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Author: Max Wells

Who am I? That is a question I have asked myself for many years and still have no answer. Each day is a new experience, some good, some not so good, but each a lesson that needs to be learned. Writing novels in my opinion must be based upon some life experiences, otherwise, they cannot be real and capture the emotions to share with you. Perhaps that is why Hemingway was so great, he lived as he wrote. I write fiction, but that fiction has a foundation in truth. For example, my novel Exempt is historical political fiction based upon my friendship with the young man who was responsible for JFK winning the Presidency. The truth was then exposed in a way never before or since revealed. The genre I most love is that; a blending of truths, many never before exposed, with their story, the people who lived it, adding things and people who make it real, allow you to not only read it but live it with them. My writing is like a trip to the zoo, most people do not go to a zoo just to see the monkeys, they want to enjoy all the various creatures. I love to write about all interesting people, regardless of status, gender, or faith. If there is a real story, a fascinating story that needs to be told, I wish to tell it, and I hope you will enjoy reading, and living it as I do writing it.
The Secret Power Of 12

The Secret Power Of 12

12 the secret power of 12

12 signs of the zodiac
12 months of the year
12 disciples of Christ
12 tribes of Israel
12 days of |Christmas
12 notes of music
12 hours in a day
12 inches to a foot
12 gates to the body
12 angels named
12 pairs of ribs in humans

There are many more, too many to state, but you get the point.
Coincidence? No. Creation is math. Math has no coincidences.
Twelve is The Creators code.

Christ through his 12 disciples changed the world and changed time.

You through the power of 12 can accomplish more than you can dream of. If, you have the faith to do so.

How can you do that? I ask how and why did Christ recruit the 12 to be his disciples?

There were 12 tribes of Israel. Christ chose 12 to represent the new Israel, replacing the bad with the good. You cannot build anew without discarding the old.

Today, America and its people are in the same position as the Israelites of old. They were ruled by corrupt people. The church had replaced the authority of God, The Supreme, with rules, laws made by them to rule, control the people. The Supreme, The Creator we call God, made only 10 laws, (commandments) to govern mankind. The Supreme’s 10 commandments are the laws of the Universe, not only Earth.

In our corrupt time, even the display of those 10 commandments is a crime. These corrupt people have written millions of their laws to replace the laws of The Supreme, they today are your God or think they are. They are far from being a god, they are under the authority of the demon, the devil, called Satan to deceive you. To make you bow down to them, to worship them, to fear them. Why? Because they fear you who are of the family of The Supreme.

Their fear is that if all the family of The Supreme unite as a family, they will be exposed and sent away. Unity, your unity is their major fear. For this reason they must divide you. Divide you by race, divide you by religion, by language, by skin color, by education, even by political party. This gender rubbish is simply another mean of division. It is all a mechanism of control. One of the oldest principles of war, ‘Divide and Conquer’.

So far they have won, but only the skirmish, the battle of good vs evil is neigh. This battle to come is not a physical battle, no weapons are needed or desired by either side. This battle is spiritual. The side with the stronger will prevails. They own and control all communication to prevent unification, but if you do not listen, they have no power. No response is the best response. Ignore the ignorant, yes they are ignorant fools who think they can replace The Supreme.

Where do you begin? At the beginning as all things must. The beginning of the unifying of the family of The Supreme. This is to include all those who love The Supreme, The Creator, regardless of what name they refer to. Excluding only those who have willingly accepted the evil spirit of Satan to possess them.

How do you begin? Do as Christ did, use the power of 12, the beginning is the end. Put in motion like the avalanche, once rolling it cannot be stopped. Each of you who are called. Yes, you will be called, not by man, but by The Supreme who knows your faith and your character.Those of you who read these words and believe will be called to open your door and your heart to eleven of those you trust to join with you. To spread these words and this purpose.

What is the purpose? Unity. Nothing else is needed. Just like your family, all members need to be return to the table as one of many. When you have a unit of 12, let each of the 12 form another unit of 12. To understand the power of 12 let me show you what 12 to the 12th power is.12 to the power of 12 = 1212 = 8,916,100,448,256. That number is more than the entire human population of this Earth. This is only to demonstrate the power you have. Use it for good, the good of all the family of The Supreme.

Once started, the multiplications begin,the magnitude of this force is unstoppable. This is not only for the United States, it is for the world. All people that are under the thumbs of the evil need to be free. What will free the people? Truth. Truth they have mostly never heard in their life.People that hear the Truth and savor it will aquire faith. Those two simple words Truth+Faith,will change the world for good.

The time is now. This could not have been accomplished except in this time. Communications did not exist as they do today. It all begins with you. At some point as the mass increases, a leader will come forth. That leader will come only from the unified peoples. Look in your heart, see if you have the faith to begin. The beginning is the end. You are needed.

Imagine this world, a world without wars. A world without hunger. A world in harmony with one another. A world without lies, and the lying demonic people who spout those lies to deceive you. Heaven on Earth as it was meant to be and will become.

Amen. Let it be.

To be a Conformist or a Rebel?

To be a Conformist or a Rebel?

WHAT IS “OUR DEMOCRACY”?

Be careful, people are controlled by words.

First of all, let me emphasize that this nation, The United States of America was formed and established not as a democracy, but a Constitutional Republic. What is the difference? Drastic.

Drastic enough to cause a war that is ongoing to this day from the very beginning. In the beginning were two powerful groups that fought for control over our new nation. One the Federalists led by Alexander Hamilton and the Democratic Republicans, led by Thomas Jefferson.

The difference is the Federalists favored weaker state governments, a strong centralized government, the indirect election of government officials, longer term limits for officeholders. They desired total control to be in the central government. Jefferson knew the risks that would be for the people and desired the States to be in charge. Why did the Federalists favor a strong Central Government? Control. The Federalist were controlled by the large bankers, both foreign and domestic. It is much simpler to control a club of one rather than a club of many Thinks about DC today and the 50 States. Their ‘civil war’ ended once and for all States Rights.

By ‘Our Democracy’, they mean their democracy, their control. In their democracy they hold absolute power if they can somehow show 50.1% of the people voted them in. It is not that difficult to do as recent elections have shown. But this rigging of election results has been the norm since the beginning. Communications now have shown a light that has never been seen by you. The Federalist of yesterday are the democrats of today. They were against the people then and are now. Control. Control over all humanity. Control over media. Control over Education. Control over military. Control over Religion. Control over the very life of our children.

I, for one will never accept to be a sheep led by these dogs. I pray you will wake up to their game. Yes, to them it is a game. A game to be won at any cost. Not theirs, but yours.

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Max Wells

PREVIEW: ARIEL,The Child Who Walked With Christ

PREVIEW: ARIEL,The Child Who Walked With Christ



Travel the Med on the ship Fiona with Henery and Fiona as they seek the treasure shown on the map.

Chapter 1.                          The Journey Began

It was I believe in late March or early April when I first met Henry and Fiona. My yacht, ‘The Searcher’, a 20-meter schooner was docked at the marina in one of my favorite cities in the world, Cagliari on the Island of Sardinia. Hard to keep track of dates and times when you’re cruising the Mediterranean Sea, time does not seem that important. On a blissful late dreamy afternoon that day, I watched as a vessel, ‘The Fiona’ docked in a slip next to mine. Sweet looking boat, a large trawler, looks about 60 ft. She was painted a bright lemon yellow with navy blue trim lines, and flying a Portuguese flag which explained the colors of the boat.   Later, as the sun was setting, creating a vista only a Monet can capture the incomparable beauty of, I observed an interesting man go up to his top deck, curious I went to his boat and hailed him, come aboard he shouted, then I heard her, Fiona come up behind me, I turned and beheld an angel, my lord she is absolutely stunning, with a smile that melted my heart. They agreed to join me for dinner at my favorite restaurant in Cagliari, Brigantino, where we spent hours enjoying delightful foods, aromatic wines, accompanied by a rousing conversation. Some people you meet seem charmed, almost as if in a story, so different you are drawn to them as if you are connected in some way, Henry and Fiona, are such people. Henry gave me a glimpse of their purpose which I find intriguing, I told them both, I see destiny in your eyes, I can feel it, you must let me write the story when you get the ‘meat’. The next time we met was in Athens, they had made the greatest find in the history of this world, one which can change mankind, ‘if allowed’. Thus this historic story begins, I will start at the beginning where all should.

Henry Bordon, congratulations 94% very good, you will receive your papers showing you are now a Captain of the Sea, welcome aboard ‘Captain Henry Bordon’ said the Chief Petty Officer.  I am sitting at The Coast Guard Station in Charleston, South Carolina my heart full of joy, having passed the rigorous written test, a grueling 4 hours alone searching my mind for the correct answers, yet for some unknown reason my thoughts are on my father James who had made this all possible.

James came over the sea from Wales with his family when he was only 10 years old to escape the famine and the plight of working people in Wales. There had been a ceiling collapse in one of the major coal mines that James’ father, Martin worked in to provide for his family. Many men died that day, others refused to work unless additional safety measures were taken. The landowners rather than spend the sums needed to make the mines safe, closed them, thus putting thousands without jobs, without a livelihood. Faced with no hope in Wales, James’ family took the journey into the unknown, going to America. The family found work in the coal mines of West Virginia.

