Jack Ward of the Sonic Society podcast has just informed me of some terrible news (read Jack’s tribute here). Humanity’s friend, Bill Hollweg, of Miles, Texas and BrokenSea Audio Productions, is dead.
I do not know the details of his death, I heard he’d taken his own life, but I do know that whatever he died of it must really have been that his heart was far too big.
To say that Bill was a generous man is to be uncharitable with words. Bill was a champion of that which is best in life, with a voice like a gravel pit and a pen like a sage.
I had far too few meetings with him, and he was a better friend to me than I deserved. I suspect I am not alone in this.
I first found Bill’s work on the web, about a decade ago, and as happens, we soon became, as he put it “amigos.”
His enthusiasm was contagious.
I last heard from in December in a brief comment consisting mostly of an oath to Crom that I “rock” – but the truth is it was Bill who rocked, and I swear it by Crom.
Bill well knew that there was no use in calling on the gods, for they care little for men. They merely laugh and send down dooms, if they even hear. But though Crom is grim and loveless, he gave one boon to Bill, at birth Crom breathed power to strive and create into Bill’s soul.
I, as just one of his chroniclers, do not have the complete picture, but I do know that to live life as Bill did is a goal worthy of any man.
As lovers of the works of Robert E. Howard and Edgar Rice Burroughs how could Bill and I not have become the fastest of friends?
But Bill could surprise me. In one of our last exchanges he told me that he was thinking he needed to “re-read Moby Dick for the zillionth time!” I had, at the time read it only twice.
But truly this is not a tragedy. In fact, it all makes a grim kind of sense. Bill had been a sailor, and like Steve Costigan a fighter. A true veteran, and then a steely warrior, laughing in the face of rent-seeking vampires of cultural suppression. And now, like John Carter, though his body is here, his spirit has left the Earth for more adventurous climes. Call him Ishmael.
Posted by Jesse Willis