Stephen F Austin High School
November, 1944--November, 1957
Bob and I met in September, 1951, in Miss Willie Boyd's first grade class at Travis Elementary, and we were in a couple of homerooms together after that. Both of us were in Den 2, Pack 64, of the Cub Scouts, and we met at the home of Bob Dansby, where his mother, Marguerite Dansby, was out den mother. Coincidentally, Bob's father, Nooks Bond, and my mother, Rosemary Knobel Burroughs, were also classmates at SFA--1937.
In November, 1957, just after Bob turned 13, he, his uncle, and two others went hunting, and tragically, their boat capsized, and three drowned. One man was able to grab hold of something to keep him afloat. Words cannot describe the feeling I had when I heard of Bob's death. To me, the idea of a person so young dying was completely foreign. How could this happen?
The following Monday, I went to physical education class. The boys were assigned baskets for gym clothes by name, two to a basket, so Bob and I were basket partners. I was shaking when I took Bob's shoes and gym shorts and handed them to our teacher, Bob's uncle, Harry Bond. "Mr. Bond, here are Bob's things." That was tough!
I'm happy that Bob is included here among our SFA classmates, as he would have graduated with us. He was a good friend and a fine young man, and all of us who knew him miss him very much. Bob would be pleased too.
Charlotte Cole (Wilson)
Bob and I were at Travis Elementary together for 6 years. We had a great time sharing teachers and classes. His parents and my parents were friends and sometimes we would give him a ride home when I didn't have to ride the bus and mother picked me up.
We were in the 7th grade when his accident occured. I was devestated as we all were. We couldn't believe that ONE of US had died. I remember sitting in Mr. Hodge's room on that Monday morning in silence as we all stared at his desk. There were 3 caskets at the funeral and standing room only at the church. It was really hard for ALL of us.
His mother used to live near my mother in a small townhouse additon. When I saw her while visiting mother, I would have to catch myself as I would want to say, "So, what's Bob up to these days?" His memory is very much alive with me and probably the rest of the Travis Wildcats and Lamar Bulldogs.
Miss you, Bob! Charlotte Cole Wilson
My friend. His tragic loss still remains with me. He lived at the north end of Allen Academy and me at the south end. His dad got us our first "jobs" together, working at Bama Smith's Phillips 66 station. Poor Bama!
Summers together -- Raiding Allen "shacks", getting ice cream in the mess hall, wondering why those guys were there and what did they do wrong that their parents would dump them there, down to Mike's Store on E 23rd for a penny pack of baseball cards and a Big Red .. we'd pour peanuts in it - the kind that looked like shotgun shells and had pennys in them, a dime if you got real lucky .. and bicycling downtown, over to Jarvis' and down to Marvin's, all around. Cherry phosphate at Jarrot's. Go say "hello" to Mrs. Colson at Colson's Corner. Baseball ... teammates all the way from 8 to 11. He was good. Better than me. I always thought he might have a future as a big league player. He could hit.
As I said elsewhere, I can't wait to see him again. I hope he looks exactly like that obit section picture.
Zan Colson (Brown)
I recall going over to the Bonds' house with my grandmother the night Bob died. (Bob and I were distant cousins.) The most vivid memory is that his little sister, Phyllis, age 3 or 4, I guess, asked me if Bob was really in heaven with Jesus now. Nobody had ever asked me a question like that. That was a question you asked an adult.
Laura Jean Allen (Loving)
I shared a space with Bob Bond in Miss Boyd's first grade classroom at Travis School . Because I am tall, was usually placed on the back row with the tall boys for the class photo during our years at Travis--Bob was also tall. Since Bryan was a small community in our early years, everyone was familiar with each other's families--our parents might have gone to school together, were members of the same church, etc. One cold Friday night in the fall of 1957 my Daddy went to Bob's uncle Monroe Bond's store to buy hamburgers for my brother and me--such a treat in those days! He did not come home for a long time and when he called Mother (no cell phones !) he said he would "be a while getting home". Several members of the Bond family had been involved in a duck hunting tragedy--drowning several of them. Daddy was staying at the store with Monroe's wife and children until the Bond family could gather. It was Monday morning at school that I learned the full extent of the tragedy--Bob was one of the victims. Our classmates at Lamar Jr. High were very somber for the rest of the year. Like others in our class have stated--I remember that young teen who always wore a huge grin and (like Dick Barron said) look forward to seeing him again--with that same grin on his face!
Laura Jean (Allen) Loving
Nelda Moon (Thompson)
Bob and his family were members of Calvary Baptist Church where we attended, and his mother was my Sunday School teacher. She was such a sweet lady and Bob was always so much fun to be around. I remember when I got my first pair of "high heels", how he teased me about them! But he did so in such a kind way. Not long afterward, my dad told me about the accident. He was a gunsmith, and knew Bob's uncle Monroe very well and took it pretty hard. When I got back to school the next day, we were all in shock. The thing I remember most is the courage shown by Bob's mom and family as we resumed our Sunday School lessons the next week. Looking forward to seeing your smiling face again, my friend!
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