Ode to Bob from NJ

Bob's sunset
Bob’s sunset

Every campsite has a history.
Some are just for a night.
Some last a little longer.

We spent the past week being admired at a little ocean-side campsite at Bar Harbor Oceanside KOA.

Every evening campers would meander along the beach to watch the sunset over Western Bay.

Like clockwork, they would stop by and tell us how lucky we are to have our site.

It became a nightly routine:

“How did you get that site?”
“Do you know how lucky you are?”

Sometimes it was only a whisper passed amongst ‘regulars’ that the wind carried over to us at our campfire.

Every campsite has a history.

After some inquiries, we discovered the site belonged to Bob, from New Jersey.

At the end of a lane of seasoned campers, all hauling large RV’s and Toy Haulers, we pitched our little pop-up “Tilly”. We were the new kids on the block. And we felt lucky.

Bob and Kathy had been staying at this site the same time every year, for about 20 years, according to our camp neighbours Connie and Graham.

Bob enjoyed cycling and Kathy would swim in the sea.

He was a dentist.

From what I’ve heard, they were good people.

Bob died a little over a year ago. He had cancer.

According to a friend, his last summer he wasn’t well enough to camp, so they stayed in a Bar Harbor hotel. But they still vistied Site 272, spent time with friends and enjoyed the sunset.

After Bob passed away, I’m told their large RV was too much for Kathy to drive to Bar Harbor. And the memories were perhaps too heavy, too fresh.

No one hears from Kathy anymore.

And so it happened to be the same day that I telephoned KOA, to see by chance if they had any last minute spots, within that hour Bob and Kathy’s site was cancelled.

For twenty years, thereabouts, they gathered with friends in late August to watch the beautiful sunsets over Western Bay. Some of his friends we’ve been lucky enough to meet.

And while we never met Bob, we honour him with a quiet toast and will remember him.

Every campsite has a history.
Some are just for a night.
Some are a little longer.

Western Bay at sunset
Western Bay at sunset

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