When I think about Bobby Bradford, I have a feeling of personal warmth.
I see Bobby by the pool, in his straw hat to keep off the sun, talking and laughing with the ladies but always keeping a sharp eye on the disabled swimmers.
I hear him in the mat room, warming up the class with laughter as he gives us a taste of dialect humor. He believes that laughter is good for the body and soul.
The thing about Bobby I most admire is his love of everything he does. He embraces all life, including his work at the College Adaptive P. E. Program, with enthusiastic passion. He knows all us students well, and likes to joke with us.
We students get to enjoy his guitar playing on festive occasions like class parties and picnics. Over the years, he has also invited me and other students to hear him play with the bands he's been in, with names like Spurs of the Moment, The Weeds, Rx Blu and Burnt Toast. We've been treated to his own original tunes. One that I particularly enjoy is called "Parking Lot," which details some of his experiences at the College. Bobby has recently taken up piano with his trademark enthusiasm.
Bobby has taken almost every class on the campus. His broad range of studies makes him a very interesting guy to know. He is quite knowledgeable about ancient Greek culture, and has a collection of very old Greek coins (emphasis on goddesses, satyrs and nymphs). He loves the outdoors and has a cabin near the Russian River. He has lately turned to art.
Bobby is something of a computer expert. He designs web sites. When I've needed him to help me with my computer, he has been unfailingly generous. When I was stranded in the jungle in Belize, having great trouble contacting the U.S. via e-mail, the only time I did get through, I reached Bobby.
Sometimes I've called Bobby when my attendant care has suddenly been short or missing. His broad acquaintance with women he calls "angel o' mercy types" makes him an invaluable resource. If none of them are available, he's not too proud to do the dirty work himself.
He is friendly and is a good listener. Around him, people open up and quickly become his friends.
Bobby wears the long, bushy beard and wire-rimmed specs of an old hippie. He is pleased to recall his association with San Francisco's Summer of Love in 1967. After all these years, he still exemplifies the hippie ideal of universal love.
[Writer George Barker, 74, has had cerebral palsy since contracting encephalitis from a mosquito at the age of 12. He has been a student in College of Marin's Adaptive PE program for more than 20 years.]
George Barker and Maureen Green talk about Bobby Bradford behind his back.
[Editor's note: These stories were NOT my idea -- BB]
see related story, 'Who is this guy?'
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