I was monumentally saddened when I returned, to find that my friend of over 49 years, Robert D. “Bob” Lawrence had past this life, but like Bob’s Family, I will see Bob again. I know Bob is home now. I am so very sorry for the loss of Bob to his wonderful family. Bob has decided to wait a small while to see these loving folks. Robert’s Special family who are staying behind for a time are the The Lawrence Family, Nancy of Slidell, Louisiana; his daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Jon (Allyson Lawrence) Lundquist of Roswell, Georgia; four twin grandsons, Daniel Ray Lawrence and James Marshall Lawrence, both of Ponchatoula, Louisiana and Austin Robert Lundquist and Taylor Dean Lundquist, both of Roswell, Georgia; his granddaughter, Catherine Messenger Lawrence (Daniel) of Ponchatoula, Louisiana; his sister, Mrs. Ronald (Rebecca Lawrence) Clark of Terrytown, Louisiana; his sister- in- law, Mrs. Gerald Patrick Lawrence, Sr. (Barbara Graham) of Mobile, Alabama. Lawrence also leaves behind his constant companion, always at his side, Little Red, a Patterdale terrier.
(I thank Poole Ritchie Funeral Home for this information)
There are no words to protect Bob’s Family against this tremendous vacuum appearing in their lives. We can only love them and pray with them. I for one, feel a dull, numbing feeling. My small problem deserves no mention to the hurt and the loss Bob’s Family is trying to understand and grieve impossibly through. I am praying, The Lord will comfort Bob and The Lawrence Family and hug and love them through this path together, I know this in my heart, God will be with Bob and All of the Lawrence Family.
Bob started inquiring, or maybe investigating my dream when I was around 17 to 19 years of age. Bob did not ever place stock in a rumor until he confirmed just what the truth was or was not. From the start, his intelligent thought was in motion. What are you building Bill? What will it do? Why are you constructing this thing in Bogalusa? You’re a baby son! Do you have any idea what you are doing? On and on, Bob and my conversations raged for thousands of hours over the years. Bob took his time and used his brilliant mind. Starting as a detective, moving to a listener, taking all the data he gathered (AS USUAL). From the first day we met, he was completely honest about the way he felt and believed, but, never did he belittle me in any way or did he form his true opinion until his mind had computed all the facts. Bob was a moving target. As he grew more knowledgeable on any subject or article for print, his honesty allowed Bob to change his feelings and beliefs during the entire process.
In this case, it was “Studio in the Country”. As rumors flew about what “that kid” was trying to do in Bogalusa. Bob listened only to what his knowledge of the moving project and exactly which facts were which. I guess you might say as a journalist and as a person, Bob always never heard both sides, but Bob listened to all sides.
Phase one was he picked up bits of “data” (as he labeled it) by watching what was going on with the kid and what most called it, the boy’s bad dream. I would say Bob was starting in strong the cautious overview. Over studying the land, my chances, my drawings which I allowed him to study, I will make the story shorter. The absolute truth is that Robert Lawrence went from a watchful skeptic, to one of the number one fans of the Studio in the Country, but please know I am talking about his process, in years! Keep in mind, Bob took his time to define what, when, where, why, and how this kid was falling on his face, or was this young man going to put everything all in an acceptable place?
To the first bit of saying to myself: this guy maybe isn’t a believer in the dream at all, to the fact that when he really understood the dream, he was fond of it, to becoming, thank God, a True believer in the Dream. To boot, throughout this project and the Studio’s continuing life span, as I was being evaluated by this man, his honest opinions, which often kept me on the right track, I was taught by Bob so much about people and life. I love Bob! I Do! I need to learn more from Bob! Just how many men were made of the fabric of this man? Not many in my experience.
The best blessing Bob Lawrence gave to me was his wonderful and true friendship, and his honesty, for which I have seen far less of than I wish in this world. I thank God for Bob, all he taught me, and his unselfishly helping make me a better man from outside of myself. Bob gave me the blessing of being given the gift to spend wonderful time learning from him, some of the actual ways many things really exist on this piece of clay.
Hey Buddy, I will talk with you soon, I promise. By the way Bob, my “Boy Christopher” was bringing me to Slidell week after next as we talked about. Heck? What’s a little time between Friends Like You and Me?
Love to You Bob, and Each and Every One of Your Family. Bill