By Jennifer Grimes
Triplicate staff writer
S.O.B. can stand for a lot of things. But in Del Norte County, everyone knows it means Sweet Old Bill. And notables from all over the county came out to honor sweet old Bill Stamps yesterday for his 78th birthday.
Hes a radio personality, a promoter for the community to anyone wholl listen and hes a fund-raiser for any good cause you tell him about.
He inspires me and my children to do something good for other people everyday, said Marlece Clogston, the office manager at radio station KPOD, where Stamps has had a morning show for 38 years.
Out of the 50 people who surprised him for a birthday lunch yesterday, at least 10 spoke to how Stamps has benefitted the community and inspired others to do a good turn.
Even ex-presidential candidate Ross Perot has a soft spot for the S.O.B. Yesterday morning, Perot called in to Stamps radio show for a five-minute chat and a birthday greeting.
It seems Stamps sent Perot a tape of favorite songs. One was called Daddy Cut the Big One by the Confederate Railroad. Its easy to guess what that ones about.
Perot was reportedly so impressed with Stamps musical humor, he couldnt help but call in to the show with a thank you.
But, most people appreciate Stamps for his charity.
Bill is a catalyst. He starts something beneficial to the community, and its not long before others join him and the project starts to snowball, gathering momentum as it rolls, said friend Inez Castor.
Stamps raised more than $1,500 for the KidTown playground in Beachfront Park. Last year he organized donations of 26 bicycles to underprivileged children - as he has done the last few years in memory of his late wife Patty Stamps.
Jordan Kekry organized yesterdays party. Kekry has lived in Del Norte County all his life and runs the Julindra Recycling operation.
He said he first met Stamps during the last years of Pattys fight with cancer.
I listened to his show and knew he was running back and forth taking care of his wife in the apartment downstairs and doing the show, Kekry said.
One day I called him up and asked him to lunch, thinking he might want to vent a little.
The two did go to lunch and have been going to lunch ever since.
Bills just that kind of guy, Kekry said.
Its been a busy week for Stamps. On Wednesday night, the Crescent City-Del Norte County Chamber of Commerce announced Stamps as this years Grand Marshall of the Fourth of July Parade.
He is a mentor to students, an advocate for seniors, and a friend to those in need, said Jeff Russell of the chamber about the honor.