Family Favorites

I will write a lot about “OllieOtt” and “Honey”. They were special to me and mine.  “OllieOtt” was Charles Maynard Wyatt and “Honey”, Valma Wyatt Coffman.  Charlie was also known as “Chuck” later in his life, but Honey was always “Honey”. She was my mother’s youngest sister and he was my favorite ‘family mystery’. Born in February (as many of my cousins were), 1928, he was three-years and four-days older.  Honey had success in business and failure in marriage. Charlie’s father was killed in an automobile accident when he was three. They were living with my parents at the time. Honey later married Ross Cramer in Sweetwater, Texas. They ran a Dodge/Chrysler Auto Agency up until financial crisis pushed Ross over the edge. He asphyxiated himself, leaving Honey to raise her son and run the company. She co-owned a custom ladies hat shoppe in Dallas with her step-mother and while employed by a county sheriff, married Gaines Stover. Unfortunately, the marriage didn’t last and she was simply a divorcee for years. She then met and married a very special man who was a retired Air Force Master Sargent. Bill Coffman was a jewel who worshipped my aunt. Tragedy struck when he was diagnosed with lung cancer. I escorted my Aunt Honey at Bill’s full military funeral in San Antonio. She had not heard from Charlie in years. He then turned up in Austin, bought her a home and seemed to settle down, refinishing bathtubs. On August 18, 1990, he told a friend he was going on an errand and we never heard from him again. Later, we found that he had been indicted for conspiracy in a drug trial in Florida and had turned state’s evidence.  My cousin’s remains were discovered in a barrel of concrete in the bottom of Lake Buchanan, twelve years after his disappearance. The autopsy revealed that my cousin was beaten to death and placed in that barrel. His ashes and that of my Aunt, were interned in the grave of his father in the Masonic Cemetery in Mount Pleasant, Texas, by a good friend. It is hard for my family to grasp such a tragedy. The details of my cousin’s cruel death will probably never come to light. I am certain that I do not wish to know them. It’s just another example of what can happen when we wander away from the Will of THE FATHER, donchaknow. That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.   AMEN

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