I have been lurking on this thread for some time. Finally chiming in.
Thank you for such a warm recollection of one of the most remarkable men I have known, and someone who was quite important in my life too. I was "scooped up" by Bill in 1974 at a folk festival in Pennsylvania. I spent some memorable times at his farm on Westport Island. Even recall getting fleas from the shagg rug, since that was where I slept when I wasn't in a tent outside. (grin) Numerous times I booked Bill and Gene as artists in residence at the school where I teach. Bill was one of my thesis advisors, a true mentor.
One memorable week I asked Bill if he needed some help around the house. Ask Archie, Steve or Paul and they'd tell you there was always something important that needed to be done. So I was surprised when Bill said, "I'd like to try and get the 'Sea Change' in the water." The 'Sea Change' was his rather shaky sailboat. It looked like the only water it had seen in years was the water it caught inside the hull while sitting otherwise dry at the edge of his back yard. I am more of a farm boy than a sailor. I had never sailed at all before that week. But I was game, and after some convincing, the 'Sea Change' was afloat with sail flapping. Throwing caution to the wind, we headed out through hellgate and were rewarded with a "splendid passage". Leaks demanded we return after an hour or so, but not until we were rewarded by the accompaniment of what appeared to this farmer to be several porpoise. A wonderful time I will recall until the day I meet Bill again.
This may sound a little self-serving, but it is suggested in respect. I have recently commented about Bill in my blog, including a song I wrote that parodies "A Fitting Out", one of Bill's thousands of songs. You can view this entry at:
Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving holidy, hopefully filled with music and family.
- Tom Smith