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Guestbook Entries

Being Perfect

About four years ago, Bill indulged his adventurous side and joined me and a group of about 75 guys for a weekend men’s gathering. I remember what he said about it – and wrote this poem for him a month later, witnessing his mastery of the grill.

The Longing

Bill says, “You know, unlike all
those guys opening up about
their pain, I’m pretty happy. If

there’s one regret”, he confides
with a glint and chuckle, “it’s that I’ve never
done anything perfect.” He opens the stainless

grill and asks if I believe the pork
round—a revelation of juice
and char—is ready, so even I, who haven’t

touched meat in forty
years, even my vestigial
carnivorous longing

is stirred. To answer, the hell
with perfection, if Bill can do this one thing, maybe
there’s hope for me, redemption for us.

POSTED BY
Larry Sorkin
RELATIONSHIP
Friend
LOCATION
Charlotte, maybe 15 years
DATE
February 18, 2023

Heifetz Performance at Airy Knoll, 2022

Dad loved music, and every summer he looked forward to the Heifetz Institute concerts in Staunton. In the summer of 2022, he was really unable to go to the concerts in town… so they came out and performed for us at Airy Knoll. Dad loved it, along with the rest of us.

Bill Ross and Phil Ziegler listening to a quartet from the Hiefetz Institute play at Airy Knoll.
Bill Ross and Phil Ziegler listening to a quartet from the Hiefetz Institute play at Airy Knoll.
POSTED BY
Jonathan Ross
RELATIONSHIP
Family
LOCATION
Asheville
DATE
February 17, 2023

A quiet witty way of summing things up

I’ve known Bill since 2011, when I first taught at the Farm School. That week (and in the years following), while students and teachers were at Writing Circle, good smells and the clanking of dishes would waft from the kitchen—Bill was cooking breakfast for us. Later in the day, he’d be reading in the big recliner, or during meals sitting at the head of the long table, often with his characteristic patient, knowing smile. Whenever I was at the farm, it felt like Bill was the rudder of the Airy Knoll Boat.

During the flurry of preparation for a Farm Class annual exhibit, Elizabeth was busy corralling art and food and people to the gallery. Bill grinned and said: “This is the storm before the calm.” He had such a quiet, witty way of summing things up!

POSTED BY
Suzanne Stryk
RELATIONSHIP
Farm
LOCATION
Airy Knoll and Charlotte 2011--2022
DATE
February 17, 2023

Like a bridge over troubled waters

Bill has been a part of my life for 57 years along with Libby – I think of them together. They were there for me during two of the most difficult times of my life and also shared in many very significant joyous times at “the Annual.” Bill always greeted me with open arms and saying in his most memorable voice “Susan!” and giving me the Bill hug. I will hold him in that special space in my being.

POSTED BY
Susan Steele
RELATIONSHIP
Friend
LOCATION
Charlotte 1966-2023
DATE
February 13, 2023

Things You Don’t Know

Dad had another quote I use all the time in my classes. He told me, on more than one occasion, “There are things you know, and things you don’t know. But, there is a hell of a lot more things you don’t know that you don’t know.” I think he gave pretty sound advice.

POSTED BY
Jonathan Ross
RELATIONSHIP
Family
LOCATION
Asheville
DATE
February 11, 2023

Good to life

My dad has always said that he wanted to be good to life rather than life to be good to him. I believe he achieved that goal.

POSTED BY
Jonathan Ross
RELATIONSHIP
Family
LOCATION
Asheville
DATE
February 10, 2023