The Folks You Might Meet Here

The lovely gekko lost track of all the personages who people this space so she asked them all to to write up some brief bios for me. Here (with some minor editing) is the result.

Kay Ace (not her real name) lost her job on her birthday, filed an unemployment claim, and began a new job search. Both have run out. The MegaInsuranceCo she toiled for had cut her hours to part time last year but the falling real estate market and her rising salary (and age) made her too expensive to keep around. Her now former boss was told to hire a cheaper worker in her place.

She and Sally Ripley are first cousins.

Elizabeth “Liz” Arden is an engineering manager with a long commute, a gymnast, and no relation to the cosmetics maven.

Missy and Biff Bellamy. Missy wears bling which dangles and jangles when she dips her minnows out of the bait tank. She loves to talk about fishing and motorcycles and her job on the state. Biff wears no bling, has no tattoos, and was a tool maker for a small iron foundry with contracts with General Motors. They live in North Carolina.

Retired newspaper editor Lido “Lee” Bruhl was born on another planet. A true believer in ObaMathematics (“We never made any claim to fiscal responsibility”), he continues to campaign for a single payer health care system.

Jody Beauregard, a sweet, gentle man, has worked on Tom Ripley’s garbage truck for the last decade or so. He takes off every fall to hunt and usually can put up enough meat to last him through the year. I saw him hitchhiking for the first time last year.

Fredo “Two Fingers” Caronia has no political affiliation whatsoever.

The long-married, toothsome couple, Paul and Polly Dent, have a daughter in elementary school and a boy in junior high. The Dents have several lovers between them. Paul and Polly know and approve of each other’s lovers. In fact, Paul and Evelyn McGregor are lovers. Polly and Owen McGregor likewise. Nicole Norris has fallen in love with Paul.

Paul “Buster” Door is a former North Puffin car dealer and Democratic party official.

Emily and Barny Feeler have had a kind of no worries online fling for years: proximity, immediacy, and blood tests not required. It’s fun and they could probably sustain it indefinitely — after all, they live thousands of miles apart. They get to play with words, play with ideas, and even play at sex. The new age way of touching someone without ever touching. No sex

I can’’t speak for the Left so I often ask my friend Enola “Fanny” Guay to feed me the most important concepts in her ideological world. I’’ve known Ms. Guay for nearly 50 years. I can say that not because I’’m far enough away to drop the age word safely but because she is proud of her experiential learning. She was a second generation member of Helen and Scott Nearing’s back-to-the-land movement in Vermont. The Nearings bought an old farm house and built a simple, self-sufficient lifestyle here, far from big government and rampant consumerism. Their descendants are now the power brokers and consumers of Montpelier. She is always very earnest in her comments.

Henryk “Henk” Kowalski is a Polish plumber from up nawth. He moved to Florida and was a fishing guide with a bait shop until he retired a couple of years ago. He knows pretty much everyone in the Middle Keys. He rides a Kawasaki.

Brockley Mann is the chief of the South Puffin Police Department.

Evelyn and Owen McGregor have a couple of college age girls (Vickie, the elder, and Toni, the younger) and a pre-school granddaughter plus Ramona, a daughter in her 20s from Evelyn’s first marriage. Paul Dent and Evelyn are lovers. Polly Dent and Owen likewise. Owen vacations each year with Cece, a lovely SCUBA instructor who lives here in the Keys. Nicole Norris came into the group as Evelyn’s other lover

Nicole Norris was never married to Chuck. She’s a lawyer who brings a lot of work home with her.

Nuclear engineer Tom “Parle-vous” Parlett worked (note the past tense) for one of the few remaining Fortune 500 manufacturers of power plants.

Sarah and Ralph Pother. After 25 years of monogamous marriage, Ralph announced that he is polyamorous and Sarah disagrees.

Ashley Proctor is a forever twenty-something social engineer with an MSW in Madison, Wisconsin. She had worked as a Community Education Specialist at Wisconsin Community Services in a taxpayer-funded position until the Scott Walker cuts closed the $3.5 billion budget gap, slashed aid to public schools, local governments and community groups, and eliminated 1,200 state jobs.

Tom Ripley bought the garbage route from our former garbage man. Up in North Puffin, garbage collection is private enterprise; we all contract with one of the haulers who has a route in our area. I like Tom. He’s friendly, always on time, and comes right up on the porch to pick up the trash cans. He even (usually) latches the storm door when he puts the cans back. He owns a couple of used garbage trucks that he bought at the state auction and usually has a couple-three pickups that he runs around his route every Sunday before church.

Sally Ripley (Tom’s wife) is a banker in North Puffin.

Dean “Dino” Russell is a roofer in the middle Keys. Dancing about on roofs all his life has made him the most physically fit man in the Home Depot; it also gives him an overview of life. He is the third-most conservative man I know.

My friend Rufus Oscarson entered this world discussing “balanced” reporting. I call him “Rufus” because I discovered I know too many people named Bob, Lee, and Lee-Bob.

Many of Rufus’ friends work in the nuclear or chemical industry. They often gather for a wake-me-up before work at a famous non-gourmet restaurant chain so they have earned the name, “Mickey D’s Coffee Club.”

Ron Spiner is an earnest, humorless, data proffering liberal whose data is often abridged or just plain wrong.

Fred and Gwen Strong, Bonnie Lockwood and Carol Jones: Fred and Gwen have been married for a couple of decades. Fred and Bonnie spend every Saturday morning together at the library; Fred and Carol spend alternate Thursday evenings at the Comfort Inn when Fred is supposed to be bowling. Gwen knows about Bonnie but not about Carol.

Don “Swampy” Swamtek is another nuclear engineer with one of the few remaining Fortune 500 manufacturers. He spends his days not blowing up chemical plants around the world and his nights star gazing. He is the fourth-most conservative man I know.