Tag Archives: William Charles Summers

A Return to Perceived Eccentric Meanderings

I spent a large number of posts discussing the BP Oil leak and its consequences. That included a couple saying that the leak streak was going to end. I then have spent three posts discussing the passing, life and memory of my uncle Will. That brings  me to now and to today. I am ready to start blogging about other things. The truth is that the other things I blog about or not as likely to be seen as essential, necessary and compelling as the blogging I have been doing on the last two topics. In the eyes of many I am back to blogging about odd things that few think seriously about and which they don’t approve of when they do think about them. That is a particularly negative and jaundiced view that does not represent everyone reading. Some will say I discuss interesting things but from an odd and eccentric perspective. A last and probably much smaller group will say that I have offer a welcome glimpse at a sane perspective in a world gone mad. Some readers will not relate to any of these three  points of view.

I think some writing and writing venues consist of exploratory agitation. Some consist of a kind of journeyman’s daily craft. Yet another kind of writing is a victory lap that sets off a long period of success and accomplishment.  I think this blog is none of those things it is kind of like a defeat lap. The Marathoner who finishes eighth in a field with only three prizes taking a lap around the home stadium holding his country’s flag. One may ask why the hell he does it but also finds it difficult to dispute his right to run it if he wants to run it.

I comment here on many topics from the point of view of someone whose life has been for a long time a relatively unmitigated disaster. Economic, political and social disaster of a rather extreme kind or only mitigated by a few personal victories and satisfactions. Those include mostly relationships with people who are precious to me.

Since I finished my recent online novel, have stopped covering the oil leak closely and have buried my uncle I can return to blogging. I welcome almost all possible readers. The readership is almost certain to remain small compared to the largest readership I have ever written for in my past. It is as much expression as communication I suppose.  So before returning to these political, social and religious notations I am taking this post to discuss the blog itself in terms that seem real today.

Remembering the Near Despair and New Hope in 2 Weary Souls

 I am feeling a bit weary today. I feel a bit weary most days. Honestly, I require a certain infrastructure of life which I do not have here and now to ever live free of weariness. In addition I am aging and at 46 I think there is some sense of having hit the top of the hill of human energy and heading back down again. Yesterday I served as a pallbearer and as a lector at the funeral of my uncle William Charles Summers. For me weariness was part of the whole experience of Will’s last years. I felt some sadness and unease mentioning this because his marriage to his widow Brenda and his relationship with the stepdaughters he cherished — Jennifer and Kayler occurred during these weary years mostly. I do not want to make it seem like the man who worked their farm, hunted alligators, saddle broke horses, coached basketball, drove them on vacations and lived as their husband and father was some old weary guy. But honestly I never saw him since the year 20oo for any length of time when he did not communicate his weariness to me in some way.   That was ten years ago and he only married Brenda eleven years or so ago. But for all he did in those years his energy was a small and frail thing compared to the vast fountains of energy I knew in his youth. Will was almost 55 when he died and I am almost 46 now and I can relate to his sense of weariness.   That weariness inspires me to write this blog post.

Will found a new life with Brenda and her children. he had a working farm and was a friend of the husband Brenda had just buried before he took a different interest over coming years in the widow he was helping. But in a quiet way he was near despair. He already had several physical ailments and an active life had left him burdened with varied old injuries. His religious journey and relationships with women including one named Jackie and another named Lisa and a few others I choose not to name at all had all come to a place that had left him for short of satisfied. He had helped his sister who was raising a child alone to help rear her daughter in different ways for several years.  That had gone the way such sibling volunteer fathering often goes in our society. He had kept close bonds with sister and niece but new walls and borders had grown up between them as the years passed.

Will had sailed some rough seas and backed away from a lifelong love affair with sailboats. The hard-drinking, sharpshooting, world-traveling, mysterious side of Will that existed on the fringes (at best) of the legal world in several countries and could help play music in a bar of questionable reputation or move packages of obscure origin or help women get around whose movements some might want to limit could be a dangerous and angry man. He had mellowed. Maybe more than I have mellowed at a similar age now that he had reached then. Will and I always had things in common and also were very different. We also had lots of things in common. Partly, we found some grace in people we cared about to temper other aspects of our personalities.

There is a cycle in all lives but perhaps in ours more than most. I will no longer be able to look over a few miles away to see my uncle’s struggle between despair and hope and compare it to my own.  I will not have the chance to compare notes on the spiritual struggles we shared in common. I hope, yes I feel some hope that he both rests in peace and is well-remembered.

To see Will and not violate copyright laws: http://www.meaningfulfunerals.net/fh/obituaries/vt_view.cfm?o_id=666635&fh_id=11197&s_id=7DC1F0D026E57519378C8C9000056A1B&vt_type=1

William Charles Summers Dies: An Acrostic Verse

Will, I am stringing rhyming lines together to spell your name on the left side.

I feel a loss I just cannot pretend is gone and yet I have not shed a tear yet.

Let’s just say I will miss the crawfish boils and the days I matched your stride.

Loping across that farm and disagreeing about things most folks would not “get”.

I am thinking of that old guitar, the harmonica and the banjo too.

All the way back to a military school and Sousaphone you played with pride.

Music stitched through lands and colors was part of much you used to do.

***

Could it be I miss the Bible sharing that we had? I an 8-year-old lapsed Catholic,

Hearing your Jehovah’s Witness testimony to God as real for you,

And next I set Catholic tones to your hippie search in topics  exegetic.

Rather later, you and I and John read texts in a farmhouse too.

Latest of all, talking about your Roman Catholic ending road.

Every phase was marked by that Bible’s mental load.

Some same Bible problems we both too well knew.

***

So, I am making you a pious memory now Will.

Until, I remember all you knew about Marijuana,

Meaningful quarrels over laws that outlive you still.

Much agreed on: prostitution and pot in Louisiana

Each favoring regulation but angry words air did fill.

Remember wild child you surfed when we went to Malibu?

Summer before you ran to a Shenandoah hill. 

***

Do I mention Taurus and Cajun Blue in a line for you?

It seems seeing sailing sets  tests my simple poem can’t do.

Each day from now on I will know what we did not get.

Suddenly, the passing is clearer in a kind of regret.

William Charles Summers Death Announcement

“My uncle William Charles Summers has died. Survived by his mother, 3 brothers, 2 sisters and my generation as well as by his wife Brenda his 2 stepdaughters and their husbands and children. Will was a musician, farmer, surfer, sailor, skipper, Bible reader, hunter, fisherman, horseman, outlaw and coach. His journey began and ended in the Catholic faith with deep spiritual searching elsewhere. May he rest in peace.” Such are the character limits on the status line in Facebook. However, shorter is possibly better here. I hope to do a longer post of both eulogy and complete obituary.

Will was the youngest of my father’s brothers. One of his sisters was also older and only one sister was younger. Will died the day they got the oil flow stopped in the gulf disaster for the first time since it started. I know that was something he cared about. Life was complicated for Will and Will could complicate it for others. He was a tall dark man with blue eyes and a whole lot of fight in him almost all his life. I will write some more about him later. I hope his passing is marked well in the meanwhile. I believe that Vincent’s Funeral Home in Abbeville, Louisiana will be handling the arrangements.