In memory of Bill "Dolt" Feuerer

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LilaBiene

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 28, 2012 - 10:20pm PT
Aww, shucks. What I need is MORE pressure...that's what my life has been missing! :D Guess I have 10 months to prepare. A little too early to start counting the days, eh?

MH: Have read the first two, and the Rowell book is next. Am I enough of a geek, or what?!
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Technically...the spawning grounds of Yosemite
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 25, 2013 - 01:02pm PT
Both you and Ann have been very quiet these last couple of months...and in my heart I feared that perhaps you both had shared with me all that you wished for me to know...and that my connection to you had somehow evaporated in a moment of lapsed hypervigilance.

For reasons outside of my own, a couple of days ago I needed to quickly try to determine whether you had been told about me.

For the last year and a half I've been keeping that unanswered question compartmentalized, carefully, and steeply walled-off, somewhere over the edge of the horizon so that I don't accidentally happen upon it unless I choose. After exploring the question to a certain extent, I resigned myself to accepting that it was a question that probably wouldn't ever be answered. And, having talked some with your close friends, I concluded that either way you would have been dealt an eviscerating blow. This depersonalized things enough that I was able to hold my deepest fear at bay.

Oddly enough, it would have been entirely okay with me if you had been told and you had decided your life was taking a different direction. (Somehow, in my heart, I doubt you would have, but who's to say what you would have done...other than you?) It would have also been understandable if you had been told and things just didn't work out between you and Ann. Human relationships are confounding and complex; they start and end. The pain dissipates with new found passions, time...

But you didn't...know.

Is this why you crept into my dreams night after night, howling of the pain coming from the depth of the void? In my sleep, I could sense you desperately wanted me to know that you had been wronged, so deeply wounded...your shoulders shook with sobs so deep I could feel them in my own chest. I would wake gasping for air, feeling as if I had just escaped an unimaginably massive, swirling, churning, thrashing sea. I would place my hand on the muppet to feel the soothing rise and fall of her chest as she slept. If I still couldn't sleep, I'd turn on the light and pick up and turn over in my hands things that you had made...a piton, a hanger, a bashie...a nut or two...your notebook. And worst case, I'd pour over my endless scraps of paper searching for a new clue that might lead...somewhere...and get lost in time suspended working through the problem without a solution, finding my deepest comfort in the process.

The discovery that you were never told fills me with anguish. It's not until I am completely alone that I can let go of the dam, allowing my tears to escape. I feel helpless, incredibly sad, so small...and...responsible. The weight of these feelings is something I can't describe. But for me, things would have been different. Who knows exactly how, but they would have been.

I'm just going to have to carry this for a while.

In the muppet and me, you are living expression. You can't be taken away from us because we are a part of you, and always will be. Our love.



GLee

Social climber
Missoula MT
Jul 25, 2013 - 02:02pm PT
What's that Word??? Verklempt????

That is how I feel now, Odd.... THX in the best way possible for being you & for all that you have shared with the Tribe...

C U 2 (maybe 3) in 62 days....

Greg
Fletcher

Trad climber
The great state of advaita
Jul 25, 2013 - 03:42pm PT
Wow... moving. Brave.

Peace,
Eric
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Technically...the spawning grounds of Yosemite
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 12, 2013 - 02:11am PT
So a few weeks back, I wound up in the ER for reasons no doctors seem to be able to pin down...and I was feeling mightily sorry for myself and about as frustrated as I ever get with the medical profession.

As I was lying there, freezing my tail off, hugging my climbing magazine, I thought to myself: "So you guys (Ann & Bill) have consistently popped up in mysterious ways over and over this past year and a half, where are you now when you know precisely what's going on, and I'm scared sh*tless?"

Next thing I know, a resident comes in to ask some follow-up questions. He sees my magazine. "I climb, too," he says. My eyes must have been saucers.

So fast forward a few weeks, and I finally drag myself to post that I won't be able to make it to Facelift due to both the hubby and me being out of work. I've had not a decent, warm lead since June when I was laid off.

Can you guess what happened the very next day?

I got hired to work on a two-week project, scheduled to end on the first day of Facelift.

