This is Bob. He’s my longtime friend Danny’s dad and an all-around good guy, real team player. He’s also the main character in one of my funniest Opening Day moments.
(Bob’s on the left in green. His wife, Danny’s mom Dar, is center, in blue.)
Bob has always taken the lead in organizing the Opening Day festivities, at least until Danny reached legal drinking age and assumed some of the responsibilities (i.e., picking up the keg). He usually tends to the grill, and the fire pit, and for several years after Groppi’s closed dug out “the last of” their delicious sausages from his freezer each year. Those are topped with onions and peppers sautéed with butter in an aluminum container on the grill.
One year, Bob’s best friend, Jan, and his wife didn’t join us for Opening Day because they were vacationing at an all-inclusive in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Jan’s two kids still came along, howeva.
This Opening Day landed on a particularly dreary Good Friday, and the 40-degree weather was supplemented by ominous dark skies and a fine freezing mist coating our faces with a sheen. You could see water droplets forming on inebriated faces and sometimes you could see your breath.
Bob was tending the grill, and I was standing close by with a beer in one hand and an empty crusty brat bun in the other, waiting for the first sausage to cook through. Jan called his daughter on her cellphone. They were poolside in 80-degree weather.
“Hey Bob — my dad wants to know ‘how’s the weather?’” she said.
With rosy cheeks and a serious expression, Bob gestured with the grill tongs.
“Tell Jan,” Bob said, “that he’s an idiot.”