"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Saint Patrick's Day tears, and watercolor, for Bob

"To Bob," 6 x 14, St. Pat's Day tears
We toasted my and our dear friend Bob Illidge this week, at an early Saint Patrick's Day  gathering of the old Journalism Department (now the Mass Comm department at the University of Central Oklahoma).
We always do that at every gathering, even after all these years since he died April 1, 2005. The new, "young whippersnappers" as he would call them,  join in, even though they don't know the story of Illidge and "The Booth," which is still reverently observed with humor and good cheer.
But this morning for me, there were tears as "Danny Boy" played on the St. Patrick's Day TV show. We played that at his retirement long ago.
I teared up, and then asked Alexa to play Irish Music.
More good spirits, and more tears, and memories.
Thus today's watercolor, painting what I feel inside, what the story is, of a unique friend, who brings laughs as we quote him, and tears as well.
The story of "The Booth" and Bob runs throughout this blog in series and photos and more. Just search "Bob" and "The Booth," and you'll see. Here's a link to letter to him: https://clarkcoffee.blogspot.com/2014/05/letter-to-bob-from-old-world-booth-redux.html
His legacy lives on. As we were leaving Sean Cummings Irish pub after toasting Bob one more time, someone stopped me at an adjacent table, and asked what Bob's last name was. I told him, and he knew who I was talking about.
"To Bob," and his "little sweet pea," Liz who died just this past year, in their Wichita hometown.
"Come ye back when summer's on the meadow," my friend.

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