Williams Family from Evansville, Indiana

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Ballad of Walter and Marie


by Howard Williams
(sung to the tune of El Paso)

Here is a story, bout Walter ‘n Marie Williams…
Hoosiers… about whom, are facts you should know.
Married seven decades, in love with each other…
Walt was born in Posey County, over ninety years ago

Life on the farm, in nineteen- o- eight…
was different, from the way it is now.
There were no planes, and no automobiles,
His dad had two mules that pulled the farm plow

No TV, or radio, no electrical power
were anywhere in that land….
They'd entertain themselves hour after hour,
the sisters would wash all the clothing by hand.

Nine girls and three boys, were raised on that farm,
Near to the banks of the old O-hio.
The mother died young, so the sisters pitched in..
Everyone worked hard to make it a go.

The dad, Andrew Williams, moved the family to town,
deciding on old Evansville.
'Twas on the Ohio, and not far away,
Some descendants of their families are living there still.

One day at the factory Doug Johnson did say:
"Walt, I've a neighbor you should meet,
her name is Marie and she lives with her folks,
you ought to see her, so pretty and sweet".

So Walter called on her the next day,
They fell deeply in love, all around could see.
No one would guess as they watched the young couple,
their love would live into a new century.


In the early 1940s our country faced crisis,
It had to fight for the freedom we love.
Walter made bullets, and Landing Ship Tanks,
He helped win the war ..with God’s help from above.

The Landing Ship Tanks were called LSTs
Many were built there, in Evansville town.
LSTs carried the soldiers and tanks and equipment,
Theyd hit the beach and a ramp would drop down.

Thousands of sailors served on those fine ships,
Some of the bravest are living still.
Sometimes they go to the place where Walter made them,
International Steel Factory, in old Evansville.

Walt’s LSTs sailed to places round the world,
From the Pacific to Normandy beach.
Carrying hundreds of tons, of men and equipment,
Where army and marines ever needed to reach.

In ’98, Walters ninetieth year,
He was honored by sailors, that on LSTs stood,
They signed a book, that honored his work,
Saying, "Our Thanks to you Walter, you sure made them good."

Marie was born in that town by the Ohio,
Sister Ruth and twin brothers, the joy of her eye.
Her dad was a miner and her mom made cigars..
And she a stenographer, at Plumbers Supply.

Walt and Marie were wed one fine day…
They worked hard and paid off their home.
But California seemed better, with sunnier weather…
with their family there they’d need never more roam.

Walter took Clyde Burns and they headed west,
in his little old black Chevrolet.
He found a home, and business in El Monte,
A place his Marie would love to stay.


Her sister Ruth, with Frank and her Momma Lula,
joined up with the family led by Marie.
They piled in a Ford.. and Frank pointed it west,
They even made room for Ruth's doggie, Spotty.

Out from the midwest, on Route Sixty Six,
the little black Ford made it's torturous way.
A cheery and carefree group squeezed inside it,
made hundreds of miles every weary day.

Then on the mountains, near Albuquerque…
the snow started falling, and falling so fast.
Frank turned it around and they went further south,
the only way to get that little old Ford west.

Somewhere out, on a long stretch of highway
Someone might have left cheese in the trunk.
With tact, Harold said, "I know what was smelling ,
it must have been....yes, it was surely a skunk".

Marie and Ruth's twin brothers were very smart..
they took their two sisters advice.
Soon they were traveling west, on that highway..
Living in the southwest, they were sure would be nice.

By '49 they had all congregated,
near mountain foothills, in Monrovia city.
Life there was good, and they lived close together…
Jobs with McShane, Conrac… and Swift & Comp’ny

After retiring… some moved away…
to many locations around.
To Hot Springs and Palm Springs… and finally to Hemet,
Then they went up north… to Cordova town.

Walt's family is gone and Lula, Earl and Neal…
We miss each of them all the time.
We know we will see them again up in heaven,
We'll retell our stories we think are sublime.


Walter's unselfish, that’s something we know,
when he left his family behind.
In Evansville, they would stay.. forever,
yet it did not change our Walter's strong mind.

Their children all went to a Sunday School
And all learned to love the outdoors.
To the mountains and deserts and oceans, they took them,
They loved every trip to the local sea shores.

They often went to the county museum,
The flora and fauna to see.
And they enjoyed some tasty hamburgers
Cooked on a campstove by Mama Marie.

Marie worked so hard to keep all the family..
in close constant touch, all of the time.
They write lots of letters and make lots of calls,
Everyone loves Marie's letters so fine.

Walter in his 80s still drove around town,
running errands, and showing he cares.
Then mowing and raking and fixing what's busted
and remembering every one in his prayers.

Now Walt’s in his 90s and still very healthy,
He takes care of business and his lovely wife.
With lots of hard work, and Kev’s help, they prosper,
They do very well thanks, and live a good life.

Marie loves her tapes and her life in Cordova,
Don’t ask her to move from the place she adores.
She still writes letters and phones to her sister,
Aches and pains make her cheerful, and kind all the more.

If you're in Rancho Cordova, or south in Corona…
and you've got say, an hour to fill.
They'll retell this story, about a brave family,
and how they all got here from old Evansville.


Or if you're traveling, over this good country..
from one sea to another shining sea,
If you ask about them- you'll sure get this answer-
"Yes, we know the family… of Walter and Marie"

Presented to Walter and Marie on Walter’s 90th Birthday by his loving children, grandchildren and great grandchildren …Who hope to celebrate his 100th by singing it for them.

 Copyright © 2001 Williams Family from Evansville, Indiana