Posted by: abbiewatters | July 23, 2011

The Siblings

How many brothers and sisters do you have? – I have two sisters and one brother.

When were they born? – Harriet was born June 2, 1948, Betty was born December 21, 1950, and Bill was born June 5, 1955.

What memories do you have of each of them from when you were growing up? – They have all figured prominently in this series of posts so far, but I’ll talk about each of them in more detail individually now.

Harriet Greisser

Here’s Harriet in the Christening Robe that Papa’s mother was baptized in, then Papa and his brothers, then all of us and all of his brothers’ children, and finally my children, and my grandchildren. I still have it, but it is VERY delicate and I’m afraid to wash it or even handle it.

In the long, hot summers in Texarkana before air conditioning, we cooled off in a wash tub and the hose. That’s me and Harriet, enjoying the water.

Here we (the cousins, Harriet, and me) are cooling off in the shallows at Little River Country Club. You’ll notice we have a tight grip on Harriet. Mama said that as soon as we would let go of her she would stick her face in the river and refuse to come up! She was about 13 months old in this picture.

Here we are showing off a string of fish Papa had caught. I was about 7 years old, and Harriet was 3. She was always tall for her age, and I was always short, so we looked like there were fewer than four years between us.

Here’s Harriet and me getting ready to go trick or treating for UNICEF with a friend of ours. I’m the ghost and Harriet is the devil in Red. Harriet was 12 years old and I was 16 here. See, she’s taller than I am and she hasn’t finished growing yet.

This is Harriet in her hippy years. I was married and in Germany by the time this was taken. She was getting ready to go the University of Michigan.

She married a fellow from Westfield while she was at the University of Michigan, and she was not around much when I was for almost 10 years. She divorced and fell in love with her current husband during that time – meanwhile, I was living in Louisiana, Nevada and England.

We basically reconnected at my grandmother’s funeral in January of 1982. By that time she was a career woman working for Channel 13/PBS in New York City, and loving the urban life.

When Big Al and I came home from England, she scooped us off the boat and we spent a day with her and her future husband in New York City. Here we are walking in Riverside Park.

Here she is in her wedding picture in 1985.

Elizabeth (Betty) Greisser

Here’s Betty in the Christening Robe. I think we were saving money on the picture. Mama said the only way she could tell Harriet’s picture from Betty’s picture was that Harriet’s ears stuck out.

This was later that same summer. Betty has joined us and she was about 7 months old here.

Here we are the Christmas that Betty was 2 years old, Harriet was 4, and I was 8.

Betty was enough younger than I that I didn’t pay much attention to her while I was growing up. She was still home, though when I came back to Westfield to live after Ray was born. She was still in High School, so I got to know her a little then.

Betty and Mama came to visit us when we lived in Germany. Here she is in our apartment.

That’s Ray and Betty and me dangling our feet in one of the lakes in Germany.

She went to Trenton State College in New Jersey. By the time she graduated, Mama and Papa had moved to Texarkana, but they and Bill went back to New Jersey for her graduation and to help her move to Texarkana, with them.

She got a job in the Trust Department of the Bank that Gankie had been a vice-president of. I saw her more often while we lived in Louisiana, but didn’t see much of her from the time we went to England until after she was married.

She was VERY pregnant at Nannie’s funeral. That’s Harriet and her visiting. It’s a shame that we didn’t get together much more than for funerals, because we really enjoyed each other when we were together.

After we came home from England, we lived in Texarkana and I got to know her as an adult.

William Robert (Bill) Greisser

There’s the Christening Robe again, and see, his ears aren’t sticking out, so we know it’s not Harriet.

This is all four of us with Mama in the summer of 1956.  I’m 12 years old, Harriet is 8, Betty is 6 and Bill is 1.

This was taken in the summer of 1963. I’m 19 years old, Harriet is 15, Betty is 12, and Bill is 8.

Here’s Betty and Bill in the spring of 1970.  This was shortly before Mama and Papa and Bill moved to Texarkana. I was the same amount older than Bill as Bill is older than Ray – 11 years each way, so he was as much my kid as he was my brother.

Here are the Four Williams – William Bar Oglesby, Jr (Uncle Billy), William Bar Oglesby, Sr. (Gankie), William Thomas Watters (my son Bill), and William Robert Greisser (my brother Bill).

I was around Bill fairly regularly from 1970 until he went to college at M.I.T. in 1973.

Then I didn’t see much of him until he came to visit us in England in June 1979. Here he is with Ray and Bill Watters.

Here he is with Mama and Papa in Texarkana. He got a job with Texas Instruments and moved to Louisville, TX. He married a girl from Louisville in 1983. Since we both live in the Dallas area, we see more of each other now than we did growing up.

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