Meet Your Neighbor: Billy Bob Williams
What is your history with the Tahoe Basin?
I worked at Donner State Park in the 80s and I also worked at Kirkwood. Then I began spending my summers in Maui and my winters in Tahoe as the night skiing supervisor for Squaw. I started staying in Maui longer and longer, but I recently moved back here and bought a house in the old neighborhood where I was born and raised. I’ve done a full circle and now I’m back where I started and it feels really good to be home.
What are some changes that have taken place at Squaw since you’ve been away?
The village has been built up really nice, there’s a little bit of everything there. The high speed chairlifts are new to me ” well, all of the equipment has changed so much. I’ve also been able to ski a lot of terrain that used to be out of bounds. But the people are still just as friendly.
How long have you worked as a shuttle driver for the Resort at Squaw Creek?
Since September 2007 ” that’s when I started baking the cookies.
What cookies are you talking about?
When I first started, the other drivers told me to try to avoid the valley shuttle because it’s so boring, but I figured, it’s only boring if you make it boring. So I said, “I know how I’ll make it fun, I’ll bake cookies.” To date, I’ve baked over 15,000 cookies.
Are they just for your passengers?
I bake them for everyone – whoever can find me. People just love it, it puts a smile on their faces. The Squaw Valley Post Office and the radio station are my biggest fans.
Do you bake generic cookies or do you have your own recipes?
They are all my original recipes. My signature cookie is the hebe-pebe, which is a Heathbar-peanut-butter cookie.
Why did you want to work for the shuttle service at the Resort?
I got into the driving service because I got diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. My doctors told me to retire, but I said no! Now with the technology of prosthetics, it’s amazing what you can do. With leg braces, I can still ski and get into ski boots, which used to very painful, but isn’t for me anymore.
Have you ever driven any famous people around Squaw?
Well, one day a group of people got on my shuttle and the first thing I do is offer my passengers a cookie, so they had some and said they were the best cookies they’d ever tasted and asked which kind of flour I used. I only use Gold Medal flour and they said, “good answer, we’re from General Mills.” They took my name and address, and they recently donated 40 pounds of flour to me.
What is one of your goals for the future?
I’d like to build my own cabin on any small lake in the Sierras. I do a lot of fishing and boating.
Is there anything your neighbors might not know about you?
How much I love to cook. In high school, I was the first male to take home economics, but when I did it for a living it was too much work and it took the joy out of it. Now, I just do it for fun.
” The Sierra Sun’s Jenny Goldsmith interviewed Williams for this week’s Meet Your Neighbor. E-mail Meet Your Neighbor suggestions to email@example.com.