Remembering Bill Line

October 9, 2012

Bill Line in 2004, announcing the cherry blossom season (Robert A. Reeder/TWP)

My colleague Petula Dvorak knew Bill Line much better than I did, so I’m pleased she shared her thoughts about the longtime National Park Service spokesman after his suicide at age 56.

Petula alludes to the criticism that Bill, the face of the Park Service’s National Capital Region, sometimes took from some of us reporters, and it was not undeserved. If you were asking about anything more controversial than the peak bloom of cherry blossoms, your conversation with Bill had a way of getting testier than it needed to be.

That, in no small way, showed how deeply he cared about his employer and how it would be portrayed. “Bill loved Washington, but Washington didn’t always love him back,” as Petula put it.

But outside of his professional life, as her column described, he was beloved by his friends and fellow churchgoers. He will be missed by all — including us persnickety reporters.

Mike DeBonis covers Congress and national politics for The Washington Post. He previously covered D.C. politics and government from 2007 to 2015.
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