A party is planned on Sunday to celebrate the new bench. Though Bill is now in a wheelchair and won't be able to hike to the bench in Huddart Park, his wife Marla says in this op-ed in The Almanac that park rangers have agreed to drive him down the trail to see the bench. (That's Bill and Marla in a photo taken at a 2002 Press Club awards banquet.)
She says Bill suggested the bench, with the sign "Bill loves Marla and Marla loves Bill, when the couple's lawyer asked what he wanted to include in his trust.
- We contacted San Mateo County Parks to see how we might make the bench a reality and found that we could get a bench put in for $3,200. Well, we couldn't afford it, not with all the medical expenses and the horrendous cost of caring for Bill who is in an assisted living home.
We thought that was that, but then I had an idea. Why not ask for help?
So, we asked our friends and family to chip in to help pay for the bench. People from all over the world donated — from Greece, Germany, Austria, Canada — and from across the country — Illinois, Minnesota, Massachusetts, New York, California, Arizona, Kansas, Tennessee, Florida.
Even San Mateo County Supervisor Rose Jacobs Gibson and Dr. Martha Kanter, chancellor of Foothill-De Anza Community College who has been nominated for Under Secretary of Education, contributed. Through the generosity of so many good people, we raised enough money, and now the bench is a reality.