Living in a small town affords us certain luxuries that folks in the city don’t have, like being able to understand directions by landmarks rather than street names, building an extra ten minutes into most errands to make time to talk with the friend or
neighbor you’re bound to run into, and appreciating the little things that make us slow down and take notice.
Last year, I wrote about how the bridge was out beside our subdivision, forcing me to drive a different route to practically everywhere I went. Each morning I was greeted with something that made me smile – a family of deer, a pair of red foxes, purple grass blooming on the side of the road, and wild turkeys.
While not domesticated, Bob the Turkey wasn’t exactly what I’d call “wild” either. Although his Facebook page touted him as “Serenade’s Mascot,” he truly was a mascot for all of Woodstock, and a Bob sighting always resulted in a smile.
Sure, he tied up traffic from time to time, but where are we going in such a hurry, anyway? The speed limit along that end of Main Street is posted as 25 MPH, and I almost think Bob was planted by the Woodstock Police Department as a gift to help people avoid a speeding ticket.
He was nowhere to be found during the hubbub of the Christmas Jubilee Parade in December, but I have no doubt he was perched on a rooftop nearby, wondering about all the noise and commotion on “his” stretch of road.
Bob even garnered television time for our growing town, allowing for a feel-good story on the nightly news a few times last fall.
Folks who heard about but hadn’t seen Bob slowed down just past Woodstock Flowers & Gifts, hoping to catch a glimpse of the bird chasing a car or preening in the reflection of the electrical box near the railroad tracks.
Kids and grown-ups alike loved Bob. They shared photos and stories about the bird who was as familiar as the old Welcome to Woodstock sign once was.
You never know what will drive inspiration – the inspiration to create stories voiced by a quirky bird, start a conversation with someone you’ve never met, slow down and take notice of the things that usually pass by too quickly – but Bob inspired all of those things.
Bob is gone, but the kindness he inspired in the residents of our little town should be his legacy.