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Archive for May 9th, 2008

Bobby

My sweet friend from high school Bobby died this week.  I hadn’t seen Bobby in years, and it has been difficult to process his death from such a remote spot.  I didn’t even realize that Bobby was back in Augusta, and I feel guilty that he lived here and I never even saw him.  My memories of Bobby are from the late ’90s.  Doesn’t that sound weird to say?  My earliest memory is that when I met Bobby, his leg was broken, or I think it was broken, it was injured.  How had Bobby injured his leg?  His car was not in park and it rolled down a driveway, and he tried to stop it, and his leg was caught in between the bumper of his rolling car and the bumper of the other car in the driveway.  I knew I was going to love Bobby when I heard that story. 

Another memory I have, is, after his leg recovered, we were in a weight training class together.  Weight training was one of the more unstructured PE classes at the Academy of Richmond County – and we did a lot of sitting around and picking on each other.  This would normally lead to some sort of contest, either to see which girl in the class could bench press the most, who could run the fasted mile, who could jump the most boxes, etc.  (p.s. I could bench press my weight – 145 lbs – my junior year of high school, which makes me sort of laugh and cry now). 

Well, on this particular day, someone bet Bobby that he couldn’t run a mile in 4 minutes.  We had weight training second period so at 9 in the morning.  Bobby swore he COULD in fact run a mile in 4 minutes.  The weight room opened out to the track, so we all went outside to watch Bobby run four laps in four minutes.  I really thought he was teasing.  I couldn’t run one lap in one minute, and I was fast and in good shape.  I trained for months to do it, and never got close. 

Sure enough, Bobby tore around that track four times in right under four minutes.  I’m still impressed by this.   

Bobby was special.  You could see it in his eyes.  He was a light.  Since his death I have learned of some heartbreaking tragedies which he suffered in the past few years, and it clear that he was tormented by an overpowering darkness of sadness and loss.   But my memories of Bobby are from a happier time; football games, prom, yearbooks, dairy queen, and bomb threats that left us sitting outside in the sunshine while the fire department searched the premises for imaginary bombs.  They were the days before cell phones, before laptops, when you could put ten gallons of gas in your car for ten dollars, when you treasured your cds, before columbine, before the towers fell, before we were touched by the events of the outside world.     Bobby was a big part of my life in those carefree days, and my life is richer for having known him. 

Bobby – you will be missed. 

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