April 12, 2008

Interview with Gavin from THE PRICELESS GIFT

A.K. Tell us about your childhood. Do you have any siblings?
G.H. I had great childhood, even though I was an only child. My parents were late bloomers. My mom was 38 and my dad was 40 when I was born, but they were wonderful parents. I grew up in the same house I live in now. It was built by my great-grandfather in 1908 after the old homestead burned in a fire.
A.K. Wow. Your family has owned this land for a while, then?
G.H. Yes. My great-great-great-grandparents Garrison and Danielle Holloway moved to Montana in the late 1840's and set up the Triple H Ranch. The Holloways have lived here ever since. A lot of Holloway blood and sweat has gone into this land.
A.K. So, ranching is the only thing you've done, right? Did you ever have dreams of doing something else?
G.H. (rubs hand along his jaw). I'd have to think about that. I'm sure as a child I wanted to be a fireman or an astronaut, but honestly, I don't think I ever did plan to do anything other than ranch.
A.K. But if you couldn't ranch, what would you do?
G.H. (shakes his head) I can't imagine not ranching. But if something happened to change my life drastically, I suppose I'd be a large animal veterinarian or a forest ranger…something to either do with animals or the out-of-doors.
A.K. How long have you been the boss of the Triple H?
G.H. (clears his throat) Since shortly after I graduated college. My father died of a sudden heart attack in August of that year.
A.K. That must have been hard on you.
G.H. It was. He was only sixty-four and until then, hadn't had any medical problems. Also, I didn't know about the financial problems we'd been having. My mom had helped with the books for years, but I had no I idea we were so deeply in debt. My father had taken a second mortgage out on the ranch. I'm still making payments on that as well as the first mortgage.
A.K. Okay. Is there something about you that no one or most people don't know about?
G.H. (grins sheepishly) Most people don't know I paint.
A.K. Paint?
G.H. Yes, I paint landscapes. No portraits. I find it relaxing. (He points to a painting above the mantle of a deer drinking at a shaded pond). I did that one and the painting in Jacob's living room.
A.K. So, tell us, have you been lucky in love?
G.H. Nope.
A.K. Care to elaborate?
G.H. For one thing, there's not a lot of single women in the area. The nearest town is thirty miles away and it's not much more than a crossroads. The nearest neighbor is closer, but no single women there. There were thirty-one kids in my high school.
Nineteen were boys. I did a little better in college. (He grins.) But I didn't meet that someone special. About six years ago, I hooked up with a girl from high school. Her family owned the diner in town. I can't say she rocked my world, but I was in my late twenties, my mom had died a couple of years before and I wanted a family.
A.K. Did you marry her?
G.H. No. About three months before the wedding, I discovered she was only marrying me for my ranch. Sure, I wasn't passionately in love with her, but I cared for her and I think we would have made a good marriage.
A.K. So you didn't marry her?
G.H. Hell, no! A few years after we'd have married, she planned to divorce me, take half my holdings, half my life.
A.K. Did that turn off on love, then?
G.H. It turned me off on conniving women, but I didn't love her very much and she sure didn't love me, so I can't say it turned me off on love.
A.K. Have you ever really been in love.
G.H. (Grins wickedly). There's this one woman, I could love her.
A.K. Who is she?
G.H. Now, you don't want me to kiss and tell, do you?
A.K. Only if you want to.
G.H. (Laughs). I met her a few months ago, on a cruise. She was fantastic, in bed and out. Long-legged, blonde, nice ass. It was a Mediterranean cruise and we had a great time exploring the ancient ruins and each other (wags eyebrows).
A.K. Are you still seeing her?
G.H. (sobers). No, unfortunately, we sorta kept our identities private. I don't know who she is or where she lives.
A.K. Have you tried to find her?
G.H. Yes, as soon as I got back home, I realized I made a mistake in not getting her name, her phone number. It wasn't just the sex with Lynn, there was a…hell, I don't know, a metaphysical connection with her. If I believed in soulmates, I'd say she was mine.
A.K. Wow. Okay, along those lines, what's your ideal date?
G.H. Well, I guess a quiet dinner at home, with me doing the cooking, of course. I'd grill a steak, bake some potatoes, fresh sautéed vegetables, some wine, soft music, candle light. Afterwards, we'd cuddle on some blankets on the floor in front of the hearth and talk of the future, our dreams, how many kids we'd want, that sort of thing.
A.K. Sounds nice. How many kids do you want?
G.H. More than one, that's for sure. I want mine to have siblings, lots of them, so I don't know, five or six.
A.K. Okay, and if your wife doesn't want that many?
G.H. It's negotiable. But I want two or three at least. Kids need someone to play with. My friend Jacob, he's always talking about his sister Christina and how close they were growing up,
even more so after their parents died when they were teenagers. They had each other to get through that. I want that for my kids, someone to be there for them in hard times. No matter what, they'll always have family.
A.K. True. All right, what's your idea of a good marriage?
G.H. Trust is the first thing you have to have. If you don't trust the person you're marrying, you've got nothing to grow on. Love, of course, mutual respect, compatibility in bed. Sex is great, but in a marriage, it should be an extension of your love, not in place of it.
A.K. Wise words.
G.H. (grins) My dad told me that and I could see that in my parent's marriage, there was love, respect, trust.

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