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In memoriam: Bill Benge (Flocko)

Dave the Cook

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We're saddened to announce the death of Bill Benge, better known among eGullet Society members as Flocko. Bill passed away last Friday. He was 60 years old.

Although Bill signed up with us in June of 2003, many of us didn't really get to know him until just last month. In his wonderful and very personal blog, he took us into his Moab, Utah, home and introduced us to the tiny town where he spent most of his adult life, regaling us with great stories and some very great food. We will miss you, Bill.

His friends in Moab were kind enough to forward his obituary from the Canyon Country Zephyr. This passage is particulary fitting:

Bill Benge touched the lives of thousands in this community, for more than 30 years, in so many different ways. We will always miss the man who wore baggy shorts in the middle of winter and his extravagant ties and his seersucker suits and his shrimp remoulade and seafood gumbo. We will ache with the memory of his incredible mind and his irreverent sense of humor, his quiet compassion and his gentle, sometimes courtly manners.

For the next week, we invite you to honor Bill's presence on eG Forums and to share your remembrances here of his love and appreciation for food, cooking and eating.

As soon as we have more information about memorials and where to send sympathies, we will let everyone know.

The posting queue for this topic will be moderated. This means that your post will not appear immediately. Out of respect for Bill and for our own Society guidelines, all posts should relate to Bill, his life in food and his participation in eG Forums. Thank you for your cooperation.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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I've known Bill via various on-line outlets since 2002 and I am simply stunned by this horrible news. I just spoke to him on the phone about a month ago. God, how sad this is.

We met via a Bourdain fan club but became buddies outside of that group. Recently, we even sent charcuterie back and forth. I sent him some stuff I made and he reciprocated by sending me some delicious "underground" stuff that a butcher near him makes and sells covertly. He loved food and cooking and our package exchanges always allowed us to connect on a very food-loving level.


"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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I am very saddened that the Planet has lost such a wonderful human being. Bill showed us a unique corner of the world and his participation here set an example of why we have all come together as disciples of all things food-related. His embrace of eGullet was palpable - just read his blog.

I could also tell he was also a kindred spirit, and after his blog last month I found myself looking up flights to Salt Lake City. It's funny how that happens around here. I will truly miss him.

There is a dinner of elk steaks in my future in his honor.

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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How very sad I am to hear of Bill's passing. It seemed I'd barely gotten to know Bill, via another list which we both were on...

Moab seemed much closer since reading some of Bill's exchanges, and I loved the photographic tour of his home we'd all been able to take in the recent past.

Reading about Bill's love of food, and life, was one of the small gifts I received via the internet. I shall miss his humor and those stories told with gusto. May he always live in the minds and hearts of those whom he touched.


Starwind . Fort Lauderdale


There are moments when one feels free from one's own identification with human limitations and inadequacies. At such moments one imagines that one stands on some spot of a small planet, gazing in amazement at the cold yet profoundly moving beauty of the eternal, the unfathomable; life and death flow into one, and there is neither evolution nor destiny; only Being.

-- Albert Einstein

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One week of acquaintance, via the eG blog, and I'll always remember the kind, gentle tenor of those words, the colors of the vistas which greeted him at dawn and dusk, that enchanted adobe with its murals, swoopy doorways, warm hues, and kitchen spider, and all the other enchantments of his home among the hills.

We bantered a bit, and his wit and intelligence made our conversations most enjoyable, especially over his microwave roux, and you know, he was on to something. I would imagine it's become a time-saver in the repertoire of many a gumbo-maker. This is so sad---I'm just glad his blog was THEN, so he became much more than a name on an avatar, and we got to know him before his too-soon departure.

Rest in those rosy mountains, Bill. We're among the many who will miss you.

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Well, isn't that a kick in the head? What terrible news.

One of my favorite lines in his recent, wonderful blog was, "I came for the beauty and it never let me down." I kept meaning to PM him to tell him what a great line that is. His wonderful sense of humor, and his love of life and food was a eGullet pleasure that will be sorely missed.

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Sad indeed. Bill brought to life a part of the country many of us in the east don't have much direct experience with. I will eat some mutton in his honor. I would have loved to have met him in person. RIP, Bill.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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I just can't believe this, and I don't know what to say. He had invited me to visit him, and meet in person.

My very first impression of him was so good. He helped me plan eating spots for the roadtrip I took with my son and then-girlfriend. Afterwards, when I had been so impressed by the beer cheese soup at the Moab Brewery, he made it a point to get the recipe from the chef and he sent it to me. I so enjoyed our email and PM correspondences. And of course the eG foodblog...

I wish I had more eloquent words to say, but truly I am shocked and at a loss for words. Even not having met in person, I know what a wonderful person he was, and he touched my life in a very special way.

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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I am shocked and saddened to hear this news. I only really knew Bill from his presence here on eGullet--especially haunting to lose someone one never got to meet in real life. But that foodblog of his, and the entire little world he shared in that blog, are going to stay with me for a long time. When I finally follow my pipe dream and do the Charles Kuralt thing cross-country in an RV, I will definitely make a stop in Moab in his honor.

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This is really a shock, and very sad to me. I'm not a big poster here, but I'm a religious reader of the food blogs. Bill's recent blog impressed me so much, with its beauty and warmth. He had such a genuine love for his home, seemed like such a genuine person, and was so generous in sharing both his home and himself with us. I'm so sad that he won't be around any more, spreading that love and humor.

Nikki Hershberger

An oyster met an oyster

And they were oysters two.

Two oysters met two oysters

And they were oysters too.

Four oysters met a pint of milk

And they were oyster stew.

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I'm in total shock. We should have gotten together for that drink while we could have. Never put anything off until tomorrow. Live and do everything you can today. RIP, dear Bill. You'll be missed.

Pamela Wilkinson


Life is a rush into the unknown. You can duck down and hope nothing hits you, or you can stand tall, show it your teeth and say "Dish it up, Baby, and don't skimp on the jalapeños."

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This is such sad and unexpected news. I hadn't really "met" Flocko until his foodblog, and I thoroughly enjoyed conversing with him then. I'm glad for the short conversation we had, and sorry there won't be more.

Enjoy the light, Bill. Thank you for sharing your world with us.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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:sad: Even though I had read "Flocko's" blog when it first appeared, I re-read it again today. I was drawn to him (even though we'd never met) and to his beautiful area. I am so sad that his earthly-presence was extinquished. Rest well, Bill, and thank you for your light.



"If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world."

J.R.R. Tolkien

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It just seems so unfair. I had just gotten to know Bill through his beautiful blog, and now he's gone! He really painted a rich picture of his life - the incredible panoramas of the canyons he loved, the house that gave him so much satisfaction, the beautiful cat that adopted him, his friends, his town, and food and drink as an important part of it all. I felt like he really introduced me to a part of the country I've never been to, with its lithoglyphs, its particular kind of light and shadow, its unique terrain, its farmers' market on an unusual green space, and its smiling people. From my viewpoint, sixty is not a very old age at all, but if it's any consolation, Bill certainly seems to have lived his life fully and with gusto. I wish he were still here, but I feel pretty certain that his spirit is still viewing that gorgeous landscape, somehow.

Michael aka "Pan"


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