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Hi, my name is Bill…

Having the chance to do a little column once a month is one of the most fun parts about this job. It’s something I look forward to.

But… (And isn’t there always a “but”?) as I look at the list of ideas that have come to mind, I sometimes feel like I’m at a disadvantage. The BCR has some good columnists and all of them — from a couple of former mayors to current members of city staff to my editor, Ron —have something I do not. They have history with Boulder City.

And as I peruse my idea list and see that some of my ideas get a bit philosophical, I think, “Why would readers care what I have to say about any of this stuff when they don’t really even know me?” I’ve been here at the paper a little more than a year, but I never really introduced myself.

So, here goes.

I am the pinnacle of either “shut up, you don’t matter anymore” or of privilege, depending on your worldview. I am a straight, white, married-for-36-years dude with a kid and a house. I have not been a member of any political party since the mid-’80s, but I am one of those indies who definitely leans a little conservative.

I was born and raised in Southern California. Los Angeles area, mostly the San Fernando Valley to be a bit more specific. From about third grade through high school, I attended schools in Chatsworth. I was far from the only one. About a decade before me, Jay Ferguson and Mark Andes went to that school and then helped form the bands Spirit and Jo Jo Gunne. Ferguson went on to solo success with the songs “Thunder Island” and “Shakedown Cruise” at the same time I was a punk kid trying to learn to play guitar. Then he started writing for film and TV and wrote the theme song for a TV show you may have heard of called “The Office” and never had to worry about touring again. Andes went on to form the band Firefall and played with Heart during their ’80s heyday.

There were a few actors in and around my graduating class, too. Kevin Spacey (who was just Kevin Fowler back then) and Mare Winningham were like a year ahead of me and Val Kilmer was in my graduating class.

I was raised mostly in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I say mostly because I was “born into the church” but my parents split when I was maybe 4 or 5 years old and we didn’t go back to church until I was in my mid-teens, so there was probably a decade gap. I served a mission for the church between 1979 and 1981 in southern Chile, which was during the military reign after the coup of 1973. I was in the country during the plebiscite in which they voted to change the country’s constitution so that General Pinochet could be President Pinochet and even got to vote.

I got back from Chile and farted around for a few years trying to decide what to do with my life and eventually met, fell in love with and married my “ride or die” soulmate, Linda, who was not a member of the church and I stopped attending probably about 18 years ago.

I kind of fell into the whole newspaper thing by accident. I have a long association with newspapers just because I started delivering them — the old Valley News and Green Sheet which, yes, had a green front page —when I was 10 years old and then supervising a crew of guys who did the same delivery gig for the now-defunct Herald-Examiner during the aforementioned farting around time in the mid-’80s. And I worked for the LA Times doing collections when I was in college.

But I had never written for a paper or even thought about it until I was standing in line to register for classes after I figured out that I really needed to go back to school in ‘84 and happened to see the phrase, “Equivalent credit to English 101” for a Journalism class. I really only took it because I had missed the cutoff for taking an English placement test and needed that credit. But taking that class changed everything.

Not only did I find the field I would work in for most of my adult life, I met my wife on the staff of the Roundup, the school newspaper. And I met and played in bands for years with Jake Kelly in that class. Jake is the guy who gave me the Rev. Bill nickname.

About that… Almost no one in my life calls me “Bill.” Outside of work, I am Rev. Bill or the Reverend or just “Rev” to just about everyone I know. It was just one of those things. Jake introduced me to his dad and said, “Dad, this is Rev. Bill. He’s my spiritual adviser.” And it stuck.

After some time editing newspapers in La Crescenta and Pasadena, I made a detour into the magazine world where I could make a lot more money. I was the editor of a magazine called GIG, which was aimed at working musicians from 1995-2002 and then a B2B title called Front of House aimed at touring audio professionals from 2002-2011. I ran my own web-based publications called the Live2Play and SoundProLive networks from 2011 until just a few years ago. There were awards and accolades and meetings with rock stars involved, which are all Stories For Another Day.

My wife and daughter and I moved to Las Vegas in 2005. We have been in the same house in the southwest corner of the Vegas Valley since 2008.

From about 2013 until 2022, I made a too-long detour into working for Apple. It morphed into working with their social media channels but was basically a tech support role. Yes, I am a tech geek. No, do not call me with your iPhone problems.

Apple canned me over made-up BS in ‘22 and I did a really weird thing and decided to get certified as a lifeguard. I’m a strong swimmer and am in the pool five days a week anyway and they needed people. I still help out guarding a little bit at my local aquatic center on my days off. Back in ‘22, I really thought I was just gonna retire and work part-time as a lifeguard. But, I replied to an ad — totally on a whim — for a newspaper reporter gig, never even expecting to get a phone call.

And here we are.

There is a lot more. Music stuff. (I may have mentioned a time or 13 that I put out a record in January of ‘23 and am working on another one now.) I’ve played more gigs than I can count in everything from dive bars to an offshoot of the Playboy Jazz Festival. There are weird business travel stories and one going back to college that involves actual Nazis and explains why I don’t get invited to alumni events.

Last thing. I’m what they call a “recovering alcoholic.” I can’t break someone else’s anonymity but my own is a different story and I decided years ago to be open about it. I’ve been sober for going on 19 years. It is an important part of who I am.

So, there ya go. The short and yet still somehow too long version of me. Nice to meet all ya’ll. Maybe we’ll see each other around town.

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