~By Danielle Purdy~
One year ago, Teller County lost its most unforgettable newspaper editor and local legend, Robert “Bob” Leininger, affectionately known as “Jackpot Bob.” He lived life by his hero Hunter S. Thompson’s motto, skidding into the afterlife “in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming ‘Wow! What a Ride!'”
It’s been said that laughter is the best medicine; if that is true, then Bob was our local pharmacist (though some may argue he cornered the market on other remedies too).
Bob embraced a lifestyle many couldn’t handle. Coors Light or, as he liked to call it, the “holy water” of Colorado was his elixir of choice, good marijuana often fueled his wit and creative spirit. A shameless flirt and master of having a good time, Bob could make even the most mundane evening an adventure one would be hard-pressed to forget. Music coursed through his veins; it was as much a part of him as the mischievous twinkle in his eye.
Born on December 9, 1961 Bob grew into an unapologetic controversialist who defied conventions and wasn’t afraid to speak his truth. Ever ready with a sarcastic comment and his wry smile, Bob drew people in like moths to the flame of his life’s eternal party.
True, he was no saint. An opportunist who occasionally strayed from the path, Bob was first to admit “I may not be perfect, but who is?” His mistakes were simply opportunities for growth and another reason to adopt Thompson’s “Buy the ticket, take the ride” mantra.
On that fateful July 5th night in 2022, “Jackpot Bob” skidded into eternity sideways, in a cloud of smoke much like his hero Hunter S. Thompson described. And while it’s impossible to capture all that made him legendary in one short tribute, we gather today one year later to remember the man whose name became synonymous with living life full throttle. Our memories of his wild antics and indomitable spirit will remain forever etched in Teller County lore.
Thank you, Robert “Bob” Leininger – for every laugh, every adventure, and for being a shining reminder that when the going gets weird…the weird turn pro.