My Brother, Bob. A Sad Story

Bob was my younger brother. Five years younger than me and fifteen years younger than Pete, the oldest. He was born a blue baby, and although he became the tallest of us all, he was a diabetic who required daily insulin. As he grew, I took more responsibility for him and often would take him with me. He had a few friends and did okay in school but was never wholly himself. Today I can say that he lacked self-confidence and that I, more than anyone, oversaw and protected him.  

In the 50s, as a teenager, he worked at Purple Sage, assisting in any way he could. When we built Camp Shasta, Bob was a strong contributor. He always did what he was asked to do. At 18, he joined the service and eventually became a highly thought-of x-ray lab technician. He was a tremendous caregiver and loved working in the VA hospitals. The Army wanted Bob to stay in the service, but he met a girl in Chicago and chose to get married. That was the beginning of the end.

Bob and his wife had two girls, and while Bob had a variety of jobs, he had difficulties keeping them. He was a caregiver and needed to be this as his life’s work. Working in traditional jobs was not his cup of tea. His marriage disintegrated, and we moved him in with us. When with us, I had a friend that hired Bob. He seemed happy, as did his boss until the boss discovered Bob was stealing petty cash. I confronted him, and we had a fistfight. I knocked him over the bed, and the fight was over, or so I thought.

Bob’s life continued to fall apart. We gave him the money to live in a small apartment, and it was there that we believe that he decided to take his life by not taking his insulin shots. We were at Shasta when Pete and Hy discovered his body.

I see him today—A smile and willing helper—we all have sadness


Author: Sy Ogulnick

Sy Ogulnick received a BA from UCLA, Teacher’s Credential from Los Angeles Board of Education and completed phase I (Master’s portion) in a Doctor of Behavioral Science program at California Coast University. Sy leased and operated a summer day camp in LA. He and his wife then purchased virgin wilderness land in Northern CA, where they built and operated a coed summer camp. They moved to Las Vegas, NV, and purchased, built and operated a community children’s program for families staying in a major resort casino in Las Vegas. They have created programs for children nationwide that employed many people and in the process developed successful training programs for personnel. This led Sy to lecture on how to train staff and the creating of community within the workplace. Sy was then invited to speak at professional conferences on how best to hire and train employees, which led to his becoming a consultant in the art of improving relationships in a work environment and eventually to his epiphany that “Leaders are the primary problem and the answer to the personnel issues that arise in the workplace.” Sy has written numerous papers on the subject of interpersonal relationships, leadership and power. He has lectured throughout the United States, has been interviewed by the media and has appeared on many radio and TV talk shows

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