Monday, September 22, 2014


I did not use scientific statistical methodology. The sampling was way too small but that did not stop me from using bad science to reach quasi truth about human nature. Spin doctors and politicians do this all the time, but that does not make it right.

Despite the unsound approach I arrived at the following conclusions.

When someone mentions that they had read my book Patch Town – A Letter from Miss Wingate, I asked them a question: Who was your favorite character in the book and why?

Excluding “Martin” the principal character in the book, the next most favorite person mentioned was Sonia Washington who runs the senior adult care home in Shanks Patch. The reason for her popularity is that she is spunky and knows how to pull things together quickly and efficiently when the moment calls for action.

Therefore people like spunky people, despite the bad science used. Well, sort of!

One poll result I recently saw suggested most people do indeed like spunky people (however one defines “spunky”). But get a little too spunky and you turn off people. Sonia has just the right blend of spunk. I guess that’s the key balance goal for all of us.

The second feedback relates to Sonia’s ability to rise to the task set before her with limited resources or time. In the novel she cooks a great Thanksgiving meal on short notice. She knows how to acknowledge value or a blessing when she encounters them.

The part I like best about Sonia is that she was the initiator of the plot. Her decision to write a letter triggers the entire plot. The second best thing I liked about her was that she captured the heart of Leroy. Miss Spunky meets Mr. Spunky! The conclusion: spunk is attracted to spunk.

If you have read or planned to read Patch Town – A Letter from Miss Wingate let me know who is your favorite character and why.

Robert Parlante

September 2014

1 comment:

  1. My friend recently told me his favorite character in the book was the daughter Ruthie. She was upbeat and encouraging to her father and enabled him to move forward and in turn met her boyfriend on the adventure with her Dad.

    My friend's wife picked the same character because Ruthie could criticize her father in a loving way and stand by him - more so than the son but in the end he too came around.