I spent a good part of the day, Feb. 2, thinking about and remembering Bobby Bracken. If not for the life-sucking disease, ALS, it would have been his 71st birthday.
There should have been a party; laughs for sure, a few drinks; probably, and maybe a card game. “Check, hell… raise… you can get them checks at the bank.” How many times did I hear that? A hundred probably and yet, I always laughed. When you were around Bobby, you laughed.
There’s an old saying, “”When they made him, they broke the mold.” That was never more true with Bobby. He was truly, a man’s man. Yes, he could be a little rough around the edges at times, hard-headed definitely, even harsh, but his heart was that of a kind, loving, and thoughtful man.
Like many others, I learned a lot about life from Bobby. I learned to stay with it, not give up, and always do the best job you could do. I remember a time when Bob and I were at Carl’s cabin when the hot water heater broke. It was late, we were tired, we didn’t have the right tools or the right parts to fix it. There was water all over the floor. I wanted to say hell with it, call somebody in the morning. Bobby kept saying, “No, no we can do this.” And he did. He stayed with it, improvised on it, cussed it, fixed it, and mopped the floor when it was over. Lesson learned.
There are probably no more than a half-dozen people I could call in the middle of the night and ask them to bail me out of jail, Bobby was at the top of that list. Never a doubt. Car breaks down on a lonely highway? Bobby was there for you. Got a household problem and need somebody you can trust to fix it? Call Bobby Bracken.
I would have liked to call Bobby on February 2nd, and wished him a happy birthday. It was not to be, and the world is a sadder place for it.