Aunt Evy’s husband. He is a discontented man who delivers milk for a living in a horse-drawn wagon. Despite missing the middle finger from his right hand, he plays the guitar well. Aside from this, however, Uncle Willie is dull. He also has a hostile relationship with his horse, Drummer, which Francie finds amusing. Uncle Willie continues to suffer from depression and takes to his bed when he finds out that he is too old to enter the army and join the war effort. Steve helps him get work at a munitions factory. Shortly thereafter, he starts practicing the bass drum and a pair of cymbals. After Francie buys him a harmonica, he adds it to his repertoire and thus forms a one-man band. His incessant drumming leads the family to move constantly, due to the disruption to the neighbors. He leaves Evy around the time that Mary Rommely dies, in favor of working as a busker. It seems that he made the decision after winning ten dollars in an amateur night at a movie house, where he competed against other one-man bands.
Uncle Willie Flittman Character Timeline in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
The timeline below shows where the character Uncle Willie Flittman appears in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.