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My friend Bill Green is retiring. Where did the last 47 years go?!

So my pal Bill Green is retiring. Yep, the amiable and talented host of “Bill Green’s Maine” is hanging it up after…get this…47 years at WLBZ/WCSH TV. I was at these same stations for 22 years, which seemed like quite the stretch, but compared to Bill’s tenure? Not so much.

I recall watching Bill back in the day (late 70’s) as he delivered sports highlights during the 11:00 news during my high school days. In fact, the folks had just purchased their first color TV, which led to the discovery that young Bill’s hair was quite red! Of course, Mr. Green’s “moss” (Dennis Eckersley reference) has, over his distinguished career, segued to a distinguished gray.

I never had a conversation with Bill that was anything but positive, encouraging, and uplifting. Bill and I had the distinct pleasure of running the Olympic Torch down the streets of New Hampshire on a wicked cold winter night in 2002 as part of a team of runners shuttling the torch across the country. Spending time with Bill and his family that evening was great fun, and serves as a highlight from my time with WLBZ/WCSH.

Like a fine wine, Bill just gets better with age. A master story-teller, wonderful Maine historian, avid sports fan, and all around cool dude. That’s Bill. Will certainly miss him on the tube Saturday evenings at 7:00, and at other assorted times when news is happening around our beloved state. 47 years. Wow, time sure flies.

I’ve said all of that to say this, which is a quote from a wonderful 92 year old gentleman I met months ago. During our conversation I mentioned that time sure seems to fly by as we get older. I believe I was referencing my amazement that the older segment of our grandkid flock was now in high school and college. What this elder shared with me next was spot-on: “Steve,” he said, “getting older is like going downhill on a toboggan….the farther you go, the faster you go! When I discovered this, I stopped piddling around with stupid stuff.” What wisdom!

The older you get, the faster the days, weeks and years race by. So, as my elder gentleman friend indicated, it’s important to dispense with the non-important stuff in favor of the important stuff, which leads to my main point in this wordy offering:

Thanksgiving Day is right around the corner. Yeah, let’s be thankful for the Pats, the Sox, and the B’s, and whatever team floats your boat. But don’t piddle around too much with these sources of angst and frustration; instead, focus on the important stuff- family, friends, love, grace, charity, kindness. Be thankful for these gifts, and extend them to others. Know why? ‘Cause 47 years goes by fast, and life is like going downhill on a toboggan…

Congrats Bill, and happy Thanksgiving, y’all.

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