The late Bobby Johnson may have been an Albertville guy, but he pulled for the Guntersville Wildcats in football. Or at least he did once upon a time.
I was saddened last week when the obituary came across my desk announcing that “the Bicycle King” of Sand Mountain had passed. I hadn’t seen Bobby in a long time, but I used to see him often.
The late Sheriff Mac Holcomb took a shine to Bobby and even got him a uniform and made him a “special deputy.” Bobby was around the sheriff's office a lot when Mac was sheriff. Bobby was a special guy. He always had a smile on his face.
In the 1990s, Bobby was a fixture at the Guntersville football games. And he made a point of being the first fan to call in to WTWX's postgame "Friday Night Scoreboard" show every week, usually starting his conversation with "How 'bout them Wildcats?"
This story about Bobby ran in the October 4, 1994, Advertiser-Gleam:
Always first to
If you've ever listened to the "Friday Night Scoreboard" on WTWX, you've no doubt heard Bobby Johnson praise the Guntersville football team.
When the radio station started its Friday night football call-in show in 1975, Bobby was the very first caller. He's continued that to this day and is almost always the first one on the air each Friday night of the season.
Bobby is 47 and lives in Albertville. He cuts grass for spare money and rides a customized bicycle nearly everywhere he goes.
He's a true blue Wildcat fan, but he wasn't always so. Years ago, Bobby pulled for both Guntersville and Albertville except in their season-ending game. Bobby's lived all his life in Albertville, so he naturally rooted for the Aggies in that one.
But some Aggie fans were ragging him pretty hard about something at a game one Friday night. Bobby related the story to former Scoreboard announcer Bruce Underwood on the air.
"I told him we sure appreciated him supporting the Wildcats," Bruce said. "Bobby changed his allegiance right there and he's been a supporter of the Wildcats ever since."
Bobby calls it the night he "changed over" and said it came in 1986. Now, he pulls for Guntersville and whoever is playing Albertville.
Bobby attends almost every home Guntersville game and listens on the radio when he can't make it to the away match-ups. He has walked from Albertville to Guntersville when he couldn't find a ride. He has ridden his bike to games too.
"I enjoy coming down there," Bobby said. "The people are real friendly."
The Wildcats' success so far this year has him smiling. And even though Albertville is doing real well too, Bobby has no doubts who'll win the annual GHS-Albertville game.
"Guntersville will beat 'em," he said without hesitation.
Bobby's bicycle is wired with a headlight, taillight, CB radio and a red fire truck-style flashing light. A 12-volt battery strapped behind the seat powers the accessories. The bike also has a cigarette lighter. Bobby's not a real heavy smoker, but he does light up sometimes.
He uses the CB to talk to truckers. All CB users have "handles" so they don't use their real names on the air. Some of the truckers call Bobby "Railroad Bum," "Bicycle King" and "Woo-Woo."
All the wiring on the bike has its hazards.
"My bike like to have caught fire about 3 weeks ago," Bobby said. "I burned my hand jerking wires out. But I've got the wiring fixed now."
One Sunday several years ago, Bobby happened to ride by an Albertville business with the door propped open, apparently a theft in progress.
"I had one quarter in my pocket and I ran and called City Hall," he said. "They gave me an award of appreciation."
That led Bobby to make up his own identification number for use on the CB radio.
"You know how police officers have numbers like Officer 312?" Bobby said. "Well, my number is one and a half."
When Bobby was still an Albertville fan, he once rode his bike all the way to West End near Walnut Grove to see the Aggies play.
Bobby knows many of the cheers the GHS cheerleaders lead and he chants right along with the girls.
"He's real good natured," current Scoreboard announcer Kerry Jackson said. "He always has something positive to say about the team. He always wants to be the first to congratulate them when they win."
Bruce Underwood said: "There's a fellow up in Boaz who used to call and say how much he looked forward to hearing Bobby talk. I've even had coaches tell me they liked to hear what Bobby has to say."