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Missing Bobby Mac

Earlier this year, my friend Bobby Mac, aka Robert MacMurray, passed away from pancreatic cancer.   It is very sad,,and a loss to my fraternity and to Arlington.  He served them both in different ways that ended up being very similar in the end.  He made people better.

An Arlington rider, Anke Shafer, is working on a memorial for Bobby (funding support requested).  The memorial requires approval, and I was happy to help her seek support from the Board of Selectmen (my letter is below).  Support was granted for which I am grateful.

Then came the letters.  Every week the members of the Board of Selectmen receive a package of information, a weekly digest, from the office.  This week’s edition is 68 pages, and 30 of them are letters (and articles) about BobbyMac. (This is the full packet, Bobby starts on page 20).  I had no idea.  I sat at my computer, doing my reading, and there was a letter about Bobby.  And another.  And another.  And. . . . another and another.  I cried.  Bobby did so much for so many people.  It was beautiful and heart-rending to see how so many people knew him and missed him, and how their memories of him matched my own.

I miss you, Bobby.

 

Dear colleagues,

I request that our board refer this memorial request to the Public Memorial Committee with a positive recommendation.

Robert MacMurray was known as BobbyMac to all.  His special talent was to make everyone feel loved and strong in their own way.  When he was younger he struggled with his weight, and when his doctor told him to lose weight or die, he shed the pounds on a bicycle.  Over the coming decades he taught thousands of people how to ride and how to love riding.  He lived many years in Arlington and worked at QuadCycles on Mass Ave.  From QuadCycles he lead hundreds of morning rides, all comers welcome, all skills.  Everyone was good enough for Bobby, and then he made you even better.  He did this even as age robbed him of his eyesight; he was legally blind, but could see enough shapes and motion to lead a ride across Arlington and surrounding towns.

The memorial proponents have their eye on a spot on the bikepath which abutts the Summer Street Bacci Ball court. The plaque they envision would have Bobby‘s years and his “Ride with Love in your Hearts & Smiles on your Faces” quote and a line or two about his dedication to helping new riders train for charity rides, and that the bike path still holds his energy. They have started a gofundme sight to offset the cost.  http://www.gofundme.com/bobbymac?pc=mb_em

They are also holding a memorial celebration on April 4th (Bobby‘s birthday) at the Lexington depot. It would be great if the boulder unveiling could be on that date too.

I should note that Bobby was also the cook of my fraternity, after I left the house in 1994.  He was technically my employee when I was the president of that alumni group.  Bobby was just as powerful there as in Arlington.  As a cook to 50, he was often their mom or their dad, depending on the day and what the man needed!  My first memories of him on a bike were doing the AIDS ride, soliciting donations and asking for the name and picture of a departed fraternity brother that he could ride for.

BobbyMac was a special man who is missed by many here in town.  I believe the proposed memorial, or some other alternative, is appropriate.

Sincerely,

Dan Dunn