Study Guide

Townspeople in Dandelion Wine

By Ray Bradbury


Mr. Sanderson

Mr. S is the proprietor of the town shoe store who sells Doug his Cream Sponge Para Litefoot sneakers.

Leo Auffmann

Leo's the town jeweler whose attempts to invent the time-traveling, virtual reality ride known as the Happiness Machine lead to the downfall of his own happiness. Only after the machine burns to the ground does he realize that happiness exists within his own family.

Lena Auffmann

Leo Auffmann's wife, Lena tries to convince him that happiness is where you find it in your daily life rather than inside a machine.

Saul, Marshall, Joseph, Rebecca, Ruth, and Naomi Auffmann

Leo and Lena Auffmann's six children. Saul is the one most troubled by the Happiness Machine.

Bill Forrester

Bill's a reporter for the town newspaper, The Chronicle, and a boarder of Grandfather and Grandma Spaulding's. He tries to rid himself of the responsibility of mowing the boarding house lawn by planting grass that doesn't need to be cut, but Grandfather Spaulding stops him. He's out having ice cream with Doug the night he begins his not-quite-romantic relationship with the elderly Helen Loomis.

Helen Bentley

An elderly Green Town widow who's a bit of a pack rat. Tom Spaulding and his friends Alice and Jane don't believe Helen was ever young, and their doubt inspires her to get rid of her nostalgic trinkets and live in the present.

Colonel Freeleigh

An elderly retired military colonel who fought in the Civil War, he entertains Doug, Tom, John, and Charlie with the stories of his life. They refer to him as a time machine. He dies in his Green Town home after listening to the traffic in his beloved Mexico City by phone one last time.

Miss Fern

One of the Spauldings' old-lady neighbors, Miss Fern co-owns the Green Machine with her sister Miss Roberta and has a younger brother named Frank.

Miss Roberta

One of the Spauldings' old-lady neighbors, Miss Roberta co-owns the Green Machine with her sister Miss Fern and has a younger brother named Frank.


Miss Fern and Miss Roberta's younger brother who lives with them. He's confused the night he comes home and realizes they've inexplicably retired the Green Machine.

Elmira Brown

A klutzy, superstitious neighbor determined to wrest the presidency of the Honeysuckle Ladies' Lodge from Clara Goodwater with a magic potion and the good juju of Tom Spaulding.

Sam Brown

Elmira Brown's husband and the town mailman, who delivers the book of Egyptian magic spells to Clara Goodwater.

Clara Goodwater

Clara's the reigning, longtime president of the Honeysuckle Ladies' Lodge and a voodoo and witchcraft practitioner. She promises a drunken, injured Elmira Brown that she'll only use her powers for good if Elmira lives.

Helen Loomis

A respected town elder who once loved a man who looked like Bill Forrester, she strikes up a friendship with him in the months before her death.

Mr. Black

The alcoholic proprietor of the town arcade who has such a contentious relationship with the Tarot Witch that he throws her wax body into theravine.

Mr. Jonas

The Green Town junk man who recycles people's used stuff in his horse-drawn wagon and saves Doug's life by bringing him bottled winds to cool his fever.

Lavinia Nebbs

The woman who stabs the man thought to be the Lonely One after an evening in which she finds her friend Elizabeth Ramsell dead in the ravine.


Lavinia Nebbs's friend and movie date the night Elizabeth Ramsell is found dead.

Helen Greer

Lavinia Nebbs's friend and movie date the night Elizabeth Ramsell is found dead.

Elizabeth Ramsell

A victim of the Lonely One found dead in the ravine with her eyes wide open and her tongue hanging out. Eek.

Frank Dillon

The neighbor who jumps out at Lavinia and Francine the night they find Elizabeth Ramsell dead, joking with them that he's the Lonely One. Good joke…

The Druggist

The man who reveals Lavinia Nebbs's address to a mysterious customer who sees her drinking a soda in the drugstore.

Ching Ling Soo

Ching Ling Soo is one of Colonel Freeleigh's peeps, and the "Oriental magician" (Bradbury's words, not ours) whose act ended for good when an attempt to catch a bullet in his mouth failed. Colonel Freeleigh was there the night he died, and he is revealed to the boys (and the reader) through Freeleigh's story.

Pawnee Bill

The friend with whom Colonel Freeleigh was with when he witnessed the herd of stampeding buffalo on the prairie in 1875.


Freeleigh's friend in Mexico City who answers the phone and holds the receiver out the window for the Colonel to hear.

Colonel Freeleigh's Nurse

His nemesis, who takes away the phone in his house after discovering him talking to Mexico City because she doesn't want him to upset himself.