Howell man creates shrine to Mich. football team
DAILY PRESS & ARGUS, AP Photo/Livingston County Daily Press & Argus, Alan Ward) NO SALES Photo by ALAN WARD / DAILY PRESS & ARGUS Photo by ALAN WARD
HOWELL, Mich. — His blood is red, but Bob Campos bleeds maize and blue.
And anyone who has driven by his Howell home knows this.
Even though his kidneys are failing and he's on dialysis, the 60-year-old has slowly, step by step, created a shrine to the University of Michigan football team. Over the past several months, he has painted every square inch of his large, six-unit garage maize and blue.
On top of the garage, he installed a goal post with a football hanging between the two uprights, and he built a fountain with a U-M football helmet on top. He also painted an end zone in front of the garage.
At night, his shrine glows with maize-and-blue solar lights placed along the roof.
"Once I start doing something, God knows where I'm going to end up," said Campos, who is known as "Michigan Bob" at his local bowling alley.
His family supported Campos and knew better than to try to talk him out of the passionate painting project.
"They know Bob kind of does what he wants to do," he said.
Campos grew up in Melvindale, playing football, baseball and running with his friends. He was always on the go and, as he said, "wasn't afraid to tackle anything."
He wanted to play sports in high school, but doctors wouldn't let him because he had a heart murmur from having rheumatic fever as a child.
"I cried," Campos said. "I wanted to play sports so bad."
Despite his condition, he forged the doctor's signature in eighth grade so he was able to play one season, but that only lasted one year. If he had been allowed to participate in sports, he felt he might have been able to play for the University of Michigan football team.
"I would have played for Bo in a heartbeat," he said, saying his favorite coach was Bo Schembechler.
Campos ended up living and working in Melvindale, a Detroit suburb not far from the River Rouge plant where his grandfather worked. He said his grandfather, who was born in Mexico, moved to Detroit to work in the Rouge plant, and both his parents were of Mexican descent. His father worked as a bricklayer.
Campos became a truck driver and worked 33 years. He has hauled steel, freight, bakery goods and meat. He spent the past 26 years hauling medium-duty trucks for General Motors. He lived in Livingston County for a while before getting transferred to Wisconsin.
He retired six years ago, when doctors told him his diabetes had become worse and he needed to take injections, which meant he could no longer drive trucks.
Although he was living in Wisconsin at the time, he ended up moving back to Howell to be closer to his family. He reunited with his ex-wife, Jackie, and the two remarried.
While he loves the University of Michigan and proudly supports his team wherever he goes, Campos said it's all in good fun. He enjoys the ribbing when people drive by his home and yell "go green," showing their support for Michigan State University.
Many others have stopped by and yelled their support.
Campos said he's battled anxiety and depression over the years, and he wasn't able to do much initially when his kidneys began failing two years ago. He goes to get his blood cleaned three times a week with dialysis.
Campos said it feels good to get outside again, and it helps with his anxiety.
"I'm retired. I had to do something," he said.
Information from: Livingston County Daily Press & Argus, http://www.livingstondaily.com
- Utah Jazz: No lottery luck, so Jazz remain in...
- High school boys soccer: Lehi edges...
- Results from Tuesday's high school softball,...
- BYU football: Fan-developed software gives...
- BYU basketball: Dave Rose hoping Tyler Haws'...
- The offseason status of NFL players with Utah...
- Doug Robinson: It's about time golf took a...
- Utah high school updated tournament pairings...
- High school baseball: 5A, 4A state... 56
- Bodyguards allegedly beat up 2 fans who... 19
- Utah Jazz: No lottery luck, so Jazz... 17
- Dick Harmon: BYU coach Mike Littlewood... 15
- Utah State football: New coach Matt... 11
- If hired, Jeff Hornacek will face same... 10
- BYU football: Fan-developed software... 8
- Former Jazzman Thurl Bailey named... 7