S: Happy 40th Birthday Robert Johnson!
BC: Go Team Robert! We are your biggest fans.
FC: Happy 40th Birthday Robert Johnson!
1: This is the good life.! Robert, Stacey, Dani & Drew January 15, 2011 | 40Years February 24, 2011
2: My favorite memorable childhood moment when Robert was growing up was when Robert looked innocently up at Judy and blurted out the “dreaded four letter word”! Of course, I never forgot this treasured moment. (Dad) I knew that Ralph and those close to him have always called him “Bear”. And when I went with Judy to order the groom’s cake, it was obvious when it had to have a bear on it. Since Golf was in their blood, I thought it had something to do with Jack Nicholas or Arnold Palmer. So I asked Ralph, “How did Robert get his nickname?” I was surprised by his answer- but should have known better than to expect some deep response. It was because when Robert was little, he tended to gravitate to womens' breasts. So he received the nickname “Boo Bear”! I would have never guessed! The most memorable thing I would like to mention about Robert is when I came into the “Johnson” family. Robert was (still is...) the tall, handsome, clothes horse, GQ individual that enjoyed having a good time. As the years have gone by, I have watched the transformation into a warm, loving, calm, patient (traits your Dad did not get until much later in life) father and husband. It is so touching to see how great a dad you have become. Your girls are so lucky to have you as their “Daddy”. And I am so proud to have such a wonderful step-son! (Janice) Happy 40th Birthday! We love you!
3: Arrowhead Golf Club, Mebane, NC Head Pro, 1991-2002 Cart Boy, 1985-1991
4: The memories I have of my little brother I hold closely to my heart. No matter what happens there is a bond that always remains strong. We have shared lots of laughter playing as little boys and as bigger ones. One such funny memory as grown men was picking up our jet ski after it was fixed and heading straight to the lake. A rainy afternoon with two brothers cutting up and then a sunken jet ski (sorry about that)! Then there were the tears we shared of joy and sadness. A memory we all share of you is seeing how loving and devoted a husband and father that you are. Though it is not spoken between us, always remember I am fortunate and blessed to have you as my brother and friend. Little brother, I love you and thank you for staying who you are. Sonny
5: Every Boy Needs a Brother
6: How does a mama pick a memory to share about her son when there have been so many? I have found it to be a task that has made me smile to myself, laugh until I have cried, and thought that my heart might burst with pride and love for you. Here are about a dozen of my favorite Robert Memories... Grandmother Johnson, Aunt Phoebe and Uncle Marvin cam e to Wrightsville Beach to help us to celebrate your second birthday. Since your dad had nicked named you Bear, I backed a Love Cake for your birthday and decorated it with a chocolate bear on the top and on the sides holding balloons. To date you had not talked- your brother talked for both of you; however, when you saw your cake you said, "There is a bear on my cake". ALl of us clapped and were so relieved that you had finally talked. You and Sonny were visiting Grandmother Rachel, Pop Pop, and Grandmother Johnson in Dunn for a few days. While there you and Sonny were hanging with Pop Pop at his office when he gave Sonny an old radio.... you got really quiet and did not look too happy. Pop Pop asked you what was wrong and replied, "you upsetted me". You and Pop Pop went to Roses to buy you a radio that afternoon. Trips to Dunn always included a visit to Uncle Edgar's to see our/his Great Dane, Princes.s. While there, you would take a walk to the pond, feed the pigs, and sit on the tractor. Pop Pop loved to take you to the place where he grew up. While following the U-Haul truck, your Daddy and Sonny were driving to Burlington in 1976, you asked if you could have a big red bike for Christmas. I told you if you stopped biting your nails and would take enough time from playing to be a little neater when going to the restroom like a big boy that you could have a big boy bike. You asked if you also had to stop picking your nose. You did clean up your act and get the bike for Christmas.
7: Your first time spending the night at a friend's house, (Holly, your swimming buddy) Chris,and I could not figure out what was taking you so long to pack your overnight bag. You were trying to decide if you could spend the night away from your bear, Balloon... we put him on the bottom of your overnight bag, under your clothes and he went along. You could be a picky eater, and I often packed your lunch for school. One day while I was watching you get off the bus, you made a detour through the Jones' yard and put your leftovers in their shrubs. I asked you what you were doing and your response was... feeding the birds. This was after you had already told me you had eaten all of your lunch. Bear, you always had the right answer for me. You were so surprised and happy when you came home from school to have your very own puppy, Aster, your wired hired fox terrier. Your Daddy and I were so happy the next morning when we work and realized Astor had slept through the night. When we got downstairs we found out it was not that Astor was a good puppy, you were a wonderful master. You had slept on the laundry room floor all night to keep him company. Our first time to FLorida was such fun. I have no idea how many times we went to It's A Small WOrld. I do remember your Daddy giving you a new nickname, "Goofy", which you could be at that age. On our trip to New York, you only wanted to eat McDonalds. You certainly have grown up! Your Dad could not go with us to D.C. so Grandmother Rachel went with us. We left for home a day early and did not get to the zoo because you missed your Daddy. One of the happiest moments of my life was when you told me you were going back to college. I loved arriving at Hyco Lake and you being there riding your jet ski or stretched out on the deck asleep.
