Artist and Musician – (Walt Eckes)

“If it doesn’t touch me, it won’t happen.”

Walt Eckes is no stranger to hardship; nor is he a stranger to happiness. Walt, simply put, is a realist.

We recently had the pleasure of a wonderful visit with Walt and his lovely wife of 44 years, Dolores, in their comfortable Glen Ilah home – a home that certainly mirrors the couples’ various interests, and their individual personalities. From exotic birds in a cozy sunlit atrium, to a park-like scenic fish pond, complete with a bench made for two, the house truly is their home. Walt and Dolores met in Manhattan, and it’s no secret that they are both New York natives. As soon as one of them speaks, an accent only found in NYC emerges in their speech. It’s a pleasant sound, not harsh, and this author finds it amusing (since I am a Jersey native).

Both Walt and Dolores have compelling stories to share, and both are forthright in recounting their memories. There is no pretense – who you see is exactly who you get – an admirable quality in today’s often fabricated world.

Walt & parrot

We began our visit by being introduced to “Sonny” and “Cher”, and none of us can be sure which one should be called “Sonny”, and which one should be called “Cher”. A blood test is needed to precisely indicate the gender….Walt’s educated guess is the names fit accurately. Sonny and Cher are two of the most vividly colored tropical birds I have ever seen in person. They are housed along with a Cockatoo, called Tango, and another parrot-like pet, in the home’s glassy sunlit atrium. These birds are impressive! Cher likes to kiss Walt, and she savors spreading her wings in a proud moment. Cher is not caged, but as Walt and Dolores explained, she could easily pummel any one of the house cats if needed.

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