Windham publishes 3rd ‘Fuddy-Duddy’ book

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Roy Windham became a storyteller to entertain his grandchildren.

Roy Windham recently published his third children’s book, “Uncle Fuddy-Duddy and the Big Bad Bear.” The spry octogenarian originally created the stories to tell his grandchildren when they were small.

“When they were little, they would crawl up in my lap and say, ‘Tell me a story.’ ” he recalled.

The youngest of his grandchildren is now 32, but still, the “big kids” ask for stories.

“One day, one of them asked me, ‘Grandaddy, do you remember those stories,’ ” he recalled. And with the added encouragement of “Grandaddy, we loved those stories,” the “Uncle Fuddy-Duddy” print series was born.

Windham, an Andalusia native and former postmaster, said when he began making up the stories, he figured the children considered him “an old fuddy-duddy.” So each of the stories features Uncle Fuddy-Duddy, a very large, wise rabbit who lives in a clearing in the woods and looks out for all of the animals in the forest.

“I never knew when I started how they would end,” he said of the stories he told to his grandchildren.

He recently published the third in the series, “Uncle Fuddy-Duddy and the Big Bad Bear,” which he said he was inspired to write after a woman hit a bear near River Falls on Halloween night in 2009.

Windham said when he began the print project, he set out to find a local artist to illustrate the stories. But after talking with his sister about it, he worked with his cousin, Polly Rushton, to add art work to his creations. He has marketed the books, printed by Trafford Publishing, himself, and has enjoyed visiting area elementary schools to read his stories to children.

Each of the books includes several short stories, and each story has a moral. The last one in his latest book, he said, was inspired by something his oldest son said when he was a toddler.

At the time, Windham recalled, he was a young mail carrier on the city route and his wife worked at the draft board. After work, they would walk together to pick up their son, Mike, from his grandmother’s house. Then the three would walk home together.

“My wife insisted that I carry our son most of the way,” Windham said of the mile to mile-and-a-half walk home.

He was carrying his son on his shoulders in the early evening when the toddler noticed a crescent moon for the first time.

“Daddy,” he said, “fix the moon.”

He said he was stunned that his son thought he was that powerful.

“I told him I couldn’t fix it, but it would be round again in a few days,” Windham recalled.

His son’s belief that he could “fix the moon,” gave him a lot to live up to as a father, as Mike and his brother, Alan, grew up, he said.

Windham will participate in “The Stories We Tell,” a book-signing by local authors planned at the library on Fri., Nov. 12, as part of Homecoming 2010 activities. Anyone interested in a book also can call him at 222-4321.