In the book Holding On, by David Isay and Harvey Wang, the profile that I admired the most is Miles Mahan. This is mostly because his was the strangest. The profile is an interview between Isay and Mahan about Hula Ville and all of its "invisible" attractions. As they walk through on a tour, Mahan says, "Now that right there's for the kids. They get on and ride it just like a horse." Isay responds with, "But Miles, it's just a tree stump," to which he responds, "It is! I made a little seat for the kids, and get on it and ride. It don't buck much, but kids like to get into everything, you know." This part of the story my favorite because it shows just how creative Mahan is. He, just like the kids that he describes, has an active imagination and turns a tree stump into a mechanical horse.
In the story "Under the Influence," Scott Sanders speaks of his childhood and how he suffered from having an alcoholic father. He spoke of how he hated his grandparents, the liquor store, and anything else that allowed his father to drink. Although it was very apparent from the smell of his breath, Sanders and his mother were too ashamed to let anyone know. They were humiliated. "The secret bores under the skin, gets in the blood, into the bone, and stays there. Long after you have supposedly been cured of malaria, the fever can flare up, the tremors can shake you. So it is with the fevers of shame. You swallow the bitter quinine of knowledge, and you learn to feel pity and compassion toward the drinker. Yet the shame lingers and, because of it, anger." Sanders felt as though he was never good enough because he could not do anything to get his father to stop drinking. This is why I am so surprised by how he acts when he has a child of his own. He did not become an alcoholic, but his depression was almost as bad as if he had become one. He knew how it felt to have a father who never gave him any attention, yet, did not give his son more.
When reading through the profiles in Holding On, I can't help but wonder if any of the people who are in the profiles are still alive. It would be interesting to hear the stories from their point of view and see if anything was "candy coded" by the author.