Eureka Springs Independent Newspaper Column for August 20, 2014 by Steve Weems

Often known as Chub or Chubby, Bob Lent was a well known figure around Eureka Springs, especially during his years as a mail carrier. He was also known for a speech impediment; when he ordered a cup of coffee it sounded more like he wanted a “chup of choffee.” Bob Lent was born in his parent’s home on Magnetic Road and lived there nearly his entire life.

As a young man, he worked several years for Britton Baker at the Esso station where Spring and Main meet (now the location of Scarlett’s Lingerie). When he left the Esso station, Mr. Baker gave him a watch as a gift, the same watch that took the brunt of an enemy bullet in Korea and probably saved his arm. Chub made sergeant during the Korean War because, he said, when everyone else gets shot and you’re left, they make you the sergeant.

In the 1960s, Chub spent time in the tuberculosis sanitarium near Booneville and ended up losing a lung. He had only one lung all those years he delivered the mail, walking up to 12 miles per day.

While a letter carrier, Chub was caught disposing of junk mail that he didn’t think his postal customers would want. He got in a lot of trouble and even hired an attorney to represent him. It made no difference and he was fired. Immediately, many locals came to his defense. My understanding is that Chub felt it was the involvement of John Cross that got him back his job at the post office.

Near the end of his life, he allowed a business I was involved with to put up a sign on the Lent property. When I inquired how much the sign rent would be, he responded zero, so I mailed him a printed and signed business check made out for $0.00. He had a lot of fun going to banks and trying to get the check cashed. I am told it was folded up in his wallet when he died August 11, 1994. He is buried in the Eureka Springs IOOF Cemetery under a tombstone that reads Charles Robert Lent. I never knew his name was Charles until I saw it on the grave marker.

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