Saturday, May 14, 2016

Meet Gibby Stauffer #ImaginaryFriends

Gibby is the mayor of Marienstadt. He never wanted to be mayor--he wanted to play professional basketball. In this excerpt from The Bucktail Cap in the Trunk, we see how things went awry.

There were a lot of days when Gilbert Stauffer—known to everyone in Marienstadt as Gibby—woke up wondering how in the hell he wound up as the town’s mayor. Actually, if he was honest with himself he knew how. He was mayor because of his weakness for pork roast cooked with Mulligan Wolfe’s thick cut sauerkraut and Lola Eckert’s delicious Butterkn√∂dels, all washed down with a frosty bottle of Straub beer—or three, or four. As a young man, Gibby dreamed of a career in sports. He might not have been the smartest guy to graduate from Central Catholic High School but he was the tallest. At six foot six he was the star of the basketball team and was quite sure he was destined for greatness. The problem turned out to be that, while six foot six was towering at the time in Marienstadt, it was not particularly tall in the world of professional basketball.

Gibby made the best of the situation. He went to work in a local machine shop and turned out to be even better at turning, cutting, milling, and grinding than he had been at sinking baskets. He married his high school sweetheart, Maxine, and together they raised five kids. By local standards, they had a better than average life. Once all the kids were grown and flown the coop, Maxine assumed the role of grandmother-at-large, devoting as much time as she could to their growing collection of grandkids, as well as to any other little ones in need of extra attention. She volunteered at the local parks teaching crafts and at St. Walburga’s reading to the pre-school and kindergarten kids. Gibby didn’t mind. It kept her happy and he was equally happy stopping at Fred Sarginger’s Snuff Box or the Moose Club for dinner.

It was the Moose’s weekly Tuesday night pork and sauerkraut dinner that cooked his goose. He had been sitting at the bar with Mulligan Wolfe, off-duty patrolman Dean Ginther, and Mulligan’s brother, Augie, as the coming mayoral elections were being discussed. 

“Something’s gotta change,” Augie said, “this town has been run by the same bunch of bullheaded old Dutchmen for way too long. We need a candidate to boot their fat, old asses out.”

“No kidding,” Dean agreed. “The police department can’t do anything without getting called on the carpet. It’s got to change.”

Gibby, who was busy signaling to the bartender for another beer, didn’t notice they were all looking at him.

“What?” he said when he realized no one was talking.

“Perfect,” Mulligan said.


  1. That is how a good-natured Cheyenne became chief on the reservation. He fell asleep at a council meeting and when he awoke, he found out the others had voted him chief because he couldn't say NO. :-) Wonderful character in Gibby.

    Do you think I could wrangle a guest post on my Anti-Book Tour Book Tour here? :-)

  2. Whoops. Isn't that how most small town mayors are recruited?


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