My father, James did not relish working in those miserable deep holes filled with a black thick dust encompassing the air, when the men completed their shift after 10 hours below, their skin so dirty black they were barely recognizable. James understood those dark particles could kill men forced to breathe the toxic air, inhaling into their unprotected lungs carbon particles that coat those vital lung tissues like the build up of dust on the bulbs of the lamps, causing the light to glow dim, the bulb can be wiped clean, the lungs cannot.

He had seen many a family left without a father in the coal mines of Wales, he desired no part of that life, he wished to live and breathe the fresh clean uncontaminated air that God provided. Martin, his father told James the family needed him to help provide for the family, he would have to work in the mines until he found work on the outside.

James was a resourceful young man always seeking a way out of those hell holes he called them. After one year of being forced to work in the horrendous bowels of the earth, James befriends a boy his age whose father owned a truck, they haul coal to local villagers who use it for heating. This man Stu Franklin, liked James, he hired him to help load and unload the truck. Within a year Stu purchased another truck, he hired James to drive it. James was consumed by an uncontrollable joy, he had escaped the clutches of hell, no longer needing to scrub for hours to remove the coal dust covering his body.

Father was energetic, within the ensuing next three years, he made many contacts, no, more like fast friendships with merchants, and their family’s throughout West Virginia, he was liked by all he met, he was honest, polite, and kind, traits valued by those Christian families who inhabited the mountains of West Virginia. He told me he got his big break, he called it, when one winter day in December the snow was over 3 feet high, the roads darn near impassable, a store owner in Welch, desperate to have a load of goods picked up in Richmond, Virginia, his town in dire need of supplies. There were none in the mountains who would undertake such a trek. It is over 300 miles each way, the weather a wicked storm as only a ‘Nor’easter’ can bring, snows near blizzard, blinding winds made the visibility about 6 feet, no telling if it was even possible through those mountains. Father told the shop owner he would do it for $300, a small fortune in those parts, if he paid half now and the rest when he returned. Left with no other option he agreed and paid James.

He took the cash and went to see Stu. He asked him to rent him the truck for a day and he would pay him $50. Where are you going to get $50 Stu laughed. James pulled out the cash peeled off five $10 bills. One day you say, you buy the gas, Stu asked. Yes, I will be back in the morning, you can’t use your truck anyway because the weather is too darn bad. James drove all night, he told me sometimes he could go less than 5 miles per hour, having to stop his truck, get outside in this violent storm to scrape ice from the windshield, he pushed on determined to keep his word. He picked up his load and headed back to Welch, arriving after 3:00 pm the next day, he had made it. He did not sleep all night but cared not, he made a profit of $227.00 which was more money than most made in a month. Two weeks later he made the same run, now the weather is not as bad, so the shop owner would only pay him $250.00. James had made $388.00 profit, this is more money than anyone in his family ever had at one time. Father told me he got down on his knees thanking God above.

Does God answer prayer? That is up to God, but for father, he believed he had.  Father used his cash to purchase a truck of his own. He had developed contacts in Richmond who wanted him to deliver goods to New York City, then bring goods back. He was always on time with his deliveries so was loved by the shippers who treated this young man as a son, and his business flourished. Within 3 years James now only 19 years of age owned 12 trucks. He began shipping to Charleston, South Carolina from Charleston to Richmond and on to New York City.  The port of Charleston is one of the busiest ports in the nation, so he decided to have his base there. He purchased a small house that he used as his office and terminal. He was becoming an important man around Charleston all the local merchants knew him and used his trucking.

Jordan Nash, who made fine furniture in Charleston used James trucks to deliver his furniture to the New York City market where they brought a higher price. Jordan suggested to James he set up a terminal on Long Island as he had many customers there, it seems all the furniture shops loved the workmanship of Jordan’s furniture, so it was natural. James agreed, and within the year sealed his business dealings forever with Jordan furniture by marrying his daughter, Clara, who would become my mother. My life began due to a snow storm, but it has been a good life, my mother and father were always happy together.

Bordon trucking continued to expand, and soon commanded a fleet of 32 trucks, with terminals in Charleston, Richmond, and Long Island in Freeport. James decided to move his base to Long Island because most of his major shippers were in New York City, land cost less on Long Island so that is where he purchased a large house and a warehouse with docks for his trucks. Sixteen months after they moved to Long Island, I was born. Fourteen months after my birth, my brother Andrew came into this world. Our family, like my father’s business, continued its expansion when my sister Tamara entered our life.

Mother lived like a Queen on Long Island, she was involved in everything, the city planning, the schools, the new library, all had mother’s hands on it, she was in her heaven. The new library became my home away from home. The City named the mother their Librarian which allowed her to decide which books to stock. She set aside an area for children’s books, with reading and play space. She desired the children be in an environment where their minds could grow along with their bodies.

My school was only two blocks from our house, my mother would walk me to school, then return to her library, and after school picks me up, we would walk to the library, my other home. There I read my first book on Archaeology. I was fascinated by the pictures of the diggings all over Africa, the entire Mediterranean region. Reading about all these strange lands, digesting the incredible pictures, I could travel the world in my mind, I was an explorer, I was Marco Polo, I could do anything, be anywhere that I could dream of, I was hooked, I wanted to become an Archaeologist. Shortly after my 7th birthday, mother wanted to move back to Charleston to be near her family, and my destiny was now set in motion.

 

Chapter 2                                                Yin and Yang

 

I finished high school in Charleston after only 3 years, I suppose my time at the library had accelerated my ability to process information in textbooks, saving me one full year of school. The following fall I entered Charleston University, while there I continued to devour every book on Archaeology available. In town, nearby is a gallery that specializes in artifacts which I love, not the objects so much, but what they represent, the shop is owned by an elderly couple named Samuel. Most days after school, I stop by their shop taking some sweet rolls which we shared with coffee and great conversation. The Samuels have no children so they rather enjoyed my company. One delightful evening they asked if I would like to work part-time in the store helping clean and catalog incoming artifacts. Wow, yes I yelled, yes, it was like a dream come true to me.

All through college and for 6 years afterward I worked in the Samuels store enjoying every minute, to me that was not work it was allowing me to handle, to touch history, not just read about it.

“Mr. Samuel, I found this bag of fragments in the locker, what are they?”

“Just some pieces found in Israel,” Samuel said.

“Why not try to reassemble them? What is the mark on this piece?”

“I don’t know, but we had them dated to be over 2000 years old.”

“Would you mind if I work on them?” I asked.

“Henry, please leave them be.”

Strange, I thought could be important somehow, I said no more, they are not mine. They could not afford to pay me much, I never asked for more, it was the opportunity to learn I desired. Those were the good days, the bad soon to come. Father came down with pneumonia and was unable to work, I had to leave my beloved store to manage Bordon Freight Lines. My responsibilities included billing, customer service, payroll, and our banking, along with all reports that needed to be filed. Life for me became repetitious, today, and tomorrow was, all the same, only a blur of passing eternal time. Four years later father died, and our beloved leader is gone. Mother was depressed, and my brother Andrew was in charge of the Long Island operation, he loved his work, and he thrived as did the business.

I was now 31 years old, I felt as if my life was slipping away, without any hope for the dreams I had as a child ever materializing, I was stuck in the ruts of routine many others are, hopeless and lonely. It was on a Thursday evening when my mother called me and my sister to come into her room at the house, she called Andrew in New York to listen in on what she had to say. Children, I have received an offer to purchase Bordon Freight Lines, I have accepted it, as I desire to leave Charleston and move to New York City, Tamara said she wants to live in the City. Andrew, the company wants you to stay on as manager, they will increase your salary. Each of you children will receive 25% of the proceeds, Henry, you will be granted this house in Charleston, Andrew you will receive the house in Long Island. I am purchasing a Co-Op in the city it will be in Tamara s name. The funds each of you receive will allow you to be independent for life, if you do not squander your wealth.

The hidden hand of God moves in a manner I have never understood, but accepted. One month after mother and Tamara left for the City, I was alone, without a job, without direction, when my phone rang, the call was from Mr. Samuel. He asked if I could come to the store to meet with him and his wife. Of course, I can be there in 15 minutes. Walking into this beautiful store filled with treasures from around the world, artifacts that I love brought long-held back emotions, this was as close to my dream as I have ever been.

“Henry, did you bring any sweet rolls?” asked Mr. Samuel.

“No sir, I just rushed over”

“Never mind we bought some, want coffee?”

“Yes. I cannot eat a sweet roll without coffee,” I said.

We sat at the table in the center of the store, no one spoke, just looked at one another.

“Mr. Samuel is everything alright?” I asked.

“Yes, Henry, my wife and I wish to emigrate to Israel, we have family there and none here. We have decided to sell this store that has been in our lives for so many years, it is a difficult decision for us, I believe you understand.”

“Mr. Samuel, I understand how you feel, I would do the same. Do you have a buyer?”

“No, the both of us thought of you, you know, and loved the store, we felt it was best to offer it to you before we list it. Would you be interested?”

“Samuel, yes I would very much. What are you asking?”

“Not sure as yet, but if you really want our place we can come to an understanding, we are not that concerned about the money, we have all we need, but knowing you would love it as do we, means more than money to us.”

“We are selling the house, would you have any interest in that?”

“I don’t have a need, I own the large house my father left me, I could buy it as an investment. When do you plan on leaving?”

“As soon as we make a deal on the store.”

“Mr. Samuel, if your house is not sold by the time you want to leave, you can rent it out, I will manage the property for you, or buy it myself, that is your choice.”

