It is dawn Thursday. I took Wednesday evening off, since Monday Bill had sent off his brilliantly completed artwork for Carry Me Home. I find among my morning messages the news that he died yesterday. I am stunned and profoundly saddened. There are many who may not know this, but we are all weakened by his passing. (And, yes, some of us more than others.) I have faith that we shall move on in our most heartful fashion, but there is no denying the loss of our guiding light which was Bill Narum's aesthetic. And for the rest of my life, in every instance I will ask, "What would Bill have done?" He was my Art Director, friend, colleague and mentor, ...and one of the oddest ducks in the pond. As I was enriched by his presence, so shall I be diminished by his absence.
Fletcher Clark, November 19, 2009
You know me well enough to know Iíll get over being speechless soon. And you know Iíll regain my sense of humor. If you know me really well, youíll certainly understand that I can never get over losing Bill Narum.
Every wall in both Threadgillís and my home is a Narum piece of work. Even rooms hung with paintings by Franklin, Juke, and Whitehead were designed and hung by Bill. And they wouldnít have wanted anyone else to do it. Every drawer and every shelf in my life is filled and almost every surface touched by his genius. The country store museum behind old number one is his creation and the many hours of video from the Armadillo, the only source of my most treasured memories, were brought to life, not just once in the Ď70s, but reborn again in this millennium because of Bill. (Taylor Vision and its garden: what a piece of proof it was that the human potential movement was alive and well, even in remote Texas because, occasionally, there were displays vision and leadership like his.)
My lucky star brought Bill to me when I was not quite thirty and I had him till I just now started pushing 70. He made me seem much smarter than I am and look much better than I would have, for almost forty years. How lucky can you get? Well, Iím no luckier than I have been spoiled. And now, Iím on my own, with no direction known, feeling so alone, sitting, staring, stoned, into a future without my pal who made me so much more by giving, giving, giving, quietly kind and gently, covering up so many ways my colossal dumb-ass, with his overflowing talent and a love so huge and understated that Iíll be content to sit here speechless with a smile and tears mixed thoroughly and lean on Narumís memory for years, untilÖ
I never asked Bill for anything he didnít jump right on and Iím afraid I did abuse the privilege. He helped so many friends of mine who couldnít pay and made most of them his friends and left them with the feeling that theyíd done him a favor by allowing him to make them over with a better image.
Eddie Wilson, November 21, 2009
My dad didn't die at home in Austin. He died on his land "The Acorn" in Thorndale. He had been working on the property with a friend. My father said, "I am going to take a break" and began wandering off. His friend found him in the new metal structure Dad has been working into a studio for The Acorn. He was in his canvas chair with his legs crossed and appeared to be sleeping. The friend let him rest until it became dinner time. When checking on him, the dear friend discovered he had passed. The only thing a little strange was a clenched hand. They are not certain what killed him, but it was something to with heart and lungs. We will not know for sure until the official documents are released.
He was 62. My Dad BILL NARUM had an amazing life. He lived like a RockStar but didn't play any instruments really. [He does have a gold record AND a grammy for his art, though!] He had interests in every media and resource before they even became hip. He understood the benefits of communal living, and was "Green"-er then you could imagine for someone who loved Chicken Fried Steak and all the other wonderful food at Threadgill's. His friends have been life long and very loyal. The women he loved all adored him fiercly and never stopped being special to him, even after they parted ways. Everyone who ever knew him - or of him - will be affected deeply by his passing.
Bill Narum was also the father of two amazing women. I have lived a path very similar to his in my own ways and been a true Narum to the core. My younger sister Nico is not only brilliant, but talented and beautiful as well. While we were 15 years apart, and children of different mothers, he frequently made efforts to bring us into each others lives. Each of "Bill's Girls" has her own memory of the man which we shared and will treasure a lifetime. Together we have bonded into an undeniable force. We are working on a few projects to provide a legacy worthy of such a multifaceted and multitalented individual.
MichelleFromHell, November 21, 2009