Lee and Raelene Webb are Scout’s parents. They are a couple deeply in love. As Scout narrates during her young years, she describes her parents as the kind of couple who have a fairytale marriage, who go off without their kids and do their own thing together, and who makes their children feel lonely sometimes. They are so in love with each other that the offspring feels like they aren’t always welcome.
Lee owns his own garage, and Raelene is a reading teacher. They both grew up during the Jim Crow South and came of age during Civil Rights. While my book does not address race much at all, I do try to round out these characters within their time.
Raelene was the kind of feisty southern girl who did not subscribe to the time’s way of thinking. She was rebellious about “separate but equal” and would embarrass her mother by drinking from “colored” water fountains and befriending a black girl in town. When she read Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, Raelene knew that one day, if she had a daughter, she was going to name her Scout.
Lee is a quiet man who works hard. He is a gentleman who generally keeps his thoughts and feelings to himself. Charlie describes Lee in one of his narrations as someone who is cool and confident and has a dry sense of humor. When I created Lee, I wanted him to represent the kind of father who came along during a certain time and place who is not overly involved with his children’s lives and tends to keep his emotions in check. He has his own world view, his own opinions and isn’t necessarily sure how to handle certain situations, like many dads. For example, teenaged girl issues.
The relationship between a father and a daughter is of paramount importance. It sets the stage for any man that a girl will love during the course of her life. “Daddy issues” are real. They can be the kind that lead a girl to dance on a pole for a living: abandonment, abuse, belittlement, alcoholism and drug addiction, etc. They can also be kind that undermine – and not on purpose – a girl’s sense of self, a girl’s self worth – simply because of a miscommunication or an unresolved matter that goes on for years.
In Scout’s Honor, Scout has a great relationship with her father. She looks up to him, admires him, and loves him. But one crack during a key moment eventually causes a cavern that takes years to fill in…all while the father has no idea what damage he did. I try to highlight this toward the end of the story.
Fun fact: Lee is named for my daughter’s middle name, Allison Leigh. Raelene is named for my other daughter’s middle name, Abigail Raelene.
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