8: On my 57th birthday you called to ask if you could bring a new girl home for my birthday dinner... of course it was fine. You and Sonny cooked my favorite, cheeseburgers on the grill. The girl was Stacey, and I knew when you two left that night that she would be your wife. The next day I called to tell you and you said to me... I hope so. You know how much I enjoy watching you, Stacey, and Dani together, and how very much you and Dani remind me of my Daddy and myself. I can not end these memories without telling you again thank you for Annie, and all of your other acts of kindness and love for your family and friends. I love you Bear. Happy 40th Birthday! -Mama
9: My favorite thing about Uncle Robert is his strength. He can take Loften down! - Eddie | Uncle Robert is a funny man and a good uncle. - Loften | Some childhood moments aren't experienced until parenthood!
10: Geri: Brady. What is your favorite thing about Uncle Robert? Brady, age 2: (no response) Geri: Aaron. What is your favorite thing about Uncle Robert? Aaron, age 6: He is SO funny. Brady: I think he is funny too Mommy! | Jordan: I love my Uncle Robert because he's funny a little.
11: R eally amazing Brother in law, Husband, Father, Godfather & Friend O ften drinking Mt. Dew B uyer of clothes, souvenirs, cars and other fun things E very day works hard to provide for his girls R ecognizes the importance of family and good friends T eaches us all what a good man should be Robert, You are truly one of my very favorite people in this world. Your kind heart and gentle soul are so rare to find in a man. I could not have scripted a better love story for my sister and I am ever so grateful that God brought you together. I feel so blessed to have you in this family. Here’s to 40 more years of good times! Happy Birthday. I love you. Geri
12: Dear Robert, I can always count on you to find newer, better tasting ways to eat protein... to keep me motivated by not out-fatting you at the beach, to raise the husband bar a little too high by shopping for clothes for your wife and daughter, to proving it is okay for a guy to wear visors too much, to show it's better to overdress- even if those around you feel like bums, to showing me off to middle-aged office ladies, to drinking beer with me when you'd rather have a Dew, to showing me things do go better with syrup, to proving southern guys can be classy too, to someday teaching my kids how to really swing a golf club, and certainly not least... to proving you can actually be good buds with your Bro-n-Law. And that is just the beginning. Thanks for being you and enjoy the next 40 Happy Birthdays.!!!! Love ya man, Eric
13: The company may change over time, or simply from time to time, but the game remains the same.
14: Robert is like a brother to me. Except that he has never beat me up, ridiculed me, or asked me for money to this point. I met Robert in 1968, in the salt mines of Costa Rica. We were undercover once again, and using the mines as a transport channel for guns and money to support the local rebels. He always did look great in facepaint. All these years later, Robert still has his zest for life. Even in his advanced age, he can perform deep knee bends on command, hop on one foot, and make a Skoal Bandit almost disappear...he, in a word, is "magic". Robert is my brother-in-law. You don't have many of those in your life, and most people I know only complain about theirs...well, I'm hear to tell ya, I got me a couple of gems (in Cannonball and Robaire). There are relationships that are chosen for you, and all you can do is hope that those who choose chose wisely, and Stacey has most definitely done that.
