Sunday, August 30, 2009

From Karin "Cinderella"

Let`s dream of a world of magic.
Let`s dream of the wonder which every day are around us!
That`s our life and nature.
Don`t forget to dream and look at the nice things around you!

Lass uns von Zauberwelten träumen, von den Wundern, die jeden Tag Ă¼berall um uns geschehen.

Happy Birthday, dear my friend Willie!
Cinderella [Karin from Germany]

From Eslina

Yummy cupcakes for Willie ;-D
Wishing you joy, happiness and lots of love and many many happy returns Willie!


From Annie Poon

Willie, you have been such a wonderful friend and motivator for me.  Here is a photo I took of you at a Henri Moore exhibit in Rome while on a wonderful tour of Italy. 

I would like to compliment you on being able to help others through emotional difficulty, be they ever so small, like creative blocks especially!  You have a special way of taking on a challenge as if it is a blessing to make us stronger. 

From Ed Zahra

Being 50 has come at last...
I cannot see, I cannot pee,
I cannot chew, I cannot screw.
My memory shrinks... My hearing stinks...
No sense of smell... I look like hell!!!
My body is drooping... Got trouble pooping.
Being 50 has come at last...
Being 50 can kiss my ass!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

From Kellye Kimball

A few highlights from my time as Willie’s friend:

Halloween 1993 - The first annual egg costume: Fried Egg. You can kinda make out the spatula in my right hand.

1994 - The perfect client! Well, theoretically. Remember the hidden bookmarks in the library that caused a mob to rip books off the shelves? Good times.

Halloween 1995 - Huevos Rancheros: notice the boots and invisible cowboy hat.

Summer of 1996 - We suit up to fly.

And away we flyyyyyy!

Halloween 2000 at GroupBaronet - Me: Eggplant; You: pimp?

2000 GB retreat in Broken Bow, OK - “That looks easy,” I say confidently.

“Easy with a bit of help from a pal.”

“This is EXACTLY what the armadillo looked like!”

2004 - Willie gets in touch with one of his many feminine sides as Dawn gives him a manicure.

December 2005 - New Year’s Eve crew at Willie’s

March 2006 - After torrential rains, the spillway at White Rock Lake was electric. I joined the kids standing at the railing getting our feet and calves soaked as water surged over the concrete retaining wall. Later that same day, the railing and concrete fell into the river. The city is currently working on fixing/improving the area.

2007 - Candi waddles by.

Then realizes I might have food hidden in my camera somewhere.

August 2007 - Willie and Tanya throw me a FANTABULOUS 40th birthday party with an “Odd Duck” theme. No idea where they got that idea. :-) Mom, Jonathan, Willie and Dad are a few of the celebrants.

The hosts and birthday girl.

The guests, hosts and birthday girl. Willie and Tanya had duck illustrations and jokes all over the walls. Everyone had a ducky time.

February 2008 Dick Patrick’s Casino Night - Somehow I ended up on the “stage” with other unsuspecting women in a “Who Can Blow Up The Biggest Condom Balloon AND Tie A Knot?” contest. I had enough hot air; the knot eluded me in the excitement of the competition. After someone else won, I finally finished the knot. Tanya and Willie stood by and cheered. What pals. :-/

May 2008 - Willie's pic of Dot, my recently deceased silver-laced Wyandotte.

December 2008 - New Year’s at Tanya’s

April 2009 - I only had ONE California roll. I swear!! Sushi Axiom rocks!

August 2009 - Me and the man at Stephanie and Scott’s going away dinner.

We have seen and done many things in our 17 years as friends and coworkers. You know how much I love you; I have written you more cards than I care to count. I am blessed and honored to have you in my life. You help me look at things differently and challenge me to repeatedly step outside my ever-enlarging comfort zone. We laugh, cry, pontificate, ruminate and even prognosticate together. One of the best things about aging is getting to better know one’s friends. Here’s to getting to know one another for another 17 years.

