Where In The World Is Bill?

Where in the World Is Bill? May 27, 2006


A ferry with wings
To keep us from rocking,
Allowing a soft
Roll in the waves.
A beautiful ferry
With oodles of space,
Chairs, tables and sundeck,
All places for viewing
The beautiful water,
The mountains and islands,
The gulls and the whales.
What! No Whales!
The cabin is small,
No space to turn,
But who wants to spend
All their time in the cabin?
The berth is soft,
And comfy
To sleep on–
So peaceful and quiet,
A wee bit of a roll,
A slight little rumble,
To make us all walk
Wth a bit of a stumble.
We visit with passengers
Here on the Kennicott;
We travel for days,
And see them a lot.
We visit with staff
Who are great and helpful;
They cook and clean
And manage the ferry.
What a great ride!

We caught the ferry in Whittier, Alaska, about 60 miles from Anchorage. We traveled to Juneau, where we changed from the M/V Kennicott, the newest ferry in the fleet of the Alaska Marine Highway, to the M/V Malaspina, the oldest ferry in the fleet. The Malaspina was built in 1963, and the Kennicott was built in 2002, about 40 years later. We were on the Kennicott for about forty hours. All the ferries in the fleet are named after Alaskan Glaciers. It’s a great way to travel.

Bill is doing well, enjoying the ride. We played games with some of the passengers.


When I met Bill, he was teaching Vocational Agriculture at Vale Union High School in Vale, Oregon. He gave all his students equal opportunities. He took students to the State FFA (Future Farmers of America) Conventions and sent them to the National FFA conventions. Some of his students won awards in Public Speaking, Parliamentary Procedure, and Welding at both State and National Conventions.

Bill’s first day of teaching, one of the students walked into the shop telling his buddy, “This is the place you come to get whatever tools you need.” Bill grabbed him by the shirt, pinned him to the wall, and told him, “I don’t ever want to see you in this classroom again.” The student never came back.

The tools were kept on the walls with the shape of each tool painted on the board where it hung. All the tools were to be in place when class was finished.

One day he confiscated a skateboard. When class was over, it was sitting there, and he thought he would try it out. The kids made it look so easy. He put it on the floor, put one foot on it, and found himself flat on his back on the floor.