Born: 30 Mar 1940; and passed on, 15 Jul 1996"Robert Lee Rediker," was probably known by many for multiple things. For me he was, "Uncle Bob." There are probably more stories I could tell y'all about him than anyone person besides my Dad. For this column I'm going to tell y'all a story of joy, pain, an tragedy taking place in a small town called Pleasant View, of Cheatham County, Tennessee; where Uncle Bob owned and operated a Tire Shop. I was working for him assisting with little odds and ends, and cutting tires for disposal , this was hot, dirty, and tough work for a teenager. I believe I made 25 cents for every tire I prepped. my cousin Robert Lee Rediker Jr. did most of the work pertaining to the overall daily operation's, but today he was traveling to a supply depot to re-stock the tires.
Uncle Bob was downright funny, wherever he was y'all had better get ready to laugh. He just liked to live in the moment I suppose, he liked to drink a "little" beer and tell wild stories, but never had malice with anyone without good reason. On this day he had occasion to hang out at the shop and kick back with a couple. Me and Uncle Bob sat around talking and their were some friends that dropped in to talk to him and such, this was just a very peaceful and joyous morning. While he was talking to folk's I'd slip off to the back and cut up some tires till I'd get hot. Before Robert Jr. arrived, I was in the shop sweeping the floor when a song "Blue" sung by: Leann Rimes came on the radio station. Uncle Bob exclaimed, "that gall sounds just like Patsy Cline." I could tell he really liked it, as best I can recall that was the first time I'd ever heard the song or even Leann Rimes as that goes. Around that time Robert Jr. arrived with the load of tires. We unloaded and Uncle Bob said to me how many tires did you cut today," I replied "60" tires. Uncle Bob said, "that's the most tires anyone has ever cut." He had a smile on his face from ear to ear when he payed me for them.
As I got in the car to leave I didn't know that would be the time I'd get to wave and say goodbye. After getting home, I showered and headed out to somewhere. Along the way I saw Uncle Bob's "72" Ford truck had went off the road and struck the fence line on the opposite side of the road. Robert Jr. was parked behind him, I got out of the car and rushed over to where I saw Robert holding Uncle Bob's hand. Robert then looked up at me and said, " Daddies gone, he just let go of my hand Ezri." This was so painful, to see the pain in Robert's eyes, I don't believe I'll ever forget it as long as I live.
Uncle Bob lives on in the memories of Aunt Beverly, Brothers and Sisters, sons: Thomas, Robert Jr., Michael Wayne, Gary "Dooley", and daughter, Sharon, as well as a multitude of Grandchildren, Great Grandchildren, and not limited to, too many friends to count. I will never forget my Uncle Bob.