Many amazing people found their passions or productive contributions to society late in life. Julia Child discovered cooking when in her 40’s. Peter Mark Roget published the enduring Roget’s Thesaurus when he was 73, years after he retired as a scientist. Grandma Moses didn’t start painting until age 76, producing more than a thousand paintings over the next 25 years. So author Bill Kern is in very good company.
Bill is pleasantly surprised by the attention his first published book, “No More Words, Bill” is getting. This easy-to-read book engages the reader with a warm, witty, Irish salt-of-the-earth style. The stories and reflections are much more than his life in print.They are an inspiration to others who, like Bill, have too much energy and life left to be inactive.
He is a fascinating man, an independent person who resists being pigeon-holed. Quiet and reserved, yet friendly and sociable, he sits comfortably in his forest-colored patchwork chair, welcoming a guest with a cup of tea. His home, snug against the Siskiyou and Cascade mountains in the artsy town of Ashland, Oregon, is decorated in a tasteful, warm, and a deeply male style which reflects his liberated spirit and his love of the outdoors. He scratches Tika, his Shih Tzu, gently behind her ears. She snuggles in the chair against his leg, settling into the soft cushion where she spent many late night hours slumbering as Bill wrote. And wrote.
What prompted him to write? “Without any intention or plan, I just began. At first it was a journal to myself about my earliest memories, and after a few weeks it expanded. One day my friend Joanna, who was transcribing my handwritten notes, brought me some beautifully typed pages. She said, ‘Bill, you are now writing a book’.” And so he was.
Many of the stories cover the various jobs and work Bill did, including newspaper boy, waiter, tennis pro, yoga teacher, timeshare legend, and real estate investor. From the 60’s onward jobs were easy to come by and times were prosperous. Bill climbed the ladder of success.
For many born during the war years the stories will be particularly familiar as Bill relates how simple and straightforward life was back then. Everyone knew what was expected. Innocence was maintained well into adulthood, and people pulled together.
Bill writes in a simple, no-nonsense style. Many of the 266 “bits and pieces” of “No More Words, Bill” are as short as three sentences or as long as several pages. This is one of the elements that make the book so very readable. It is easy to imagine a visit from Bill, sitting in a comfy chair by the fire, filling in details of stories that have continued to return to his memory.
Bill’s independent spirit allowed him to live a life rich with experiences, friendships, and comforts. He strongly rejects labels and lives what he calls “on the rim” rather than in the box.
“No More Words, Bill” was written in two phases. The first was during the summer of 2007, when memories flowed from him like spring snowmelt off the nearby mountains. After finding the publishing industry too inflexible, Bill set his manuscript aside for three years. Then in August of 2010 he was inspired to pick up and review the pages, prompted by a group of friends who wanted him to give a reading. The distance of three years allowed him to evaluate his writing without being emotionally attached.
Bill found himself once again picking up his lead pencil, positioning the yellow legal pad to his liking, and letting his words flow. This time, rather than just memories from the past, reflections on family and many commentaries on our ever-changing modern life, he found himself thinking and writing about the greed in corporations and their control over politicians and governments. In the “bits and pieces” of the last sections of the book, current day conditions and a new course of direction are strongly stated.
Bill desires an evolution of consciousness and actions in the conduct of government and business. New approaches and real reform can finally happen through the unified pressure coming from millions of people who are informed and actively linked together on the Internet.
In his new roles as author and inspirational messenger, you can add Bill Kern to the list of men and women who found a new passion late in life and acted on it. Read “No More Words, Bill” and discover for yourself why this gentle man belongs with such illustrious company.
Visit Bill’s website at www.NoMoreWordsBill.com