Remembering my brother, Bobby

It’s been a year since Bobby Lewis suddenly left us.

Bobby Lewis was an interesting and talented brother. He had much knowledge about history, wildlife, the Bible, Bladen County — including the Big Swamp — and much more. He had stories about the old Tram Road that ran through the swamp and how logs were cut and ferried out of the swamp.

As a teenager Bobby received a beautiful ring, with his birthstone inset, for a long span of perfect attendance in church training union. Bobby and our Daddy enjoyed hunting and fishing and at times in Bobby’s life he trapped wild animals. He was a master storyteller and loved to tell many stories from our childhood, with enough embellishment to make each story interesting and unique.

He had a tender and giving heart.

After his death, last Feb. 27, stories came forth about his generosity and care of and for others. Someone told me if he received a call from someone needing help for their child or children, he immediately got busy to assist with that need. He enjoyed cooking at home and at Harmony Hall. He made a concoction he named Big Swamp Dust. He used that spice-blend in many dishes. He was not timid about cooking and eating all sorts of wildlife.

As he grew older, Harmony Hall and the Backwoods Militia and Bladen County Historical Society became a big part of his life. He and others began having church in the little chapel on the Harmony Hall campus on Sunday afternoons. Bobby had a great voice. The latter days of Bobby’s life were filled with gathering items for Harmony Hall, custom designing costumes, making knives, and helping others with their driveways, gardens and things he could do with his tractor.

I miss him; the many times I called to ask him to help me identify a snake, a bird, an animal. We had much contact because he was my brother and added to that I was the Communications Coordinator for the groups he and my brother Seth were involved in. They gathered email addresses from people who visited Harmony Hall and those involved in and caring about the Back Woods Militia. Often times, Seth, Bobby and I worked together to get information assembled on a weekly basis to email our Harmony Hall address book recipients.

I am thankful Bobby was my brother. I wish he had written down much of the information he passed on to me and others.

Rebecca L. Martin