Another Bill Story
courtesy of mary strigoica
I’m jumping off from what I last remember saying about Bill.
Best way to describe Bill was he had a 0 fucks given attitude. He didn’t care who you were; if he liked you he treated you well, if you pissed him off he sure as hell told you. He really didn’t care that people thought he was a celebrity of some sort, he was just an average joe that made it home in mostly one piece. No praise needed, no praise wanted.
I think the very last time I saw him pretty much demonstrates how he really was.
I was at the Reading Pa for the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum’s WWII weekend. My dad and I were in the main hanger where most of the veterans and book dealers are. I avoided the table where Bill was at first because there was a line of people waiting to meet and greet him and get things signed. I decided to hit that up last, when the line was shorter. At one point I lost my dad and started looking around for him. Then I spotted him, cutting the line at Bill’s table, to hand Bill his pith helmet. [Backstory time: my dad has this pith helmet that he wears out. It’s one of his favorite hats but its also really good at protecting you from the sun. But, because nobody really knows what those are anymore, he gets stopped a lot and LOVES to answer questions about the helmet.]
The first thought running through my head is “Oh god, Dad. Are you getting Bill to sign your helmet? why?”
I come over and see Bill trying on my dad’s helmet and hear my dad give him his whole story about how useful these are and all that. I just cringe on the inside and wait for my dad to come over to me.
When my dad comes back to me I’m a little mortified and I go “DAD! Did you seriously just cut in line to talk to Bill?”
My dad explained that he was at an adjacent table and Bill called him over to ask “What the hell ya got on ya head?” and then proceeded to very enthusiastically listen to my dad’s story and ask where he got it and try it on.
0 fucks given about the other people who had paid to stand on line to get his autograph. He saw a guy with a cool hat, so he called the guy over and chatted with him for a few minutes.
Later that day, I came back to the hanger and took pictures. I was trying to take a candid shot of Bill. But he was really alert, so he noticed me, put his hands over his head, and went “I surrender, Toots.” and winked.