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Monday, February 29, 2016

And years later

As I grew up, it's harder for me to tell Bobby’s story. I think humans are naturally self absorbed, at least I hope it's not just me. I always looked up to both of my older brothers, but I started to have a life of my own and not depend quite as much on them.
Mom and Dad were still very good friends with the Davis family. Bobby and Von were tight friends and suitably reckless. The Hall family moved into the house behind the Davis’s, and Bobby had a crush on their fun-loving, pretty daughter Linda. I'm not sure if he had a “type” other than pretty, maybe long feathered hair…
As our family had grown, so had our car. Bobby and Jamie would take the green and white striped van (was it 10 passenger.) up to Mesa to cruise Main with the other teenage kids. But, in that car, they decided that paper bags over their heads would be the best accessory. Bobby was naturally trim and compact. He didn't like his younger brother getting bigger than him, so he got a set of weights and worked out religiously. He also had some run ins at school with kids taking his money and wanted to defend himself.
I would say, from my perspective, Bobby was a nice guy hanging out with a rebel crowd. They were the thrill seekers, but not at others’ expense. If you didn't mess with them, they wouldn't mess with you. They certainly weren't above toilet papering a cute girl’s house or egging the car of some jerk. I can't remember how old he was when dad realized that the little plant growing in the 7up bottle in his closet was marijuana, or if it was before or after he went away to school. Lol.
Bobby had an innate sense of order. He liked his room relatively clean, but also didn't like being told what to do. (that last part seems to be a family trait.) he had an entrepreneurial spirit and was always trying to get Jamie to start a business with him. They had both grown up working the chopping crew on the farm and driving tractors, but he had other plans. At one point, they started a Tidy Car service which was like a detailed car wash that came to you. Either car paint was not as strong or people kept their cars longer, because lots of cars had oxidized paint back then! This process would buff that out and restore the shine. They did that for a while, until it fizzled out. Also back in the day, lots of kids would jack their trucks up really high. This would mess with the factory speedometer, and none of them knew how fast they were driving. Bobby worked out a formula that used the height of the lift on the truck to adjust the speedometer. He had bunches of sticky backed inserts made to market to these people. Unfortunately for him, this fad passed rather quickly and he still had stacks of speedometer stickers.
Bobby’s first attempt at private school was a joint decision with our parents. They wanted him to get away from his drug-using friends and he wanted to get away from some kids he thought were bullies. I'm sure there were plenty of discussions that I was not privy to. He went to school in Tucson, but it wasn't the greatest fit. They didn't like when he almost burnt down the school, and he didn't like how upset they got just because he wanted to experiment with a lighter and some hairspray!
For some reason, they all thought that military school might be the answer. Dad had gone to New Mexico Military Institute, and so had Grandpa, Uncle Pete, and Roger Staubach. Bobby decided to give it a try. Some time later (c’mon, I was a kid) the school called to say that Bobby had gone AWOL. Not too much later, he called from Tucson and said he had hitched a ride that far with a trucker, but needed a ride the rest of the way home. Dad was always a very strict disciplinarian, but he wasn't one to leave his child stranded, so they figured out a way to get Bobby back to Chandler. I think it was about this time that he decided that high school really wasn't his thing and just took the test to get his GED.
Throughout this time, Bobby was always very mechanical. He worked on cars and worked at Tim Bland’s machine shop. He and Tim became quite close. Tim was also a close friend of Dad’s.
Bobby loved outdoorsy stuff. He loved to go shooting at the dump, camping, boating, skiing. He didn't let his severe asthma get in the way of life. He always carried an inhaler with him and often needed a puff. His evening was usually spent (or part of it) attached to his asthma machine. But, he had boundless energy for getting out and going.
He also loved music. The record player kept spinning. I think The Beatles were his first love, but The Who, Rush, Styx, Pink Floyd, Queen, and many others made the playlist. He loved to quiz me when we were in the car together. “Monique, who sings this song?” If I didn't know, he was so disappointed. He always knew. I better know if it was The Beatles!
I really can't remember when he started to fly and to jump out of airplanes. I thought he was crazy. Airplanes made me sick, but why on earth would you jump out of one?
One final story, when Bobby was high school age, he was at the park one day and saw a girl he knew with one of their teachers. The couple were obviously together, he saw them kiss. He was torn apart! He really looked up to that teacher and thought he was great. He also believed that it was highly inappropriate. He finally decided that he had to tell mom. Of course, as she was in the school board, he knew she would have to turn him in. He told her how much it pained him to tell her about it, but he knew he had to. That was the kind of guy he was. He was fun loving, literally crazy ;) and a bit of a prankster, but also extremely ethical, fair, and good hearted.

1 comment:

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