Howard VanDyke has a wife and children but after loosing a lot of money he ran away and having nowhere to go, he started living on the Central Park, where he met Kaspar.
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On the end of the second book, he returned home, where he discovered his wife was never upset about him, and had been hoping he'd come back.
Howard VanDyke is Kaspar's best friend. They spent a certain amount of time living at the Central Park together.