Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wednesday June 17th, Post #5

Just passed hump day of the first full work week back - as can be expected everyone on the 9th floor at Burkett has been awesome. A special thank you to Bob Eyster, our IT wizard who, without any prompting, donated platelets and plasma for me at the Cancer Center. Bob, you're a good man, but if your little buggers end up coming on board the Starship Baker I assure you they won't make me want to root for the Bears. I just can't get into the run-oriented offense, BUT, at least they can win a super bowl (WHO DEY BENGALS FANS). Here's hoping that I'll get some of your Poker skills also - I'm still smarting from my role as 'fill in' at your regular game last year.

I go in tomorrow for some blood tests in the afternoon, a relatively low-key event. I'm not really sure exactly what all they are testing, but it will be cell counts, cancer markers, etc. Once I have any idea of what the results are I'll keep all of you posted.

Many of you know that I've always said I want to live to be 100 - yep, June 14, 2072 is the big day where I'm sitting on a beach, sipping a delightful spirited beverage, smoking a cuban, and will quietly fall asleep for the ages at exactly sunset. God willing, my lovely bride Amanda is at my side, otherwise my new 21 year old wife would be in her place (JUST KIDDING). I still plan on getting there even after going through this little life 'bump' at 37, but the situation has caused me to think about just how blessed this boy from Sparta, Ohio has been, and I began to think about just a few of the events that have happened in my life:
  • I pursued and married the love of my life Amanda, my soulmate.
  • I was raised by wonderful parents who are an example in life and love to me.
  • I have a great brother, who was an inspiring role model for me to achieve personal and professional success.
  • I've been in the French Quarter of New Orleans watching the sunrise with the homeless along the Mississippi.
  • I've attended a Cajun wedding in the French Quarter (Thanks Urb & Lisa)
  • I've consumed Holy Water from a fountain on the side of a church in Rome.
  • I've seen Rome, St. Peters, and all the wonder of the ancient world.
  • I've been caught in a sports riot in Italy.
  • I've ridden my bicycle with good friends across the beautiful backwoods of Ohio and the Midwest.
  • I've won a race.
  • I've climbed mountains.
  • I skiied a black diamond slope by accident with Mike Schuster.
  • I have childhood & college friends who are as close to me as brothers and sisters.
  • I outran a state trooper and wasn't arrested.
  • I grew up in a special small town, with people who taught by example the values of honesty, integrity, and the importance of your word.
  • I won the spelling bee.
  • I've been a member of a religious organization (the United Methodist Church) that has taught me the values of giving to others and serving the less fortunate, in lieu of self gratification and "profit" theology.
  • I almost jumped the fence at the White House south lawn in 1993, only to be calmly talked down by Jeff from Wentworth Institute of Technology - thanks Jeff, wherever you are.
  • I've been blessed with the opportunity to live where the ominous presence and beauty of the Rockies reminds me of my miniscule importance in the world.
  • I rode a mechanical bull in Phoenix, and lasted the longest.
  • I crashed a wedding reception in Dallas.
  • I've roamed the streets of Florence with bottle of chianti, a song, and good friends.
  • I went behind the Iron Curtain in Hungary just as it was being torn open.
  • I've gone white water rafting in the east & western US.
  • I rode slick rock trail at Moab - YEAH, SUCK IT FLATLANDERS.
  • A debilitating 24 hour mountain bike race injury has saved my life.
  • I've had the pleasure of walking around finished buildings & projects that were put together with a great team of Architects and Designers, and am humbled to have been given leadership opportunities at past and present firms.
  • I lived in Cincinnati - one of America's great cities.
  • I visited the Log Cabin in Plains Montana where my beloved grandfather, Bill Willis, was born.
  • I took a pee at the headwaters of the Ohio River at the Point in Pittsburgh. Steelers suck, by the way.
  • I've toured the fjords and cities of Norway, and experienced bad Scandinavian cuisine in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.
  • I rode a bike during rush hour in Copenhagen.
  • My favorite car was my 1983 Two-tone teal Ford LTD - Remember that, all you friends from High School.
  • My greatest professional honor has been to be trusted to lead the design team for the replacement of my High School, which is now under construction. I am truly excited for my hometown and can't wait to see how the new facility will give the next generation a leg up in their lives.
  • I had a fantastic time at my alma mater, Ball State (a.k.a. testicle tech) and will always be a Fighting Cardinal.
  • Josh Vogel and I dodged a tornado in Idaho while on a cross-country road trip.
  • I've camped with friends who are my brothers by an alpine lake at a dormant volcano in the Pacific Northwest.
  • I was moved by the sight and spirit of Little Big Horn. Seriously, give the Native Americans all the damn casinos & land they want, tax free - we screwed 'em. But they sure showed Custer!

Just wait for the next 63 years.

Carpe diem.



  1. Kilimanjaro still on the to do list?

  2. I'm sure that leaving Chili Fest '07 and '08 off of the list was a mere oversite.

    Good to be with you on Sunday. Keep your head down and keep moving forward, dear friends.

  3. you've already lived through chairing a building committee for the methodist church....cancer is a piece of cake next to that!

    i just went through a period with my mother battling cancer. i'm looking forward to seeing you in cincy for a bengals game this fall.

    we're praying for you, bill.


  4. anonymous has it right ... especially in our church with its multitude of VERY experienced architects :)

  5. with this sort of writing, you need to consider a memoir... hilarious, beautiful, thoughtful, with a little bit of crazy... I'd buy it! Just keep taking those baby steps... We're all here cheering you on!

  6. Danielle Kovach GilbertJune 25, 2009 at 12:13 PM

    I second that on the memoir. Seriously, you are a rock star. Fight on!