Fairfield Ledger

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Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 20, 2017

Philosopher Bill just has knack

By JEFF WILSON | May 26, 2011

Some people just have the gift. Early this morning, heading up B Street on my way to work, I came upon Bill and Brenda Pollak taking a walk with their dog.

I stopped the car and rolled down the window. Even if our conversation lasts only a minute or so, Bill has the knack of making me feel better about my world. His New York accent makes everything sound so “matter of fact.”

In addition to being a veterinarian and an entrepreneur, he would have made a great philosopher. Maybe he’s a philosopher who became a veterinarian and an entrepreneur.

Bill and I coached the Schaus-Vorhies Construction girls’ minor league softball team in 1996. It was about the same time we were both on the Fairfield Area Chamber of Commerce board of directors. Suffice to say, Bill watched over me at a time I needed someone to do just that.

I can’t remember all the players on that 1996 team, but in addition to his daughter Dora and my Anna there were Samantha Corrick, Sessily Watt, Jennifer Osby, the Wymer sisters Tiffany and Katie, Miranda Mallard and Divindy Grant.

The 8-or-9-year-old Wymer sisters had never picked up a ball or bat when they came out for the first practice. I’m pretty sure they both ended up playing varsity softball for Fairfield High School.

I should have retained more of what I learned from Bill that spring. It would have made the following two seasons as Behner’s major league softball team manager go a lot easier. When I ran into him then, he let me talk about softball and get all worked up. When I finished, he’d try to talk some sense into me. I wasn’t a very good student and have the bumps and bruises to show for it.

Bill played a similar role on the chamber board. It drove executive director Mike Brouwer crazy when Bill asked the simple “why” question when Mike had plotted a course of action on something.

To put it simply, Bill makes me reflect and think.

One night we drove to a Burlington Bees baseball game with his nephew from back east and he did most of the talking. He talked about how he and Brenda met and knowing quickly she was going to be his wife. She had a rural background from upstate New York. The story of how they ended up in Fairfield took a good chunk of the ride back after the game. It went too quick.

So, this morning he quickly zeroed in on my current state and made me think some more. I think it’s about time we went to another Bees game.

 Jeff Wilson is publisher of The Fairfield Ledger.

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