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Don Taylor

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." 

Hildred smiled. 

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 
cantilevered mass. 

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