To the Editor:
Residents of Bessemer recently lost a lifelong brother to death by cancer. Bob “Bobski” Slomkowski died in Minneapolis, where he had resided for the past few years. His abbreviated out-of-town obituary did not do this man the justice he deserves.
A carpenter by trade, he was most often seen on someone’s roof or chimney.
His hometown volunteerism was unmatched by anyone I know. For many years, he put his personal business on hold for two weeks every year to serve on the Fourth of July Committee. He was the originator for the domino fall activity on July 4.
He was the force behind the volunteer building of the message board on the high school lawn, promoter of the Bessemer American Legion, Marty’s Goldenaires, spaghetti feeds, high school athletics, parades, etc. When he asked for volunteer help, it was impossible to say “no.”
Bobski never sought notoriety, though he certainly deserved it. His greatest moment, which he conveyed to me, was when he met and saluted former U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Oliver North in person.
We all know some locals can pick up a nickel on the sidewalk and receive unending accolades and awards. The real hometown heroes, however, are the guys like Bobski who volunteer their time year after year with little or no recognition so this whole area can stay alive.