15: We find ourselves only in the first of many decades together, and these are the times when the sun shines brightest on our families...our children are young (and at times listen to us), our parents and siblings are alive and raising cane, and some of our personal prime is left -- we can still take a few flights of stairs pretty quickly, have a nice round or two of golf, guzzle and belch (and repeat), and be a tad irresponsible here and there (we've earned it, haven't we? Hello!? Haven't we? Is this thing on?)...these really are the good old days, I say, and my good brother and friend Robert realizes this. He treasures his family, his good fortune, and his times. One of the finest weeks of every year for this guy (meaning me) is time with Robert and our family at the beach. Each year gets better, which is hard to imagine because the first year was pretty damned good. Part of this must have something to do with not sharing bathrooms, but I digress. Robert is a great dad, and a strong example in that department. Robert is adept at handling a mixed load of carbonated drinks (Natural Lights, then Diet Mountain Dews, then a coke, then a Busch Light -- most men would crumple under such internal pressures). Robert is also the king of the flat stomach, leaving all others to suck-in, stay chest-deep in pools, and whimper silently. And most impressively, Robaire (alongside Uncle C-Ball) is my crabbin-copilot. Amen and melt the butter! He is a man for all seasons! A Man for the Ages! A clotheshorse! SodaSipper! Insurer (of Good Times)! Uncle! Hubbie! Father! Brother! Friend! We love you. Happy 40th (typing that number made my fingers ache) Jeff
16: Robert, What a celebration- Happy Birthday to a wonderful brother, father, friend and uncle! Happy 40th to an all around great guy. I have been blessed with an amazing family. Little did I know that as I got older my family would get better. When Stacey married you, that exact thing happened. Our family got even better! When Stacey called to tell me that she was bringing you to our wedding, I was just thrilled. Stacey wanted to show you off to the family and we soon understood why. You fit right into the mix. Even though Jeff and I didn't have much time to hang with you that particular weekend, we were so happy that you were part of such an important day. Months later we shared our first of many beach trips together in Myrtle. During this beach trip you asked our dad for Stacey's hand in marriage. You were also accused of being an alcoholic after dad "accidentally" checked your favorites on your computer. You and I played a very bad game of water volleyball (my bad of course) in the Charleston Court pool, shared a couple of Bud Lights, and I remember thinking to myself that Stacey has picked a great guy! You are so easy to be around and easy to talk to... not to mention funny! A couple of beach trips later, during a heated newlywed game, you indicated that Stacey wore a size 5 shoe! Even more recently on yet another beach trip, you had a serious confrontation with the sliding glass door. Whenever I am feeling down, I just think of Uncle Rober pushing, pulling and pretty much fighting with that sticky sliding glass door! Jeff and I look forward to those beach trips each year and feel so lucky to have such a wonderful family to share it with.
17: Coming to Michigan the first weekend we were here meant so much to our family. Having my sister here made everything ok- the house was immediately in working order, unpacked, and after a short week it was a home. Your amazing daughter made for the perfect playmate for Jordan. Coming in for the weekend was extremely helpful, hanging pictures, putting together mowers, princess buggies, and just being wonderful, helpful you! Thank you so much for all you did to help us adjust to our new town! Like I said before, an all around great guy! Rober, you truly are a gem and I am sure proud to call you my Brother!!! I love you and Happy 40th!!! Love, Brett | Topsail, 2007 | Nags Head, 2010
18: I remember Robert being taught a very valuable lesson as the father of his first daughter. My Dad and I were at Rex Hospital in Raleigh the day after Danielle was born. My Dad gave me a $20 to go get coffee or something from the cafeteria. When I came back into the room and sat down with my snack that cost just a couple of dollars, my Dad told Robert that no matter how much money you give- you'll never see any change. Now that you are a father of two girls, you might want to keep that in mind when handing out large bills. Love, Elizabeth | Happy 40th Robert! I hope you've had a great day, reading through your memory book. You deserve it, being the wonderful father, husband and brother in law that you are! Love, Cara
19: Dad, I may forget many of the specific memories we have made together these past several years, but I will never forget the feelings of joy and confidence I live with because of the time you make to spend with me. I know you love me. You show me in many ways. You are patient with me and kind to me as I learn about the world. I am happy to have a smart Dad who teaches me to try new things, explore all subjects, and to be a good friend. I love you Dad! Make a wish... Your Worm, Smudge Mawsh, Littles, Danielle
20: Big Sister Training, 12/7/2010
21: Hi Dad! I haven't met you yet, but I have heard your voice nearly every morning, noon, and night that I have been growing in Mommy's tummy. You sound like a lot of fun, especially when you make my big sister laugh and laugh... and laugh. I can't wait to join in life with you, Dani, and Mom so I can giggle lots too! I can already feel all the love out there too! God told me that I was going to a place with great love and warmth- to a home with a Daddy that will love and protect me, and help me to learn about life... "the good lessons I'll need to know", He said. I am so blessed that you are the father he picked for me! Not only does it seem like we will have a lot of fun, and not only will I get to experience the great love that He told me is in your heart, but I will get to learn about life with you by my side. Dad- I can't wait! I am really trying to come early, but I know only God knows when I am ready- you know, how Mom likes babies to be as fully grown as possible when she mets them. So, I wait. And I look ahead Dad, to not waiting anymore for things, but to experience life in each of it's precious moments as they come- the way I've heard Mom tell Dani the way you do. I love you! Calleigh Drew
22: The training has ended, and a new Big Sister, the best Big Sister, is born!!!
23: Littlest Drew, 7 lbs. 7 ounces Born at 7:08 on January 4th, 2011
24: Robert, Best I can remember, I met you during the fall of 1993 at Ham's in Burlington. It was, of course, with David, Jack Patterson, and a few others that I can no longer recall. That was the beginning of a friendship that brings me a lot of wonderful memories. I always enjoyed being with David and his "Arrowhead" friends. The beach trips, the dinners, the gatherings...we have always had a great time! The early days of Ham's and Sal's, to social events at Carlton's and Kimber's, beach trips & lake visits- to more recent family cookouts in our backyards. These are all just a few of the fun memories I have, and I am glad to know you! It has been a pleasure "growing up" with you, if you will. Thank you for being such a great friend to David and me. Congratulations on your beautiful family; I look forward to all of us making many more memories together. Happy 40th Birthday!! Love you! Nan | 1997
25: Date of Service: 10/12/94 Place: Carolina Nissan Car: Burgandy, 1992 Nissan 240 Mileage: 42,619 Repair Work: *Straighten Right Side Frame *Realign Front End *Mount and Balance 2 New Tires Cost: $792.74 | David Cooper's Memory: | Pull up a chair before turning the page. The third party to the reference above felt compelled to elaborate...
