Harold Clifford played the piano during my Rotary tenure.
“How about a rousing chorus of ‘God Bless America,’ boys?” he would sing out. And off we’d go. Great stuff. A gang of men singing their hearts out. Yup, all men back in those days. And smoking was allowed. Generally after a dutifully prepared meal by Madame Durfee, the cigarettes lit and smoke filled the air.
Ronnie Calhoun, Howard Friant, Bill Frysinger, Donny Wotton and lots more community notables lined the tables. Quite a crew. And then there was me.
I didn’t do very well with my attendance record, unlike some who hadn’t missed a meeting in 83 years. Things often seemed to get in the way of Thursday nights and making up out of town never quite worked out. I missed warm ups at the auto parts store. Good pricing on discount STP!
I didn’t meet Bob Pike at the Rotary though. He bought my Betty Ford 1964 pick up that brought me to Maine. He liked the wooden stake body bed I’d built. As Betty fell apart, I knew the end was near. We had been together for years, but it was time. Bob helped me through it.
Over the years I’ve been able to keep track of Mr. Pike via Grover’s Hardware. It’s the happening place in town, almost as popular as Hannaford. Although Bob, I believe, tries to remain above the fray, politically, he’s a great source of helpful information as are others who work the hardware floors.
Bob had a pretty serious health challenge recently; 46 days away from home, he said, including hospital, rehab and complications. But, I’m happy to say, he’s back, on a limited schedule, at Grover’s. I think he was a little annoyed with my surprise camera visit, but he did help me find the part I needed for our toilet.