[Contributed John WIlliams]
Bill had a friend named Fortenberry who was a staffer for the Mississippi State Senate in the 1970’s. In 1976 lignite coal (a low grade of coal) was discovered in Mississippi, so the state started considering the passage of a law to regulate the mining of lignite. Knowing of Bill’s involvement with SOCM, Rick invited him to come to Jackson and meet with Governor Cliff Finch and give advice on what needed to be in the law. So Bill and I climbed into my Plymouth Valiant and drove to Jackson where we served as “expert witnesses” for the VERY CONSERVATIVE governor of Mississippi. Imagine, if you can, these two young Turks trying to give advice to the Governor of Mississippi. I don’t know whether we accomplished anything, but it sure was fun!