Bob was 12 years old when I was born and he is my favorite uncle! It was such fun to visit my Grandmother and Granddaddy Dudley and Uncle Bob was a big part of the attraction! He was fun and he loved nothing more than to aggravate me to the point of tears. But, I loved him and dutifully returned at every opportunity to suffer through his obnoxious behavior!
When he was not agitating me he was teasing his Rat Terrier, Ace, or his huge yellow cat, Buckles. Or better yet, he would torment the dog so he would bark and snarl scaring me to death with his rowdy play with Bob.
Bob loved music and we spent many hours in his room listening to his vast collection of records. He never complained and would patiently indulge my request to hear Elvis Presley’s Hound Dog numerous times.
I loved to color with crayons although my artistic ability left much to be desired before I started to school. It was amazing to me how Bob could color the most beautiful pictures in my coloring book. While I made pathetic attempts to stay within the lines, Bob would color on the opposite page. I was thrilled to be the recipient of his art but dismayed when he would take a crayon and scribble over his pretty picture!
Even though he was in high school Bob continued to spend time with me if I was visiting his house. I was beyond delighted when he would hold me on his lap and let me drive around the block. His instructions were never to tell Grandmother that I was driving his car. Although I will never forget the day we were out driving around and he encouraged me to take a deep breath from his cigarette. After practically choking to death I immediately ran in the house to tattle to Grandmother that Bob made me smoke. She was not happy with his shenanigans but if you knew Bob he was snickering behind her back!
It was a sad day for me when Bob left home for college. I was lonesome for him when I went to visit Grandmother and Granddaddy. It wasn’t long until Bob married Kay and I had a new aunt. They attended college in Commerce at East Texas State University but I was so happy when they moved back to Comanche and for awhile lived in a house on the street right behind my Grandmother’s home. It was just a short jaunt through a couple of back yards to run over and visit on any occasion.
It was always fun to go over to Bob and Kay’s house. Bob was always working on some project out in his garage. He had many treasures acquired through his love of collecting and he enjoyed showing them to you and telling you of their history. Of course I also loved seeing Kay and my little cousin, Kelly.
Bob never stopped his aggravating ways and continued to torment me at any given time. It will always be a fond memory of the time he came down to our store on the square the day of my baby shower and sprayed ink all over my clothes. In the midst of my horror he really loved the moment and also enjoyed me realizing that it was disappearing ink!
As much as Bob could dish it out he could always laugh when he was the butt of a joke. I must have inherited his love of agitation and will always remember the year I gave him a t-shirt for Christmas with his favorite sayings. On the front was “This, That, and Everything” and of course on the back was the ever favorite “Well Huh!”
Through the years after I moved from the Comanche area anytime I was home at the ranch I tried to stop in town for a visit with Bob and Kay.
Bob will never know how much I appreciated him through the last few years. It was terribly hard to leave Daddy in the nursing home at Comanche when I brought Mother home to live with me, but I just couldn’t care for him at my home. I never dreamed that Bob would be so faithful to visit Daddy almost if not every day. He and Kay made it a priority to visit him in the nursing home and the hospital during the last few weeks of his life. When the hospital called me early one morning to tell me that Daddy was dying the first call I made was to Bob and then my brothers. When I called the hospital back a few minutes later to tell them that Bob was on his way he had already arrived and was there when they pronounced Daddy’s death.
When we cleaned out Mother and Daddy’s home in Brownwood Bob and Kay were there to help with that huge job. They have called me during the last three years about every two weeks just to check on us and to ask about Mother.
It was very shocking to hear the untimely news last week of his death. I will miss our late night phone conversations. I love you Uncle Bob…Happy Birthday!