Tuesday, September 29, 2009

From Hillary Link

We bonded over that never-ending joke 8 years ago and never looked back.

There are only a few people that I've met in my life where I've stopped and gone, "Wow, that person's got that special something. That "It" power. Willie, my friend, that is you.

You radiate life everywhere you go and people bask in your happiness. You are interesting and interested. In everything. Creativity, love, spirituality, friendships, relationships, family, the world and making it more vibrant.

You run around living happily and learning about things that interest you. But I hope you are aware of all the lives you've touched along the way.

Starting with mine.

I know that every single time I see you, I learn something new. I laugh at something stupid. I love something lame. And, I leave with something great - feeling better than when I came. That's what I call a perfect meal.

Thank you for sharing your gifts with others so that we too may get a glimpse of joy in action.

Thank you for being true to your mission statement. It shows every day. Thank you for being such an available awesome friend to me - when things got bad and when things got good.

It is such a honor to be able to say "Happy Birthday" to one of the biggest tools I know.

I love you


From Jeff Luchsinger & Marianne Gardner

Congratulations on your half-century!!! You know what they say...the older you get, the less you know. So best wishes and good luck on your coming years of future enlightenment.

Love...Jeff and Marianne

From Judy and ken Shafer

Hey Willie,
Hope you celebrate in style! 50 is awesome and 1959 was the best year! Ken and I wish you all the best from Seattle and we remember the days in Dallas when we all worked at different studios...RBM&M, Sibley Peteet, and all.
Love your illustrations!
Judy and Ken

From JP Guiseppi

Happy 50th Willie!
I hope you have a great birthday and wish I was there to give you an uncomfortably long hug.
Love, J.P.

From Keith Jarvis


I’m still getting to know you as our paths cross now and again within and around MKP – and I have thoroughly enjoyed every interaction we’ve had. You’re a very smart, fun, kind, engaging and talented man, and your energy can be both charismatic and cooperative. Thanks so much for being you and blessing the world with your presence and gifts. May you have a blessed birthday and another brilliant 50 years!

Keith Jarvis

From Sheila and Ron Kostelny

From one Ragin Cajun to another,
Much happiness and love as you journey to the wonderful side of 50.
Laissez les bon temps rouler,
Sheila and Ron Kostelny

From Lacy Mahone

Willie is the guy that makes me think really hard about which shoes to wear - they may be remembered forever. :)

From Michael Newhouse

From M.G. Perez

One of my best memories of spending time with Willie, came during a Houston Warrior weekend about 100 years ago, now, it seems. Somehow in a deep conversation about life, I brought up the 1980's trash video "Sorority Girls from Hell". To my surprise, straight man Willie knew every word and action to the video. It was hilarious and an endearing moment of connection at the same time. It showed me just how open and unconditional Willie can be with his love. "Da-da-da, Da-da-da....ugly, ugly Irma...stupid, ugly Irma!" Thanks for the memory, Brother ...you're the greatest! Happy, Happy Birthday!
Margarito "M.G." Perez

From Mike Schroeder

Willie, I don't know you very well, but I do know your reputation as a good designer. I respect your ability and help in teaching clients what good design is and should be.
Happy Birthday you creative guy you!

From Sally O'Malley

I like to kick,






Fifty Years Old!

From Valerie Burghardt

In the fever pitch of deadlines, with hours ticking away and ideas trying to take shape, Willie reminded me that it's important to have fun. More than most professors of art and design he created experiences in the classroom that engaged students in the most spontaneous way. Finding the heart in your work is key to the creative solution.
Happy 50th birthday dear Willie!

From Tedi Koehn

Dear Tanya,
I wanted to tell Willie that my experience of him is being very earnest, and always wanting to do his best. A very sincere man interested in growing, learning, and having fun! I am glad to know Willie a little bit, and hope his next 50 years are as special as these have been for him.
Thanks and love,
Tedi Koehn

From Norman Werback

Can't believe it's already been three years since we met in I-Group at Frank Borecki's. I occasionally recall the goofy, wound up energy that existed in that room; and I appreciate your calmness, your perspective, your challenge to us to grow, your willingness to share, your encouragement, your humor, your authenticity! You are a wonderful man among gifted men and I'm glad you are part of my life.

