Colonel J. C. Kinkaid
Colonel J. C. Kinkaid, an eccentric World War I veteran and the oldest living graduate of Mirabeau B. Lamar Military Academy. At the age of seventy-five, the colonel is senile, but his lack of touch with reality can be traced back as far as his return from fighting in the war. Bound to a wheelchair, the colonel is dependent on others, particularly his daughter-in-law, Maureen Kinkaid, and he usually greets these people with ill-tempered insults. The colonel slips in and out of reality, sometimes thinking that he is back in the war or talking to his dead elder son, Franklin, whose death in World War II causes him great guilt and some resentment toward his younger son, Floyd. He frequently asks to be driven to view his property by the lake, a site that others consider to be worthless except for the potential development that Floyd is planning secretly with his new business partner. The colonel reveals to the handyman, Mike Tremaine, that the lot was once settled by a French family and that the colonel was very much in love with the daughter. As the oldest living graduate of his military academy, the colonel is approached to be the focus of a large dedication ceremony, organized by Floyd, who intends to exploit the occasion for the predicted publicity and business contacts. In a rare lucid moment, Colonel Kinkaid realizes for the first time what it means that he is the oldest living graduate: that all of his friends are dead. He then withdraws from the ceremony. At the end of the play, the colonel is dying, having suffered a stroke while at a lodge meeting of the Knights of the White Magnolia.
Floyd Kinkaid, a powerful businessman in the fictional town of...
(The entire section is 714 words.)