In 1990, when he retired from the Manitoba Telephone System, he started to play again, mostly Ukrainian tunes that he heard his mother sing. As well, he tried to learn tunes from the radio program Polka Party. When Cecil Isleifson repaired his fiddle, he invited him to come to a practice at the Southglen Trailer Park. He joined the Southglen Fiddlers in 1994 and was impressed that all of these seniors could read music and that they knew about key signatures etc. To learn to read music, he went to the public library and picked up some fiddle books. After about a year, he could look at music and play it slowly. In the summer of 1995, he went to the Emma Lake Fiddle Camp. Patti Kusturok was his Emma Lake teacher. The fiddle camp method is to teach you to play, by ear, a waltz, a jig and a reel. This would allow you to enter a fiddle contest. In February of 1999, Bob entered his first fiddle contest, at the Festival du Voyageur, and came third in the seniors category. In 2002, he managed a first.
The first time that Bob notated music was for Cecil Isleifson, who asked him to write out “Rooster on the Fence”. To the best of his ability, he wrote it out, and that was the start of his notating music. Bob has since, been notating the music of Manitoba fiddlers such as Andy Dejarlis, Reg Bouvette, Eugene Laderoute. These notations are being sent to some 110 fiddlers across Canada and the USA as well as to a fiddler in New Zealand and another in Holland. His hobby has put him into contact with many fiddlers across Canada and the USA. In the coming years, he hopes to write out the many tunes that he still has pending in his files, and as well, those tunes that come to the fore.
Bob believes that fiddle playing is an important part of our culture and that the music of our local fiddlers should be preserved.