“My mother abandoned me in a basket when I was an infant” explains Wentworth Tradd. “The wealthy seasonal visitors who found me and raised me as their own were walking back to their temporary lodgings at the Mills House when they spied me quietly snoozing, just inches from the fragrant evidence of a recent carriage tour. Mater insisted they picked me up on Wentworth Street, while Pater was fairly certain it was on Tradd. Neither had a very good sense of direction, but they knew the way to the bank, which seemed to be enough for them most of the time.
I was raised by a series of governesses, all named Mademoiselle Poitrine. Mater said my education was eclectic.
Years later, having thanked them and struck out on my own, I became a janitor at the Rhode Island School of Design, where I would sneak into the classrooms and leave mystifying drawings on the chalkboards. When nobody sought me out for my artistic genius, I headed up the coast to Boston and made friends with a beautiful, but painfully shy computer scientist named Pixie. She was working on an integrated system of linked computers based upon traditional knitting geometry. She called it the Worldwide Sweater. Our friendship soon became a torrid affair, but she broke it off when I objected to her second job, a tutoring gig at a place called Roxy’s Show Bar.
Once again on my own, I took Horace Greeley’s advice- Mater and Pater’s neighbor, Horace V, who liked to sing old TV theme songs and accompany himself on the banjo. He said ‘ California’s the place you ought to be,’ so, with memories of Pixie still fresh in my mind, I headed to a place I thought was called Silicone Valley.
After getting that straightened out, I found another janitorial position, this time at Stanford. I told one of the other janitors about the Worldwide Sweater and he became very excited. He told me he owed me a favor, so I asked him to help me use the Worldwide Afghan (his new name for it) to find my birth mother. We had to invent some technology, but we finally learned that my mother, a one-time graduate student named Dorothy Owarjee, had died weeks earlier after hitting her head on a restroom stall door in the Savannah bus station. Using my last favor, I got the Global Fishing Net Committee ( they had changed the name again) to agree that non profit members would use a suffix named for my mother, DOT OWARJEE (.ORG).
You would be surprised at what a small town computer engineering is. Pixie got wind of my work with the Palo Alto folks and told them that I was living off Mater and Pater’s perpetual trust, which was funded by the will of Lucrezia Borgia. It was, but I only got a few thousand fiorini a week. They decided I was Politically Incorrect and I was banished from the final pre-launch meetings of the Worlwide Spiderweb. I heard from friends that Pixie had named one of her dogs after me.
After yet another bad bounce- the period I know as The Years of Occasional Sobriety- I returned to the lowcountry and began painting the wonders of the natural world. Mater and Pater went to the Big Cocktail Party in the sky, but since I was never formally adopted, I was cut off with only Mater’s collection of snuff boxes and Pater’s manuscript of a novel based on the time he spent with the OSS. I am afraid he made most of it up.