With much love and endless squishy-boob hugs,

From Gary Sawyer

So you're making the next crossover to the BIG 5-0. Congratulations and rejoice! Life really is all spirited and alive at 50! It should be The Best Decade of your life. Celebrate and enjoy the transition life is bringing you. Get a car you can dream and drive with excitement! Have a lot of friends and party casually at every opportunity. Keep your wits about you and don't blow everything you've accumulated or earned. But have fun now and enjoy every day. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow is not here yet. Today is now and we should all live for today as each new day comes.

Your friend,

From Steve Kerr

Dude, thanks for teaching me everything I know! Happy Birthday and Michael sends his Birthday wishes too! Let's get together for a pick-up game soon, but take it easy on us man.

From David Brennan

Happy 50th, man. Isn't that far away for me either. Just wanted to tell you how much it meant for me to receive my talisman from you at LOMG 4/08.  For whatever reason on the side of sentimentality, it was an honor and one that I will cherish. So was the PIT that followed. It wouldn't have been the same or as spiritual without you.
Much love and then some,
David Brennan
Standing Light Bear

From Alicia Souza

It's Allie, from down under, sending you a pin-up for your birthday. And you and Tanya have an invitation to come down anytime. :)

Love, hugs & smooches-

From Conor Muldoon

Happy birthday Willie!
Congrats on makin' it to 50! What a mile marker! I just want to say thank you. In a time in my life when I wasn't sure which way was up, you approached me and offered your support. I had been beaten down, deprived of that which I thought I needed, and then there was the Pit..... What a journey! And waiting on the other side was a man willing to support and guide me even though we had never met before. This made all the difference for me. At the end of the weekend I felt so good and yet, still very alone. It wasn't until you offered your support that the weekend truly came together for me. Thank you Willie, for being a man for others and for showing me what it really means to be a man. Aho!

P.S. I can't wait to see your show at Hal's. Keep me updated.

From Jett Ray

Happy 50th, my friend! I feel so blessed to have met you...never would I have thought that being an extra for "Friday Night Lights" would have opened the door to such a great and lasting friendship. Spending numerous hours on the endzones and sidelines of Texas Stadium laughing, singing, dancing, sharing our secrets, frailties and all sorts of other "Libra" stuff(lol), was an experience I will never forget.

You are an amazing artist, a super-duper supportive friend, and a stellar human being. Honestly, there are times that I've felt as though my endeavors are in vain and I want to give up...and then I hear an encouraging word from you, and for that moment...I know I should keep going, and keep doing what I do. Thank you so very much for all the love and support, but most of all..thank you for your friendship.

I feel honored to be a part of an opportunity to thank you and show appreciation for you and all you do.

Much, Much Love,

From Natalie Elliott

There are many great things about you Mr. Willie and the best of all is you have an awesome girlfriend who is a super amazing friend to me. I honor the love, support and care you give her.
Gimme a W,
gimme an I,
gimme an L,
gimme another L,
gimme an I,
gimme an E.
What does it spell? WILLIE!!!! Go Willie Gooooooooooo!

From Andy Spiegel

For 10 years, I have known Willie Baronet. Not one Willie, but three.

First, there was Willie the colleague and collaborator. From 1999 to 2002, while I was at Motorola and his agency, GroupBaronet, he was my main creative resource, we did many projects together – easy ones, tough ones, successful ones, and a few duds. But whatever the project, working with Willie and his creative team made it fun. In fact, in my then-35 years working with creative folks, I had never worked with anyone harder working, more inventive, more dedicated. When the business relationship ended (along with my paycheck at Motorola), I lost one of the best creative partners I’d ever had – or have had since.

But by then, fortunately, I had gained Willie the close friend. Actually, we had started becoming friends almost immediately; it’s what made the work relationship so happy and productive (despite the inevitable corporate stresses). Though separated in years by more than 15, we found much in common – likes and dislikes, hopes and fears, questions about life, what it means to be a caring man, and best of all, a wry sense of humor and fun. We also enjoyed the same kind of offbeat movies.

