Hello, My Name is…Guitar Bob

Guitar bob – photo: colin douglas gray

 

Hello, My Name is…Guitar Bob

While we spotlight the South's many charms, we've never been a magazine that shies away from the less glamorous side of things. Our "Hello My Name Is" feature drew readers in to the lives of the homeless and won gold at the 2008 GAMMA awards.​ Featured in Faces of the South: The Trilogy Edition now on newsstands. Click here to order your copy of Faces today. 

Homeless in Numbers

  • An estimated 4,100 people are homeless in Savannah.
  • 40% of homeless men are veterans.
  • Nearly 50% of the homeless population in Savannah is composed of women and children.
  • The number of beds in shelters can accomodate only 50% of Georgia's homeless.
  • 1/3 of Savannahians do not possess a high school diploma.
  • At least 50% of homeless adults are likely to have a problem with alcohol, drugs and/or mental illness.
  • 36% of people with AIDS have been homeless since learning of their illness.
  • The average person earning minimum wage must work 70-105 hours per week if they are to use only 30% of their income on rent.
Most people know him as "Guitar Bob." He sports a handlebar mustache, shaggy hair and a cowboy hat. He can be relied upon to serenade passerby with his guitar and repertoire of bluegrass standards from a bench in Wright Square nearly every morning. "There's three things that the world needs more of," he says. "Love, laughter and music." He is currently learning to play the fiddle.
 
Bob has a son in the Marines and a daughter in Kentucky-both of whom he raised while caring for his ill mother until her death. It was not long after that he fell on hard times. "I used up all my resources taking care of my mother and getting my kids grown," he explains. Originally from Tifton, Bob has been "houseless," as he calls it, for five years. "At first I was scared to be that guy living under the bridge," he says. "Then I accepted it and know that the good Lord was trying to teach me something and whenever he's done I'll move on."
 
He has wide, smiling eyes and is wonderful company. "Bob is a great character and a great man," says a regular at the Rail Pub, where Bob sometimes visits.
 

To get a copy of this South magazine back issue and read the rest of the Hello My Name Is story, click here.