26: “Cuz we’re the 3 best friends that anybody could ever have” Allan Garner The Hangover Christian Ennis Now for those of you who have known Robert for the better part of the last 25 years- you know he has long been revered by girlfriends and mothers as the perfect “boy next door”. Tall, handsome, charismatic with just enough faux innocence and shyness to make the phrase “oh, it will be fine honey we are just going out with Robert” actually sound believable. Well this particular night would change all that forever and in doing so ruin our most treasured longest standing alibi. It was the Spring of 96’ I was about to graduate from college and in an understandably carefree mood (not that my educational status has ever had much bearing on how carefree I was). This night was going to be special because I was meeting up with two of my oldest and dearest friends, Robert and David (who from now on will be referred to as Coop, or Cooper). For various reasons (mainly because we all had girlfriends who knew better than to let us hang out together) we hadn’t seen each other in quite some time so needless to say we were primed and ready for action. The fateful night began like so many others in our past, good friends enjoying fine food and drink; which at that time meant we were at either Ham’s or Sal’s drinking cheap draft beer and eating even cheaper appetizers. This particular night it was Ham’s. The crowd was pretty low key with our only entertainment coming from the occasional “duck and roll” maneuver Robert would perform to evade the glaring stare of a distant ex (The Legend of Grey Tooth I will save for the 50th Birthday). Fun as that was, it was pretty apparent to us all that a night with so much anticipation couldn't just flame out with the same old boring routine. So, there was only one thing left to doYep you guessed it- BREAK GLASS IN CASE OF EMERGENCY! (no pun intended)-we had to go to Greensboro. Now for those of you unfamiliar with the party scene in the mid-90’s I must explain that Greensboro was the holy grail of all hot spots-super classy. So, when you went to Greensboro you had to be sophisticated which meant splashing on a double dose of CK1 or Obsession for men, and wearing your best multicolored Tommy Hilfiger knit shirt. Being that we were all aptly dressed and appropriately perfume we jumped in Coop’s sweet Nissan 240Z and headed toward I-85W. We were so excited in fact that we didn't even fight over who was going to sit in the non-existent back seat. That would be the last time the back seat didn't cause a fight. Like so many occasions before, tonight called for a toast to old friends and old times so we stopped by the drive-thru Quickie Mart on South Church Street and ordered up the best 2 bottles of Cisco we could find. Now urban legend had it that Cisco was actually liquid crack but to us it was liquid gold. After all it had helped me teach Robert how to do the Roger Rabbit at the prom a few years prior and helped Cooper muster up the courage to actually simulate dance moves with Nan at a Jimmy Buffet concert... the expectations of this night were equally miraculous. Now it is probably quite apparent that I was already pretty intoxicated- so adding another 80 ounces of heinous malt liquor to the equation was a recipe for disaster. Well disaster struck in the form of what came to be known as a “Backseat Reversal”. In laymen’s terms I puked as we rounded the last clover leaf exiting the interstate. At this point let me remind you that we hadn’t yet actually gotten to the club so you can imagine what we were in for once we arrived.
