After finishing college, John worked for his father at Merry’s Word, and spent his free time painting and volunteering at the only art gallery in town. His thoughts were mostly about his art work, with no ambition for showing his paintings to anyone else. John never intended to be famous, he only wanted to be a good painter. He met Margaret when she began working part-time as a reporter. With a strong desire to be grown up, Margaret thought she was ready to get married. Upon meeting John, she set her sights completely on him. She immediately recognized John’s talents and suggested that he set up his own gallery in town. With her charm and connections, she arranged for a weekend gallery showing of John’s paintings. She rented an empty store space in downtown Merryweather from a landlord that was a friend of her mother’s. Margaret created all of the advertising for the event and easily persuaded Jack Caldwell, John’s father, to publish the notices in the paper. Being quite a novel event for Merryweather, the weekend showing was a huge success, and John’s work became known all over town. Immediately there was a flood of requests for John’s paintings, and he began filling these requests for small fees. John was overwhelmed by the instant appeal of his work, and completely indebted to Margaret for her ingenuity. Caught up in all of those feelings, and with Margaret already in love with him, they married within the year. Margaret was nineteen and John age twenty-two.
John Caldwell and Charles Goodrich met on one incidental occasion. Harriet’s brother, Dirk, and Charles dropped by the Kaufman house one evening on their way to the docks. The Kaufman’s were hosting a retirement party for one of their long-time friends, and most of the Rotary Club families, including the Caldwells, were over for the party. John didn’t take much note of Charles at the time, only the fleeting thought that Charles was a much different sort of guy than he. Charles never crossed John’s mind again until Harriet mentioned him in one of their many beach conversations. She didn’t really let onto John what a significant person Charles was in her life. John had no prompting or reason to think much about him. Charles had no memory of meeting John Caldwell. Harriet never spoke of him, until many years later when she mentioned that Margaret Caldwell, John’s wife, was going to come by for a visit. Harriet claimed that Charles and John had met, but he had no recollection.
(Character sketches created by the composer. All people and places are fictional.)