Sunday Salute: South View sports, laughter were his life
HOPE MILLS - You knew Bobby Hair liked you when he picked on you.
"Let me tell you something,'' said longtime
friend Ronnie Luck. "This is the honest truth. He would crack on me
cause I could take it. I would crack on him cause he could take it.''
Whether he was serving on the football chain crew
for his beloved South View High School Tigers or battling cancer, Hair
made friends wherever he went.
"We had a little fundraiser for him and his
oncologist and her husband drove all the way from Duke to be there,''
Bobby Hair died June 25 after a long battle with
non-Hodgkins lymphoma. He was 60. He leaves an indelible memory of a man
who loved life and loved people.
"He was the love of my life,'' said Shelly
Theirs was a sweet love story that began five years
ago over cups of coffee at Becky's Cafe. He kept her laughing from the
moment they met. She remained steadfastly at his side through doctor
visits and cancer treatments.
"He made an impact on everybody,'' Sweatt
said. "I never laughed so much in my life. I miss him so much.''
Hope Mills was home to Hair. He graduated from the
old Hope Mills High and went on to become well-known as a youth
recreation coach. He owned a plumbing company and also dabbled in the
restaurant business for a time.
But he was perhaps best known for his devotion to
South View High athletics. For years, he volunteered on the chain crew
on Friday nights. So devoted was he to South View High that he painted
his 1987 Mazda truck bright orange and dotted black tiger paws all over
Hair had three sons, Chris, Doug and Joey. Chris
Hair parked his dad's orange truck at
While the truck was a fixture at football games,
Hair rarely missed a basketball game either.
Players on the girls' basketball team, in fact,
drew an oversized heart on paper to mark Hair's designated place in the
stands. At the end of the season, Sweatt took the heart home to Hair.
Early this year, South View basketball standout
Amber Calvin approached Hair about doing her senior project on cancer.
He agreed to serve as her mentor and the two developed a special bond.
"He was always smiling,'' said Calvin, who
will attend North Carolina A&T this fall on a basketball
scholarship. "He was always cracking jokes.''
When she graduated from South View in early June,
Calvin brought over her tassel and placed it on his bedside table with
In recent years, Luck, whose own cancer is in
remission, had invited Hair to attend
"He was a fighter, I can tell you that,'' Luck
They buried Bobby Hair in a South View T-shirt and
the overalls he loved to wear.
"I never thought men looked good in
overalls,'' Sweatt said, "but Bobby Hair looked good in overalls.''
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