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Chris Vreeland
09-10-2006, 22:09
Hello All,

Just wondering - Did Bill Irwin sign in any of the registers or did other folks do it for him? It seems as though I remember that folks might have been signing his name in the registers to throw off the reporters who kept following him.

Anybody out there who actually hiked with Bill care to comment? I have a register or two that I left out there in '89 and were eventually returned to me. There is an entry for Mr. Irwin and I was wondering about its authenticity.

Thanks.

Chris Vreeland

GA->PA '88, PA->ME '89

Nean
09-10-2006, 23:09
Hello All,

Just wondering - Did Bill Irwin sign in any of the registers or did other folks do it for him? It seems as though I remember that folks might have been signing his name in the registers to throw off the reporters who kept following him.

Anybody out there who actually hiked with Bill care to comment? I have a register or two that I left out there in '89 and were eventually returned to me. There is an entry for Mr. Irwin and I was wondering about its authenticity.

Thanks.

Chris Vreeland

GA->PA '88, PA->ME '89

Bill may be legally blind, but not totally. He signed many registers.
One well know hostel character south of Waynesboro used to swear that rangers (NPS/FS?) gave Bill a substantial ride. Any others ever hear such?

Rain Man
09-11-2006, 09:12
Anybody out there who actually hiked with Bill care to comment? ...

Ask Bill???

Rain:sunMan

.

Rain Man
09-11-2006, 09:14
One well know hostel character south of Waynesboro used to swear that rangers (NPS/FS?) gave Bill a substantial ride. Any others ever hear such?

Read his book, twice. Bill recounts lots of rides from helpful Rangers and the like-- to and from towns, interviews, vets, and etc.

Rain:sunMan

.

Lugnut
09-11-2006, 16:20
I've got his book and he signed it.

Tinker
09-11-2006, 16:23
Hello All,

Just wondering - Did Bill Irwin sign in any of the registers or did other folks do it for him? It seems as though I remember that folks might have been signing his name in the registers to throw off the reporters who kept following him.

Anybody out there who actually hiked with Bill care to comment? I have a register or two that I left out there in '89 and were eventually returned to me. There is an entry for Mr. Irwin and I was wondering about its authenticity.

Thanks.

Chris Vreeland

GA->PA '88, PA->ME '89

Mr. Irwin wasn't born blind and wrote for many years while he had his sight. It's relatively easy to find by feel where writing stops in a notebook. He certainly could have signed many registers himself.

ARambler
09-11-2006, 16:31
Bill may be legally blind, but not totally. He signed many registers.
One well know hostel character south of Waynesboro used to swear that rangers (NPS/FS?) gave Bill a substantial ride. Any others ever hear such?

Are you and Rusty trying to stur up trouble?

One Leg
09-11-2006, 18:04
I've been friends with Bill for a few years now. Some here may recall the emotional meeting between he and I at The Rock School in Damascus '04. In July of the same year, I was afforded the unique honor of being welcomed into his home, spending a 3-day weekend with he and Debra.

Prior to that experience, I'd privately wondered some of the same things that others have voiced. But after having spent time with him, if there's nothing else I can say about him, I can say that Bill Irwin is a man of true integrity. If he says he's done something, then you can bet your bottom dollar that he did it.

He surgically had one eye removed, and the remaining eye is said to have no usable vision. For me, that's enough to define blindness. He can't drive, gets around with the aid of a cane and/or guide dog. But what's so amazing is that he doesn't allow his blindness to define who he is, nor limit his activities. As previously stated, he and Debra are building their own log home. Bill uses a forklift to lift & set the logs based on Debra's verbal commands. "A little to the left...Too far... Ok, just right, now set 'er down." I just stared in awe at what he was able to do IN SPITE of his 'limitations'.

I don't place him on the same plane as Jesus Christ, Saint Peter, or the Apostle Paul, but Bill Irwin remains, as always, my personal hero. What he's done is shame the rest of us for our complaints and moanings about what we can't do.

-Scott

Frolicking Dinosaurs
09-11-2006, 18:12
As Scott says, Bill Irwin has true integrity. If he said he did it, that's proof to me.

Chris Vreeland
09-11-2006, 21:04
Thanks for the feedback, folks. I only asked because I was unaware of the extent of Mr. Irwin's visual impairment, not because I had any doubt about him hiking the trail. Of course, it may still be that the signature in my register is not his as I believe other hikers may have been helping him hide from the reporters. In any case, I do enjoy pulling out the old registers from time to time to remember that time in my life.

TTFN,

Chris Vreeland

OldStormcrow
09-12-2006, 00:31
I'm just glad that he decided to get rid of his pistol that he had been carrying when he started the trail. Two thru hikers I met (Rat and Squirrel), upon hearing this, soberly stated "sounds like a bad idea, a blind man with a gun..." I think he decided to ditch it at about Neels Gap and send it home.

Nean
09-12-2006, 01:08
Are you and Rusty trying to stur up trouble?

No. Just wondering if there was any truth coming from MR. Rumor. Personally, I don't believe anything that guy says, but Mr. Irwin was mentioned and I've always been curious if anyone else could shed some light on the unkind remarks. Thank you for your responses.

Bill wasn't totally blind then. Back when he walked he had both eyes and could see shapes and shadows, but not detail. I think the way he put it (speaking at the gathering), was he couldn't really make out faces, but he wasn't going to step off a cliff either. I thought he was genuine. A group of us got together for Sunday morning and at the end of the fellowship we all sang Amazing Grace, led by BIll of course. It was one of the best parts of the whole week-end.

