It’s taken over a year, but finally book three is getting ready to print – sometime, soon come, this year.
Beginning in 2016, I was commissioned to write the history of a founding family on Grand Cayman Island. The original Watler arrived in the mid 1700’s with a Mr. Bodden, and began the population of this lovely Caribbean Island.
It wasn’t exactly lovely when they arrived, being populated mostly with mosquitos, the likes that some compared to a vision of hell. They were so numerous they choked the livestock that the early settlers brought to the island.
They – (the settlers not the cattle) were a hardy stock, and survived and thrived. To be a Watler or a Bodden today was to be a member of a family of thousands who bear those names. My job was to document just one of those families. At the age of seventy-five, Charlie Watler is the youngest son of eleven children that Lanaman and Jane (Jenny) Watler raised in a watle and daub home in what is now called Lower Valley. On a rocky limestone island, it is the location of one of the richest deposits of soil, and it was there that Lanaman and Jenny grew every sort of fruit and vegetable, and raised cattle to support their family.
Writing their history was not the easiest as many of the family had either emigrated to the States, or passed away. Thus the “Soon Come” part of the book – a common phrase used here to denote the lack of urgency for just about everything. It took time and coaxing, but writing The Watler Story was a delightful trip through Cayman Island history, and one I won’t forget.