Remembering our Friend, Bob White

 

Bob, The Rescuer

Every now and then you meet a guy…Tough and rough and kind and understanding, hot to (fox)trot, good (and always willing) with his hands, going out-of-his-way at the drop of a hat, green-thumbed, gruff and soft and warm and fuzzy, humble and confident, outgoing and welcoming.

Bob was “That Guy.”  Above all other guys I’ve known. One of a kind. There will never be another.

There was the time he and Barb drove from Des Plaines to Madison to rescue us because we were broke down on our FIRST RV trip before we had a toad and the experience for self-rescue. He dropped everything (I assume, because he appeared about 2.5 hours after our call),  took us from Madison to Chicago to retrieve our car,  accepting only a Cheeseburger in payment.  

Post Cruise Beach Party
Painkillers On Board!

We enjoyed several rendezvous after the Whites disembarked from their cruises.  There was  always an extra bottle (actually,  probably several!) of Pusser’s Rum for Painkillers, just in case…

 

And we always had the Mickey Mouse Waffle Maker at the ready.  

We missed a chance this year,  our paths actually crossing, but a few days apart. We were actively discussing meeting the Whites ON the boat (apres afterwards?), next year.

 

There were the THREE TIMES we had bites at Bob’s Furniture Apple for our RV(s).  

Bob LOVED a project and we had no shortage of them.  Barb once confided that she LOVED that we gave him projects for the sake of his (and her) sanity!!  I know he relished the challenge of creating things that fit and worked in unusual places, even with a most difficult client breathing down his neck. 

Each project made our lives better – partly because of furniture-needs met, and partly because of the pleasure of working with Bob in his driveway to meet them.  Cocktails afterwards were fun, too!

Bob in our (and his?) Happy Place

If you watched from a few feet back during any of the furniture projects, you would have thought Bob and I were an old married couple.  Bickering about EVERYTHING.   What to do first.  How to measure a space. How many (and what kind of) screws to use. When a piece was sanded enough. What WAS the right color of stain. Imagining very different (apparently) finished products in order to argue about setting up the table saw to cut correctly. Etc. etc. etc.  Our working styles and strategies might have seemed incompatible almost to the point of violence;  but speaking for myself,  we couldn’t have BEEN more compatible. 

I learned a lot from Bob…about wood working as a metaphor for coexisting with people who approach a problem from a different angle.  I would like to think Bob would say something similar, if I got my Ouija Board out.

He MUST have enjoyed something about a Bus in the Driveway,  complete with its eccentric occupants, because we were not in the “NIB club” at the Whites.  (NIB:  “Not Invited Back”). 

With Maxxx’s careful Supervision
My New Buddy, Maxxxx

On the contrary,  we (and , pretty sure, he) ASSUMED there would be a point every year when we were ensconced in the drive, overlooking their MAGNIFICENT yard while enjoying Painkillers, Margaritas and/or Gin Tonics after a day of “bickering.”  While Maxxxx chased and eventually consumed cauliflower heads and the squirrels and birds swarmed the peanut mix Bob bought as seconds from the Fisher Nut Company. 

Come to think of it…there were ALWAYS mixed nuts served with cocktails…quite possibly they were the seconds nuts not good enough for the squirrels 😉…Thirds?  Especially with the glint in Bob’s eye as he served them.

Last fall, there was the promise that he would MAKE SURE his new concrete driveway would be strong enuf for our current RV…just in case we needed additional furniture. Or nuts!  Speccing a driveway for 44k lbs of someone else’s vehicle?   I mean,  who does that!  Well,  Bob did…and it didn’t surprise me a bit.  

Bob was That Guy. 

Bob’s 80th

I couldn’t  believe Bob was 80 last summer.  I can’t believe he won’t be 81 going on 60 this summer. We’ve already renamed the Waffle Maker after Bob… and I do and will think of him every time I pour a drink from  the Liquor Bin he built for us. 

Sticker Reminder…

Of course, he KNEW I would think of him every cocktail hour…Bob put a sticker inside, unbeknownst to us at the time:  “bobwhite designs, ltd.”  I smile (with a tear) every time I see that sticker.  

Our last conversation was about our next visit.  I joked that we looked forward very much to making the first oil spots on virgin concrete.  Bob did not look as amused as I had intended;  but neither did he make us NIB.

 

RIP, Bob!

9 thoughts on “Remembering our Friend, Bob White

  • Hi Dan and Liz.
    We are so sorry to learn of the loss of your very good friend, Bob White.
    Jim and Diane

  • Dan, what a beautiful tribute to a wonderful guy. You are right, he was one of a kind, and will be missed by all who knew and loved him. Thanks for sharing your special memories with all of us.

  • So very sorry to hear of the loss of your friend Bob but what a wonderful story you have made with him. We’ll drink a painkiller to him and your friendship with him. Big hugs to you and Liz.

  • So glad I had the pleasure of meeting Bob – even though it was just once, he had a way of making it seem like we were long lost friends – perhaps he was just treating me with extra kindness because he knew what my brother was like. Regardless, I send my condolences for the loss of your good friend. His memory will always be a blessing.

  • Thank you for this wonderful tribute to Bob. He was truly a Mensch in every sense of the word. And we miss him. Loretta and Walt

  • Your description of Bob is so spot on, I pictured him throughout my reading of it! What a guy he was.❤️

  • A very nice, thoughtful, eulogy. It sounds like he was wonderful fellow and I am sure your kind words and remembrances echo the thoughts of all that knew him.

  • What a beautiful tribute. Sounds like a true friend~the real deal. Sorry to have to say goodbye but what a lovely bunch of memories you have.

  • Dan and Liz – what a wonderful tribute to Bob White! You totally captured his essence, his goodness, his skills and his eagerness to be there for his friends. No one coulda said it better.

    Thank you, Dan and Liz. As you said, may Bob rest in peace. May his memory provide peace, comfort and joy to all who were touched by him.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *