Rex Walls

Husband to Rose Mary, and father of Lori, Jeannette, Brian, and Maureen. He is referred to as Dad in the narrative.

Drinker and slacker Rex and unrecognized artist Rose Marie brought up their children in the atmosphere of dreams and romance of travel. They always were in search of the ideal place to settle seriously and for a long time away from civilization. But in fact, the family was wandering, constantly moving from place to place. They lived half-starving, children did not have the opportunity to get a traditional education. And this way of living parents considered freedom. He considered himself as the head of the household, and when Rose brought home her salary, he maintained that the money should be turned over to him. It was his responsibility to handle the family finances.

Dad was very fond of telling stories about his life, but he rarely spoke about his parents and where he was born. Rex was born in Welch in West Virginia. His father worked as a clerk on the railway. Rex did not like this life, and when he was seventeen, he went to military pilots. He believes that he never return.

Everyone said that Dad was very capable, he could fix anything. Dad was good at mathematics, physics, and electricity. He read books on logarithms and adored, as he said, the symmetry and poetry of mathematics.

But the father's main passion was energy issues: thermal, nuclear, solar and wind. He said that in the world there are so many kinds of energy not mastered by humanity, and people only foolishly burn oil and gas fuel. Rex constantly invented something. One of his biggest inventions was a device called the Seeker, using which should help to look for gold.

Rex was going to build the Crystal Palace. It was a special project of a house in the desert, in which he would embody his engineering and mathematical abilities. The castle should have thick crystal walls, a crystal ceiling, and a crystal staircase. On the roof there should be solar panels, providing electricity for heating, cooling the house and other needs.

Once the family settles in Welch, Dad seems to embrace irresponsibility and spends his days drinking and gambling. However, he continues to want to be self-sufficient, and never accepts charity from others, even his kids.

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Rex Walls in the Essays