Spare some coin for Bob, Dallas’ most famous drifter?

Bob plays to the cameras in 2009 during ‘His Name is Bob’ filming. Photo by Can Turkyilmaz

You guys remember Bob, right? You know. Bob. The guy with the keyboard? Yeah, him.

If not, refresh your memory here with our 2009 story about the time documentarians made a movie about him. And why.

Not all who wander are lost, it is said. Bob was weird, maybe damaged and dirty, maybe crazy, certainly capable of making one want to rip her hair out — but he has an odd charm and he makes you laugh (or cry). And suddenly you might find yourself driving him to a destination completely out of your way so he might check out a band in Deep Ellum or attend a support group meeting in Lake Highlands. That’s his mutant ability: counterintuitive persuasion.

His full name is Robert Crawford, but he prefers Bob.

From 2009— He talks to anyone who will listen, telling jokes (“Why did Jesus wear sandals? Because he wanted to save soles.”) and begging rides, or spinning outlandish and confusing tales — like the one about how he became a millionaire. Or the one about his career as a church preacher. And then there’s the claim that some producer is making a movie about him.

But here’s the thing: Bob tells the truth. 

At the very least, everything he says is rooted in his own truth, even if it’s a little distorted.

Bob inherited, and was likely swindled out of, a significant amount of money. His unkempt style, grimy fingernails and ratty one-room apartment betray his current financial status. And he was, in fact, an evangelist and organist at the African Methodist Episcopal Church of Massachusetts during the early 1980s, which probably explains his frequent references to Scripture.

And the part about the movie is true too … 

And here’s the actual commentary I wrote, after seeing the movie about Bob, which has since received high praise and multiple film festival awards. It left an impression. (You can watch it on Google+.)

Seven years later, the filmmakers are still friends with Bob, involving themselves in his life (no small task), checking up on him, making sure he is OK.

In the movie we saw where Bob lives — it did not look like a comfortable or even entirely sanitary environment, though he spends most of his days and evenings wandering the streets of East Dallas, Deep Ellum, Lake Highlands, Greenville Ave., etc. anyway. And, of course, he has upgraded since then. Now, according to Heather Jenson, who set up a fundraising page for Bob (promoted by the producers), “Bob is moving out of his current apartment into a retirement community where he will be eligible for assisted living services when he needs them.”

They are asking very little of Bob’s “family.”

“This is an amazing opportunity that his caretaker has secured for Bob,” the request continues. “The move date is June 30, and we are asking Bob’s family to help out with the expenses surrounding his move. Our goal is to raise $1,200 to cover everything associated with the move and getting Bob settled into his new home.”

Bob’s family is not a biological one, but rather a community of supporters. Here’s the link to the fundraiser. Likely it won’t take long to get him the care he can use. Editor’s note: The goal of $1,200 was promptly met and the fundraising page has closed donations. 


WANT MORE?
Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Lakewood/East Dallas.
More from Christina Hughes Babb

Calling all artists

Express yourself and test your artistic prowess: The Dallas National League American...
Read More