One Leg
09-12-2006, 01:58
I think it's human nature to question something that seems impossible when viewed through "normal" means. When you have anyone who's a high-profile personality on the trail, whether it's Bill, Baltimore Jack, Warren Doyle, Flyin' Bryan, Wingfoot, et.al., there will always be someone somewhere either questioning the feat or stirring up controversy of some sort or another. It's just human nature, pure and simple. It adds to the mystique and legends of the trail.

The question pertaining Bill authoring his own trail registers is a legitimate one. I know that he did sign some himself, and I also know that he had some help in attempting to throw reporters off of his trail. And, that's totally understandable by me..

In '04, I had similar problems with reporters on the trail. It reached a point where, at one time, I wore long pants to hide my leg, changed my name to "Multiplier" and, when asked by one reporter if I'd seen "One-Leg", I replied "Yeah, he passed me about 3 hours ago. He's one quick S.O.B." I sort of felt bad (but only for a fleeting moment) because I couldn't take the time to talk to him, as I had miles to make. In truth, I was, if nothing else, the moped of the A.T. because I hiked so dang slow.

-Scott

Nean
09-12-2006, 09:08
I hear what you are saying One Leg. I'm sure some of it has to do with human nature...... and that some humans are not good people. Reminds me of a guy out "West" who accussed me of attacking him. I confronted him the next time I saw him and pointed out that nothing he said was true. He just smiled and said that being dishonest and trying to discredit someone who is honest is ........ Yep, you guessed it, "just human nature".
Asking questions, for me, clears up controvercy/rumor and I wish more people did.

Rain Man
09-12-2006, 15:34
...Bill wasn't totally blind then. Back when he walked he had both eyes and could see shapes and shadows, but not detail. ...

Not sure I follow. Bill did his hike in 1990.

From my autographed (smile) copy of his book, "My vision problems began in 1968.... That afternoon, I asked ... a medical doctor to look at my eye. Following a thorough examination and further tests, the eye doctor and five of his associates unanimously concluded that I had malignant melanoma in my left eye.... For eight weeks after my eye was removed,.... One morning five years later,... I could see only half the [coffee] mug [with my right eye]. This time, the ophthalmologists ... told me ... that I would eventually become completely blind. By 1976, my sight was completely gone." pp 22-26 of "Blind Courage."

Rain:sunMan

.

Nean
09-13-2006, 00:30
Not sure I follow. Bill did his hike in 1990.

From my autographed (smile) copy of his book, "My vision problems began in 1968.... That afternoon, I asked ... a medical doctor to look at my eye. Following a thorough examination and further tests, the eye doctor and five of his associates unanimously concluded that I had malignant melanoma in my left eye.... For eight weeks after my eye was removed,.... One morning five years later,... I could see only half the [coffee] mug [with my right eye]. This time, the ophthalmologists ... told me ... that I would eventually become completely blind. By 1976, my sight was completely gone." pp 22-26 of "Blind Courage."

Rain:sunMan

.

I can understand how I could be mistaken by a glass eye. If he says his sight was completely gone by '76, hiked in '90 (and I believe that first Hanover gathering was in 90) Maybe I met him in 92, (no matter) he was NOT completely blind. In fact, what he said to me and what you say he said in his book, just don't jive. Sorry.:o :( :eek:

Rain Man
09-13-2006, 09:44
... In fact, what he said to me and what you say he said in his book, just don't jive. Sorry.:o :( :eek:

Well, maybe it's not all that bad. His book does say he could tell sunshine from shade/shadow. Perhaps it's just semantics? I suspect you and he are mostly saying or meaning to say the same thing.

Best to you.

Rain:sunMan

.

Crazy Larry #1
09-13-2006, 13:13
Just to clear things up, here it is from the horses mouth. I emailed Bill this morning with the question of whether he could see or not:
.................................................. .................................................. .
Dear Larry,

Good hearing from you!

They must not have much to do if they have time to discuss this, (big smile).

This question prevails for each new generation of hikers. To clear it up, I didn't tell you I could see shapes here and there, I told you that I have some light perception. This means that albeit I cannot see images I can see the light of the sun. When I look at something I see little lights that are the result of over 500 LASER treatments and they are white, yellow, blue, and green and flicker just like strobe lights. This used to be very distracting but now I have learned to ignore those moving lights from my focus, but it does make it difficult for me to tell whether or not I am in the dark as I never see all black like a sighted person does in the dark. so, technically I am totally blind as I cannot see any images, shadows, or movement, beyond something moving in and out of the way of the light of the sun. I hope this clears up the discussion about me being blind. Sorry to disappoint the skeptics.

How are you doing on the Hallelujah lifestyle. Let me know if you want equipment and/or products I can save you 40% on all as I am a certified helth minister.

IN His perfect grip!

Bill
aka The Orient Express
A.T. Ga-Me 1990
<SCRIPT><!--D(["mb","- Show quoted text -
\n
\n &#160;
\n &#160;
\n ----- Original Message -----
\n From: \n Larry \n Riddle (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/)
\n To: Bill Irwin (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/)
\n Sent: Wednesday, September 13, 2006 8:01 \n AM
\n Subject: Hey Bill
\n

\n Bill,
\n &#160;
\n We have a thread going about you on www.whiteblaze.net (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/) and there is a \n question about whether you are totally blind or not? I remember you telling me \n once that you can see some shapes here and there? This morning you book was \n quoted as saying that you were totally blind?
\n &#160;
\n So Brother Bill, would you please&#160;send to me an email that will \n clear this argument up once and for all.
\n &#160;
\n I believe in you either way,
\n Larry &quot;The Only Wanderer&quot; Riddle

",1]);//--></SCRIPT>

Nean
09-14-2006, 00:12
Thanks RM:sun and too you as well TOW :) I had this on my mind when I first awoke this morning and your PM made me feel much better, as you and he are friends. I thought his blindness was progressive when we spoke way back then. I'm glad Bill is doing well.