Letter to My Mother From Z. B. Wilson

BigBroSteve was born on May 3, 1953.  On May 13, Mr. Z. B. Wilson, a friend of the family, wrote a letter to my mother. 

I never knew Mr. Z.B.  But I did know his wife, known as Miss Willie.  She was the most frugal woman you could ever meet, typical of her generation that went through the depression.  She drove a Rambler, and was at church every Sunday like clockwork.  For Christmas, she was usually known to re-gift things, like books.  She once gave my mother a box of Kleenex for Christmas, and I was disgusted with a present like that, but my mother explained to me that it was a very extravagant present, because a tissue could only be used once then thrown away.  In Miss Willie’s world, things were to be used over and over until they were used up. 

Mr. Z.B. and Miss Willie didn’t have any children, and I just found out on ancestry.com tonight that he was previously married, with two girls, and then widowed.  Mr. Z.B.’s sister Lily was my godmother’s mother.  And every time I look at the old records, I’m impressed  by how things and people are connected, and how we are tied to the past and the future.

And the more I try to reduce my carbon footprint, the more I realize that Miss Willie probably had things just about right.


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5 Responses to “Letter to My Mother From Z. B. Wilson”

  1. Becky Says:

    What I remember about “Miss” Willie was the Christmas she gave Mother a can of floor wax; “how quaint” I thought! And when she called on the phone, she never seemed to say “good-bye”; she would just hang up! I enjoyed reading this letter to Ev. 🙂


    • ruthrawls Says:

      I don’t remember the floor wax. I DO remember the Christmas decorations that she made by cutting out silhouettes from the foam meat trays from the grocery store, and how she gave us her week-old TV Guides. I liked to try to work the crossword puzzles in the TV Guide which she had usually already started. I suppose the TV Guide was a big extravagance for her. You’re right, when the phone conversation was over, she. Just. Hung. Up. A bit startling.


      • Becky Says:

        Ah, yes, the TV Guides, probably the inception of my love of the cinema. It didn’t matter that the timing was off and I couldn’t watch them, I loved reading the synopses of every single movie listed in that periodical. And I do remember the meat tray Xmas ornaments!


  2. Kariann Says:

    She would be a great blogger! Silhouettes from meat foam, go girl 🙂

    I too am trying to reduce my garbage. I buy everything used except food but we still have a full can every week.


  3. Miss Jessie May Soward, 1884-1979 « Ruthrawls's Blog Says:

    […] mean that we didn’t have some serious church-goers in our congregation. There was Ms. Willie Rice Wilson a/k/a “Miss Willie”. Now she was serious. There were also four elderly sisters who […]


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