WHO'S WHO IN LOUD ERAA helpful guide to the characters meandering across the landscape.
As the oldest of nine children, with mostly absent alcoholic parents, Aggie is overwhelmed with her household responsibilities. Often strung-out, she uses her friends and romantic interests as an escape from her home life. Unfortunately she often associates with unsavory individuals, much to the chagrin of her friends (such as Clarabelle).
Aggie is quick-witted, but also quick-tempered. At times she has no patience for the silly antics of her companions and is not one to mince words when expressing her disdain for them.
Despite her shortcomings, her friends appreciate her company, her reliable nature, and even her critical, honest remarks.
Friendly, cheerful, and welcoming are three words that describe Clarabelle well. She prides herself on her hospitality, coming from a wealthy family whose generosity has made them a prominent fixture in the community. Family is important to Clarabelle, who holds her parents in high esteem.
Clarabelle's desire to please everyone sometimes leads to unhealthy fixations on the individuals who manage to evade her. To make matters worse, she has a flair for the dramatic, often imagining or remembering scenarios in hyperbolic extremes.
This tendency coincides with an insistent and forceful optimism, interpreted by some as naïveté. Clarabelle finds pure joy in simple kindnesses of others and loves to share that joy with the people she cares about.
Joseph is an extroverted and gregarious young man who enjoys being the center of attention, managing his position there with ease. A childhood injury that severely damaged his legs left him much shorter than his peers and requires that he use a cane. He doesn't care for people who try to treat him delicately because of his condition and will directly tell them so.
His charisma and humor make him a formidable companion, but he is sometimes selfish or spiteful and hurts those closest to him- especially Cecilia, Tony, and Eddie. His relationship with his brother Uly is typically amicable; however, they occasionally butt heads over perplexingly trivial issues.
Ulysses is a gentle soul who occasionally succumbs to bizarre worries (such as whether his parents are renting his bed to the homeless while he's abroad). He is pleasant and generally well-liked, though a bit timid and self-doubting. Uly is most comfortable when being productive, and as such figured joining the army would be a promising life decision.
Uly began taking violin lessons when he was almost twelve, but stopped around the age of seventeen, feeling that he wasn't good enough to pursue it further.
He cares deeply for his parents and younger brother Joseph and yearns to make them proud. In general, he worries that people will think poorly of him, and strives to be an admirable man.
Pleasant, clever, and agreeable, Tony thrives on the company of his friends. He works at the local movie theater, The Rhinestone, so that he can watch and rewatch the matches of his favorite boxer, George "The Ripper" Ripton.
Tony is what you might call a hopeless romantic, both figuratively and literally, as his romantic successes have been nil. He tends to be of the mindset that life will take him wherever it takes him, and doesn't find himself too affected by such setbacks.
Eddie stands head and shoulders over most people, but would rather blend in to the point of invisibility than stick out as he often does. A stressful family life and speech impediment contribute to Eddie's insecurities, and may be the cause of most of them.
His anxieties are sometimes exasperating to his friends, especially Joseph and Tony, as he fears getting in trouble and doesn't enjoy being roped into their mischief.
Eddie feels at ease when able to spend time with his friends, to whom he is fiercely loyal. Other sources of comfort include his piano, his cigarettes, and his car, which is kept hidden from his parents.
Marie likes to seem as though she doesn't care what other people think of her. A strange individual, she often uses idiosyncratic behavior as a means of getting attention, and is known to pester people until she gets her way.
Whereas most people try to solve their problems by addressing them, Marie prefers to ignore them and deny that they are there. If she reluctantly does take someone's advice, she may decide that she came up with the advice in the first place so as not to admit being wrong.
Despite the troubles it can cause, her optimistic and stubborn insistence that everything will work out in the end is sometimes refreshing to friends who feel down on their luck.
Cecilia comes from the wealthiest family in Wallwater, but has a peculiar habit of being modest about her fortune. She feels more at home with her less affluent friends than she does with other members of her social class, a tendency that frustrates her father.
Cecilia has been in an on-and-off relationship with Joseph for many years, and they keep getting back together despite his infidelities and her family's disdain. As an only child, she is greatly appreciative of her close friendships with Clarabelle, Marie, and Aggie, and considers them sisters, though she is not ostentatiously sentimental toward them.
Leon works with Tony at the Rhinestone and enjoys hanging out with the guys. He often acts as the voice of reason when others get too introspective.
A sweet and polite young lady, Pearl was the lead actress in Wallwater Electric High School's production of "The Follies of Missus Wentworth."
The often talked-about but rarely seen Kelly Madison went on a few dates with Clarabelle toward the end of the summer before their senior year in high school. The breakup was disastrous for Clarabelle, who even months later could not quite bring herself to let him go.
Gerald "Gerry" O'Toole
Gerry is Pearl's best friend and played the part opposite her in The Folllies of Missus Wentworth. His cultured and sophisticated air is intimidating to some.
The Boys in the Barracks
Clockwise from top: Matthew Minson, Ulysses, Paul Scarpelli, Albert Foote, and Les Shaw. Uly's war buddies, serving with him abroad. They joke about his "pretend girlfriend" back home, a girl he liked in high school but never spoke to.
Frank is Uly's childhood best friend. The two ran a lawn care business for a few summers before they parted ways, as Uly went to high school and Frank worked to support his family.
Dr. and Mrs. Galen
Dr. and Mrs. Galen are Clarabelle's parents. They are very indulgent to and supportive of her. It was Dr. Galen who performed the surgeries on Joseph's legs following his accident. The two are jovial people who enjoy spreading cheer in the community.
Mrs. Harper is a kind-hearted woman, and the mother of Ulysses and Joseph. Frank had a crush on her as a youth.
Mr. Harper is Ulysses and Joseph's father. A hard-working but playful man, he is constantly encouraging his boys to do their best.
Mrs. Schuyler is Eddie's mother. She does not approve of his friendships with Joseph and Tony as she percieves them to be troublemakers. She also doesn't support Eddie's piano playing, feeling that it is just one more thing to distract him from his studies.
Mr. Butler is Wallwater Electric High School's long-suffering drama teacher.
Oliver is one of Marie's six brothers. He loves his sister, but is often weary of her antics.
Elsie is the oldest of Aggie's younger siblings and as such, stands to inherit the household duties when Aggie leaves. While Aggie was allowed to continue with school, Elsie had to leave school in order to work, and takes on whatever jobs she can find.
George Ripton is a midweight boxer and is Tony's idol. His rags-to-riches life story has been inspirational to many.
Cecilia's doting father, whose benevolence stops just short of condoning Cecilia's continuing relationship with Joseph.
Owner and manager of the Rhinestone theater where Tony and Leon work. He is often at wit's end with regards to Tony's laziness.
Tony's mother, who immigrated to America from Italy along with Mr. Marconi and Tony's oldest siblings in 1894.
One of Aggie's ne'er-do-well boyfriends, with more than a few issues of his own.
Gritty, no-nonsense landlady.