When we were in Amsterdam High School back in the early 1970’s everyone called him “Sugar Bear.” All the girls thought he was sweet, all the guys thought he was cool. Physically, he was very tall, all legs and elbows. When today’s Amsterdam Birthday Celebrant played basketball for AHS, the gangly way he moved made it sometimes look like he was playing in pain but leave him alone and he’d take one of those smooth as silk “Sugar Bear” jumpers from the corner.
What Bill Padowicz really did well was write songs, play them on his guitar and sing them to the folks who came to see him perform at venues pretty much all over the Capital District. I’ve been told by guys who went to college with him at Plattsburgh that the Bear’s jam sessions in the bathroom of his dorm with big Al Semkiw accompanying him on the harmonica were classic unforgettable musical moments…
My complete birthday post for Bill Padowicz will appear in the new second edition of A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam, NY Birthdays, which will be available before the 2016 Holiday season. On June 30, 2016, I will also once again begin distributing an Amsterdam, NY Birthday Blog Monthly Newsletter that will include the full birthday posts for three of the twenty-to-thirty people whose birthdays I will recognize each month. Each newsletter will also include an Amsterdam Birthday Quiz that will test your knowledge and memory of people and events in your hometown.
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