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On December 5, 1986, some of Robert E. Holzer's friends, colleagues, family, and former students gathered at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), to celebrate his 80th birthday and to reminisce about events and experiences covering 5 decades of his career. Four speakers presented vignettes of their days with Holzer. Marx Brook (New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro) told of the early years in New Mexico. Stan Ruttenburg (University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colo.) covered the move to California. Ed Smith (Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.) recalled the early years in space research. And Jim Slavin (National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.) described the postretirement years, when Bob became a very active researcher once again. To put the vignettes that follow in perspective, we briefly summarize Bob Holzer's career to date.