If there were a First Couple of King William, Roselyn and Bill Cogburn would definitely be prime candidates for the title. Since that title does not exist, we are shining a very inadequate light on them by recognizing them this month. Since choosing this neighborhood as their own, they have worked tirelessly to make King William a better place to live. In quickly reviewing the formal jobs they have done to promote, assist and improve our Association, there appear to be very few things that have not been done by one or both of them during the 25 years they have lived here: newsletter author, publisher and distribution chief; Home Tour chair; chief of various Fair areas, membership chair; Director, Officer of the KWA; general support and “what needs to be done” chair.
Many neighbors will tell you that they were introduced to others by Bill or Roselyn or given an in-depth view of neighborhood issues at one of the many seminar/glass of wine/good food gatherings at their house. Mentoring and sponsoring new neighbors and younger people is a specialty of theirs. Roselyn feels that new comers who invest their own time and energy into neighborhood projects sink deeper roots and care more about what happens to it.
Over the years when tasks seemed impossible to accomplish, both have said “Why not?” and stepped up to do what needed to be done with little thought of the time and effort they were expending. Both have a very determined, though gentle, approach to making sure that changes are moving in the right direction.
Our streets are quieter and more livable today because Roselyn and Bill care about King William. Roselyn was one of the prime movers in a six-year effort to have the huge buses cramming our residential streets moved to commercial areas.
Anyone who reads the newsletters has read Bill’s histories, memoirs and remembrances. Just last month, if you looked, you would have seen Roselyn hosting the wounded warriors at her home on King William Street, and Bill moving tickets, buckets, carts and wrist bands in support of the Fair as well as providing a good accountant’s eye to the bottom line.
When asked why he works so hard, Bill’s face softens as he answers, “It is because of all the wonderful things the KWA does with the money.” Clearly the one that moves him the most: founding and nurturing of SAY Si and the direct benefit it has to area youngsters.
While not strictly volunteer work, Roselyn’s beautiful garden of heritage flowers and herbs welcomes visitors and neighbors alike to King William. Often a lucky tourist will be treated to a brief history of the neighborhood while admiring the garden.
- Jessie Simpson