I have read that some men never have children but instead parent a community. This seems special to me. Reproduction is automatic, programmed, but fostering takes smarts.

North Alabama should be in mourning today over the discorporation of Bill McCorkle. It probably won’t, reflecting how much it has rotted.

Bill was the parent of North Alabama’s STEM Nerds. He saved the Army Lab from mediocrity after John McDaniel was ousted. And proceeded to make the technical life of the community healthy and strong.

Bill was a better leader than a manager. He showed us why real leaders are necessary. And what false leaders aren’t. And a lot of engineers and scientists and technicians and clerks owe their success to him.

But with his passing, and that of Dick Rhodes and Rex Powell, an era is fairly well closed. An era of self-responsibility and integrity and actual technology creation. Sic Transit Gloria Mundi.

Now we are firmly entrenched in a period of rewarming piddle to make weak tea, of “managers” who value “Yes” more than integrity. Of continuing failure until the community collapses and we go back to being a sleepy hick cotton town.

You are already missed, Bill.