ARCPOINT CHARACTER | LARS ~ Lars Ashford grew up working hard. When he was barely a teenager, his father, Norm Ashford, began building a new home on top of a hill overlooking the Facility. With the ArcPoint trees becoming large and numerous, they were now being used for log homes. A team of ArcPoint people cut down the trees and pre-shaped the logs. Others assembled the home on the hill, using the logs and lumber salvaged from nearby abandoned houses. Lars’s job was to haul the logs up the hill to the job site.
It would have been an easy task with the Community tractor. But it was old and unreliable, and the trail up to the site wasn’t wide enough anyway. Lars used the next best thing—goats. He’d balance the log on a two-wheeled dolly, then attach one end between two goats. As the goats pulled the log up the trail, he’d guide them with whistles. On the steep parts, he’d help push the log. If the log wasn’t tracking correctly on the trail, he’d lift the opposite end with a wheelbarrow to move it over. He was a husky kid after two years of home construction.
A couple years later, he helped his mom and dad build a greenhouse attached to the log home. Windows from the abandoned houses were too fragile to make the trip up the hill. But Norm had a private stockpile of car windows. These were salvaged from vehicles abandoned by their owners near the freeway. He helped his mother, Sabrina, carefully fit together the shapes and tints of the windows into a true work of art. His special touch was finding branches for the frame that were the correct shape to fit a particular set of windows.
Over the years, he continued to use his goats to help other ArcPoint dwellers build homes and move anything heavy. He added rooms to the Ashford log cabin for his own wife and son. He was put in charge when buildings were constructed for production of cloth, paper, ropes, and numerous other essential products. When they moved the hydroponic gardens out of the Facility, his father, Norm, ran the operation with Lars right there with his goats. When the Griffin tractor failed, he and his goats became a priceless commodity.
After his parents, Norm and Sabrina, passed away, Lars gave their bedroom to his son, Thomas, and his wife, Sybil. He didn’t want to move out of the rooms he’d custom-built for his wife. Besides, he thought the extra privacy in Norm and Sabrina’s bedroom may produce another generation of Ashfords. He prayed it would—a lot. Then, on his 95th birthday, he got the news. Sybil was pregnant.
Early the next year, to everyone’s surprise, Sybil gave birth to a baby girl. Rarely was a girl born in the Community. He suggested they name her Brina, after his mother. When Lars was first offered to hold the little, perfectly healthy baby, he dropped to his knees and cried like one himself. Then he carefully picked the child up, raised her to the sky, and with tears streaming down his face, said, “Thank you, Father. May she be as much of a blessing to you as she is to her parents, to the Community… and to me.”