I've heard 40 is the new 30; 50 is the new 40. Not sure what that actually means. But being 56 I do know this: 50 is 50! And to still have good health, blended with experience and perspective, I have found 50 to be the best decade of my life! My prayer (and expectation) is for you to enjoy everything blessing life has to offer!
Happy birthday!
Norm Werback
Laughing Eagle

From Liz McCann

Meeting Willie was like opening a bottle of fine champagne and knowing him is like drinking it. He just gets better and better.

But I do miss the long hair.

From Stephen Howard

Willie, I've never felt self-conscious around you, I've always felt safe and relaxed. For a person who has felt insecure and nervous for so much of my life, this matters a lot. You are funny and smart, as well as accepting, and always willing to give Hedda a good home. It's not just anyone who is conferred Honorary Gay Man status, and you are more than deserving. There's humor in that, and love as well. Gay men often have the need to be in a group that understands what it means to be on the outside, and it means a lot to have someone from a different perspective who "gets it". 

You rock, Willie, and I'm blessed to know you.

Love, Gorilla

From Poppy Sundeen

There’s an unspoken rule that most day-to-day conversations should be conducted at a surface level. You don’t tell other people about the rule, because you know everybody knows it already.

Everybody except Willie.

You say hi to Willie and within five minutes, you’ve traveled from surface level through the basement to another basement underneath it that you didn’t even know existed.

Willie sits over lunch and gladly tells you his innermost secrets, except they’re not really secrets because there he is telling you — gladly.

Sometimes, what he tells you makes you see something a new way, and you hear yourself say things you’re only just learning as the words leave your mouth. Self-revelatory things. But you didn’t know they’d be self-revelatory because you didn’t know you were going to say them.

So there you are, exposed. You’re sitting naked in a restaurant. But it’s okay because Willie’s naked too. And it’s even more okay because naked minds, unlike naked bodies, don’t attract much attention. Nobody else in the restaurant even sees them, so you’re not really embarrassed.

Unsettled is more like it. Maybe by something Willie says between bites of his migas. Maybe by something you say as a response to something he says. Either way, Willie manages to open a neatly arranged drawer inside your brain and turn it upside down. Now you’re going to have to sort through the contents — ideas, feelings, beliefs — and rearrange them.

So you leave lunch with homework that does what the kind you got in school should have done but probably didn’t. Homework that makes you think, feel, explore, grow and figure stuff out.

Among the stuff you figure out is why nobody tells Willie about the rule that says day-to-day conversations should be kept at a surface level. Nobody can bear to think what life would be like if Willie decided to go along with it.

From Shari Landa

This happened many years ago, when "Twin Peaks" was still on:

I was in the parking garage at Knape&Knape, when a really creepy guy drove head-on towards me. He had crazy eyes and long, stringy hair. He was going to kill me.

As this monstrous man drove past me, I realized it was Willie, my equally beastly boss.

Note the resemblance:

And even though he managed to terrorize me that day, he remains one of the best bosses and mentors I've ever had. Happy 50th Birthday, Willie!

From Rose Gomez

Happy Birthday to my fellow art dude! You have inspired me into seeing things in a new light. I first heard of the awesome Willie Baronet when I first came to Dallas, little did I know then that we would meet and become friends, and what great years its been hearing you and seeing your work-I am so inspired as an artist to see beyond what some would call a blank canvas. I wish you many years to come, and thank you for the inspirations you have given me.

Besos y un abrazo!

From Donny Hornstein

I first met Willie via email when we were car pooled together for our New Warrior Training.

I noticed in his email header (I'm a geek, what can I say) he was using Apple software so I wrote him back and congratulated him on his choice. He wrote back saying he had a Powerbook and "It's the bomb!" I, living such a sheltered life, had never heard the term "It's the bomb!" before and had to have him explain it. That was December of 2000. So, my first exposure to Willie and the term (which I may have used once since then.)