27: We busted on the scene looking like 3 preppy kids stepping out of the Dillard’s Easter Sunday circular. What awaited us however was something for which none of us were prepared. From the moment we stepped through the doors and heard the pulsating electronic tribal beats it was apparent that this locale was a far cry from the dance floor of the Best Western where our Funky Cold Medina dance moves had become a thing of legend. This place was full of Goth chicks with glow sticks and dudes in eye liner and black fingernails asking Robert if he wanted to dance. There where girls in metal cages which rotated over the dance floor and guys dancing on platforms that looked like they belonged in Madonna’s dance troupe. Needless to say we weren’t in Kansas anymore. Being the true soldiers were are however, we were determined to not let such a strange scene ruin our reunion so we bellied up to the bar and started drinking shots. After all we had front row seats to a complete traveling freak show, which came to end when we (by “we” I mean I) couldn’t resist making snide comments to the “carnies” and things started to get a little intense. We decided it best to leave the rave and head our cracker-assess back to B-Town. Now being that Robert was the most responsible one of the bunch (and the one whose name was synonymous with harmless fun) he decided he should drive home, being the least influenced by alcohol and most likely under the legal limit. He also convinced Coop that since I had already had one reversal on the way to Greensboro it was probably best that he sit in the back and let me hang my head out the front window- big mistake, all of it, ONE BIG FREAKING MISTAKE! The gratitude that Coop and I felt over our friend's gracious offer was apparent by the fact that we actually stayed awake long enough to make sure Robert knew his way out the parking lot-which took about 90 seconds then we both passed out cold. On the way home all I remember is being awakened by the sound of grinding metal, the smell of burning rubber and the feel of my head –previously dangling out the window- slamming against something at a high rate of speed. I woke up and screamed “oh my God you just cut my head off” then Coop started screaming at Robert to pull over and let him drive. Robert quite calmly explained to Coop that he didn't think he'd be able to hold the car in between the barricades even long enough to make it to the next exit, and that he just had a little accident, but all would be OK. When investigating the vehicle, it became apparent that Robert decided to try a Bo Duke 2-wheel maneuver while hurdling down the interstate at 70 mph. Upon review of the laceration on my head, it was apparent that when Robert hit the barricade my head slammed into the review mirror (not the barricade) leaving it cracked and dangling (the rear view mirror that is, not my head). Needless to say, considering the size of the cut and the extremely low viscosity of my blood at that point I probably should have gone the hospital, but once again Robert-logic prevailed. He explained to me quite convincingly that the hospital was the last place I needed to go because of how angry our girlfriends would all be if we wound up in the hospital. He assured me that he would get me home and patch me up and come up with a story that would smooth over everything- classic Phil, oops I mean Robert (Hangover reference). In hindsight I realize the error in my judgment because what happened next was far from “smoothing over”. Little did I know that Robert’s grand plan included coasting up to my girlfriend’s house with the lights out, so as to be undetected, then gently opening the passenger side door and, with aide of Cooper, hoisting me out of the car by arms and legs and tossing me into the wet pine straw of the front flower bed. Now at least Robert was kind enough to gently apply a pine straw-based clotting agent to my head while Cooper rang the front doorbell before they both ran like hell back the car so neither of them would have to the face the wrath that awaited me once my girlfriend or her mom found me a in bloody pool among the blooming azaleas. They succeeded in escaping and in the process the good name of one Robert Johnson was tarnished in the eyes of girlfriends and mothers everywhere. Oh well partner, it was a good run and it had to end sometime. I am just glad I was part of the legend. Now I realize many of you reading this will be appalled by the sheer idiocy and lack of judgment displayed on that fateful night, but much like the movie “The Hangover” nobody got seriously injured in the process and today it makes for one hell of a great story! LOVE YOU ROBERT!
28: My Memories with Robert L.Johnson by Todd Benware It seems like just a short time ago That we met at the Quarry course Not knowing each other yet at all But finding out we both wore shorts. He kept his in a pile marked clean I put mine in drawers near the wall He’d walk thru his room, pick out a pair I guess he could see well being tall. Our love of the game kept us friends... We roomed together for quite a time Spent lots of days out on the grass And Just as many nights out of our mind. I remember going over a hundred In that convertible BMW It’s lucky we’re still alive But with those details I won’t trouble you.
29: Good times went by with fun for all We played, we ran, we got a Dalmatian She gave us some great moments With eleven puppies, what recreation! And then the day we went our own way It came and there was much sorrow For two great pals were split apart By a yearning for tomorrow. Tomorrow was the time to mature To reach out for a wife and family We both made it to where we wanted That is, to live our lives happily. Friends, you just need to know this one last thing That the facts cannot lie There’s not a better Johnson to find You needn’t not even try. And so this story goes and goes Just like those Dollhouse pics (where the hell are those?) That by the time you catch up to this long story We’ll be gone with our sticks! | 2/23/07
30: Dad... Dad... Dad! I just wanted to say thank you for bringing me back home for my final year. All those stairs on Black Mountain Path got to be too much for my senior hips. I liked hanging out with the kid too. She really loved me. I knew you'd be taken care of by her and Mom. Thank you for keeping me forever in your heart. We had good times over the years, you and I. You know I loved you, and always will! See you later Dad.
