Some Wallers

 

 

Joe Waller, Rob Waller, Graham Waller, Bill Waller, Donald Waller, ca. 1980.

Bill, fourth from the left, is my father. Joe, Graham, and Donald are my uncles. Collectively, they were known as “the Waller boys.” There were a number of other Waller boys in town, but these four, along with their brother Maurice, who died in 1952, were the.

Rob is their first cousin.

The snapshot was taken at the Fentress United Methodist Church homecoming, ca. 1980. That was the last time they were all together.

Vida Woodward Waller (my grandmother) & Jessie Waller, ca. 1910

 

Frank Waller (Dad), ca. 1952
Billie Waller, ca. 1920
Billie Waller, ca. 1943, while stationed in Scotland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Billie

bill at 5 yrs 001
Billie Waller, 5 years old, 1920

My father would have been ninety-nine years old today.

In September, he’ll have been gone for thirty-one years.

It’s easier to imagine him as the child in this picture

than to imagine him at ninety-nine.

Of two things, however, I’m certain:

If here were here today,

his blue eyes would still be twinkling,

and

 he would still be making us laugh.

###

When I was a child, my three cousins looked like my mother,

and my grandmother, and my aunts,

but I didn’t look like anyone.

I felt like an outsider and decided I’d been adopted,

although old photographs and witness testimony indicated otherwise.

It was years before I realized I looked like someone after all.

Kathy Waller, 8 years old, 1960
Kathy Waller, 8 years old, 1960

Billie

bill at 5 yrs 001
Billie Waller, 5 years old, 1920

My father would have been ninety-eight years old today.

In September, he’ll have been gone for thirty years.

It’s easier to imagine him as the child in this picture

than to imagine him at ninety-eight.

Of two things, however, I’m certain:

If here were here today,

his blue eyes would still be twinkling,

and

 he would still be making us laugh.