And then there was Willie the Warrior. I was initiated into the Austin Mankind Project in August 2000. Knowing even that early in our friendship that Willie as an avid seeker of truth, wisdom and of his own deepest self, I invited him to “go through” an initiation weekend. Without reluctance or reservation, he did so, a display of friendship and trust that thrills me to this moment. I had the honor to be on the staff that weekend and to watch Willie experience everything I had experienced – the fears, the joys, the comradeship, and the self-learning. That weekend is one of the great joys of my adult life, but an even greater thrill and source of pride has been watching Willie ascend into a major leadership role in the Mankind Project (just read the comments of other Warriors on this page) and to incorporate the lessons and values of the organization into his life.

So, Willie, my vendor, my friend, and my Brother – I take this occasion of your 50th birthday to tell you that I love you, and that I count myself blessed and honored to have crossed paths with all of you, and that I look forward to many years of discovering new Willies as you, yourself, discover them.

From Raymond Poche

Willie - It's easy to convey the feelings I have for you. I-group with you has regularly allowed me to see a man that is not only willing to do his work, but who shows a mastery when facilitating other that regularly leaves me in awe. You selflessly share your home and your gold each week in a way that makes me feel special and acknowledged. You are able to "language" your blessings and insights in a gentle and compassionate way that speaks truth to my heart. Guessing that turning 50 is a good time to look back and take stock in what difference your life has meant to you and those you have touched. I am proud to say that I am one of those touched souls that has felt your love. Blessings and enjoy your special day - Raymond

From Dennis Benoit

Happy 50 Willie!

From one Coon Ass to another... It ain't so bad.


From Chris Bonney

Dear Willie,
We’ve never met, yet I feel like I know you. Ian Summers first told me about you. I’ve been hooked on your good nature, your illustrations and your wonderfully askew sense of humor ever since.

Speaking as someone who passed the 50-year mark long enough ago to not want to say just how long ago it was—though I’m still younger than Walt Taylor (a.k.a. Wally Torta a.k.a. Sparky Donatello a.k.a. Rueben Fletcher)!—I urge you not to look upon this juncture as something upsetting. Don’t worry that AARP has stepped up its attempts to draw you into its eternal flame. Rather, look upon this as the beginning of a time of life characterized by the freedom that comes from discarding a lot of stuff that isn’t, and never was, important. You can concentrate on the people and the things that mean the most to you. Nobody will care if you wear the same shirt three days in a row. Or that you mix up your socks. Or that your hair gets a little unruly. Or that gray hair starts popping out in places you never thought hair could grow. It doesn't hurt to drool a little when you need to stall because you can't remember the name of someone you've known all your life. Things like that are expected of you now. They’re all part of the patina of being an official grownup.

If all else fails, take comfort in the knowledge that you might qualify for the Senior Citizen discount at Kroger’s on Tuesdays. Don’t be ashamed to use it. Ensure ain’t cheap.

With the very best regards,
Chris Bonney

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

From Brian & Bonnie Plikaytis

Hi Willie,
Bonnie and I have many, many fond memories of sharing hikes and meals at the IRMR. We do miss those gatherings. If you two ever go back, please let us know. I have particular memories of Willie guiding us up to Goat Lake. According to the guide books, this was one of the most treacherous hikes in the Sawtooths and Willie got us up and back without harm or injury. Another hike that we have very fond memories of is the trek to Lookout Mountain - I'm still extremely impressed that Tanya was able to do that really strenuous hike the day after getting off the airplane from Texas. Willie, we hope you have a grand entrance to the second half of your hopefully century-long life. We're sorry we can't be there but we'll hoist a glass in your honor.

Take care and much love from Bonnie and Brian
Happy Birthday,

I have this on our refrigerator door. Memories of very happy times.

From Neil Pflum

Willie, you are a man who cares very deeply for people. I saw it in our men's training and in our weekly men's group that you facilitated. You volunteered to be my mentor and spend time with me, even when it meant eating at 4:30 PM at Luby's to fit my schedule.