We did our weekend NWTA together and the rest, as they say is history.

In the nearly nine years since, I've loved him, been mad at him, been sad for him/me and afraid only when he was in the bad car accident a few years ago with his brother, David.

I remember being in the Apple Store on Knox St. when he called me to tell me his Mom had passed. I felt honored and a real part of him and his family to have been chosen for that phone call.

Willie has introduced me to quite a few folks I now call friends on my own. When I think of Willie, I usually think of how self assured he always seems with me, and that big shit eating grin of his. I'm amazed, nine years later to find out little things about him I haven't known before. Like at Michael and Meta Newhouse's party where it occurred to me he doesn't really drink alcoholic beverages much.

Willie is one of three men from Dallas who I felt close enough to to invite to my wedding. He suffered with me through my divorce.

He's easily, even without a job and running a company the busiest guy I know. Once upon a time, I thought he was so busy, if I really needed him for an emergency or major event, he wouldn't be there unless I got on his calendar first. I've since come to believe he would be there for sure if I tell him I really need him.

He's a good friend; and brother. On this celebration of five decades on Mother Earth, I wish you joy, happiness, peace and love. Have a great 50th broheem (another term I learned from Willie); you deserve it.

From Denise Mustafa

Happy 50th Birthday Willie! A Karaoker with soul! An artist of many talents, a sweet-natured man. Let's find out what other surprises you've got for us in the next 50 years!

Much love,

From Debbie/DeeZee

I discovered your blog early in my blogging life and became more than a fan. You pointed me to other fabulous artists, and soon you and I crossed into direct conversation where we shared thoughts on life and creativity. I still hope to write (finish?) the book that will be accompanied by your wonderful drawings, a style so unique and delicious that I would be honored to publish alongside you.

Today I raise a virtual glass of champagne to you as you celebrate 50. May you enjoy another healthy and happy 50 years (at least!) of creative living!


From Jim Lob

Willie Baronet in his formative years with a sordid group of ….”friends”???

Happy 50th Willie. You are a man of honor and integrity. AND you have a group of friends (just kidding below) that I would bet you know and who know you at a level very few people ever get to experience. You are blessed....and so are all of your friends for having you in their lives!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

From Keith Graves

all i can say is willie is one fine coonass. i have always loved him, though not in a homosexual, butt-lovin' kinda way. he plays a mean game of basketball for a white boy (at least he says he's white), and he does interesting things if you give him some art supplies and put him in a locked room. 

i actually lived with him, scott ray, gary lobue, and that other gary for a while in lafayette. those were the good old days. willie was notorious for not washing his dishes and eating other people's food, having noisy sex, and stuff like that, but we all liked him anyway. 

i remember eating boudin poboys from comeaux's with him, then picking up hookers down by the tracks. willie liked 'em young. we smoked some good crack together back then! anyway, i miss him a lot and wish him a happy 50th, which by the way, i will be this October also.

so now we're both too damn old to be taken seriously.

From Kim Schlossberg

From Joan Davidow

Mr Willie,
You've reached a demi-century...how perfectly wonderful!

More wonderful for me is that I now know Willie for the next demi-century!

Thanks for entering my life at the most perfect moment! You've added great sweetness to my life and work.

It's a joy to share your happy birthday.
You are a man of great worth.

From Jim Howard

Willie, best wishes to you on this great milestone. You are a good man and I know your family is fortunate to have you in their lives. Be well brother.

From Jen Hacking

Happy 49th Birthday Sir! ;) I hope that this next year is filled and fueled with much love, art and inspiration!

Your work has been such an inspiration to me over the years(!) and I hope you continue inspiring the masses with your special brand of art and humour!

We need to do the CVs again! I tell you what, I don't know about these busy artists.....................! :D
Best Wishes!
Always Thicker Blacker Outlineier,
Jen xxx :) :)

From Janet Howe

Could this be the same handsome, skinny kid I met around 1988--fresh out of school and wowing everybody at SullivanPerkins with his amazing talent?