31: Sir Callaway of Herronwood, 1996- 2008
32: I guess it starts when Robert and I were 7 or 8 years old. We met at Arrowhead one summer and have remained close ever since. Our days would combine lots of golf and eventually swimming at Dogwood Swim Club in Mebane. Golf, swimming, and a lot of hotdogs- summers don’t get much better than that growing up in a great town like Mebane with your best friend there every step of the way. Robert has accomplished so much in his 40 years. I was so proud of Robert for getting his college degree while working full time. Still nothing compares to his best accomplishment, his new family. Not only is Robert lucky for meeting Stacey, but I feel she is just as lucky in meeting Robert. I will never forget the day Robert told Michelle and I that he had met the girl he knew he would marry. He seemed so happy. I guess the only thing that beats that is the growing of his family with little Danielle and their new child on the way. I have been blessed and honored to have a friend like Robert. He is a straight shooter and has been there whenever I asked or needed him. He does not know how much the visits to see me in Charleston, Tampa, Wilmington or Pinehurst meant to me. Sometimes it is nice to have family visit and I have always considered Robert family. Luckily Robert and I have gotten to play some pretty good golf courses together and I look forward to future trips with him and our friends. I hope the next 40 years compare to Robert’s first 40. Jack Patterson
33: Old Memorial Tampa, Florida 1999
34: I knew Robert was an extraordinary person when, soon after meeting him, I heard Robert empathizing with someone who was taking a particularly ornery view on an issue. I have forgotten the issue, I do not remember who the person was, but I do remember my reaction about Robert – What a great guy, I thought. But, as I have had the privilege of seeing Robert more and more, and in more and more roles – from father to son-in-law, I have learned that he is extraordinary in many ways. I hope he does not keep this talent a secret, because it is very impressive: At 39 years old, when he talks with Danielle, Robert can discuss intelligently all the princesses. He compares them in conversation with Danielle and respects her opinion that Cinderella is that best, even though he favors Ariel. From golf to generosity and from princesses to parenting, Robert is a remarkable individual. Love, DC Dale
35: I am fortunate to be Robert’s father-in-law. I remember the first time I met Robert. I was visiting Stacey and Robert was coming over after work. When Robert walked in my first thought was: “he is taller than I thought he’d be.” Second thought: Robert said,” Good to meet you sir.” Whenever someone says “sir” I get very cautious –but, I decided Robert was just being polite. During our annual Family Beach Week, we all had dinner out, and I found myself “accidentally” riding back to the house alone with Robert. He was acting nervous, said something about Stacey and then gave up, saying: “Heck, you’ve been through this twice already” –and they were engaged! A very nice memory is from the rehearsal dinner – Robert gave one of the greatest speeches I have ever heard—defining the importance we all had to Robert and Stacey. This scared me because I had to give a speech the next night. I thought of saying, “Robert stole my speech last night!” The best ongoing memory I have of Robert is his daily love and concern for Stacey and Danielle –his true kindness and warmth. What more can a father-in-law ask for in a son-in-law? As you turn 40 just think of how many more precious memories you will provide Stacey, Dani, the new little one (unnamed at this time!) and me. My favorite quote about turning 40 is from Peanuts author Charles Schultz: “Just remember, once you’re over the hill you begin to pick up speed.” Love, Pop Steve
36: Jimmy Buffet Concert 198? Congo Line From Hell To start with I don’t know why I was there. I’m not a huge Buffet fan. I know I never would have bought a ticket and driven to Walnut Creek to see him. Therefore, it must have been Robert’s fault that I was even there. Robert and I drove down in his convertible BMW yuppie starter car to meet the rest of our group for the pre-concert festivities. It’s funny that we had no trouble finding them in the masses of Parrot Head tailgaters before we started drinking. When everyone was at or beyond the proper Buffet concert toxicitylevel, we headed in. After two or three stops at the drink booths on the way to the grass seating, we were fully prepared to appreciate the Buffet experience. Robert and I saw Buffet perform approximately one and a third song. At the beginning of the second song it happened, the Congo Line From Hell (CLFH) formed. This was the longest Cong line I had ever seen. It must have had close to two hundred people in it. It was not mandatory to partake in the CLFH but I thought the rest of our group joined in and it did look like a lot of fun, so Robert and I were in. After about sixty feet of Congoing, the line split into two Congo lines. Apparently, Robert went with Congo line A and I went with Cong line B. It took about sixty more feet and Congo line B disbanded (bunch of freaking quitters). This is the moment several things became apparent to me. Robert must be in Congo line A, my decision making had been severely clouded by all of the pre-game activities, the rest of our group apparently didn’t believe in Congo line participation, watching Jimmy Buffet as a onesome is depressing and Robert’s bad sense of direction had jumped into my body at some point during the pre-concert activities.
