The History of Twin Bayous – Our Town
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Wendy was coming along well with the pregnancy and was seeing the town’s doctor, Penny Poindexter, on a regular basis – inside and outside the hospital.
As for me, I was trying to keep busy with whatever I could find to do.
Only one person in town, other than Wendy, had ever encountered my ghostly presence.
And that person was Mark Clemens.
At first I had considered Mark a sort of pest because he was constantly pestering me for book ideas as if I had no intention of doing any writing on my own. The problem was I did plan on writing a book. It was just taking some time for me to get around to it.
But after a while I realized that beyond Wendy I had no other contact with the outside world. So, over time, Mark and I became very good friends.
What I did know of Mark was that he was born in 1945. Mark was injured in Vietnam although he never specified where – both physically and geographically. In addition, he suffered from mild PTSD and occasionally liked to get high on fairy dust. He was a professional writer who had written a number of books, most of which were sci-fi and whose storylines involve alien invasion and abductions. He met and married Julia when he was stationed in Korea for a couple of years. Every day, when he should have been writing, he usually hung out in the parking lot of the diner/market that they owned.
Now he was hanging out at my house while Wendy was around the corner working at the Elixir Shoppe.
One day I finally gave in and agreed to trade Mark the plot for a book I had started to write. It was a mystery fiction based on an actual murder mystery that occurred about thirty years ago. It was essentially the story of Jamie Stoney although I changed the names to protect everyone. In return I wanted from him the uncensored story of Moonshine Falls.
Mark went first and he started with his immediate family, Julia and the four kids. Julia Kim was born in Pusan, ROK in 1949. She and her family witnessed the horror of the Korean War. She met Mark while he was stationed there in the early 70s. Mark repeated what I had already heard him say many times in regards to Julia: “She has assimilated to Moonshine Falls far better than I could ever do.”
“I am still living in the sixties,” he would always say. They recently purchased the market and diner on Main St. They have four children: Colleen, Tam, Jack, and Janny.
Next on the list was the Goombah family who live on Jackson avenue and own the movie theatre on River road.
Victor Goombah (b. 1944) is involved in criminal activities and operates out of a backroom at the town’s movie theatre. He is married to Maria Vito. Victor, Mark, Knut Stoney, and Jose Viernes all served together in the Army in Vietnam.
Maria Vito (b. 1945) wife of Victor works for Julia Kim and is a waitress/clerk at Julia’s Diner and Market. They have four children: Anthony, Bubbles, Yada-yada, and Zelda.
The Viernes both worked at city hall. This was where both the town’s mayor and the county sheriff had their offices.
Jose Viernes is currently the sheriff of Moonshine Falls. He was in the ROTC when in high school and while Victor, Mark, and Knut were drafted, Jose became an officer and was a 2nd lieutenant during his 18 months in Vietnam. Jose ran for sheriff a couple times before he finally won in 1972. He “knows” that some folks in MF are recreational drug users and one of these days he may do something about it. The other guys that served with him in Nam do not trust him.
Victoria Lincoln was the second most popular girl in school, but most people were more afraid her than anything else. She was president of each class every year and of the full student body when she was a senior. She became mayor of MF in 1972. Her campaign promise was a taco truck on every corner. They have four children: Juan, Tracie, Sue, and Aric.
The Gentille family live in a modern looking house on the outer edge of town.
The Reverend Greg Gentille (b. 1945) is a graduate of Moonshine Valley High School and has a degree in Religiosity from the Twin Brook Bible College. He owns the Talking Ass Bookstore. He is married to Vicki Ringwald who is a granddaughter of the town’s founder. Vicki family owns the area’s radio station and newspaper. Vicki and Gregg want the radio station to go to a full time religion format, but Vicki’s brother John wants to keep the station format as Top 40. He has allowed Gregg a two hour slot early Sunday morning from 7 AM to 9 AM. Because of this there is some tension between the two families.