Within 3 weeks, the store was mine, my dream is beginning to be realized. I had it all, the inventory, all store records of buyers and sellers over the past 40 years, books, hundreds upon hundreds of books, along with a treasure trove of old maps. The bad of the past has turned to good today, I felt renewed.

Today, I am the happiest man in Charleston, I had a purpose and hope once again. For the next 6 months I poured all my energy into making my gallery a destination place for all within the region who held a love of fine pottery and antiquities. Relics thrived as never before. Clients came from Philadelphia, Boston, New York, Savanna, and even Atlanta to view the treasures I acquired from around the world, but it was the Middle East, I was fixated on, relics like my fragments, from the lands our Lord, Jesus Christ had walked upon.

I decided that it was time to restore the bag of fragments that had intrigued me for so long, now they are mine. At my house, I set a table, covered it with a canvas, and laid out all seventy-six pieces inside the bag. For the following six weeks, I spent at least three hours each night, fitting the pieces together like a jigsaw puzzle. Samuel was correct. There are missing pieces, but only a few. Now I can see what these fragments were from, a drinking cup. It appears only a couple of pieces from the top edge are missing. I could begin the delicate process of cleaning, then fitting together each piece. The bottom was simple to reconstruct, then work up the sides. The procedure is almost like surgery; each small fragment had to be carefully cleaned, glue delicately painted on each surface, and put together. When I finished now more than ever, I believe this cup has an extraordinary significance. What it is, I will learn, but it seems to speak to me, but what does it say? I formed out of Styrofoam, a container to hold my treasure securely after covering it with a plastic film. It is safe, now to find what this mark means, and who made it.

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PREVIEW: ERICA, A FLOWER FROM A TREE

PREVIEW: ERICA, A FLOWER FROM A TREE

Erica is the first part of an incredible story, that takes us from the depths of the sea to the stars above. A world people never knew existed. The Planet Sephius is located in the Mintaka star region where the Sabaean people came from.  Let Erica tell her story.

 

Erica                         Chapter 1

 

The music business can be maddening, can be, it always is, at least to me. I began my career, amusing to call what I do a career. It is more like an errand boy, keeping tabs on some very different people, musicians, vocalists, and assorted performers. My role is to see that each of those under my wings get to rehearsal or recording on time and sober enough to perform, not an easy task.

I considered myself fortunate to snag this gig upon graduation from USC Thornton School of Music three years ago. The pay stinks, I only earn $32,000, but the opportunity is unlimited, at least that is what I get told every week after I complain that sixty-five or more hours a week is a bit much for the money. My mentor, they don’t use the word boss at Keystone Records, is Lawrence Steiger, the talent director. I call him Larry to piss him off, he insists I use Lawrence, so I say, sure Larry.

My success at Keystone was predicated at least in part by making friends with the managers of every cheap motel, every low-down dive bar inhabited by the drug trade, and a few high-class pimps, that is an oxymoron, but it worked. Generally, if a particular talent had a known problem, I made their call 2 hours earlier than necessary; if they failed to show, it gave me 2 hours to track them.

About a year ago, Keystone signed a hot new group called The Stingers, led by a kid, funny I call him a kid named Joey B, is 25, and I am 23, but he acts like a kid. Joey was two hours late for a general meeting to review their new album set for release in two months.

Larry called me screaming, “Brad, where the hell is Joey? You were told to have him here by 9:00 am, damn near noon now,” he said.

It is only 11:00 am Larry, “I will find him, give me an hour, I might need to clean him up a bit,” I said.

“Brad, if you want to work next week, he better be here before noon, got it?” Larry said.

“Sure, Larry, see you,” I said.

Larry is always ranting, but I understand this is a big deal; he has all the brass sitting in a meeting to OK spending over a million on this album. Took only four calls to find Joey at a cheap motel on Sunset near downtown LA. Knowing your client always helps. I take the time to get to know every one assigned to me. Not only understand, but learn their habits, their likes in sex, drugs, booze, whatever they desired, I knew where to look. I pulled into the motel at exactly 11:22 am, the manager; my buddy Khan gave me the key, I gave him $20, both of us happy. Room 27, I unlocked and found Joey sound asleep with a young boy asleep beside him.

“Joey, Joey!” I said. “Man get up, got work to do. No time to waste, jump in the shower”. I pulled him out of bed and turned the shower to cold only.

“Come on, Joey, jump in.”

“Dammit, Brad!” he exclaimed. “The fucking water is freezing.”

“Good,” I said. “Help wake you up, Joey. Wash your hair, it stinks.”

“You’re not my dad,” he said. “Why should I do what you say?”

“Lucky I am not, your dad might kick your little ass.” Ten minutes later, I had Joey in the car and headed for Keystone. “Brad,” he asked. “How do I look?”

“You’ll pass,” I said. “But, we need to clean your breath.” We pulled into a 7-Eleven, I ran in and bought mouthwash. “Come on, Joey,” I said. “Get out, rinse your mouth. Do it one more time, then pour some on your fingers and rub it on your face.”

“Brad,” said Joey. “Let me ask you, have you ever told anyone about what I do?”

“What you do is your business,” I replied. “Not mine, I care about you.”

“What do you mean you care about me?” Joey asked.

“You! Joey, you have a lot of talent,” I said. “Hate to see you waste it. Not many have what you do.”

“Why do you care?” asked Joey.

“Who knows,” I said. “That’s just me. I am not here to judge anyone; none of us are better than another, just different.”

“What do you get out of it?” Joey asked.

“I get nothing, I work for a salary,” I said. “Same every week, no matter what you do, so what I get is satisfaction, like the Stones say.”

“You’re a funny dude, Brad,” said Joey. “I like it.”

“Hey, Joey,” I said. “Tell Larry you had the time written down as noon, not 9:00 am. That will take him off the hook. Knock ’em out, Joey, this can be big for you. They’re waiting in the boardroom.”

“Thanks, Brad,” he said. “Later, man.”

“Joey B” said Larry. “Glad you could make it, we were getting worried.”

“Yeah, Lawrence,” said Joey. “Sorry, I had the meeting in my notebook for noon. Brad, let me know. I hope all is well.”

“Great,” he said. “You know all the men here?”

“All except that guy,” said Joey. “Who is he?”

“Jeff Bright,” replied Larry. “He is from New York. Wanted to meet the big man, Joey B.”

“Super, can I get some coffee?” said Joey. “Black, maybe a shot of brandy for an eye-opener.”

“Kath,” Larry said. “Please bring in some coffee for Joey, anyone else? We have the album narrowed down to sixteen songs, but the album can only use twelve. We need to go over these to determine which to drop.”

“Drop,” said Joey. “Why?”

“Time, Joey,” said Larry. “Playtime.”

“Lawrence, who is going to produce this album?” Joey asked.

“You know George Allen,” he said.” You’ve worked with him before.”

“Lawrence,” said Joey. “You know I wrote all those songs. I want them included.”

“Won’t work,” he said. “Sorry, Joey, that part is all set.”

“Lawrence, on this album, I want Brad to produce it for me.”

“Brad?” said Larry. “Brad is not a producer. He is a talent management assistant.”

“Well, he is brilliant,” said Joey. “I trust him, let him do it.”

“Joey, I’m sorry, but George has this all set up.”

“How can he have it set up when they are my songs?” Joey asked.

“Joey, they are your songs,” said Larry. “But you are under contract to Keystone, to manage the productions.”

“You might want to reread the contract,” said Joey. “It gives me production control over my work.”

“Call Brad in here!” Larry yelled. “Kath, locate Brad Hay, have him come in. Joey, did you and Brad discuss this?”

“Not at all,” Joey said. “It just came to me.”

“You never have, and he has never indicated to you that he wants to produce?”

“No, Lawrence, Brad never talks,” said Joey. “He listens. He is one of the only people in my life who seems to care about what I want, not what they want. Do you care about what I want, Lawrence?”

“Joey, of course, all of the team here at Keystone care about you and your future,” Larry replied.

“Then I want Brad as my producer, you still care?” Joey asked.

“Let’s talk when Brad shows up,” Larry is now pissed.

“Kath, did you find Brad?” Larry asked.

“Yes sir, Brad is in Las Vegas,” Kath said.

“Vegas, what the hell is he doing in Vegas?” Larry asked.

“Grace Collins is at the MGM. She is having a problem, management asked for help in getting her to leave, they do not want law enforcement involved, Brad is the only one she will talk to,” Kath replied.

“When did he leave?” Larry asked.

“Soon as he brought Joey, the call came in. Tucker is flying him,” Kath said.

“Kath, do you have his mobile?” he asked.

“Yes, sir,” she said.

“Call and turn him around. I need him here now,” he said.

“Hello Brad, this is Kath; Lawrence asked me to have you turn around, and return to the office pronto,” Kath said.

“What is going on, Kath?” Brad asked.

“Not sure, but it involves Joey B,” she said.

“Kath, it will take me forty-five minutes to return, call the MGM, talk to Brownie, no one else, tell him, I will be there ASAP, say get Grace some downers, say they are from Brad. She will be fine for a few hours, tell him all will be covered, got it,” Brad said.

“Yes, Brad, best hurry,” she said.

“Lawrence, Brad was on a flight; he will return in about forty-five minutes; you want to go to the dining room and get some lunch while waiting?” Kath asked.

“Good idea Kath,” he said.

Today has been one hell of a day. Now to see what is going on.

