Friday, September 20, 2013

The Real Jeffrey

A few weeks ago a young man came to the door and said he was running for office. He gave me a pamphlet which I promptly lost. I might have lost the pamphlet and wasn’t clear on his name, along with not being sure what he was running for, but I’d decided to vote for him. I mean, anybody who would go to the trouble of actually showing up themselves, well, it seemed like they’d be good at their elected office, whatever it was.

When it got to be the day of the election, I checked the voting information I’d gotten in the mail to try to figure out which of the candidates was the guy who came to the door. As I read over the bios, I not only realized which of them had come to my door, but that I had an interesting connection with him.

Before I say more, I should explain what the election actually was for. It wasn’t really even an election but a primary to see who would got enough votes to qualify to run for State Assembly. So, it wasn’t exactly a big election. When we voted, including us 45 people had voted out of thousands in our voting area.

Now back to the mystery man candidate. Well over twenty years ago, I was an assistant Cub Scout leader. One of the boys in the group always stood out to me. He looked and acted more mature. He seemed to know that he wanted to be an actor. His had his own style of dressing and just a different manner than the other boys. He stayed in my mind even when he moved out of the area. When I began writing what would eventually become Hooked on Murder, I decided that homicide detective Barry Greenberg had a son named Jeffrey and I loosely based on the boy from the Cub Scouts.

Yes, the mystery candidate out to be the real Jeffrey all grown up. Sorry to say that even with our three votes, he didn’t win the primary. Now that I’d realized who he really was, I felt a personal connection and even left a comment on his facebook page expressing my regret that he didn’t win. I didn’t mention anything about his connection to the character in my books. I thought it might sound a little creepy even though Jeffrey is a great character.

What do you think?


Planner said...

If someone based a character on me, I would be honored (as long as the character wasn't some sort of monster; then I'd seriously wonder about the impression I made). Since Jeffrey is a likable character, I think he would be flattered that you remembered him and he made a nice impression on you.

What an interesting encounter! Too bad he didn't win.

Linda O. Johnston said...

Wow, what a coincidence, Betty. You should use that in a story, too! And how fun it is that you got to meet this young man you remembered all grown up. Not sure about contacting him to let him know that your fictional version of him appears in your story, but if you happen to run into him again, why not?

Betty Hechtman said...

Planner, it was an interesting encounter. I just wish when he'd come to the door I'd realized who he was.

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda, I like you're idea of putting it into a story.