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Through the eyes of Bob Westrop

Wednesday, 22 August 2018. Posted in Shootin' the Breeze

Through the eyes of Bob Westrop

It’s debatable whether one first sees or hears Bob Westrop’s truck when it rolls up at a community event.

I’m certain you know the truck I’m talking about — the two-tone brown Chevy, punctuated with rust, dates back to the early ’80s and has a pair of loudspeakers mounted to the roof.

If you see it first, it’s pretty much guaranteed you’ll soon hear Bob’s familiar voice.

On the flip side, there’s a good chance you might hear him coming first.

Those loudspeakers have good range and once Bob lifts a microphone to his lips, the banter doesn’t stop until an event is done.

I first saw, or perhaps I should say heard, Bob in action at a chamber of commerce awards dinner shortly after moving to Pincher Creek nine years ago.

Who was this guy?

It seemed he knew the name of every person in the room, and a story or two to go along with each name.

Bob’s microphone isn’t just a communication tool, it’s part of who he is.

Whether he is MCing an event, soliciting bids at a charity auction, showing his national pride on Canada Day, bringing up the rear of the parade or cruising around at Heritage Acres, Bob is a force to be reckoned with.

Every now and then a slightly off-colour comment might sneak out or he might forget to quit talking while 4-H results are being announced, but that’s simply Bob being Bob.

This summer he had to miss a few events and Jim Peace was asked to fill in. Those were big shoes to step into!

I had the pleasure of riding along with Jim at the Heritage Acres Annual Show earlier this month and at the weekend rodeo parade.

From the sidelines Bob’s job might seem an easy one, but from the seat of his battered Chevy it’s quickly apparent that’s not the case.

What he does is about much more than preserving one’s voice over a three-day stint, it’s all about being passionate about the community and the people in it.

At Heritage Acres I overheard a few say Jim wasn’t talking enough, which made me giggle.

From the passenger seat I watched kids get excited as the truck made its way down the parade route. They thought Bob was behind the wheel and I was amazed at the number of folks who stayed to the bitter end to send a wave and a hello his way.

It was a wonderful way to spend the day and it has been a privilege to experience first-hand what Bob sees through his cracked windshield.

I don’t doubt he has as many miles of volunteerism behind him as the old Chevy has on its odometer.

Cheers to the guy who does tremendous community service with a microphone in his hand.