Wednesday, January 5, 2022


I've Long Since Retired, My Son Moved Away     I Called Him Up Just The Other Day    I Said, I'd Like To See You If You Don't Mind     He Said, I'd Love To, Dad     If I Can Find The Time      You See , My New Job Is A Hassle    And The Kids Have The Flu      Its Been Nice Talking To You Dad     Its Been Nice Talking To You    And As I Hung Up The Phone , It Occurred To Me     He'd Grown Up Just Like Me     My Boy Was Just Like Me 

Harry Chapin

Verities & Balderdash 1974

                                       1944 / 08 / 27   -   20BLK Jack / 11 / 24

Bill grew up on the rain shadow side of the massive granite peaks of the mighty Sierra Nevada Mountains. He, his fathers, his grand father, and two boys were all born in the same hospital of this sleepy little railroad town of Portola, CA. 

Right after graduation from High School, just shy of his 22nd, his first born son bounced into this world. Bill quickly grew up and spent the next 35 or so years working on the railroad. One of his many highlights was "driving" the lead locomotive for Lassie in the Motion Picture Lassie My Lassie. Later in his career, none of the young pups knew how to operate the relic engines that once powered over steep mountain passes while hauling more than their fair share, he steered these old vintage engines down to Sacramento California were the met their final resting place in the Railroad Museum. 

Now why would I add FATHERS to the list? Easy. His father Joe was a twin and fathered a number of children with various ladies and or wives. Bill and his only biological older brother were eventually adopted by the twin brother Jack. So as we all have evolved over these past decades and we understand the psychological ramifications of abandonment and neglect, childhood for Bill was a rocky ride to say the least. 

But he prevailed as a human and happily slipped into retirement and never left the hidden community of Portola. He was a diehard San Francisco 49's Football fan and apparently loved Sunday Nascar Racing as well. He always , LIKE ALWAYS , had his best friend next him. I couldn't even begin to count the number of dogs he owned. Uncle Steve reminisced over the phone about Bill's teenage years of owning a verity of Hot Rods and was always the life of the parties back in the day. 

Bill also loved his numerous 4x4 vehicles, 1960's Ford Mustangs, and rode motorcycles like a happy old man with a cool mountain breeze on his smiling face. Bill remarried Aug 23rd 1980 and his faithful wife held his hand as he passed away in a morphine comfortable haze the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. 

                                                 Rest In Peace  WC  


  1. ...I remember Harry Chapin's song well. A life cut short.

  2. So very sorry for your loss....A very fine biography, I felt as if I knew him after reading it. TC...

  3. A lovely tribute and may his memory be a blessing.

  4. A fine tribute and summary of Bill's life.

  5. Dearest Travis,
    You are a great writer, from the heart and rather deep into the human suffering of emotional abandonment.
    So sorry your Dad had a rough youth and what a great 'other Dad' he found. One that would make up for his brother's neglect.
    We never can 'iron' out the emotional wrinkles often caused by others... But they do become a daily baggage to tote through life.
    Glad he had a faithful wife at his side when the end came in sight.
    LOVE that Lassie photo, we all watched those episodes back in The Netherlands and probably the world over.
    Who would know the heartache of the gentleman driving the lead locomotive for Lassie?
    Now I understand your walks (that got listed as rides...) as you were digesting this painful part of your life.
    No doubt, your Dad found his eternal Peace; finally!
    We humans cannot fully grasp the why's and how's but our final Judge will handle it with LOVE.
    Big all around hugs to you and your loved ones!

  6. Sad entry. That is my Brother. We grew up a bit like that and ... he has a car but never makes the 60km to Braunschweig to visit, always excuses. But it´s OK when I take tram, train and walk...
    But we grew up wonderful compared to your sad story.

    Both my parents passed away like that, also. Good we have these medical tricks.
    For us, though. We never knew if they still hear or feel us.
    Hence. I failed to say "good bye" to my Mum, I just kinda (stupid!) hoped she would stay then.

    Cute last pic. Sweet memory, I reckon.
    "Cheers", right.

  7. A lovely tribute for a great person. I am very sorry for your loss.
    The 2 photos are priceless. I see he loved the animals a lot.
    Reading this touching post I remember my mom who passed away 21 years ago while sleeping: I have again the regret not to have spent more time with her.

  8. I am so sorry for you loss, a lovely tribute. I know the song well, it is a sad one. Mike & the Mechanics, the Living Song is similar to me.

  9. So sad for your loss. Nice tribute, remember the good times!

  10. Wonderful post and tribute. Stay strong, my friend!

  11. That song has always made me so sad... thank you for sharing this post. <3 -

  12. A most beautifully written epilogue!!
    Wonderful photos both in words & pictures.

    Travis, in spite of the loss, hope you find 2022 to be happy & prosperous.

  13. This is a wonderful tribute to someone who sounds like a good man. And even though it doesn't seem to fit in this comment, I want to wish you a happy new year.

  14. So so sorry Travis. Cats in the Cradle is the perfect song. Makes me sad.

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  16. After reading this, I get the feeling I knew him and his life. That is a swell picture - the second one. Even though it is a posed one, I would still put it under candid picture category.

  17. So sorry for your loss of a loved one. Remembrance is the last part of the pleasures with the late person, both bitter and sweet. We think of someone much more often than when we can see them easily, don’t we? I’ve felt so during these two years. Wish you a peaceful and healthy year.


  18. Thanks =) Wish you all the best in 2022 too.

    Nice post, honest memorial =)

  19. such a beautiful sincere tribute to what seems to me to be a special, dedicated man!! was he your father?? i read this twice and was unable to answer that question....maybe it was me and i just missed it!!

    in your beautiful writings, he sounded like a kind man!!

    my father was a very mean marine, i longed for a kind, humble man but that he was not. my sincere condolences!!

  20. I'm very sorry for your loss. You have written a wonderfully sincere and touching memorial.

  21. I love this song. The rest of the song was instantly flashed in my head ...
    And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon
    Little boy blue and the man in the moon
    "When you coming home, son?" "I don't know when"
    But we'll get together then, dad
    We're gonna have a good time then..

  22. You and I have traveled similar paths in the past months. My father's funeral was yesterday after he passed in a morphine haze on the day after Christmas. You wrote a beautiful tribute. Take good care of yourself. This road is hard. What a beautiful song. Sending love.

  23. I'm sorry for your loss. Any man that's a friend to animals is a good person, indeed. I'm sure he would have been touched by your tribute to his memory.

  24. Such a lovely tribute, so sorry for your loss
    Kisses, Paola.


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