The rain is gone… for now

Friends helped a friend on State Street yesterday in the finest HoggFest tradition. 

I haven’t heard a final tally of how much we raised to help Bobby Carroll, but the BBQ, fixin’s and drinks alone brought in nearly $1200.00.  When I told the subject of our affection the amount, Bobby said… “Damn, that’s two months rent.”  Pretty important stuff when you’re not at all clear when you’ll be gainfully employed again.

To get that much pork ready for people to eat around noon requires getting up at oh-my-God-o’clock.  But let me tellEarly on.jpg you, Greensboro is a very quiet place at 5am.  It was just me, my truck, that old cooker and about 100lbs of Boston butts and 32 slabs of ribs.

After getting the cooker started I drove back home to get some things and returned about 6:30 to make sure the fire was right.  Up drove Bobby.  It was slightly raining as it had been since I awakened at 4:30.

He said he’d been up since 3:30.  “Couldn’t sleep.”, he said, “Looks like its going to rain on my parade...”, but he was smiling with that possum grin of his.  “No it’s not, Bobby… look there.”, I said as I pointed westward.  The clouds were breaking off in the distance. 

We delved into the brand of conversation that only people having intimate knowledge of cancer skirmishes get into.  Ruined appetites, feeding tubes, porta-caths, expensive drugs and, finally, scars.

Bobby pulled up his shirt to show me his war wounds.  You see, they’ve already tore into him to get at the cancer.  They went into his neck to remove 80% of his esophagus and dove through his abdomen to remove 20% of his stomach.  “I eat like a bird“, he said – obviously 30lbs lighter than when I last saw him, “…little bitty bites, all day long.”  He won’t start chemo and radiation until he gets a little stronger in a month or so – he’s got that to look forward to.

Those treaments effect different people in different ways“, I tried to assure him, “but if you start to get nauseous, don’t go buying any $100 apiece pills… we’ve got a cabinet full of whatever they’ll probably prescribe.”

I finished unloading my truck and headed back home for more feed-the-masses stuff as Bobby unlocked Neal’s Hair Studio – his place of employment past, and hopefully long into the future.  He went to check on some things of his own.

The next time I saw Bobby was around 1:00p during the rush to get everyone fed.  He and his daughter Laney came up for some BBQ.  The man actually tried to pay for his food, but I said, “Your money is no good here.”  They filled their plates and went across the street to find a place to squat and eat and I watched him watching everything while gnawing on a rib.  He still couldn’t wipe that ‘possum grin off his face.

I could see clouds breaking for the second time that day.  It’s a wonderful life, ain’t it Bobby?

Thanks everbody… you made a difference yesterday.  Chewie, who I swear was not there, has more pictures.

Oh yeah… If you want to donate, it’s not too late.  Make a check out to Bobby Carroll and send it to Jinni @ 108 Cypress Street, GSO, 27405.  We’ll get it to him.

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  1. Posted May 21, 2006 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    It’s hard to describe in words. I don’t know Bobby and that doesn’t matter. I couldn’t be there (wedding elsewhere) and that doesn’t matter. A while ago, we (the bloggers) started Hoggfest as a small thing and Jinni and you decided to make it annual and funded it with money that could have been yours. Now, it’s going to be annual and a deserving person and family will receive community spirit and caring.

    Now that’s hard to beat.

    I miss the community barbecues, fourth of July, and Memorial day picnics our neighborhood had when the kids were younger. Now that we’re empty nesters, there’s less community around. I hardly know my neighbors’ names anymore. I envy those who do.

    Hoggfest is the new community. I’m proud of us.

  2. Posted May 21, 2006 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    I watched her, features muted in the softened light of a shade tree while her long locks were trimmed, the excess hair blowing down the road. We didn’t speak, no point to it as the rocking band across the way entertained with speakers at jet decibel. A gray headed lady capered in the street, intricate dance steps ending in a jaunty kick.

    We did forego the barbecue (vegetarian, moi) but I treated her to chocolate cheesecake with this season’s sweet strawberries.

    Neither she, my darling girl, nor I spend time or money in hair salons; we are a woodsy, we are wooly, we tend not to invest in our vanities. But this event, a communal gathering, a community grooming no less, was a lightening not only of the excesses of harried hair gone wild but an excuse to practice generosity, nurturance, and support.

    Sadhu, sadhu. I honor you.

2 Trackbacks

  1. By Hogg’s Blog » R.I.P. Bobby Carrol on August 22, 2006 at 6:38 pm

    [...] I just found out that Bobby Carrol died last week.  Thanks to many of you, his last months were more tolerable than they would have otherwise been. [...]

  2. By Joseph on October 31, 2006 at 11:20 pm


    Where do you think you’re going today?