On Monday I was getting the paper together, like usual, and like usual thinking about what I was going to write about this week?
A red pickup pulled into the parking lot and Jason Annis got out and came into the office. He told me that Billy Oldfield had died on Sunday and could I put a little something about it in the paper. I told him, of course, I could.
So here is more than a little something here is a column about Billy.
I can’t really remember when I first met Billy, but he was the kind of person you meet and it seems like you have known them forever.
Billy liked to tell jokes, none of which I can share here. He got just as good a laugh telling the joke as the person receiving the joke, he had a funny kind of “yuck-ity, yuk” laugh that was one of a kind.
Billy had shared a story with me about being ill as a child and spending a long time in the hospital. When he finally was well again and saw what awaited him outside; the blue sky, the grass, the world that he had been deprived of, he said that experience influenced the way he would live the rest of his life. He said he didn’t hate cancer, he actually loved cancer, because it made him who he was, a survivor and a happy guy!
Billy supported cancer causes and each year at the Rainforest Run he helped raise money that he then donated to the annual Relay for Life. We won’t go into how those funds were raised, but it was all for a good cause. Billy always attended the local Cancer Survivor’s Breakfast.
Each Valentines Day Billy took out a little ad in the paper; To all the Ladies in Forks, Happy Valentines Day, Billy O. Also, for Valentines Day Billy would go around town and personally deliver little Valentine’s cards; I have one hanging on my computer.
Billy was an early morning shopper at Forks Outfitters although I don’t know how much shopping he really got done. I think more joke telling and flirting with the girls in the Deli was what was taking place. On Saturday and Sunday mornings, when I would be shopping too, I would give him a bad time about the lack of items in his cart. He would just laugh his little laugh.
Billy had a Harley, and in the summertime, he would swing by my office and say, “I have an extra helmet, let’s go for a ride,” I would always say, “Billy I’m working,” and I never went, now I won’t ever be able to go.
Billy was also a regular contributor to the Grins and Gripes section in the paper, he did more Grins than Gripes.
I don’t think I ever saw Billy without his hat and for a long time, I didn’t even know Billy’s last name!
On Monday afternoon I spoke with Billy’s daughter April, who lives in New Jersey. She shared that her dad left this world the way he would have liked; at home, at Cycle Camp on Mora Road.
So Billy O. or Billy Oldfield, a lot of people are going to miss you. You might say Billy lived on borrowed time, beating cancer and realizing it all can end at any time, he lived his time well.
Christi Baron, editor