This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle. We end our weeklong series today dedicated to Boy Person’s father. We hope you have enjoyed the Tales Of Wild Bill! You never know, we may throw in another tale every now and then!
It’s hard to narrow down Wild Bill’s life to just a few stories, a few tales. Because you see, Wild Bill never believed in a “few” of anything. Especially break downs.
There was that time when the whole family decided to head to Washington DC in a motorhome. Back then, you could drive very close to the White House, and this was the perfect opportunity to see it. But just as they were in front of the White House, the motorhome…well…it quit. Quit running. In fact, Wild Bill told his family this had worked out just fine. They could look at the White House for a long time as they backed up traffic for four hours and for miles and miles and miles. The police told him he had to move it. And he said he surely would. Eventually, the police helped them push that big motorhome out of the way. But oh, they got to see the White House!
Wild Bill never had a “few smiles” either. They weren’t even lacking at the driver’s license office. After waiting for hours, Wild Bill got up to the counter. He was just happy to finally get his turn, even though the workers were not in such a good mood.
They told Wild Bill the only thing that could make their day worse was if the camera broke on the machine. And as it took Wild Bill’s smiling picture, what do you think happened? Well. It broke. And Wild Bill exclaimed that he was too handsome. He had broken that camera. He got his picture and his license, but he was the last that day. Yet he happily explained the situation to all who would he waiting for a very long while. He also let them know too it wasn’t his fault he was so good lookin.
You see, Wild Bill had a knack for fixing things or at least making the situation tolerable. But what was his idea of fixing? Patching them up enough to break down again. Just one of his names was in fact, Duct Tape Billy.
But that wasn’t the only name Wild Bill went by. Just some of his names included:
Bill, Billy, Billy Mac, Big Mac, BJ, Billy J, Awesome Bill.
But he always said “don’t call me late to dinner.” He certainly had his idea of good food, and that meant anything greasy or beans in a can.
He didn’t dress up much. He loved trucker hats and wore one even in the house. They were great sellers at the flea market, and he had his favorites. However, if he was going somewhere nice, he preferred to wear one without a slogan. That was just proper. What else was proper in Wild Bill’s eyes? Giving his family more room.
You see, they had a perfectly good mobile home. But it wasn’t big enough.
And instead of going to the work to haul it off and get a bigger one, Wild Bill thought the best thing to do would be to get another mobile home, take off one side of each one, and then push them together! It didn’t matter that one was longer than the other. Wild Bill said that was just perfect for a deck. What also was perfect was that when it rained, the water would pour down the crack where the two mobile homes were pushed together and create a lovely waterfall!
The hole in the floor below made flooding a secondary issue. It was no problem. No problem at all. In fact, all of Wild Bill’s jobs over the years gave him many skills to think of such ideas. What were just some of his jobs?
Electrician, construction worker, roofer, equipment operator, truck driver. He ran a mobile home business, RV business, flea market business. He owned a flea market! He was in the tire business, sanitation business, kettle corn business, antique tractor business. He was an antique dealer, had a junk shop, he sponsored race cars. He had a fabrication business, built log homes, was a farmer, ran a nursery, did air conditioning, was a plumber, did engine repairs, had an excavation business, and did property flipping. Don’t forget the moonshine deliveries!
In his last years, Wild Bill may have changed out his boots for Velcro sneakers, and his trucker hats for a fedora.
But his love of traveling never changed. His smile never faded. He may not have had much or any money. At all. But when we are gone, who does? His life’s journey took him many miles, even to 46 states. Things were never easy. But they were never boring.
Wild Bill did things his own way. Sometimes his way worked. Sometimes it didn’t. But he always left an impression. He could talk to anyone at anytime about anything.
He left skills and taught many lessons to Boy Person thru example and mistakes. And now, those memories mean more than anything money could buy. How do you summarize a life? You cannot. Life is bigger and more precious than anything we could say. But the next time we break down on the side of the road, it’s guaranteed that not only will Boy Person remember the skills Wild Bill taught him. But we will remember the duct tape too.
–Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle