Billy Atkins- Above and Beyond!

Billy Atkins  1956- 2010

Billy Atkins
1956- 2012

It’s hard to believe 2 years have passed since the loss of our best friend, Bill Atkins.

For those of you who did not have the honor or privilege to know Billy; I can only tell you he was a kind, forgiving and a generous man. His smile and mischievous grin brought warmth and light-heartedness to those in his presence. Billy had a way of bringing the purpose of life out of people. His life reminds me of a lyric from The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s song-Bayou Jubilee:

“Nothing in this world such a pure delight

As a Fais-do-do on a Saturday night

Work your tail off all week long

But forget about your troubles with a party and a song.” 

Bill Atkins had a way of making us forget about the negative things in our life and he could provide the song. That’s a special ability to be able to brighten someone’s life with just your own God-given spirit, talent and heart. It was free, inexpensive and therapeutically pure. You couldn’t buy or put a price on the value and the results of his friendship.

For several months I have thought about Billy quite often. I’ve wondered why I’ve been so preoccupied with the thoughts of my friend. What was the meaning of the feeling throughout each day?

I’ve been at the worst point of my adult life being jobless. Recently it hit me- what I’ve been feeling isn’t just thoughts about Billy; it’s more than that.

Billy’s presence is with me, looking over my shoulder and taking my mind off the negative situation that surrounds me.

Last year, Deep Purple dedicated their CD, Now What!? to recently passed keyboardist Jon Lord. The song “Above and Beyond” was written for Jon Lord and several lyrics within it remind me of what I’ve felt:

Nothing I can tell you

It’s all up to you

I’ll be here if you need me

Am I getting through?

Rest on your sadness

And tomorrow will find

That souls having touched are forever entwined

I’ maybe leaving

But I won’t be gone

I’ll be there when you want me

Above and Beyond

“Above and Beyond” describes Billy. I am sure his family and friends feel the same way.

Souls having touched are forever entwined.

God bless you Billy and God bless you all!

Jim Carver


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Jim Carver About Jim Carver

Jim Carver is the President of The Rust Belt Chronicles.

In 2004, Jim graduated from North Central State College with a degree in Business Information Technology. Jim developed "Rock Lines" news report online in 2010.After a trial-run of The Rust Belt Chronicles in April of 2013, Jim decided to make his dream a reality in 2014 by re-launching The Rust Belt Chronicles.


  1. […] year, I attempt to write and honor my best friend, Billy Atkins, who passed away on February 10th, […]

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