Legacy of Riggins
Gold Star Wife
Charla was just over the three years of “stranger” status for new folks in town. Even though she was from back east she fit in pretty well. She arrived in town already married to Jack Moxie although the two also had a ceremony at the local church and a reception that was open to anyone in the community. Her folks had passed away and Jack’s people were on the reservation and didn’t really approve of his military service. The two of them had met while she was waitressing at a diner near the east coast base where Jack was posted. He’d asked her out and the romance had been fast and intense. They were both young but she and Jack were ready to start a new life together.
She was a good wife to Jack, even if they didn’t yet have children. She volunteered at the school and was generally active in the other things the women did: book club, boosters, county fair, church choir, etc. She had a hell of a green thumb and a serious talent for putting food by although it wasn’t something she really showed off until she’d been in town a while. Several of her recipes have become specialties around town. The older folks in town get on well with her and her first friends were some of the elders in town.
Charla is a good angler and a passable hunter, preferring birds to other types of game. She’s competent around horses and likes both riding on her own and taking people out but has to rent or borrow from neighbors since she doesn’t have a horse of her own. Like most folks around town she does several things for a living. Charla’s first love is as a wildlife and nature photographer and videographer. Riggins provides plenty of interesting wildlife and stunning landscapes as subjects. When the economy allows she sells work to nature shows on television, magazines, marketing stock photos and signed prints to collectors. When there are tourists, she works as an outfitter. The Hoxie’s also have a small apple orchard on their property and sell apples in the region along with some of Charla’s preserves.
Charla was just past her first year and a half as “probationary community member” when the black Sedan’s rolled into town and the men in dress uniform delivered her the letter. She fell to her knees in silence. She made funeral arrangements with Jack’s parents. She put a gold star in her window. She disappeared from public life for several months. Everyone would have expected her to go back to her people but as she didn’t have any the town closed in and watched.
When she returned she was quieter and seemed to have a bit less energy. She picked up some extra jobs cleaning rooms at inn or waitressing at the diner. She was responsive to personal invitations to casual social events like ice fishing, card games or hanging at the hunting lodge. She’s remained engaged in many of the things she had been involved with before with the notable exception of anything that had to do with children. Whenever anyone came out to the property, on business or just to check-up, she was sociable offering beverages and snacks always hosting on the porch. No one made it through the front door.
As an outfitter she is CPR, First Aid and Wilderness Response Certified.