Scripps Ranch Author: I Can Do This!

Readers of Robert “Bob” Gilberg’s The Last Road Rebel—and Other Lost Stories: Growing Up in a Small Town—and Never Getting Over It can relate to his tale of growing up in a small town—his was in Ohio. It was the ’50s and ’60s when the Cold War, Korean War, polio, and UFOs had the nation worried and frightened. Rock and roll swept away old guard music and parents’ moralities and sensibilities.

Bob’s latest book, Twists of Fate, is an offbeat romantic novel. It is underscored by a fondness for ’60s music, as is true for some of his other books.

Bob, an admitted gearhead kid who was more interested in cars and his car club, tumbled out of high school with mediocre grades and no future. Against his friends’ advice—“You’ll never get your money back in a lifetime!”—he enrolled at Ohio State University for an engineering degree. He got his money back in three years. With his degree he traveled the world and faced many challenges and experiences a young high school graduate could only dream of.

Bob’s experiences span the earliest days of transistorized computers to today’s world of digital high-definition television and the connected home. He has many patents for integrated circuit solutions in computers, communication, and security devices. He even received an Emmy Award for Excellence in Television Engineering as a member of a team that developed digital TV anti-piracy systems.

The Last Road Rebel has received awards and recognition. It was a finalist in the recent San Diego Book Awards (Bob pictured above at the awards), and it received Kirkus Review’s highest mark of “5.” He also got another “5” for his thriller Alice Chang, Bob’s personal favorite. He even did the cover for it.

Bob has been married to his wife, Nikki, for 50 years. They are both travel enthusiasts but also enjoy the Scripps Ranch quality of life. And Bob is happy to do his part to preserve it. He is serving his fourth year as president of the Crown Pointe Homeowners Association.

The neighborly feel has gone on through the years. He tells of the phone call he received years ago from his former neighbor, Amanda Barber, whom he watched grow up next door. She wanted to know if Bob would let his fox terrier, whom she remembers as cute and smart, audition for the part of Toto in The Wiz, which her company was producing. He won the part, making his owners proud and happy, and the play ran for four months. “But we didn’t know we were committing to such a long time!” Bob says.

Despite his early disappointing foray into writing, he has a new perspective: “I can do it!” San Diego offers a helping hand to aspiring writers. The county abounds with writers’ groups, from Oceanside to La Jolla. He belongs to San Diego Writers, Inc. Located at Library Station, it has weekly classes, and sometimes daily ones. They discuss such things as writers’ style, developing characters, screenwriting, and marketing your book or manuscript.

He hopes to share his writing experience with high school writing classes in the future. The public is invited to hear him at the Scripps Ranch Library on Wednesday, Dec. 13, at 6:30 pm. He would love to meet other writers and readers.

Elinor Reiss