My Friend Billy
Education Resources. My Friend Billy. My Friend Billy may look a little intimidating, so here are few helpful tips: Strip away the flams, rolls, and accents, and first learn the basic rhythmic structure. First play the piece at a slow tempo. Gradually increase until you get to a marching tempo of around bpm. Focus on the transitions between measures or between beats. The piece contains the following rudiments: 1.
Five-Stroke Roll 2. Six-Stroke Roll 3. Seven-Stroke Roll 4. Nine-Stroke Roll 5. He got his first gig playing drums in a St. He played with Liberace. But he was always ahead of his time. Billy played with Frank Sinatra, and with Dave Brubeck. He toured with Roger Williams. Jack Kerouac came to a performance. He went legally blind a couple of decades ago, macular degeneration. But he was doing OK, still playing music, until his wife had a stroke. She was half-paralyzed and bedridden after that, which was hard on him, and he stopped playing.
About four years ago, my gorgeous ex-fiancee talked them into moving to California from St. Louis so we could take care of them. She found a nursing home for her mom, and we found him a mobile home to buy in a nearby mobile home park … he laughed about that. He visited his wife in the nursing home almost every single day until her death a couple of years ago. She was the envy of the place to have a husband like that, all the poor souls in the nursing home who got one or two visits a year were jealous of her.
I think he was atoning for previous misdeeds, the man was a jazz musician, and by all accounts a tom cat … but atone he assuredly did, and impeccably. When she needed him, really needed him, he was by her side every day. He paid off all of his debts to his wife with true devotion.
Right up to the end his mind never weakened, and curiously, he was one of the few people with whom I could discuss my climate research. They typically have some circle of peers around them with whom they can discuss their ideas about the climate—other researchers, professors, graduate students, mentors, people from other departments and fields, they work and publish in teams and groups and can bounce ideas off each other. I do all of my research alone. So it was always a pleasure to read my work to him. He had me read each piece out loud, and then asked good questions.
And we always had the music. But his kidneys finally betrayed him. His last public appearance was in January, a couple of half-hour sets. He was as good as ever. Almost blind and nearly deaf even with his hearing aids, he never missed a beat. His other daughter came out from Tennessee, she was a huge help during and after his hospitalization. But then, of course, she had to go back to work. She left with our profound thanks.
I said, you mean not play any more music in public? No, he said, he was done with music … my heart sank. So I just kept bugging him to play … and finally he gave in. We started to play a bit. Well, that put the cat among the pigeons. So Billy started trading lessons with him, showing him jazz drumming in exchange for being taught something about Haitian drumming. Curiously, he told me that in some ways it was a great relief, because the music had always been a burden for him. I understood what he meant. I never practiced, even when I was making my living playing music. But Billy was old-school.
For him, there was practice, and there was performing. Billy had always driven himself to practice, a minimum of three hours a day until the day he quit. It was why he was so good. And now, he said, he was just tired to the bone. I told him that was OK by me. I said that now I could return the favor. He laughed, he liked that plan. We joked about him being my captive audience. And so when I visited, I played for him the tunes that he and I had played together, over the following weeks, as he lay back in his easy chair.
We talked about everything, including his impending death. His health got worse and worse. The doctors said that he was a candidate for dialysis. But like my father, he refused treatment. The only medical treatment he said he wanted was a morphine drip if things got bad. For a while he could still take care of himself. We begged him to come live with us, but he was fiercely independent.
So about two weeks ago, the gorgeous ex-fiancee and I moved in with him in shifts, with her there one night and me there the next. He was mostly sleeping. His voice grew less clear, with gaps in the words. On Friday night, he was nearing the end. I went down to his place, and my dear lady went home to feed the cat and get some sleep.
It was proper. So it was right she should go home now. I held his hand, and stroked his head. I sang to him. When I could feel his death approaching, I made myself small and turned sideways. His breath went out, and it never came back. I leaned over and kissed his cooling forehead. Again I wept. And again I took solace in the profundity of the silence, and in the soothing fact that there was nothing pressing any more, no urgency, nothing he needed to do, nothing I could do for him. Then, when the time of silence was over, I went to do the necessary tasks. But of course, as I have learned in my life, death often brings both tragedy and farce, and this was no exception.
