Bob Unger

Profile Updated: January 5, 2022
Bob Unger
Residing In: David City, NE USA
Spouse/Partner: Carole
Occupation: Set-up operator Walker Mfg. Seward
Children: Kristine, born 1979; Jennifer, born 1981; Thomas, born 1984; Emily, born 1986; Matthew, born 1993; Wesley, More…born 1998; 2 children married and three grandchildren
Yes! Attending Reunion
School Story:

I suspect that very few classmates know the story of how distance running all began for me, and I always tell others with great joy through the years. In my junior year I began the basketball season on the varsity; then was put on the reserve team after two games. There I started for a while, but did poorly enough to not start later in the season. The reality of failing as an athlete was strongly setting in, and I entered into great despair. (I came from a broken home, which probably exacerbated the situation.) Late in that season, Coach Puelz gave the team an unusual lap workout in the girls' gym. We never had another workout like that before or after. Apparently, I must have done well enough to bring out a compliment from teammate Joe Harvey--"Ung, I think you'd make a good distance runner if you went out for track." I think those were his exact words. I heeded the advice, notified Coach Gordon that I would not return for baseball in the spring, and became one of Coach Churchill's Hanyacks! It lead to a state championship, UNL scholarship, Big 8 title and several event records. I'm so glad in retrospect that I ran--wonderful memories. And my kids have had track success also. Moreover, I reentered track coaching after 26 years away from it, at David City high school.

Any higher education or advanced degrees?

BA History from UNL 1974; teaching certificate and coaching recommendation UNL 1980; graduate courses to renew the teaching certificate 1985

What do you do now?

I spend a lot of time at work. I have been at Walker Manufacturing since 1983, doing quite a bit of overtime. We make car exhaust parts, and have weathered the recession well. I also umpire softball and baseball in the evenings and weekends of warmer months. A third part-time job is coaching distance runners in track locally, also cross-country in the fall.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I very much still like to read. I have studied material about distance running, having read very little about the subject before I resumed coaching. History continues to be a favorite subject, which was my college major. American and Church history are my stronger points. I spend less time reading theology from favorite authors. My other main spare time is spent watching various sports on TV.

What did you always want to do that you haven’t done yet?

I have always wanted to visit New England and Virginia, areas involved in early American history. There are some ideas for writing too, though I don't know that I will necessarily follow through on committing them to paper. One topic would be the importance of decisions made during the decade of our twenties. A second book would be the causes and way out of homosexuality, perhaps as a joint effort with some other friends. A third and most ambitious effort would be my own attempt at a history of the Church, as I believe that something more thorough is still needed.
There is a fourth book that I have already written, called The Weapons of our American Christian Warfare. It is a study of various Christians' attempts to right some of America's wrongs, and what resulted. It includes the likes of the Salem Witch Trials, John Brown, Nat Turner, Stonewall Jackson, Carry Nation, William Jennings Bryan, Anita Bryant, Moral Majority, the Religious Right and other topics. It has never been published, but maybe I'll still do so.

What's the farthest you've been from home?

On the direct flight, it's probably close between the Czech Republic and Nigeria, both of which were short missionary journeys in 1999 and 2006. It was a pleasant surprise to learn that it's not that difficult to arrange a foreign trip, even with train travel in Europe. Getting a visa is a little more difficult.

Places you want to go?

I would enjoy visiting all of the fifty states at least once. There's so much history in Europe, so I would enjoy a much more thorough visit there.

Favorite Music:

I was pleasantly surprised to hear the entirety of Handel's Messiah for the first time in 1994. I had thought it might just be a boring piece of religious music, but discovered it to be quite the opposite. I also enjoy the favorite Christian hymns over the centuries, and a wide variety of present-day songs of the Christian faith.

Favorite Movies:

Some of the great musicals top my movie list. Either "The Music Man" (Preston and Jones) or "The Sound of Music" would be the favorite. Others right up there would be "Mary Poppins", "Fiddler on the Roof" and "Sense and Sensibility"--to me, the most romantic movie I have ever seen. "Chariots of Fire" is always sentimental because of the track involvement. And I must add what I believe is a real classic in comedy, "George of the Jungle." I very highly recommend that. And add "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" too.

Favorite TV Shows:

I must confess that I seem to have no real TV favorite. I watch sports teams when I have an interest. I suppose that I most consistently watch the evening news and Wheel of Fortune.

Favorite Quote:

The following is from John Wesley, his six rules of Methodism:
1. That we should not listen, or willingly enquire after any ill concerning each other;
2. That if we do hear any ill of each other, we will not be forward to believe it.
3. That as soon as possible we will communicate what we hear, by speaking or writing to the person concerned.
4. That until we have done this, we will not speak or write a syllable of it to any person whatsoever.
5. That neither will we mention it, after we have done this, to any person whatsoever.
6. That we will not make any exception to these rules, unless we feel absolutely obliged in conscience to do so
It says quote above, but I would sure like to add some more quotes if I may.
"The feature that distinguishes the people of God is their lack of an overweening self-confidence."
Watchman Nee
"The popular notion that the first obligation of the Church is to spread the Gospel to the uttermost parts of the earth is false. Her first obligation is to be spiritually worthy to spread it." A.W. Tozer
"He who loves his dream of a community more than the Christian community itself becomes a destroyer of the latter, even though his personal intentions may be ever so honest and earnest and sacrificial." Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Anything else we should know?

We moved to David City in 2006 for the sole purpose of getting completely out of debt. We were not looking otherwise to be moving from Seward, where we had lived for over 25 years. The new involvement in the local public high school was completely unseen, but we are meeting wonderful local couples, and we enjoy the interaction with the young people, my wife being a teacher aide there also.
In college days I faced Steve Prefontaine in a race on three occasions and Dave Wottle one time. But before you would get even remotely impressed, remember the story of the tortoise and the hare as a good comparison, but with an opposite ending. Pre got in a full eight hour sleep during the race, and still blew me away!
On only one occasion, I came very close to breaking the four minute mile in college. It was a thrilling race.

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