I Love A Good Story. Don’t you just Love A Good Story? Here’s another Good Story.
Hello, my name is Mary Maddox I’m Hamilton’s mother. Hamilton is the main character in Judy’s newest novel, The Attractiveness of Wisdom. George, my husband, spoke to you last time. Now, I’m told it’s my turn. In order for you to understand Hamilton, you may need to know a little about his father and me.
I grew up in Stevensville near where we live now. If you’ve ever been to Stevensville, you’ll know that it’s a small town, but it’s growing. The town is now divided into about three sections— the old section, the newer section with nicer homes near the water, and recently the mansions on the other side near the water. My father worked in what’s now the older section in the Post Office and my mother ran the Antique Store across the street. My sister, Deborah, who is also in the novel, The Attractiveness of Wisdom, married Seth soon after high school. She always wanted to go to college, but she never did. Seth is a doctor. I couldn’t decide whether I would stay in Stevensville or move away to some big city like New York. The most that happens in Stevensville are ball games, Halloween, or a play every now and then. We do have a parade during the spring sometimes. I was itching to get out and follow my dream, but I met George before I could do that.
George and I met in college in the fall of our senior. I never noticed him before that; he and I began and finished at the same university. One late September afternoon, in the crowded cafeteria, one man sat at a table alone reading from a textbook. From where I sat, across from him, I could see it was a psychology book that had him so engrossed. I watched him turn the pages. As I did, I couldn’t help but notice something about the way he turned himself that made him seem sensitive, kind and gentle. I wanted to find out more about him. Before I could do anything, he turned in my direction. He must have sensed that I was watching him. After a while he slammed the book closed, got up, came to my table, pulled out the empty chair and sat down. Then he said, “I hope you don’t mine, but I need to meet you.” Our relationship began.
When George wanted us to get married, he told me he needed to tell me something before we did. George told me all about his family, and his father who abused him most of his life. Needless to say, I was frightened and wasn’t sure about marrying a man with problems. When I told my parents, they told me that I would be in for a life of trouble if a married a man like that. I couldn’t get over the fact that he needed me to know. When I asked him why he told me, he said that he wanted me to know how he grew up because he thought it was a part of him. It was something about telling of what many would have kept secret that made him trustworthy, and I saw that he didn’t want to be “a man like that,” as my mother described him. So, we married.
George’s father had given him money and told him to buy the vineyard that had been for sale for a few years. George did. The first five years were a struggle for him. There was always something— not enough rain, too much rain, not enough helpers, workers stealing, and anything else you could name. During those struggling years, filled with disappointment and despair, there were times when George was so angry and disappointed about the problems, that I thought he would give up, and I was afraid he would hit me.
One day when he was yelling, and ranting, walking back and forth, he stopped and looked at me sitting on the couch. Suddenly his faced dropped and a softness came across him. I’ve never seen anything like that before. He didn’t hit me, and he never behaved like that again. Later, I asked George what happened, why he stopped his anger. He said that he saw how frightened I was and realized that he didn’t want to do anything to destroy our relationship and he certainly didn’t want me to be afraid of him. I told him how much I loved him and how much he meant to me. He told me that no one has ever told him that they loved him or that he was important to them.
There were also times when he wanted to give up, but I saw something special in him, so I encouraged him to keep at it. Not because of me, but because he deserved it. George was my world. He told me that he thought I was the only person in the world who loved him. That was hard for me to believe because he has such a kind, loving heart. He told me he worked at it every day. He was a man worthy of my support and encouragement, and I stuck by him. He put in so much effort to make a good life for us.
After George got all the problems worked out with the winery, the grapes growing, the workers hired, and the inside stable, George thought it was time for us to start our family. Taylor was born first, and two years later Hamilton. My sons were very close, even though they were very different. Taylor was more like my father, who was also a Baptist Minister. Taylor loved the Lord and let everyone know it. He knew almost from the minute he was born he would be a priest. He’s one today. He’s the Rector at St. John’s Episcopal Church. Yes, he did change denominations, but that’s okay with us. Hamilton liked books and he read up on everything all the time. Every day he would tell us about something he’d read at school or from a library book. He explained history and much about science. Hamilton is now a dean at his university. We are proud of our sons.
Below you will see pictures of some of the businesses and houses on Main Street in Stevensville. Our house was just outside the city limits on a big lot. It’s changed since we bought it. George wanted it to be modern and warm. He wanted his family to be warm in the wintertime.
Something you don’t know about our boys is that Taylor played the trumpet and Hamilton played the flute in the orchestra or band from elementary to high school. We thought they would be musicians.
Read The Attractiveness of Wisdom when it comes out in the fall. I know you’ll enjoy it. I look forward to you finding out more about Hamilton Maddox.