A dear, old friend of ours, of all of our, has passed away (Thursday) -- Bill LePage. Known by either "Flxible" or "Squeeze" on our site, Bill was one of the early behind-the-scenes staffers here at Stovebolt from the early days of having a forum.... From finding and fixing broken links, to helping us understand coding issues, to just plain being a friend when a friend was needed, so much of what has made Stovebolt.com good is a direct result of his knowledge, experience, skill and passion, not only for the trucks themselves, but also for the people.
There are so many parts of the site, including some wonderful and thought-provoking discussions, that are Bill's. From the beginning, he took a lot of time to help us understand the Internet. He taught simply and with humor. Bill even put together a "User Manual" for the forum that has helped countless numbers of 'Bolters participate here -- just a huge effort. The stories he told about the orchard, gardening, compost, Wikipedia, computers, trucks, da bus ... everything ... were heart-warming, light, deep, simple, detailed. Peggy could talk to him for hours when they occasionally talked on the phone. Whenever Peggy emailed him in an emergency, he was always quick to respond and help us fix the problem(s). Pruning trees, even. The things we learned from him regarding our christmas tree farm ... taking care of evergreen seedlings not so different from apple trees ... Sharing a love of and fascination with very large flying boats ...
Bill was a true "renaissance man" and the quintessential Stovebolter -- A learned man of varied interests and passions. A good listener, knowledgeable and wise when asked for info, and always ready to share what he knew in a quiet, humble way. Never proud or boastful, he always seemed eager to learn from others, as well. He was involved in many things; I imagine many people will miss him. I know many people have been blessed to have known him.
Now that he has won his hard-fought victory over his long-term health issues, the soft spot we have for Bill remains, much like his influence on the site. His influence on all our lives will endure and continue to put a smile on the face of anyone who ever was blessed to have been in contact with him in anyway.
In many ways, Stovebolt.com will be a reflection of Bill probably for as long as there continues to be a Stovebolt.com.
Thank you, Bill. We will miss you.
John and Peggy