SUNNY CAL JOURNAL - The Batteries Faded On Bob Hope's Show

By Bob Weaver 2004

Bob "All-American" Hope has died at 100.

My dad would go out to the road and get a fresh battery off our old model-T Ford so the radio would not fade during the Bob Hope Show.

Bob Hope brought laughs during the dread of World War II to our living room at Hur.

We sat quietly listening to the box radio on a three cornered stand, our faces barely lit by the glow of gas lights and the flickering flames from an open burner stove, munching on popcorn.

Sometimes we would walk down the hill to grandpa and grandma McCoys to listen to the Tuesday night show, a little comedy relief while we worried about our family members "over there." I was about six years old.

I knew then he was a special man, bigger than life, who came in person to West Virginia more than once.

Young folk will not likely appreciate Hope, nor will they understand his enormous contribution to life in America.

All the good guy clichés belong to him, a decent, ego-deflated and amiable man, who walked the streets of America without bodyguards because he wanted to be close to his fans.

He was a comedian and performer who lunched with most of the presidents of the 20th century, and took his Christmas holidays to travel around the world entertaining our soldiers in war and peace.

Who will replace him, his long, long run and message of hope that this too shall pass.

There surely will never be another like him.

Those of us who "knew" him like a friend, still thank him for the for those Christmas shows on radio and TV entertaining our troops in World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

His voice is fading now, like the batteries powering our old radio at Hur, West Virginia.