Remembering Orhan Gürbüz (1939-2020)

(1) Year mid-September 1965, place: Prep Language Lab, Washburn Hall, Robert College, Bebek Istanbul, Turkey. Class Instructor Ms. Magali needs a cigarette break, and she asks me to start the lab. As soon as I enter the room, two young officers of the Turkish Army stand up! Of course, not the rest of the class as expected. I said, “Komutanlarım lütfen oturun, ben sadece bir lab asistanıyım.”  Since we had two other classmates sent by the Army to study engineering at RC during that time, we were all accustomed to address them as “Komutan,” which none of them would like but put up with our jokes!

(2) Year mid-October 1979, place: Long Beach California. I am a visiting professor at CSU Long beach. We just moved and had our baby girl. I got a call from the President of ATASC welcoming and telling me if we need anything, he and Meral Hanim (his wife) will be happy to show up in our doorstep day or night! That year we had the pleasure of meeting them, including their children, in El Dorado Park, Long Beach, in ATASC picnics. Good memories!

(3) Year 2009, Prof. Haluk Ünal of the University of Maryland asked me to form a committee to re-write the BYLAWS of TASSA, for which we were invited to re-kindle the association going through difficult times. I discussed the matter with Bülent Başol, another very active member of both ATA and ATASC, and also the member of the TASSA re-kindling group! The result was to reach out to Orhan Bey and use his extensive experiences in writing bylaws for the ATASC!  After countless online meetings, phone calls, and tons of emails and more than a dozen iterations, this group (Haluk Bey, Orhan Bey, Bülent, and myself) put together the bylaws of TASSA and the organizational chart, which were accepted and still in use.

After the loss of Meral Hanim and Orhan’s number of health issues, we did not have a chance to get together in our monthly lunches at GG’s Bistro and Grill in Laguna Beach. What a pity! I wish we could have a few more face-to-face occasions and tell him what a privilege to be his friend!

REST in PEACE ADAM GIBI ADAM! Your smiling face will always be with me!

Huseyin Abut