Now that the real identity of Pacific Northwest hijacking legend D.B. Cooper has been unmasked, I feel that I may safely reveal that another legendary figure — the Sasquatch — was, in fact, my Uncle Wally.
My mom’s sister’s husband, Wally “Big” Foote, passed away many years ago. Recently, I began to recall vivid childhood memories of an incident that took place during a visit to the house Uncle Wally shared with my aunt in a rural area somewhere in the West.
One morning when I was about 6 years old, I had just finished eating a waffle when Uncle Wally came home. He was all hairy, well over 8 feet tall, and obviously upset. It was clear even to a 6-year-old that something was not quite right.
“It’s just a bad reaction to his allergy medication,” I remember my aunt telling me, as she carefully combed the burrs from his thick fur and helped him soak his enormous feet in Epsom salts. Then, they told me to go and play outside. But I spied on them, and listened as my uncle described coming upon a man on horseback who appeared to have some kind of movie camera. Uncle Wally told my aunt that he was afraid he’d been captured on film.
I didn’t see my aunt and uncle too much after that. In fact, I may have never seen them again, perhaps because I told my parents what had happened that morning. In any event, Uncle Wally was not fair game for family discussions and we lost track of him and my aunt many years ago. It was only my recent recollections, along with some comments made by late father and by my mother, that made me begin to suspect that they were hiding something from me.
When I was in high school, I asked my dad one morning at breakfast (perhaps my recall had been triggered by another waffle), “Whatever happened to Uncle Wally?”
“Oh,” dad said, “you mean that good-for-nothin’ furry son-of-a-%&$#@?” End of conversation. Dad never mentioned Uncle Wally again. Dad died later that year.
A few years ago, my mom, then in her early 80s, got very anxious when I worked up the courage and asked her point blank: “Is Uncle Wally a Sasquatch?”
“Shhhhhhhh!,” mom said, obviously trying to change the subject. The TV was on, Alex Trebek was speaking, and it was time for Final Jeopardy. End of conversation.
I feel it is my duty to come forward and share this information now while I am still able to tell my important story and solve this long-standing mystery as a public service. Please direct further inquiries to my public relations counsel and/or literary agent.