Maniac in the Wilderness

Bill and mother
I don’t know how my baby brother Bill ever survived my mother’s brutal abuse. When he was only a tiny lad of eighteen, he was six feet four inches tall. I think the fact that she wasn’t even acquainted with five feet added to his raging hormones gave him a feeling of superiority. While I won’t say he had a smart mouth, I will allow it was extremely well-educated. I am sure they only reason my mother hadn’t already killed him was because she hated to go to prison and leave her younger daughters motherless. It certainly wasn’t because the thought hadn’t crossed her mind at least a thousand times a day since puberty attacked him and her by proxy.

Anyway, on occasion, they had to travel places alone together. It was a misery to both. It didn’t help that the car was a tiny Volkswagon Beetle. It’s always worth a person’s time to stop and watch a huge guy unfold himself and crawl into or out of a Beetle, a pleasure Bill dreaded providing mirthful onlookers. It didn’t improve his mood on arrival, a mood already blackened with inevitable conflict he’d shared with Mother.

At any rate, on this particular day, they started home with Bill driving. According to Mother, he was driving like a maniac: driving too fast, following too closely, cutting people off. I have no doubt this was true. It was his typical manner. She insisted he slow down. He crept along at ten miles an hour, hoping that was slow enough to please her. She’d finally had enough, telling him to pull over. She’d drive. He critiqued her driving as soon as she started. “Speed up! Don’t ride the clutch! Change Gears!”

Finally, she’d had enough. She pulled over. “Get out!” Delighted, he hopped out, thinking she’d come to her senses and wanted him to drive. She drove off and left him standing on a country road, thirty miles from home. She enjoyed the rest of the peaceful drive. At home, Daddy wanted to know where Bill was. “I left him somewhere close to Bossier City.”

Daddy was shocked she’d left the little fellow all alone in the wilderness. “Well, You’d better go get him! It’ll be dark soon!”

“You go get him if you want to! I don’t care if he never gets home!”

Daddy was a lot better at giving orders than taking them, but he jumped in his truck to rescue his precious son and heir. Billy met him at the end of the driveway, brought home by a Good Samaritan. He’d somehow survived his abandonment but I think he still drives like a maniac. I don’t think he and Mother voluntarily ride together till today

See attached picture if you care to put out APB on either

Southern Hospitality

imageA few weeks before Kathleen’s baby was due in June, 1947, Bill made arrangements for his friend Lon’s wife Sally to take her for her doctor’s visit.  He dropped her off not long after six in the morning, picked Lon up, leaving Kathleen to spend the day with Sandy, Lon’s wife.  The couples had Continue reading

Turned Out In The Cold

imageUncle Joe sent word he needed the boys to cut firewood one November day in 1934.  He’d be ready about ten the next morning.  They walked barefoot three miles through the woods, kicking at the fallen leaves, since it was a still a warm day as November often is in Nortwest Louisiana.  Shoes had to be saved for school, but the opportunity to get a day’s work took precedence over school.  They needed whatever Uncle Joe paid, whether it be a little money or food.  Maybe they’d get a meal or some cast off clothes, too. Continue reading

Kathleen and the Phantom Killer

parents wedding pic(How my parents met in June 1945.  My mother had just graduated and was working as a waitress while she waited to start college that fall, when she met my father.  From her memoirs I am currently writing.)

After I graduated, I looked forward to being a lawyer or a teacher for a few years before settling down with a doting husband, maybe a doctor or judge, in a nice little house in town Continue reading