Bill is from New York City and a dedicated Maureen O'Hara fan for over 51 years. From fan club to front row center, Bill was always there. He has not only met with Maureen no less than 7 or 8 times but actually saw Maureen's performance in "Christine" on Broadway and many other TV shows such as Perry Como and Pat Boone shows. In all of my research for the past seven years, Bill is one of the greatest treasures. He is sincere, caring, and was active in promoting his appreciation of Maureen's talents when she was at the height of her career.
As part of the New York based fan club headed by John Kolcun in the 50's and 60's,, Bill was extremely active in Maureen O'Hara fan club activities. Maureen frequently provided her NYC based fans with tickets to her TV shows. Bill's adventure began way back in 1958 and of course, living in the heart of NYC was a definite advantage. Over the past 7 years Bill has provided me with quite a few photos of he and Maureen and other fans (which I cannot locate at the moment but this page is under construction, so stay with me. I'll find them).
I located Bill when I began my research in 1991 through a network of John Wayne fans headed by Tim Lilley, from Akron, Ohio. Tim provided a bi-monthly newsletter/fan club type organization called "The Big Trail" and Bill had posted a note in that periodical stating he'd like to correspond with any Maureen O'Hara fans. Guess who qualified? Me! Surprise. So we began corresponding and soon Bill was enlightening me on Maureen's career like no one before. I envied him so because he actually saw so many of these wonderful productions, first hand. Not through the newspapers or videos like most of us. But he was there!
At any rate, this is my way of thanking a very special friend and a very special fan for all he has done for me, and for remaining true to our cause for so long. Maureen, Bill, and I did a 3-way phone conversation last Christmas and it appears another call is on deck for this year. No one could be more deserving and no one could be a better friend than Bill has been to me.
Oh yes, a little foot note for you..and I do mean "foot" - Bill has been known to do quite a good Irish jig and has now and again done a little solo I understand in the presence of Patty Noonan's band. So there's a bit of the old sod in Bill also. Understandable.
12-17-98: Bill was delighted this evening with what now appears to be his "annual" Christmas telephone chat with Maureen. (We do a three-way chat between Bill in NYC - Maureen in LA and me in Phoenix). Bill had a lovely visit with his idol and has already arranged for a day off work for the St. Patrick's Day Parade in NYC. Lucky Bill - he'll be curbside to cheer on the grandest Irish lady of all!
Update: 6-01. Bill now prepares to retire from the mail room at ABC TV in NYC and move into a group residence home (retreating from big city life and be near his church members). This occasion was celebrated with another phone call with his heroine, Ms. O'Hara. They had a lovely chat. Ms. O'Hara considers Bill a very "special" fan and reminisced about Bill's mother making beautiful dolls for her, weaving pieces of Maureen's own gorgeous red hair into the doll's wig. Good luck to you Bill and always remember and keep in touch. You are very special to me also. God Bless.
June Parker Beck
FYI: John Kolcun, the President of Maureen's official fan club in the 50's and 60's had a roster over over 800 members. John worked tirelessly to produce a fan club journal that was over 45 pages long filled with fans letters, box office totals, newspaper items, etc. Obtaining copies of those journals was invaluable to my research on Maureen. John Kolcun passed away in the mid 1980's but I sort of coincidentally picked up the torch and moved on to the Internet . His thoroughness and expertise made my job so much easier.
Below is a photo from a local Binghamton NY newspaper (Sunday Supplement) as part of a feature article on his work as fan club president. Over 10,000 photos are spread across a football stadium there. I dare say "devoted" fan doesn't quite cover his work.
Photos above show John's organizational skills. The periodic journals he sent out to members
also had photos in them so fans were very fortunate.
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