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'Survivor: Gabon' winner honored with "Bob Crowley Day"


By Christopher Rocchio, 01/07/2009 

Robert "Bob" Crowley's ability to outwit, outlast and outplay his fellow Survivor castaways has apparently made him a local legend.

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Survivor: Gabon's recent winner was honored in his hometown of South Portland, ME on Tuesday night for claiming the show's $1 million prize, Maine's American Journal newspaper reported.

"I take great pride in how Bob represented Maine and himself on the show," said South Portland Mayor Tom Blake, according to the American Journal.  "He won using a hard work ethic and his Maine ingenuity."

City officials proclaimed January 6 as "Bob Crowley Day" to recognize the 57-year-old physics teacher's accomplishment and also presented him the key to the city at the event.

"You better remove all the items from the places this key unlocks," joked Crowley, according to the American Journal.  "I just might take something to make a fake immunity idol."

The event was held at the South Portland Community Center's bingo hall with about 300 people in attendance.  Crowley reportedly arrived in a limousine with a police escort with his wife, Peggy, and their daughter, Page, before recounting his time in Gabon.

One of Crowley's stories that received the most laughs, according to the American Journal, dealt with how fellow Survivor: Gabon castaway Jessica "Sugar" Kiper overreacted after the show's zoologists had told the cast how to defend themselves if they were approached by the area's wildlife.

"After learning all of this, a leaf fell from a tree and slid down Sugar's back," said Crowley, the American Journal reported. "She jumped up and screamed, and I jumped up, screeched like a chimpanzee, ran in a zigzag pattern and spread dung all over the trees."

Crowley was also asked by an audience member if he planned to share any of his winnings with Kiper since it was her unexpected decision to force a 2-2 tie at the game's Final 4 Tribal Council that allowed him to be able to get a chance to make it to the final jury voting which he ended up winning.

"Sugar recently moved into an apartment in Los Angeles and is using inflatable furniture to furnish the apartment," said Crowley, the American Journal reported. "My nephew, who lives in L.A., is taking her shopping tomorrow for a TV that Peg bought her for Christmas."

In addition to speaking to the crowd, Crowley also showcased several Survivor: Gabon artifacts -- including the two fake immunity idols he made, a spearhead the castaways used to cook fish and Exile's map to the location of the competion's real hidden Immunity Idol. 

Crowley also reportedly told a story about a bag of marbles he showed to the crowd.

"Before I left for the show my dad, who I never knew to lie, told me that bluffing in poker isn't lying and that I should go for all the marbles while on the show," said Crowley. "I dropped one marble in this bag every time someone was voted off the show. I now have 18 marbles in the bag."

Crowley's father passed away in September and never had the chance to see his son win Survivor: Gabon.  His mother was able to watch him take home the title, but was unexpectedly unable to appear at the Tuesday night event.

"My mother couldn't be here tonight because she slipped and fell and hit her head on the way over here," he said. "She's OK."

(Photo credit CBS)


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