Thursday, August 03, 2006

Running @ the mouth

Hello friends of Bill,

This site was originally the idea of Michael Grossman, a longtime friend and colleague of Bill’s, who suggested that Bill’s wide circle of friends might want a place to reflect on his life. Josh and I put it together, with the advice of Paul Donald and Jessie Scanlon, in the hopes of providing that. No one should feel obligated to write, of course; there is no agenda here besides celebrating Bill, and no real rules except those of general decency. Bill was a lover of spirited conversation and a master of wit, no doubt both will be found among his friends here.

It’s certainly impossible to capture the full measure of Bill’s qualities in a few lines. But hopefully what will emerge here in stories and recollections will reflect what I’ve seen around San Francisco this week: the indelible mark he left on just about anyone who entered his orbit.

I plan to write more later, but for now -- and apropos of nothing, as Bill would say...I must have exchanged hundreds, perhaps thousands, of text messages and emails with him over the years. Yet I have no doubt that if you showed me any one of them, without his name attached, I would know instantly that he was the author. Each communication from Bill was carefully crafted in his warm and inscrutable style, drenched in the obscure, the self-deprecating, the hilarious, and the absurd. He had those particular, almost anachronistic phrases -- “Yr pal, B," or “Thoughts, with or without musical accompaniment, welcome,” or “Coordinating details to follow from a secure voice connection” -- that marked the prose as his own.

The last text I got from him, on the Saturday night before the marathon, was no exception:

From: Goggins 9:38 pm 7/30/06

26 & change, brought to you by R. Chandler’s Sport Beans. “A

little trouble is my business.” Just me and my carbo loaded

feedbag. Come 5:35 a.m. I won’t just be running @ the mouth.


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