Have you ever wondered who $2 Bob is or what provokes him to frequent the local bars? Have you ever wondered if he’s married or what he does for a living? If you have ever given $2 Bob a thought, it was probably that he is a creeper and to remind yourself to stay on the opposite side of the bar. If you’ve never heard of $2 Bob, then I hope you are underage and haven’t had the chance to receive your $2 bill, otherwise, you should be ashamed that you don’t know who I’m talking about.
So as to not exclude those who are under 21 from more fun then they are already missing out on, here’s the gist. $2 Bob is an older man that goes to the bars and hands out $2 bills to girls that he encounters. He wears a $2 Bob hat, so you can’t miss him in the crowds, and carries tons of personalized $2 Bob trinkets with him. Most girls find him creepy, but after talking to Bob for a few minutes one night, I realized that he’s not a “creepy old man”, but in reality, he’s harmless and actually quite introverted.
After wondering about $2 Bob for too long, I decided to ask him if he would do an interview for BU Now. I knew that there had to be an interesting story behind this man and I wanted people to see that he’s not as bad as some might think. He had no problem with it, and after a couple months I was finally able to track him down on Thursday night at Good Old Days for a chat.
I found $2 Bob roaming around upstairs, so I brought him down to the table where my friends and I were sitting. As we passed the bar, Bob asked me if I wanted a drink. I didn’t think drinking another would be great for my interviewing skills, but I didn’t want to be rude, so of course I accepted. I got out my list of questions, pulled up a chair for Bob, and away we went.
$2 Bob is a 62-year-old man who has been married for 40 years. He is the father of three sons, and the grandfather of six grandchildren, with the oldest being five. He is looking forward to Christmas when his family will be reunited and he will be able to see all of his grandkids from Arkansas, Boston, and Pennsylvania. He is the president of a local insurance company and has a business degree from Penn State. Bob likes to go to the movies with his wife on the weekends, and when I asked him what his wife is doing right now, he said “reading”.
One of my big questions for Bob was what his wife thinks about him frequenting the bars. He replied, “as long as I don’t drink and only go out 2-3 nights a week, it’s tolerated”. Yes, you read right, $2 Bob doesn’t drink. You will almost always see him with a drink in hand, but it’s usually soda or cranberry juice. His drink of choice used to be gin and tonic with lime, or a Corona with lime. Fortunately, $2 Bob has been sober since August 30, 1998, which is over eleven years of sobriety.
$2 Bob said his problem with alcohol started as a way to “self-medicate for severe OCD”, which is obsessive complusive disorder. It was his wifes idea for him to become sober, but he also agrees that it was a good idea. He voluntarily went to the outpatient alcohol program at Geisinger Medical Center, and after weighing the pros and cons, he realized that choosing sobriety was his only option.
Even though $2 Bob doesn’t drink, he says it’s still fun to go to the bar and talk to the students. His transformation from an average guy to a Bloomsburg staple at the local watering holes happened by accident. Bob revealed that he adopted the $2 Bob persona six years ago when he randomly stopped at Harry’s. After awhile, people expected him to have $2 bills and now he says that is part of the reason why he continues to be $2 Bob.
The biggest question I had for Bob was the most obvious, how do you get so many $2 bills and why? Bob says, “the bank orders them in lots of $1500 from the federal reserve”. He also told me that he has always had $2 bills since he was a boy because his grandfather worked at a race track. Bob spends between 40-50 dollars a night giving out his unique bills and says that he has never run out of money. If you have ever seen Bob’s wad of bills, you shouldn’t be surprised. I asked Bob how he can afford to give away money and he replied, “I don’t have any other expensive hobbies except my Penn State season tickets”.
$2 Bob is a relatively normal guy who might have more in common with you than you think. Bob takes one class a semester at Bloomsburg University to get away from work. He says he mostly takes history and pyschology courses, so you might even see $2 Bob around campus. Bob also has his favorite bill as a permanent part of his body. A huge $2 bill is tattooed on his upper back, so no matter what, Bob will always have a $2 bill with him.
All in all, $2 Bob answered all of my questions and was a great sport about me prying into his personal life. At the end of the interview, Bob left me with this quote, “if people get that much enjoyment out of it, then so do I”. Most people wouldn’t consider a bar the best spot for a recovering alcoholic to hang out, but it seems to be doing more good than harm for Bob. In fact, I give props to Bob for being able to resist alcohol for eleven years while spending at least one day a week at the bar! Hopefully, this article has shed some good light on a quirky but harmless man that you shouldn’t be afraid to talk to and get to know.
Besides, you might even make a few bucks.