With Lacy releasing next week (Hooray!), I thought it would be fun to share my visuals for some of the characters in the story. That way, when you start reading, you’ll know what I envisioned as I created the characters.
Today, I want to introduce you to Grant Hill’s mother, Imogene, and Lacy William’s father, Joe.
We briefly met Imogene Hill at the end of Marnie. She was visiting Grant and went to Ilsa’s dress boutique, looking for a new hat. Marnie helped her and the prickly woman seemed quite taken with Marnie. (Mostly because she had no idea about Marnie’s past.)
Imogene’s husband passed away several years before and she’s never quite gotten over the loss. So she fills her days with idle gossip, sweets, and plotting the future of her four children.
Her favorite color is mauve and she often wears dresses covered in ruffles and exceeding embellishments.
Grant thinks she looks like a “ruffle-bedecked mushroom” but keeps his opinions to himself.
Imogene is demanding, outspoken, spoiled yet loved by her only son (she has three daughters). In fact, because of her love of mauve, Grant decides to redecorate a guest room in that particular shade to surprise his mother when she next visits him.
Even though he hates the color mauve. In fact, here’s what he had to say on the subject:
Grant shuddered. “I thoroughly detest the color. It looks like a perfectly healthy shade of pink has taken ill with some incurable malady, but it is Mother’s favorite.”
Lacy hid her smile as she helped roll up the wallpaper. It was hard for her to comprehend a man who loved his mother enough to decorate a room in a color he hated just to make the woman happy.
Joe Williams has also lost a spouse. She passed away four years before Lacy’s story begins and was the light of Joe’s life. He struggles to get through one day then the next after her death and retreats farther and farther into the past rather than face the future.
It’s because of his inability to move beyond his pain and the old ways of living that he and Lacy seem to continually lock horns.
Like his daughter, Joe is stubborn and obstinate.
This is “Dr. Whirlwind,” one of Lee Moorhouse’s favorite subjects (Moorhouse was the Indian agent on the Umatilla Reservation during the early 1900s. He captured thousands of images of the tribal members, surrounding landscape and people in Pendleton). I believe his name was David Young Chief although I’ve also seen his name listed as Charley Shipley. As a young man, Dr. Whirlwind carried dispatches for Colonels Wright and Steptoe during the Indian uprisings for 1855-56. He also served as a scout during the Sheepeater Campaign of 1879.
With his stern countenance, this is how I envision Joe Williams.
He isn’t a cruel or bad man – just one who is hurting and lost. However, he and Lacy lock horns early on in the story…
“I said no and I mean it, Lacy. I forbid it. You will not take a job in town. Absolutely not!” Joe Williams paced around the small kitchen in their cabin before resuming his seat at the table. “We’ve been over this before. Why must you continue to defy me?”
“I’m not trying to defy you, Father, but we could use the money. I’m capable of doing the work. Why not let me at least try?” Lacy stared at her father, holding onto her temper with both hands. If her father brought up Phillip Redhawk again, she wasn’t sure she could keep it from erupting.
“Hey, Pops, why not let her give it a go?” Walker, Lacy’s cheeky seventeen-year-old brother, winked at her as he leaned back in his chair. “It’s better than her sitting around here all day thinking up things for me to do.”
Joe slammed his fist down on the table. The dishes clattered and the sound awakened Ruth’s two-month-old baby with a start.
Stay tuned next week… I’ll share more about some of the other characters!