What a joy to see the wonderful studio you built, what huge clients you attracted! Yet, most of all, your wisdom, extraordinary kindness and generosity, and your peaceful spirit are what I remember most about you.

Willie Baronet from Louisiana, you're one of a kind and what a happy bit of serendipity to have met you! Here's to your next 50 years!

I just love you, kid!

From Nancy Edmiston

Here are some childhood memories I have of Willie when we were growing up:

When the thriller album (at least I think it was that album) came out Jenna, Mark, Willie and myself spent hours in Mark's room trying to learn the moon walk. And I remember eating boudin at the Baronet's house on Saturday mornings!

Happy Birthday Willie

From Elin Waterston

I spent 2008 making a block print a day (just to see if I could do it). Before I started, I mentioned to Willie what I was planning and he requested a cheetah block (his favorite animal). Here it is - it was my first print of the year (1.1.08).

Happy Birthday to Willie

From Darren Keeth

I have had the honor to staff one weekend with you, Willie. You were helpful, mentoring and humble the entire time I had contact with you or when I was able to observe you. You led effortlessly and the men around you respected and responded to what you had to say.

The world is a better place with men like you in it,
Happy Birthday Willie!

From Annette Anderson

Dear Willie,
I don't think it was an accident when we met in art class at the CAC. I have so enjoyed having you in my circle. Even though we don't talk frequently, I just love the times we are together and our sharing of our "paths". It is such an inspiration to see you follow your dreams, your heart, and your wisdom, as your soul unfolds!! I am clear that you are being guided, and I am clear that you are willing to be guided. It takes great courage, strength, love, and authenticity to allow oneself to be guided. You are a gift to the Warriors and to the world!

Congratulations on being who you are at the young age of 50!! Happy Birthday!!
With love and respect,
Annette Anderson

From Barbara and Bill Benac

Willie, you are such a delightful, tender, artsy, brilliant, fascinating human being. We feel so lucky to have met you through Dr. Goode's SMU 2001 Italy trip. I'll never forget the running 'Battle of the Sketchbooks' between you and Annie that produced such a prodigious amount of great contemporary art amidst all the renaissance and baroque splendor of Italy! Who needs Bernini when you have Willie Baronet?

Life is filled with wonders and opportunities to refine the spirit through trials as well as delights, which alternate in their turn to make us into more complete human beings. Enjoy every moment!

Happy 50th from Barbara and Bill Benac

From Amye Burger Stacy

Willie - Happy 50th Birthday!
You have so many things to celebrate and I hope you enjoy this special year! You are an inspiration to us all! xox

Amye (Burger) Stacy and Matt Stacy
PS - 50 is the new 40!

From Dan McKee

Dear Willie,
I was surprised and honored to be invited to contribute - there are no accidents! I respect and am intrigued by the presence you hold and the ways I've seen you listen to and bless others and it makes me look forward to the time we have planned to lead, work and play together in 2010.

To turn 50 can be a blessing, I found out a couple of years ago. Even though the chronological age meant little to me, I found a great and touching gift in letting a tremendous amount of love in. It turns out it was a grand opportunity for others to share their appreciation for me, and me to honor and reflect that back to them. I invite you to consider such an opportunity.

Blessings to you, Willie!

From Chuck Illg

I put together a picture and poem for Willie. Admittedly it is a bit creepy, but this photo is part of an ongoing joke.

Best wishes to Willie,
Chuck Illg Elder Elephant

From Carol Considine

Hey Willie,
Very happy Big Birthday wishes for you my friend!

Your specialness has been apparent for a long time... Maybe that we both come from big families... and I met your Mom and Dad and a couple sisters... maybe the infrequent but attention getting conversations about deeper things and matters of heart... from pork chops, to Gayo, you've been generous and special. Our last two meetings discussing Africa, shed new light on that specialness. Listening to your wild, harrowing adventure driving unescorted through the streets of Johannesburg's Soweto, had me on the edge of my seat. Having since toured, (most definitely in the company of an escort), through Cape Town's Khayelitsha, your story has more meaning... You are one courageous guy Willie. You inspire me as you've grabbed life by the horns these last few years, and stretched in so many ways... I admire you, and appreciate your example and friendship.

