April 18th, 2008

tsmith

My Friend Bob

Back in college (some 20 years ago) I had an acquaintance in college know affectionately as Bob. He was one year older than me and going for a degree in computer science. He was one of those brilliant types who could get completely wasted one night, go to class the next day, and bring down straight A's. He was wonderfully crazy and would do just about anything you asked of him especially if there was money involved. On one brutally cold central Illinois Winter night he walked down our dorm hallway, coming home from a class. We asked, "Hey, Bob! What's the weather like out there?" He stopped, looked at us, and said, "Fuck!" That became the standard answer for whenever anyone asked what the weather was on a brutal weather day.

One day I went to visit him after he had graduated and was going for his master's. I noticed a comic book on his coffee table. It was a "furry" title, Eb'nn which I had been collecting. This was the mid 80's when my sole furry outlet was comics and I relished in titles like "Albedo" and "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles." He asked if I knew about that comic. Of course I had! He then told me that his brother wrote it. Huh?!? Sure enough! The last names matched! he immediately called up his brother to tell him that he had a loyal fan. *lol* I eventually sent off a letter to him which was published in the next issue.

Bob also invited me to a punk rock party where another brother would be performing in the band Bad Flannel. Bob was big into punk. We mocked him for liking bands like Husker Du and The Meat Puppets, but years later I found those bands in my own collection. He liked Black Flag when few knew who the heck Henry Rollins was. So I went to the bouse party and had a cool time slam dancing. Several years later I was watching MTV's alternative rock show "120 Minutes" and they were interviewing a band called Hum. They had a "hit" single out at the time called "Stars". I really liked the song. It had those grinding guitar riff that were becoming popular with the advent of grunge. I made the comment to myself that one of the band members looked a lot like my old friend Bob. They eventually said that the band was from Champaign Illinois. What?!? Then they showed the band members names, and lo and behold, it WAS Bob's brother.

What inspired this post was I recently saw a Cadillac commercial that used "Stars" in the ad. It brought back memories of college. I checked Wikipedia, and confirmed that Hum got its start as a "garage band" back in the late 80's known as Bad Flannel. I see, however, that the Wiki article has been changed and there is no longer any reference to Bad Flannel. A fan website, however, confirms that fact.

I guess it's just neat going back in time and rekindling old memories of good times. I wonder where Bob is now. Is he some high-powered executive at some big-named software firm? Is he still wild and crazy or did he settle down to normal mundane life? I'd like to hook up with some old college buddies and relive some fond memories of life in Oglesby Hall.
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