HOME page                  NEW STUFF page 
          WRITING CONTENT page       GUEST ARTISTS pageHome_1.htmlNew_Stuff.htmlEssays.htmlGuest_Artists.htmlshapeimage_1_link_0shapeimage_1_link_1shapeimage_1_link_2shapeimage_1_link_3

Bill Neinast: My Hero

John W. Pinkerton


When I checked my email this morning, I anticipated that I'd find Bill Neinast's  latest column which he produced weekly for years for the Brenham Banner Press.  Bill has been sending me copies of his weekly column every Monday for years so that I could republish his columns on my website.

Well, he did send me his weekly column.

His column began, “In German, we say auf wiedersehen.  In English, it is 'till we meet again.'” And concluded, “Well, age is now demanding its toll.  My eyes have deteriorated to the point of no correction.  I can read newsprint only with the aid of magnifiers, a slow and frustrating procedure.  Even after substantially enlarging the size of the font on my computer, I have to use a magnifying  glass to review my words.  In other words, it has gotten hard to visit with you.  That means it is time to put this ship in dry dock.”

Auf wiedersehen!”

And just like that, after 641 In Perspective columns, our publishing relationship was over.

I didn't even know that Bill existed until I met him over a dozen years ago at the hospital in Brenham where he was volunteering as a greeter, and I was waiting on my wife, Linda, to come out of surgery with a repaired broken heel.  Being a gregarious person, I broached a conversation with Bill.  I introduced myself and soon learned that Bill was reared in Somerville but had moved across Yegua Creek to Washington County.  I quickly discovered that I knew members of his family who still lived in Somerville.  We seemed to match up pretty well and within a few minutes, he had agreed to send me a copy of his weekly column for my website, oldartguy.com.

We didn't socialize with Bill and Jeannine much, but we attended a dinner at their lovely home where he has moved the old family place, a one room log cabin.  Bill takes a lot of pride in his family’s history.

Bill was much like other boys from the little Texas town of Somerville, and as others have, he went on to big things elsewhere.  He started his journey as valedictorian of the class of 1946 of Somerville High School, and then it was on to Texas Lutheran and then the University of Texas where he earned a Bachelor of Arts and a Doctor of Jurisprudence.  He joined a law firm in Caldwell.  In the midst of the Korean Conflict, Bill joined the army and twenty-seven years later, returned home.  (This paragraph barely scratches the surface of his many experiences through the years.  (See http://oldartguy.com/Bill_Neinast.html for more specifics.)

In all the years of reading Bill's columns, I believe the only time I disagreed with Bill was when he wrote a column opposing the death penalty.  Apparently, Bill is a much kinder person than I am.

Bill is in his mid-nineties now: however, there are no signs of a lessening of the strength of his remarkable intellect fed by a rich lifetime of experiences. 

If I were prone to having heroes, Mr. Bill Neinast would be at the top of the list.