My Early Memories of ‘Officer’ Bill Parker
As many of you know by now, we lost a local legend last week. "Officier" Bill Parker passed away on Thursday, August 15th, at the age of 91. He had a huge impact on many of us, in and out of the broadcast profession.
We've seen his friends and acquaintances share their stories about this wonderful man on Facebook. I'm glad to say that I had the chance to get to know him when we worked in the same building.
Do you remember the Officer Bill Show on WBNG-TV? There would be games, activities and cartoons. I had the chance to be on the show in 1976 along with my brother, sister, cousins and friends.
My memories from that day was playing games and NO cartoons. This saddened my 12-year-old self because when I watched the show on TV, the kids would play games then it was cartoon time. I bounced the rubber balls into the milk can (I didn't win) but I could console my non-winning self with some cartoons.
I sat on the bleachers with the other kids....then nothing. I asked Officier Bill "Where are the cartoons?" He informed us that there were none to be seen (It wasn't a live show) and would be added in later.
Fast forward 20 years or so when we were working together in the radio industry. I had a picture that was taken of me before the Officier Bill taping and I got to show him it and tell him my story. He chuckled and thanked me for sharing it with him.
That was the kind of guy he was. It was an honor to say that I knew him personally and always loved chatting with him.
His family will be welcoming his friends at the Thomas Shea Funeral Home, 137 Robinson Street Binghamton on Thursday, August 22 from 4-7 p.m. A funeral mass for Parker will be held on Friday, August 23 at St. Mary of the Assumption Church, 192 Court Street in Binghamton.
The Mass begins at 9:30 a.m. followed by a burial with military honors at Calvary Cemetery in Johnson City. Thank you Officier Bill for the memories, you will be missed.
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