We moved to North Augusta in the summer of 2000. One of the first people we met was Bob Bolton. Bob was a member of First Baptist Church and a real estate agent for Meybohm where he served over 40 years.  I will never forget how Bob greeted Cheryl and me with a sincere smile and a warm hug. As we hopped in his car, there was no denying Bob’s love for North Augusta and the people of this town. There was a sparkle in his eye and a joy in his voice as he showed us around the city, Riverview Park, the schools and several neighborhoods.  His warmth, humor and love for people resonated with us as much as the sites we visited.  His care and concern for us in our move was much greater than a real estate sale.  It was a first impression that I never forgot.

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” 

After our move to North Augusta, our paths crossed on many occasions at church, in the community, at the ball fields and at North Augusta High School sporting events. Bob took an interest in our kids and their sports. He always asked about them and expressed concern about how they were doing.  We enjoyed a wonderful relationship with Bob and I will never forget my final conversation with him this past year. He overflowed with kindness despite the physical pain and sickness he was enduring.

In early August, Bob passed away at the age of 75.  I attended his funeral at First Baptist Church with hundreds of other folks who had been touched by his love. I wouldn’t have missed it. It was a powerful and beautiful celebration of a man who loved Christ, his family and people.  The funeral also reminded me of the unbelievable impact of a first impression.

My relationship and bond with Bob occurred as a result of that first meeting on a spring day 18 years ago.  The sweet fragrance of that first impression left a lasting impression on me. Bob left us with an invaluable lesson. The late Will Rogers once said, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” I hope we remember that reality as we live our lives each day. Every encounter with a new face provides the opportunity to leave a first impression that resonates with love that can last a lifetime.  Thanks Bob, for teaching me that first impressions last.