As the writer of the book, Virgil Creech Takes a Swipe at Redemption, I’m often asked if Virgil is my alter-ego. A little menace that I either was or wanted to be. Although I’ve been called immature, irrational, and incorrigible like Virgil, I have to say I was not the inspiration for Virgil. But I do like to think there is a little Virgil in all of us.
Being the youngest of nine boys, Virgil started off at a disadvantage in relation to manners and gentility. Whatever he got came with a struggle. While some toddlers his age were learning to speak, Virgil learned the art of the sucker punch. He’s never been averse to rolling up his sleeves and balling a fist to get his way. Even at his tender age, his body is marked with several scars left by run-ins with his brothers. Because his hard-knock life inside the house carries over to his relationships outside, he has become a bit of a lonely youngster often described as bitter, selfish, and altogether unwanted.
His surname does nothing to aid his social prospects. Around Portsong, the name Creech brings accusations, suspicions, and low expectations. They live in the last house on Woodlawn Avenue – a ragged place with cardboard and scraps of tin covering broken windows. The Creech home has never been nominated by the garden club’s landscaping award, for the front yard consists of a downed tree and its hatchet-marked stump. Ironically, the home sits directly across the street from the Goose Greek Country Church, which all of the boys painstakingly avoid.
Poor Virgil has a lot of things working against him, but he has some prospects too. While he is stubborn, the flipside of that is that he is a tenacious lad. When he gets an idea in his head, he drives full-bore until he acquires his fancy or quite literally hits a wall. He’s hit his share of walls and has the black eyes to prove it. He rather likes having black eyes, in fact and considers them a badge of honor. He also has proven to be a good friend, although it doesn’t come naturally to him. But as Henry Lee can faithfully attest, Virgil has proven to be a friend who sticks close – sometimes when he’s not wanted.
I heard Colonel Birdwhistle once say; “Like so many of us, Virgil is mostly lost, but yearning to be found. So long as we want to be found and there is at least one soul searching, we’ll get along fairly well.”
If you can follow his logic, I guess that sums it up.
If you have any other questions you’d like to ask, feel free to leave me a message. You can find much more about Virgil in the new book, Virgil Creech Takes a Swipe at Redemption, and see for yourself who Virgil is. It’s available on Amazon.com