WILLARD EARL ANSCOMBE Basics
"Oh, God of Progress
Have you degraded or forgot us?
Where have your laws gone?
I think about it now"
Name: Willard Earl Anscombe
Birthday: July 30th, 1940
Ethnicity/Race: White (Primarily British ancestry)
Profession: Retired Elevator Mechanic
Primary Gift: NONE
Secondary Gift: (Optional!)
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Forum Group: CitizenPhysical Appearance
Play By: Robert De Niro
General Appearance: Willard keeps his hair cut in a short, traditional style. When allowed to grow a little longer it tends to have a bit of wave to it, but he rarely allows it to get to that point. His hair was once a dark brown, but now it’s almost purely silver; now only thick eyebrows remain dark.
He has a somewhat small, thin-lipped mouth that’s quick to smile, and the noticeable wrinkles of a man nearing his ninth decade of life. His face and body are much fuller than when he was a young man, although rather than looking round this makes him look somewhat more square than in his youth. He wears thin-framed glasses, and has ever since he was in his mid-fifties.
He has generally decent posture and tends to wear suits and button down shirts because he has the money and he finds it exciting that he can wear them every day now that he’s retired, whereas he had to dress somewhat more practically as a mechanic. Personality:
Strengths & Likes:
-Engineering and math
- Detail oriented
- Good listener
- Handy with tools
- Folk music
- his daughter and his GRANDBABIES
- American football
- Good memory
Weaknesses & Dislikes:
- conservative Christians/people who weaponize religion
- ignores negative emotions
- some hearing loss (particularly he has difficulty hearing higher pitched sounds)
- some arthritis in his wrists
- tendency to take on too many projects at once
- people pleaser
- takes criticism personally
- Zionists conflating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism
Hobbies and Skills:
-He plays the banjo
- wine tasting
- walking his King Charles Spaniel named Yossarian.
Overall Personality: Willard has always been an extrovert. In his youth his cheerful demeanor and athletic prowess lead to a certain amount of popularity. Even the strained relationship with his parents and then his brother’s suicide never entirely dampened his friendliness. He’ll talk to just about anyone, although he’s careful about what subjects he’ll broach with people he doesn’t know well.
He always had a pacifist streak, but it was only after his brother was drafted into Vietnam that he became invested enough for political activism on that front. His father had left their home during World War II, but Willard had been quite young at the time and didn’t really understand much except that his father was going to “fight the bad guys” and then his father never mentioned his time away much (and, actually, didn’t see combat; he primarily worked repairing equipment.)
Because his parents weaponized their faith against him for his sexuality he’s somewhat wary when he meets conservative Christians or anyone who speaks using their language. He’s also not entirely trusting of straight people, given that while Illinois decriminalized homosexuality when he was only twenty-two there were no protections for him as far as jobs or housing went until he was almost fifty, which by necessity meant that he couldn’t share his relationship with anyone he worked with or which made house hunting stressful and difficult. And, of course, the fact that there were attempts to amend the state constitution to outlaw same sex marriage and some of his neighbors were not at all quiet about their support for this reinforced the idea that straight people are not entirely safe. This doesn’t mean he refuses to have straight friends, simply that he’s cautious about what he shares with other people.
That said, he tends to be fairly forgiving of missteps, in part because he had to be in order to keep the peace first in his home and then later among straight society. He rarely even fights the malicious people, although once he’s decided that someone is unsafe for him he’ll disengage and ignore them to whatever extent possible. This doesn’t always occur without any internal conflict, but at the end of the day he’s capable of cutting people out of his life.
Because of this tendency to forgive people sometimes underestimate him, but the truth is he’s perfectly willing to put his foot down where he feels necessary. It’s just that he’s seen so many decades of oppression and bigotry that his expectations are low, and so when he chooses his battles certain microaggressions don’t even register as worth fighting over not because they don’t hurt him but because he has no expectations of those things changing so why start a fight about it? It’s a lot of effort, and the result is so often that he’ll be seen as the bad guy for rocking the boat and confronting some Nice(™) Innocent Straight person, and...that will be it. He might be ostracized, but the behavior won’t change. So unless he’s fed up to the point ostracism seems fine then he’s not going to say anything.
