Bill exudes an enthusiasm for life that's simply infectious. Joy describes him best. When I walked into Bill's shop at the tree farm last week, he looked up from under the hood of a tractor and, seeing John Faulkner with a guy he didn't know, stopped working, smiled and walked over. He's clearly never met a stranger; I thanked him for sharing the gift of Victory with us and it wasn't very long before the story unfolded.
It turns out that Bill doesn't take credit for first using the word "Victory" in daily language. He first picked up the word from a dear friend he describes as his "other brother", someone who he met at a Promise Keepers event in 1985 and has remained close to ever since. Bill says that thinking of the Olympics slogan -- the Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat -- sums up how he uses the word in daily conversation. He sees Victory in the many good things that happen each day and believes that the using the word "helps someone to do better and feel better".
Bill has enjoyed an active, outdoor-oriented life. He has an identical twin brother who shares this passion, but with one big difference; Bill enjoys hunting, while his brother likes fishing! Raised on a dairy farm and inspired by a Dad who was a Marine drill instructor, Bill became a Marine himself. He's run heavy equipment, worked hard all his life and loves roping calves from horseback for fun. A bad hip sidelined him for a bit, but a hip replacement operation last year was very successful and enabled Bill to get back on a horse. Nowadays Bill only ropes steers, since that doesn't require jumping off the horse! If he feels like doing something less strenuous, he works on his two acre blueberry farm named, you guessed it, Victory Farms.
Some people would describe Bill's current role as a mechanic. He prefers to view it as "really taking care of stuff to make it last longer and keep things going so they can keep getting work done every day". He believes in doing things the right way and it shows.
Our visit concluded with a most memorable handshake. I have a good grip and appreciate a solid handshake, but Bill has a large, incredibly strong hand that positively envelops your own like a well-worn leather baseball glove that has produced many a Victory in its day. So the next time you experience something positive or see a Victory announcement come your way, thank Bill for his gift to all of us.