37: The rest of the evening was like a drunken real life Where’s Waldo. I unsuccessfully attempted to reunite with Congo line A to locate Robert. I tried to find my way back to where I thought the group was, but that was impossible using Robert’s sense of direction. So I spent the next two hours aimlessly walking around hoping to bump into Robert or anybody that I knew. At this point, I was hoping that Robert wouldn’t leave without me and that Robert’s sense of direction would soon wear off so I could find the car. The concert was about over and I was tired of walking, so I took a break and sat on a fountain located near the entrance. I looked to the other side of the fountain and there sat Robert, looking just as lost as me. He had been doing the exact same thing for the past two hours. We were only separated for a short time but we acted like we had just been reunited after months of wandering around alone in the wilderness. Making our way home is a whole other story... Happy 40th! -Keith
38: I have several wonderful memories of Robert... like parking my car, unloading my suitcases when I visit (who does that anymore?). He also gives great hello and goodbye hugs even to his mother-in-law, which is a skill- LOL. The best things about Robert, in my opinion, is his insight, patience and creativity when dealing with his daughter Danielle and all her cousins. It was heartwarming to watch discreetly from the kitchen as he and Dani put together her princess castle, a gift for her third birthday. He was so careful putting all the rooms together with Dani's help. He knew everything about the castle and all the Disney characters. It was tedious work for a dad alone and he had a three year old helper. He even made Dani feel important about the help she gave. I thought to myself that he should have another daughter with all his patience- how prophetic. During a recent visit when Dani's year-old cousin Harper was fussy and not even grandma could calm her, she reached out to Uncle Robert and immediately was quite as he picked up a little pony and created a story for her. Happy 40th Birthday Robert! I wish you all of the good things in life! Love, Grandma Tommy | Robert, Happy fortieth birthday! I hope it's a great day, and the start of a great decade for you. I'm so pleased that you are part of our family. You are a great father, husband, uncle, brother-in-law, and son-in-law, and a great model for your kids. Congratulations for all of the above! Love, Joe
39: In our brief tenure of knowing Robert, we have already created many memories, and have learned several things of what make RJ one of a kind. We’re always impressed by Robert’s impeccable dress, and the way he dazzles the masses with his modeling of Peter Millar, and never showing a wrinkle. The fact that he is a little bit of a picky eater, brings a smile to Willy’s face because he loves everything Stacey makes, and knows that he’s only a short distance away to gobble up all the leftovers. Because of Robert’s need for his security blanket (his cell phone), it provided us with the memory of the nice lady’s voice saying “this stinks” while watching horrible acting thanks to the “safe driving” feature on his texting. Through all the laughs and great times, we have learned a few things for sure; Robert is passionate about his work, his golf, but above all else, his family and friends. You have shown us, Robert, in just this brief period, a great example of love for your wife and children (Drew is still in the oven, but we can say you have more than one) that gives those around you permission to do the same. And also, a loyalty of friendship that is obvious to those you care about through your selfless acts of generosity and support. Here’s to Robert and the next 40 years! Willy and Jill Fisher
40: Robert lent Brian and I the money we needed for a down payment on our first home. We will never forget that! Robert- You have been a great friend to both Brian and I- a super nice guy!!! Stacey- you are lucky to have married a man with such high ethics. -Tabitha
41: The one thing Jimmie and I will always be very grateful for is the fact that we met each other through Robert! Robert and Jimmie have been friends for a couple of decades now, having met at Quarry Hills Country Club. They are great golfing buddies. Our families are now making more memories together with Jaxton and Danielle being about the same age. Robert, you are a wonderful guy and will always be special to us!! We wish you all the love and happiness on your 40th Birthday! Amy & Jimmie
42: Buckyyyyyyyy...( I guess I was the only one that ever called you Bucky), When asked to write something about our past and share a memory of you and I, I can only laugh. We could probably write 10 NY Times Bestsellers! I mean even simple things that I'm sure will only have significance between you and I, but if we could only explain how important they were in our lives. Think back to the most simple thing...Do you remember good ole cart number 39 at Arrowhead? Do you remember why we use to pick that cart? She wasn't pretty, but she would fly! Arrowhead was and will always be a big part of us. It's where my second family lived! When I was back visiting this pass September, it was so warm just going by and talking to Dad again, albeit it was a different golf course now. I still love him today like a father! Although Arrowhead has gone and passed, we left a legacy there of some sort that will never be forgotten...even if it was our own legacy in our own minds. We did skin those cats one day pretty good on the back nine however. You are I were playing mediocre at best and we were getting creamed through 15 holes at a nice even par. Then it happened....I birdied 16 after doing a flop shop over the Cedar next to the green about 5 feet from the hole. Then in clutches of our grind, you eagled 17..it was game on then. So pulling out of the crucifixion we were facing if we didn't turn this round around, the 18th was on and ours to take victory home. I sank a 4 foot side hiller on 18 to complete the hat trick. I'll never forget that and you telling me "there is no choke in that stroke". Probably one of the great hat tricks ever at that golf course mind you! And I was privileged to call you partner! Our lives extended so far past Arrowhead!!! Remember the middle of the night road trip to Tampa? Boy times have changed as we've settled down and gotten a little older and wiser. Speaking of Tampa...and Airplanes...I bet Bubba Trammell will never forget that one first class flight with us. What started as a friendly conversation finished with him helping us off a plane and him spilling wine on a lady's dress- haha. I still have pictures from that trip speaking of which, I need to go through sometime.
