Bob Forgnone, 1925-1992
I produce an environmental tool and named the product and company in honor of my late father. It was August 16, 1992 when my father, whose name was Bob, died of prostate cancer. That's the real Bob above. Losing a parent is traumatic, since your parents are the two people you have looked up to all your life. We carried his cremated remains from Salinas, California to the cemetery near Merced, California, in his favorite car, a 62 Thunderbird, and buried him with his favorite hat and shoes. Pop was a service station owner for over 30 years, and would always drain the clean oil residue from cardboard oil cans before discarding them to prevent the oil from leaking out of the trash cans onto the floor. I would always try, with difficulty, to do the same with the new style plastic oil bottles. While driving home after his funeral from Salinas to my home in Santa Maria, California, I had a flash of inspiration to honor him with a product and company named for him. At the top of Cuesta Grade north of San Luis Obispo, I had the idea for a tool to hold the plastic oil bottles upside down to drain the residue. Before I got to the bottom of the hill 5 minutes later, I had the name of the product (BOB), the name of the company (POP), and the basic design of the tool.
I began working to develop BOB, the Bottom Of the Bottle Oil Recovery System, but there was little internal drive, until I figured out that the reason I always got straight Aís in grade school and high school was to impress Pop. Now that he was gone, my motivation was missing. It was then that I realized my new goal in life--to put 100% effort, not just part-time, into this product as a tribute to him.
The patent for BOB came out in July of 1994. The mold to form the plastic was nearing completion in November Ď94. So I quit my $40,000 per year aerospace job to sell a simple plastic tool. Just because it is named BOB. The mold needed modification to produce good parts, and it was November of 1995 when I got usable goods. In late January 1996, 3 ½ years after Pop died, BOB was introduced to the public. My older brother, two older sisters, and I cried when the first newspaper article came out. We still well up when we talk about him. We miss him so much.
On the environmental side, the intriguing statistic of BOB is the pollution it prevents and the return it gives its users. According to industry sources, over
That's 3,400 million!
quart bottles of oil are sold in the U.S. every year. Testing shows that an average of 4% of the oil in each bottle doesnít come out right away. Most people throw the bottles in the trash with the residue still clinging to the inside. Where does it go? Into our landfills.
Thatís approximately 137 million quarts of oil, the equivalent of 3½ Exxon Valdez oil spills, every year, that gets wasted needlessly, right in our own back yards!
This is clean, usable oil--not the dirty stuff that comes out of engines after 3000 miles. There is no excuse whatsoever to waste this resource! The only reason so much is thrown away is due to the difficulty in holding the bottles upside down the several hours needed to drain them completely, which is exactly the job that BOB does so well.
Another statistic provided by industry sources is the number of Americans who change their own oil. In a study conducted in 1993, there were 192,865,000 automobiles registered in the United States. Of that amount, 50% to 60% of the owners changed their own oil. That means there are a LOT of people who need a tool to drain their oil bottles completely.
Pop's death changed my life forever. We will miss him always.
Pop was really a unique guy. He even had his own vocabulary!
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