Lu Ann Hampton Laverty Oberlander
Lu Ann Hampton Laverty Oberlander, a typical but especially pretty and popular girl at the high school in Bradleyville, Texas. Although Lu Ann later becomes a hairdresser, as a teenager, she hates school and cannot wait to get out of school and preferably out of the state. She has no concrete plans for marriage or a career, however, and is mainly interested in having fun. After her brother, Skip Hampton, introduces her to his army buddy Dale Laverty, Lu Ann marries him, hoping for a more exciting life. They move to San Angelo and then to Snyder, but then she is left alone in their trailer house for weeks at a time while he is out on the road. After Dale leaves Lu Ann and their daughter, Charmaine, Lu Ann moves back to Bradleyville to live with her mother. She works as a hairdresser until she meets Corky in Red Grover’s bar. They are married only a short time before Corky is killed in an accident, leaving Lu Ann a widow in her late thirties. She ends up once again living in her mother’s house but now cares for her invalid mother, despite others’ suggestions that the old woman be put in a hospital. Driving a Howdy Wagon in Big Spring, Lu Ann dwells on her happier past but exhibits no self-pity or regrets.
Skip Hampton, Lu Ann’s older brother, a gas station attendant and veteran of the Korean War. Despite the fact that Skip never got closer than sixty miles to the front, he boasts about his bravery in battle. Always looking for an easy and quick way to become rich as a young man, Skip spends much of his time drinking. He never marries and...
(The entire section is 672 words.)