Tuesday, July 10, 2012

UPDATE ADDED 7/11/2012: Bob's Book is Hot Off the Presses! An Ordinary American, An Extraordinary Man

UPDATE #2:  Hot off the presses! Bob's new book is ready to preview and purchase! I just found out about it a few moments ago and I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek. The book is incredible! This thing is gonna fly off the shelves, so now would be a very good time to take a look at the preview. "Birds, Beasts and Buttes" would make an excellent gift idea for the photography buff in your life and an outstanding addition to any library just because of the artistry and attention to detail that Bob has nurtured into his photos. There's a lot of info about Bob himself in addition to the award-winning pictures. Check it out at blurb.com .

UPDATE: Welcome to Texas Tweeties Readers!

 Part of the stated mission of this blog is to highlight Americans who bring a lot to the table. Many times these great Americans are the guy or lady next door. They are ordinary folks who would go unnoticed other than when you see them loading up to go shopping or strolling out to the curb to get their daily mail. You might see them a thousand times, greet them on occasion and even have a conversation with them from time to time. Still, you don't really know them. This is so because these people don't call unnecessary attention to themselves or let on that they are indeed forged of a hotter fire. On the outside you recognize these folks as your neighbors or fellow church goers, but hiding inside them is a person you should know about.

Humility often prevents these guys from letting on about themselves, so it's up to knuckleheads like me to point out what an accomplished individual the guy you see going to the mail box once in a while is. While the people in question may not be as famous as George Washington or Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., they are every bit as essential to the fabric of America as the best-known of the well-known.

Today, I honor such a man. This fellow has no idea that I am writing this, so I have a sneaky feeling that he's gonna need a good stiff margarita (or two; prolly two) when he finds out. :)

Fellow Americans, I present to you a man that I am humbled to call a friend. A man whose lifetime of accomplishments would take a week to list they are so numerous. A man who casts a long, if skinny, shadow that could tell some great stories if it could talk. My respect and admiration for this man run deep, deeper than even he knows. I look up to this guy as a role model and someone who has, unbeknownst to him, provided me with an unwritten manual on what it's like to be a good, decent human being and, most importantly, a good man. I shall be forever in his debt for the inspiration he gives me to do better and to be better. I love this man.

Ladies and gentlemen....

Bob Zeller.

It All Started....

Armed w/ a Canon
I have known Bob for about two years now. We "met" through one of my blogs, Three States Plus One, when he somehow discovered that I had written a blog post about his hometown of San Angelo, Texas. If memory serves me correctly, he either emailed me or made a comment on the blog about how grateful he was that somebody actually knew that San Angelo existed. How could people not know about the Concho City? It's a terrific place to live and raise a family. To top it off, it is home to Bob Zeller. What's not to like?

Anyway, after that brief internet exchange, Bob and I grew a friendship that will last me a lifetime. It should be noted that I have never seen Bob in person or even talked to him on the phone. Our sole means of correspondence has been through emails back and forth and through our comments on our respective blogs. Yet, this man has affected my life in ways people I have known for over fifty year have not. Why is that? The answer: it's the character of the man. I can  smell greatness from a mile away and let me tell you Bob Zeller reeks of greatness.

I'll explain in a minute.

A Little About Bob

Direct from the "About me" page on Bob's wildlife photography blog, Texas Tweeties, his life story starts a million miles away from San Angelo, Texas, "I was born in the port city of Muskegon, Michigan, on the shores of Lake Michigan, on October 2, 1934.  As a youngster, I had a Brownie Hawkeye camera that was given to me by my parents, and that piqued my interest in photography at an early age...You can get more info regarding that aspect of Bob's life here.

Earlier in this post I mentioned that Bob had greatness written all over him. He just hides it well - he's a very humble, unassuming man who enjoys what he does and considers it exactly that. Nothing more, nothing less. However, to anyone who pays attention, the litany of extraordinary things Bob has done is pretty impressive. United States Air Force Veteran, Rockabilly Hall of Fame musician, award-winning photographer and to me, and probably to Bob as well, his most enduring and prestigious accomplishment is that he is Mr. Ann Zeller. He and Ann have been married for 54years, and as much love, respect and admiration I have for Bob Zeller, he definitely married up. :) There's a great story about how Ann became Mrs.Bob Zeller. Stop by Texas Tweeties and let Bob point you to the post he wrote about it. It reads like something straight out of an old black and white movie. Great stuff.

