Bob Graham rode ‘tall in the saddle’ through life

History is defined by some as those subjects 50 years old or older. I’ve chosen my friend Bob Graham to remember. He died last week at age 62.

Bob was in the prime of his life. He loved life and made a difference to those he was connected to, his family, church, friends and the organizations to which he belonged.

Bob and I had one thing in common. Our last name was the same, even though we were from different family backgrounds.

In 1955, I moved back to Rockdale, after being away with my husband in the U. S. Army.

Gaither Motor Company was advertised back then as the “oldest Ford Dealership” in Texas and Bob’s father Archie Graham was employed there. That’s where I met that Graham family.

The Graham sons were small and occasionally their mother brought them to the dealership when they came to town.

Time passed and the boys grew up. But during those early years, they were kept busy. Some of them were employed at the Milano Fruit Stand. Those of us who remember the fruit stand have great memories of the fresh produce in Milano. There was and still is something special about that fruit stand. Those were the days when you could buy home grown vegetables and fruit and get to visit with your neighbors and those who stopped as they passed through the area.

The Grahams had fond memories of that Fruit Stand and wrote a song about it.

As Bob’s health failed, he and I had several conversations about that song. He had so hoped to have his family sing that at the Milam County Cowboy Church.

It just never worked out for all the family to do so during Bob’s life, Singing wasn’t anything new to Bob, he and others sang at the end of many a trail ride as he was growing up. His father, Archie, was known for organizing Trail Rides that ended with a sing-along. At his memorial service in a tribute to Bob his family members sang the Fruit Stand Song.

Bob fought the fight against cancer. He was a true Texan. He and wife Renda were avid horse people. He looked Texan, with his big smile under that big Stetson Hat. He will be remembered in Milam County and especially when the local radio stations play the Graham family’s Milano Fruit Stand.

Rest in peace, Bob, you ” rode tall through life!”

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2012-05-24 digital edition

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