Age: In years, 30ish. In mind, somewhere around 15
Likes: Ala-BAMA football, Bobby Huggins, Carter and Mary Carter
Dislikes: Buzz Aldrin
My mom has a habit of finding complete strangers to come and live with us. Over the course of my lifetime, approximately 432 people have stayed at the Carroll home, and Matt was one of them.
Matt came to us in 2005 when his parents left him in a basket on our doorstep. The note read “We didn’t sign up for this. Love, Barb and Ed.” We really had no choice. He lived with us for an extended summer, and even when his house was finally built, he wouldn’t leave.
Name: Ray T.
Occupation: Retired police detective, unofficial gardener of other people’s lawns
Likes: Coors Light, the NY Rangers and thinking about dinner at breakfast
Dislikes: His niece Kelly (so he says)
In college I wrote a short story called “Jeanie’s Day Off.” It was (loosely) based on a story my mom used to tell me when I was little, about how her brothers, Uncle Ray included, threw her into a puddle one day on the way to school, the basic reasoning being that they would have to bring her home and could miss going to school that day.
For some reason I still can’t comprehend, Uncle Ray felt that I portrayed his character as gay. Now, I want readers to remember, these characters were children. And Uncle Ray had very little lines. So where he got the idea that his portion of the story was more Brokeback Mountain than it was a nice little parable about trying to cut corners and getting in trouble, I’ll never know.