|Jimmy, Rachael, Mindy & Willis|
December took me from Texas to South Carolina, Kansas and back. Even though I was raised in Ohio, I consider Clemson, South Carolina my home. This past year was full of so many exciting changes and sad goodbyes. This year the Taproom lost too many of our friends: Johnny Dyer, Red Taylor and Bill Willis.
Our good friend Bill passed away the week before Christmas & I traveled home to say goodbye. For five years in Clemson, the people I met through the Sloan Street Taproom became my second family. If 4:00 pm rolled around and Bill Willis hadn't made his appearance yet, Jimmy would put in a call to the Esso Club to run him up our way. I remember the day we took this picture, when Bill walked in early...Jimmy hollered, 'What's the occasion, the Esso Club closed?' They were so happy to see each other, and a rare photograph in which Jimmy actually smiled and wasn't talking when we had our picture taken. Willis lit up every room he entered with his laughter, kindness and, of course, the singing of everyone's favorite love songs. There is a hole in Clemson, and a hole in our hearts.