Good Question: Who is ‘Not Bob Marley’?

Good Question

1  Updated at 1:13 pm, July 21st, 2017 By: Robert Patten, EastIdahoNews.com columnist
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A mysterious Not Bob Marley sign next to U.S. Highway 20 at the County Line Road southbound on-ramp. | Robert Patten, EastIdahoNews.com

This week’s Good Question was actually one of the inspirations for starting this feature.

Who is “Not Bob Marley” on those Adopt a Highway signs that popped up between the Ucon and County Line Road exits on U.S. Highway 20 last year?

Typically it’s groups (such as businesses, clubs or volunteer organizations) that participate in the program, so naturally I figured Not Bob Marley was a great name for a band. But all my internet searches came up with zilch.

I was completely wrong about the band.

Not Bob Marley is actually one person, Clyde Marley. From June to October of 2016, the Rigby man picked up 8,000 pounds of garbage from that stretch of highway, including access ramps. That’s about 190 big orange bags, plus larger pieces of trash he couldn’t bag, like plywood.

He’s pretty humble about his efforts, but the folks at the Idaho Transportation Department took notice. He was honored with ITD’s 2016 Outstanding Adopt a Highway Volunteer Group award Friday at ITD’s office in Rigby.

Clyde Marley, left, receives the 2016 Outstanding Adopt a Highway Volunteer Group award on Friday from Lee Gagner, vice chairman of the ITD Board. | Robert Patten, EastIdahoNews.com

His motivation is simple.

“I don’t care for trash,” he said. “I used to walk across town to find trash and pick it up and take it to the next trash can.”

Marley is a retiree who moved to east Idaho from Morro Bay, California, two years ago. He formerly worked for Caltrans (California Department of Transportation) and wears his old orange gear while he collects trash.

So why the nickname?

He uses the alias “because people always ask me if I’m related to Bob Marley,” Marley said.

He said he does have an ancestor who was a privateer in the 16th or 17th centuries who never returned from the Caribbean, but no relation between Clyde Marley and the Jamaican singer has ever been established.

And as far as Not Bob Marley’s future goes, it looks like he’ll be busy.

“You will probably have your work cut out for you with this eclipse thing,” ITD Board Chairman Jerry Whitehead told him.

Do you have a Good Question about anything? Send it to Robert! Email him at questions@eastidahonews.com, or visit him on Twitter @notthegeneral or Facebook.

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  • David Devlin

    People ask one of the whitest men in Idaho (who evidently has way too much time on his hands) if he is related to a black Jamaican singer? I think those people enjoy Bob’s “Relaxation Technique” a little too much. 😉