“Kath, where is Larry?” Brad asked.

“He asked you to go to his office, he will be there soon, thanks for rushing back,” she said.

“What is going on, Kath?” Brad asked.

“Not sure, he is pissed, and Joey B is causing some problem, not sure, but everyone is in a dither,” she said.

“Dithers I can handle, where is Joey?” Brad asked.

“With Lawrence, I think,” she said.

“Find him, tell him I am back please, I will be in Larry’s office, can you bring me some coffee?” Brad asked.

It has been a hell of a day so far.

“There you are, Brad, tell me what in the hell is going on?” Larry said.

“Larry, what is going on? That is what I want to know; I have to handle a mess with Grace, you make me return what for?” Brad asked.

“Why did you not tell me you wanted to produce?” Larry asked.

“Produce what, what in the hell you are talking about?” I said.

“Joey B, he said you want to produce his album,” Larry said.

“What! I am not a producer; I never spoke to Joey or anyone about that; what is this exactly? I will find out, Kath, please get Joey here,” I said.

“Sure, Brad,” she said.

“Hey man, what is the commotion?” Joey asked with a smile.

“Larry said you told him I asked you to produce your album,” I said.

“He’s a fucking liar. Larry, why do you say shit like that? I made it clear to you this is what I want, not Brad, never lie to me and use my name in a lie, or I will take our contract and stick it in your fucking ass,” Joey said.

“Calm down, Joey, we can settle this,” Lawrence stated.

“Calm down, you fucking liar, Brad, I will only finish this album if you produce it,” Joey demanded.

“Why me, Joey, you know I am not a producer here?” I asked.

“Because I trust you, I don’t trust these lying assholes, will you do it?” Joey asked.

“Not sure what you want, but anything I can do, I will, is that OK, Larry?” I asked.

“What can I say, I have five men here from New York to fund and promote this album, I am fucked.” he said.

“Not yet, but soon if you don’t get out of our way,” Joey piped in.

“How long until you can have a finished project, Brad?” Larry asked.

“Three weeks, what do you think, Joey?” I asked.

“Yeah, we can do it,” he said.

“Joey, I need to fly to Vegas now. Take the keys to my house, get some rest; there is food and drinks. I should be back in five hours. Larry, will you have your driver take Joey to the house? See you in the morning,” I said.

“Hey boss, have a safe trip,” Joey said. Looking back with a massive smile as he left.

“You better not fuck this up, Brad,” Lawrence said, seething with anger.

“Fuck up what, Larry, the Grace matter?” I asked.

“Go on. I have to handle this shit here, come in early. We have a lot to do,” he said.

What a day this has been. It was almost 6:00 pm when I arrived at the MGM. Brownie saw me and came running. Thank God you are here; that bitch is threatening to burn the fucking place down, get her out of here fast.

“Got a key?” I asked.

“Brad, Room #729, want help?” Brownie asked.

“No, Brownie, let me handle her, she trusts me. Get me two bottles of coke, bottles, no cans,” I said.

The TV is blaring. I can hear it leaving the elevator. Sounds like some old “I Love Lucy” reruns Grace is screaming, you fucking bitch, you fucking bitch, I opened the door saying, hey babe, what’s up?

“Brad, you son-of-a-bitch, where have you been? I told them to have you come seven hours ago?” Grace yelled.

“Sorry Grace, busy morning, what is the problem?” I asked.

“Problem, this fucking place took the dice away from me, I was on a hot streak, they just grabbed them. I told that damn dago, I would break his fucking legs, my men would get him. The son-of-a-bitch took my drink, and they almost dragged me into the room. They won’t let me out unless someone is here to pick me up. I called you, that was at ten this morning, I hate this fucking place,” she said.

“Grace, drink a coke, I will take you home,” I said.

“What about my money? Those guys owe me almost five grand, I want my money, or I will burn this fucking hotel down,” she said.

“Don’t worry, Grace, I will get your money and a little extra, pack up, let me handle this,” I said.

“I love you, Brad, you are the only man I trust,” she said.

“Love you too, Grace, take a quick shower, let me get your money, let’s get out of here, love,” I told her.

“Give me fifteen minutes, dear,” she said.

“Brownie, what a mess, listen Grace is pissed, she said your pit boss took her dice and her cash, she was on a roll, she claims you owe her ten grand,” I said.

“Ten grand bullshit, the bitch was screaming, going nuts, she threw a drink on the stick man, we had to carry her out,” Brownie said.

“What about her cash?” I asked.

“What about the damage she caused, Keystone paying for that?” he said.

“What damage? Did she break anything?” “Brownie, her room looks great, I saw no problem,” I said.

“No, but she said she would burn the fucking Hotel, I for one, believe her, she is one wild bitch,” he said.

“Look Brownie, our clients, and we do a lot of business with MGM, not only this hotel but other properties, we cannot have our talent pissed off, or they start shit, you know, put out stories, and you lose some heavy hitters,” I said.

“What does she want?” he asked.

“She said you stole ten grand, I say give her six grand, I will make her happy, she will clean up, forget the whole thing and lose it right back soon, you know she has a new album coming out that will be a No1, keep her happy,” I said.

“You will get her out of here and smooth the matter over?” he asked.

“My word, Brownie, I will fly her back to LA now, when I come down, hand me an envelope, all will be taken care of,” I said.

We left just before 7:00 pm. Grace was coming back to normal, the coke with the valium helped.

“You get my cash, Brad?” Grace asked.

“Sure Grace, here is six grand, a little extra for the fuss, is all good now?” I asked.

“Brad, you are a fucking king. I love you, why do you care about me, why are you always there for me?” she asked.

“Grace, you are my girl, a guy has to look after his women,” I said.

“I won’t forget this, Brad, I mean that,” she said.

I drove her home. She has a house up Laurel Canyon, now for home, been one hell of a day for a Tuesday. It was almost 10:00 pm when I drove into my drive, wondering if Joey was alright. Hell, he was fast asleep in my bed. My nerves are wound too tight to relax, so I poured a glass of good Merlot, put on the tape of Joey’s new album track, and might as well see what we have. I played it through twice, some good, some need change, but very workable, then fell sound asleep on the sofa.

Is this a dream? Sometimes when I dream, I cannot tell if it is a dream or reality. Some of the people in my dreams are so real I can touch, feel, and speak to them. Tonight, I met this fascinating young blond girl, with eyes such a deep sapphire blue they look not of this world. I ask where she was from. She smiled at me and said, up there. Where is that? The stars, do you want to go with me she asked with a mischievous smile that beckoned me. Yes, I would love to go with you anywhere as I pulled her face to my lips. We kissed, and I was overcome. She said to wait, then picked up a long cylinder object, and turned it to the sky. The light from that cylinder blazed like the beam of a rocket’s trail in the sky. We were caught up in that beam of blinding light, up, up faster and faster when I saw before us a large planet we were approaching at a breathtaking speed. Where are we? Dear one we are going to stop here on Mars for a bit, then on to Sephius. Where is Sephius, I asked? In the Mintaka region, she said, you will learn.

“Boss, Boss, it was Joey shaking me, come on man, I have coffee made. What time did you get home, I waited, but needed sleep, “Hey Brad, love that bed, so damn soft could not get out,” he said.”Your phone started ringing at 8:00 am, I hung it up, I knew it would be that piss ant, Larry.”

“You say you made coffee?” I asked.

“Let me get you a cup, like a sweetener, little brandy?” Joey asked.

“No, some cream, thanks, I listened to your tape last night; it can be brilliant with a little editing. We can do this together, will you bring the boys here, let’s work away from the pressure until we have it knocked, then we can go to the studio, mix it up,” I said.

“I like that Boss, that is the proper way to start, collaboration, not orders,” he said.

“Joey, don’t call me boss, Brad works,” I said.

“I do that to piss Larry off. His ears get red; his top will blow, I love it,” he said.

“Joey, I have to go to the office. Where is your car?”

“Left it at that motel, give me a ride when you leave,” he said.

“Joey, can you have the boys here tomorrow? Let’s start at about 10:00 am. I will have food and drinks,” I said.

“Guys like Mexican and margaritas, yes, we will be here at 10:00, no problem,” he said.

Now to the office and deal with the shit there.

“Well, Mr. Producer, it is after 10:00 am did we wake you?” Larry asked.

“Larry, I did not get back until late from Vegas. This morning Joey and I reviewed the tapes, starting tomorrow the group will meet at my house, we will do the edit, then come to the studio to mix it up, the album will be ready in 2 weeks,” I said.

“You sure?” he asked.

“Yes, the guys are excited, I need to keep them focused, it will work, you can approve the track and recommend any changes, is that OK?” I asked.

“So, you won’t come to the office?” he asked

“Not unless needed, this is more important,” I said.

“Need anything from here?” Larry asked.

“Yes, Larry, I need about a $600 expense draw, these guys eat like horses and drink like a fish, my cash is low,” I said.

“Kath, bring in an Amex card for Brad. Whatever you need, charge it to this card, no pussy, no drugs,” he said.

“Hey man, the guys need to have some fun, keep them loose,” I said.

“Get the fuck out of here, call me with progress, good luck, Brad,” he said.

