Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tom Lyle Williams last pictures with the family.

Last pictures of Maybelline founderTom Lyle Williams in California, taken in 1973.

I was lucky enough to bring my fiance, Gene Dorney up to meet my Unk Ile, a couple months before we were married.  I remember my great uncle saying to me, "Gene is very intelligent, and you are very thoughtful."  Those were the last words spoken to me and I never saw my beloved uncle again.  He began to decline fast and wanted us to remember him as he had always been - strong, vital and handsome.

This picture was taken at the Bel Air estate - uncle Chet, me, Preston, auntie Mabel, Billee, Nana, Unk Ile and Donna, 1973.  It was Mabel and Chet's last visit to California.  I remember a bitter sweet feeling, knowing this was the last time I'd ever see them.  I was 25, about to be married and start a new life with Gene, but there was a sadness about that day I still can feel today.  The end of an era was about to take place.

uncle Chet, Jean and Noel Williams.  Unk Ile always had flowers on the piano and coffee table when the family came to visit.  I think the expression on Noel's face was somber and reflective, because he could see how gaunt and thin Unk Ile looked, a Shadow of the man he had always been.

Nana, auntie Mabel and uncle Chet.  Who would have believed the terrible fate that was facing my grandmother that day in 1973.  She was 72 here and continued to look youthful to her last day.  Sweet auntie Mabel the namesake for Maybelline was so opposite from Nana and many times I wished we could have had a grandmother more like her.  Uncle Chet was a great man, strong and steady and I loved him like a grandfather. 

My sister Donna, Billee and my little brother Preston.  I remember Nana bought us all new clothes for the occasion, insisting we look casual yet elegant.  She was good that way, always wanted us to live up to her standards right to the end.

Now stay tuned as I walk down the isle with Gene, at my father's estate in Palm Springs.  For the whole story please get your signed copy of the Maybelline Story for $14.99 at http://www.maybellinestory.com/ 

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