Ben Hanscom’s Weekend Stops

On page 72 of Stephen King’s IT, I read the following:

“Ricky Lee counted on Ben Hanscom’s Friday-Saturday-night stops [at his bar], because he had learned over the years that he could count on them.  Mr. Hanscom might be building a skyscraper in New York (where he already had three of the most talked-about buildings in the city), a new art gallery in Redondo Beach, or a business building in Salt Lake City, but come Friday night the door leading to the parking lot would open sometime between eight o’clock and nine-thirty and in he would stroll, as if he lived no farther than the other side of town and had decided to drop in because there was nothing good on TV.  He had his own Learjet and a private landing strip on his farm in Junkins.”

I’m rereading IT right now, and I read the book for the first time a little over ten years ago.  In both of my readings, this passage stood out to me.  And, for some reason, I had a warm cozy feeling from reading it.  I’m not sure why.  Is it my love for beer (even though I don’t drink anymore)?  Is it a desire on my part for a community where everybody knows your name…and you’re always glad you came?  Is it my autistic love for regularity—for something predictable to come back to regardless of where I am or what I’m doing in the world, or what is going on in my life?  Or is it an autistic sense of loyalty?  At an Asperger’s group that I attended, there were two newcomers—a man on the spectrum, and his wife, who was neuro-typical.  The man’s wife did not understand why her husband took his clothes to a laundry-mat on the other side of town, where they used to live.  But the man was loyal to that particular laundry-mat.  And the facilitator said that this sort of loyalty may look annoying or odd to some, but one can see it as beautiful!

Maybe my love for this passage is based on several of the above factors.

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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7 Responses to Ben Hanscom’s Weekend Stops

  1. Bridget says:

    I always loved this passage because I love Ben Hanscom. One of my all-time favorite King characters.

    And also it’s just awesome that he comes back to Nebraska for a drink when he’s working in New York or London or some other crazy place.

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  2. James Pate says:

    I think it’s cool that somebody else appreciates that passage, Bridget! I find a lot of jewels in this book—especially in some of the incidental parts of it. And I probably shouldn’t be surprised at that, since Stephen King can be strong on characterization—especially in IT!

    BTW, your blog looks awesome!

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  3. Bridget says:

    Thank you! 🙂

    Some of King’s best work is in It, for sure. The characters, the events, the background, everything is perfect. That’s why it’s my favorite! If you didn’t see it, I posted about It on my blog: http://bridgetsbooks.wordpress.com/2011/05/07/aprils-friday-favorite-finally-it-stephen-king/

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  4. James Pate says:

    Yeah, I read that last night! Loved it.

    I saw that you will be trying to get through all of King’s works. If you haven’t read Insomnia, I definitely recommend it. Actually, I’d say Insomnia is my favorite. At the same time, though, I find that I’m enjoying IT now a lot more than when I first read it.

    I’ll be writing IT posts, but I’ll be doing so on and off. I have a bunch in my head, but I haven’t gotten around to writing them. But, if you check here every now and then and click on “Stephen King” under “Categories”, you can see if I’ve written anything new on it. You said you liked Ben Hanscom, and there is a Ben Hansom post in my head.

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  5. Bridget says:

    I will absolutely be checking back! And I’ll look for Insomnia the next time I’m in a bookstore…which will probably be soon, I can never stay away too long!

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  6. I noticed something off. When Ben is getting his library card he gives his address as Hemingford Home, NE 59341. Since I’m from Nebraska, I know that the zip should start with a 6 not a 5. Hemingford, NE zip actually is 69348. 59341 is actually the zip code of Mildred, Montana. I wonder why he did that…

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  7. jamesbradfordpate says:

    I have no idea. That’s a good question!

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