This also comes straight from Bob's "About Me" blog page, "I am a graduate of the New York Institute of Photography and a member of the International Freelance Photographers Organization.  I also support the National Wildlife Federation.  My photographs have been published nationally in National Wildlife Magazine, Photographers Forum Magazine, Wild West Magazine, Texas Farm and Ranch Magazine, and the San Angelo Standard-Times.  I contribute photographs to the Friends of Big Bend National Park, and I also contribute bird images to Texas Ornithological Society, for their Handbook of Texas Birds.   In addition my photography appears on the cover and the interior of Ross McSwain’s book, ”See No Evil, Speak No Evil”, a book about the mob violence in the Texas heartland between 1869 and 1904."

I told you. The guy is amazing.

Speaking of Books...

Bob currently spends a tremendous amount of time working on his own soon-to-be-released book. From what I understand, the book will feature dozens of Bob's best photos (if such a thing is possible as all of his work is outstanding) and some stuff on photography in general. The movie can't be far behind , can it? :)

Another of Bob's projects is the annual calendar that shows off some of his photographic genius. I am in possession of the last two calendars and I can personally attest to the quality and beauty of each of them. I look forward to the 2013 edition.

You can get more detailed information from Bob himself on these works of passion at Texas Tweeties through his contact form.

I almost forgot! Bob also sells his photos to the General Public. The variety and quality of Bob's endeavors will leave you, like good Mexican food, wanting more.

Thanks, Bob

I could go on and on with more accolades about my friend Bob Zeller, but I think you get the gist of this post. Bob is a one of a kind man with talents and virtues unmatched and unchallenged by other men.

I hope I didn't embarrass Bob too much with such effusive praise, but I know he would never shine the spotlight on himself and I wanted to share a part of his story with the world. Besides, friends like Bob come along once in a lifetime and I am blessed and honored that it was my lifetime that he came along in.

Just remember that the quiet guy living next door might turn out to be the "Bob Zeller" in your life, therefore  it might be a good idea to say "howdy" to him a little more often. The blessings headed your way could be as bountiful as those I have received by doing something as simple as writing a blog post about San Angelo, Texas.

Thanks, Bob.

Disclaimer: I ask for nor receive compensation of any kind from Bob Zeller for writing this article. I wrote it because I wanted to. It's that simple.


  1. I have known for almost 2 years myself that Bob is an amazing person! He was one of my very first followers when I took the plunge into the world of photography. He has not only given many wonderful comments, but he has given some of the most helpful constructive criticism I could ever have hoped to hear! I agree with everything you said about Bob, and I also agree that he is too humble to ever be able to brag about himself the way he deserves!

    1. Holly... thank you so much for stopping by The Lower 48. Bob truly is one of a kind - and we can all be thankful for that :) He is an inspiration to people of all ages and the epitome of what a friend should be. It doesn't surprise me that he has touched others as he has me.

  2. I love Bob Zellar. He is so easy to love and makes me feel like I always have a friend close by. Thank you for recognizing what a brillant and talented and very special man he is!

    1. Meliisa...it is a distinct pleasure to recognize a man like Bob. He is a friend to many people and certainly worthy of any praise heeped his way. I am happy that I have the forum in which to make him known to those outside the Texas Tweeties community.

  3. I have taken several trips with Bob & Ann and I do hold them as good friends. I always learn from them both about different things. They are very good people and it's nice to have them as friends.

    1. Thanks for taking time to comment on The Lower 48(Plus 2)! The world at large could learn a heckuva lot about friendship and life from Bob and Ann.

  4. Indeed Bob Zeller is a wonderful person. Not only is he wonderful with photography, he is an accomplished saxophone player.
    His life is a tribute to Himself, His Family and His City-San Angelo.
    Thanks Bob for a life filled with jobs well done.
    Your Friend,
    James Thomas San Angelo Real EState, San Angelo National Bank and The Cavaliers

    1. Mr. Thomas...thank you for saying so eloquently what so many people know about Bob Zeller. The response to this post, which I knew would be real good, has exceeded my wildest expectations. For every comment here, there are dozens of others who read the post and are thinking exactly what you have written. Heck, I may just have to make San Angelo, the Official City of "The Lower 48 (Plus 2)". The City and the people who live there are EXACTLY what I want this blog to be about. And Bob Zeller is exactly the man who, at this time, represents the idea of this blog, the people of San Angelo, all Texans and 310 million other Americans. Again, thank you for taking time to post a comment here on this little corner of the blogosphere.

  5. Toby, I have read this post over and over. I have read the glowing comments from the other readers. I am at a loss for the right words. It is so overwhelming to realize that there are so many people that think of me in such ways. Thanks to you all.

    1. Bob...You should hear what we all type behind your back. :)