Rediscovered: The Death of Willeford’s Grandfather


Michael S. Chong keeps surfing the net, looking for stray tidbits concerning the late great Charles Willeford. In with some other info he sent the above clipping, saying:

“As a bonus, a small biographical detail in the column ‘The Time Has Come’ by Ben Wasson from the Delta Democrat Times, Greenville, Mississippi, for Sunday, February 13, 1972. Willeford relates in a letter how his grandfather was killed, shot at his work desk with a shotgun.”

To read it easily, just click on the image and blow it up.

Until someone can prove it, I’m not guaranteeing that this story is true — obviously local newshound Ben Wasson has his doubts, too. If it was almost anyone else, I might accept it as 99% likely. But since it is Willeford, it could be true, partly true or just another story he made up. The “premeditated” bit sounds like classic Willeford spinning a yarn.

(And by the way, Michael keeps plugging away at short crime fiction, as well — he’s got more stories coming out: “Trespassing” in editor K.A. Laity’s Drag Noir and “Unredeemable” in The Exile Book of New Canadian Noir from editors Claude Lalumière and David Nickle.)

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