Thursday, May 12, 2005


My oldest nephew graduates from high school on Sunday. How did this happen so soon?! When I moved here in 1993, Willie was in first grade. I moved here in part to see him grow up. I would test out new stories on him. "What about this one? Does this work?" I sometimes went into his elementary school classrooms to tell stories. The first performance of the beginning of "Tristan and Iseult" was in the fourth grade of Hillcrest Elementary School.

Once, when Willie was about six, I walked past him making faces in the bathroom mirror. I stopped and said, "Good job skill, Willie, good job skill." He has a great rubber face, a very useful attribute, and a well-developed sense of humor. He's a drummer, which only adds to his comic timing. He also has the family penchant for saying ridiculous things in weird accents.

In junior high school, I went to see him in countless plays. He was really good, and I'm not just being a proud aunt. Well, maybe I am, but it's true. A few years ago, when I was given an arts award in town, Willie made the presenting speech simply and clearly, with quiet confidence. That was as nice as the actual award.

I'll be in the audience on Sunday, with plenty of kleenexes handy.

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