Thursday, March 1, 2012

Guys Named Bob

Yesterday was February 29th. It only happens once every four years when there is a leap year. I was going to look into it, but I didn't, so this is what you get instead- a picture of my pickup truck. I happened to buy it from a fellow named Bob, so since I'm writing about Bob's, I felt that it was appropriate. I was out fishing last year,and as is typical for me during the long droughts between strikes, my mind wanders. I started thinking about how many people I know who are named Bob. There's my friend, Bob Pinard whom I wrote about in the last post- the guy who's missing his lucky hair thanks to his wife. It may not grow back; then what will he do? How can you possibly win at gin rummy if you're missing your lucky hair? Pinard was on the farm at the same time as several other Bobs. Bob Clark, who still lives at Game Creek. He's one of those guys who is good at just about anything. Mechanic, fisherman, hunter, tree-feller, and guitar and banjo player are just a few of the things that come to mind. Game Creek wouldn't have survived the early days if Bob Clark hadn't been there to lean on for so much wisdom.Big Bob Thompson was on the farm then too. He worked at the sawmill or in the fields or wherever he was needed. He used to go out with several of the other men to fell trees up the bay for our sawmill. They stayed in a yurt on the beach- it was like a wooden tent as I understand it. For entertainment they would capture voles in a bucket of water. We were hard up for entertainment in those days, and if you weren't married,  there weren't a lot of options to break up the monotony. Buffalo Bob Holden was and is still a good friend. We call each other every few months or so to check in- make sure the other guy is still alive and well. We compare books that we've read and catch up on who's doing what. He was a hippie for years and traveled to every state in the union except Hawaii and Florida. He's always been incredibly thrifty and able to live on the most meager of rations. He bought a whole bunch of sardines at Hoonah Seafoods years ago for ten cents each. We sat down in the tabernacle and ate sardines and crackers. It was my first experience with sardines. I was so hungry I enjoyed them- something that hasn't happened since. Bobby Lail was an unwilling resident of the farm then also. He was a very handsome young man and he and one of the young ladies were constantly getting called before the elders because they couldn't stay away from each other. It was a desperate situation.One of the reasons I happened to dwell on the name Bob, was that another friend of mine, Bob Hutton, had a birthday yesterday. I'm not sure how that works to only have a birthday once every four years. What do you do the other three years when there is no February 29th? Mr. Hutton was the music teacher here at Hoonah City Schools for a number of years. He managed to turn every class into real musicians by the time they graduated. I always appreciated his professional manner. I never saw him come to class without a nice shirt and tie. He expected a lot from his students and always gave one hundred and ten percent himself. Then there's Spasski Bob- Bob Hanson. He showed up on the scene some years back in a fifty foot fiberglass boat that he built himself after he retired. Even though he was power trolling and could run four gurdies and conceivably fish forty leaders, he only fishes two gurdies and the most gear he ever runs is five leaders on each side. He still out fishes me. I don't know how he does it. I better not forget my father-in- law, Bob Somerlot. I spent many an hour at his kitchen table bumming cigarettes and talking to him. He had a glass eye, thanks to an accident when he was a kid, involving a bow and arrow. ( Imagine that) He used to kind of freak me out because he could wipe a handkerchief across it without blinking. I used to get confused at which one was the good one so that I could stare at it so he wouldn't think some creep was dating his daughter. He worked as a parts man for a John Deer implements store and knew every farmer for several counties around. I used to eat dinner at his house on occasion and would enjoy the fruits of his friendship with those farmers. They were always bringing him fresh corn or tomatoes in season. Finally, I want to mention Bob Ferguson, the Bob I've known the longest. He and his family lived down the street from me when I was a kid. In the summer he would step outside on his front porch and whistle for his son Mark. I always wanted to whistle like that, but I never learned how. His son Mark used to sit several seats back from his dad whenever they went to the movies because Bob had such a loud, unabashed laugh, that Mark would get embarrassed.  People would be laughing at his dad more than whatever was on the movie screen. The last time I spoke to Mom about him, she said he's still getting around at the ripe ol' age of eighty nine. When I stopped to think about each of these men, I realized that they've all done their name proud. Each one has worked hard and been successful in their endeavors. I don't know what the name Bob means or where it comes from. Maybe I'll do some research some day on it. Maybe find out how the name Robert shortens to Bob. In any event, my life has been blessed because I've had each of these men in it. Thanks Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob and Bob.

9 comments:

  1. Good as usaul dad! Next time though, how about a picture of mom? :)

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  2. Well,Autumn, as you very well know, her name isn't Bob.

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  3. HAHA...That was good. I remember the majority of the Bob's mentioned. Did not know you had a new truck though..quite nice daddi-o! And yes..father...where is a picture of mother?? Hmmm??? Could do a blog on our momma...don't know that there are that many Jan's out there...but mom's....quite a few...She might not like it much...but she'll get over it;-) Waiting anxiously for your next inspirational rambling;) Love and miss you..AJ

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  4. Daddy would have been 85 on Feb. 25th - thanks for remembering him in your Parade of Bobs!
    Mom has one of the glass eyes upstairs - I'm trying to get her to freeze it in some icecubes this summer, so that when Sam comes to mow her lawn, he gets - I can't help it- an eyeful!

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  5. Ahahah, love it Aunt Jill!

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  6. Hi Amber- I did do a blog last summer or fall that had your mom in it. She doesn't like to have her picture taken. We've had that truck for about two years now. The Mitsubishi finally gave me too many problems to mess with so I donated it to the farm. They fixed the gas line and used it this past Thanksgiving to run people out closer to the parking lot at the farm.
    Jill- you do have a strange sense of humor. When your mom is here we'll have to work on her about your suggestion- that was classic.

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  7. Now Tom, I used to be nice, but I've lived with these two rapscallions so long that it has rubbed off!

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  8. Rapscallions Jill? I haven't heard that word for years- do you read a pirate book or something? You're always full of surprises.

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  9. Hahaha...Rapscallions..that's a word alrighty Aunt J! Lemme know how that goes with your suggestion to Grandma dad;-) Glad to hear someone was able to benefit from the Mitsubishi!

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