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A great night out

October 29, 2010 - Karin Elton
I attended the Bill Holm tribute at the SMSU conference center last night. It evoked tears and laughter from me and others in the audience. There was a Powerpoint presentation with people talking about Bill and then there were fun photos of Bill in different poses throughout his life. In almost all of the photos Bill was skinny which isn’t the way a person thinks about him.

Dan Rieppel (SMSU music prof) reminisced eloquently about his many-year friendship with Bill and his memorable first meeting with him when he was 17. Upon opening the door to his house, Bill offered Dan his choice of beverages. Years later, after Dan accepted a job at Southwest State, one of the first places he went to was the house on Jefferson Street in Minneota. Bill wasn’t there — it turned out he was in China — so Dan left a note saying that when he was 17 Bill had given him his first drink. When Bill came back, he left a note at Dan’s office saying, “Come back for your second drink.”

Retired English prof and poet Phil Dacey was entertaining as he talked about Bill Holm sweatily playing the piano at a party at the Dacey house in Cottonwood. He also told amusing/interesting stories about when Frederick Manfred, Allen Ginsburg and Eugene McCarthy visited Southwest State.


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