Back in 1958, when Bill was in ninth-grade algebra class, his exasperated teacher made a statement during class that set Bill on a new path.  It seems that Bill was more interested in algebraic theory than in memorizing equations without understanding how or why they worked.  “Mr. Dixon, you’re an odd duck!”, the teacher exclaimed, to the general amusement of Bill’s classmates.

“Well, what’s the upside of that?” Bill thought to himself, ignoring the other students, and accepting as a possiblity that what his teacher said might be valid.  After a little thought, he suspected that he probably agreed with his teacher, but stayed after class to discuss the remark.

“What did you mean, Mr. Jessup?”, Bill asked.  “Well, exactly this”, the teacher responded with a sweeping gesture.  “You don’t do things in the same way that other people do, Bill.  For instance, I don’t think any of your classmates would have come to me after class to discuss what prompted me to make that remark. You are an odd duck” .

Bill nodded, and shook hands with his teacher, smiled, and said “Quack”! Mr. Jessup smiled, then shook his head.  Bill went to his school locker, put away his books, and then rode his bicycle home from Indianola Junior High School.  He walked through the front door, and into the room where his mother was sewing.  She looked up at him, and he quacked.  She returned to her task, after briefly shaking her head. Everyone seemed to be on a headshaking spree, he noticed.

I guess you get the picture now.

Bill worked his way through two degrees at The Ohio State University, taking a singularly diverse series of jobs to earn money for tuition and books along the way.  He began creating original oil paintings, for instance, and still does.  One summer he spent a lot of time as an ironworker, swinging on a suspended scaffold, three hundred feet in the air, bolting structural steel together.  That fall, he wrote political speeches and press releases for both major political parties.  After the elections, he worked as a keeper at the Columbus Zoo.  Evenings, he worked as folksinger, bartender or bouncer.  He edited a political science book for one of his professors, managed a couple of petshops, taught two years of school, and then set up an advertising agency with his brother.

In 1973, he went into banking, as a management trainee.  Within three years, he was an officer of the bank. In January, 1979, at age 34, he was offered and accepted the position of CEO of another bank.  Between 1973 and 1981, he wrote and published more than a dozen magazine articles on topics as diverse as home energy efficiency, finance, humor, woodlot management and other subjects.


Since then, Bill’s done (predictably) many different things: published a couple of books; established a successful real estate development company; climbed mountains in Vermont and New Hampshire; released a music CD; built a couple of  hundred feet of natural stone walls on his property in Maine, and lectured on several unrelated topics: guitars as an art form, marketing and business development, Russian Icons and other  things. He’s completed a number of other peculiar projects, as well.

Odd duck?  Indeed!

The Boothbay Register (Maine) recently interviewed Bill. Here’s the link to their web site.