OK, I said, how do I get one of those? Mmmm … but what if his doctor is out of town? Because, you know, he is out of town. Until Monday. They will send a doctor over to sign the certificate. They always handle that. I told the nice Coroner Lady the situation. So I did, right then. She said just call the emergency number Eventually my doctor said, just call the local police. Again I was reminded of the difference between the first and the third world. The mind works strangely at such times. The detective turned out to be a pleasant young man. He came in, and first thing, we had to fill out some paperwork.
While we were doing that, the EMT wagon arrived. The EMT came in and went in the bedroom to see the body. He had a whole other set of paperwork, which I signed, and he gave his condolences and left. We went into the bedroom. He took out his camera and said he was sorry, but by law he had to take pictures for the record.
I said I understood. I could see that he was disappointed to find out that it was just an ancient dead man weighing about 80 pounds, call it 35 kg, with pipe stem legs and sunken eyes, and not a crime victim of any kind. So the Detective took his pictures. Then the Detective asked if I had a measuring tape. When all that was done, all the measurements and pictures taken, all the papers signed, I asked the Detective if now the mortuary folks could pick him up. It was that kind of evening. He called his boss, and she called someone she knew at the Coroners Office.
In about five minues she called him back and said OK, Billy could be moved, the doctor could sign off when he returned on Monday. He was sincere and kind and professional throughout, and I thanked him for that and said I knew he had to do what he had done, and I was glad it was him that had done it.
When he left I went back inside and called the mortuary. Soon, the folks from the mortuary arrived. They brought a gurney. The mobile home was tight quarters. They had to stand the gurney on end to get it around the corners to his bedroom. They wrapped him in a white shroud and put him on the gurney. Then they started lashing him on, with three webbed belts. I left the bedroom and sat down in the living room to wait. When they came out of the bedroom, I found out that the gurney folded down, and it had wheels on one end, so they could use it like a hand truck.
They came breezing out of the bedroom, wheeling him on what looked just like a hand truck, wrapped in white in a standing position. He was a rascal and a gentleman and a rogue, crabby and thoughtlessly hard on the women in his family who loved him nonetheless, a wonderful musician and a bad family man who somehow managed to successfully raise a couple great girls to productive adulthood, and always someone with a great sense of humor and a profound enjoyment of the ridiculous, inane, bizarre things of this world.
Oh, and what George Marsh told me. We both fished commercially together, we both are children of the waves. We saw a whale spouting far out in the vasty deeps—there is no better balm for the heart than untamed wildness. I give my good lady immense props for her role in all of this. She has been the captain of the good ship Nagelfar since the first day, I was just the crew. And having skippered my share of boats, I assure you that crewman is by far the easier job. Crewmen sleep well at night, while the skipper tosses and turns and considers tomorrow.
She has my profound admiration and undying thanks for her unwavering support of both of our parents in their extremity. My conclusion from all of this? Hold your family and friends close, remember to taste the strawberries, play your own music whatever that might mean to you, and do what you love … because the night is never far away. Best regards, and thanks for coming on the journey.
Everyone grieves differently. This time around, writing seems to be part of how I do it. Tonight, the midnight moon is nearly full, with a single band of altostratus on one side of the sky and a hint of summer in the air. The coyotes are mumbling to each other on the far ridge, the saw-whet owl is sharpening his lethal blade. The intoxicating smell of the lemon tree in the yard lies thick on the dark air. Seriously you should enter that in a short story competition. It was quite revealing. Hi Willis — that was a very moving story, your writing abilities and life experiences never cease to amaze me.
In my travels across the internet I came across the blog of fellow whose medical story is simply incredible. Nearly dead from a botched colonoscopy and seemingly inconceivable medical malpractice, he was saved only because his wife discovered intestinal transplants actually existed his doctors were clueless.
Thank you. I completely agree with and hope for the proper order. A few months ago, I almost died. One Friday I took my little girl swimming, I felt what I thought was mild indigestion.
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By the afternoon it had grown into a nasty pain in my stomach, so I saw a doctor. The quack sent me home, he diagnosed a strained muscle. By the next morning, after a very bad night, my pain had grown unbearable. Worse, my waterworks had shut down — so I knew something was very wrong.
