Pursuit of Friendship
Rich Allshouse and Bernie Bass may look like they’re related, but don’t let that fool you.
“We are actually known as ‘the twins,’” laughs Rich. “He gets called ‘Rich’ and I get called ‘Bernie,’ and it just bothers the heck out of both of us.”
Volunteers with Buzzard Brothers BBQ, Rich and Bernie have been best friends since they met in the late ‘70s while playing recreational volleyball at a church function. When Bernie left for college and the Marine Corps and Rich stayed in Paducah working at what is now Honeywell, they never lost touch.
Theirs is a friendship of reciprocity: they look out for each other. When a job opened at his work, Rich introduced Bernie to the company. Bernie would later return the favor, introducing Rich to Buzzard Bros, an all-volunteer organization that cranks out barbecue at such notable events as Barbecue on the River and the Lowertown Arts Festival. And when it comes time for the Lone Oak Ball Park to host the regional Special Olympics softball tournament, you bet you’ll see Rich and Bernie volunteering their time.
When they’re not cooking up over 2,000 pounds of barbecue, working at the ball park, or catching hundreds of crappie on their annual fishing trip to Lake Okeechobee, Rich and Bernie continue to do work for Honeywell. Though Rich retired in 2008, he continues to work with the company as a consultant, and at 64, Bernie is ready for retirement from his job there as an electrical engineer.
“I see Rich and he’s enjoying himself. But I know our wives have lists and lists and lists of stuff for us to do that may be more demanding than any other boss,” he laughs.
Without skipping a beat, Rich chimes in “They don’t pay as well!”
Their shared humor and near ability to finish each others’ thoughts makes it no surprise that Rich and Bernie are mistaken for brothers.
“Our kids were friends, our wives are best friends; we’re not friends, we’re family.”
Rich Allshouse and Bernie Bass are not affiliated with LPL Financial or Jennings & Associates Financial Advisors.