Dear Winkie, Bill, & Blair,
I am so lucky to have come along so late in Bill's life to become one of his most recent friends. Our friendship was simple and based on things we easily agreed to: Sports, cards, and a good drink. Throw in current events and the fact that his wife and my mother were friends you get the ingredients for an enduring friendship. As a result in a few short years we became great pals. A sample of seeing Bill happy was when we were at Bru's Room sports bar in Delray Beach, Florida watching the 2011 NFC Championship between the Bears and Packers. We had gotten there early and had the best seats in the house. The game was great for everything but the final score. Midway through the fourth quarter with tons of sports fans hanging all over and around us as watched the big screen I looked at Bill and asked "is this any fun?" He gave me that lightning quick twinkle in his eyes and an almost as fast response of "yes indeed." Bill at the poker table was a marvel as well. He could deep into the tank on a losing streak to the point of wondering if he knew what he was doing. He of course would then turn into Superman and become unstoppable. Bill invited me to join his poker game. I have made many other friends as a result. I remember the first time we ended up against each other at the showdown phase of a game and I intentionally didn't go for the gusto since I didn't want to beat my friend. I am glad I didn't - I lost!
I am sorry I will not be at Bill's service Friday. I am at a business meeting that cannot be postponed out of town. Bill would be disappointed but at the same time accept the fact for what it is without judgment.
Getting to know Bill in the later years of his life was such a gift.