The traveling yo-yo man: Holmen resident turns 100

HOLMEN, Wis. (WKBT) — Frederick William Cafe — known simply as “Bill” to most folks — has been traveling the world most of his life.

“Chicago to New York. New York to Florida, West Texas, California,” Bill said.

The reason behind his travels?

“Believe it or not, playing with a yo-yo,” Bill said.

When Bill was 15, he won a yo-yo contest in a playground near his home in Canada. Cheerio, which would later become Duncan Yo-Yo, contacted Bill to travel around Canada and show other kids his tricks.

“Well, mum didn’t want me to go away from home and dad was all for it,” said Bill, who turned 100 on Thursday. “He thought traveling was the best thing in the world.”

Bill would go to schools, getting permission from the principals and putting on shows for the students.

“All the kids were in the class down below and I put on a demonstration of the best I know,” Bill said.

Bill also came to the United States, where he found himself on a stage in New York with Ed Sullivan.

“The people that handle the show business in New York city [said] ‘that we gotta have, that we gotta have,'” Bill said.

Bill says he’s lived a wonderful life, noting, “Golly, 100 years old How long does it have to take before you quit?”

Bill is still showing off his yo-yo tricks, although arthritis has slowed him down.

He said he owes everything to his parents: “The way how they looked after me as a little boy and how they let me grow up to what I am today.”

Making him “one happy yo-yo player.”

Bill served in the Royal Canadian Army for five years during World War II and went right back to putting on yo-yo demonstrations after. He is one of the oldest Duncan Yo-Yo performers left and is a finalist for the National Yo-Yo Hall of Fame.

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