Orville Brand Windom
Orville Brand Windom, affectionately called Bowbong by his grandson. A former Supreme Court justice, he is an independent, idealistic, and whimsical man with a deep interest in the American past and future. In his yard, he keeps a huge boulder surrounded by earth representing the crises of American culture. The fictitious author of the novel’s three stories, he wills his manuscript to his grandson.
Raymond Windom, his intelligent and sensitive grandson. A pilot in World War II, he returns home exhausted and cynical, but his grandfather’s manuscript tends to restore his faith in the nation’s possibilities.
Maria “Mimah” Windom
Maria “Mimah” Windom, his attractive, spirited wife. She shares her husband’s and Orville’s concern for America.
Joseph Stilwell Windom
Joseph Stilwell Windom, their infant son, a symbol of the future.