Friday, November 6, 2015

Where Did “SLIPPERY WILLIE” Come From? By Larry Peterson@slipperywillie

Way back “in the day” when I lived in New Jersey, the wife and I decided that it would be nice to share our home with some less fortunate children. So we became foster parents. We had no agenda save ‘sharing’ ourselves and our home and what we had with others. However, we committed to sharing our two young sons also. Their ages were six (6) and almost three (3). Yes, at that point in time our decision making was somewhat “Pollyanna-ish”.

We were supposed to have a boy of 12 come to live with us. At 2 p.m. on the appointed day, the caseworker, Deirdre, pulled up and two boys, aged six (6) and three (3), jumped out of her car. I said nicely, “They don’t look like a 12 year old. Do the two of them even add up to being 12 years old? Now we have two sets of twins. This is a trick, right?”
Overworked and obviously stressed she assured me it was “no trick”. Plus, she was rubbing a big, red welt on the side of her face the result of being whacked by three year old Brian with his shoe. But I digress. Suffice it to say, for the next two years our family life was, to say the least, somewhat unconventional. Now you might be asking, what does this have to do with Slippery Willie? Well, here it is.

Brian was one month shy of being three and was hyper-active, possessing scant self-control in any of his behavior. He did not even speak. Rather, he growled. He would put anything that would fit, into his mouth. He chomped on tree bark, dirt, leaves and even swallowed rubber bands (we discovered that after one of his adventurous potty visits).
Besides the child’s bizarre penchant for eating all sorts of junk, munk and gunk, Brian would get up and just run across the room. He would smack into the wall and fall backward onto his butt. He would bounce back up and keep on going. He would run out the front door and stumble down the steps. And, he would bounce back up and keep on going. Bottom line—he NEVER got hurt. It was amazing. Then his big brother, Joey, says, “I think Brian got slippery feet.”
That six word sentence is what spawned my children’s book, “Slippery Willie’s Stupid, Ugly Shoes”. Here is the description from the back of the book:

“Willie Wiggles hates his slippery feet. He just slips, slides and spins all over the place. But what he hates even more are the special shoes that have been made for him that will help him to walk just like all the other kids. Willie thinks that they are the ‘stupidest, ugliest shoes in the whole world.” Come and discover how sometimes we worry about things about ourselves when actually there is nothing to worry about in the first place.

The publisher of that book set up my Twitter and Blogger sites using the words, Slippery Willie. That publisher (traditional) went out of business last March and all rights reverted to me. The Twitter username and my web/blogger site has been using Slippery Willie since it was published in 2011. And there you have it, the birth of “slipperywillie”. Anyway, the username at Twitter remains @slipperywillie . Slippery Willie also lives on in his book and on the blog;

Final thoughts: Joey and Brian, our foster boys, lived with us from 1974 thru 1976. They became part of our family. Our kids morphed into being their brothers and they called us ‘mom and dad’. They had no contact with their mom and after two years we inquired about adopting them. That is a whole other story but, when the adoption process was initiated, their mom resurfaced and they were removed from our home and returned to her. She moved to Florida and managed to place them in a foster home somewhere near Fort Lauderdale. When Brian left us he was behaving as a normal five year old and attending kindergarten. We heard that he reverted and was placed in a school for developmentally disabled kids. That was very sad news. We did try to keep track of their whereabouts but after some time passed we lost all contact. Funny thing is, even after 40 years I do not believe that story has reached its conclusion..

Larry is the author of "The Demons of Abadon" series that is available on Amazon Kindle,Kobo and Barnes and Noble Nook.
Here is the Amazon Kindle link to "Volume One-Shadows and Light":

No comments:

Post a Comment