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Spike & Bob: The story of an unexpected friendship

Staff Writer
Austin 360

Spike Gillespie was a tattooed, free-wheeling 52-year-old writer and wedding officiant in the midst of a crumbling, destructive relationship.

Bob Stader was a newly widowed, conservative 87-year-old Midwest farmer who couldn’t stand the thought of another barren Indiana winter.

He wanted to come to Texas, he said, at least for the colder months. So his daughter, Ellen Stader, who lives in Austin, put out a call on Facebook asking for leads on a place where he could stay where he could also help work the land. Spike, prone to impulsive decisions, responded immediately: Send him to the ranch.