A Protagonist’s Birthdate

Blog 42 ImagePeter Bradley, the protagonist in my first book, The Case for Killing, was born on July 20, 1960. It’s an interesting day to look back on. Eventually, it also causes Bradley some trouble.

From the July 21, 1960 Toronto Daily Star, we learn time-capsule things about July 20 like:

  • The Cold War utterly dominated international politics. Fears were growing of a new U.S.-Soviet clash in violence-stricken Congo; England’s Prime Minister Macmillan thought Premier Khrushchev had been particularly aggressive in the previous sixty days; and the wounds of the Cuban Revolution were raw and the seeds of the Cuban missile crisis sowed.
  • A Quebec divorce was front-page news. Divorce in Canada then required a salacious precondition like adultery. Quebec divorces were only available through private acts of Canadian Parliament.
  • It was warm and pleasant in Toronto, high 72 F (22 C) and low 55 F (13 C).
  • Measured by price, products were cheap. The newspaper cost ten cents; a sixteen-ounce jar of peanut butter was on sale for twenty-nine cents; a ten-piece bedroom set was on special for $159; inspected used tires were $4.95; and a Chevrolet Impala cost $2500-$3500, depending on the model and options.
  • Everything was much less connected. New Zealand had just introduced legislation to permit television. Two Toronto men became the first to travel by car from North America to Bogota, Colombia. In jungles, they lived on monkey meat, iguana and wild pig. People sold things using the classified sections of newspapers.
  • People worried how to fund the Toronto Transit Commission and that fare increases would worsen street congestion. Sound familiar?
  • President Eisenhower announced there would be a one billion dollar surplus for the year. A surplus.
  • The S&P 500 closed at 55.61. Last Friday, it finished at 2051.82. My parents should have bought and held.
  • In baseball, Mickey Mantle had the most runs in the American League; ditto Willie Mays in the National League. Like today, even in July, hockey figured prominently in Toronto sports news. Unlike today, news about horse racing did, too.
  • Suddenly Last Summer, The Battle of the Sexes and something called Cha Cha Boom played in the movie theatres.

Why does Peter Bradley’s birthdate cause him trouble? He may be Canada’s foremost anti-trust lawyer and quite engaging, but he’s also manipulative and arrogant. The type of arrogance that makes him believe he’s incapable of mistakes. He should have chosen a better online banking password, though. He keeps his wife, Amy, on a shoe-string budget and she’s after more cash. With her brother’s help, she steals Peter’s banking password then laughs at his choice: 072060PB.

Copyright ©2015 Peter Fritze

Where to buy The Case for Killing.

Follow me on Twitter @PFritze.

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