My Daddy, Waldo Haley, and Bobby were best friends. From the time of my birth, we would go to Bobby and Joan’s house at least once a week. When I was little, I remember wondering if our car could drive to Ingot (almost to Round Mountain) by itself since we went there so much. The adults would play pinochle until very late, and the boys (Stanley, Danny, Randy, and my brother) would play. There wasn’t much to do for this “only girl”. I would sit in the brown chair by the bookcase and play with toys. Every time Bobby got up to use the bathroom, he would stop at that chair to ask me how I was doing, talk to me for a minute, or ruffle my hair.
In the summer, we would go swimming at Wayne and Lillie’s house. Daddy and Bobby always swam with us kids, and they had matching swim suits. My Dad’s was green and Bobby’s was blue. Kids today would have laughed their heads off because those suits were very short and were a knit fabric. I remember, as a small girl, giggling because I thought they looked like twins.
I also remember many nights spent at the City of Redding ballfield watching Bobby’s team, Petersen Logging. Those were such fun times! I also remember eating lots and lots of fish because my Daddy and Bobby were always going to Pit River fishing.
Twenty-two years ago, Bobby became my Uncle when he got together with my Aunt Monda. I was so excited to have him as an “official” family member after knowing him for all those years. The Haley family now had three Bobs, so often you heard them referred to in conversation as Julie's Bob, Monda's Bob, or Patty's Bob.
The Haley family finds any and every excuse to get together and eat, and my Aunt Monda is the “party queen” in the family. Uncle Bobby immediately joined her in opening their home to us for holidays, family reunions, birthday parties, and our famous “potlucks dinners for no reason”. Whenever I went to their house, Uncle Bobby would greet me with a hug and a kiss on the cheek. He had a great smile, and always seemed glad to see me. He was very complimentary, and would take the time to say something encouraging like, “You’re looking good today!”
My Uncle Bobby was so special to me, and I will miss him dearly. We will meet in Round Mountain on Saturday. There will be lots of stories, memories, and potluck food to celebrate his life and mourn the loss of a good man.