Gilbertisms and Wisdoms - Bil Gilbert Memories
Picture of Bil taken in the Arctic by John Thomson
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Lyn Gilbert
1/30/2012 08:29:43 pm

Stay in contact Tyrone!

Lyn Gilbert
1/30/2012 08:49:24 pm

Miscellaneous doggerel penned by Bil...

If there is no laughter
In the great Hereafter
We might as well
Go off to Hell.

Being forever tidy and neat
Is not in fact such a gaudy feat
Rather it is a strong indication
Of quite limited imagination

At least so far it can be truthfully said,
Everything He made has ended up dead.
The big question is whether or not this denies
God's reputation for being so very wise?

Do not shed any tears
At the end of my years.
Ha, ha, ha and a Ho, ho ho.
That is the way we ought to go.

It is plain to see
How nice life would be
If there was much less obsessing
About more and more possessing.

If you want to be thought a know it all,
Master a subject which is very small,
One that only a fuddy duddy
Will think to be worthy of study.

Worse than the hobgoblins of smallish minds
Are hideous demons of other kinds.
Consider the grim trolls
Hiding in hubris holes.

Only the intellectually poor and needy
Are greatly bedazzled by the quick and speedy.
An abundance of proof
Supports this simple truth.

Lyn Gilbert
1/30/2012 08:54:54 pm

ONE MORE.. He had it starred! :)
What may seem to be- when compared to the norms-
Very eccentric behaviors and mutant forms
Inspire the perpetual revolution
That many now speak of as evolution.

Lyn Gilbert
1/30/2012 09:08:30 pm

Some of Bil's proverbs we found. He had a lot of fun coming up with these and using them to make people think.

To err is human, to forgive is less so.

To forgive is prudent, to forget is foolish.

It is a buyer's market for souls: there are more sellers than buyers of souls.

Persistence is the solution of the confused.

Resentment is the honorable response to charity.

It is impossible to see a forest without trees.

To the devout, collections appear to be organizations.

Sloth without guilt is like a serpent without fangs.

Hope is the nostalgia of the future.

Choice without regret is beastly.

To deny luck is to embrace hubris.

Bob Waldrop
2/13/2012 02:26:03 am

I remember Bil also saying; "There is nothing like hitting a nail on the head with an old saw"

The Three Wicked Sisters
1/30/2012 10:33:41 pm

"Don't get snippy with ME!"

Kate Gilbert
1/30/2012 10:35:24 pm

Look for beauty everywhere and be grateful.
(Lessons from my father. Good advice for the family pessimist.)

Kacy Gilbert-Gard
1/31/2012 01:54:03 am

You're on vacation, you can do anything you want...except sleep in tall trees and throw rocks through windows.

Amanda Markovich
1/31/2012 02:03:07 am

Hate is such a strong word, you should say you dislike something.

Colleen & Tracy, from the J-School Days
1/31/2012 03:33:39 am

“When you’re angry, find out what you’re afraid of—that’s what’s making you angry.”

“When you’re in love with what you’ve written—throw it away; it’s shit.”

The second angriest I've ever seen him was the time I used the word "penned" as a verb in a Bil bio for the radio show, Good Dirt: "Don't ever write something that ridiculous again."

"Cheesecake is always an effective bribe for a grade," to a class full of competitive, aspiring reporters. I think even he was surprised at the bounty of cream cheese desserts that materialized that week in Neff Hall.

Kate and Lyn
1/31/2012 03:35:54 pm

Perhaps the Red-tailed hawk flew away in disdain on Sunday due to the use of "penned" in both his obituary and this website. Who knew!!
We've all gotten quite a chuckle out of it-thanks!

1/31/2012 04:00:46 pm

I've always thought inconsistency accompanied the commitment to contrarianism. I mean, don't you think that statistically you're just gonna flip-flop some of the time if you've got to be challenging every single thing? I'll be he's beaming in pride at the things that you have "penned" on these pages. :-)

2/2/2012 01:20:53 am

Nice hat, Ky!

Lee Gilbert
2/5/2012 03:21:15 am

"Primarily juniper..."

