One of the questions I get asked every so often is where the nickname “Mustang Bobby” came from.
It is May 17, 1980, graduation day for Bobby from Winchester Academy in North Andover, Massachusetts. His parents are there, along with his friends Jill, Josh, and Garrett.
They got to the front of the dorm where Dr. Cramer had parked. “Well, Bobby, we’re going to head back to the inn for a little nap, and then we’ve been invited to dinner with Don and Stephen, so you’re on your own tonight. But I think Josh and Jill have something planned for you, isn’t that right?”
“Last night at Sully’s,” said Jill. “Pizza with everything and it’s all on us. Garrett, you’re coming, too,” she demanded, “even if you have to drive back from Wellesley Hills or wherever the hell it is you live.”
“So we’ll see you first thing in the morning,” his father said. He turned to leave, and stopped. “Oh, just a minute…. I knew I was forgetting something.” He looked out over the parked cars and waved. There was a rumble as an engine started, and then out of the row of parked cars came Mr. Odenkirk driving his red 1966 Mustang GT. It was freshly waxed, the chrome was shining, and the top was down. He pulled up in front of them, got out of the car, and gave the keys to Dr. Cramer.
“Congratulations,” his father said.
“What?” replied Bobby.
“It’s your Mustang, Bobby,” said his father, handing him the keys.
“Ha,” Jill laughed. “That’s what I’m going to call you from now on: ‘Mustang Bobby.’ It’s perfect.”
“You mean…” Bobby stammered, “it’s mine?”
“All yours. Mr. Odenkirk and I had a little chat last fall. He loves the car, but he can’t drive it much.”
“And it should be back with its original owner,” interjected Mr. Odenkirk. “My dad and I have just been taking care of it all these years until it could come back home.”
“Get in,” insisted Jill. Bobby did, and Jill took several more pictures. “I am so calling you ‘Mustang Bobby’ for the rest of your life.”
“All right,” his father said. “I hope you weren’t counting on a Porsche or a BMW.”
“No, Dad, it’s…. Thank you.” He hugged his parents again.
“Oh, as much as I’m sure you’d love to start out life with it on a road trip, I’ve arranged for a carrier to pick it up on Monday. It should be back in Toledo by the end of the week.”
After they left, Jill said, “Okay, Sully’s at six. Be there.”
“All right. Yip yah, Mustang Bobby,” she called as she went to her car.
“You know that’s your name from now on, don’tcha?” said Garrett.
“Yeah,” said Bobby. “I kinda like it.”
So now you know.