Thanks to the hotel owner in Huanchaco we know Billy Bob’s real name, Wilbur Holden, but a guy across the street from the club where we camped 30 years earlier tells us Billy Bob died of lung cancer in 1989. Which kinda makes sense when I look closer at my mother’s journal entry.I remember that night. My dad paced up and down the length of the camper’s tiny corridor, saying “The kids are asleep, right? They can’t see me like this.” Of course we weren’t.
It’s sad, not getting to meet the man who got my father to loosen up, and who fed us hamburgers from his cool club. A dreary drive back along the beach and we talk to the hotel owner who knew him once. Apparently my dad wasn’t Billy Bob’s only party partner. He drank away the club’s profits and before it finally closed he couldn’t pay the light bill. Customers had to drink by candlelight. Sounds lovely, actually.