Only son of Billie and Lester. Has older sister, Elise, who is currently in graduate school. Burghardt has dedicated himself to routing out meaning from what seems to him to be a bleak and desperate world. A precocious high school sophomore, Burghardt, as a result of his far ranging vocabulary and somewhat affected airs, as well as his penchant for esoteric and obscure reading material, has been given the nickname, “Buggy” by his peers. He accepted this nickname with a characteristic combination of resignation as to the inevitability of his being misunderstood and pride at having been so distinguished from the crowd as to have earned an honorary appellation.
At present, spends every afternoon after school, as well as much of his free time on the weekends, working on his school-work, pursuing his own independent path of learning, and serving as the head student-volunteer assistant to Flannery, the librarian at the Fairvale Public Library.