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  • Writer's pictureTerri Tomoff

"Come On Down" - Bob Barker RIP

Quilting was my number one priority today over the written word. Since I was entrenched all day between my long-arm sewing machine and my domestic sewing machine (tabletop), I never got to my computer until 8:40 p.m. The day is virtually gone, and I never saw the news of Bob Barker's passing until my daughter texted me a few minutes ago. He lived to 99, which is might fine indeed.

Ryan, a huge Price Is Right fan with Bob Barker as the emcee, never missed a day watching when hospitalized (and home, too!). No procedure could ever take place the hour between 11:00 a.m. and noon - unless it were an emergency. I think the entire pediatric floor knew that if you couldn't find a staff member, try Ryan's room. Most likely, nurses, doctors, and art therapists may just be watching along with Ryan, all shouting in unison about the price of a Gillette razor, a bottle of Ocean Breeze VO5, or a Whirlpool washer and dryer set.

In May 2006, about 18 months after Ryan's bone marrow transplant, a good friend of mine (Thanks, Kathy S.!) reached out to the producers of the Price Is Right, sharing Ryan's story and wondering if there was any chance that they would let him/family see a show in the Burbank, California, studio. Apparently, many calls went back and forth with the show's producers and Kathy. They finally relented and invited us to a show (one producer mentioned to us when we got there that she would get a bunch of hate mail after seeing two young kids, not even near 18, sitting right behind the contestant's row.) But it never stopped her from helping Ryan and his family (an off-the-cuff Make-a-Wish) come to the show's taping.

When we got the green light to book flights and a hotel room in Burbank, I knew I wanted to make mini tote bags to thank the four producers who helped with the experience. I then remembered that Bob Barker is a huge lover of animals, especially dogs. Sew, I even made him a tote bag, never thinking he would want it. I also took a plain red T-shirt of

Ryan's and ironed on: Cancer Sucks Bob Barker Rox (his idea!).

When we met with the producers, who let us into the auditorium earlier than everyone else, I gave them each a tote bag and a thank you card. They were touched. After our taping, one producer met us at our seats and offered to take us backstage to see the show's setup and more. We were over the moon to see Ryan and Olivia squeal in delight seeing the PLINKO game and the Big Wheel! Then, as we neared the door of Bob Barker's dressing room, the five of us had a friendly conversation with him, including photos. I then mentioned that I made this doggie tote bag for him (on my arm), but he was under no obligation to take it from me. He said, "Of course, I'll take it - I LOVE dogs!"

Now, I was touched. As was our family in meeting the great Bob Barker! He lovingly Manufactured Sunshine for the Tomoffs.

RIP Mr. Barker!




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