As promised yesterday, here is Part Two of the Tribute to Walter Bailey Young, my long time partner and sweetie.
WALTER BAILEY YOUNG - "THE UNCLE"
If I asked my grand-daughters today to tell me some of their memories of their Uncle Todd...my guess would be..."He took me to Disney World" or "He bought me the latest IPOD", or "He opened me a checking account," ...my memories of my Uncle Dubby aren't even in the same ballpark. Our trips would be walking down to Mossy Creek Hollow to pick blackberries or shoot a gun, or just go for a walk around Carson-Newman campus. He would take me to the football games and I will never forget one game that Jefferson City High played Tennessee School for the Deaf. That was an experience! One time he took me fishing, but because I was blessed with the gift of gab, that was my one and only fishing trip. My sisters and I agree that our favorite time spent with Dubby was when we would go to Virginia Beach to visit Uncle Howard and Aunt Ruth, and our cousins, Robert and Karen. Visualize this: 3 adults...3-4 kids in a 51 Ford...no air conditioning...in July...and a barf bag for my sister Pam. It was left up to my Uncle Dubby to keep us kids from killing each other, and he did a good job of it. He kept us entertained by playing games like counting cows, going on vacation and I'm going to take something that begins with the letter a, b, c, etc.; or I see something that you don't see and it is the color (red, blue, etc.) Notice how he kept the games educational. Needless to say, those trips will remain embedded in our hearts forever.
I loved spending weekends with Uncle Dubby because he would always fix me sandwiches make with that sandwich spread and cherry kool-aid and I would get to stay up late with him to watch the Tonight Show. I would awaken the next morning to the sound of elevator music and the smell of JFG coffee and fried bacon. If it was a Saturday that he had to work, I would sometimes walk to work with him and return back in the afternoon hoping to find him waiting for me with a box of Hershey bars or life savers from the wholesale store. On Sunday mornings, my Uncle Dubby, my Aunt Bonnie and I, along with the pet dog, Bogey, would walk to church.
One of my best memories was when Dubby got a new tape recorder, and we spent the afternoon writing plays and doing the sound effects. I can hear the scrunching of newspaper making the sound of crackling fire, and our knuckles tapping on a book to sound like horses running as if it were yesterday. However, I also remember the one and only time he spanked me. The walkway from the street to the porch at my grandmother's house was composed of those small pea gravels. My cousin, Robert, and I were throwing those pea gravels up over our heads after being told many times not to. For some strange reason, I got spanked and Robert didn't. Today I still wonder if that spanking was my first introduction of male chauvinism or was he trying to get a point across to Robert? But, like the student that got spanked, I deserved it.
I know I speak for Pam, Terri, Bonnie and myself that our Uncle Dubby was the best!! He was our mentor, he was the kindest, most loving man you would ever meet. He always had our best interest at heart; he encouraged us to follow our dreams and to be a leader, not a follower; to get an education; but most of all - to stand strong in our Christian faith. Like Pam told me, "When he said he loved you, he loved you..and you knew he meant it." We have always felt it a privilege and an honor to call him our Uncle.
WALTER BAILEY YOUNG - "THE HUSBAND, THE FATHER"
My Uncle Dubby remained a bachelor for more than half his life. I know very little about his and Ruby's courtship, but I can just about guarantee you those baby blue eyes had something to do with stealing his heart. Dubby and Ruby were married in 1976 and by this time I was already married and started a family. At this stage of my life just the only time I spent with my Uncle Dubby was at family get-togethers and Christmas. He had now taken on the role of not only a husband but a father to Ruby's daughters, Carol and Teresa. I never recall a time that he didn't speak of Carol and Teresa as his daughters, nor did he ever refer to the grandchildren as Ruby's grandchildren, but instead his or theirs. He would always keep you updated of the activities everyone was involved in. There were always those moments of grandparents' bragging rights. He was always proud of your accomplishments, Carol, Teresa..He may not have been your biological father, but that was never an issue with the way he loved you.
Ruby, I don't have to stand before you and tell you that he adored you. You were the love of his life. A few weeks ago when my Uncle Dubby had to go to the hospital while still in Jefferson City. L.D. and I took my Aunt Bonnie to visit with him. Ruby and I went out to get a bite to eat and L.D. and Big Bonnie stayed with Dubby. L.D. told me later that every time Ruby's name was mentioned, Dubby's eyes would light up and a big smile would spread across his face...and when she walked back into the room, his entire body glowed. His whole life revolved around you, Ruby. You introduced him to a world he never knew. My mom would always say, "Dubby has done things and been places that he never wouold have seen or done if not for Ruby. She has made him happy." And Ruby, he carried that love and happiness with him to his death. It's only fair to say you loved him back. We would like to say, "Thank you for all that you did for him...for the adventure you took him on...for the passion you showed him...but most of all for the care you gave him and the patience you showed him until death did you part, we will always be grateful."
(Tomorrow the last part of this Tribute to Uncle Dubby by Niece Donna Word).
If you all think this has been an easy thing to type, think again..It is quite difficult to type when your nose is running, and your heart is breaking again in a feeling of loss. Yet I am quite happy for him and the fact that he is no longer in any kind of pain, but is rejoicing with family and friends that have gone on before him.
I had a pleasant surprise this morning when I was sitting at the kitchen table in my night gown, reading a Betty Neels book. I had finished breakfast, and taken my morning medications (arghh) and drinking the last of my cup of hot tea (which by that time was cold). My phone rang, and it was granddaughter Julia on the line asking if I would like to go with her and the two girls to take some stuff to the church for a Sunday school teachers' training session being held on Saturday. She thought she might need some help with watching the girls while she carried the materials in to the kitchen there. So I said, "sure, I'd love to". I hurried around and got my shower, got dressed and was waiting when she picked me up around 10:30. The two girls are adorable, of course. Brooke is about 5 months old and Alyssa is almost 2 years old. I love being able to spend time with Julia and her and Andrew's children.
We went to the church and I waited in the car until she got the stuff carried up to the door, and then she got out the two children and I accompanied them up to the church and the youth pastor helped carry the stuff into the kitchen and while they talked, I kept the baby occupied and Alyssa kept herself occupied with looking at stuff and naming colors that she saw.
After that we left and stopped by Chick-fil-a and picked up some lunch and brought it back here to my house and ate it. I took them through the house so Julia could see what I have accomplished so far, and then they gave hugs and kisses and left. I really am thankful that Julia called and that we had such a great outing!
Yesterday, I baked a huge pan of fudgy brownies with walnuts, and after they cooled, I cut them and packaged them into three packages of aluminum foil. This afternoon, I took those three packages and three leaflets that we had printed up for Dubby's funeral service and carried them to Bishop Davies Nursing Home where Dubby was housed until he passed away a month ago. I wanted to tell them how much appreciated they are because of the wonderful care they gave to him in his last three weeks of life. They were very appreciative of my gift to them.
I did some more cutting up of boxes early this morning (about 6:30 to 7:30) and then had my breakfast.
Days seem to be going rather smoothly now, and I am getting into a routine. I will soon have most of the house put to rights, maybe another week. Then I will begin sewing again. That is about it for today. I will finish the tribute tomorrow. This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for today. Much love to each of you, my friends. More later. Bye for now.