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Coronavirus Victims: A Disney World Pirate Bob Carlos

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

A Disney World pirate has died. Bob Carlos played the part for a decade. He passed away last month from COVID-19.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

His children, Tracey and Rob Carlos, recall that their father was perfectly cast for his role at the park.

ROB CARLOS: The corny jokes he told as a pirate were definitely his branch off of the corny jokes he told as a dad, you know?

TRACEY: Oh, yeah. He definitely was one of the people that you would say had the dad jokes.

CHANG: Earlier in life, Bob had worked as a radio technician in the Navy, then as a telephone switch man and entrepreneur. But a family trip to Disney enchanted him, and he began dreaming about working in the park himself.

CARLOS: My dad saw the audio animatronic figures in the Hall of Presidents and said, hey, I know how those work. Oh, I would love to actually work on that. And the next thing you knew, we were Lake Buena Vista at the end of our Disney trip, and he was filling out applications to work at Disney.

KELLY: Tracey and Rob don't know what came of those first applications. Years later, though, the family moved down to Florida, and Bob got his chance to join the Magic Kingdom as a somber undertaker in the Haunted Mansion.

CHANG: But Bob's booming voice and outsized personality were better suited to the Pirates Of The Caribbean.

TRACEY: He would say...

CARLOS: (Imitating pirate voice) What be a pirate's a favorite letter?

And then the guest would say, R because everybody thinks that's the obvious answer. He's like, (imitating pirate voice) no, it'd be the C we love.

KELLY: His children say that beneath their father's swashbuckling persona was a soft heart. Tracey remembers her dad once drove hundreds of miles to help her pack up her college dorm room, and he didn't bat an eye when she rear-ended his car on the way home.

TRACEY: He never, ever made me feel bad about any of that.

CARLOS: I seem to remember when I saw you when you got home, you told me that story, and you're like, don't tell Mom about this. Dad decided we're not going to talk to Mom about this one.

(LAUGHTER)

TRACEY: Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

CHANG: Bob Carlos died April 24, just weeks after his wife Bono (ph), who also died from COVID-19. He was 75 years old. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.


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