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Remembering Bill Morancy


by Rick Winston

Bill Morancy
Bill Morancy

“We’ll never run out of show ideas,” Bill Morancy would often exult as we’d finish taping a television show called “Talking About Movies” for Onion River Public Access. It was a characteristic expression for Bill — of joy at the prospect of sharing his enthusiasms with the world at large. We didn’t run out of ideas, but Bill sadly ran out of time. He died on Monday, December 28, just two months after a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.

Bill was one of this area’s distinctive personalities, and one of its greatest appreciators. He often said that these last 10 years of his life were his happiest. Besides co-hosting the show, he had been a clerk at Bear Pond Books, a projectionist at The Savoy, a contestant at storytelling events, a concessionaire with Circus Smirkus and was the curator of a popular Sunday morning film series. He had close friends, meaningful work and the sense that he was contributing to a vibrant community.

Bill was a native of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, of French-Canadian and Irish heritage. After an unsatisfying stint in the white-collar world (law and insurance), he moved to Martha’s Vineyard, where he worked at a variety of jobs: video store and bookstore clerk, baker, surveyor, movie projectionist and housepainter. He spearheaded a successful effort to establish a community radio station (WVVY) that is still thriving.

He first became acquainted with Central Vermont in the mid 1990s when he rented a house on Nelson Pond in order to escape the intense summertime invasion of Martha’s Vineyard. Later, when it came time to leave the Cape, he thought of Montpelier and its welcoming atmosphere. We are all the richer for that decision.

As one of his close friends commented this week, “those of us who were near enough, geographically, to support Bill in his final months, were struck by the variety and range of all who enjoyed and were affected by his personality and passions for film, adventure, good conversation, culture and play.”

A springtime memorial service is planned. If you would like to give a gift in Bill’s name, he asked that donations go to a fund for the furthering of film culture in central Vermont. Make checks out to the “Bill Morancy Film Fund” and send to: Rick Winston, Box 32, Adamant, VT 05640.

(Many of the 150+ “Talking About Movies” shows are available to watch online, at https://vimeo.com/talkingaboutmovies/videos )