2/7/2012 07:17:20 am

Good one Lee! Coati poop!

mary jane
2/8/2012 04:51:27 pm

Lyn, "primarily huniper..." came up as we were talking about our lessons in scatology and a Sunday coati outing in which you noted as Bil was examining -- a scat find that he was quite pleased with as definitely coati (no doubt primarily juniper) -- that had any of us found the same scat, it would have been dismissed as a coyote dropping.

mary jane
2/8/2012 04:52:41 pm

O I meant to type "Juniper" not huniper!

Regan Fader
2/5/2012 06:27:32 am

get out a big bowl
cut up cooked chicken... cook 8 oz. spaghetti
2 cans cream of chicken soup
16oz sour cream
sauteed MUSHROOMS! (brown in1/4-1/2C 'butter')
MIX it all in the big bowl, then spoon to casserole pan, cover w/parmesan cheese (be generous),
BAKE 350 for 45 minutes (cheese should bubble on edges)

Doug Ratchford
2/7/2012 12:37:48 am

"When you find something you can eat, eat it!"

Summer 1971 at the cabin in the Huachuca Mtns.

2/7/2012 07:17:55 am


2/9/2012 06:10:46 am

HIppity-gee, hippity-gee, hippity-gee!!

2/10/2012 01:11:37 am

If you can make it through the teenage years and you are still friends after all said and done then you know you did a good job.

2/13/2012 04:37:22 pm

I think this may have been something from his dad that I remember Bil quoting once in a while as a conundrum to entertain: "A feebly growing down"

and while we were all reading the John Barth's "Sotweed Factor," we were forever on a quest to find a rhyme for the word "orange."

jim lawless
10/4/2016 09:55:32 pm

Dick Cavett solved that decade ago: door hinge.

Dudley Keller
3/29/2012 11:29:03 pm

Oh my, all these Gilbertisms...I hope Bil and my Dad meet in heaven. THEY will have so much fun sharing wit, wisdom and humor. I remember Bil's motto from a crow convention circa 1995:

"Adapt or die"!

This has served me/us well over the years.

Mike Antolin
4/7/2012 01:36:12 am

The hockey games up at Blue Ridge Summit (Comet Lake?) in the 70's were epic: Deegans, Gilberts, Antolins, Broussards, and who knows who else. Besides the great skill Bill displayed on the ice, he pointed out how the cold spring water feeding the lake was probably one of the most delicious and increasingly rare things in the world. On one of those clear bright days, he also taught me the word "scatological", sitting after the skate, smoking a cigarette. I was 12 or 13 years old. Now 40 years later I wish I'd learned more words from him, and I still play hockey.

4/11/2012 03:20:31 am

While visiting with the Gilberts in Fairfield after my first quarter of engineering studies at Drexel University, I proudly spoke of the “high-tech” ( aspects of my metallurgy studies. Bil admonished me about the meaninglessness of the word “high-tech” and other similar words being introduced into our vernacular by the corporate world. Since that day, I’ve observed language mutations that appear to be similarly grounded. For example, before completing my studies, metallurgy mutated into “materials science and engineering.” In later years, patent law mutated into “intellectual property law.” Today, chemistry, biology, and physics that has been around since at least the time of Richard Feynman’s ( 1959 talk entitled “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom” ( is today being pitched to us using the term “nanotechnology.” I’m confident that further examples exist. I thank Bil for admonishing me that day decades ago while wishing that I could have spent more time in his company so as to have gleaned more.

Regan Fader
1/28/2013 05:33:28 pm

So, Mom (Ruth) made tetrazzini (sp), comfort food of choice, this weekend, and got me thinking about you all (y'all!) Love you Cousins & Aunt Ann!!

Dave Jones
9/19/2015 11:31:31 am

I may have talked to Bil once but I knew his mother as a dear friend. Marge Gilbert was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kolar Town, Mysore State in South India. I never new her age but she was an active Peace Corps Volunteer in 1966 and she may have been in her sixties. I was in my twenties and we had many discussions.. She told me stories of Bil wrestling bears, and raising owls. Bil was quite a personality and I think he got that from his mom.

lee gibson
12/12/2015 09:19:29 am

Very nice indeed. I wish I have discovered Bil sooner. But late does not mean negligence. We all have too much to do and not enough time to do it all.

I absolutely an sure that "Westering Man" should be classified a Classic. Makes me know I missed knowing a great mind.

jim lawless
10/4/2016 09:57:06 pm

I have been searching for a source for early Corvi Chronicles. I have the last 15 or so, but can't find a location for the rest. I loved them.
Corvi 352


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