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Waltz Me Around by My Willie

Everybody knows Willie, right? Veteran member of the USA’s oldest kennel, the Washington DC Hash House Harriers, elder statesman of American hashing? What? You don’t? You need to get out more!

Bill Singleton, known to hashers everywhere as Willie, lives and hashes in Washington DC (duh), where he’s been on-on for 35 years. During that time he’s served the DCH3 as Beer Can, OnSec, Joint Master, and Hashbassador. Those of you who have met Willie at various national and international hashing events have seen him in his Hashbassadorial role, handing out hats and serving as an inspiration to all of us.

Willie at IAH 2009, giving Pick'n'Flick the coveted DCH3 hat

Willie is a traditional, old-school hasher: a member of a men-only kennel that primarily runs A-to-A, dead hare trails, with singing limited to two or three short down-down songs. I have hashed with Willie and the DCH3, and let me tell those of you who haven’t experienced old-school hashing, you’re missing a great experience.

Let’s meet Willie, shall we?

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Willie, when & where was your first hash, and how did you find out about hashing?

The DCH3 was started in May 1972 by Bill Panton (click here for the Half-Mind Weblog’s interview with Bill Panton) with the help of some other former Mother Hash members. The group was mostly World Bank and State Dept people. A good buddy of mine happened upon DCH3 in the fall of 1975. He excitedly called me and said “Willie, have I got a group for you.” Both of us are still involved.

Is Willie a hash name, or is it your regular nickname?

I have been heavily influenced by Bill Panton. He helped instill in DCH3 some of the traditions done in KL from the early years. For example, like the Mother Hash, DCH3 does not give out hash names, but many of us have nicknames that are used at the hash, thus Willie.

Where have you hashed?

Having a job that involved no relocation or travel, I have mostly hashed in the DC area. I have run with most of the numerous DC area hashes, but DCH3 is my main venue. I have attended 12 Interhashes and 12 IAH events. In addition, I have run in Sweden, Finland, France, England, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Greece, Hong Kong and Singapore while on vacation. My wife’s family lives in Philly, so I have hashed there frequently, helping to keep domestic peace by my absence.

What is your favorite hashing event?

I have come to appreciate smaller, simpler gatherings. In the States, the Revolution does a great job of back to basics. I have attended the past three NZ Nash Hashes, and hope to do both NZ and Australia in 2011.

What do you most love about hashing?  What keeps you coming back?

The people. Living in DC we see a lot of people who are here just a weekend or a few years. It is great to catch up with them on travels . Plus, the DCH3 members are almost family. Many of us have been together over 30 years.

What part of hashing could you do without, if anything?

The short-tenured “know it alls.” Actually, I am not that keen on “know it alls” of any length tenure.

Have your attitudes toward hashing or hashers changed over the years?

As my body, mostly ankles, have failed, I am more tolerant of those that do not prove themselves on the “ball buster” trails. However, I do think it is important to do trail in some manner.

What do you think you’ve contributed to hashing?

I’d like to think that I have helped spread good cheer, fellowship, and hats.

Did you enjoy reading this Half-Mind Interview? Click here for more!

© 2010, Flying Booger. All rights reserved.


About Flying Booger  Hash House Harrier, man about town.


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