Remembering Bob Tai
Milwaukee Bucks game are never going to be the same again as one of the longest running fixates at the games is no longer there.
Bob Tai, a diminutive Chinese photographer, has been snapping pictures of game action, fans, little kids and all kinds of subjects for over four decades for the team.
Tai died last week. He was 87 years old.
Tai was hired by Jim Foley to work at Marquette and when Foley moved to the Bucks in 1969 he brought Tai along with him to the new NBA team. You could see him scurrying around the sideline, looking for shots, stopping to snap off a couple, then moving again.
He was like a little bug moving quickly and never getting in anyone's way.
He frequently took pictures of children and I treasure a picture he took of my two daughters, when they were about nine and six with a 3-year-old Johnny Steinmiller (son of the Bucks' vice-president) standing in the middle, with all three holding basketballs.
Tai, who lived in Whitefish Bay for many years, taught math at Marquette and also taught math and photography at MATC.
Every now and then I'd ride a bus downtown and occasionally I'd see Bob with his camera case perched on a seat next to him. He'd always greet me with "Hello, Mr. Begel." I always replied "Hello Mr. Tai." And he'd laugh like crazy.
Bob Tai wasn't a well known public figure, but if you are a regular at the Bucks games, think back and I'm sure you'll remember the little guy with the cameras around his neck hustling for a picture.
He'll be missed.
I've been going to Bucks games for years and always remembered seeing him at every game I've been to. Always wished I could've sat down and listened to some of his stories as I'm sure he has more than a few. RIP.
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