Today, I rest, relax, and listen to the tapes. Larry wants it edited down to twelve songs; Joey wants all sixteen, I agree. It is just time; we can work it. Thursday morning, I got up late for me; it was 8:25 am. There is a great Mexican Restaurant close by, Mia Ranchito; I called and ordered enough for twelve plus four pitchers of margaritas; the tab is $187.25. They agreed to deliver; we are all set. Joey was a man of his word. It was six minutes before 10:00 am when Joey walked in with the three others close. We all had a good hug, surprisingly they all looked clean; they even smelled clean, very refreshing. Guys, help yourself, the food is hot, the margaritas are smooth. Checky, I did not know where that handle came from, they called him Checky, maybe because he never picked up a check, he waited for someone to pay.

“Checky as he gulped down this third margarita, said Brad, you fucking know how to work, we will make a great album for you,” he said.

“Checky, you will not be making an album for me, for you and your mates, you are the talent, I just listen,” I said.

“Joey, I have played this tape over and over, the songs are special, we need to cut six minutes from the total playtime, just six minutes, we have sixteen songs, so we need only cut some 23 seconds out of each. Let’s go over the song by song, make notes of any chords that can change or reduce without harming the song,” I said.

We spent 3 hours on the first song, “Rivers,” and cut 26 seconds; Joey is ecstatic. Brad, fuck, we can do this, we can. The guys could not work more than six hours without losing focus, so I never asked more of them. We worked from 10:00 am to 2:30 pm every day except Sunday. We all needed a day off. By the following Thursday afternoon, we had it, the guys were excited, and in agreement, we had an album that will be a smash. Guys, tomorrow we work in the studio, bring your instruments we might need to re-record parts, same schedule, all agreed? Joey was like a kid again, smiling happy, and loose; he was in the groove.

Larry was first to rush to greet me.

“Brad, great things I hear, great things, what have you got for me?” Larry asked.

“Platinum, I bring you Platinum,” I said.

“Don’t shit me, Brad,” he said.

“I do not; just wait. I need a studio for a week, closed, none except me, the group and my mix master, agreed?” I said.

“You’re the man, but let me hear the first song when finished. Are you going to need any backup?” he asked.

“No, we are cool as is, the boys will be here at 10:00 am. I need to set it up. I do not want anyone bothering or even talking to the boys, got it? They are in a groove now, let it be,” I said.

Joey was on time; the boys were ready to go; I could see the look on their faces; it was their day.

“Brad, we want to record Rivers all over, get a new feel, might save time over trying to fix,” Joey said.

“Joey, it is your song, whatever you want will be,” I said.

“Larry, we will record Rivers over, I will need the crew,” I said.

Thirty minutes later, I gave the signal to Joey. The band cranked in, and Joey came forward. I could see his eyes glowing; he was on fire. The crew chief looked at me with a smile lighting up the room. Nobody spoke a word, just listened in awe; it was fabulous. The boys were excited; they loved it. Over the mike, Joey said how it was Boss?

“Heavenly, boys heavenly,” I said.

“Want us to redo?” Joey asked.

“Hell no, get in here, now. Larry, get your ass in here now,” I said.

“Larry came running, what is it, is it good?” Larry asked.

“Hell no, Larry, it is perfect, the best I have ever heard,” I replied.

Listen, Mike, bring it up, mix sound as you go loud and clear.

“My lord Brad, you did it,” Larry said.

“Joey, you were right, Larry said, “I am sorry.”

“No problem, see it is good to listen. Come on, boys; we have fifteen more songs to finish. I need some big bucks, and I can taste it,” Joey said,

We finished two songs that day. We decided to do two each day in another week; we would have the album complete. Larry was already scheduling pressing the albums. He said the first cut would be 500,000. I recommended 1 million, Brad that will cost us half a mill, better we see how sales go then increase. Your call, man. It took us nine more days to finish, I knew we had at least a Gold, I said Platinum on our hands, the company was a firehouse, men coming in from New York, London, Canada, and the album was the talk of the street, and it is not out yet, but soon.

The following Monday, I was called to attend a board meeting, contract time, I knew this would come. I received an immediate bonus of $100,000. Plus, the executive producer position increases to $125 K salary, a company car, with an expense account.

“What about the bonus?” I asked.

“What bonus?” Larry asked.

“If sales exceed 250,000 albums, I will take a 2% of gross, if they exceed 500,000, I will take 4% of gross over the 250 k, if they exceed 1 million, I will take 5% of gross over the 500 K,” I said.

“Brad, that is unheard of?” Larry said.

“Not now it is not, I have said it, that is cheap for what I will give you,” I replied.

William Stillman, the Board Chairman, and CEO spoke out.

“Brad, you have given much, your talents are only now showing, let’s cut the percentage by 1% each stage, and we have a deal, acceptable?” he asked.

“Yes, sir, very,” I said.

“Now, what is this about Grace Collins?” William asked.

“Grace, what about Grace? I have not seen her in three weeks,” I said.

“That is because she will not work unless you are her producer. What do you hypnotize these folks?” William asked.

“No, sir, just treat them with respect,” I said.

“Whatever you do, it works, you take her contract, we need that girl,” he said.

Joey received an advance of $100,000, the three others given advances of $50,000 each.

Come on downstairs, Brad, got something to show you. Parked at the entrance was a brand new Mercedes C Class convertible in dark Merlot red, Cream leather interior with Merlot piping and a similar top, absolutely stunning. It is for you, Brad, take a few days off and enjoy yourself. You work too hard. Oh, there is an industry party at the Huntington tomorrow at 8:00 pm. We would like you to be there. I cannot make it; my wife wants to go to Vegas. Tickets will be at the desk in your name, have fun, Larry said.

Have fun, he said, take some time off, hell I have had no time off since I started with Keystone, fun, what do I do? Party, I better buy some clothes. I have not done that in three years. I put the top down and drove away in my chariot. Man, I love this car, I feel like a big shot in this, hell I am, Executive Producer sounds big, I was flying. Driving out to Beverly Hills to the shop, Larry purchased his clothes. He always bragged how much this shirt, this jacket cost, all Italian, Brad, someday. Someday is today.

As soon as I walked into the store named, Eric Ross, an older gentleman named Samuel, said Mr. Hay, glad you came, I have several things set aside for you. You are well known now. You need to look the part of a top man in the industry. Looks, and image is essential, and you are an important man. Three hours later, I left the store with two suits, a fantastic navy Blue blazer, two pairs of slacks, six shirts and four ties, and two pairs of shoes. Their tailor altered each piece as I selected it, the fit was made just for me, I felt like a prince. It cost me $3500, which is more money than I had ever spent in my life; it was almost as if a new life was beginning.  I soon found out.

I slept like a child, the first time I had gone to bed at 9:00 pm in my life at least since I was twelve, but it felt great. It was a little after 8:00 am when the bright sunshine blazing through my bedroom’s windows, accompanied by the excited chirping of the birds, woke me from a dream that I did not want to end. I met her again, the incredible young blond girl with the most enchanting sapphire blue eyes I have ever seen in that dream. Almost hypnotic to gaze into her eyes, spellbinding. We danced, we kissed, I longed for her, but she vanished. That is why I resisted waking. I wanted her to return. I want to see the stars.

Life is funny when we take the time to analyze it, here I sit at home on a Tuesday, usually one of the busiest days of my week, yet I am not at work and have nothing to do. I miss work, how strange, I complain because of working too much, now I miss not working, does that make sense? The day just dragged on and on. I was so bored I drove to Hollywood to purchase a new cologne. At least driving this car was a pleasant distraction and helped pass the time.

Imagine stranded on an island, no other people, just me. How long could I last? We need the companionship of others if only to talk to remain human. Perhaps that is why I love my work. It keeps me in constant contact with many different people, yet, we are not all that different when I see inside them. The difference is what makes life fun, and engaging if we were all alike. How tedious.

Industry parties are to be avoided at all costs, that is why Larry stuck this on me; even a boring guy like Larry cannot stand to talk the same shit to the same group over and over. They hold these affairs to raise money for this and that. Mostly though they are to keep your name in the paper to appear as a charitable sort, doing good for all the lessor people, anyway it would give me something to do at least have a few drinks with others, not alone. I dressed in my new blazer and silver-gray slacks with a silver tie and gray loafers; I look rather dashing for a young prince.

The Huntington is a remarkable grand hotel set on over fifty acres of the most prime Pasadena real estate, amid elegant grand Mediterranean estates. I feel very posh as I strolled into the lobby. A young girl, not more than 19 years, came to escort me. Are you here for the affair? Yes, I am here to have an affair. Are you available? My word no, at least not until the party is over, I get off at 11:00. Hope to see you; my name is Brad. The check-in table was in the aisle, and people were checking in, may I have your name, sir? What do you want with it, going to call me later? No, she blushed, it is for seating, Bradford Hay, you are at table 11, here is your name tag. Don’t need it, I know my name, but thanks.

“Brad, glad you came. Lawrence said you might,” Sheila from Capital.

“Hi Sheila, I remember you, say where can I get a good martini?” I asked.

“At the bar, it is an open bar,” she said. “Brad, there will be a silent auction starting at 9:00; you can view the items in the room next door, enjoy.”

“Glad it is not closed. See you around,” I said

I will mingle and see who is here. Judging by the crowd, enjoyment might not be easy, I thought. The bar, the place all the guys flock to while their wives check out the other wives. I saw several fellows I knew and felt more comfortable, hey Steve, Joel, and Thomas, having fun.

“Hi Brad, Surviving you mean, let me buy you a drink,” Steve said.

“Sure, Gin Martini, two olives, thanks,” I replied.

