A No Tomorrows Character Interview
My Dear Readers, we have a serious treat today . . . a character interview with none other than Jake Gruber, Annie and Roger Lee’s next-door neighbor of twenty years or so. From what I know of him, he’s a crusty old man with a big heart–I think. I mean about the big heart. There’s no doubt he’s old and crusty!
So, let’s get to it, shall we?
Deb: Jake, are you there? Were you able to retrieve your newspaper from the street?
Jake: Yeah, I’m here. Dang newspaper guy . . . hardly ever gets it to my porch these days. Things just ain’t like they used to be.
Deb: That must be aggravating. Have you complained?
Jake: Don’t do no good–but I’m sure your readers don’t want to hear about my newspaper problems. What do they want to hear? Can’t believe there’d be anything interesting enough about me–
Deb: I understand you’ve been neighbors of the Lees for quite awhile. You must know them quite well after, what, twenty years or more?
Jake: Don’t hardly know ’em a ‘tall, Deb. We hardly speak. But that’s just fine with me. ‘Bout the only thing they ever say to me is “good morning”. And about the only thing I say to them, well, actually to that strappin’ young man, Roger, is “take care of your danged dandelions over there!”
Deb: Yeah, I think I heard something like that from Annie when I talked to her. But, let’s get to the rest of my questions, okay? Do you have a family? Annie wasn’t so sure you’d–
Deb: No? There’s no one?
Deb: But, I kinda heard through the character grapevine that you had–?
Jake: Move on. And what in blue blazes is a character grapevine? You authors are weird ducks, almost certifiable I’ve heard. But that don’t mean I have to spill everything to people I don’t know. Heck, people I can’t even see . . .
Deb: Okay, okay, Jake. So, I heard you were in Vietnam during the conflict. Would you be willing to tell us just a bit about that?
Jake: I’ll tell you a bit. It wasn’t a conflict. It was war. Conflict’s just a word the government uses to deny responsibility for its boys and girls on the front lines. And you can quote me on that.
Deb: You sound almost like my Dad talking, Jake. He was in the Navy during the Korean confl . . . I mean war.
Jake: Then you had a correct upbringing, Deb. Thank your Dad for his service for me, will ya? He probably needs to hear it more than he does . . . oh, unless he’s . . .
Deb: No, he’s eighty-eight and still feisty. I’ll be sure to give him your message. So, it was after you came home from Vietnam that you met Jean?
Deb: Jake? You there? Not sure if he’s still–
Jake, coughing: Yeah, I’m here. Something caught in my throat. Yes, Jean was a nurse at the VA hospital where I was sent. We started dating and then we got married. That’s all–nothing fancy.
Deb: Now, Jake, I know there’s more to the story.
Jake: There might be. But y’all ‘ll just have to wait for the book. Are we done?
Deb: I guess, unless you want to tell us about Ros–
Jake: We’re done then. Thanks for making this short. I got my newspaper to read. Good day to you and your readers.
Guess he’s gone, my friends. I’m getting a serious complex–my characters seem to be so touchy, and several have hung up on us. Maybe I should revise my interview templates. What do y’all think?
Well, anyway, he did give us some tidbits to look forward to, didn’t he? I hope talking and listening to him upped your curiosity about No Tomorrows. He definitely plays a part in Annie Lee’s story.
Next up, on 9/28/21 will be a joint interview with Annie’s older three children, Mayra, Hank, and Kimmie. They’re quite the characters–should be a hoot! Until then . . .
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