You just can't make this stuff up. And, yes, I'm just a little freaked out!

Edit: P.S. On my way out, I gave the climbing magazine to the exhausted resident that probably hadn't seen the light of day in months. ")
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Sep 12, 2013 - 02:38am PT
^^^ God works in mysterious ways..
Yours is a story of many open ends.
And God has an answer to every loophole.
Do you believe?
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Sep 12, 2013 - 06:35am PT
Someone made this stuff up.

Whether it's all in your mind or all in some cosmic mind, it had origins.

We all have origins.

Does the fact you are tempishly-employed mean a trip out west? It's not clear as a bell like your usual writing style.

I'm glad you've read the Post Road.

I'm glad to see you posting, too.
Roots

Mountain climber
SoCal
Sep 12, 2013 - 11:13am PT
See you at Facelift!
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Technically...the spawning grounds of Yosemite
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 12, 2013 - 10:58pm PT
Unless I can pull some kind of Houdini magic, I won't make it to Facelift this year. (Howling disappointment.) But you can be sure I'll still be checking stand-by flight options just as soon as this project ends.

My heart and my brain both stubbornly refuse to accept reality. This has its pluses and minuses... ;D
BooDawg

Social climber
Butterfly Town
Sep 13, 2013 - 12:15am PT
With Facelift daily growing closer and not having heard from you in WAY too long, I was making my "rounds" of the Park today, through heavy smoke at times, wondering if you were coming to Facelift. This evening, I vowed to send you a note to ask about your plans. And this turns up on the Taco tonight! As I and so many others know, it will break a lot of hearts not to see you at Facelift, but we also know that you must care for your Muppet and that there will be other years if you cannot come west at this time. While you have been sending Bill the message that he was and is loved, you know that we, as his community/family, are sending that same message to you: YOU ARE LOVED, LILABIENE! We still hold out hope that you can find a way to come for Facelift, and you have only to let us know what you need and how we can help to get you here! We hope that you have the courage to ask for help if that's what you need.

Houdini Magic? I think LILA MAGIC is far stronger!
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Sep 13, 2013 - 02:13am PT
hey there say, lilabiene... ohhhhh, i love this kind of stuff!!!

>:D<

whichever way it goes, so happy to hear this share from you...
god bless, to you and your husband!
:)
Dennis Merritt

Trad climber
Asheville, NC
Sep 14, 2013 - 06:10pm PT
For a Northeastern climbing history, I recommend "Yankee Rock and Ice" by Laura and Guy Waterman. It might be out of print, might have to look around for it. It's a much larger story than a history of Northeast climbing. It's a fascinating study of the repeating gaps between generations, as the younger generation keeps shocking/offending the older generation, from the early 1900s to today.

Bill Dolt was clearly such a force when he was climbing, changing the way it was done by his elders.

(It applies to many walks of life. I keep seeing it in the contra dance community here in Asheville.)

Laura Waterman is a wonderfully warm individual, and a talented writer, and someone you might want to get to know. Her book about her life with Guy is equally fascinating, "Losing the Garden". She's up in Vermont.

--Dennis
Don Lauria

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
Sep 14, 2013 - 08:03pm PT
Another portrait:

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aspendougy

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Sep 14, 2013 - 10:59pm PT
I heard that he made something smaller than a RURP, called the Dolt CRUD BIT. Does anyone have a picture of that?
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Technically...the spawning grounds of Yosemite
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 14, 2013 - 11:21pm PT
So I burst into tears on the bus on Friday morning reading your messages, Boo and Neebee, so touching and went straight to my heart. Alas, I'm struggling not to start all over again. Happy tears, not to worry.

