Bill Clemons of Clemons Ford Motor Company, a company icon in Comanche, Texas, lost his bout with cancer this past week, and I’ve thought of little else since then, probably because I cannot remember a time when I didn’t know Bill. He was just the kind of man that you know when you live in a small town.
I first heard of Bill and his father Ira from my grandfather when I was a little girl. I don’t suppose Granddad ever even considered buying a vehicle from anyone besides Bill or his father before him, and Granddad bought a lot of vehicles. (In fact, just this past Christmas I gave my brothers a video of Bill talking about some of those car sales.)
As I grew older, I knew Bill myself. He was a Comanche Maiden supporter, and I always knew all was right with the world when I could see Bill standing and cheering. He loved all things Comanche, and that extended out to a bunch of high school girls. Somewhere, I even have letters from Bill, letters of congratulations or encouragement for some accomplishment in my life.
Those letters meant so much more than he ever knew to a high school girl just trying to survive the craziness of the sixties and seventies.
The year we set the National Record there was no louder supporter in the state than Bill Clemons. We were a part of his town, and he loved everything about that town.
Of course, Bill’s true love was Comanche Indian football. He was the voice of the Indians for thirty years, a voice that cannot be immulated simply because Bill Clemons had a voice that was bigger than life, and believe me he used it! There was absolutely nothing like a Friday night in Indian Stadium with Bill Clemons at the mic.
In fact, the man and the voice had the power to suck the oxygen completely out of the room when he made his entrance. I don’t believe that was his intent, but it was the truth. Even at the age of 87, Bill could walk into my house, and the house would immediately give him the floor, something Bill Clemons never refused!
A couple of years ago, Bill and I took a road trip around Comanche County so that I could pick his brain on everything he could remember about the county. This past year I invited Danny Armstrong and Bill to get together with me to try to recapture some things that I knew Bill could tell us. Below are a couple of the videos that came from that day.
I will miss you, Bill. We all will.