My wife called an ambulance. I had emergency surgery that evening, after a day fighting to control my temperature. I had been walking around for a week with a ruptured appendix and Peritonitis. After I woke up from Surgery, the surgeon gave me the bad news — I was still probably going to die. Yet somehow I found a reason to hope. It was only on the 6th day that my body started to lose the battle. And I was blindly, utterly determined to live. My wife and daughter depended on me. This was not my time to die.
Somehow, whether it was the antibiotics which drenched my system, my abnormally strong immune system, by determination to do everything they told me to do, to help my recovery, no matter how painful, I pulled through, and have now made a complete recovery. Death is the enemy Willis. There is no quarter with that which makes your loved ones cry. When the reaper finally catches up with me again, he will have another fight on his hands, I will hang on to the last gasp of my strength.
That story on wolverine was horrific. I had a colonoscopy other than finding a vein to put me asleep, it was a painless procedure throughout and afterwards. But was given a paper with warnings if I bled or had problems to come right back. It was cleared and the surgeon told me not to come back for 10 years, I had a bit of diverculitcus. Sorry spelling. I have never heard of intestinal transplants, but we learn everyday.
Ah, yes, Ripple …. Willis; Coming from the St. Louis area myself…. Just curious if Billy lived in one of the many suburbs, or in St. Louis proper. My condolences to you and yours on losing Billy. Guys like him are getting hard to find. Thanks, Willis, as always. I nursed my father hand and foot for four long years. I was still a kid going in. Afterwards, not so much. My cousin died less than a year ago. He was the brother I never had, and he had been bunking out in my livingroom for over six years.
He was two years younger than me. He suffered a stroke and never fully regained consciousness.https://unatcomlite.tk
MY FRIEND BILLY - stock photo
For the months he had left, I worked ten hours, then visited him every day after work, sometimes twice a day on weekends. Instead, she served him well by keeping me from going to pieces. I would talk to him and ruffle his hair, sometimes, because physical contact can reach a person, though I am definitely not a touchy-feelly type. One time I showed up and he opened his eyes and looked at me sternly and then put his hand up to his hair, so maybe I was getting through.
I was reading Skylark to him, of all things, and we had just gotten to the point where the space pirates had been thwarted, the hostages rescued, the planet saved, but before the wedding scene and the escape of the evil Duquesne, he passed on within an hour of when I last saw him. Dear Mr. Eschenbach, Thank you for honoring us with your words about your dearly loved Billy.
No one can ever take his place. The ebb tide of grief will flow high and ebb many, many times before it finally rests. Just remember, though, every time grief floods up the beach, it is, overall, flooding a little less far up the beach each time. Eventually, there will be calm. You know this, I know, just a little encouragement from someone who cares yeah, really. You are wise, Mr. Eschenbach, to listen to Death…… to a point.
Death can make a person live wisely, but, Death cannot give you joy. Death cannot give you love. And Death is sometimes a l1ar, gleefully whispering in your ear about the peace it can bring. Death, per se, will not bring peace, for the soul lives on…. And Death will not be going along with it to comfort it. Death has no interest in a soul released from the body. At that point, Death washes its hands of the soul. Most importantly, Death, while wise, cannot give you hope. THAT is peace, man, powerful peace.
My Friend Billy by Lisa Ford - FictionDB
For hope, you must listen to Life. How can one do this? Of course, that takes faith. No one can gin up faith. But, you CAN be open to receiving it and you can choose to stubbornly resist it whenever it whispers to your heart. I have been, though, and will be, praying that you and your family come to have that faith, that hope. What you DO have, right now, and will always have, is your love for Billy and his love for you.
Memories will start to fade, but the love will remain — always. But the greatest of these is love.
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With heartfelt sympathy…. A grand farewell and meditation. On Good Friday the thought of death and the possibility of resurrection is not far from my mind. A bit of luck and Billy will play on. Thank you for this. I dunno, Janice. Unlike with my beloved climate stations, I have no data on that. What is, is. Dear Evan M. Corinthians Jesus walked the earth. And he left LOTS of data in the form of words and actions for you to analyze.
