Vol. 13


The Note in the Cowbell

1985; St. Louis, Missouri, USA

Bob, as a junior high and high school football player, always had his mom cheering him on. He didn’t play exciting positions. He played on the offensive line and as linebacker on defense. Sadly, he often found himself at the bottom of the piles, where everyone would jump onto each other at the end of every play. Now, Bob’s mom realized it was hard to hear your mom cheering for you when you were at the bottom of the piles. She had to find a solution, but at the moment she couldn’t find the right one.

In 1985 Bob was attending school at John Burroughs. The coach from the high school football team asked him if he wanted to join the team. Bob was ecstatic, because he was only a ninth grader, in junior high. His mom was also excited, since she loved football and especially loved watching her son play. However, his mom still wanted to find a way for him to hear her as she cheered him on.

A cowbell! That was it. Now from the bottom of the piles Bob would hear his mom shaking her cowbell like crazy and know she was there for him.

While attending Burroughs, Bob was blessed to be on a football team that made it to the state championship game. What an exciting time to play at Busch Stadium under the lights! This experience made Bob appreciate all the years that his mom had sacrificed everything to get him to practice every day, to wash his stinky uniforms, and to never miss a game. He had to do something to show his mom how appreciative he was of her.

On the night of the state championship game, the loudspeakers introduced Bob, and as he walked onto the field his mom shook the cowbell with all her strength. However, this time as she rang the bell, it didn’t sound right. As she looked inside the cowbell, there was a note taped inside it that said, “This one’s for you.” Bob had left her a note expressing his appreciation for always being there for him. Her heart filled with warmth and pride.

That evening Burroughs claimed the title of 1985 Missouri 2A State Champion. The fans and players were screaming, cheering, and jumping up and down. While everyone else admired the state championship trophy, Bob’s mom clutched her own cowbell trophy and whispered, “Thank you,” to Bob.

Years later, when Bob had a wife and two children, his mom became ill and passed away. Bob helped his dad go through her belongings. While he was digging through the boxes, he found the cowbell with the note inside. Bob took this cowbell to his mom’s funeral and rang it while whispering, “This one’s for you.”

Kate Bohlmann, Bob’s daughter; Missouri, USA



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