I know at the time, that you objected to eating at 4:30 PM, because that was what OLD people did, and back then we were still young. Now that I am still very young, but you are in your fifties, I'll bet you rarely eat after 5:00 PM and I'll bet Luby's is one of your favorite haunts. ;-) (To be honest, I wish we had a Luby's here in Hawaii. I miss their food. Really!)

My friend, you have a huge heart and a soul to match. Even though our time together was brief, you have made an indelible mark inside me with your beautiful spirit and your unwavering commitment to the transformation of the human race, one man (person) at a time.

Bless you my Brother, you are truly heaven sent.

From Meta Newhouse

I baked these all for you!
I hope you have an amazing five-o!!!!


From Kristin Forsell Warren

You are a wonderful human-being! My time at GroupBaronet, meeting and working with you was a treasure. I can't believe I was ever intimidated by you.

I read most things you put on the web and just thought that these were hilarious:

25. Male pattern baldness, female pattern ___________________?

27. You are the ruler of your own country, briefly describe your flag.

Both of them brought me back to the days of working together. I also giggled out loud :)

I hope life is GRAND for you!
Happy Birthday.

From Christopher Stanley

I've never met Willie, but I know of him.

I worked for Brice Beaird / Beaird Agency as an art director and later senior art director from the late 90's until the agency eventually dissolved in the early 'oughts. All the while, there was a silent respect/competition/understanding of "BARONET" down the street. There was a time, even, when I thought about taking my book down the road and seeing what Willie thought. I never did; probably should have.

Nevertheless, I've enjoyed meeting him on facebook and seeing the things he's posted and the impressions and art he's left. His is one of the first posts I tend to go to throughout my day.

He's an amazing creative force and for that, I'd like to call him a friend.

Happy Birthday!

From Andrew Graham

Music is the poetry of the air. I'd not know how to breath with out you Willie. You showed me my inner strength, and you showed me the beauty of my surroundings.

I've always known, but you reminded me of the importance of application of these powers within... for that I will be forever grateful.

Happy Birthday.
-Andrew Graham

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

From Julia Gibson

Bless you on your big day and enjoy your journey!

Although a novice at best, I must share:
Here are a few works I've completed of late. Very noteworthy because I hadn't painted in years until this past couple of months. I was inspired by wonderful experiences like my art retreat at Double J Hacienda Ranch and by people like you. I look forward to seeing your daily quotes and creative musings on Facebook so very much.

Isn't it amazing how Willie can grace the lives of so many, even if he only sees them every few years at a Polyphonic Spree gig...?

Best wishes for beautiful celebration!


From Carl Jepsen

I'm beating my drum to celebrate your 50th!
Carl Jepsen, Father Eagle
San Diego

From Rhonda Gaughan

Happy Birthday to You,
Happy Birthday to You,
Happy Birthday to Willie,
Happy Birthday to You!

Dear Willie,
I am wishing you a very happy 50th birthday.
This world has been blessed by your presence.
Thank you for sharing all of who you are with all of us!
May your life be filled with grace, love and many many blessings.
Happy Birthday with Love,

From Annis Leung

Dear BIG BROTHER Willie,

Thanks for giving me ride from Dart station to the museums. I have been glad to have you in the ATEC classes. You are always my BIG BROTHER!

Happy 50!
little sister, annis

From Don Ray

When Willie worked at Sullivan Perkins, he put in long hours, working many nights into the wee hours of the morning. He paid the price then with hard work and that contributed to his success. Now he has achieved the time to do the activities he enjoys. At that time, I was working at Williamson Printing and enjoyed a great opportunity to get acquainted with Willie and appreciate his talents as well as his friendship. Happy Birthday.

From Scott & Elaine Bartlett

If you win against him in pool, its because he let you . . . he's Jesus.
Happy Birthday!

From Lori Witzel

Google hits for "Willie Baronet" & "art" -- 11,400
Google hits for "Willie Baronet" & "fun" -- 5,240
Google hits for "Willie Baronet" & "creative" -- 4,500
Google hits for "Willie Baronet" & "birthday" -- 2,970
Google hits for "Willie Baronet" & "joy" -- 1,740

Happy B-Day, Willie!
May this and all your birthdays be full of art, fun, creative energy, and joy!

