Pansy Faye’s grandfather and Elwyn Turner were loosely based on my grandpa. He was an entrepreneur who owned cafes, fillin’ stations and little grocery stores. He would let people take a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk or a pack of cigarettes, with the promise of repayment on payday. Most of them returned. Some of them didn’t.
Pansy Faye, Leroy, Ron Carson, and Billy Ray were all fictional characters.
Lucy Maes’ character was loosely based on a man who owned a tire place in the middle of town. My friend and I knew the owners of a restaurant next door and we stopped by to grab a bite to eat. This man was eating a salad for lunch, started laughing and then started choking. I thought about trying to dislodge whatever was in his mouth but I was told to stay away.
Since it was prior to 1973, EMS had not yet been established. I remember everybody just standing around, watching this man choke to death.
My daddy was by no means a Baptist preacher but Reverend Smythes’ reading habits were loosely based on him. He loved to read Earl Stanley Gardner books and was even known to read a Harlequin Romance Novel.
Ron Carson’s sons’ names were based on the husband of a friend of mine when I lived in Philadelphia. His name was Paul Peter. He had a brother named Peter Paul.
Leroy’s mama being carried around in the trunk of his car is based on me. I carry my mama’s ashes in the trunk of my car and have for nine years.
The airplane crash was based on a crash that happened near my hometown. A large jumbo jet collided with a small private plane. It was the first crash investigated by the NTSB. None of the passengers survived and the only body intact was a stewardess found in a tree, still strapped to her jumpseat. People were combing through the woods, taking jewelry from limbs.
The story about the cats in the well was fictional.
Matt Perkins was a fictional character.
Joshua Beacham was the fictional name of a real person. The entire story is true.
Chick Larson was a fictional character.
Myrna Brown was the fictional name of a real person. I did not know her personally but I knew of her through one of my roommates.
She did work at the Whisk A Go-Go in Augusta, Georgia.
Did she really roll one of the most famous golfers of all time while he was there for the Masters? Yes, she did.
Do I know who it was? Yes, I do.
Will I divulge his name? No.
Sherry Plemmons was based on a real person. The tragic events that I wrote about really happened.
The person telling the story is loosely based on Loser in that he would use any means available, be it charm, lies, hollow flattery or bullying to get information.
His daddy really did tell him to be nice to the ugly girls as well as the pretty ones because the ugly ones would be so grateful for the attention, they would do anything.
Although he fully expected to win a Pulitzer Prize, he never did.