He is the last person to see Mishandles alive. “Galling, a union electrician, was on his way to Anchorage, 240 miles beyond Denial on the George parks Highway; he told Alex he’d drop him off wherever he wanted. ” (Krause 4) Walt Mishandles- Chi iris’s father. A successful aerospace engineer and the father of eight children, from two marriages. He is fifty-six at the time of Chrism’s death. He is taciturn, passionate and stubborn, much like his son, and also brilliant, with a hot temper.
In 1978, Walt went into business for himself, launching a small but eventually prosperous consulting firm, User Systems, Incorporated. ” (Krause 20) Wayne Westerners- Owner of a grain elevator in Cartage, South Dakota, who meets Mishandles when he picks him up hitchhiking in 1990. He gives Mishandles jobs multiple times, and becomes close to him. “If Mishandles felt estranged from his parents and siblings, he found a surrogate family in Westerners and his employees. ” (Krause 1 8) Caring Mishandles- Chrism’s younger sister, with whom he is extremely close.
Caring looks a lot like Chris, and is also energetic, self-assured, and a high- achiever, but unlike Chris, she is very gregarious, forgiving of people’s faults, and happily fits into capitalist society. Jan Burses- Middle-aged rubber tramp who travels around the West selling knick-knacks at flea markets. She meets Mishandles when she picks him up hitchhiking. They become close, and he stays in written contact with her until going into the Alaskan wilderness. Ronald Franz- An eighty-year old devout Christian and soldier who picks Mishandles up hitchhiking and takes a strong liking to him.
He has lost his wife and children long ago, and so feels a fatherly affection for Chris, whom he offers to adopt. After hearing Of Chrism’s death, he Stops believing in God. Billie Mishandles- Chris and Carbine’s mother, Billie is a very petite woman who meets Walt while working as a secretary at the company he works for before they split off to start their own company together. Like Walt and her children, she is very passionate, with a strong temper. Sam Mishandles- One of Chrism’s older half-brothers, Sam is the first to hear about Chrism’s death from the authorities.