Dale Says

June 18, 2012

Cousin Walt

Filed under: Colorful Characters — Dale @ 10:00 am

The man we knew as Cousin Walt has been gone a little over year now, and his little home has been cleared out, re-sold, and another family is now living there. All that remains of Walt is memories. He left many of those, mostly good, and he is missed by many friends. Every once in a while one of them approaches me and asks about Walt.

Walt was a third-generation San Franciscan, a fact of which he was very proud, a long-time and edicated Mason, avid world traveler, and ardent fan of the San Francisco 49ers. He was also an only child and a homebody, who never moved out of his parents’ home. He remained in their house after his father died, and he took care of his mother when she got sick. He met and got engaged to a lovely woman, but he wouldn’t marry her until his mother died, and then he moved his new bride into his parents’ home.

Walt was very involved in the Masons, and he left all of his money to them when he died, a fact that says a lot about Walt. He liked what he liked, and he believed what he belived, and he was not open to new ideas or new interests. He was a bigot, and he was irascible, but we liked him and we helped him through his final days. He had no family, you see, so he relied on us to make decisions for him and help him. He refused to go to a hospital or nursing home, even though he was basically an invalid those last weeks, and we had to force the little bit of outside help he had on him. But he was able to fend for himself for the most part up until the end, and he was able to die in his beloved home, instead of a hospital. We should all be so fortunate.

Now, I think of Walt once in a while. When I do, I generally think what a shame it was that he didn’t use his energy and his money to help people, rather than squirreling it away and then leaving it all to an organization that doesn’t really need it. There’s a lesson there for all of us.

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