Peace and love,

p.s. and I have read some of the best quotes ever at the end of your emails. A favorite of mine is from Marcel Proust. "The real voyage of discovery, consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes."

Happy Birthday Willie!

From Audrey Harrell

I am reminded of Willie frequently as I listen to my oldies station and Elvis comes on singing, "A Little Less Conversation" or whatever the title of that song is! Sitting right next to the conference room during big meetings always gave me a perfect earshot of the theme song Willie used on his new business pitches. So NOW, every time I hear that song I think of Willie.

One thing that is unique about Willie is that he is such a softy! I will always remember his sweet heart and gentle spirit mixed with a little bit of crazy! He is a great friend to so many people. One of my favorite things about Willie was that he always made everyone feel welcome, and he had an uncanny ability to take pictures of himself and someone else with his go-go-gadget arms holding the camera an armslength away from him as he squeezed in next to someone to catch a snapshot. It is truly a talent!

Willis, just remember that one of these days you're going to have to let some of your 50 year old stuff GO!! Just like when we cleaned out the storage room downstairs in the White Swan....JUST LET IT GO!!! You've got much more to accumulate and "ratpack" in the years to come for you to hold onto every little thing you've kept up with thus far. Keep the friends, and do some Spring Cleaning! ;-P

Much love and Happy Birthday!
Your storage room "shrink",

From Tony Schanuel

Willie blessings to you on your 50 years or .5 century.
Jump up, dance around, drop your pants to the ground...


From Jack Allday

Willie at 50
by Jack Allday

When Willie finished college
He could plainly see
That Lafayette simply wasn’t
“Big enough for me.”

So he headed west to Dallas
There to find his way
At an advertising agency
Headed by Jack Allday.

He did great work and Allday
Told him “not to stop
‘Cause young man, you’re headed
Like a rocket to the top.”

Well that in fact’s what happened
He went way past “far”
Replacing Jesus Christ
As the next Super Star.

He could think and write
And draw and even sell
There was simply nothing
Willie couldn’t do well.

Then at middle age
Having achieved advertising perfection
Willie sold his business
To pursue “a new direction.”

What that direction is
There are only hints
Other than life’s a marathon
And surely not a sprint.

So whatever’s next for Willie
Whatever he chooses to do
This one thing is certain:
Willie, we love you!

From Tom Fris

Enjoyed our visit at Starbucks. Never thought I would meet a Cajun Catholic majoring in Art! We still need to discuss the paradox of being ourselves and yet at the same time changing...
Happy B-day!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

From Mark Schwietz

I just want to take this opportunity to wish you all the best on this your 50th birthday.

As I think about our time together, the word that pushes up from the belly is grateful. I am grateful we found this work. I am grateful that with each passing year I have a man of your caliber loving and supporting me. I am grateful for the momentum I continue to bring into each decade, momentum of consciousness, peace, joy, love, and connection. I am grateful to be able to call you friend.

Having just turned 50 in March (31), I can tell you without reservations, that the best is yet to come!

Peace and love on ya,
Mark Schwietz, Pelican

Friday, September 25, 2009

From Scott Prentice

Willie, my brother!
I still remember the first time I met you. It was at a "Head Heart and Soul". You played the part of someone's angry side and sat in a chair flipping him off! You did an AWESOME job! I knew that you were someone I would want to know. Our friendship has grown over over the years. You are someone who brings a smile to me face EVERY time I see you!

I have had so much fun on the fishing trips that we have taken. Between being so freekin' hot at Lewisville slamming Sandbass to freezing at Texoma hammering stripers, it was a blast! Catching was fun, but times with a brother is awesome! I love it that every time you and I are together you take a picture of us. I feel special! What I have noticed is that you have that same effect on everyone you are around. You are a real gift!!!

