My High School Friend, Bill Krasner

Bill and I did everything together. We shared the same outlandish sense of humor, were both very creative, and when we got together it was an explosion of humor, satire, and odd & wonderful ideas.

When we wanted to start a business I asked, what kind of business it should be. Bill responded, “Let’s flip a coin – heads we’re a clothing store, tails were a zoo.”

Once when shopping in the now defunct Akron store, he stopped by a display of brass items and proclaimed, “Oh neat! An astrolabe! (pause) What’s an astrolabe?”

And upon first seeing Old Faithful when he joined us for a family road trip vacation on year, “Actually, it’s a whale trapped under three feet of solid rock.”

Bill eventually joined the navy, then took a job as a prison guard out of state. He’s now retired, but just as much the irreverent wit in our conversations on FB.

This picture? It is of Bill in a building he and I literally demolished with our bare hands. It was a workshop on the property of the home my family was renting, but had become infested with termites, which was too bad, since it was actually a lovely little L-shaped building in the corner of the property with a Crepe Myrtle in a planter in the crook of the L in a little patio area. Many house-like windows and much light. Probably a great place to putz around in during its heyday,

My parents had contacted the landlady to tell her about the termites and she agreed it should come down. I put in my bid to do the job for a hundred bucks, and split the money with Bill. It took us a year to take it down and cart off the debris using nothing but non-powered hand tools. We started by poking a hole in the roof with a crowbar, then used hand saws to cut all the way around the supporting beams until the roof came down. It was built so solidly that it took forever, even with our best efforts.

Once, I was working alone, snipping restraining wires that were strung under tension along the inside layer of tar paper that formed a barrier in the walls, and the wire snapped and swung right by my eye, putting a groove in the white, but just missing the cornea and not breaking into the humors. Close call! I was more careful after that.

So, getting back to this picture, after the building came down, there was something a patio left from the foundation, and my parents put our old couch out there, and Bill is sitting there at the end of one of our rapid-fire conversations.

Please note, he isn’t holding a cell phone in the picture, though it looks like it. But those weren’t invented in 1971/72 when this picture was taken. Rather, he’s just holding his hand up against his head, though it sure looks like clear evidence of time travel to me.

On that note, Bill and I because enamored of the notion of time travel and one time we buried a time-capsule at the base of a huge tree – a note stuffed in the shell of a military gun cartridge that was about an inch wide and six inches high.

We said in the note that if time travel had been invented in their age, come on back and see us! Then we put plastic wrap over the open end of the cartridge, held in place with a rubber band, and placed it about one foot down into the ground.

Since nobody showed up, we figured either time travel didn’t exist, or the note didn’t survive or was never found, or there was time travel but they wouldn’t or couldn’t come back to tell us.

Since then, the tree has long been cut down and that part of the yard (which is next to an alley) was paved over to make a parking lot for a small storage building the new owner of the property put on the property when he bought it from our old landlady, shortly before I left to get married.

And that, is today’s glimpse back into the past, and a little slice of our family history.