i A Time and a Place...: In Memoriam to a Friend...

Saturday, August 26, 2006

In Memoriam to a Friend...

A friend of mine (ours) went to the Great Jam Session in the Sky a few days ago. His name is Bob Puckett and he was a guitar picker.

Bob didn't attend many of the regular jam sessions that I go to during the time I knew him. He lived in a mobile home a few up from me. He was sick with cancer for quite a while and walked a lot. I didn't know him for the first few years my wife and I lived here at the park. I met him when he and his wife hosted a jam session at our park center.

We became pretty good friends. He invited me into his house to see his music and recording room. His recording setup was pretty impressive.
He had a nice Dell computer in his rec room but he wasn't very computer literate and sometimes he called me to explain something or other about his computer. Once I went to his house and showed him how to extract pictures from his camera to a folder in his pc and print them off. Luckily, he had a Kodak digital, same as me, so it was pretty easy for me to show him.

Sometimes he had me look up old songs for him on my pc. He didn't mind asking after I explained to him that I enjoyed fooling around with my computer.

Bob was a somewhat quiet guy but very expressive when he did say something. I played a song or two for him from my musical application on the pc called, "Band In a Box." He was so impressed with it that I installed it on his computer.
Sadly, though, he never mastered it enough to use it much.

A formal memorial was given for Bob. Donna and I planned to go and we wrote and practiced a song to sing in his memory. It was, "I've Got a Mansion Just Over the Hilltop." We worked it up on the Band In a Box on my lap top computer and considered doing another old song called, "Somebody Stole My Gal," and were looking forward to honoring Bob's memory with those songs. Bob had watched an old Lawrence Welk program on TV and had heard, "Somebody Stole My Gal," sung by a man with a very low voice and he really liked it.

Sadly, though, we were told we couldn't use the Band In a Box music for our songs, there were people who wouldn't like the musical application being used, so, rather than cause friction at the service, we stayed home and sang the songs to his memory.

Bob was a really nice fellow. He told me once that he hated Merle Travis, a guitar picker of great skill from years back. I was puzzled by his remark and asked him why. He told me that from the first time he heard Merle play, he had tried to play like that but always came up a little short. He said he was obsessed with Merles' style and it had ruined him for anything else. It had hindered his learning. Then I realized his comment was tongue in cheek and we had a laugh about it.

Bob was a good picker in his own right and a pretty good country singer. And a genuinely nice guy. We remember Bob fondly. His passing is a loss to us and to the community and, I'm sure, to his family and he is missed.



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