The story of guitarist Tim Haes makes up the most uplifting, nay, the most inspiring chapter in the novel that is Neva Dinova. Hoes has struggled mightily to overcome both a sullied last name and near-crippling disability that has often made him the butt of ruthless taunts and catcalls.
"People would call out, 'Hey drunkie, been hitting the bottle?' or ''He's so drunk, he can't even walk straight,' or 'Look at that fat drunk kid' or 'See you in hell, Drunko,'" said Haes. "But I'm not drunk. I'm lame."
Adding fuel to the flames was the crippled lad's name. Haes was actually born Timberly Hoes XII.
"You've no doubt heard of the term 'hoser,' meaning loser or dork, but you may not know its origin. Its origin is me. I'm the original hoser. And hoes, as in 'damn, those is some fine looking hoes'? Me again. I'm the hoes. I couldn't take it anymore. I may be lame, but I do have some self-respect."
Showing the courage of a lion, albeit a sickly, crippled lion, Haes has kept a brave face in the midst of constant adversity.
"I decided early in life that I wasn't going to let people keep me down on account of my lame leg," said Haes. "Sure, I couldn't 'walk straight.' My shriveled white leg 'leaked pus' and 'smelled rotten.' Countless times, I'd awaken to my dog, Yoda, chewing on my 'open sores' and 'wrinkled flesh.' But none of that mattered to me. I had a dream and I wasn't going to let my 'withered, shrunken appendage' get in my way."
When Haes was eleven, the Shriners paid a visit to his home. Eight men emerged from eight tiny cars, their ruby fez hats gleaming in the sun, to present the bewildered young boy with the gift of a guitar. With tears in his eyes, Haes pledged that he would devote the rest of his life to playing music. Unfortunately, the guitar was stolen almost immediately by a roving band of street boys.
"The boys beat me up and took my guitar, but it didn't matter," said Haes, smiling fondly at the memory. "The minute the infection cleared up from where the boys had rubbed maggot-infested feces on my leg, I went out and spent my entire savings on a Peavy custom ten with deluxe humbuckers and a double whammy bar. My guitar made me feel normal, it gave me the confidence to hobble onto stage and let loose some hot licks. The rest, as they say, is history."