“Hey, heard you are now Executive Producer, congrats. How is the new album?” Thomas asked.

“Be out soon, in the press now,” I said.

“How many?” Thomas asked.

“Initial 500 K, I suggested one mil, but you know these money guys are tight,” I said.

“500 K, must be one hell of a hit for them to put so much out pre-release,” Steve said.

“Should be big. Hey guys, do any of you know that girl over there, the blond?” I asked. Good Lord, it is her, the girl from my dreams. Is that possible or is my imagination in high gear?

“No, never saw her, she is a knock out though, going to grab her?” Steve asked.

“If I can, excuse me,” I said.

“Hello, my name is Brad, Bradford Hay, may I ask yours, I see you like I don’t wear a name tag,” I asked.

“I hate those things kind of childish,” Erica, my name is Erica.

“Erica, are you in the industry?” I asked.

“Brad, I am still in school, I attend USC, in my senior year,” she said.

“I graduated from SC three years ago, love the school, what is your major?” I asked.

“You ask a lot of questions, do you enjoy being here?” she asked.

“Now I do, meeting you makes the evening a pleasure,” I said.

“Would you like to go someplace quiet and enjoy a good meal? she asked.

“Love to, want to go now?” I asked.

“Now! Right now,” she said.

“Do you have to tell anyone you are leaving?” I asked.

“Yes, a girlfriend, she did not want to come alone, but I see she has met someone,” she said.

“Gail, this is Brad, we are going to dinner, he will take me home,” she said.

Hello Brad, Gail was attempting to say, but Erica pulled my arm out the door.

“How I hate those stuffy affairs, I only agreed to come because Gail said they would have great food. Great food, I don’t dine after ten. That is when they want to feed you after they have your money. Oh my, Brad, this is a beautiful car, can we put the top down? I love the breeze in my hair,” she said.

“Not too cold?” I asked.

“No, it is lovely,” she said.

“So dear Erica, what would you truly like for dinner?” I asked.

“Fish, some good soup and fish. Is it far?” she asked.

“No, Erica, only about 10 minutes; why?” I asked.

“Because I am starving, I did not have lunch today, hectic day at school, Tuesdays are the worst,” she said.

“That is funny,” I said.

“Why is that funny?” she asked.

“Tuesday is usually my worst day at work, and today I did not work as they gave me some time off, and I was bored to death, the first time I missed work, that is what was funny. Here we are, dear Erica, this you will enjoy, I promise,” I told her.

The valet asked, do you want your car upfront? Yes, thanks. We entered the charming Village Inn.

“Hey, Brad, nice to see you, and who is this beauty?” Roger asked.

“Roger, meet Erica. Please tell the Chef to make us some lovely soup and a wonderful fish dish,” I said

“You want the special dessert?” he asked.

“Cannot live without it, Roger,” I said.

“Brad, what would you like to drink?” Roger asked.

“A bottle of a fine Bordeaux, you select, something we will remember,” I said.

“Don’t you care about the price?” he asked.

“Only if we do not like it, then I will complain if we enjoy it. Why?” I said.

“Brad, tell me about your work,” Erica asked.

“Sorry, Erica, we are here for me to learn about you, I am enchanted and wish to understand why,” I said.

“Enchanted, I like that word, no one had ever said that before,” she said.

“Erica, there is something extraordinary, so mysterious, almost enchanting, it has captivated me, now either take me or set me free,” I said.

“Brad, you are a strange but interesting man; it is I who is intrigued. This wine and bread are perfect, and I was so hungry,” she said.

The soup is coming, Carl, my we have more bread?

“This soup is fabulous, what is it?” she asked.

“A lobster bisque, Chef knows I love it,” I replied.

“Do you come here often?” she asked.

“No, always busy, if I had time, I would come every night, the food is great, the crowd is congenial, the staff cordial, what more does one desire?” I said.

“I am from Finland, the city of Tampere. Upon graduation from secondary school, you call high school, and my parents wanted me to go to University in America. The only place familiar was Hollywood and Malibu, so I selected USC. My studies are music and art. Mother said;  I am here to fulfil my destiny.  Now you?” she asked.

“Erica, let’s enjoy the fish; that is only a teaser. I want the entire story,” I said.

“Brad, the fish from the North Seas, is the finest in the world, the waters are pure, the food is plentiful, the fish thrive and have for 1000’s of years, this fish is good, must be from the north,” she remarked.

“Yes, it is North Atlantic Cod, very tasty. Where do you live in the dorms or sorority house?” I asked.

“Now you wish to know where I live, why?” she asked.

“So I may come to visit, bring you a present,” I said.

“I like presents, what is it?” she asked.

“You make me laugh. I have not picked it up yet, soon,” I said.

“I have an apartment, I used to have a roommate, but there is too much drama, I prefer to live alone,” she said.

“Don’t you get lonely?” I asked.

“Don’t you, you live alone?” she asked.

“The fish was wonderful. What is this special dessert Roger spoke of?” Erica asked.

“It is coming now, Roger has to pour some Cognac and stir, now the whipped cream,” I said.

“This is delightful, ask Roger to come,” she said.

“Roger, this has been the finest meal I have enjoyed in America, I am certain Brad and I will return many times, thank you,” she told him.

“Erica, I thank you for the compliment, most never say thank you. May I say you are the most beautiful girl I have ever seen? That is sincere. Brad see you both soon, I hope.” Roger said.

“Brad, drive me home now, please put the top up, it is getting cold,” she said.

We were both happy, and the meal was delightful, the company better, now the drive to LA, to USC, about a 20-minute ride, with Erica snuggling up beside me, made the trip short, too short.

“This my building, park in the rear, I have a parking space, but I have no car. If you do not park in the assigned space, they ticket you or tow your car, let me leave a note,” she said.

“Hey, nice place for student housing, you should see what I lived in,” I said.

“Brad, I want to change, get comfortable, take off the jacket and tie, relax, I will not bite,” she told me with a smile.

“What if I want to be bitten?” I asked.

“Then you shall, and there is some wine in the cabinet, open it please,” she said.

Erica came out wearing a long black silk robe with her stark long blond hair and those eyes. Eyes such a deep sapphire blue as I have never seen, just as in my dream. It was dazzling; it made me stop and stare like a deer in the lights. Brad, dear, don’t stare like that; it makes me uncomfortable, sit by me, bring our wine. We sat sipping our wine, looking at each other, not saying a word. Suddenly attraction overcame all. I pulled her to me, kissing those luscious lips with a passion I had never felt before. She reached to unbutton my shirt while I attempted to take off my pants with one hand the other around her neck, pulling her closer to my face.

Come, dear, come with me, she stood up her robes open, exposing her body, when a dart plunged into my heart.

“Dearest, I thought you knew,” she said.

“Erica, I never could take my eyes off your captivating face, so I paid no attention to your body, my god, you are beautiful, incredible,” I said.

“Do you like it?” she asked.

“Like is such a small word, love is more realistic, I love your body, you are perfect in every way,” I said.

“Remove your pants and lay by me, let us know each other. I love your chest, and the dark hair is beautiful, your penis is hard as steel, long as a sword,” Erica said.

“You, your breasts are small but lovely, your legs are smooth as silk, your hair is like an angel’s, your penis is long, pink and lovely, Erica you are a goddess sent to take me to where?” I asked.

“Home, my dear, take you home to the stars,” she said.

We lay in each other’s arms, kissing with love and passion, the one we wish to be with, spend our time with, love, hold, and behold. We lay there, our bodies heaving, panting, we turned and took each others’ face to ours, kissing, tasting each other’s mouth, loving each other. Yes, it was love. I knew I could not live without this girl in my life. She was my life. This night I wished would never end, we both struggled to stay awake to love the other, but sleep overcame desire as we collapsed in the arms of the one we had found our missing link, someone to love. Soon night became morning, the alarm by the bed started its incessant ringing. Erica moaned then reached over to turn it off. Darling, I must go to school, finals day, sleep, my love, pick me up at the quad at 3:30 pm as she leaned over kissing my lips, creating a hunger in my body. Not now, dear, save that for later. Fifteen minutes later, Erica was out the door; my heart was pounding; seeing her walk out that door brought a chill to my body. The only thing that calmed me was knowing in a few hours, she would be mine again.

 

Dreams of Glory                      Chapter 2

 

Driving home, I popped in Joey’s track and listened once again; the more I heard this album, the more I am convinced it will go Platinum within a month of release; it is just that great. I was home before the track ended. My house is secluded, but only minutes from downtown or Hollywood. The area is called Mt. Washington. My house is on Glenalbyn Dr, only a few homes nearby, making it quiet and private. Dad gave me the money for the down payment as a graduation gift; of course, he knew I would be working so could make the payments as he had to cosign for me.

The house was a mess from having Joey and the guys here for so many days. I intend to bring Erica to my home this afternoon; it has to look nice. Damn, got to do the laundry, that is the one thing I detest, well for love, man will do anything. It took me five hours to clean the house, change the bed linens, the towels, wash dishes, and do laundry, but the place looks great. I opened all the windows to freshen the air, and now I need to clean up. After a hot shower, a shave, I put on one of my new shirts, the lite beige slacks, my tan loafers, looked in the mirror, and saw a prince, well in my mind, a prince off to claim his princess.

