Aussie Kron’s Wildest Bloke Is A Fellow Named Bill Jolly
Billy Jolly (left) and Kron Nicholas (right)
BY KRON NICHOLAS
Bill Jolly was the wildest bloke I’ve ever come across in all my years as a pilot for Quantas. He was also one of the best instructor I ever had. We used to fly from about 2 in the morning at a place called Blyth in the desert in the Mojave Desert. Just a lonely strip with no back up services 35 minutes from San Diego. On return we’d drive down to Mexico in his pickup and drink all day at a place on the beach an hour south of Tijuana. Sleep the night and repeat the performance every other day.
Bill was an alcoholic presenting himself in whatever outrageous way the currant climate allowed at the time. Bars, women and fighting were part of the whole scene followed by indepth discussions of why the world was as it really was. Mixed in my spoils were free trips to see my grandparents, Aba and Nonnina in Los Gatos who I hadn’t seen in a life time, who for some odd reason I got on well with. Don’t really see why as I was in a state of drying out most of the time between another trip to Blyth finishing up in Mexico again.
Bill liked us as we had a free spirit approach to flying and existed without the constipated attitudes the Japanese had almost committing Hari Kari if they fucked up instead of going to Mexico and drinking another 10 gallons of pineapple and rum laced booze out of a half coconut stem and forgetting about it.
We trainees had our problems as well. One older Captain threw up his hands and flew home to retire and has never been seen again. Another sobbed for a few hours and tried again but failed. Stress was a standard operation of the day. On the other hand we younger ones had a fresh approach and elastic minds . We were there to learn and had no preconceived ideas of anything other than how to have as much fun as possible and take 727 flying ops back to Australia safely. In fact we were very popular I think making a lasting impression on future Aussie/ American relationships fostered even into today’s wars in the Mid East. We should be receiving a hefty allowance for doing so.
Bill took the pledge after coming out to see us here and staying at the farm. He’s a bit boring now after joining AA.. Is a Born Again Christian and lectures me continuously on my inability to make heaven in any shape or form. He had a fetish about Asian women, for which one could hardly blame him and he’d spend hours on dating sites and when Sue, his wife got sick of the competition she kicked him out and took him to the cleaners financially. She and new husband Wade live at Marco Is. and are the ones we stay with down there.
Wade is the fellow who writes ghost books on someone else’s life and charges $100000 a time. He’s had a stroke recently and can’t write anymore. Bill married a Pilipino women called Eve. A very good looking girl and had four more kids and still works in aviation looking after the logistics of a 747 freighter which goes to Europe twice a month and is the same age as me. I write to Sue’s brother Monty who was a submarine navy Capt. I find a good communicator, and interesting as well with his finger on the pulse of American politics.
He’s diametrically opposite to some beliefs! Retired down in Naples, Florida and I don’t think has vast means of fiscal support after a couple of divorces.
They were a bloody interesting crew. `They fitted my mode of life exactly. Given a slightly different gene make up and without the constraints of family, business and flying I could have easily ended up with a booze problem. Many of my friends over the years have fallen by the wayside, died, or become overly boringly conscience of the way they run their lives. Sitting down with a group of men, (usually), at a bar in New Guinea or on some over night round the world. Or after shearing sheep at some outback pub or anywhere given the chance added enormously to ones views of the world and where we sat in the pecking order. I’ve no doubt a parallel exists in journalism.
I enjoyed the experience and still do, but can’t drink like I used to and am currently running out of wilder partners who I miss a lot.
That was Bill in a nut shell.