Your query to resolve: Was he Lord? Those are the only 3 possibilities. Thanks Willis for another story well and lovingly told and beautifully written. My wife and I went through a somewhat similar sequence with her mother about a year and a half ago. Similar may be a bit of a stretch as the only real commonalities were her adamant wish to die in her own home and the morphine soothed final days of her life, which in her case stretched to five days from the point she fell into a terminal coma.
Your bit about the death certificate brought back a detail of our story which was both entirely infuriating and yet almost comical. Mom finally passed about a quarter to midnight on Halloween. In the small Iowa town where this occurred the local EMTs must come to pronounce an unattended death. Since the ambulance garage was only a couple of blocks away they arrived in very short order and after what was probably similar paperwork they pronounced her dead.
During our discussion with the crew they had asked about the time of her death and my told them PM. They then volunteered to deliver her body to the local mortuary. The next day her last Social Security check was direct deposited into her account at the local bank.
As part of the friendly service of the local undertaker he sent copies of the DC to all pertinent authorities, including the SSA.
Your attempt to take advantage of my grief is absolutely not welcome, and is totally inappropriate on this thread. Please take it elsewhere. That kind of aggressive preaching is not wanted here. Easy, Willis, easy now. We all have our own ways of dealing with these things, as you have poignantly demonstrated. If we believed what and in the way she does, we might react the same. Noblesse oblige, you know. I think your actions are despicable, insensitive, and insulting, which is very a different thing, because you can change your actions. You doing that kind of thing turns people away from your message.
Or as the man said himself,. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. They are wonderful things, and you should continue doing them … just not here. This thread is not the place for prayer and witnessing. Blogs are a public place. Please consider this as a street corner, and take your prayers elsewhere, thanks … w. I cannot think of a higher compliment. My thanks. Oatley says: April 18, at pm. I hope to meet you in person in Las Vegas in July. A beautiful telling of a story of life, Willis.
It somehow spoils it, for me at least, even though I am and always will be an atheist. I say that with some certainty as any change in that regard will undoubtedly be a symptom of the losing of my mental faculties. I am sure she meant it as a message of love and care. Sometimes the ideas, or the solutions we pass on are wrong, but not because we intend them to be.
It is simply that we think they were meaningful, factual, or we believe that they worked for us at the time. Peace and love to you, and to Janice. Such is life. And death. But there is one important difference. Those like Janice believe that what they are doing is a Good Thing. But the motivations are not as venal. And you do yourself a disservice here.
I am so sorry for your loss. Put it down to my lack of grief counseling. I just got done expending a bunch of sweat and tears to tell a detailed, complex, moving true account of my own personal life. She starts twisting my true account of my own life into an argument for her particular brand of religion. Bad religious person, no cookies. I took a long time and a lot of effort to craft a powerful story, and she wants to jump in and use the drama and the strength and the pathos and passion of my story for her own personal, private, parochial religious ends.
I will not let her ride on my work that way. I will not let her twist my words in that fashion. And I apologize to her for wherever it was over the top. Janice, you have my sincere apologies for my excesses of passion. But I will not have her stealing my heart-felt song of life and death for her own religious purposes. Not gonna happen. I wrote that story as it was. I was there. If she wants to tell a powerful story about death and Jesus, then I encourage her to do so.
No way. We know how to cure cancer now. All kinds. The secret is that cancer cells have a receptor that induces apoptosis. It is against Federal law to fill those receptors with any material you can grow yourself. Biochemist Dennis Hill, who cured his stage 4 prostate cancer explains how it works Look it up.
Lovely story Willis…. We all need a reminder from time to time of our humanity and frailty. You cretin. Willis, Thank you for writing such a beautiful essay. I am still choking back the tears. Cordially, Perry. As someone who used to be virulently anti-marijuana before May —I removed you as a friend, and I would not allow relatives into my house who used drugs of any kind—I am happy to read accounts about Dennis Hill who killed cancer in his body with cannabis.
People need to wake up to the medical evidence. Manuel Guzman. Norman Woods says: April 19, at am Whoah, there. Ramp it back. Uncalled for, particularly under the circumstances. Thanks for earlier.