I remember the weekend we staffed together. Klug, Nevelow, you and I rode down together. that was awesome! It is so cool to see the beautiful magician in you shine throughout the weekend! Reminiscing about all the experiences we had on the weekend was very cool too. You have taught me a lot about being a warrior and being a leader. The night we led the Northern Kings i-group, you told me at the end that "everything does not have to be done by the book". That has really stuck with me. I carry that with me all the time. Flexibility is far more relaxing!

What I want you to know is, I respect you! I honor you for who you are and who you are becoming! I trust you with all my heart! I believe in you! Your smile is contagious! You are a kind and honorable man! When you lead, I want to follow! When I lead, I know you have my back (that is a huge one!)! What I really want you to know is that I love you!

Happy Birthday my friend!!!
Love Scott Prentice

From Marla Bane & Michael Benson

We recently met Willie through Kevin Obregon & Vanessa Neil. We went to his show at UTA and have been following his blog. And we are now Facebook friends and enjoy his daily posts and quotes. We look forward to seeing more of his work at future shows & getting to know you both better.

Here’s a to very happy 50th and to many more years of love and happiness and health! May all Willie’s birthday wishes come true.

From Melanie Spiegel

I so admire the way you have been able to stop... look at your life... switch gears in what most would call the prime of your career... share what you know deep in your gut... and keep learning and growing. You're incredibly talented, but have no ego. You're open and vulnerable, but no one's patsy. You always want me to slow down and smell the roses... which shows me that you care... but never judge. Quite a guy and I'm lucky to have you in my life and call you my friend, especially now that you're finally older and wiser than me!!! I can't wait to see what the future holds for you... all good things that surpass your highest expectations.

From Michelle "Milo" White

From Rachel Kaiser

I saw this quote from Jim Carrey on turning 50 and it totally reminded me of you and the path you have taken over the last several years.

"50 years: Here's a time when you have to separate yourself from what other people expect of you, and do what you love. Because if you find yourself 50 years old and you aren't doing what you love, then what's the point?" ~ Jim Carrey

Happy 50th Birthday Willie - keep enjoying your art and learning. You are an inspiration to us all!
Much love ~ Rachel Kaiser

From Reginald Foxworth

Happy Birthday, Willie!

Your creativity, wit and compassion is a gift to everyone you meet. I wish you the very best, my friend.


From Sonya Rose Atkinson

There are certain special birthdays in our lives that we can never forget: When I turned a teen, that following summer, I went with my mother to see my relatives in Germany and Switzerland. I spent a day celebrating with my loved ones on an "Island of Flowers" called Insel Mainau … an absolute paradise in the heart of one of the most beautiful and fascinating areas of Europe. It was the first time in my life that I saw an actual peacock. The rare bird came up to me without any fear or reservation, right under a banana tree! I still see my relatives looking at me, smiling, and me smiling back. It was a dream for a steelworker’s daughter whose dad seemed to be always laid-off or on strike. I believe more so than rare moments in our lives are the people we share those rare moments with. I never realized how lucky I was…until I grew older. Knew that I could never experience a moment like that again.

There is an old Latin saying, “amicus verus est rara avis” … meaning “A true friend is a rare bird.” To so many, Willie, you really are a rare bird. You really are a true friend … just as much interested in their life experiences, writings, art, photos, or just about anything they do or say. You're so creative ... so full of life ... so nice to everybody, just a wonderful soul.

May you have a beautiful, bright, and blessed birthday year ... with many wonderful, unforgettable moments.

Happy 50th!

From Royce Herndon

Wisdom is the combination of intelligence and compassion, the head and heart in balance. Add a spirit of inquisitiveness, a sharp yet gentle sense of humor, and a dedication to authenticity and service to others, and we have the recipe for one of my favorite people, Mr. Willie Baronet.

You have a special place in my heart, Willie, as well as my gratitude for many things. Most important to me was the day you came to me to ask if I could lower the shield I had carried for so long to keep others at a safe distance and from seeing my frailties- the same shield that stood between my heart and those of others. Thank you for asking for this man’s friendship, just as I am. You will have my gratitude, love and respect always.

Namaste, Royce.

From Tammy Yarlagadda Bardwell

Happy Birthday Willie...may you have many more!

