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More on “Bill”

Monday, Mar 10, 2014

* I stopped by our late commenter “Bill” Naegele’s wake yesterday and spoke with his widow and his daughter. They both greatly appreciated your kind comments about Bill after we learned of his passing on Friday. As you might imagine, there was a big turnout for the wake. People loved the man.

I also spoke with some of his fellow union officials and we kicked around the idea of maybe setting up a scholarship fund. Bill taught in a suburban community college, so the focus would be there. More details as I get them.

* Bill’s daughter also commented on our post over the weekend

I would like to thank you all for the happiness this blog brought to Bill. He truly enjoyed all the banter and hell raising he experienced here with each of you. Reading the kind words and memories y’all have shared since his passing have been a great source of comfort for us.

I’ll leave you with one more smile thanks to Bill- his final wishes were that we take his ashes and scatter them off of the pier in the town in Florida where he loved to vacation. The town offers the option of engraving a message in a plank of the pier and Bill asked us to make one in his honor that says, “I never caught a fish here…and now I never will.”

* In the entire history of blogging, I don’t think I’ve ever seen such an outpouring of sadness over the death of a commenter anywhere. We’ve built such a strong community here together that many of us feel truly close to one another.

Also, some of our commenters are so active that they almost have their own blogs within a blog. Bill was one of those folks. He had become an integral part of this website and our community and his passing has left a huge hole. I want to create a permanent memorial for him somewhere on the blog’s front page and I’m currently mulling how to do it. Maybe you could help.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Commonsense in Illinois - Monday, Mar 10, 14 @ 9:00 am:

    A classic epitaph, and one truly worthy of Bill.

  2. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Mar 10, 14 @ 9:08 am:

    I wasn’t around at the time of Bill’s commenting, but I offer condolences to those whose lives he touched.

    As far as a memorial on the page, perhaps it can go right under the Capitol Fax logo at the top of the page, just above the top blog entry. That would be a prominent place for the memory of a very prominent person.

  3. - OneMan - Monday, Mar 10, 14 @ 9:09 am:

    Something with South Suburban College ( I think that is where he taught) would be really cool. Took a computer class for Jr. High kids there many years ago before the schools had computers in my district.

    So considering what I do for a living now, owe that place a huge debt.

  4. - OneMan - Monday, Mar 10, 14 @ 9:11 am:

    As for the site, you know a “CapFax Bill For Senate” picture right below the “Subscribe to Capitol Fax” picture that linked to the thing about Bill would be an idea…

  5. - Wensicia - Monday, Mar 10, 14 @ 9:13 am:

    Bill could be your charter member of the Capitol Fax Hall of Fame.

  6. - How Ironic - Monday, Mar 10, 14 @ 9:23 am:

    Maybe a golden horse shoe. The annual “Whoops” award, in honor of Bill.

  7. - Casual Observer - Monday, Mar 10, 14 @ 9:24 am:

    At the end of your commenter instructions you say “In other words, do your best to be civilized and smart”. Maybe you could add “like Bill”? And maybe “Bill” could be a link to a little biography and some of his snippets.

  8. - Lunchbox - Monday, Mar 10, 14 @ 9:27 am:

    I wish I had been around here when Bill was a commenter. Although, it seems like he was much more than that to many people.

  9. - Skeptic - Monday, Mar 10, 14 @ 9:28 am:

    Clearly a Capfax HOF or “Emeritus” category needs to be developed. After all, the likes of Oswego Willy, Wordslinger, RNUG and many others will someday (in the far future I hope) also pass on to their greater reward whatever that might be. Maybe a page with the commentors, a short bio of each, some “Best of…” quotes and a guestbook?

  10. - Goonhammer - Monday, Mar 10, 14 @ 9:31 am:

    As a new reader it is sad to see you all lose one of your own, many blessings to Bill’s family. Now to search the depths of this site to find “The Best of ‘Bill’”.

  11. - Walker - Monday, Mar 10, 14 @ 9:31 am:

    Maybe “It’s Just A Bill” award for the craziest idea to get out of committee.

  12. - Obamas Puppy - Monday, Mar 10, 14 @ 9:33 am:

    I like the idea of a Hall of Fame, with the photo from his Senate campaign would be very appropriate. RIP buddy, see you upstairs for a drink.

  13. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Mar 10, 14 @ 9:37 am:

    The difference between this place, and other blogs is the word, “Community”, and the reference of this location as a tangible “place” also separates this… place… from all the others.

    The irony of all political stripes converging, and all the banter, and the horseplay, and serous and raw discussions that go on here, Rich and the community police this place, like a good local tavern does; welcoming and enjoying new characters, while keeping the Riff-Raff at bay, unless tweaking them for sport.

    Bill embraced that. He “wanted” the Senate appointment and took us all on his wonderful, comically fueled, snarky filled, ride. How cool is that?!? The topics here can be serious, but taking yourself too serious in this community, or in that fictional tavern is not going to find you embraced. Bill was more than embraced, he was beloved and unique, and gave back to make this place better. - OneMan - had it right, with his observation, check it out.

