Fond memories of Bill Ardelan
November 02, 2011 - It was my good fortune the day Bill Ardelan came to our Oxford Leader office and asked for a job.
Bill Ardelan (click for larger version)
Years later, I asked him why he approached me. He said, "I just wanted to work for you."
He started in sales, moved to sales manager and then, as we added newspapers, he became advertising manager and then art director.
Bill was born with a talent to write, draw and play musical instruments.
And I mean "born" with talent. In a very early grade school class, the teacher asked her students to draw a swan.
Bill's swan was in the water, and had its reflection on that water. The teacher asked why he drew the shadow. He told her that was the way he saw it.
He used his sketching ability to help sell advertising for our newspapers. To have something to show a business owner what their advertisement could look like, he would draw their building.
The idea was, if they liked it, he or other sales people would take a current picture of their building for their ad.
All the businesses approached in this manner preferred Bill's sketches to camera shots. They were especially evident in our 1976 Centennial edition.
One day we took an afternoon off to go shoot pool. I liked pool, even bought a pool table, but wasn't a very good player.
Bill was. By the time our session was over Bill was spotting me eight balls in a 10-ball game.
Bill Ardelan played the trumpet so good he had his own band. We had them play at daughter Luan's wedding. He didn't take music lessons or read a book.
He taught himself. In retirement, he taught himself to play guitar. He picked up piano playing along the way.
Of all Bill's talents and abilities, the one that I enjoyed, envied and loved the most was his artistry, whether chacterization or real.
In retirement Bill and Joyce moved to Gladwin. His home had a walk-out basement with a village park bordering the rear, and off the corner was a view of a wooded riverbank.
Bill stood by a walk-out door and painted the scene on the basement wall. Only one thing was questionable. Bill was a bow and arrow man, and he painted himself, with his equipment, sitting in a tree, bow pulled and a buck passing by below.
It was a rewarding experience having such a talented person as an employee and a friend. A fine man gone, but remembered dearly. – Jim (Jottings) Sherman