I asked Jay last night if he wanted to go with me this morning. He asked where. I said, "Well, Bob is meeting up with Bob and we will meet them down in LaPine. We are going there to honor Bob." "What?', asked Jay. "We are going with Bob and Bob down to see Bob so that Bob can give Bob a rock.". Jay giggled. "Sure", he said. "Can I sit next to Bob?".
I met up with three of the brothers at Jake's and picked up Jay on the way south. We pulled into Gordy's and met up with Bob Shotwell in the parking lot. The LaPine Band of Brothers had set us up with reserved seats at the head of the tables. I found our seats alongside Bob Dent and Bob Maxwell.
Bill started off the event by introducing us one by one including Jay. After he had introduced us, he turned it over to Bob Maxwell who told a story of a man who had given him a rock from Normandy beach. Bob Maxwell had promised to find a man who had been there and give it to him. "That day is today", Bob said, "and that man is Bob Shotwell".
The crowd erupted in claps and cheers and all the vets in the room rose from their seats to give him a standing ovation. After it was over, Bob sat there staring at his box that housed the rock....appropriately a french Chocolat box. I looked over at Bob and asked, "Well, were you surprised?". "Yes, very much so.", he said.
The room was very full and the comradery was very much like the Bend group. I sat next to a brother who lived down on Day road. As we talked, I realized that he lived right next to my great grandparents ranch. We talked of how my great grandfather had built the house from the deserted electric substation of Pringle Falls. I told him of the gas station and small cabins that he had built at the front of Day road where the fire hall is now.
I felt so at home in that group of guys. Just as if it was the band who meets at Jake's.
Afterwards, we walked out into the restaurant to pay our bill. As I looked over the floor, it brought back so many memories of the old truck stop. One man asked if I missed it. I told him somewhat but I am very happy where I am at. But, I will admit, the feeling was a bit weird.
Our event done, we loaded up our cars and headed home. A time of seeing old friends, meeting new friends, and enjoying an experience with Bob, Bob, and......Bob.