Prologue

My full christened name stretches out to William Gates Waters, but everyone just calls me Billy. I’m about to tell you one of my family stories. By the grace of God I’ve lived into my last sixties now, my biological sixties, so I’m a sexagenarian. This story happened in my first sixties, the 1960s, down in Pair O’ Dice, Texas during the Summer of Love in 1967. This tale I’m telling primarily concerns itself with my recovery from a family tragedy, and secondarily with my coming of age: the first time I almost had sex, the first time I actually did have sex, and the first and only time I ever fell in love.

This tale consists of mostly truth, and anything that isn’t true should have been true, but you wouldn’t call it the courthouse truth, the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God. But, it’s certainly not the gone fishin’ truth, or the campfires and sippin’ whiskey truth, because that’s not the truth at all, merely tall tales, well spun yarns, white lies, outright lies, and plagiarized alibis.

I’ll confess right here in front of God and everybody, I did help the Almighty a wee bit by patching up the potholes in the story. God knows all of us need a little help recreating our creations sometimes, even the Creator. This right here fellow pilgrims, amounts to what you might call the real honest to God front porch gospel truth.

Good stories, and most especially Waters family stories, seek their own level and have a fluid nature to them, encompassing everything from a single tender blessed drop of rain to the raging tempest of an angry ocean, presenting many places to begin the telling of the tale.

There’s the runoff from snowcapped mountain peaks or lazy streams meandering through verdant valleys, mighty maelstroms and roaring rapids, placid lakes with smooth mirrored moments, or jagged broken glass waterfall edges with their dancing pools down below.

Many folks would insist that life begins at conception, another fluid situation, some would even say, a seminal moment, so let us jump into the river of our story there, and get things started with a few spurts at my father’s conception.