Tribute to An Old Friend–Bob Holmes

I’m not sure of the exact year, but it must have been at least twenty plus years ago by now.

My great-uncle, who owned rental property downtown, had a part-time custodian, who needed full-time work.

Uncle George called my dad and asked him to hire Bob Holmes to come to work at the White Star Confectionery.

George gave him a good recommendation and guaranteed my dad that he’d be a hard worker.

Uncle did not lie.

In fact, as time went on, I realized that he had under-sold Bob Holmes.

Not only was he a hard worker, but he was about the most loyal friend anyone could have ever asked for.

Some of the things I loved most about Bob was his dedication to the Boston Red Sox.

At the beginning of every season, no matter how badly they fell from grace the year before, I could hear him say–“this is our year.”

Bob had an incredible sense of humor too.

Even though, at times, it included jokes not necessarily fit for the King’s Court, I could not help but laugh–sometimes for days.

One of the saddest periods of my life was when our family had to sell our business–White Star–and then say goodbye to people like Bob, who were as dedicated to our success as any of the Masserys.

Bob passed on a few weeks ago, from the effects of colon cancer.

Ironically, my dad, who died from the same disease, was one of the few people who had the ability to cause Bob to occasionally use–if I may be so bold–“Holy language.”

Bob told me at Dad’s wake, more than once, that he loved my father, for the many heart to heart talks they had together, early in the mornings, well before the store would open.

Bob, for some reason, rarely slept.

My dad, for some reason, rarely slept past 4:30 am–worrying about business.

Bob, may you finally have the peaceful rest that eluded you on earth for so many years.

If you see my dad, please tell him it’s OK to sleep past 4:30 now, and while you’re at it, you can both say a prayer for the Red Sox.


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