Thanks, Evan. Oh, yeah, I remember it now:. The similarity of this belief structure to religion has been noted by a number of commentators … The mortician gets paid in money. Janice gets paid in converts. I fear I see little difference. Thanks Willis for the thoughtful anecdotes. Your story reminded me of my favorite quote, one which I try to live by. Yet everything happens a certain number of times, and a very small number, really. Perhaps four or five times more. Perhaps not even. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise?
Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless. Norman Woods says: April 19, at am Low rent is where all the interesting things happen. I wish you a long, dull, boring life. And just to tweak you some further. I favor the old time religion. If it was good enough for Jesus it is good enough for me.
Because we are all Sons of God. Or both. Depending on what is on offer. Oh, yes. And I, in essence, agree. Case in point, the more genuine of the CAGW believers. Like all good intentions. Getting paid off in converts is one thing. And I agree: Not a Good thing. Another case in point: I think the number Norman Woods pulled was considerably worse than anything Janice attempted.
And in other venues as well. But — as bad as that is — it beats ig noble cause corruption. But he would if he could! And yet, here you are, reading what I wrote, complaining about what I wrote, reading my response to your complaints … go figure. My friend, there are a million stories out there on the internet. So give them all a pass, everyone you disagree with, including me, and find something that speaks to you, that you enjoy reading.
Your assumption, that she needs some big strong man like yourself to defend her, and your description of her as an emotional woman, is both a stereotype and an insult to her. All the best, and truly, I hope you find things on the web to enjoy rather than bitch about. She is a devious girl from Endsville. In stark contrast to her cheerful, talkative, uniquely stupid best friend Billy , she is shown to be intelligent, quiet, bitter and utterly ruthless.
After the theme song, Mandy is shown in front of a black screen, usually speaking to the viewers in a creepy, sarcastic way, similar to the couch gag opening of The Simpsons. However, this did not apply in some earlier episodes, where she smiled only to her friends Billy and Grim. However, she had to smile in front of everybody in the school auditorium when she sang Over the Rainbow as part of a pageant. In the episode The Problem with Billy , it was shown that she first met her best friend Billy at an early age, when Billy had repeatedly rung her doorbell until she was annoyed enough to answer.
Later, Billy stole her feeding bottle, put it in his mouth and began flushing it like a toilet. When she did, he immediately pointed out that she had no nose and shoved an ice cream cone into her face after she had asked him if he was "some kinda idiot? She punched him, called him a creep, and slammed the door in his face. He simply giggled in response to this, telling "she digs me", thinking that she liked him. So, they made a bet.
If Grim beat them in a game of limbo, he could have Mr. Mandy is shown to be an anti-hero at best, and an antagonist at worst. A cruel, intelligent, cold-hearted, grouchy, bitter, cynical, merciless, vain, spoiled, self-centered, stubborn, arrogant, unforgiving, unsympathetic and slothful little girl, she regards herself as being superior to many of the characters on the show, even her parents.
She aspires to dominate the planet with an iron fist and to stay as far away from Irwin as possible. Her mother spoils her rotten and showers her with money, compliments, and expensive gifts, despite her fears, and her father is stuck cooking and cleaning for her. However, it is shown that Mandy truly loves her family, as she was genuinely shocked when they revealed they were afraid of her. It is said by many fans that Mandy gets scarier and meaner every season.
Mandy also has superior intelligence and strength not to be reckoned with. She has an almost superhuman force as she is able to battle monsters with ease as well as being able to understand complex theories of the world when referring to her superior intelligence, despite being a child, so she might be a prodigy. She also never misses a chance to exploit the stupid, which more or less justifies her attachment to Billy. While Billy gets the trio into trouble, she is usually the one to get them out of it, along with Grim who, without her force, would not even bother trying to help.
It is also shown in the movie that Grim and Billy are actually very meaningful to her and she feels truly alone and lost without them. This is probably Mandy's most villainous role ever. Although Mandy rarely smiles, she is shown to smirk in times when she wins or if she is concocting a very sinister plan. When she did try to force a smile in a beauty pageant, it caused a rip in the dimension that forced her, Grim, Billy and Irwin to transition into the Powerpuff Girls world, due to the sheer awe of it being extraordinary.