TIIIMBERRR!!!
by Bill Raymond

Bill Willingham (Willie) had one thing that he was very proud of. He had a pair of Mexican-Rowel spurs that were so large and made so much noise that you couldn't help but notice them. He loved those spurs and wore them at every opportunity.

One day we were doing a show called, THE KILLING OF DORA HAND. In this show, Willie was playing the part of "Dog" Kelly, the mayor of Dodge City, Kansas. Kelly was a "suitor" of the beautiful Dora Hand, a saloon girl who was highly thought of in Dodge. In our version of the story; one day, when Dora (played at this time by Vicky Swaim) and Kelly met on the street and were talking, another of her "suitors", Spike Kennedy, in a jealous rage, tries to kill Kelly, accidentally shooting Dora instead. As Dora lies, dying in the street, a very saddened Kelly removes his coat, carefully folds it and crouches down, placing it gently under her head. Dora, then dies in Kelly's arms. An enraged Kelly, then rises to face Kennedy, who is still standing in the street, not believing what he has done.

Well, Willie, as he always did, was playing the role to the hilt, crying over the dead girl and building a large amount of rage toward the cowboy in the street ...

Willie leapt to his full five feet, eight inches, raising his hand in the air, looking something like the Statue of Liberty and turned on the frozen cowboy...

Actually, he tried to turn...

While he had been crouching down, holding Dora, the rowels of his spurs had locked together. When Willie rose and turned, only his body from the ankles up moved...

And then, straight as could be, like a tall pine tree - TIIIMBERRR!!! - Without bending and with his hand still in the air, Willie went face-first into the deep dirt of the Silvertown street...

It was hard to finish the show after that ... everyone was laughing so hard... However, being the troupers that we were, we did finish... But, to his dying day, we never let Willie live that episode down.