Grew Up… in a poor Midwestern family. Generally a good kid, Walter felt protective of his asthmatic brother, who suffered the harsh second-hand smoke of their neglectful father. The only thing Walter could really do in rebellion was slap a “No Smoking” sign in his room, the one place he could really be considered boss.
Living… in St. Paul, Minn., with his attractive wife Patty and two children, Joey and Jessica. But as if nosy and noisy neighbors aren’t enough, Walter also deals with a fair share of guerilla warfare within the walls of his own home. He butts heads with Joey most of all, a kid who won’t listen to authority.
Profession… lawyer. Walter is a staunch environmentalist, and when he gets the opportunity to head up a project bent on preserving a huge stretch of forest at the expense of allowing big coal to undergo a “mountaintop removal” program in the area, he looks on the bright side and pours himself entirely into the operation. He sees himself as a kind of environmental hero for this project – even if the public focuses on his dealings with Big Coal. In reality, Walter is anything but a crooked businessman.
Interests… birds. Above all, Walter fights for the preservation of songbirds. Adamantly opposed to domesticated cats – the number-one killer of nesting birds in America – Walter goes on quite an anti-feline tirade to keep his precious birds safe.
Relationship Status… married to Patty, the love of his life. The met during college when Patty started courting Walter’s roommate, Richard Katz, a badass musician who had a knack for calling women “chicks.” Walter won out in the end, playing the nice guy that Patty truly needed. The question is: How long can the “good guy” keep the girl entertained?
Challenge… maintaining a happy family while saving the world one bird at a time. Walter’s passion for his environmental projects gets in the way of his personal life; at times his presence at home is merely to eat and sleep. His children begin to turn on him and his wife sinks into a predictable midlife depression. But it’s never too late to change things, right?
Personality… a genial sort who badly desires to play the hero. Walter not only wants to save the world, he also comes to the rescue of family and friends alike. He can get too caught up in his quests and isn’t especially dynamic, but his heart is generally in the right place: “Walter’s most salient quality, besides his love of Patty, was his niceness. He was the sort of good listener who seemed to find everybody else more interesting and impressive than himself.”
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