Fall City Days Parade Grand Marshals Walt and Boletta Watkins have called Fall City home for 25 years.
To date, they remain on their family farm on the Lake Alice Road.
“I moved to Fall City to get a horse,” explains Walt, an avid horseback rider.
Walt and Boletta grew up in eastern Washington. Walt was from Lind and Boletta was from Wenatchee.
Walt was at a wedding in 1951, and back in those days, you lined up to congratulate the groom and kiss the bride. Walt was in line with his brother-in-law.
“You know, we were a couple of ornery characters,” said Walt. They decided “we ought to kiss all the girls in the line, not just the bride.” So, after congratulating the groom and kissing the bride, Walt said, “I went in for a fake kiss on Boletta, a bridesmaid, and she puckered up, so I went ahead and kissed her anyway.”
“So after I kissed her I said, ‘Hey babe, how about you and I go dancing out at Dancing as You Like It,’ a dancing club, and she said ‘OK.’”
“When we got there, we got a table and a little three-piece band began to play the Love Sick Blues, and now that’s our theme song, said Walt.
“And we were married five months later,” said Boletta. The pair began their married life in Seattle and have been married for 62 years.
After serving in the Navy at the tail end of World War II, Walt started his career in the newspaper business as a printer. He worked for Pacific Coast Stamp Works in Seattle and the Issaquah Press before going to work for the Seattle Times in 1957. Walt received Supervisor of the Year from his peers in 1990 and after working for the Seattle Times for 33 years, he retired in 1991.
The couple had four sons, Daniel, Tim, Donald and David, and one daughter, Mary, when they moved to Fall City and their farm in 1969. Today, the couple has five children, 11 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
Boletta worked outside the home for Critter Sitters Babysitting, about eight years altogether. She enjoys sewing.
“She is so good, she sewed up a suit for our son Donald,” Walt said. “She’s also a very good cook.”
“I also made our daughter Mary’s wedding dress,” Boletta added.
Walt and Boletta both serve on the Fall City Cemetery Association Board and Walt has been the caretaker since the mid 1980s. Walt says every headstone is weed-wacked before Memorial Day.
Walt has always been a horseback rider and was a member of the Raging River Riders for a good many years.
“I helped build the Raging River Riders arena in the early ‘70s, just up the street on the Zengrell property, that is long since gone,” he said.
Walt remembers a funny story from when he rode with the Raging River Riders in the Fall City Days parade.
“I was riding my horse Nugget and she was kind of antsy about flags and stuff,” he recalled. “As I was coming by a mother and her little girl, Nugget started prancing a bit and the little girl said, ‘look mommy, it’s a ….. it’s a cowboy!’ That was so cute.”
Walt is currently a member of the Tahoma Branch of the Back Country Horsemen of America. He learned to play the ukulele in WWII, loves all forms of hunting, fishing at lakes in Eastern Washington and woodworking.
The couple travels to Wisconsin often, allowing Boletta to visit with all of the grandchildren, while Walt goes fishing on Lake Michigan with his son, Tim.
The Fall City community thanks Walt and Boletta for being this year’s Grand Marshals.