43: I just proofread my letter and sat here thinking to myself....10 NY Times Bestsellers does no justice to us growing up. 100 would be more like it. But just to put one more smile on your face, I'm going to refresh you with one more simple memory... It revolved around your generosity one night and wanting to help out a stranger that ran out of gas...Robert, you're all heart buddy. Did you happen to realize we didn't know this guy and he had a briefcase with that jug of gas he was carrying? It makes a good story now though! I mean how often can you tell people: - One night we picked up a guy that was out of gas on the highway- We forgot to ask him if he was a convict and he was fresh out of jail from what he told us- He broke down in a construction zone that was blocked down to one lane without any hazard lights on on his truck- A wreck had happened behind him because of how and where he left his truck in the one lane of traffic- We aided this fugitive to the Kernersville Exit- The fugitive got away (last we know)- Ever wonder what was in that briefcase there buddy? hahaha On a final note, do me one favor as I bring a few of many memories of ours to a close. It will probably not mean anything to anyone other than you and I, but do it anyhow. Take your wife out to eat one night to Sal's. Sit in one of our 3 booths (next to the bar opening where the guy threw the drink in his girlfriend's face- haha). Enjoy a pizza and beer and remember me my friend... Send me the bill. This one's on me. Happy Birthday! Miss ya buddy, Brad
44: Yesterday... Bryan remembers Robert from high school, sitting next to one another in home room. And of course....Robert driving his silver RX-7! Today... We see Robert today be a great dad, husband, and family guy! Happy 40th Birthday, The Isley’s
45: Dearest Roberto: To a friend who was always there whenever I've needed him except when I... - needed a par on 18 to keep from getting tripled shucked - Sonny made bogey from 60 yards and you 3 putted from 10 ft. - cost me $200 - needed a ride home from Franklin St.(mid 1980's) - you sent Keith instead - we never made it home - slept in bushes and had to eat a squirrel (Hector's was closed) - needed a strong wheel partner against the usual suspects - you recommended Sam Collins...cost me another $200...nickname of "Mule" should have been a clue - needed you to limit my consumption during a round at Mid Pines...instead you bought ice and additional bullets at the turn and I ended up chasing another squirrel and accidentally spilled a bit of soy sauce on your lovely bride (sorry about that Stacey - as you see, Robert was guilty again!) On the serious side, I do truly value our friendship and will always remember the good times at Arrowhead, Shamrock, Pebble, Mill Creek, Shinnecock Hills, Winged Foot and the list goes on. It gives me hope to know that a former hot dog chef / cashier - a Cinderella story - Outta nowhere - A former PGA Professional, now, about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a miracle... It's in the hole! It's in the hole! It's in the hole! Happy Birthday!!!! PS...I did check with Dr. Coop and he is still willing to take you under his wing for a small retainer fee. And yes, I will continue to give you advice and treatment on your shoulder, back, knee, elbow, wrist, finger and hip. Brad Deal
46: Robert, I have such wonderful memories of you even in the short time that I have known you. I will say this, you are an amazing husband to my best friend and wonderful father to your daughter. I am grateful that you are a part of my life through them! Happy 40th birthday! May it be a wonderful year with many many more to follow! Love you! Robin | Robert, I simply want to wish you a very happy 40th birthday. While we don't live close enough to hang out regularly, I find it comforting that we can pick up where we left off (in a not gay way) even after several months have passed. You're a good man and one I'm proud to call a friend. Stay classy my friend, Eric
47: Robert, Lordy, Lordy, Robert’s 40!! Actually 40 is not old at all and you only get wiser with age...or that’s what our parents tell us. We knew you had to be an awesome guy when you met Stacey on the day that James was born 7 years ago. Your ears must have been burning the next day. Stacey visited us at the hospital to meet our sweet baby James, and was telling us all about you and how amazing of a time she had with you the night before. (Pam) Thanks for hanging with the guys at the Metallica concert. It was a great time but our necks were definitely sore the next day. And, how come you didn’t get the swine flu like me and Kevin just after that crazy loud night? Oh, because you didn’t come eat greasy, bad for you late night food. (Jay) We wish you a wonderful 40th birthday and may you have many, many more years of awesomeness!! Love, Jay and Pam
48: Robert, I absolutely loved making this book for you. You give your heart abundantly to all who know and love you, and I just had to give those in your life the opportunity to express their feelings and memories shared with you! The expressions and stories that came in prove that you are seen for the man you have become... caring, loving, lots of fun, patient, and kind. You have helped me learn to love in a way that I was afraid I'd never be able to. I am forever grateful for you in my life and in the lives of those I love. Our daughters are so blessed to have you as their father. Not because you are perfect, but because you are a true life model of how beautiful humanness can be. You are human in the way you love and live. Though perfection does not exist on Earth, you are certainly perfect for me, and for our children. You continually surprise me by opening your heart to care for the needs and wants of others.
49: Your patience, your generosity, your sentimental nature, your energy, your enthusiasm for teaching... these are just a few of the reasons I am intrigued by you. Try to remember these thoughts and feelings I have for you during the crazy and hectic routine of daily life when I may fail to tell or show you how special you are in this life of ours. Thank you for growing to be a friend that I do not want to live without! I love you with my heart and soul. Your wife- Stacey
51: It certainly is... A Wonderful Life!