The Big Yin and me
Billy is a uniquely sweet man of many skills, although banjo-playing is not the most memorable. What is outstanding is the huge story of how much he learned from what might otherwise have been considered terrible misfortune and I will be sorry and sad when he goes. Abandoned at age 4 in Glasgow docklands, under WW2 German bombing by a teen Mother so desperate she left two kids, while her husband was at War, to be raised, awfully, by the fathers sisters.What a shame Soldier Connolly returned and did what he did to a 10 year old – for five awful years. I cannot imagine the feeling of being abandoned at 4. Being taken in by two ignorant cruel unhappy punishing Glaswegian aunts and then the huge innocent luminous unbridled joy seeing your Dad come home from the war. To free you from this hellhole and be your dad.
Not only did that child learn to process the crippling misfortune of a degraded father to his advantage, but he learned to how to share the lessons as they were revealed to him. The student became the teacher. To the extent I will thank him for therapy in my own life. Which I think is how he will be remembered by many if not most.
A great and articulate therapist. Motivated by the highest good.
I am 5.8. I realize now, because much of our time was spent standing, that he must have been slouching slightly to not make our height difference uncomfortable for me. That required some effort and some intention.
Interesting on some level because he is known onstage as a very tall man. The big Yin. I see now that it was a very sensitive interaction skill.
He smiled a lot too. And asked about me. Personal stuff. Smart. “As I live and breathe.” I came away convinced he was grateful to have met me. I thought. ‘What a humble man‘. He mirrored me. Same height, same civility, same impression of humility, same pace of delivery, same gratuitous use of the smile.