Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Cast of Characters: Grandpa Charles

It's been one hair-raising, fun-filled adventure after another for twelve-year-old best friends, Cynthia and Gus. I've penned (okay...typed) five...count 'em...FIVE books taking the girls through a magic trunk in Cynthia's attic back more than 50 years to the Louisiana Bayou, Switerland, France, a steamship crossing the Atlantic, and even Southern Indiana, the original setting. They even traveled forward 50 years, meeting another pair of best friends.

Leading up to the release of the final book in the series, Cynthia's Attic: The Legend of LupinWoods, I'm highlighting some of these colorful characters (my relatives!).

Great Grandpa Charles:

 As one of the early music teachers in Southern Indiana, he was a pioneer in his field. His enthusiasm for all things music inspired others to make it their chosen field.

He was also one of the first to turn his passion into a business, Conrad Music; still going today! He's shown in this picture driving the buggy he'd use to transport musical instruments he sold throughout Southern Indiana.
His love for music, and the fact that I've heard through many stories what a loving and generous man he was to his family and the community, is the main reason I decided to showcase Grandpa Charles in Cynthia's Attic: The Magic Medallion. 

In this story, Grandpa Charles is taking an organ to the circus for the evening performance. What he didn't know until after he delivered the organ, is that his daughter, Bess (earlier post), her friend, Clara, along with Cynthia and Gus, hitched a ride.


      Stepping outside the main tent, we spotted Papa Charles leading a procession consisting of two muscular men pulling a 4-wheel cart that held the organ.  Bess and Clara followed sullenly behind.

I pulled Cynthia behind a deep fold in the heavy canvas seconds before the procession marched by, and as we watched, it was pretty obvious from the pained look on Bess's face that her father hadn't been at all pleased with the unexpected company he'd found hiding in the crate.

Before I had a chance to voice my concern to Cynthia, my attention was drawn to the far side of the tent where an excited man dressed in a red tuxedo coat, shiny black pants and boots, and carrying a top hat–obviously the ringmaster–ran toward my great-grandfather.

"It's about time you got here!  The show starts in forty-five minutes!  Can you get the organ set up by then?"

We heard Papa Charles tell the excited man not to worry… that he'd have it set up and ready to play by show time.

He then turned to Bess and Clara and wagged his finger.  "You two have caused me enough trouble already.  Don't get into any more.  Can you imagine how worried your mother's going to be, Bess?  Not to mention the fact that it will be all my fault!"

Bess and Clara hung their heads and mumbled something as he spun around and started preparing the organ for the evening performance.  The lecture didn't have any long-lasting effect though, because as soon as his back was turned, we saw the girls take off for the food stands.

Coming Soon! Cynthia's Attic: The Legend of Lupin Woods!

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