Bill was 88 years young when I met him. He came and visited our 2007 Christmas show and we had a really nice chat. He told me that he didn't get out too often and invited me to visit him at home. In January 2008 I started visiting Bill and he and I got along famously. He had a wicked sense of humor and we had many a laugh. Bill had been a model railroad man all his life and had cupboards full of HO scale locomotives and rolling stock. We shared stories, books and videos of trains.
In my third visit when he was showing me a loco he had for some 40 years he confessed it was really sad but he would never have another layout. I asked, "Why not?" Bill told me/us that he didn't think he would ever get to see his trains run again as he was physically unable to build another layout. I asked him if he had space for a layout. "Yes", he replied, "in the garage" and he rattled off the dimensions. I offered him a deal. You do the design and I'll get the club to build it.
And that's what we did – click here to see the result …….. The Maribill Line. Mari(on) was Bill's wife and the railroad was a commemoration of their life together.
The layout was built in two tents at the local Botanical Garden by club members. Before we could move it into Bill's garage he died a few days before his 90th birthday ending a short but very enjoyable friendship.