dailybell: Bob's Bell One Year Later

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Bob's Bell One Year Later

11/16 PM Our friend Bob Miller died just over a year ago. He had been in the Merchant Marines and his partner worked as a longshoreman on the Oakland and San Pedro docks before he died more than a decade ago. Bob had lived at our house, and he took care of Malcolm when we went out of town. Malcolm is a troubled animal. He’s fearful and aggressive. That’s a hard combination to live with. The mentality of “get the other guy before he gets you” is especially difficult when you as a human are on the receiving end of the claws and teeth which are called into service to “get the other guy” which is generally you. Bob and Malcolm had some kind of understanding. Malcolm loved Bob, and I think it was because Bob had such big feet. Malcolm would sit on the floor next to Bob’s feet looking very proud and comfortable to be in Bob’s presence. It was a special friendship between them and we were very grateful. Before Bob came along, we always had a hard time finding someone to stay with Malcolm. People would come once and then never come back. We had run out of friends and friends of friends before Malcolm met Bob.

Before Bob died, he had given us a ship’s bell. I have rung it all year and every time I do, I think of Bob. He was a wonderful man and a good friend. When he stayed here, he would find projects to do. He painted my room, the hallway, the room where we keep Malcolm’s litter box. He made a contraption with back-scratchers, bells and a piece of netting to catch the mail that normally fell on the garage floor when the mailman dropped it through the slot. Bob’s hand and presence are in every room and behind every door in this house. One of the projects we had planned to work on together was the doorbell. We have no doorbell. There’s just a hole in the wall next to the door where there had been one at some unnamed time in the past. We thought Bob’s ship bell would make a great doorbell because it’s so loud and also because it’s a real bell. We talked about where in the house to hang it and how would we get it to ring. Over time, the destiny of the bell emerged. However, we didn’t get around to turning it into the doorbell in time.

So now after more than a year since Bob died, we finally are getting around to it. Norman was in the garage rigging up a solenoid and mounting the bell when it was time for the sunset. While he rang Bob’s bell in the garage, I went out to the street and rang the big bell (audio). Those are our loudest bells. I wonder how loud something has to be to be considered “loud enough to wake the dead”. HELLO WE MISS YOU!!!!

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