Dana King's Grind Joint again
A teenager who figures peripherally in the story is given the name Wilver, and if that's not a tribute to Wilver Dornell "Willie" Stargell, I'll eat your silly vintage-style 1979 Pirates baseball hat. Stargell was a slugger who did not win most valuable player awards he arguably deserved in 1971 and 1973, and did win one he decidedly did not deserve in '79, when he became a much beloved leader of the World Series-winning "We Are Family" Pirates.
The lack of sentimentality:
"Doc was tired of hearing how many things couldn't be prevented, or even punished. ... He'd made peace with the idea that he was becoming less a cop than an urban hospice worker, easing the end of the transition from booming mill town to—to whatever happened to towns like this"The humor:
"`Mr. Rollison, you're so good I could almost believe you, except my boss looks like he just farted in front of the pope.'"and
"`I talk when I want. Who knows? In five minutes, maybe not want to. Better ask quick before I change my mind, police man. Someone tell me once I am volatile. I like that word. I am volatile."
"You are peckerhead, Doc thought, kept it to himself."