Robert Gehling

Robert was born at St. Francis Hospital, Colorado Springs, Colorado, on 4 February 1968. He was the first child of Richard and Mary Ann Gehling. Robert was all-boy from a start: mischievous and adventurous, with an active imagination and a mind-set of his own.

Once - as a toddler - he crawled under the living room couch and remained in hiding for a considerable length of time, despite the frantic calls of his distraught mother. As a pre-schoolar, he amused his visiting grandfather by opening the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator and urinating on the lettuce. And while in grade school, he often pulled his wagon around the neigborhood collecting trash. On being asked the reason for this unusual activity, his standard response was: "When I grow up, I'm going to be a trashman." The neighbors gladly handed over their discarded papers, cans and bottles.

Robert attended Stratton Elementary School, nearby Horace Mann Junior High, and Palmer High School in downtown Colorado Springs. Beginning in junior high he starred on the track and cross-country teams. As though this wasn't enough exercize, he also began entering local footraces in company with his father, aunt and uncle, and cousins. By the age of ten he was running up Pikes Peak. A couple of years later he ran the Denver Marathon, finishing the 26.3-mile course in just over four and a half hours. His final family run came the morning after his Senior Prom - a ten-mile leg in the Colorado Springs to Denver Relay Race. All of this running led to a memorable quote in the school yearbook. When asked what he intended to do after graduation, Robert replied: "Run. It's all I ever do."

But of course he would do more. While still in high school, Robert had become interested in Dungeons and Dragons, which led to many gaming sessions around the dining room table. He had also started a job at one of the local McDonalds. The job enabled him to buy his first car - an old rusted Volkswagen with a bum heater and a piece of scrap lumber for a floorboard. The car did provide transportation, although it had the nasty habit of stalling each time it entered the school parking lot. At about the same time Robert bought his first computer. It was a Vic 20, a dinosaur by modern standards, but a good introduction to the new world of games, software and computer programming.

After graduating from high school in 1986, Robert began his studies at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. An interest in stocks and bonds led him to a series of business courses and ultimately to a B.S. degree. He started a family that eventually numbered four boys and one girl: Tanner, Zachary, Aeden, Liam, and Meagan. Robert himself has worked his way through various jobs to his present position as a retirement specialist for a company just recently locating in Colorado Springs.

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