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EDITORIAL: Thanks for The Memories

In this issue frequent letter writer Thomas Francis Clark pays tribute to the late Bill George

Bill George

(He was the Publisher/Editor/Owner/Writer of the Amboy Beacon.) Mr. Clark also very graciously paid me a very flattering compliment. (For this, Mr. Clark will be my special Valentine this year.) But I must add to Mr. Clark’s comments and thank my staff and other supporters who are my backbone. Especially my two bookends (you know who you are) and to a someone special who pushes me when I need a swift kick in the butt. As you can see in Mr. Clark’s letter, he and Bill had a special friendship. One thing I know for sure is that Bill always enjoyed his conversations with Mr. Clark.

Whenever Bill checked his messages and there was a call from Mr. Clark, Bill would make sure he would call him back. He made sure it when he returned the call that would be at a time when Bill could have a long uninterrupted conversation. As many people were familiar with Bill, he loved to talk. When conversing with Mr. Clark on the phone Bill was more of a listener.

Have you ever watched someone having a conversation by phone and you can tell by the expression on the person’s face that they couldn’t wait for that call to end?

When conversing with Mr. Clark, Bill always had a smile on his face or would chuckle a bit.

If the conversation was going on a little bit too long, Bill would only end the conversation with Mr. Clark because he somewhere to go or something pressing to do.

I’d like to thank Mr. Clark for his wonderful memories of Bill in that letter.

I also liked to tease Bill about his girlfriends in South Amboy. Some of them were regular attendees at the Council Meetings. Their names were: Eileen, Mary B., Irma and Nancy.

Bill also enjoyed talking to the late South Amboy Councilman, Russell Stillwagon after the Council Meeting. Russ would drive this huge car and Bill would say to Stillwagon, “Did you drive the boat to the meeting today?” Stillwagon would reply, (with a broad smile) “Not tonight. I drove my car – not my wife’s.”

Richard Piatkowksi was also one of those unforgettable characters. Richard was another person who loved to talk. Sometimes when Bill and Richard were having a discussion, Bill would interrupt Richard and Richard would throw up his hands in frustration. Richard would turn to me and say, “How do you put up with him (Bill)?!”

Secretly, they were my private entertainment. It was almost as if I was watching a comedy act.

Richard also did some research for Bill as did others and sometimes Bill would call on Richard to send some information to others that Bill did not have time to do.

There was one incident that happened at a pizza parlor. Richard met Bill and I when Richard was running for political office. Richard was showing us different ads he wanted to put in the paper. After deciding on which ad he wanted to put in. Bill said to Richard, “By the way, this other ad looks pretty neat.” So Richard said, “Okay, I want to change it. Bill replied back, “Oh but the other ad is a larger size and we don’t have room for it.” With that, Richard dropped to his knees, slammed down the papers he had to the floor. Before you knew it I think the guys that owned the pizza parlor jumped over the counter they were behind thinking that Richard suffered a heart attack.

I bent down next to Richard and told him to get up and shot a look to Bill and told him, “You will put the ad in that Richard wants!”

All I could think about is that these two knuckleheads would not cause me to be banned from this pizza parlor because of their actions.

Richard Piatkowski

I’m happy to report that Richard got the ad he wanted in the paper. I also got the satisfaction that I won out over Bill and that we were not banned from the pizza parlor.

Secretly my nickname for Richard (after this incident) although I did not reveal it to him would be to coin him, “The Drama King.”

To Ron, Lori, Jim and to the staff at Webcographics (Maureen, Glen and Bobby) and all the others, I thank you for sharing your memories of Bill with me. Love, C.M.

Bill and I go back as far as the Amboy Gazette. I went for an interview for a photographer and was introduced to Bill George. The best way to describe him was a love/hate relationship. I thought of Bill as an older brother that had good times and bad times. I was introduced to ethnic foods such as Indian food due to Bill. I remember Bill being a unique person with endless hours of conversation about UFO’s and history. Bill and Richard are missed by me. P.W.

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