Cofield’s Corner

Published 8:29 am Wednesday, January 10, 2024

By John Cofield

While any family tree has a Nobel Prize winner in all caps, the trunk William Faulkner’s branch grows from has many strong limbs.

Enter the author’s uncle, his father’s younger brother, Judge J. W. T. Falkner, Jr., himself.

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Hollywood’s central casting couldn’t have come up with a better character to play the wise, old Southern lawyer. His office was on the Square. But he lived on South Lamar.

When I was 11 or 12, Daddy bought the old Bondurant home at 804 South Lamar. After extensive renovations, we moved in. At that time I was the only kid on South Lamar.

Later Judy and Arthur East would come to live just a block down the street. Next door to our house lived Poogie and P. C. Whitehead. They owned the Western Auto Store on South Lamar.

Poogie and P. C. had no children but Poogie raised Siamese cats and had at least a half dozen at all times.

Next door to the Whiteheads lived Judge J. W. T. Falkner. Judge Falkner hated squirrels! In the early morning, he would get his shotgun and try to shoot squirrels.

Poogie would run out to protect her cats wearing only a slip. I could hear her shouting at Judge Falkner to stop and him just firing away while falling bird shot peppered my bedroom windows. It was quite a scene to wake up to!
— Kaye Hooker Bryant