Strange how life is. I meet daily with people who many call important; to me they are just people. I never get nervous in any situation, and now I find myself anxious, will she still want me, will she come to my house? I never ever go early for a meeting, don’t wish to appear not in charge, now I find myself fifteen minutes early parked outside the main entrance to USC, fidgeting with the radio, anything to make the time go faster. Come on, Brad, look cool, look confident, stop craning your neck looking for her, then out from a walkway, I saw her, my dream was real.

“Brad darling, glad you found me, I was not sure you would come,” Erica said.

“Not sure, why say that?” I asked.

“I don’t know. Maybe you had time to think, and maybe you are not sure.”

“Erica, I have never been more sure of anything. Will you come to my house? I saw yours?” I asked.

“Sure, dear, stop at my place; let me pick up a change of clothes, you are taking me out, right?” she asked.

“Dear, can you take the next two days off school? I have the days off and would love to spend that time with you, please,” I said.

“I will wait while I get some things. No, don’t come in, we might not leave,” Erica said.

Erica had changed, freshened up, and put on a simple yet very revealing white dress with a deep blue sweater around her neck; she tossed her bag on the back seat, climbed in, then planted a wonderful kiss on my eager lips, more, my body wanted more.

“Come on, dear, let me see where you live, is it nice?” she asked.

“Nice, yes, I like it. I think you will. Turn the tape on to listen to our new album, it will take about twenty minutes to get home,” I said.

“Rivers,” the first song on the track, I watched Erica’s eyes as she listened intently. When the song finished, she stopped the track.

“Brad, who is this group? That song is incredible. I have never heard this group before, who are they?” she asked.

“Joey B and the Stingers, a new group, I produced this album, will be out in a few weeks,” I said.

“You produced this?” she asked.

“Yes, do you like it?” I asked.

“Brad dear, like is a very nondescript word, no I am in awe, it is Heart throbbing,” she said.

“Play the rest and give me your opinion,” I said.

By the time we reached the house, Erica had screamed the lyrics, pounding the dash, lost in that space, that private space, we do not usually share with others. When we stopped, I turned off the car, the music stopped, Erica looked me in the eyes, then jumped on me, consuming me, then as suddenly as it came, the storm passed, the seas calm once again.

“Come on, dear, show me around, I love the area, the trees, the privacy, it is like another city, not LA,” she said.

“That is why I like it here, come inside,” I told her.

“Brad, this is charming, and so clean, not like I would expect a single guy to live,” she said.

“Honestly, I cleaned up today for you,” I said.

“Where do I put my things, our bedroom?” she asked.

The breeze was blowing through the wide-open windows, curtains fluttering like the sheets of a sailboat in a light breeze, Erica pulled me to her, and we kissed, kissed like we had not seen each other for weeks.

“Darling, I love the house, we will be pleased here, do you have any wine?” she asked.

“Come, dear, see the kitchen, wines are in the cabinet, you chose,” I said.

“Dearest, do you have another copy of the album in the house?” she asked.

“Yes, want me to play it?” I asked.

“Of course, when I listen to that, I learn about you,” she said.

“Me, I did not sing it, Joey and the guys did,” I said.

“Yes, I understand, but it is you who created this masterpiece, now I can see who you are inside, not only the good-looking man standing before me, the real you, the one most never see. Come, dear, pour us some wine, I see a patio, let’s sit out there listen to the music and feel the fresh air, did I tell you today, I love you?” she asked.

“No, but you can say that over and over, it thrills me, although not as much as my love for you thrills me.”

“Darling, this is so romantic, it is very private, is it alright to lay nude, I love to feel the breeze over my body?” she asked. It is almost required as I tore off my shirt, removed my pants, my socks, she only had to slip off her dress. She was wearing nothing underneath. Like two magnets their opposite poles attract, we were those poles, the energy, the force of love pulled us together in a dance of love that nothing can stop. It was the sun dropping below the hills. The breeze became chilly now, and we unlocked our bodies. Come, darling, let me get us some robes.

“Brad, this fireplace looks so lovely. Is there any firewood?” she asked.

“Yes, there is a stack outback, I love to sit and work by the fire, let me lit it, pour us some wine, I spilled mine,” I said.

Erica got a blanket and a stack of pillows, placing them on the floor in front of the fireplace. Lie by me; I want to talk.

“Brad, if this is too private, say so, I will not intrude,” she said.

“Dear, I have nothing too private to speak to you about,” I said.

“Have you ever had a serious girlfriend?” she asked.

“Serious, what do you mean by that?” I asked.

“A girl you were in love with,” she said.

“Love with, no, I was in school for 15 years, I was serious about my future, never had time for a relationship, dated, went to parties, sure, but serious no,” I said.

“Have you ever made love, or had sex with a girl?” she asked.

“Yes, in high school and college,” I said.

“Have you ever had sex or made love to a boy?” she asked.

“No, why do you ask that,” I said

“Because you know I was born a boy, but am a woman, you made love to me as one who knew how to please,” she said.

“I do not think one needs the training to love another; it seems quite natural,” I said.

“Yes, it is, however, most men would be too shy or ashamed to love me in the way you do,” she said.

“Why would they?” I asked.

“Oh dearest, that I cannot answer,” she said.

“My turn, how have you ever loved another man?” I asked.

“No, flirted, played around, but loved no. I am only 20, my family is strict, and I had never met someone before you that interested me, I don’t mean sexually, I mean to interest my mind, I think that is more important, but now I am not sure, both are important,” she said.

“When did you decide to be Trans?” I asked.

“Never, I am not Trans. I am myself. When I was very young, about 3 or 4, my mother had never cut my hair; it was always long and soft like a young girl. She liked that. She would lay out clothes for me in the mornings; I could choose the color of the dress I wanted. So all my life I have been a girl, that is all I know, do you understand?” she asked.

“Yes, what about your father?” I asked.

“Father loved me and let me live as I choose, very simple. In Finland, we are very open and do not judge others. We prefer they live to be happy,” she said.

“Have you ever considered going all the way, having your breasts grow?” I asked.

“No, I am pleased with my body. Would you like me to have larger breasts?”

“Dearest Erica, I love your body as it is, I am like your father; whatever makes you happy makes me,” I said.

“Are you taking me to dinner?” she asked.

“Yes, I am not a good cook,” I told her.

“Can we dine at the same restaurant, you know Rogers place?” she asked.

“Certainly, let’s go about 8:30 gives us time to get ready and learn more,” I said.

“More about what?” she asked.

“You, darling you, you fascinate me,” I said.

“Now, I am fascinating? I love the words you use, sure it is not more loving that you desire?” she asked.

“Both,” I said. Our next four days together were idyllic, no more than that; they were mystical, almost surreal, it seemed to us as if we were placed upon this earth to accomplish something that we could only do together. “Brad, can we go to Malibu? I have heard so much and never been there?” she asked.

“You’ve never been to Malibu?” I asked.

“No, I have no car, and my friends at school never want to go that far,” she said.

“We will spend Friday and Saturday at the beach in Malibu. I know a superb Inn and restaurant, a lot of the Hollywood and music crowd go there, it is special, I will make reservations,” I said.

“I did not bring a swimsuit,” she said.

“No problem, we will buy new ones in Santa Monica on the way,” I said.

“Howard, hi Brad Hay,” I said.

“Hi Brad, or should I say Mr. Executive Producer, congrats you deserve it. What can I do?” he asked.

“My fiance and I would like to stay there Friday and Saturday on the beach, do you have one of the beachfront spots with a fireplace?” I asked.

“Fiance, well now, moving up for sure, I will make room for you, need dinner?” he asked.

“Yes, both nights and thanks,” I said.

Friday morning, we awoke to the most incredible day the world has ever seen. The sun was a brilliant glow in the sky, warming us, and the birds seem to be saying good morning, dear ones. We were so happy we danced around the living room laughing, kissing, holding the one we cherished, all in the heavens shining down upon us. We packed a few things, Brad, is it dressy? For dinner, yes. The drive out Pacific Coast Hwy this fantastic day with a gentle onshore breeze blowing the silky blond hair of my love, seeing the sun reflect its golden rays off the face of my angel completed the vision that this was the best day of my life, and it was.

“Brad, this is like a dream for me. When I was very young, my Mother took me to American films; one was about a beach party in Malibu. All the kids were so beautiful, so happy. The ocean was like a glorious pool just for them. Now I am here staring at that film, thank you,” she said.

“Brad, there is a surf shop, we can get some swimsuits, please stop. Darling, this is just like in the film, the Beach Party,” Erica excitedly said.

We left buying two suits each, anxious to jump in the gentle swells washing the sand. Here we are, darling The Holiday House, our holiday, come on, let’s get the key.

“Howard, thanks so much, this is Erica, this is her first trip to Malibu,” I said.

“The first trip to Malibu, we will make it special, where are you from, I have never seen such beauty in America,” Howard said.

“Howard, you are so kind, I come from Finland, here to complete my studies,” she said.

“Erica, today and tomorrow study only one thing, do it well,” he said.

“Howard, what is that?” Erica asked.

“Have fun, enjoy life, it goes by faster than most realize. I sent a good bottle of wine down, enjoy,” he said.

“My word dear, that Howard is so nice,” she said.

“Nice, he is a wonderful guy, and he is in love,” I told her.

“In love, with who or what?” she asked.

“With you, did you see his eyes? He could not stop gazing at you. Howard sees many of Hollywood’s biggest stars; he never was struck like now,” I said.

“How do you know?” she asked.

