April 29, 2021


Today’s my nephew Buzz’ birthday, and this is a baby photo of him with his proud papa Easy!  He was named Willard Howard Eaves, Jr., but always known as Buzz.  When he was still a baby, Mildred and Easy came for a weekend football game at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.  I considered myself practically old enough to be a babysitter—especially if my parents were on hand for a backup.  All day long, Tootsie’s boys and I played outside and kept an eye on baby Buzz.

Mildred and Easy planned to be back after the game quite late that night.  We got Buzz ready for bed at his usual time.  We’d seen Mildred doing the routine the night before.  She’d come right out of the room, closed the door and he seemed to go right to sleep.  Simple. Except for one thing—Buzz kept saying some word we didn’t understand at all.  Whenever we left the room, he cried constantly—we didn’t have a clue what he was wanting.  We handed him various toys, a bottle—nothing worked.  We were all miserable with him!  It was such a helpless feeling not understanding what he wanted so desperately.

Eventually he fell asleep from complete exhaustion.  And we waited anxiously for his parents to get home and solve the mystery.  It turned out that to go to sleep, he liked to hold on to a washcloth, one corner of which was wet!  Simple solution—total mystery.  Fortunately, he didn’t hold it against us and was his usual cheerful self the next morning.

Buzz was headed toward being an only child—but their family was happily delighted when little brother John came along.  Despite their age gap, Buzz and John loved each other well. So different in many ways but able to enjoy each other.  The second photo is of Arley’s three youngest grandsons—Buzz, John and Patrick—together at Patrick and Julia’s 2002 wedding. Happy birthday, Buzz!

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