On the Porch With Jake Gruber
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?
Jake, are you there?
Were you able to retrieve your newspaper from the street?
Yeah, I’m here. Danged newspaper guy . . . hardly ever gets it to my porch these days. Things just ain’t like they used to be.
That must be aggravating. Have you complained?
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–
I understand you’ve been neighbors of the Lees for quite awhile. You must know them quite well after, what, twenty years or more?
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 back is to that strappin’ young man, Roger–take care of your danged dandelions!
Yeah, I think I heard that from Annie.
But, let’s get to the rest of my questions, okay?
Do you have a family? Annie wasn’t so sure you’d–
No? There’s no one?
But, I kinda heard through the character grapevine that you had–
Deb, 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 . . .
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?
Sure, 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.
You sound like my Dad talking, Jake.
He was in the Navy during the Korean confl . . . I mean war.
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 . . .
No, he’s eighty-nine 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?
Jake? You there? Not sure if he’s still–
(Sound of 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.
Now, Jake, I know there’s more to the story.
There might be. And I’m sure, since you’re one of those fancy authors, you’re gonna spill it.
But y’all ‘ll just have to wait for the book. Are we done?
I guess so, unless you want to tell us about Ros–
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 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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