By Deanna Kirk
Corsicana Daily Sun
It seems somewhat fitting in my eyes that we will have a celebration of Bobby Fluker’s life during the weekend of Derrick Days. He passed away after a short illness on Thursday, April 25.
Bobby was many things to many people, but to me, he was always the face of Derrick Days.
Let me go back a few years to my childhood. Growing up at First Baptist Church, I remember Myrla Fluker as one of the older, beautiful girls ... a high school girl when I was in grade school. I don’t remember Suzanne as well, for some reason, but Bobby’s youngest daughter Gena was a grade behind me in school, and was good buddies with Kathy Lewis (now Davis), and we spent many hours together at GAs, youth group, retreats, camp, etc. Gena Fluker was one hilarious chick. She could make you laugh til you wet yourself. (I’m sure she still can, but since she moved to California, I haven’t seen her much in recent years.)
But back then, I didn’t really know their parents. It wasn’t until I was an adult, working at the Daily Sun, and covering Derrick Days as a reporter that I became friends with Bobby Fluker.
Now, not only did Bobby know nearly every thing there was to know about country music (vintage country, the good stuff from the old days — not this stuff now that sounds more like pop), he was also a big history buff. As a member of the Navarro County Historical Society, Bobby became very involved in who would be named to the “Hall of Fame” each year during the Derrick Days festivities.
I believe the year we first became friends, the honoree was Anjanette Comer. A movie actress originally from Dawson, Comer’s biography was as well-known by Bobby as his own. For days he went over the plans, making sure every detail was just perfect. Where she would arrive, all the stops they’d make for hometown visits, her appearances during Derrick Days, etc. He was as excited as a kid in a candy store.
As I recall (and my memories are somewhat hazy, this was 10-plus or so years ago) Comer was your typical actress type and didn’t cooperate completely, but poor Bobby, bless his heart, rolled with the punches and kept his trademark smile on his face.
When Bobby himself was named to the Hall of Fame in 2009, I thought, “about time!” He had been instrumental in each ceremony honoring the other Hall of Famers, and finally he himself was honored.
Bobby loved the snappy dress of Porter Waggoner and Roy Rogers, and could cut quite the swath himself on stage at the Big C Jamboree. If memory serves, he and his pal the late Roy Miller would make a sojourn to Carthage once a year for a country music museum/event they have there. He mentioned the “Louisiana Hayride” to me so many times, I didn’t have the heart to admit to him I didn’t know what that was.
You’d think in his youth he had been a musician, or had some career in the music field such as agent or promoter. But no, he was an insurance salesman. One of the last of those gentleman insurance salesmen who made door to door calls to collect monthly premiums. My husband has childhood memories of him coming by his Granny and Pawpaw’s home once a month.
Bobby Fluker was a one-of-a-kind original. They broke the mold after he was made. We will miss him greatly. I doubt Corsicana has ever had a more enthusiastic cheerleader than he.
We pray for his wife, Billie, and girls, Myrla, Suzanne and Gena, and their children and grandchildren. I rejoice because I know Bobby is in heaven with Miss Lorna, his first wife, his parents, and Jesus.
And I’m grateful for the blessing I had to call him my friend.
Deanna Kirk is a Daily Sun staff writer and editor of Explore magazine. Her column appears on Saturdays. She may be reached via email at email@example.com. Want to “Soundoff” on this story? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org