The Good Bits

The Marines, the Massachusetts Senate and Managing Associations

by Robert A. Hall, MEd, CAE, FSA Scot, FSR



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 11/7/2005

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 292
ISBN : 9781420888942

About the Book

Bob Hall served as a Marine, volunteering for what he calls an easy tour in Vietnam. At age 26, he graduated from college, and was elected to the Massachusetts senate, defeating a powerful Democratic incumbent by nine votes out of 60,000, in a seat not won by a Republican since 1938. He was re-elected four times by wide margins, retiring undefeated in 1982 to become an association executive. Along the way, he found time to earn a masters degree in history and to serve six more years in the Marine reserves. In addition to 23 years managing non-profits, he’s been frequently published in newspapers and magazines as a freelance writer.


This book began as an attempt to capture stories from Hall’s life as a Marine, as a Massachusetts state senator and as an association manager for his granddaughter, Britnye. When it grew to over 600 anecdotes, Hall says, “Many people (okay, my wife) urged me to put it in print. I promise this book will not change your life, you will be able to put it down, and it will not soon be a major motion picture. Plus you’ll have to turn the pages yourself.”


Included are stories that will delight and amuse you, as well as lessons learned about leadership, integrity and human relations. They range from Hall’s interactions with prominent Massachusetts politicians like Mike Dukakis, Bill Bulger, Kevin Harrington, John Kerry, Frank Sargent, John Olver and Barney Frank, to the everyday stresses of a Marine enlisted man during a difficult time. Readers looking for a blood and guts combat memoir or a slashing political exposé should keep looking. But those interested in politics and political campaigns, the Marines during Vietnam or the challenges of managing non-profit associations will find it both educational and entertaining.

About the Author

Robert A. Hall joined the Marines in 1964, upon graduation from high school in Collingswood, NJ. In 1966, he volunteered for Vietnam, serving what he calls “an easy tour for a Marine” as a Radio Relay team chief. Following his discharge as a corporal in 1968, he attended Mount Wachusett Community College and the University of Massachusetts, graduating in June of 1972 with a degree in Political Science.


In November of that year, Hall was elected to the Massachusetts state senate, defeating a powerful Democrat by a nine-vote margin (out of over 60,000 votes cast) in a 4 to 1 Democratic district that had not been won by a Republican since 1938. Hall was 26 at the time. He was re-elected four times by large margins, and in 1976, was nominated by both the Republican and Democratic Parties, defeating a Democrat by running on stickers in the Democratic primary. He was the Republican Whip of the senate when he retired undefeated in 1982.


While in the senate, Hall rejoined the Marine Reserves, serving from 1977 until time conflicts with a new job forced him to leave the Corps in 1983 as a Staff Sergeant. He also earned a Masters Degree in History in 1980, taking night courses at Fitchburg State College.


Since leaving politics, Hall has successfully managed non-profit associations for 23 years. A Certified Association Executive, he is currently Executive Director of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry in Madison, WI (, where he lives with his wife, Bonnie.


Hall is a frequently-published freelance writer, with opinion columns, articles, short fiction and poetry appearing in over 50 national and local magazines and newspapers. His work is included in Chicken Soup for the Veteran’s Soul; and in Before the Memories Fade, published by Author House.