January 26, 2017 10:56am
Take Care and Care Take
Source: Adult Industry News
by: Rich Moreland
A Tribute to Bill Margold By Rich Moreland
A scattered January rain could not dampen this year's Adult Entertainment Expo. Inside the Hard Rock Hotel fans wandered about and enjoyed the sights in celebration of a business that has been a part of Americana since the 1970s.
On the show's opening day I was at the Evil Angel booth awaiting John Stagliano for a mid-afternoon interview. My mobile flashed a text from Steve Nelson, editor of this publication. Bill Margold had passed away. Minutes later John and I shared a reflective moment about the news.
You see, Bill referred to all of us as his "kids." He befriended many people who became part of our business and John and I were in that number. In fact, Bill introduced me to John when I was too timid to approach a man who in my mind was bigger than a myth.
Oh yes, there is one more thing. Bill invited me to dinner here in Las Vegas several years ago when I first got involved with AVN's annual extravaganza. That evening I was introduced to Steve, something I know Bill set up, and the rest is history because you're reading this story now.
With these thoughts running through my mind, a cloudy rawness in the desert seemed appropriate on a day that reminds us of our mortality.
Bill Margold founded Protecting Adult Welfare (PAW) to support adult performers and he quickly became "Papa Bear," a moniker he adored. A collection of teddy bears was scattered about his office in earlier years and now several remain in his West Hollywood apartment.
Bill often said porn's patriarchy would rather "do" the girls than take care of them, so he would offer one of the stuffed toys to a stressed-out actress or a new girl struggling to adjust to the business. A comfort teddy to counterbalance a girl's revealing "teddy" that would soon be stripped away by the vagaries of the business.
A performer himself beginning in Porno Chic's earliest days, Bill Margold stayed close to the business for decades and wore many industry hats. He was a man of strong opinions and a heart that out-sized his larger-than-life body.
Of course, those he vexed may not agree with me here and that's okay. I understand. Papa Bear's honesty was suspect to his detractors. As the preeminent historian of adult film, Bill had knowledge of everyone, especially those from its infancy, and he always separated the wheat from the chaff to the disgruntlement of some who felt slighted.
However, as the years passed the modern industry had gotten away from him a little and his point of view did not always settle in generously with everyone. Though Papa Bear may have felt a bit irrelevant at times, he never showed it because it was not in his DNA.
Regardless of how Bill Margold struck anyone connected with porn, his passion for the business and his compassion and generosity for those he loved cannot be denied.
When I headed out of the Expo on my last day, I ran into Adam & Eve's Bob Christian. We have something in common, we're both "older," or should I say "mature," in an industry that touts youth and beauty.
Aging brings the foreshadowing of fate and one never knows when the final exit will arrive. We come to recognize our own mortality, something that escapes the young, at least in the short run.
I joked with Bob that I'd see him again next year if we're both still alive. He flashed his trademark, that beaming smile, and said in reference to industry people, "We're losing too many these days."
I almost said "take care and care take," but hesitated because I suggest that Bill probably overheard our conversation wherever he is and I didn't want to claim those parting words he always used to say good-bye.
But now I extend them to him.
When I went outside, I had a bit of a walk to get to my hotel and pulled up my hoodie against the chill. It was damp and misty, a shroud over Las Vegas and an entire industry that lost another irreplaceable connection to its past.