President William Howard Taft’s pet cow, Pauline, stands the on lawn in front of the State, War and Navy Building in Washington, circa 1909-13. A gift from Senator Isaac Stephenson of Wisconsin, Taft was one of the last presidents to keep a cow at the White House .
When Dex invites Nursey to spend a chunk of the summer up in Maine, Nursey jumps at the opportunity faster than he’d openly admit (Dex is inwardly more excited at the affirmative than he’d openly admit as well).
Despite hearing all about them, including an overview of every family member, Nursey is still unprepared for all the uncles that Dex has. Not all with the last name Poindexter (many of them in-laws); not all even officially uncles (rather many of them #-degree cousins whom are easier to call “Uncle”). Still, overall the family is a major presence in the small island community of less than a thousand folks.
To say nothing of the droves of cousins.
So, to make things easy on himself, Nursey ends up categorizing each uncle (and their immediate family) by their vocation:
Boatdexter: Lobster boat uncle.
Portdexter: Runs ferry service between Mount Desert Island and Winter Harbor, and connects the island between the two regions. Ferry functions as a commuter, school bus, and delivery service.
Fixdexter: Repair shop. Is actually mainly a boatyard (a lot of the boats worked on are from off-island), but also can work on automobiles (which are barely used within the community).
Shopdexter: Convenience and hardware store, with a backshop and fuel pumps (for both boats and cars), at the marina.
Dinedexter: Runs the main restaurant/bar/cafe in town. Also runs the inn that mostly sees business in the summertime.
Waydexter: Maritime pilot who helps ships navigate the narrows.
Bluedexter: Owns and runs a small scale farm mostly focused on blueberries. Not only taking the berries to market, but also opening the field to visitors so they can pick the fruit themselves (as blueberry season is in the summer, there is that sweet summer tourism traffic). Also grows other produce on the side. Farm overall is a joint-operation with…
Crandexter: Who mostly focuses on the small
cranberry bog adjacent to the rest of the farm (which he helps with as well). The bog is not flooded but rather dry-harvested.
Repdexter: Retired and now the village ombudsman to the county.
Teachdexter: Him and his wife are teachers at the local school.
Tourdexter: Takes tourists around and past the bay during the summer, and works with Boatdexter in the off time. If you’re used to the rest of the family’s reservedness, his outgoing nature can be a bit unnerving.
Copdexter: Sheriff deputy.
Parkdexter: Ranger for the DACF. Also works with the NP rangers at Acadia.
Assdexter: Bigoted, misogynistic walking Breitbart mouthpiece. Quintessential Angry White Male™.
Assdexter’s existence is barely tolerated by the rest of the family (who are conservative, many with cringy traditionalist and heteronormative views, but not hateful/far-right; think more Collins, less LePage). That “barely” is simply by virtue of community and bloodlines, and the fact that he’s a useful extra hand. Other than that, “We have your back” does have its limits, and “tolerance” does not prevent a fist to the face. Doesn’t help that he may have called Dex a few choice words for choosing Samwell.
Conversations between Copdexter and Nursey get interesting. Seriously, they’re legit engaging discussions and debates that don’t always end in agreement but do involve civility and actual listening. To Nursey’s (and Dex’s) surprise, Copdexter’s the one to ask (not demand) Nursey (who otherwise would have stayed silent due to being a guest) first for an opinion.
Nursey’s favorites of Dex’s uncles are probably either Teachdexter or Parkdexter (especially after the latter toured the boys around on their free time).
Overall, Dex is chagrined at Nursey after finding out about the nicknames.
Then the uncles find out, and he’s scared that Nursey may no longer be welcome.
To his horror and frustration, they (barring Assdexter) actually find it amusing. Yeah, he wanted Nursey to fit in and be welcomed, but this is going too far.
Dex’s frustration may manifest along the lines of a sputtered “… liberal… idle rich… city boy…” accompanied by increasing redness as he short-circuits at the absurdity of it all.
In response, one of the uncles simply chirps, “Chill, Billy.”
White Southerners certainly weren’t states’ rights doctrinaires. They were perfectly fine with an aggressive federal government if it worked to preserve slavery. They had no objection when Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, requiring free states to aid in the return of runaway slaves — overriding many of those states’ own laws. When South Carolina issued its secession ordinance in 1860, it even complained that Northern states had passed laws nullifying the Fugitive Slave Act; complained, in other words, that Northern states were refusing to obey the federal government! It was only when the federal government threatened the institution of slavery that the Southern elite invoked states’ rights.
Portrait of William Henry Harrison, 9th President of the United States. He was the first President to be photographed, this was taken on his inauguration day on March 4, 1841. He would die thirty days later.