Saturday, August 12, 2006

Mourning the Passing of Chicago Bob


Robert "Chicago Bob" Allen, 4/10/42 - 7/20/2006
Although it has been a couple of weeks now since Chicago Bob passed away suddenly from brain cancer, I had not started this blog, so I wanted to pay tribute to the man who "never met a stranger".
Bob was a one-of-a kind individual, as everyone he came in contact with will attest to. He was gregarious, hilarious, and one of those peole who always put a smile on the faces of those around him. I was fortunate enough to have worked with him for five years at Video Group. I can remember when I first started, he and Joe were the old veterans of the place (heck, they were the old veterans in most places!), and I didn't know how they would receive me or how I would fit in. Joe had his crusty exterior that prevented anyone from getting too close to him, but Bob was always friendly and told me not to worry about him. After Joe showed his true colors (he's really a teddy bear, but doesn't want anybody know it), we all immediately hit it off, and the three of us became pretty inseparable. I guess it was because they saw a younger version of themselves in me that they took me under their wing, but whatever the reason, for the next 5 years we had some terrific times: liquid lunches at The Corner; an all-day bender on St. Patty's Day in 2004 that nearly got us all fired; and listening to Bob's funny tales, jokes, & anecdotes that always had us laughing, no matter how many times we heard them.
Bob was the life of any party, and if there wasn't a party, his prescense alone would create one. He always had a joke to tell and a Budwesier nearby, but most importantly he truly loved all of his family & friends. He was a real "guys guy", a Vietnam War vet, hard partier and avid golfer; of course women loved him as well. I know for a fact that without the love and care of his wife Barb he would never have made it as far as he did, due to his penchant for wanting to stay out all night pounding Buds, being hit in the forehead with 2x4's, and eating urinal wafers!
Myself, my son, and my wife all cried heavily the night we heard that "Bubba" had passed. Although he had lived a very full and rewarding life, it was still much too soon and way too quick to have someone as special as him taken from our lives. He is a man I will never forget, and will never meet anyone similiar. He was an American institution to those who knew him, and his memories will live forever in all of us. But as Joe reminded everyone at the service, Bob would want us to celebrate his life, not mourn his death. And in that case, everytime I give a fist bump, or raise a cold one to my mouth, I will always think of Bob.
R.I.P. Bubba. I love you, man.

4 comments:

Joe Liberatore said...

Jeff,

Great article about a GREAT INDIVIDUAL. I look forward to reading more of what you publish.

Your Friend,
Joe

Jessica said...

Jeff,

Unbelievable what you wrote, I always told you that you should be a writer. I was so upset when I heard about bob, I couldn't make it to the funeral and I wished I would of gone. I miss all of you so much. I miss the jokes with Bob, Joe singing in the hallway. I love all of you. I miss those punches during the day my the copier. I cant wait to see more of your writing. Don't forget me when your this famous writer and you have a book. I want a signed one.

Love,

Jessica

Tegan said...

Jeff,

Wow, this is really wonderful! It made me want to cry. I miss him so much! I think that this really does Bob justice, im sure hes smiling from heaven right now :) Thanks for writing this and reminding us of all the good times with Bob.

-Tegan

Todd Hartman said...

Outstanding and very well spoken Jeff...don't know if y'all knew this(See, I'm developing this Carolina accent)but I was responsible for giving him the name
"Bubba"..when I owned Pickles Beach Bar Bob was working in the seafood area at Winn Dixie he would come in at lunch have a few Buds and go back wearing his hair net..everyone cracked up...this was around the time Forrest Gump came out. I started calling Bob Bubba Gump Shrimp..he got a name tag that said Bubba Gump..he wore while working and the ane stuck...I will miss my dear friend deeply...Todd Hartman