Bill and Pat Colson: The Art of Living

Bill Colson was a stand-out basketball player from Sayville High School (’47). In the Korean War he served as an Air Force cryptographer until, stricken by polio, he returned to the States paralyzed from the waist down. That’s where his story begins.

Sayville Basketball Team 1947

Sayville Basketball Team 1947

On this episode we talk with Pat Colson about Bill and his artwork as well as their lives, together and apart. Friends since high school, Pat and Bill followed a circuitous path to happiness. Along the way we discuss the Sayville of the 1940s, Bill’s paintings, his life in a wheelchair and the challenges of keeping lions as pets.


  1. Nicole Colson

    Hi Pat: I am Bill’s daughter-in-law, Nicole Colson – I am married to Dana and I live in New Hampshire. I enjoyed listening to your storytelling – it was very informative and enjoyable to fill in some of the information from the stories I’ve been told over the years – Dana and I have been together for 25 years. I just happened to find this link to the Long Island project because I was looking for some of Bill’s artwork. Over my desk (I work as a writer) is a painting I’ve had of his (a print of course) framed of your son as a young boy feeding some ducks. I love it. Dana had a print of it for years and I had it framed for him as a Christmas present. He always talks about Bill’s artistic talent and how he was so beloved. I would love to connect with you and talk more – I am also hoping maybe some of his other pieces are available in print form? The only other keepsake Dana has from his dear dad is an old copy of “The Wind in the Willows.” 🙂

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