PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – Bigger than life and a grizzled boat captain, Captain “Wild Bill” Wichrowksi, seems like the farthest thing away from being a yinzer. So how does a guy from Irwin end up captain of a crab ship and star of “Deadliest Catch?”
“I was supposed to go to college, but ran my dad’s brand new Buick through a cemetery outside Irwin, hit 13 tombstones and a gigantic oak tree,” says Wichrowksi.
His father, an ex-Marine Corps. Drill Instructor, wasn’t too happy. Two days later, “Wild Bill” found himself in the Navy on the West Coast. From there, he wandered until he ended up in Seattle where he encountered a man with a pocket full of money.
“I asked him, ‘Where’d you get that money? Are you a criminal?’ He said, ‘I’m a crab fisherman.’ I looked at him and said, ‘Well, you’re an idiot. If you can make that kind of money, I’ll be a rock star.’ It took me about six months, but I got a job,” he said.
KDKA-AM’s Larry and John talked to “Wild Bill” about his roots, as well as the work he’s doing with local vets.
“We’re taking them out on a Ducky Tour,” he said. “They say I might get to drive it. I might have to hijack the thing and take these guys on a real ride.”
“Wild Bill” says it’s all about getting these local vets an uplifting experience and getting life back into them. He’s a big supporter of all vets, and can’t wait to work with the Steel City Vets, a local group that helps returning vets get reacclimated to civilian life.
“If you’re out and you see some guys in uniform, pay for their dinner, say thanks,” he says.
The event happens on Wednesday, Aug. 7, beginning with a 6 p.m. tour of Pittsburgh and her three rivers aboard the “Ms. Sliberty,” followed by a private gathering for veterans at Joe’s Crab Shack at Station Square with Mr. Wichrowski.