Gregg is suspicious of Arnold Poindexter and Victor Goombah. He secretly lusts after Maria Vito and his brother-in-law’s wife, Celia Dubois. He looks down upon Mark Clemens, Julia Kim, Knut Stoney, and Peggy Sue Lynne.
Vicki Ringwald (b. 1945) is the wife of Gregg Gentille and sister of John Ringwald III. She and John are heirs of the Ringwald fortune. Their grandfather built a Tiberium mine in the area in the 1890’s and a beautiful large mansion at the base of the surrounding mountains. The mining operations ended in 1930s following a mining accident that killed several workers including Peggy Sue Lynne’s grandfather. After WWII the population of the town dwindled to just a handful of families and as most all the miners moved away. Vicki’s and other’s parents who are still living have retired and moved to Florida.
She operates Vicki’s Beauty Parlor and also owns the coffee shop. She and Gregg have four children: Chadrick, Donnie, Donna, and Dawn.
Doctors Poindexter and Poindexter have their offices in the Casey Sanitarium.
Penny Casey (b. 1945) is medical doctor. She works at the Casey Sanitarium which was founded by her father, Dr. Benjamin Casey. In high school, she was close friends with Victoria Lincoln and Celia Dubois. She was a rival of Vicki Ringwald because her father had issues with the Ringwald Mining Co regarding worker health and mine safety. They have four children: Dewayne, Ariel, Angelica, and Tonia.
Arnold Poindexter (b. 1943) is a scientist. He grew up in Moonshine Falls and is married to Dr. Penny Casey. Arnold is involved in doing top secret work for the US government. His work sometimes brings him into contact with extraterrestrial visitors. He does not get along with Gregg Gentille.
On the other side of the river, on River highway lives the Stoney family. Knut works at the high school.
Knut Stoney was also born in 1945. In high school, Knut was the star athlete of the baseball team and today he was now a coach and a teacher at that same high school.
Peggy Sue Lynne was born the same year as her husband. Peggy Sue was a Tiberium miner’s daughter and grew up poor in Moonshine Falls. Right out high school she became a big country western star and for a while she toured with the USO. She and Knut Stoney married right after he came home from Vietnam. They appeared on the front cover of Starr magazine. She has recently built a recording studio in the basement of the City Theater. They have four children: Dominick, Teddy, Mendy, and Kathryn.
This gave me pause when I realized that he had just described the paternal grandparents and the father of Jamie Stoney. The next household on the list matched the description of Jamie’s maternal grandparents, the Ringwalds. I needed to block this out.
The closest thing there was to a downtown in Moonshine Falls was the city block known as the Ringwald block. Upstairs there was a radio station.
And downstairs, there was a real estate office.
John Ringwald III (b. 1945) was the grandson of the town’s founder John Ringwald. There is a statue of the founder near the center of town. John’s father started the town’s newspaper when he was very young and in the late 1920’s he started a radio station with the call letters WSIM.
Today John III publishes the Weekly Shopper and DJ’s on WSIM from 10 am to 5 PM weekdays. The Ringwald’s also own the Bowling Alley and a couple of bars in town.
Celia (b. 1946), John’s wife, is a real estate agent and also sells Nutrasim on the side. When in high school, Celia was the head cheerleader and a she was homecoming queen in her senior year. She was/is besties with Penny Poindexter and Victoria Viernes. She was kinda/sorta friends with her future sister-in-law, as she was dating Vicki’s older brother. Wendy, Maria Vito and Peggy Sue Lynne were not in Celia’s social circle, but Celia was never “not nice” to anyone at school. Everybody loved Celia. They have four kids: Ulysses, Veronica, Waldo, and Xena.
There is this rumor going around that Celia is having an affair with that new deputy – the really hairy one.
Then Mark said: “Speaking of which, here is the thing that I haven’t told you. Something from back in the day. It’s about John Ringwald and Wendy Dawson…”
And at just the moment that he said that, we heard the front door open and in walked Wendy home from work.