Character Interview with Melissa Hampton of Through Raging Waters
Melissa: I’m good. Busy as always. How are you, Stevie?
Stevie: Absolutely awesome—[static breaks through her headphones and she waits for it to stop before continuing]. Sorry about that. I guess there was a bit of interference. Anyway, what’s it like to work with one of the founding fathers of our town?
Melissa [rolls her eyes]: Oh, give me a break. The man isn’t a founding father. Yes, the Parker family founded Timber Springs but Benjamin Jackson Parker wasn’t a glimmer in his grandfather’s eye when he built that first lumber mill . . . no matter what he may say to the contrary.
Stevie: [laughs] Do you actually talk to your boss like this? I would love to be a fly on the wall in your office!
Melissa: I’ve known BJ since I was a child. In fact, I don’t remember a time I haven’t known him. He treats me more like a daughter than his assistant.
Stevie: How exactly did you start working at Timberline?
Melissa: [sits back in the chair and sighs] How much time do you have left on your show?
Stevie: [snickers and points to the lights blinking on the desk phone] This is something our listeners may want to know.
Melissa: Oh, I bet they would, especially since BJ seems to be the talk of the town. Well, let’s see. I began work at Timberline as a secretary in junior in high school. I think he gave me the job out of pity. Mom had just been diagnosed with cancer that year. She passed away a few years later and I stayed on. Now I’m his executive assistant. Things haven’t really changed that much except everyone’s a bit older. And maybe more cranky.
Stevie: [a tense silence settles on the air and the radio host clears her throat] It’s time to take our first caller. This is Stevie with KTMB, your Music in the Pines. What question do you have for our guest today?
Caller: Yes, I was wondering how such a fine woman could stand working with all those guys every single day? I mean, a bunch of lumberjacks?
Melissa: [forces a laugh] I have the company of several women at Timberline. True, the lumber mill is a male dominated environment but I’m well protected . . . uh, taken care of. [adjusts her earphones with shaky fingers]
Stevie: [covers the microphone and leans close to Melissa] Are you all right?
Melissa: [nods] Can we wrap this up? I should return to Timberline.
Stevie: Absolutely . . . thank you, Melissa Hampton, for coming in today. It’s nice to know we have someone like you at Timberline. A strong person who knows how to hold their own against Mr. BJ Par—[static broke in, terminating the broadcast]