Friday the 13th has always been my lucky day, and how the two of you managed to figure that one out, I'll never know. ")

When I got home that day after 11 hours of reviewing disastrously boring documents in German, I never imagined I would find this thoughtful letter in my mailbox. I hoped my letter had somehow made its way, but figured he would probably think I was just another nut. (Well, that's a given, anyway, right?) ;D

Kindness knows no bounds
Kindness knows no bounds
Credit: LilaBiene

Don, thank you for posting Bill's AF Service photo, and what a wonderful coincidence given Yvon's acknowledgement of how much you supported Bill. I'm so happy that Alice was able to reach out to you at the Oakdale Climbers Festival to share with you just how much your friendship, encouragement and support meant to Bill. I truly believe he desperately wanted you to know this.
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Sep 15, 2013 - 09:30am PT
I keep coming back to your threads and your story. One theme keeps coming to my mind every time. Legacy, inheritance and how even unknowingly your Fathers dedication to his ideals in various ways left you a truly valuable inheritance. Not in the mundane and monetary way but in a much deeper and I think more valuable way.

What he left you were relationships waiting to be discovered. Amazing places to see and connect with in a unique way that very few can. You fathers name (and his fantastic nickname) graces the history and features of what is still one of the most sought after climbs in the world.

Even this process of discovery is of such amazing value and an epic journey chock full to the seams with ... everything a great journey should be. However late he has come into your life he seems to have found a way to be what a father should be. A teacher, and example and hopefully a comfort.

Thank you for sharing it with us!
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Sep 15, 2013 - 03:37pm PT
Well that is a nice letter from Yvon that your Muppet can share with her kids someday and there will be less of a mystery of who her Grandpa was because of all the time and effort you have put into this discovery of life.
Fletcher

Trad climber
The great state of advaita
Sep 15, 2013 - 08:47pm PT
I too keep coming back to these threads of yours. There is an undercurrent of something uplifiting that runs through them, even with all the trials and setbacks. I guess that for those of us traversing though life with absent fathers of myriad varieties, your story speaks to us. We can relate and get what you are saying—at least to some extent. And that helps us, as well as how much I sense all of this storytelling has helped and continues to help you.

I appreciate the bravery and openness you possess in not only taking on this journey, but also in sharing it with others. That is no mean thing.

That letter from YC is a treasure for the kindness he shows. I love that he hand wrote it. That seems so very much like him!

In light and peace,
Eric
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Sep 15, 2013 - 09:11pm PT
Bill looked like movie star. One of my early prized possessions was a Dolt piton.

JL
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Technically...the spawning grounds of Yosemite
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 22, 2013 - 08:09pm PT
Someone sent me a message recently, advising me not to try to become Bill's "library". I'd like to set the record straight.

I have not asked anyone for anything, other than answers to questions that I have, which arise from the depths of my heart's desire to know Bill and those who care about him. I may have missed him by 40 years, but he is the reason I came into being. He was and is my birth dad. (I'm not discounting Ann's incredibly selfless efforts by any means.)

We all question at one time or another (or in my case, nearly every single day of my life) why we are here, what we're supposed to do with this gift called life and whether we're getting any of it right.

Strangely enough, it's only been since I started on this journey of discovery that I've felt for the first time in my life that I'm at least getting some of it right (well, some of the time, at any rate). I'm acknowledging things I already knew, but never knew existed outside of what I believed to be my own fairly odd take on the world (who would have thought?!). I'm learning about people and stories and love and pain and history and generosity and unbelievable strength. There is strength in vulnerability.

But more than anything, with precious few exceptions, my belief that if you meet the world with an open heart, the world will open its heart to you, has been, and continues to be, confirmed, over and over again. Both Ann and Bill greeted the world this way, and I suspect that they recognized this in one another. Lucky me!

Since that moment I came into being, I have been...er...a repository so to speak, of much that was Bill, so that's not exactly something over which I had much control. And as is fairly well known, that has its positive and challenging sides, as with anything else.

What I DO have control over, however, is whether what I learn on this journey comes into my life and ends with me, or whether it is shared with as many folks as who may wish to learn, reminisce, heal, make new or revive faded connections and/or keep his memory alive. My choice is to share (in case I haven't already made that patently clear), and to pay forward each of the kindnesses shown to me.

I can't imagine that Bill would have wanted it any other way.

Edit:
Last week the muppet decided to experiment with scissors...on her waist length hair. ") She's showing signs of Doltishness!

Ca-mila is, a punk-rocker, Ca-mi-i-i-i-la is...
Ca-mila is, a punk-rocker, Ca-mi-i-i-i-la is...
Credit: LilaBiene
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