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To the Editor,
A handshake, a big smile and “see you next time” were just some of the trademarks of this man from Knightdale — a man who seemed to know everyone, or at least we all knew him. A man who just wanted to revisit history or make us aware of the past. He never had a bad TV show.
The “Billy Wilder Show” never went national, he just wanted to tell the story one more time and if you saw the show you got the story first-hand. He wasn’t Paul Harvey, but he was just a southern gentleman who grew up in Knightdale and loved the town and its people. He also had friends in Wendell and Zebulon and he would interview them whenever he could work them in during the year.
He never got an Oscar or a Golden Globe, but he did get the satisfaction that what he felt was important to him might just be to others and it was. It was his style, that smile and a few questions that got people talking and he was set to go.
Mr. Wilder felt at ease in front of the camera and it came across on the TV. He always tried to find some humor to help break the ice with the viewers. He was good with the mic — it was like a visit to his house. The main thing he wanted to do was tell the history of the community and how good it was to revisit and make others know their history.
Age has slowed Mr. Wilder now. But it would be good to see if they could get his show up and running again. He’s too much a resource not to have on. It would be good to see him “next time” and soon.
Billy, take care — you’re missed by your friends and family that came to know you on TV. There are some things you can’t get enough of and he was one.