Walt J


You know when someone shows up to Vietnam in cowboy boots, blue jeans, a leather hat and button down shirt, they are a Republican…I mean a character and are going to have great stories. That first impression remained true as I got to know Grandpa Walt the last two weeks traveling through Vietnam with him, his daughter and granddaughter who is adopted from Vietnam. Grandpa Walt is the kind of person that wakes up at six in the morning every day to go walking just because he can and would feel to stagnant if he wasn’t moving. Everyday he carried his go pro with him while photographing every moment with his other fancy camera. He sees life through a lense, literally and figuratively that is his own unique brand of Grandpa Walt.

Given that we are both early risers, he found me typing away in the business center of our hotel in Can Tho.


Kaila: Why did you come to Vietnam?

Walt: To support my daughter and granddaughter because I came over with the first time (when they adopted Katelinh), second time and this is the third trip.

Kaila: What are your daughter and granddaughter like?

Walt: They are great (laughs). Katelinh is shy, but certainly hasn’t been on this trip. She is quite excellent as a student and person. She starts at five in the morning and goes until nine at night. My daughter is the same way. A very hard worker. Their dynamic good. It wasn’t for a while, but finally Katelinh got her act together and now they really are a team.

Kaila: What is it like having a granddaughter from Vietnam?

Walt: Same as any granddaughter. I have a son whose wife is from the Phillippines, another son married a woman from India…so as far as what country you’re from it makes no difference to my family.

Kaila: What are you doing now in your life?

Walt: I’m just retired and doing what I want to do when I want to do it.

Kaila: What does an average day for you look like?

Walt: Every day is different. No bad days. I don’t really have any what I could call bad days. Life is good.

Kaila: What is your wife like?

Walt: Excellent woman. Very giving. Very loving. We have been together fifty-eight years and counting.

Kaila: How did you meet her?

Walt: Walking dow the street in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Kaila: What did you think of her when you met her?

Walt: She is the one. That is it.

Kaila: Any regrets in life?

Walt: Nope.

Kaila: Anything you are really wanting to do?

Walt: Nope. If I wanted to do so I would have already done it.

Kaila: Who inspires you?

Walt: Who inspires me? (laughs). I don’t how to answer that one.

Kaila: Are you a Republican?

Walt: (Laughs) Yes.

Kaila: I knew it. Do you like our president?

Walt: No.

Kaila: Say one nice think about him.

Walt: (Laughs) He is probably a nice person but I still don’t go along with ninety-nice percent of what his doing. He has no, how do you put it, it’s his way or no way.


Where have you been? 

All the places I have been? As far as countries. What you mean? Where have I been. I’ve been a lot of places.

Where are you now?

I’m sitting here with you.

Where are you going?

I’m going home.


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