    The personality of this place is shaped by Rich’s personality, and the welcoming of people to have a personality within the comments. Rich serves “hard hitting post here to give us all something to ponder, and there are more than a few characters here to give the joint atmosphere.”

    You can try to “replicate”, but never “duplicate” what is found here. The differences, of so many here, make it unique, single, only. Bill, he was unique, single, an “only”. He was beloved for it, and will be missed here because of it.

    This “place” is a hangout, not a web address. We wonder about each other; I know I have. No other website has me wondering about commenters, none. Rich had fostered “community” and the community has embraced it between heated discussions and breaking news, and an occasional caption contest. It is a two-way street, just look before crossing the street, and that is pretty cool too.

  14. - Willie Stark - Monday, Mar 10, 14 @ 9:38 am:

    A blog called Calculated Risk ( that I read quite a lot during during the 2007-2009 financial crisis and which covered the housing sector in depth, had a commenter, Tanta, who became a regular contributor. Her writing was incisive and pyrotechnic and really helped me understand what was going on in that area. Bill McBride, who runs the blog, still very widely followed in the financial world, created a memorial section for her which you can access on the right side bar if you scroll down. It includes pictures, a short bio, and links to stories and her obituaries, and also includes readers who sent in favorite memories of her posts. Also, there is a link for contributing to a scholarship fund established in her name. Perhaps something of this sort might be appropriate.

  15. - Ghost - Monday, Mar 10, 14 @ 9:44 am:

    How about put the picture of the back of Bill’s head in the bottom right corner of the black field in the banner on the top of the page. Click on it and have it bring up a page with some info about Bill and some of his more memorable quotes. Kind of like the IMDB database thing.

  16. - VanillaMan - Monday, Mar 10, 14 @ 10:10 am:

    This may very well take time, but a “Greatest Hits” section would definitely be a treasured addition to this site. An addition such as that would take Capitolfax a step beyond where other sites currently are.

    It could add a level of professionalism and permanence as well. I don’t know of any other blog that has something similar and it would definitely begin enshrining Capitolfax as a site where historical blogging occurs.

  17. - VanillaMan - Monday, Mar 10, 14 @ 10:11 am:

    About Bill -
    “Now he belongs to the webp-ages.”

  18. - ZC - Monday, Mar 10, 14 @ 10:14 am:

    The one thing I wish I’d posted when we were commemorating Bill were more of Bill’s own words … I think that the words should be in some way featured as part of the commemoration; that’s what all of us knew. I was thinking about “Bill’s Best Posts” and I kept coming back to this one from April 2009, when he’s pondering the special to replace Rahm and thinking about the upcoming 2010 cycle. It showed the side of Bill I really liked, the populist Democrat (as well as the humor). He also has some weird kind of crystal ball seeing into what will happen in the 2010 cycle:

    >> Shouldn’t this guy Hoffman at least walk a precinct once before running for the US Senate? I had the same problem with Alexi. We grunts like candidates who work their way up, not skip over all of us and buy their way in at the top. Run for state rep or township trustee or something. Ring some doorbells. Win a few elections first before going all in for the big one. Fritchey should be a prohibitive favorite for commissioner especially with the goo goos going all ga ga over him but with those roving bands of brie eaters up there you can never tell. Why he would want to be on the County Board is beyond me but to each his own.I hope he is looking forward to those 9 hour finance committee meetings. He should have a lot of time to twitter and blog after he wins. It should be a fun race for his successor in the House. I’m still holding out hope that Rich Miller’s nemeses in the right wing will beat out Dillard. Otherwise Quinn/Hynes might be toast.

    Comment by Bill Monday, Aug 31, 09

  19. - Rich Miller - Monday, Mar 10, 14 @ 10:18 am:

    ZC, you can, and should, go back and post just such a comment, because a link to that post will most likely be memorialized.

  20. - Soccermom - Monday, Mar 10, 14 @ 11:07 am:

    I like One Man and Walker’s suggestions. (I had exactly the same idea as One Man, but he got there first.)

  21. - Six Degrees of Separation - Monday, Mar 10, 14 @ 9:02 pm:

    I’m liking the “Whoops!” award for the biggest political faux pas in the Golden Horseshoes. Bill was a great source of light on all things Illinois in his anonymity (if you could read behind the lines of his contrarian postings), and strangely enough we hardly got into a tangle here and he complimented me more than once.

  22. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, Mar 10, 14 @ 11:13 pm:

    The “Whoops!” could be a regular feature like caption contest where we share embarrassing stories about personal political experiences that occurred during the past week or so. Rich could bring it out on a slow day to spark the conversation. We could post bad bills, slip-ups at hearings or during floor debates, meetings with legislators that went terribly wrong, etc. and then vote on the best story. At the end of the year we could pick the years best to be immortalized.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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