The 60s Official Site Blog

Dedicated to the memory and history of the 60s from a personal and historical point of view.


Monday, April 06, 2009

I Lost My Childhood Friend

I just received word that one of my childhood friends lost his battle with cancer. He was only 61 years old and still in the prime of his life. Looking back I can still see Bill with a beaming smile on his face. Although I don't recall much about Bill as he reached adulthood, I do remember the plans he always had and that was to have his own business. He did just that. He owned and operated Bill's Bike Shop in Circleville, Ohio.

I first met Bill in elementary school at Corwin Street. He always had a pleasant personality and I don't recall him ever having anything ill to say about any person. Bill was always a fantastic soul. Bill never cared about the background of anybody and always tried to be friends with everyone he met. Overall he was just a nice guy, a product of great parenting and growing up in a great town like Circleville.

As we moved into Junior High School we both were patrol boys for Mr. Chilcote, the toughest and meanest principal in the entire country, but Chilcote loved his patrol boys. Our job was to assist kids crossing the streets before and after school. We had a badge and everything. Man did we think we were cool!

In high school Bill and I had a few classes together but his personality and demeanor never changed. He was always the Bill I knew. He wore his hair crew cut or short, the same style forever, I think as I look back. It seems you always remember a person as they looked when they were young, especially if you haven't seen them in awhile.

On my website, The 60s Official Site, I used a silhouette of two persons from our 1966 yearbook and one of those persons I used to illustrate high school memories was my friend Bill. Click here to view the picture. I am not sure if he was aware, I even had the website or that is picture was there. Now it is my tribute to Bill.

I know Bill's whole life centered around his wife Jill, whom I never met, the rest of his family, his Circleville friends and of course his bike shop.

The last time I spoke to Bill was about 7 years ago when I ran into him at the annual Pumpkin Show while home visiting my dad in the hospital. Bill was still Bill and I could have picked him out of a crowd. Bill never changed.

When he was diagnosed with multiple brain tumors, two classmates of ours John and Jim ran his business for him while he continued to fight for his survival. What a close knit friendship. Both men will continue to run the business until Jill determines what to do with Bill's Bike Shop.

The sad part is life is too short and if you never take the time to enjoy it with full gusto, it will slip away from you very quickly. You never know when you will be called home to your maker. Bill enjoyed life to the very end. I regret that I never took the time to keep up with old childhood friends, who after looking back were probably the best friends I ever had my entire life. It seems you never develop better friends then those you had while you were young.

The town of Circleville will surely miss Bill's smile, his friendliness and his devotion to his friends and family. I know I will miss him. Goodbye my friend.

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