Below is an essay written before my father’s death – July 6, 1999
WALTER W. PERKINS
Mr. Sandpiper, 1998
Born an identical twin on December 19, 1914, Walter W. Perkins will soon celebrate his 84th birthday and he is the only surviving family member left of his generation. His identical twin brother was named Lewis. The Perkins Family included a total of six siblings, three boys, and three girls. Growing up as twins (Lewis and Walter) shared more than most siblings and they were inseparable — virtually impossible to tell apart. Known as The Perkins Twins, they sang harmonically in church choirs while preaching the gospel. They traveled to many cities, touring as The Perkins Twins and found this to be their calling in life; however, their future together, billed as The Perkins Twins, was short-lived. Lewis became ill at the age of 26 and died suddenly.
Because he loves meeting people and does it so well, Dad chose the hotel industry for his profession while pursuing his dream as a writer and poet. In the early 1960’s he wrote a poem titled, Living Words, based somewhat on Sir Winston Churchill. Living Words was published and today is on display at the Winston Churchill Museum. At the age of 65, Dad retired from the Rodeway Inn, Atlanta, GA. He is divorced and the father of four daughters. Before becoming ill, he lived at the Canterbury House in downtown Charleston and took daily strolls for relaxation.
Dad is a tall and proud man and he can recite poetry like a Shakespearean actor. He is a lover of words and can paint a magnificent poetic picture while he recites the historical stories and events of times past. An avid sports buff, he knows almost every popular football or baseball star by name, position and statistic and he can tell many interesting stories about sports, especially baseball. If you do not care for sports, you will learn to find it an interesting fascination, just by listening to the stories Dad shares.
Dad has always loved the magic of words, and as a young man, he wished to make the family tradition of journal writing part of his daily activities. He has an impressive collection of family diaries and his daily ritual includes writing the days events in his personal diary. He started this ritual many years ago and has quite an invaluable collection of diaries. He has researched our family genealogy, dating us back to the early 1600’s. One impressive member of our family (distant but still very special) is the late Diana, Princess of Wales. Our heritage dates back to the Spencer Family.
Today, Dad still believes in rituals and he records special things in his journal of diaries. From historical moments, to births, deaths, marriages, and yes, even the sad times, are recorded as part of the Perkins History. Significant events are recorded in “Strolling in Memories Gardens.”
As a father, he instilled many beliefs in me and I am proud to call him Dad! He taught me to look inside of a person, to see the inner beauty and not just the face or the smile. He encouraged me to believe in myself and to always “make it a good day!” He has lived a wonderful and proud life and I have never been more proud of him than I have during this year. Walter W. Perkins is truly my bright and shining star, my beautiful aromatic rose, and he is the most loyal and dedicated father, family and friend I have ever known!
December 19, 1998