Welcome Bill Faulkner To Rotary Club
My wife Hildred and I had just sat down in the dining
room of the Brown Hotel in downtown Oxford, Missis-
sippi when William Faulkner walked in with a blonde
woman about five foot five.
I knew right away the woman's height because Hildred
herself is five foot five in her stocking feet -- when she
wears them. Upon entering the dining room, Hildred's
head barely grazed a banner that read, "Welcome Bill
Faulkner to Rotary!"
Faulkner had to duck a little under the banner, but the
blonde's head, just like Hildred's, passed under neatly
without ducking -- which, when walking under banners
tall woman often have to do from time to time, although
one of those times was not necessary right then.
So, that early evening in Oxford, Mississippi, at the
Brown Hotel, my estimate of how tall Mildred was
helped along by a woman Mr. Faulkner was just then
helping to her chair.
Those of you who know my wife know that she has
had corrective consultations with three plastic sur-
geons here in Oxford -- where we maintain since my
retirement a townhouse, and out on the Trismess Riv-
er a three room cottage north about a mile from the
Trismess Bridge, which we drove over to have sup-
per here at the Brown Hotel.
Hildred has huge breasts, which would be less notic-
able if she were a heavy woman. In fact, and proven
just that morning on the scales in her bathroom, Hil-
dred barely weighed 120 pounds and at five-foot-five
appears rather slight -- except in profile.
That night Hildred wore a long, rather simple dress
with a high neckline and long sleeves. I have to say
Hildred's breasts jut out like balconies on the side of
one of those resort high rises in Costa Rica - and I
thought at the time (since disproved) it was Hildred's
bulging breasts that led to William Faulkner's dood-
ling something on a napkin and having a waiter bring
it to our table.
"It's for the lady," the waiter said.
Hildred placed the napkin on the table, unfolded it,
and there before us I could see Faulkner had drawn
something that looked like a map -- for at the top of
the unfolded napkin, in bold letters, were the words, '
A Map of Yoknapatawpha County.'
In the center to the right of what could have been a
mustard stain was an asterisk and a name, 'Jefferson's
Mounds.' It was a map of Yoknapatawpha Country,
all right. I recognized Jefferson's Mounds.
"It's a map, Hildred!" I exclaimed.
Hildred smoothed out the napkin more, leaned toward
me and sat her breasts down on the table which tipped
abruptly until I made a counter-weight move with my
"Apparently it's a map of Yoknapatawpha Country,
Hildred -- there's Jeff ..." I couldn't see the rest of the
letters because of the override of Hildred's breast plop.
Right then, Mr. William Faulkner got up from his
table and headed our direction. I made a motion for
Hildred to straighten up and get her breasts off the
man's map -- but it was too late.
"Hello, I'm William Faulkner. I saw you were look-
ing at the map I sent over, but I don't see it now."
Well .. we introduced ourselves. I said we were sitting
on the porch of our cottage on the Trismess River
when we decided to drive over the Trismess bridge
and have supper here at the brown Hotel. I said we
were pleased to meet such a famous writer.
At that moment I realized the map had completely
tucked itself -- by Hildred's abrupt turn toward the
man who then stood beside us -- deeper under her
I don't know what could be said proper in a situation
like that -- a writer has the courtesy to send us a map
of his fictions and it ends up hidden under my wife's
I was relieved when a man with a Rotary Club pin
in his lapel, right then, walked over to our table and
said, "Welcome -- Bill Faulkner to our Rotary."
The two shook hands, excused themselves from us,
and walked back to the table where that blonde woman
sat - doodling in Bill's absence on her own napkin.
Well ... that took a lot of the pressure off me; though
I determined the fact that until Hildred sat up straight
there would still be lots of pressure on the map.
We had a nice dinner of southern fried chicken, mash-
ed potatoes and gravy, green beans, and Jello. Hildred
finished with apple pie ala mode and I had a bowl of
strawberries in heavy, heavy cream.
© Don Taylor