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Bob Ross Visitor's Guide in Central Florida

The 407 on Bob Ross is here and I'm ready to share with you Orlando! Did you know that all Bob Ross paintings are stored away? Never to be sold and not in a gallery, but stored away for safekeeping.

Why? I believe it is because of what Bob Ross truly believed. He wanted to show people that anyone could paint if they just picked up a paintbrush. Bob was a very positive man and constantly changed lives from his painting show, but because of who he was, too. He didn’t view things in a negative way or in a wrong way. He always took the route of focusing on happiness - on what is good and happy in our lives. I liked that about him. Bob always chose to see what was good, pure, and lovely and to focus on what we can do versus what we can't.

STOP 1: DAYTONA BEACH

Daytona Beach is where Bob Ross was born to his parents, Jack and Ollie Ross. Jack

was a carpenter, and Ollie was a waitress. He had a career on PBS, and during his half-hour

segment, Ross would instruct viewers in the wet-on-wet oil painting technique. Ross deconstructs the process into simple steps so everyone feels like they can be a painter, too. And he had such a soothing voice that everyone believed him. HOURS: Sunrise to Sunset

STOP 2: THE WAFFLE HOUSE

LOCATION: Any location of a Waffle House was where Bob wanted to eat anytime anyday. You would often find him at the local Waffle House up the road for a home-cooked buttery meal and coffee.

HOURS: Open 24 hours everyday of the week

STOP 3: BOB ROSS ART WORKSHOP AT NSB

LOCATION: 757 East 3rd Avenue in New Smyrna Beach, FL

HOURS: Tuesday - Saturday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm Closed Sunday and Monday

https://www.bobrossartworkshop.com

STOP 4: BOB ROSS HOME IN ORLANDO

LOCATION: 4229 Greenfern Drive, Orlando, FL 32810

Lake Bosse Oaks was a quiet, private neighborhood. I grew up as a kid biking around the corner of Greenfern Drive and Lake Bosse Drive. My brother and I played at the lake constantly so we would pass Mr. Ross’ house all the time. We never knew his name, but he was a kind neighbor with big hair. We would see him sitting with his legs crossed on the front lawn waving his hands back and forth through the green-soft grass.

He would say hello to my brother Travis and me as we passed by on our bikes headed toward the lake, and he always told us that the squirrels were our friends. We would see him constantly in the front yard with the grass, birds, and squirrels alike. He would either be meditating in the front yard or just sitting there enjoying all that nature had to offer. He had some animals in the backyard, too when we could peek over the fence. The house on the corner of Lake Bosse Drive where Mr. Ross owned and lived was a four-bedroom, three-bath house with over 2,799 square feet of space. It was the corner home near the lake and built in 1984. Ross lived here until his death from cancer. The main bedroom featured an impressive ensuite, a porch that overlooked the pool, and an entertainment area outside with a screened-in pool. The flooring was a mixture of tile and wood. They were very private, but the whole neighborhood was. We lived just up the road, about five houses, and across the street on Greenfern Drive. Mr. Afro man, as my brother and I would call him, would see us outside all the time playing. Back then, we didn’t have the internet, youtube, or on-demand television, so we just played potato wars by the lake and cut down cattails while trying to fish. We loved sledding down the grass hills with cardboard, too! The neighborhood kids and myself would go by his house every night for years.


I’ll never forget the time of Halloween when we knocked on the door of this two-story house. My brother and I just stood there in awe as his wife and the tall man opened the green front door. (still green until this day, which I liked) “Trick or Treat,” we both said as we looked up the wooden stairway full of stuffed animals. Ross loved animals, especially squirrels. We both picked ours and went on our way. I’ll never forget it, and we didn’t even know who he was until we grew older, but that didn’t matter. He was a kind soul who loved nature, and how I remember him. These pictures are the present. It used to be green with green panels across it, but the stone is the same, the door and the garage. I always loved those lanterns as a kid that sat just outside his

garage, and happy to see them still there even though they appeared not to work.


STOP 5: WOODLAWN CEMETERY IN GOTHA, FL

LOCATION: 400 Woodlawn Cemetery Road, Gotha, FL 32751

The Woodlawn Cemetery is a beautiful cemetery with a lake and is located near Gotha, FL, just outside of Orlando. Fans of Ross can visit his site in Section O, Lot 537. Many visitors have left paint brushes or art supplies, small figurines of squirrels or nature, and I left a rainbow clip that said, LOVE. He was less concerned with his physical legacy but more so that he continued to inspire a generation of people to pick up a paintbrush and let them know that you can do anything. As I turned the corner of the cemetery, I didn’t know where I was going, but I saw this beautiful tree that sat by a lake, and I knew he was nearby. It was quite the landscape.




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