How To Do It All Better

Bob Gerding is a man who knows how to get things done. As a certified public accountant, he can navigate tax law, construct a budget and bring balance to an out-of-balance balance sheet, but this longtime Columbian’s knowledge isn’t limited to the financial world. He’s got some helpful, although not entirely serious, how-to tips to share on a wide range of topics — from fishing in a creek without fish to living in Columbia’s loud and lively downtown district.


How To Prepare Fish And (Or) Chips For Dinner

  1. Find your waders and inspect them to make sure they are free of holes.
  2. Put your left foot in the left foot and the right foot in the right foot of your waders, and cinch belt tightly around your waist.
  3. Borrow a fishing pole and tackle box.
  4. Seek out the best fishing spot in Flat Branch Creek, of which there are none, but if you find one, wade in, taking care to avoid beer bottles and plastic bags that may be littering the bank.
  5. Attach lure to fishing line and skillfully cast your line into the 3-foot-wide creek.
  6. Give up on your ill-fated attempt to catch a fish.
  7. Remove waders and scrub them clean of crud.
  8. Return fishing pole to its rightful owner.
  9. Move to alternative plan.
  10. Retrieve your granddaughter’s toy wagon and a couple of reusable shopping bags.
  11. Walk to the corner of Providence and Cherry, pulling the wagon behind you.
  12. Look both ways and cross Providence Road at your own risk. Note the absence of sidewalks heading into Lucky’s Market. Dodge speeding vehicles. Trudge up hill.
  13. Enter Lucky’s and become distracted by products you did not intend to buy.
  14. Peruse the selection of healthy, organically grown fish.
  15. Buy potato chips instead.
  16. Also buy a six-pack of Bur Oak Beer.
  17. Ride wagon back down hill and hope you can stop at Providence Road.
  18. Return home and enjoy your meal of potato chips and beer.


How To Make Money From Downtown Parking Meters

  1. Walk around downtown and make note of meters that are broken and those that are used most frequently.
  2. Search the ground nearby for coins that have been dropped accidentally or thrown down by angry parkers who pulled up next to a broken meter.
  3. Collect your found money in a Boone County National Bank coin bag.
  4. Deposit coins in the coin counting machine in the bank lobby.
  5. Use the proceeds to buy more potato chips and beer.


How To Clean Graffiti From Walls

  1. Search out new graffiti. (Note: It’s easier to clean freshly painted graffiti than graffiti that has been allowed to “mature.”)
  2. Look upon the graffiti with the eye of an art appreciator and determine that it is not, in fact, art.
  3. Obtain free graffiti removal spray from the CID (Downtown Community Improvement District).
  4. Dig through your T-shirt drawer to find an expendable shirt.
  5. Squirt graffiti remover on the graffiti and wipe clean.
  6. Repeat Step 5 as needed.


How To Reconcile Your Checking Account In 5 Minutes Or Less

  1. Look up your account number.
  2. Call your bank and ask how much is in your account.
  3. Write that number down in your check register.


How To Live Downtown

  1. Search for an apartment with affordable rent and without 20-year-old neighbors.
  2. After checking out those three apartments, determine which is furthest from Bengals.
  3. Pay the deposit.
  4. Buy cheap furniture.
  5. Buy a box fan.
  6. Turn on box fan at night to create white noise.
  7. Buy earplugs.
  8. Insert earplugs at night in case white noise is inadequate.
  9. Buy two pillows — one to put your head on and one to put over your head in case white noise and earplugs are inadequate.
  10. Allow extra time in the morning to detour around barf on sidewalk. (Caution: Do not retrieve the morning paper in your bare feet.)


How To Maintain Your Downtown Apartment Landscape

  1. Sell all lawn tools on Craigslist.
  2. Use proceeds to buy a high-quality broom.
  3. Sweep your parking lot once per season or as required based on volume of plastic bags, cigarette butts and beer cans.
  4. Hire Columbia Landcare for snow removal.
  5. Use Flat Branch Park for walks in green grass.
  6. Kick back and enjoy a cold Bur Oak Beer to celebrate a job well done.


About Bob Gerding

Bob Gerding, 63, was born and raised in nearby Boonville and came to Columbia to attend the University of Missouri. He spent his early career working for the University of Missouri and for a local accounting firm before founding his own firm, Gerding, Korte & Chitwood CPAs, with partners Fred Korte and Joe Chitwood in 1981. Today, the firm has eight partners and 14 professional staff members who help mid-Missouri clients navigate the complex world of personal and business finance.

Community service is a passion for Gerding, who volunteers his time and talent to organizations that include the Community Foundation for Central Missouri and the Columbia Chamber of Commerce. He currently serves on the boards of Boone County National Bank, Central Trust and Investments, and Columbia Insurance Group.

Gerding has been married for 22 years to his wife, Rosie. Daughter Maggy is a teacher in Wisconsin, but sons Matt and Tim are perpetuating the Gerdings’ Columbia dynasty. Matt Gerding recently took over as co-owner of The Blue Note and Rose Music Hall, and Tim Gerding is a local attorney with the firm of Evans & Dixon.


The Roast Of Bob Gerding

Each year, the Greater Missouri chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association taps a well-known local citizen to be the “honoree” at a raucous, hilarious roast. This year, Bob Gerding puts his pride on the line as friends and family members share funny stories and more than a few jokes at his expense at the annual fundraiser.

The event takes place on Thursday, May 28, at the Holiday Inn Executive Center. Learn more at the Alzheimer’s Association website,, or by calling 573-443-8665.

Gerding has learned through personal experience that the Alzheimer’s Association is a valuable resource. “My father received great help while my mom suffered for several years with the disease. The caregiver support group for men was most appreciated.”

He looks forward to helping the organization raise needed funds to continue its work here in mid-Missouri. “I would venture to say that everyone in attendance has a family member, a friend, or is aware of someone who is dealing with Alzheimer’s,” he says. “Certainly, as a group, we can help.”