From Eye Lipson


Thanks for your writings in the BRAINZ Group, and your blogworthy drawings on your site. Your sketches are a good reason to get up every morning.
With highest wishes,
Eye Lipson – BRAINZmeister

From Melanie Romero

Willie, thanks to your encouragement and kindness at a key moment, as well as your professional marketing connections, I have been able to realize one of my dreams of seeing my invention the SnapBagger on QVC, the worlds largest TV retailer! Thank you so much for your kindness and big heart. I can't believe you are turning 50 because you seem 30 to me! Have a blessed Birthday Willie!

From Don Clampitt

You can't be 50 yet! I remember calling on you at Sullivan Perkins. I guess I wasn't that much older. You have really made your mark not only in our industry but on so many people as evidenced by this blog. You achieved much success and did so in a humble fashion, the mark of the great ones.

You are at the halfway point and you can change anything and everything or nothing. Wish you the happiest of birthdays and all the health needed to take you the next half of your journey.

Your Paper Man,

From Sharon Baird

Congratulations Willie on ascending into the upper ranks of humanity. The promotion is well deserved! Hope you have a fantastic celebration. Sending you beams of love and light. XXOO

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Happy Happy Birthday Darling!

It's hard to believe we are celebrating the day you were born, 50 years ago! I am honored, blessed, joyful and generally pleased as punch to have been able to spend the last twelve + of them with you! We've done so much and had such fun and meaningful and rich times together. I hardly know where to start. So here are some of my favorite memories and highlights!

Barcelona for your 40th! Remember staying in the amazing Paradors....this one was an old castle!

...and the trip down the salt mines.

The fabulous party you threw for my 40th...

Then there's always Vegas! Lots of great trips there, including celebrating my 35th with the gang....

....what a night!

There was New York for another of your birthdays - Avenue Q and The Phantom!

And we got to go back for Dana's wedding
(and apparently Body Piercing according to this photo)

San Francisco trips have been some of our best! Golden Gate Park, Moss Beach, Muir Woods, The Haight, SFMoMA, visiting friends, the list goes on and on....

LA was awesome! And remember I won the trip in a drawing, how sweet was that? One of the best spots we hit....Venice Beach!

D'Oh! I think I remember winning you this Homer! Can that be right?

Santa Monica Pier

Huntington Beach

There was the Half Marathon in Hawaii...we raised $9,000 for diabetes research, and got an amazing trip to the isles!

Our trip to Arizona...I just love this picture in the hotel room.

And the beginner's slopes Colorado. Ok fine, so those were for ME.

Buenos Aires was wonderful....if only the Tango wasn't so freaking hard!

And of course our annual Idaho escapes! It doesn't get much prettier, and I'm excited to go back with your new camera!!

Salmon spotting
The best lunch spot ever!

And after hiking all day, the best dinner spot ever!

How many trips have we made to New Orleans? And it's wonderful every time. Except walking around Bourbon Street early Saturday morning - yech!

Of course Paris is really hard to beat! It was so beautiful and romantic and the food was amazing! And I think this might be where I saw my first "smart car".

The top of the Eiffel Tower

Some of my favorite memories with you are just hanging out with friends and family, being creative, rushing to catch a sunset by the lake, movie marathons, visiting museums and galleries, seeing great bands in concert, going dancing, spending hours on the computer watching videos or listening to music, listening to you read to me, or even just sitting in front of the tube engrossed in Twin Peaks, The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Scrubs, The Office, The Simpons, or Flight of the Conchords. Here are some everyday pictures of you and I that make me smile.

Ah....the old White Swan Building

Bringing Home Iggy and Myrna

Holidays in Lafayette

Halloween hobo and theater floor....

Not your everyday movie-watching experience, very serious stuff. : )

One of my favorite pictures of us!

Have a glorious birthday honey!
I love you
I care about you
I appreciate you. xoxo