To have known and met Barefoot Bob, was--for me--an honor!
Ten years ago (May 1999) I met Barefoot Bob (Bob Hardison) online, and immediately felt a connection, an affinity with this man, at the time 25 years sober, age 66, the same as me. We thought so much alike, we emailed over that period, and got along well. he lived in Post Falls, Idaho, after having lived--REALLY lived--in many other places.
As I later read daily online (a "ship's log") of his trip, he was being pushed by storms down into Florida waters and lost his mast. Barefoot wound up motoring his craft across the state, through the Okeechobee Waterway to Ft Myers, then to an island along the west coast of FL. There he laid up for R&R and repairs.
And it was there I drove to meet with this fabled man (he looked MUCH older than same-age-steveroni, ya know? -grin!). I had taken my violin along just in case (well, yes, in a case!). Ya know what? He and I sat on the stern of his "Cat" in a secluded harbor, on a sunny, summerly afternoon, and made music together, Barefoot on guitar, and me on violin.
A small audience gathered, seemed to enjoy it, but not as much as we did. We exchanged gifts and "broke bread" together. We spent a fine Sunday afternoon together, and as we parted, I figured we'd both live forever. But that's not how it happened.
Barefoot was taken "home" to have a face-to-face meeting with his chief Sponsor, his (and my) Higher Power. One of the blogger guys, Ed or Hank, Dave, Syd, Eli, Findon, Mark, Joe--someone, alerted me only days ago, that Barefoot died this past January 31, 2009.
Barefoot was so full of AA and its Principles, and we talked long about our experiences, strengths, and hopes. My discussion with such a man imbued me with a new fervor for our program at a time when--about 30 years sober--I had discovered a certain complacency in myself: cunningly, bafflingly, powerfully dangerous at any time. Thank You God, and thank you, Barefoot Bob!
I miss you man, sober now 35 years, age 76, and a fellow member of AA in good standing. You trudged the road all the way to happy destiny. God bless you, Barefoot. Amen.
Love and Peace,
NOTE: Barefoot (HERE) has over 500 pages on the Internet, I have linked certain pages which are primarily AA/Recovery oriented.