Some of you have written to say that reading about Bill's life has broadened your world view. I thought you should know, you've returned the favor.
Last month, about a week before I recorded an interview with Bill based on your queries, I told him lots of people had been reading the stories about him, and were curious to ask him questions.
"Who?" he asked.
I said you had written from all over America, and other countries like South Korea and Australia. For whatever reason, Bill was unmoved by South Korea. But Australia captured his imagination.
At first, we might have been talking about a distant star; he didn't know Australia was a country, or a continent. We talked about that, and a few other highlights: prison colony; kangaroos. I had the Maori, koalas, and Marmite up my sleeve, and that was about it, but the kangaroos sent Bill off on a tangent about a dead kangaroo he thought he'd seen lying on a road in Tanzania, which got Igey chatting about a dead squirrel he'd poked with a stick, and I figured Australia's moment had come and gone.
Not at all. The next day, in the middle of a conversation about World Championship Wrestling, Bill asked abruptly: "What's that place called, again?" It took me a moment to realize we were back in Australia. "Is it far?" he wanted to know. That night, I went home and read up.
Sure enough, the next afternoon, as he was playing on a swing, Bill called over: "What do they have in that place?"
"Australia?" I asked, and we were off.
Eventually the name sunk in. In the middle of dinner one night, he wondered aloud: "Do they speak English in Australia?" I said they did.
"So I could go there," he mused.
When we recorded the interview, each time I read him a question that he thought was intriguing, he asked, "Is that from Australia?"
Thanks again to Natasha (from Australia!), and all the rest of you who sent questions. Keep an eye out for the finished interview here in coming days.