Wilson’s Story

Wilson was a child born probably in the mid sixties. There were siblings I remember hearing, but I’m unsure how they faired in life. Wilson ended up at the Austin State School. A ward of the state.

My Granny Ruby worked there for many years in 60’s and 70’s and maybe even a little in the early 80’s. She took a special interest in Wilson. No one every came to see him, so see took him under her wing. It was easy to tell that Wilson never really developed physically or mentally, but he had a sweet disposition about him. I know this because she was able to get permission to check him out and bring him home with her on holidays and at other times as well. He could speak, but didn’t speak often.

His head was very mis-shapened. More of a oval than rounded. He was really skinny too.

Granny Ruby kept him in underwear, socks and warm pajamas. She was so sweet to him and he could not have adored anyone the way he did her. He always called her Ms. Waggoner, always. Maybe that was proper protocol at the school. She continued to see after his needs as he became adult age. I don’t remember her bringing him home with her after he got to be a teenager.

During the push the deinstitutionalize the mentally ill, which started in the 80’s I think, Wilson was sent to a group home, somewhere in south Austin. I believe she pretty well lost touch with Wilson at that time.

Sometime in the early 90’s, Wilson walked away from his group home and was wandering around in a fog. He made his way to Dripping Springs, some 25 miles away. An elderly man saw him and convinced him to come to his place of residence, which was a low cost elderly housing right along US 290 on the west side of town. For whatever reason the old man started giving Wilson alcohol. Supposedly Wilson had never had alcohol in his life. It is believed that he tried to make Wilson perform sex acts.

By the next morning a bloodied Wilson was found once again wandering along the highway. He had bludgeoned the old man to death.

It was obvious that Wilson was unable to comprehend what all had happened and I think he was returned to a group home, hopefully with better security, to live out his life.

It was so unbelievable to Granny Ruby that her Wilson could have had that happen to him. She blamed the system for ever turning him and many others out. She always said that he never stood a chance, and I guess she was right.

I looked to see if I could find the story about that happening, or if Wilson is still alive, or if he is buried some place. I found nothing on Wilson. It’s like he never existed.

She went to her grave concerned for little Wilson.

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