He’s very good at recognizing both names and faces, and also at remembering whatever tidbits he learned about people. He likes other people and wants them to feel good about themselves, and a lot of his effort goes into trying to build other people up. In fact, while he loves conversation in general he largely prefers to keep his conversations focused on the other person.
When he’s unhappy he tries to be as busy as possible as a distraction. If he doesn’t keep himself busy then he tends to have difficulty with things like getting out of bed or bothering to eat, so it’s better to have a million different projects going to avoid thinking about whatever is causing his distress.
Overall he’s a friendly person who just wants to get along with other people and to see other people happy. Background
Family & Important People:
Husband: Seth Zysman
Daughter: Rachel (and then also her husband and children)
His parents and his brother are all deceased.
Willard was born to Chester and Adeline Anscombe the summer of 1940. He was closer to his mother than his father, a result of his father’s long hours working in a factory producing radios followed by his father’s departure to the military when he was four years old.
When his father returned from war his parents conceived his younger brother, Robert. Will and Rob were not especially close, given the difference in their ages, but he felt protective of his younger brother nonetheless.
That same year Willard began school, which he did well in, particularly in math and, later, physics and engineering classes. He made friends easily, although his parents discouraged him from being too friendly with the girls, believing that boys and girls ought to be taught separately (and, for that matter, that they ought to focus on different subjects.)
He also was a fairly athletic young man, and was on both his school’s track and football teams. He had many friends among his teammates, although he was hiding from them the fact that he would rather have dated one of them than any of the girls the other boys courted. Throwing himself into sports and school work was in part a method of coping with a less than stellar family life; his parents weren’t cruel, but they’d had a hard lot in life, and they were hard on their sons in turn. Additionally, they were very conservative in ways that were damaging to Willard’s growing sense of self, and rather than face that it was easier to involve himself in school related activities.
Willard began making friends among his neighbors, but he kept his sexuality a secret from work. That same year he moved out of his parents house was when he first met Seth Zysman. The two hit it off immediately, although it took them a few months to move beyond flirting and into an actual relationship.
In 1970 his younger brother was drafted into the Vietnam War. Although the younger man survived the war, the mental toll his survival took on him proved to be too much, and he committed suicide. Robert’s death ended what little relationship Will had left with his parents, as they began to accuse him of selfishness for “choosing” to be gay rather than performing their idea of an Ideal Son.
It was over ten years after he and Seth had first met that Rachel came into their life. Legally only Seth was her guardian, but that didn’t matter to Willard; he and Seth were a couple, and they raised her as a couple. In fact, Willard converted to Judaism in order to share customs as a family, and they moved out of Old Town and into Lake View East to raise their child.
The eighties saw both sorrows and joys for the two men; the AIDS crisis took a toll on the gay community, including a number of their friends and neighbors while the Reagan administration ignored the devastation AIDS was causing. But also towards the end of the decade joint adoption for gay couples began to slowly be allowed. This was not without push back, but Willard was nonetheless able to become Rachel’s second guardian legally as well as in spirit.
In 2003 Will retired, just in time for Massachusetts to recognize same sex marriage. He and Seth agreed to travel to Massachusetts in order to finally commit legally. They had a full blown ceremony, complete with grandchildren participating. However, they and their daughter were the only family he had to attend, which saddened him somewhat.
They went to Italy on their honeymoon, indulging in wine tours and delicious pasta, and enjoying the local history. This was the first time he’d ever been out of the country, and he found it marvelous.
The second time he ever went out of the country was when he and Seth moved to Vancouver. They were both somewhat nervous about the political climate in the United States, and felt that it was best for the both of them to find somewhere less volatile to live. Given that they’re Jewish (if not by heritage for Will) Canada was the most inviting place to move to, and given that their daughter and her family live on the West Coast that meant Vancouver rather than say Toronto.
They’ve been settling into their routine rather nicely, although that hate group that’s sprung up is rather concerning given that a rise in extremism was what they were trying to escape….OOC Information
How to Reach You: PM
How You Found Us: *points to Seth* he brought me along