I once read that when the last person speaks your name then you are truly lost to the ages. Often, in my morning prayers, I will mention my gratitude for my ancestors and certain people who have ‘walked through my life.’ Johannes Holliger, Dudley Garrison, Uncle Bib, Beverly and so forth. This keeps their spirits alive with me. This morning Bill Bowman walked through my mind.
I met Bill in October 1963. Our fathers were both stationed at Chambley AFB, France at the time. Bill was a senior and I was a junior at Verdun High School. We seemed to have gravitated toward one another right away, and spent a great deal of time together.
As it turned out Bill was my first ‘drinking buddy.” We would get into his dad’s liquor cabinet and bit the vodka. Mixed it with Kool Aid. Sophisticated drinkers we were – and at such an early age! Then we would replace the vodka with water… (We were clever drinkers also!)
When I got sober, in 1994, one of the first people I thought of was Bill. I have always prided myself in solving mysteries. (For years I was an aircraft accident investigator.) So I began looking for Bill. And it wasn’t hard finding him…
His Dad’s name was “Monte,” and he was from Montana. How hard could that be? It didn’t take long before I had Monte on the phone, and he actually remembered me! Go figure. (He thought that I was one of the ‘little shits’ that drank his vodka…) Anyway, after a while he told me about Bill.
Nine months before Bill committed suicide. Alcohol and drugs. Damn!
I can not tell you how many times over the years I have thought of him – he was my friend. So I wanted to tell you about him today; to keep him ‘alive’ one more day…