The Devil in Uncle Watt

Uncle Watt bit off the head of a big, fat, juicy, green tobacco worm, peed on his deaf cousin, and poked mules in the ass with a sharp stick just to see ‘em kick. Oh, yes, he was full of the Devil. And my efforts to untangle dead ancestors lured me into a genealogical exorcism.

“Oh my Lord, he done got the Devil in ‘im BAD,” Raffie, a stooped, ancient man who used to work beside him on the farm once told me when I was a young lad. As late as July 2009, Helen, one of my beloved aunts and a Beatnik artist then in her 80s, when reminded of Uncle Watt called him “quite a character.” And so I tumbled down the dumbwaiter chute of a family mystery. Who was this “Devil?”

Continue reading @

William Dudley Bass
2009, 2012
Seattle & Shoreline, Washington

NOTE: This essay was first published in my earlier blogs, revised on my new website, On Earth at the Brink, @ It is reprinted here with my permission as the Author. Thank you.

3 thoughts on “The Devil in Uncle Watt

  1. Honestly? William, I can see the post on your site being “expanded” into a book-length form. It brings to mind the work of writers Ivan Doig and Wallace Stegner – both with “northwest” (sort of) connections. It is a privilege to know you, to read your work, and to be formed and informed by your voice.

  2. Liz, thank you. I value your insights & appreciate your comments. Feel free to check out the previous one I posted here from my website, “Last Night I Dreamed of a Dead Woman from Long Ago,” @ Feel free to linger then dive deep into my website, including the CATEGORY ARCHIVES section called, “AUTOBIO MEMOIRS, FAMILY HISTORY & STORIES, FRIENDS” @

    Books are in the works. Several of them. :)


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