Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bobby Sherman, I'll miss you

At 7:45 am on November 17, I received a call from my cousin, Randy. My cousin, Randy’s brother, Bobby Sherman, passed away in a car accident last night. Bobby lived in Virginia Beach, VA. He was 55 years young. In addition to Randy, he left a sister-in-law, Roberta, long-time girlfriend, Lynn, and many friends and family members. My father grew up as Bobby and Randy’s Uncle Lee. Bobby and he were close. They remained close to this day. My father had spoken with Bobby just two days ago. My father has said my son, Ari, reminds him of the way Bobby was as a little boy. Smart, precocious, always with some plan of action.

After hearing the news, I was shocked. I cried. Several memories ripped through my mind. The first one was when Bobby accompanies me on the piano at my wedding as I sang a song to my new husband. “What am I playing,” he said. “What I told you on the phone,” I answered.

Bobby was a child prodigy on the piano. He played by ear since the age of three. My father tells the story that when he would practice, he hated to read notes. They slowed him down. So, when his mother, my Aunty Florence, heard him going a mile-a-minute on the piano, she would yell out (in a lovely Southern drawl),”Bobby, read the notes! When he got older, he attended the Juilliard School and became a concert pianist. Brilliant. He later went into his family’s furniture business. Long story.
Another memory was simply when we’d get together, which wasn’t too often, I loved to hear him call my father Uncle Lee and my mother Aunty Pearl in his adorable Southern drawl. He called me darlin’. When he and a piano were in the same room, a sing-a-long was sure to ensue. He was very lovable and welcoming.

Bobby won’t be at a family Bar Mitzvah in January. Randy has lost his mother, his father and now his brother. Lynn has lost a best friend, companion and lover. And I am sad for my father. He won’t be able to call him by phone anymore. My father lost a nephew many years ago from a motorcycle accident. He always hated motorcycles after that. I am sure he won’t stop driving, but it will certainly make him and all of us a bit more alert on the road, at least for a little while.

I have spoken with a couple of cousins. We are still processing this. We know some of the story, but we’ll never know the rest of the story. What was he thinking about right before the crash? Was he alive at all after the crash? If so, for how long? I hope he didn’t suffer.

We all have those family members or friends with whom we don’t speak often, but we know “is there.” Maybe we get an update from others. Maybe we call once in a while. We exchange holiday cards and make sure things are ok.

Then, that person isn’t there anymore. Would I have done something differently if I had known? It’s not a fair question. Will I now contact more friends and family more regularly? I might. It seems cruel to say, but life goes on. Bobby would want it that way. Bobby was a free spirit. He didn’t like to “read the notes.”

Bobby, we will miss you.


Judy said...

This is tragic news. Bobby was my colleague at Juilliard, and we all have fond and indelible memories of him. My deepest condolences to you and your family.

Anonymous said...

This evening, I was speaking with the composer, Patrick Byers, and asked if he knew where Bobby Sherman was. We decided to look on FaceBook, etc. Eventually we found this site. I felt angry that it took me this long try to reconnect. Bobby was an exceptional musician and I loved singing with him and listening to him play. He had learned some Bill Evans music and would play it for me, since I was developing an interest in Jazz. Bobby was also hysterically funny and could make me laugh until tears rolled down my cheeks. Although we have not kept in touch, there is no doubt that Bobby made a lasting impression; one that I will treasure and remember with affection.
Nik Munson - New York City