I want you to get to know some of the characters of my novel Beyond the Past, Book 2 in the Caney Creek Series. For the next few Mondays I’ll interview one of the characters and you can leave comments if you want. I think this might help you when you read my novel to know how these characters feel as they move through the story. If you leave a comment on this blog that is totally related to the interview I'll give you an extra entry in the next Thursday book drawing when you comment there.
Today I’m talking with Arthur, Jim’s best friend. He lives in Newton, Tennessee and owns Henderson’s Hardware.
JO: Arthur, are you one of the Callaways from Newton?
ARTHUR: No, ma’am, but I do spend a lot of time with them.
JO: You get along with the Callaway family then?
ARTHUR: Yes, ma’am, me and Jim Callaway have been friends since we were little boys. When I graduated from high school, Jim had already moved to town and I moved into his room with him where he boarded at Mrs. Hall’s home.
JO: Since you’d been friends for so long I guess living together was fine.
ARTHUR: Most of the time. You, know everybody has their ups and downs.
JO: What problems did you and Jim have?
ARTHUR: Well, just little things. No, not just little things. He got to goin’ around with the mill owner’s daughter, Caroline. I tried to talk to him about her bein’ above our class of folks. His family, his landlady, all of us tried to talk some sense into him where Caroline was concerned. But he wouldn’t listen. For a time there Jim dated her and another girl, Louisa. Then around Christmas, Caroline disappeared, no letter, nothin’.
JO: What happened?
ARTHUR: We didn’t know. But it worked out because Jim married Louisa, right about the time the Great Depression hit Tennessee. They had a little girl they named Lynn, then when their girl was about two years old, Louisa died. I married Louisa’s sister, Callie. We all helped Jim to raise Lynn.
JO: Did anybody ever hear from Caroline or why she left?
ARTHUR: No, ma’am. The funniest thing was, well it wasn’t funny, but when Caroline’s parents were killed in a car wreck, their wills left the hosiery mill and their home to Jim. Everybody wondered why they didn’t leave it all to their daughter.
JO: That is strange.
ARTHUR: But Jim’s done really good with the mill.
JO: What do you do for a living, Arthur?
ARTHUR: I came off the farm like Jim did. I worked at Henderson’s General Store. Mr. Henderson let me buy stock in the store and when he died he willed his part over to me. I still run the store but now I call it Henderson’s Hardware. Since the big supermarket opened up south of town I had no reason I should carry groceries.
JO: You married Callie. Do you all have children?
ARTHUR: Yes, we do. A boy and a girl. Now that girl, Jennifer is her name, has never give us one day of trouble. But Art, our boy, made up for her part. We can’t keep track of him, he skips school, and when he does go, he’s usually late. We let him drive an old car of ours and recently he wrecked it.
JO: I’m sorry to hear that. Did he get injured?
ARTHUR: Well, yes he did. They had to take out his spleen and he had a broken arm. But that’s not all. He was drinkin’ when he had the wreck. Because he was drinkin’ the police called in Social Services and we ended up in court. The judge has sent him to a rehab place where he has to stay until he gets straightened out. He hates authority and he drinks. The place the judge sent him to is supposed to help him with his drinkin’ and listenin’ to authority.
JO: I guess you and your wife are having a hard time with him gone.
ARTHUR: Once a month they have family weekends when we can go visit with him. But leavin’ Art at that place just tears Callie to pieces. But that’s not all. Callie has an appointment with a neurologist in a few weeks. We’re just sittin’ on pins and needles while we wait for the appointment.