Wednesday, August 14, 2013
31494. Robert D. Sayrs
Every Thursday afternoon, back in 2000, Rob Sayrs would shuffle into the Scituate Historical Society's Little Red Schoolhouse at 43 Cudworth Road. It was his turn to volunteer, three hours every week, ad nauseum. At the time, I was the only paid employee of the organization.
So we would talk. He would tell me about his work in Philadelphia as a young man, and his days in the Army. And so it went on his stone, "S Sgt, US Army, World War II." He would talk to me about his wife Connie - who I'm pretty positive I never met - and about his passion for historical research.
It was a focused passion. Rob tuned in specifically on one thing: double-chimney Capes. He was so interested in the topic that he wrote a pamphlet about it, covering the architectural details of the handful of examples that could be seen on the South Shore of Boston, small Cape Cod-style houses that had, instead of the central anchoring chimney, one at each end.
A few years later, I cycled out of Rob's life. I went to work across the river for Mass Audubon, literally 10 minutes away, but in a completely different world. I had no idea Rob was gone when I walked into his cemetery, but it made sense. He was more than 80 when I knew him, and that was 13 years ago.
Besides, if I ever want to talk to Rob again, I'll just go pull his pamphlet off the Scituate Historical Society's shelves on Cudworth Road. I'm sure it's still there. Those guys keep everything.