Connections: Past, Present, Future

Feb 8, 2015 | 1 comment

Williams Family Reunion 2009 - Rod in Red

Williams Family Reunion 2009 – Rod in Red

For a rainy miserable day, yesterday turned out to be one to remember. It was a day of meeting other people’s sons, of talking and thinking about my own son, and of coming face-to-face with a piece of the future. Sort of.

In the morning, I met with Paul Williams and his brothers – the sons of Mary and the late Rod Williams. They are preparing Rod and Mary’s house for eventual sale and going through the arduous steps involved in cleaning out a lifetime of “stuff.” As we were welcomed into the house, we walked through a hallway lined with boxes, the living room rug laid out with scores of binders and file folders and more boxes gathered in neat groups. On the table awaited a small collection of documents and papers that Paul knew would interest me.

Rod was a storehouse of information – about the Whealdon and Williams families and about the pioneer days on the Peninsula, especially in the Ilwaco area, and he had an amazing collection of early photographs. But best of all, he was generous in sharing. He was my favorite ‘go-to’ guy for Peninsula-related history and we actually had unfinished business in the works when he died in 2013. And that’s why Paul had called me.

We spent an hour talking – about family connections (one of my Espy cousins married one of their Williams cousins) and about the arduous task ahead of them, especially with regard to getting their dad’s archive to the right place. All the while we talked, I had visions of my son Charlie in our house surrounded by boxes and binders and photographs and scrapbooks. I had a fleeting regret that he won’t have several brothers to help him in his own arduous task when the time comes. And, of course, I felt a twinge of renewed resolve to leave things in better shape here than they are right now.

Aaron Rabin

Aaron Rabin

In the afternoon Aaron Rabin, the son of another friend, came calling. We had just ‘met’ via an email introduction by his mom, musician Nancy Rumbel.  Aaron is a writer and filmmaker and with him he brought his girlfriend, beautiful Suria (to whom I apologize for probably mis-spelling her name), and cinematographer Chris Squires who has worked on films such as “The Right Stuff” and “Forest Gump” and “Usual Suspects.”  Impressive.

Aaron, too, has notable credentials not the least of which was being a 2013 Sundance Screenwriter’s Lab finalist for his dramatic feature Pacific County.  And this year Aaron was invited to submit his hour-long pilot, Silent River, to Sundance’s inaugural Episodic Story Lab. He was here on the Peninsula on a “working vacation” scoping out locations for the full-length version of Pacific County. It’s a project he’s been working on for ten years.  (Check out the FaceBook site at

From Aaron's "Pacific County" sitet

From Aaron Rabin’s “Pacific County” FB site

We talked about writing and films and Oysterville history and living in L.A. (which they do) and about Keith Cox and his oyster industry documentary. And, of course, I talked with them about my son Charlie and “Pinky and the Brain” and Theatricum Botanicum. Chris (or maybe it was Aaron) speculated laughingly that Charlie might want a role in their film and all the while I wondered if I could introduce them all via email as Nancy had connected us. Now wouldn’t that be a fun connection?

What a delightful day! Wretched rain notwithstanding, it turned out to be sunshiny bright with possibilities.

1 Comment

  1. Stephanie Frieze

    I, too, am a singleton, and my friends with siblings have offered to gift me with one or another as they can be contentious when the time comes. I guess, but I’d like a little help with my mom. Of course my family hasn’t the sort of files that interest anyone so I am determined to cut down my pile so as to not leave an arduous task for my boys. They will squabble.

    Did you know our Ilwaco house was built by a Whealdon?


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