'Bridges of Madison County' writer, spouse of 36 years
By The Associated Press
and Courier Staff
The former Cedar Falls man who wrote one of the best-known love stories of modern times is divorced.
A court clerk in Alpine, Texas, confirmed that Georgia Waller filed for divorce from Robert Waller and that the decree was granted on Aug. 15.
Waller was living in Cedar Falls when he wrote the best-seller "The Bridges of Madison County," which stayed on the New York Times best-seller list for 162 weeks after it was introduced in August 1992.
The Wallers' only child, Rachel Waller, said the divorce became final just days before her parents' 36th anniversary.
She said Waller, 58, is now living on one of his Texas ranches, the 8,000-acre Del Norte Ranch near Irvine, with Linda Bow, 34, who worked on the ranches as a landscaper.
Rachel Waller, 29, said her mother got two ranches in the divorce settlement and is living on one of them, the 1,200-acre Firelight Ranch where the couple once lived. Rachel Waller said she is living on the 350-acre F.S. Cekiya Ranch that her mother now owns. Rachel Waller said she has not spoken to her father in months.
A Knight-Ridder article reported Georgia Waller got half of Robert Waller's estimated $11 million, which Waller earned off the "The Bridges of Madison County."
Rachel Waller said the divorce decree prohibits her parents from talking to reporters about the divorce.
Waller's lawyer said the author will have no comment.
"Bridges" is about a romance between a traveling National Geographic photographer and a lonely farmwife. The book and movie of the same name, starring Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep, created a tourism bonanza for Madison County and its wooden bridges, located about 40 miles southeast of Des Moines.
Waller also wrote several other novels, "Slow Waltz at Cedar Bend," "Border Music" and "Puerto Vallarta Squeeze," but has never equalled the phenomenal success of "Bridges."