Fleeting Memories
April 13, 2015, 10:12 am
Filed under: April 2015 | Tags: , , , ,
Firelight dancing in the darkness

Firelight dancing in the darkness

April 13,2015

This past weekend, my memories rushed in several times. I will say that all of them were good, the memories that is. Unfortunately, a friend of mine since childhood died. He was a very fun and funny guy. His children and mine knew each other well. His son and mine played baseball and hunted together. They share a relationship that continues to this day.

When I got the word that he had passed, I remembered many fun times we shared and several times where our antics got us into trouble. Bob could draw like a professional. His features reminded me of Jay Leno, but Bob was much funnier! He had lost his father when he was young, so I think he sought out the good in people and found happy thoughts no matter what!

I spent much of my idle time last week thinking about Bob and fun times in high school. I thought about him and his wife as young adults. They lived a life of self sufficiency. Bob, an avid hunter, provided many meals for his family. His trade was that of a tool and die maker, but his love was making hunting bows. He was a skilled craftsman who turned out beautiful bows. Each one was built by hand form his own designs.

I remember one afternoon in the early 1980’s. I stopped at Bob’s on my way home from work. As I walked up to him, it looked as if he had been in a terrible fight. Both of his eyes were black and blue. His nose was swollen, yellow and red in color, with a nasty gash most of the way across. The black stitches looked painful, sticking out of his swollen nose. “My Gosh Bob, what the heck happened?” , I asked.

He broke out into infectious laughter. Before long I started to chuckle. He said, You should see your face! You look like you saw a ghost!” Before long both of us were holding our sides with laughter, yet I still didn’t know what had happened. Finally, after we regained our composure, he told me what had happened.

He got an idea for a new bow design, The handle and limbs were laminated, then cut from the formed block of glued wood and composite material. Bob was just starting the process of making his own bows, so this was during the development stage. He stepped out the backdoor of his house. He carefully inserted an arrow. He drew down on the target, bringing the bow to full draw. That was the point when the bow broke in half. One piece flew back in an instant, with great force, striking him in the nose and face!

His nose hung from his face by a piece of skin, bleeding profusely. His vision was blurred and his head ached. Bob still had enough humor left to joke with the doctors and nurses while they patched him up! He went on to fix the design flaw and turn out beautiful, functional hunting bows. My son owns one, signed by Bob. It is a treasured piece of his hunting collection.

Bob leaves a wife, a daughter, a son and three granddaughters. His love of life and great humor will help them all as they grieve. His impish smile can be seen on the faces of his children and grandchildren. I, and many others will remember him with fondness and for his clown antics. I guess it was spoken best by Bob’s best friend at Bob’s celebration of life services. He played guitar and sang, “You got a friend”, by James Taylor. The only friend Bob didn’t have…was someone he had not yet met.

4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Great story, wonderful tribute to a great man!

Comment by John Gaul

He was a great guy. He was one of the funniest men I have ever known.

Comment by ricelandmeadows

Mr. Rice,
I enjoyed reading your beautiful story and kind words about my dad. Thank you for sharing!

Comment by Bridget Brigham Bordeaux

He was a long time friend. I will miss him.

Comment by ricelandmeadows

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