Monday, August 5, 2013

Hometown Monday - Oak Springs Realty - the Inman Family

Hometown Monday
Oak Springs Realty
The Inman Family

This is the fourth of an expected irregular series of posts of excerpts from the novels, novellas, and short stories of "The Homeplace Series" Family Saga story-telling, to provide an insight into the story lines that may not be clear from other promotional pieces about "The Homeplace Series." These will also be coordinated with the content of the developmental Wiki, "Beyond the Books" - to expand the information available there, as well.

Today, we will introduce what began as two minor, supporting characters. This post today, along with the companion post on Wednesday, serve to demonstrate how characters, and families, tend to grow as The Homepalce Series grows.

1) We first met Travis Inman in 1996 in our second novel, "The Homplace Revisited," as a soldier serving a National Guard active duty tour in Bosnia, as the husband of the sister of a main character. In the forthcoming "Christmas at the Homeplace," his return to Oak Springs following his year in Bosnia, during which time his youngest daughter was born - he has yet to see her -  plays a key role.

The following excerpt from "The Homeplace Revisted" is from Sunday, September 1, 1996, Chapter 19:

"Nicole’s sister Laura’s husband, Travis Inman, was part of the U.S. Army contingent of the U.N. peacekeeping forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina. His presence, however, was very strong in this home with multiple photos of him, in uniform and with his family, throughout the house. In talking about Travis, they all expressed hope that his unit would return stateside before the year-end holidays, if they did not get extended.

Six-month old Kayla, who Travis had not yet seen in person, kept Laura fully occupied. Twenty-eight month old Zach, on the other hand, had been looking forward to Nicole’s arrival enthusiastically. They had hardly arrived and Zach wanted her to go with him to his room to show her something or other. Not wanting to interfere with Zach’s excitement on seeing Nicole, Christopher decided he should go out on the Patio and check out the burgers with Jack and some man-talk."

2) Virginia Hollingsworth was introduced in "Back to the Homeplace" as a neighbor and close friend of the deceased family matriarch whose video will is at the heart of the central story of this novel. Late in the novel she is disclosed to be playing an even more important role in the story.

The following excerpt from "Back to the Homeplace" is from Monday, March 2, 1987, Chapter 6:

"Their neighbor was in her garden near the road. Diane moved Marilyn in that direction.

"Hi, Virginia. Beautiful day isn't it." Diane dismounted and walked toward her friend. Jennifer watched as Virginia Hollingsworth left her spading fork stuck upright in the freshly turned soil and moved to greet Diane. A seventy-year old woman really shouldn't be turning soil by hand, she thought, but Virginia had done it every spring that Jennifer could remember. It must be all right for her. Hard work had been her life, and she appeared to thrive on it.

Virginia was wearing a straw hat held on by a paisley scarf, tied under her chin, and her usual gardening outfit. It was the same every year, the cotton skirt and yellow sweater, too, Jennifer noted. Does she have several or does she wash them a lot? They were always neat and clean. But they were always the same.

What a contrast, Jennifer noted, between her mother and the older woman in the garden. A dedicated schoolteacher, her mother never had a garden. The horseback rides were about the only nonschool-related activities her mother indulged in. Gardening seemed part of the housewife role, Jennifer thought, not part of the working career life of her mother.

Diane looked like a career schoolteacher, too. Of medium height and well proportioned, she wore her blond hair short. Her blue eyes sparkled with intelligence. Jennifer had been very disappointed she had not been allowed to enroll in her mother's English classes. A shame it was, too, because Diane had a reputation as an excellent teacher.

Diane was back on Marilyn and returning to the road. Jennifer waved a goodbye and pulled alongside Diane again. "You ever wish you had time to garden, Mom?"

"Not really, to be honest… too much exposure to dirt and the elements. I hate bugs. I prefer the air-conditioned classroom, thank you!" With a laugh, Diane slapped Marilyn into a quicker pace up the road."

It "turns out," as more history of the community is disclosed, that Virginia's maiden name was Inman - she was a great-aunt of Travis Inman.

See the our next post, Wiki Wednesday, when we look at Oak Springs Realty on our developmental Wiki page - and see a history of the firm and the family that has owned it through the years in Oak Springs. 

"May each of us have a Homeplace to hold onto, if only in our minds."

Bill  ;-)

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