Be Thankful For Friends

“You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.” – Robin Williams

My friend Bill is featured in a number of my posts. The quote by Robin Williams would have sparked an immediate “That’s what I always say too!” He knew it was best to fan the fires of madness just enough to keep the coals always alive. His skewed perspective showed up in his artwork.
A favorite piece was a painting of a Baltimore streetscape. It was within a shadow box with lighting effects hidden within the box. Those were the days, in the 1960s when miniature lighting meant grain of rice bulbs or Christmas tree lights. Somehow he managed to keep the lighting effects in scale and complementary to the streetscape. When lit, the street seemed to come alive.
His manic sense of creativity showed up in the Tiki carving company we had one summer. Or, in the impromptu back-alley coffeehouse, he created the night that we were denied entry at a Boston coffeehouse. And then there were the endless murals he painted in almost every apartment that we lived in.
Bill taught me a favorite hobby: tying knots in the devil’s tail – in other words, clogging officialdom with logical seeming idiocy, which was a favored past time of mine when I worked for the government.
The dreadful techniques of the”two bag trick.” were a specialty of his for revenge of the worst type. For the faint of heart, let me say that it required two brown paper bags of fresh dog excrement, some newspaper, a tad of accelerant, two tricksters, and lighters. We reserved it for only the lowest of the low.

From Bill, I learned to value the absurd in life. On our frolicking detours hitching around, we met interesting people, invented the craziest songs waiting for rides, drank down the moon, and clogged officialdom’s cogs wherever we found them.
Be thankful for your friends.

A few Bill posts:
probability Zero:

Back Alley Coffeehouse:


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