To the Editor:
We lost Bob Lee this week. We lost Bob to the stars. He was out late at night watching the Perseid meteor showers and, apparently, fell down, cracked his noggin, and landed in a pond. Then Bob went up and joined the stars.
But Bob was already a star. He was a star music historian, specializing in the blues. Bob knew everything worth knowing about the blues. Bob was a star singer, singing the old slave songs at the church in Oak Bluffs. Bob was also one of the “Three guys in a car, spreading joy from house to house back in the day.” where the three guys were all numbered and all were number two, in the spirit of social equality.
And Bob was a star friend to hundreds of people. With his signature grin, he was always happy to see you. And you knew it was true. That was one honest grin. And when you called Bob on the phone, boy was he happy that you called. No question about it.
Bob Lee knew how to dress. He dressed just like Bob Lee. No one dressed like Bob Lee, except Bob Lee. No one could impersonate Liberace like Bob Lee. Did you know that?
And Bob loved Karaoke Night at the Ritz. He didn’t drink then, but you’d never know it.
Bob made his living as a painter of houses. But like many on Martha’s Vineyard he wasn’t known for his day job. He was known for his personality. It is ironic that Bob gave up house painting after another house painter best known for his personality, the beloved Danny Bryant, fell off a ladder, sustaining major injuries that did him in. Bob said no more ladders for him. Bob just fell down looking at stars.
We are all going to miss Bob Lee. The place just isn’t the same without him.