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I’m sure that most MMA readers know that Bob Locke, who marched in the Charlestown Majestic Knights, Somerville Annunciators, and 27th Lancers passed away last year.

He is survived by his wife Roberta; his children Robert, Thomas, Aimee, Renee, and Janeen; his brother William, many cousins, and hundreds of friends.

At an outdoor memorial service held in the fall, the unanimous sentiment among the attendees was that Bob was an honorable and generous person who never did a bad turn to anyone.

I first met Bob in early 1971 when he joined the Annunciators, and I immediately recognized him as a kindred spirit.

Bobby Locke of the Annuniators with his drum

Bobby Locke with the Annunciators

Jim Macri self portrait

When we were 14 or 15, he asked me if I had any artistic talent and I replied that I could do some cartoonish drawing. His mother had given him permission to decorate his bedroom wall. We proceeded to paint a mural, listening to The Beatles’ “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album as we worked, going full bohemian by wearing berets borrowed from the Annunciators’ contrabass section.

We enjoyed minor pranks. Every day for an entire summer one of us would call a certain pizzeria in Cambridge, ask for descriptions of the entire menu, and then say, “I don’t want any pizza. I just like talking about it.” It became a private joke: “Whose turn is it to call and not order pizza?”

We also used to hold hands and go skipping by a biker bar in our neighborhood in Somerville, trying to get a rise out of the clientele. For some reason, they never gave chase, and we chose not to escalate the matter.

Bob marched in the Lancers during the fun-filled 1975 season and a bunch of us would ride to practice and parties with him in his 1966 Dodge Dart, which we called “The Zoomobile,” although we never actually went to the zoo.

Bobby Locke wearing a NE Patriots jersey

Once when I needed a job, Bob helped me get one at a hardware distributor where he worked. There was a little, old part-timer there, Max Gass, and Bob and I decided that the man’s name would be a good fit for a flatulent character in a Mel Brooks movie. But our Max was an erudite, retired teacher and we had some wonderful conversations with him.

Bob always looked out for me and may have had the ability to read my mind. One night about eight years ago, when I was sitting home feeling isolated, cheating at solitaire, he called and asked if I wanted to join a monthly card game, a friendly low stakes affair. I accepted his offer and became a regular at the game. Bob used to win a lot and sometimes he would give money away at the ending of the night, saying that his coin jar was overflowing. It was like playing poker with St. Francis of Assisi.

Bob went on to a career with the postal service and he continued to participate in the marching arts, teaching high school bands. In 1994 he marched in the 27th Lancers Alumni corps and ran the unit’s tee shirt concession.

Bobby Locke at Fenway Park

After retiring from the postal service he worked for various companies in the business of organizing public events. On one occasion when he was serving as an usher at the Boston Opera House, he bought me a “Hamilton” tee shirt. Needless to say, the shirt is a prized possession.

There are times when I want to shake my fist at the Creator for calling Bob home and leaving us bereft, but in calmer moments I am thankful for the privilege of having known Bobby Locke. He was on the side of the angels and now, I believe, he is with them.