November 2015 Volunteer of the Month
On leaving Germany and the Army in 1971, this month’s Volunteer of the Month Bob “Dieselbob” McCullough settled in Virginia Beach and went to work for United Parcel Service. Over the years he frequently assisted a friend, who was a PATC trail overseer, maintain a section of the AT in southern Shenandoah National Park.
In 2003, Bob joined PATC, and it wasn’t long before SNP South District Manager Pete Gatje asked him to take on the Big Run Loop South Trail. From there it was all downhill—or maybe uphill. In any case, no good deed goes unpunished and Bob soon was also overseeing the lower and then upper Riprap Trails. Today, Bob maintains the entire Riprap Trail, making the long drive from Virginia Beach.
Bob's contribution to PATC, however, doesn’t stop there. He is a certified PATC chainsaw operator. After taking the rigging course a couple of years ago, he put his new skills to the test, assisting in the reconstruction of a stream crossing of Madison Run on the at Furnace Mountain Trail. He also volunteered as a searcher to help the National Park Service and other law enforcement agencies on the Stonewall homicide incident on the AT in 2011.
More recently, Bob was an instructor at a SNP South Trails Management Workshop, training prospective overseers how to safely operate weeders and brushcutters and perform maintenance and trouble-shoot mechanical problems in the field, a service the club is sure to take further advantage of in the future.
Just for the record, Bob's "Dieselbob” nickname dates to 1973 when he bought his diesel Land Rover, Suzy - not because he takes a while to warm up in the morning. Suzy soon taught him that it ain't just Ford that means "Fix or Repair Daily." His interest in mechanical work soon extended to backhoes, tractors, and 2-cycle engines.
Last year Bob took the “Stihl 2-Cycle Technical Update Seminar” for commercial, municipal, and landscape mechanics. Bob’s small engine skills have been a real boon to PATC and he has become one of a small but hardy band of volunteers who repair trimmers/brushcutters and chainsaws with the club only having to foot the bill for parts. Last summer alone he saved the trails budget hundreds of dollars and kept the Supervisor of Trails and many a weeder humming.
—Submitted by Wayne Limberg