For the last week or so, there’s been a calmness under the surface of Lake Lanier. Ditto for the undersea waters of the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Florida.
If fish can sleep (a super biology question for teachers to get those little minds into gear a mere 11 days from now), rest assured, even the ugliest grouper is getting its share of beauty rest.
No matter the species, those swimming where Bob Edwards fished have gotten a reprieve from the Fish Governor, if such a creature exists.
It’s a safe bet many of you are looking at TV listings searching for Bob’s fishing show.
Sorry. He didn’t have one. If he did, it would have won an ESPY.
Bob was recently on vacation visiting family in Minnesota, a state known as the Land of 1,000 Lakes.
He suffered a massive stroke while on a boat and died early last week. It’d be a safe bet that he was, a) fishing or b) getting ready to fish.
Bob fished with gusto the way Joey Chestnut eats Nathan’s hot dogs on July 4th. When Bob wasn’t fishing, he was planning another guided trip. But only after he told you about the last trip.
Not just told you about the trip. There was always photographic evidence.
He lived next door, for some 23 years. We’ve all met folks we labeled a character. Bob was a wonderful friend, neighbor and character. While sad about his passing, I’m smiling at the mental image of him stopping me when I went down my driveway.
No matter how busy and pressed for time I was, I had to stop. I know I’d have a good laugh all day.
One Saturday morning 10 years ago, feeling rotten after burying Mom in Oklahoma, the phone rang at 5:30 a.m. His beloved wife, Judy, had died.
I listened, comforted and reminisced. Tough to feel bad when a friend has suffered a loss too.
His son, Todd, lives in Cumming and is a firefighter. You know he likes to fish.
Bob also had plenty of character. You knew where he stood. He was also a proud dad. He beamed every time he talked about Todd’s accomplishments.
Bob was a veteran, a law enforcement officer in his day. We always felt better knowing he was around.
He came running when Christopher the toddler tripped and landed on his sneezer. Bob handled things and Chris survived a bloody nose.
Judy was an registered nurse and worked for FEMA. They both loved the boys.
Bob knew people who knew people. Years ago, kids lined the main street in our subdivision on a December Saturday morning every year, eagerly awaiting the siren and lights.
Bob and Santa were on the reddest fire truck I’d ever seen. Those children, now grown, still remember.
Bob reveled in the boys’ accomplishments. He was proud of Chris graduating in four years and studying in Europe and loved following Forsyth Central baseball.
He supported their activities with generosity.
He related to them, recently asking them if they knew of a good tattoo artist. Apparently he’d become dissatisfied with his regular provider.
Bob’s late Chihuahua, Yoshi, was fierce. Bob found it hilarious every time he encouraged me to pet his pet. Yoshi hated me. Pure and simple.
The dog wanted to tear the tip of my pinkie off.
The new Yoshi was a sweetheart and we bonded immediately probably thinking I was a character too, every time I asked: “Yo quiero Taco Bell?”
My friend also found it a knee slapper when Yoshi would leave a gift on my lawn. I told him I’d need a magnifying glass to find it.
We were both avid deer watchers and fed our visitors, grateful when they’d visit.
Vicki gathered the mail and newspapers every time Bob was away. That’s what friends do for friends.
Arriving home Wednesday, I looked at Bob’s lawn and asked myself: “Wonder where Bob is?”
His passing was that unexpected.
The fish in heaven should stay frosty. Good chance they’ll be a main course.
Mike Tasos’ column is published every other Sunday. Bob reminds us that no matter how big our community becomes, we are still good people. Comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. He is also on Facebook.