Yellow Leather Limousine

Name: Billy Williams

Location: Richmond, Virginia

Relationship to Jessica: Close friend

I met Jessica in one of the many, many classes we took together during middle school. I’ll go with 6th grade math.

Jessica & Billy with their flour babies in high school


Jessica & Billy at Senior Prom


It took me quite a few years to realize that friendship isn’t easy. It requires an investment of time, energy, and heart that many struggle with – especially as physical distance grows and time passes. But with Jess and me it was always so easy.

My fondest memories with Jessica are from senior year at Whippany Park. Suddenly, the reality of college hit our friends. Everything we grew accustomed to was ending: Friendly’s trips, Livingston Mall/Applebee’s dinners, trips to the Parsippany movie theater. Sports, clubs, classes, pool parties. It was scary. So we made the most of our time together. And those last few months were some of the best of my life.

For whatever reason (bribes, rides to school) Jessica “said yes!” to going to senior prom with me. We both poured a lot of time into planning it, trying to make ours the best of all time. The location, the food, the music, the class gift. One of the few things Jess left in my hands was transportation – and wow, did she ever regret it!

We thought it would be cool to get a limo from NYC. They’d know exactly where to take us after prom! We reserved some cool wheels for the big event. Of course, we came home and showed the girls pictures of a cheesy Vegas-style yellow leather limo. They were mortified – especially Jess. Joke was on them!

The day finally arrived. We finished up pictures and waited for our limo. And waited…and waited…and waited. We were sweating. No one was happy. The driver was stuck in traffic (you HAD to go to NYC for this)?? We missed the cocktail hour. Finally it pulled up. Jess – excited to leave – opened the door. And it was the yellow leather limo. She cried. I was batting a thousand.

After these initial bumps, it turned out to be an amazing night. Jess was an effervescent, beautiful date. I was very lucky to have shared that memory with her. We had a blast.

Jess has played many roles in my life – high school prom date, college counselor, career counselor, math tutor, reality-checker. But above all, she was and will continue to be my inspiration.

We were truly blessed with a strong, caring group of friends in high school. As I went through college, it was evident that high school friendships – for the most part – fade away. But not ours; we wouldn’t let it. And Jess was an integral part of our group. There is no us without Jess. And we are fortunate enough to have each other for love and support during the good times…and, during the not so good.

Here’s to the times we shared, to the memories we made, and to an incredible woman that made those memories even better. Complete with cheesy “memory song” (which actually was released at the same time as our high school graduation) and scanned disposable camera pictures. Both of which would have Jessica bursting out in laughter.

Hopefully, somewhere up there, you can still hear Div whisper over a seventh grade three-way phone call “Billy loves Jessica…”

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  1. Great video Billy Billy! I remember standing in the driveway waiting for the limo to show up and seeing the look on everyone’s face when they saw the bright yellow interior, it was priceless. Loved all of the photos, brought back memories for me too 🙂

  2. Great post, Bill. I was not in attendance for the yellow limo but I remember when you guys finally got to the prom, hearing all about it. You said it perfectly, our friendship will never fade away! We had some amazing times together and now Jess will watch over us for the rest of the adventures life brings us…PS awesome slide show (I love the cheesy song!)

  3. Great post and slide show! 🙂 She always spoke just as highly of you Bill, as you did her. Your friendship was truly one in a million.

  4. Bill- AMAZING AMAZING tribute to Jess and to our friendship as a whole. I feel extremely lucky to be part of “the whip”

  5. Bill Williams says

    Thanks all for the comments – definitely some great memories

  6. Bill – The slideshow is something amazing. We all know that slideshow could have actually been hours long because it highlights just a few of years of wonderful memories. Jess will continue to be and always be forever part of everything we share and experience together. We are so fortunate to have such amazing friends.

  7. Beautiful, Billy…brought me to tears! xoxo

  8. Ellen Apgar says

    One of the most touching tributes I have ever seen. Bless you, Bill!