Tammy Yarlagadda Bardwell

From Peter Thomas

Willie, Happy Happy Birthday !!!

Figured you might like this one, and I expect your Lady is probably confident enough not to be jealous of a watercolor mermaid, or much else for that matter!

Willie, I didn't tell you this yet, but I put together my first business plan in my life; for my line of pirate-themed cookies; Pirate Pete's Treasure Trove Cookies;
and was awarded a $5,000 grant for beginning it!

I look forward to working with you on leadership; and getting to share fun stories and sketches, and hopefully adventures.

Many Happy Returns!!!

From Suzi Berman

What can I say about Willie that others probably haven't already said? All I can do is speak from my heart. I am so thankful that Willie is my friend. No matter how many months pass before we can actually speak or see each other, I know he will always be there for me. He is such a giving and supportive person. His own imperfections and life struggles, combined with his wealth of creativity, professional experience, generosity, and objective point of view, make him the ultimate mentor for me as a creative professional with my own life challenges. Willie inspires me, while I respect, enjoy, and admire him. Willie, my friend, I wish you the greatest of blessings on your birthday, and always.

Suzi Berman, D Media

From Scott Herndon

Here's a couple of pics and a comment for each:

Scott & Bella request Willie insights as the Shadow Chair.

Tanya's heartfelt poetry reading once again causes Willie to pause.

To great memories, Happy Birthday!

From Ron Nevelow

I don't have a specific story or artistic expression for Willie, only my impressions of him and the vision I have of him. The vision I have of Willie is him smiling into his camera while he takes a picture of himself and/or with other people. He has a smile that lights up a room and brings me great joy to see.

Other impressions/memories include:
  • the wonderful video he did of "Naked" by Kerri Arista
  • the INCREDIBLE video he posted of him and his father
  • the time he lovingly held me accountable when I tried to hide
  • his intact ego and tremendous skills in bringing healing to men
  • his constant presence at almost all N. Texas MKP events
Willie is a blessing to me in my life and to the other men of the North Texas MKP community. His gift to me extends beyond merely himself. He has brought people into our MKP world that have been a blessing to me in my life, and I have Willie to thank for it.

Thank you, Willie. Happy 50!
Ron Nevelow, LCSW

From William Drenttel

Willie, twenty years ago you showed me a good time in Dallas. Let's do it again twenty years from now!

Warmly, Bill Drenttel

From Tiffany Brown

Willie and I met one hot August afternoon at the space that will be the new Dallas Contemporary. He assured me it was an awesome space worthy of pictures and he was right. Unfortunately, after about an hour and a half, I felt the beginnings of a hot flash coming on. Maybe it wasn't a hot flash, maybe it was just downright heat exhaustion. Poor Willie, he was ready for more and I became too hot, too dirty and too cranky to take on any more photo taking. I know he was frustrated with me... but alas, as a woman I knew my priority was air conditioning and a tall cold drink. He hasn't asked me out to take pictures since... WILLIE COME BACK...FALL IS HERE!

From Teresa Ramsey

Hey Willie,
Happy Birthday! 50 huh? Geez, how did you get so dang old? I haven't aged a day since I first met you all those years ago at West End Post. You never should have stopped drinking regular coffee.

On a serious note, thanks so much for your friendship through the years. You're just about the coolest, most creative guy I know and it's always a joy to work with you. Have fun on your big day. Play a game of hoops, listen to some Elvis, eat a little sushi and celebrate!

Love ya,

From Tom Houle

Willie - happy 50th!! While we missed each other when you came East to lead, I was glad to spend some time with you in Glen Ivy. I was inspired by the story of your recent life's journey and wish that you will always see the blessings in your life.

Tom Houle - New Jersey CD

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

From Tanya Falgout

Happy Birthday Willie!
You have evolved into a truly fantastic being,
I am proud of you.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

From Bob Lilly, Jr.

Remember The Three Amigos!
Willie, Bobby and Jeffrey

Happy Birthday!

