| State of Jefferson|
Relevant POD: 1919
|Appearance(s):|| "Visitor from the East"|
"Peace is Better"
"Always Something New"
"Tie a Yellow Ribbon"
|Type of Appearance:||Direct POV|
|Date of Birth:||c. 1934|
|Occupation:||Lawyer, politician, realtor|
Unnamed second daughter
|Political Party:||Democratic Party|
|Political Office(s):||Governor of Jefferson|
Bill Williamson (born c. 1934) was a Democratic politician who served as the governor of Jefferson in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He was the state's second sasquatch governor. Before entering politics, Williamson had been a lawyer and real estate broker. He began his political career when he was elected to the Jefferson State Senate, serving until the early 1970s, when he attained the governor's mansion. He was married to another sasquatch, Louise, and had two daughters, one of whom was named Nicole. During his time as governor, Williamson did his best to ensure that the state of Jefferson stayed open and diverse.
In August 1979, Williamson was able to arrange a visit from the Yeti Lama of Tibet in Eureka. The visit was a largely symbolic one: one consequence of Richard Nixon's visit to China was that the State Department perceived the Yeti Lama as a mere tourist. While the national press gave the meeting scant attention, plenty of reporters from around Jefferson did cover the meeting. Williamson was careful to demonstrate how inclusive Jefferson was, bringing himself, his publicist, Barbara Rasmussen, the Yeti Lama, his retinue, and the Japanese crew of the ship the Yeti Lama traveled on all together for the photo op.
The following month, Williamson and Rasmussen went to Port Orford to meet with Nobuo Fujita, the owner of a successful local Datsun dealership. Fujita had also been a pilot in the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II, and had launched the only bombing on the mainland U.S., specifically two attacks, one on Port Orford on September 9, 1942 and the other in Siskiyou National Forest on September 29.
Williamson used the meeting again to emphasize the diversity of Jefferson, a place where people got along regardless of race and size, and where people who'd once been at war could live together in peace.
In the Spring of 1980, Williamson involved himself in the Ashland Shakespeare Festival after his daughter, Nicole, was cast as Caliban in The Tempest. Nicole was quite talented, and was more than capable of playing Miranda. However, the director of the play, Reggie Pesky, a Pennsylvanian, was excited by the prospect of having a Caliban that didn't require make-up. While Williamson initially tried to get Pesky to reconsider as a concerned father, he also made use of his status as Governor of Jefferson to try to convince to consider the broader issues of typecasting. He even pointed out that at least one of his ancestors, a great-great grandmother, was supposed to be a little person. Pesky was insulted by this approach.
Williamson then went to Jerry Turner, the producing director of the Ashland Shakespeare Festival. Turner also had issues with Pesky's decision to cast Nicole as Caliban, but was hesitant to override a visiting director, for fear of driving off future directors. However, when Williamson told Turner about Pesky's general excitement about having a Caliban that didn't need make-up, Turner realized just how badly that would play in Ashland and in the whole state of Jefferson. To help persuade Turner, Williamson offered to find state money to help further fund the festival. After Turner secured Williamson's promise that there would be no strings attached, he agreed.
Nicole played Miranda brilliantly. Pesky privately conceded so to Williamson, then told Williamson, "Fuck you."
A few days later, Williamson announced that the Legislature had authorized a new annual grant of $75,000 a year to the Ashland Shakespeare Festival. The amount was half of what Williamson had asked for, and still quite a bit less than he'd actually expected to get. During the press conference, Williamson downplayed Nicole's role in the whole matter.
In Summer 1980, Governor Williamson, at the request of Chief Steve Hobbs of the Karuk Indians, agreed to mediate a conflict over fishing rights between the Karuk and the merfolk. Hobbs alleged that the merfolk were fishing salmon at the mouth of the Klamath River near Requa and Crescent City, before the salmon could reach their spawning grounds further inland. Williamson was initially hesitant to intervene, given the interjurisdictional nature of the conflict. However, he agreed with Hobbs' assessment that Federal intervention might cause more harm than good.
Later that day, lobbyist Liam McMichaels contacted Williamson on behalf of the merfolk. McMichaels explained that the merfolk were feeling their own pressure from Russian, Japanese, and Korean fishing boats which were able to take massive amounts of fish, depriving the merfolk of their food supply. While Williamson was somewhat skeptical, he agreed to meet with McMichael's clients.
A few days later, Williamson drove to Requa, where he took a boat owned by Dave Super, a Karuk, out to the meeting place. The Supers shared some of their knowledge about Merfolk with Williamson, as well as their disdain.
Williamson met with two merfolk: a merman who used the name Ishmael for convenience, and a mermaid who called herself Ethel. Both belonged to the Squid Clan. While the merfolk did not have the physical ability to speak English, they understood it, and could write it. By means of a pair of slate boards and grease pencils, the parties were able to communicate. Ishmael confirmed that as the head of the Squid Clan, other clans would listen to him.
Ethel informed Williamson that the foreign factory boats were no longer off shore. While the two agreed that the merfolk would ease up on taking salmon for the time being, they both also acknowledged that they'd be nomadic but for the salmon at the mouth of the Klamath. Consequently, the Karuks also agreed to limit their salmon fishing as well. Further, Ishmael demanded that the Karuk who used boats refrain from attacking the merfolk directly, as the merfolk had close ties with the United States Navy SEALS.
Days later, Williamson met with Chief Hobbs again. Hobbs informed Williamson that some anonymous person had called him, and made veiled threats about blowing up structures around Happy Camp. While Hobbs remained sour about the final agreement, he shared Williamson's view that it would be a cheaper and safer alternative to violent conflict.
On Election Night, 1980, Williamson received a call from game warden Eric Bishop in Grants Pass to inform Williamson that a local fisherman, Greg Donovan, had pulled a Speartooth salmon from the Rogue River. Given the number of legends about speartooths, Williamson was initially dubious, but soon found Bishop's sincerity compelling, and agreed to make the trip to Grants Pass the next.
After independently confirming that Bishop did indeed work for the Jefferson Department of Fish and Game, Williamson then contacted Mervin McDougald, the ichthyologist at Jefferson State Ashland (as Ashland was the only college town near Grants Pass). McDougald was similarly dubious, but agreed to go with Williamson to Grants Pass the next day.
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- ↑ Thirty Days Later: Steaming Forward: 30 Adventures in Time, loc. 2272, ebook.
- ↑ Ibid., loc. 450.
- ↑ Ibid., loc. 487.
- ↑ Ibid., Loc. 2323-2335.
- ↑ Ibid., Loc. 2335-2361.
- ↑ See, e.g., http://www.tor.com/2016/06/15/typecasting/
- ↑ https://www.tor.com/2020/01/08/something-fishy-harry-turtledove/
- ↑ https://www.tor.com/2020/01/08/always-something-new-harry-turtledove/
| Political offices|
Last known is
|Governor of Jefferson|
(State of Jefferson Stories)
| Succeeded by|
Incumbent at most recent installment, 1981