Sunday, July 21, 2013

Our Hudson

Last week I talked about the origins of Officer Borsch.

This week I want to talk about Hudson.

From the moment I wrote about Officer Borsch I knew exactly who had inspired the character. But Hudson? I didn't really know anybody like him. He was more the cool old guy that I wish I knew.

What's funny is, it turns out I did know him. Or someone very much like him. I just didn't make the connection until this week.

Hudson first appeared on the page in 1994. Eighteen books and nearly twenty years later, Hudson has aged only one year. So maybe I didn't recognize the Hudson in my life because he wasn't an old guy yet. Maybe it took him passing Hudson in age for me to see what a cool guy he really was.

I'm talking about my father-in-law. A man who loved books and knew how to apply knowledge. A man with an enviable combination of high intelligence and artistic ingenuity.

I use the past tense because this week we lost our Hudson, the remarkable Ed Parsons. I feel a little like I imagine Sammy would if Hudson Graham were to pass away. Like our polestar is gone.

I learned so much from Ed, not about textbook things, but about life and how to treat other people. He was inspiring in so many ways, but there was never any fanfare to it. He worked hard, never complained, and was generous in ways you don't truly understand until it dawns on you that time is everything.

He was also a little secretive (or, as Hudson would say, private), and had a great sense of humor.

And he loved cool old cars.

What took me so long to see this?

I've often said that when I grow up I want to be Hudson. (Or, you know, the female equivalent of Hudson.) I have a ways to go, yet, but it sure helps to have had an example of how it's done.


Gabrielle said...

I always liked Hudson. He was just so awsome! I wish I had a guy like Hudson to talk to. And I never really thought about Hudson's past, but it would be interesting to know. And your Father-in- Law sounded really cool. And I think your pretty wise, Wendlin. Sometimes when you write on your blog it gives me e new perspective on things, like Hudson. :)
And I'm sorry for your loss.


Yusa said...

He sounds like such a great person. I'm really sorry you lost him and i know his memory will live on in your books now.

Kylie said...

I have always loved Hudson. He is always there for Sammy and always helping her see the other side of the story. I am sorry for your lost.

I did have a Hudson in my life, in fact today is one year from the day he passed. It was my grandfather. He was so supportive an when ever I had a problem he would sit with me and talk it through until I figured it out. I never realized how amazing he was until he wasn't here anymore.

Rest in Peace Ed Parsons


Unknown said...

Wendelin I think you'd make a great Hudson!! We all might have a little bit of inner Hudson after you read a SK book, since he is there every single book except Wild Things. Sammy didn't really start out with much at the beginning of the book, so it was really great she had Hudson there every step to help her, and it would be pure chaos without him! If you really think about it he helped influence most of her AW-HA!!! moments when it came to catching criminals, or Heather Acosta.

Isabel said...

I always loved the way you described Hudson in the books, always there to show another perspective, always there to help and support... it sounds even more great that your father-in-law was your Hudson, to tell you the truth, once you found out who Hudson was in real life, I was like, "Oh, yay, that's SOOO cool!" Then you said he passed away, and I'm like, "What?!?! Nooo, that's so sad!"
I'm really heartbroken for your loss, though.
If I had a Hudson in my life, I think it'd be my dad. And if there were a female version of Hudson my mom and grandmother would be great.
And, I think you'd be a wonderful female Hudson, to tell you the truth, I'm pretty sure some of Hudson's personality comes from you, too! ;)
And again, my sympathy is overwhelming because of the news of your father-in-law.

Jessica said...

I just figured out who my "Hudson" was last week: a friend I met through Irish dance class, more than 30 years older than me. He always had advice and random, useful knowledge from his breadth and depth of life experiences, yet he was also a little mysterious. Mostly though, he was just present in every moment, really aware of the people around him, always focusing on their strengths.

It's been seven years since he passed away, and I still miss him -- and yet I can still imagine what advice he'd give me in certain situations, and I'd like to think he's rubbed off on me a little in paying more attention to those around me. I gave up TV thanks to him, and he wrote one of my letters of recommendation for grad school.

I hope sharing memories of your father-in-law with family and friends brings you some comfort. It's been a very difficult year for your family; you're all in my thoughts and prayers. Tonight, I lit a little crystal light-show (it was a "trophy" for winning a partner dance competition with my "Hudson"), thinking about my "Hudson" and yours. I was blessed to have as much time with mine as I did, and I'm thankful to have known him. Thinking of you...