Profile Response: Reverend William T. Walter, Gramercy, LA

 

HWWLT Logo on yellow“Here, I got another one for you.” When Revered William T. Walter catches your eye and commands your attention, he doesn’t let go. Since I’m in the business of seeking out people who want to talk, we’re a natural match.

“Guess how big I was when I was born? I figure William’s going to boast of being small rather than large, since he’s mighty ample now. He’s in his sixties at least and it would unusual for a four-pound baby to survive in the 1950’s, so I guess three pounds eight ounces. “Lower.” He grins. “Two pounds twelve ounces?” “Lower.” Since we’ve entered the realm of fantasy, my guesses hardly matter. “Two pounds.” Lower, man, lower. I weighed eight ounces when I was born.” Once I accept that fairy-tale size, anything is possible.

images-1William is a patchwork quilt of astounding facts. His mother had thirty children. He has no idea where he fits in the order. His birth mother was a drunk who hung around the fields and was repeatedly raped by hands. His father was a Cherokee, which might be true considering the man’s reddish ebony sheen. After being born so small his birth mother gave William up. The doctors in the orphanage declared him dead, but his adoptive mother took the infant, placed him in shoebox and fed him with an eyedropper. She brought him to church, placed the box a prayer circle that prayed the fledgling boy to life.

imgres“Here, I got another one for you.” William tells stories out of school. He was called ‘Ugly Jim.’ His mother told him to throw taunts back at the aggressors by exclaiming, “You’re jealous.” He banded with the other social rejects. Sometimes, when they triumphed over the popular kids, his peers saw an aura envelope Ugly Jim. “At age fourteen I was called to preach. Been preaching ever since.”

imgres-1“I’m writing a book about my life, Death of a Preacher. I asked God if my book would be a best seller. He said ‘it’s our book, not your book. It won’t be a best seller. It will be a best teller.’

“Here, I got another one for you. I was sick and needed dialysis. I told God my fingers were cramped and I couldn’t write. The next night I woke in the middle of the night and there on the TV they were selling a dictation machine. So I got one, and that’s what I’ll use.

images“There’s one part I don’t want to write. About my mother and getting raped. I told the Lord I could not write that. God told me I had to write that to free others with problems from the shackles of their past. The Lord is giving me the strength to tell all.”

 

How will we live tomorrow?

IMG_6325“First, we are going to live by faith, by faith in God. Second, you got to live in reality. Third, we have to get along with each other. I have more to say, but that’s just the start.”

 

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About paulefallon

Greetings reader. I am a writer, architect, cyclist and father from Cambridge, MA. My primary blog, theawkwardpose.com is an archive of all my published writing. The title refers to a sequence of three yoga positions that increase focus and build strength by shifting the body’s center of gravity. The objective is balance without stability. My writing addresses opposing tension in our world, and my attempt to find balance through understanding that opposition. During 2015-2106 I am cycling through all 48 mainland United States and asking the question "How will we live tomorrow?" That journey is chronicled in a dedicated blog, www.howwillwelivetomorrw.com, that includes personal writing related to my adventure as well as others' responses to my question. Thank you for visiting.
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