From Scott Moore

I'm sending this message from a very surreal place. I'm flying back home from a tour in Afghanistan, using the internet at 20,000 ft. I have learned in my life that life can be very, very good. And when it's truly good, enjoy the hell out of it. I have not known Willie for more than a couple years, but I do know that Willie is one of those rare people who truly tries to enjoy the hell out of life. And, he's always motivating others to do the same. I wish nothing but the fullest for you Willie on your birthday and the many days to follow. Happy Birthday brother!

Sergeant Scott Moore

From Doug Rucker

Happy 50 Willie. Finally you can be an official elder by title. The truth is, you are already lauded as an elder due to your massive gifts of compassion, humanity, true love, and deep, abiding respect for all. I am thankful to Jill Agnew for saying one fateful day, “I think you need to know Willie Baronet. I don’t know why, but I think you two should get together.” When we met over that first cup o’ joe, I knew we would be life-long friends. Here’s to the next 50.
---Doug Rucker

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

From Andy Spiegel

Willie – it’s astounding how much you’ve grown in the years I’ve known you.

Happy 50th, and may you continue to grow. 
Love you, man.

From Demra Robbins

When I think 50 years for you I see wisdom, heart, fun, drive, responsibility to others, hard work and creativity. I see a man who loves his family, his friends, his girlfriend, the community and his life. You inspire me each time I see you to give more, to do more and to be more. A man who does what he does for his best friend Paul, the Boys and Girls club and Warriors without wanting praise in return is a humble man that believes in sharing his God-given talents and abilities. Your commitment to Tanya over all these years is a great example of love as well. I am proud to be your friend.

On a non-serious note, what the hey it’s been over 20 years go ahead and get snockered so you can break your throw-up record! Then you can start over for another 50 years puke free. See you at your 100th birthday!

From Eric Grafstrom

I met Willie through work back in the early days of broadcast.com. He saved my a#$ with Motorola, in fact, he and his team made me look really good ;) Smart, creative and a pleasure to work with - over 12 years later and glad we have been able to keep up with another via Facebook.

Willie, you're a rock star and hope you have a GREAT birthday, let me know if you make it to SF so I can buy you a beer!

Eric Grafstrom

From Terry Hartwick

My condolences to Willie on his 50th birthday!

Willie, you have been quite an inspiration to me in just the short 12 months that I've known you. IMJ, you are a true example of what a loving man should be. In addition to being accepting, you reassure without being judgmental. In fact, I've asked you, "Dude, where is your ego?"

This first image is a favorite of mine. I believe you model the frog very well!

Second image is of my wife Rosie and I. When I was first describing you to Rosie, she mentioned she had seen you at her Woman Within graduation and noticed an aura around you. That to me is a very powerful observation!

From John Evans

Picasso said, “It takes a long time to grow young.” Your art and attitude toward life is a testament to the fact you’ve been growing younger for years. I’m honored to be considered a friend.

Wish you a healthy and happy next 50!

From Michelle Oge


I hope you have a wonderful birthday! You are an amazing uncle. You are always so much fun. Our trip to Dallas that one year was a blast! I can never thank you enough for taking the pictures for our wedding. We will have these the rest of our lives and they are perfect! You are such a caring, giving, and wonderful person. I hope you enjoy your birthday blog, it was made with a lot of love from everyone who loves you. You mean alot to people in this world, especially me. I love you and I hope you have a perfect day!


From Michael Galgan

Tall Thin MAN

Tall thin man
Tall dancing man
Tall gracious man
Tall funny man
Tall generous man
Tall smiling man
Tall serious man
…big hearted
Tall big hearted man
Tall wise man
Tall walking man
Walking his talk
Tall walking his talk man
Being the man that he is
Being the gift that he is
Being the light…

Tall thin man
…my friend

I love you.
Happy Big 5-0!
It only gets better from here.

Mountain Lion

From Perry Lang

Dateline: The World of Creativity.

There are only a few people left in the world able to take culture, pop or otherwise, and turn it into something new fresh and original. Willie Baronet is one of a handful... Oh yes, those last fifty years were good, vivid, productive years... now, the after-fifty years...? This is where the shit is really gonna take off.

I can't wait to see it.