WENDELL (our Hero)

What would you do if your life never seemed to be going in the direction you wanted it to…and then suddenly the Universe reached out and said, “I have another path you can take, if you want to…”

Would you take it?

What if that path meant you would have to leave behind everyone you knew…and forget everything you thought you understood about life?

Would you still do it?

Would you even consider such an opportunity?

The young man born as Wendell Percy Dipmier, was given such a choice. In truth, the young man we now refer to as ‘the hero’ is, honestly, just a gawky teen with a heart of gold.

All he really wants in life, is to be noticed and appreciated.

(…well…appreciated by someone other than his own mother, anyway.)

Aside from that, Wendell found himself fixated on the simple goals of most male teens: get a job, buy his first car (preferably a muscle car or tricked out Baja Bug)…and hopefully acquiring a [pretty] girlfriend.

What he didn’t seem to understand, was that without the decent job (a.k.a. a gig that pays really well), the other two goals would be near impossible.

‘Head glue boy’ at Shaun’s Sticker Shack only pays $0.32/hr over minimum wage.

It’s not that Wendell doesn’t try. The problem is Wendell has few skills that employers consider valuable.

He still thinks of himself as a master sculptor—but only when it comes to glue and macaroni art (he’s still fixated on the praise of his 2nd grade teacher, Ms. Mason). He can also build structures out of toothpicks, popsicle sticks and even folded gum wrappers. Well…they almost look like something that resembles actual structures–if the light is right…and you don’t have on your glasses.

On the other hand, Wendell can sing really well. 

As long as he’s in the shower

…and no one else is listening.

On a social level, Wendell isn’t exactly what you would call ‘popular’, unless being the victim of jock pranks is considered popular.

Wendell’s one redeeming quality—the one that no one can explain, is the relationship with his best friend: Evan Matthews.

Local football star, community hero and greek god (so say the girls) has been Wendell’s closest friend and protector since childhood. Always encouraging, always kind and always nearby, Evan can’t help but like his gawky little buddy, even when things boarder ridiculous.

How did it all start?

At age five, on Halloween night, the two children went to the same house for treats—both running ahead of their mothers. When the door was opened by little Cesilea Jones, the family doberman lunged over the 4 year old girl to attack the bright orange pumpkin. Without thinking, Wendell threw himself at the attacking dog, locking his arms around the beasts neck until the parents came to help.

It took more than a minute to catch the doberman, snapping and growling as it dragged the screaming fig newton around the front yard.

While Evan ended up with a few scrapes and bruises, Wendell sustained fifty-two stitches on his hands and face. When his mother asked what he was thinking, he replied, “The dog was gonna hurt him, momma. It wanted to BITE him!”

Most relationships grow over time and in many cases, grow apart…but Wendell and Evan became inseparable, while the parents grew to be close friends as well.

If there was one person who believed in Wendell (other than his mother), it was Evan. Through the years, he always saw the side of Wendell’s personality that few paid attention to.

While others saw the goofy grin, the awkward movements or the wandering imagination—Evan saw kindness, unwavering loyalty, a quick and hungry mind…and a tender heart, filled with compassion for others.

Fortunately for Wendell, these were also the traits that caught the attention of the Universe.

Traits which would change his life, and those he associated with, forever.

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“These books are better than chocolate in our Saturday morning pancakes. Just don’t tell mom.” – Devin, Age 11

“I like these books a lot. Even more than my sisters. But that’s not very hard to do.” – Caleb, age 10

“I really like Dax, cause he reminds me of Uncle Carter. He eats weird food and smells too.” – Johanna, age 13

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