June 4, 2013 § Leave a comment
He started high school my senior year, but we ran in different circles. Actually, he ran in a circle that continues through today (his Liars’ Club); I mostly stood apart. He was in the Boys Club; I was a DeMolay. He was Jayvee; I was Varsity. I was very smart but lazy, disrespectful, loud, unpopular, and arrogant—a regular detainee; he had to live up to the first and down all the rest. All I recall of his next two years are his romance with Peaches Pearce and his one visit to Chapel Hill, when he and Bennie Starnes dumped the blind dates I’d arranged.
We also shared two years at Carolina, where he played football for one season (a walk-on), studied business administration, and met the Hall twins, June and Daisy, both in math; but my one clear recollection is the night he came to see my all too honest one-act fantasy about the divorce and stormed from the theatre in tears of rage.
Two years later he and the Hall girls took a graduation trip abroad, and he and June stayed with Sandra and me in Goeppingen just long enough for a disastrous trip to Salzburg and an aborted two weeks in Spain (we went; they didn’t). Then he returned to the States, married June, got drafted, survived Viet Nam, and came home to his roots (in textiles, even) and stayed. I stayed away.
Not that he was cloistered; quite the opposite. After some time under the wing of Duke Kimbrell at Parkdale Mills, he embarked on a lifelong career as a travelling salesman of spinning frames and the like, world-wide for a dozen years or so with Warner & Swasey, then throughout the southeast with Murata Machinery USA, winding up Vice President & General Manager of the Textile Division.
Along the way he fathered Shepherd and Cooper, both bankers; while I traipsed and gallivanted, Kansas, Texas, Massachusetts, New York, Maryland
His life since is quickly summarized: The only other time I remember spending time with Bill (aside from he and I spent time together