In Memory

Bill Early

  Post Comment

06/09/10 01:24 PM #1    

David Davis

 I remember Bill Early as a sweet, gentle kid. He was literally the first person I met when we moved to Twin Branch Road when I was 12 and was my first friend in Georgia.  The neighborhood gang of kids would often hike or bike to Thompson’s store (the only store in Dunwoody at the time), ride horses and ponies and camp in the woods.  Bill and I built a tree house together in my back yard and spent many nights in that excellent tree house planning our future and talking about life.   Bill always came across as the perfect little southern boy with the best of manners but he definitely had a mischievous side few knew. 

When I was 13, I toured Europe with the Atlanta Boy Choir and just before I left, Bill came by the house with some “gifts” for the airplane ride so, as he put it, “you won’t get bored.” He gave me some chocolate bars and some copies of Sports Illustrated and told me not to look at the magazine until I was on the plane.  

There I was a 30,000 feet when I pulled out the Sports Illustrated, opened it up and found that Bill had placed Sports Illustrated Covers on copies of Playboy Magazine that he had acquired, no doubt, from his older brother Vaughn.    And of course, just as I discovered this, an attractive BOAC stewardess was leaning over my seat and gave me that "you disgusting little boy"look.  I was mortified and also terrified that I was going to caught when I went through Customs in England for transporting Playboy magazines across international lines or something so I nervously hid the magazines under my seat before getting off the plane and sent Bill a postcard that read “very funny wise guy.”   

In retrospect it was indeed pretty funny and more so because he went to a lot of effort to pull it off and I never saw it coming.  In later years, Bill and I grew apart as kids often do and we saw less and less of each other as I moved away from Georgia to pursue a career in the military.  I would stop by and see his mother every now and then and get caught up on the latest news.  As we planned for this reunion I was shocked and saddened to learn of his passing.  I was looking forward to seeing him at the reunion if only to have a chance to thank him for his friendship, his kindness and remind him of his most excellent practical joke. 


  Post Comment