Morlang elbow deep in one of the trucks, with parts scattered around him. Keep in mind- Bob was with Troop 7, and not a camp employee. He was a guest at the camp, but he volunteered to take a look at the trucks because he knew we needed them.

There was only one problem: he didn't really know much about the sorts of engines in the trucks. "But it's no big deal," he told me, "I can figure it out."

And he did. In the course of a few afternoons, he ripped apart the engines, figured out how they were supposed to work, and then put them back together so that they did work. By the time he was done with them, they were in the best condition that they'd ever been.

I didn't have all that much Interaction with Bob Morlang, but he made a massive impression when I first met him- which was asking him to counsel me on the Atomic Energy merit-badge. Bob was the only counselor in the Council for it, and it just so happened that he worked as an engineer at the Indian Point Reactor. When I sat down with him to learn about that subject, I got much more- Bob was so much of a polymath. Our sessions working on the badge diverged into all sorts of subjects.

I was only 12 or 13 at the time, and my impression of him was that he was the real-world version of MacGyver. For a young nerd, that's an incredible first impression, and it sticks with you.

I'm very sad to say that Bob Morlang recently passed away at the age of 50. He was leading scouts from Troop 7 on a snowshoe hike around Camp Tri-Mount and had a heart-attack. From what I understand, it was sudden and final. He was an incredible person, and the world has lost something special.


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