Dave is an interesting guy. He lives all alone on Hubbard’s Main Street. No one really knows what he did for a living, but he doesn’t have any financial worries. It’s hard to tell how old he is. Some say he’s in his mid-fifties but others say he is a young 70. There are all kinds of rumors about Dave. Some say he worked for the CIA as a spy. Others say he made millions running his own company before he retired at a young age. Marsha Lipper-Daley once whispered to Craig Johnson that she thought Dave was part of the federal witness protection program. It’s all speculation because no one knows for sure.
As mysterious as he is, Dave is equally sociable and friendly to all of Hubbard’s residents; rich or poor, educated or uneducated, white collar or blue collar, senior citizen or child. He doesn’t travel in any social circles. He’s not a member of the country club, the Lion’s club, or the garden club. He doesn’t go to church on Sunday but is clean-living; eschewing profanity and politely refusing to consume alcohol and tobacco in all forms. Everyone seems to like and respect Dave. His opinions are highly valued and reflect national and international experience. He’s probably the closest thing that Hubbard has to a village wise man.
Behind Dave’s house on Main Street is a big, old garage. It is equipped with a pot-belly wood-burning stove for Wisconsin’s cold winters and big windows and a large ceiling fan for hot summer evenings. Every Tuesday evening around 7 p.m. Dave unlocks the door and spends a couple of hours chewing the fat with anyone who feels like doing the same. It’s not an exclusive club; there are no secret passwords needed to pull up a stool. In the summer parents are often accompanied with their kids, complete with dripping ice cream cones. In the winter one or both of Hubbard’s borderline homeless people may show up just to thaw out, but they are always included in the conversation. No topic of interest is forbidden; religion and politics are fair game here. One thing is for sure. Before the evening is over, Dave will “weigh in” on one issue or another.
Last Tuesday the conversation was about Government and how big it should be. Pretty much everyone agreed that we need a police department, national defense, and a court system. Beyond that point there was no agreement. Unity Johnson wanted the government to employ everyone and guarantee economic security. Craig Johnson replied that “socialism is dead and buried forever since the fall of the Berlin wall”.
Dave was more cynical. He said that Democrats are economically illiterate looters who use the force of government to redistribute money from hard-working producers to people who are often undeserving laggards. According to Dave the Dems are also soft on Iraq and lack the backbone of their predecessors like President Franklin D. Roosevelt and ordinary American soldiers, who unapologetically defeated Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.
Dave is also very upset with the right-wing conservative, Bush Republicans. “They can’t allow a woman the freedom of her own body. They are now attempting to replace creation theory with “intelligent design”. “Of course the universe is orderly”, says Dave. “If it wasn’t orderly the planets would be slamming into each other and we wouldn’t exist. The existence of order has nothing to do with who or what created the universe.” “By the time the Democrats get done robbing our pocketbooks and the Republicans are finished in our bedrooms, this country won’t be worth saving,” says Dave.