Our friend and advocate, Bill Unger, passed away earlier today from complications of leukemia. Many, if not most, of us knew that this day was coming, but while we knew, our knowledge didn’t soften the blow one bit. I feel a disturbance in the force; the vitality of our pipe community has been diminished.
As editor of The Pipe Collector, Bill gave NASPC and pipe enthusiasts everywhere a voice. Although he was an extremely accomplished writer, himself, he put his skills to work making the rest of us look better than we really are. He had a rare gift that many editors lack: a gracious, generous, and encouraging spirit. When a submission came over the transom, he was actually grateful, even though every article submitted created more work for him. He also made sure the real voice of the writer came through in everything he edited. As a result, every issue of The Pipe Collector contained not just an array of articles, but an array of diverse and authentic voices. Bill gave the average guy who sweated over an article the enormous satisfaction of seeing his words and thoughts in print.