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His Life


November 1, 2020
From Bill’s speech at the Estill County Development Alliance 1998

What I miss a lot these days are crawdads. I know some people call them crawfish but I’m just an Irvine boy. I rarely see them where I live now.  In Estill County they were everywhere when I was growing up.  They were so funny the way they walked backward and so menacing when threatened.  They would fight back and take a nip out of you if you were not careful. I’ve got a few nips to show for it.  Crawdads are not the only thing I miss. I miss the fish jumping on the river at daybreak, with the mist rising from the water and the waves slapping against my boat.  I miss the wild blackberries, the apple and peach trees, I miss the Knobs, which you can climb in the morning and be back home in time for lunch. I miss the easy familiarity and comfort of a small town and a real community of people who have known me since I was a mere boy. 

October 31, 2020
Bill's words from a postcard 5/9/78
"Dear Ruth and kids,
 Met Vice President Teng at a press conference, then toured a commune and factory. Slippery roads to The Great Wall. Attended a cultural event at Great Hall,quite a place, but I've seen better on t.v. Combination of arias, orchestral, dance and song-pianist was great. Love, Bill

Bill's Notebook

October 24, 2020
In Bill's own words:

The tin can- a useless item once it had been opened and consumed, right?   Our parents would swish them with water and usually throw them in the trash. Or they might get thrown into the creek which would dirty things up.  But oh, the ingenuity of a big family, and many other kids, who made the tin can a utility that substituted for things that many people  could not afford. The tin can was, in many instance, our baseball.  It was easy to hit but hard to make long hits that resulted in home runs.  We used broomsticks as the bats and set up bases just like in the major leagues.  It was more fun when a fresh can was whacked and  it  would soar through the sky, floating only without any certainty. If the can was beaten to the point where  cut marks opened up in one's hand when catching it, a substitute or new can was employed to start the process all over again 

I wasn't much of a tin can hitter, but many of my other brothers were.  It was played by neighbors, not by just one family alone. It deepened the relationship we had with them.