“My job is to know people, how they think, how they act, what they desire, I study people like you study music or art. Come, they have a tram to go down the cliff,” I said.

“A tram like a train?” she asked.

“Yes, come on, all aboard,” I said.

“Brad, this is so special, I don’t know how to thank you,” she said.

“You don’t, well I do,” I said

“Darling, this room is so extraordinary, we are right on the sand, this will make me cry,” she said.

“Cry why? Be happy, not sad,” I said.

“Dear, I am so happy that is why I will cry, almost too happy, it is scary,” she said.

“Pour a glass of this wine, put on that swimsuit, the one with the blue flowers, let’s hit the water, I can’t wait. You are a vision, my girl, a wonderful vision, kiss me, and come first gets the worms,” I said, laughing.

“I don’t want worms and no splashing,” she said.

Sure, as I threw her in, jumping to grab her, but this fish can swim fast. We swam out about 100 yards past the shore break where the water is calm. Then, we came together, laughing, kissing, loving this moment as if magical. Three hours we spent swimming, running on the sand, loving every minute given. “Dear, I am hungry. How about you, she asked as we lay together on the sand?”

“Starving, we did not eat breakfast, or if we did, I forgot. There is a taco place down the road, they make great fresh fish tacos, sound good?” I asked.

“Do we need to change?” she asked.

“Hell no, you are perfect,” I said. We picked up four fish tacos, some chips, and salsa headed back to our nest. Our little patio has a table with soft chairs to eat our food right on the sand. The rest of the bottle of wine was a perfect ending or beginning. Dearest lay by me on the bed. I never could imagine having a bedroom right on the ocean’s sands; it is like a dream come true.

The door was wide open, we both had removed our swimsuits, we lay uncovered listening to the waves crash upon the shore, the water absorbed by the sand, the water receded, and did it all over again, like the chords of a song, repeated for our pleasure. Love, desire, longing all combined in one burning moment, the merger of all emotions, the loss of self, the making of we. That Friday evening in early summer was Brad’s culmination, as a separate person, the beginning of Brad and Erica, as a new entity. We loved each other for three unforgettable hours, every finger, every toe, every part of each other’s body, we explored, loved, cherished, tasted, and enjoyed. “Erica, I am in love with you,” I said as she just laughed.

“Why are you laughing?” I asked.

“Did you just realize you are in love, just now?” she asked.

“No, I think I was in love with you the first night we met,” I said.

“I knew that, and I loved you, why do you think we are here?” she asked.

Never mind, Dear, I love to hear you say it. Get ready; Howard said we have to be there by 8:00, or they cannot hold our table.

“Good evening Erica, are you enjoying Malibu?” Howard asked as we entered.

“More than I can describe, I love every moment; your place is lovely,” she said.

“Lovely, no Erica, it is you who are lovely, you take my breath away, Brad, do not get pissed, that is a compliment,” Howard said.

“Howard, pissed hell no, it makes me proud, and I agree,” I said.

“Erica, I am sending you a special bottle of wine, don’t let Brad drink it all, enjoy dear ones,” he said.

“Howard is a jewel so gracious,” Erica said.

“Yes, dear, he is gracious, you have charmed him. They have Alaskan Halibut, the finest fish in the sea, shall we?” I asked.

“Brad, you order, you know my preference,” she said.

“Good evening, Howard sent you this wine with his love, and a special treat coming from the Chef,” our server said.

“Erica, you will love this wine, a Stags Leap Cab 69, extraordinary, here taste,” I said.

“Dear, it is wonderful, so many new things, new tastes,” she said.

“Dearest, I agree with the new tastes, the finest I have ever tasted is you,” I said.

Our soup is a creamy clam chowder served with fresh hot rolls basted with a chili sauce.

“Brad, look outside, what are those fish jumping?” she asked.

“Dolphins, as do we, like to feed this time of night,” I said.

Dinner was remarkable. I ordered another bottle of wine so we could walk on the beach, enjoy the stars now flooding our sky, blinking, winking at us as if they knew.

“Brad, my darling, what is your goal?” she asked.

“Goal, you mean tonight or for the future?” I asked.

“Long term, tonight is here, we are here, where will we be tomorrow is my question?” she asked.

“Honestly, Erica, I have not thought about that. I think that if I keep moving forward, all my dreams will come true,” I said.

“What dreams?” she asked.

“If you asked me that two weeks ago, I would have said to get through Tuesday. Now all I want to do is be with you, and make a future we can be proud of, and be happy. Erica, I am only 23, look what has happened in my life, I have a chance to be nominated for two or more Grammys, if I am and win, that is historical, it has never happened before,” I said.

“What is a Grammy?” she asked.

“It is like the Academy Awards for Music; a Grammy is like the Oscar. If and when that happens, I can make millions, many millions?” I told her.

“Is that what you want?” she asked.

“Sure, I would like to win a Grammy, the money I do not worry about, money comes to those who work hard and have the talent to earn it. I have the talent, and I work very hard,” I said.

“Now, my turn, what do you want?” I asked.

“Not sure, I am not one who desires a career. I cannot see myself in a profession. When I was younger, my mother told me I would marry a King and live as a Queen. Since we met, I feel like I am a Queen; you treat me as very special. I love that, I love being special,” she said.

“Dear, you are special, one of a kind, unique in all this world,” I said.

“Brad, the school will be over in two weeks. Do you want me to stay here with you? My parents expect me home in late June,” she asked

“Erica, I cannot live without you, I need your body near mine, I need to gaze into your eyes. I need to feel your breath on my cheeks. Money is no object. You will be paid to help me,” I said.

“Help doing what?” she asked.

“Keeping some unusual people-focused. You are a music student, the classics, what better training to create music? We have clients who can write great lyrics but cannot make the score work. You can do that, we can be a team,” I said.

“How much would I earn?” she asked.

“To start, the same as I did $32 k, with a bonus, can be half a million,” I said.

“Your kidding?” she said.

“I never kid about business, I have big dreams, as a team they will come true,” I said.

“You believe this, don’t you?” she asked.

“I know it, my darling,” I said.

“Then we have a deal partner. Let’s celebrate,” she said.

“How?” I asked.

“You will figure that out, come to our bed,” she said.

Mornings can be too soon at times, at other times, far too slow.

“Brad, Brad, wake up, look at the water, birds are going crazy, what makes them do that, let’s go outside, hurry dear,” she said.

“Love, come back to bed, I feel like a snuggle,” I said.

“Get up lazy, it is a beautiful morning; I made our coffee, come on. Here put your swimsuit on, look I have the yellow one; how do I look?”

“Lovely my love, my eyes are still sleeping, I relent, hand me my shorts,” I said.

“Bring your coffee come on,” Erica cried out.

We walked out the door to a view not usually seen. The sea was dead calm, not a breeze in the air. The sun was climbing behind us, shining on the still waters creating an image like a painting by Renoir, a unique view that changed by the second. Those birds are chasing anchovies, must be millions, driving the birds to a frenzy. “Dear, they are so interesting, let’s join them?” she said.

“The birds?” I asked.

“No love, the fish, I want to swim with them,” she said.

“What if they bite?” I asked.

“Darling, little fish do not eat big people, come on,” she said. She ran diving into the fray. The school must have thought seals were after them as the fish swam away in a flash, with the birds screaming in swift pursuit. Dearest, this is the most fun I have ever had. Let’s walk down the beach, exploring.

This northern part of Malibu is more isolated. It is early Saturday morning, and we are alone on the magnificent beach. The only others are some surfers out waiting for a ride; however, the sea is flat. We walked holding hands; Erica is singing “Rivers.” She loves that song. We would run into the water, play, then continue our quest. Must have been over an hour we walked, ahead was a small cove, both of us could smell the aroma of bacon drifting toward us, calling my dears, come and dine. Brad, that smell is knifing through me, let’s find the source. Was not difficult at the head of the cove was a small shack with smoke pouring out the chimney, enticing us.

“Darling, I have no money. I left the wallet in our room,” I said.

“Come on, Brad, that would never stop my man,” she said.

“Good morning folks, the jovial, happy-faced man standing over a grill, cooking a rasher of bacon, come for breakfast?” he asked.

“Hi, the aroma from your grill grabbed us, forced us, dragged us inside. My name is Brad Hay, this is Erica, we are guests of Howard at the Holiday House,” I said.

“Yes, I know Howard, how can I help?” he asked.

“I have no money with me, I left it in our room,” I said.

“Brad, you don’t need money, a friend of Howard’s is mine also, order what you want, you can call me with a credit card or stop by later. What can I get for you, beautiful girl?” he asked.

“Juice any fruits, some of that bacon, and whatever else you think we may enjoy, what is your name?” Erica asked.

“Call me Corky, all the others do. Erica, my girl, is not up yet, help yourself to juice in the refer, some chopped fruits, coffee is fresh, self serve for now,” he said.

Corky made us pancakes, with the bacon idyllic. I was on my second cup of coffee when the back door opened, a woman in her early 30’s came in, morning, you folks early, we don’t usually get busy on Saturday until past 9:00 am, hi I am Shelly, get you anything?

“Hi Shelly, Erica, and Brad, we love your place, yes may I have one more pancake?” I asked.

“Brad, you can have whatever you want, coming right up,” she said.

“Corky, these pancakes are the best,” I said.

“Thanks, Brad, I have been making them for 15 years now, the same recipe,” he said.

“This your place?” I asked.

“Yes, we have a house behind, Shell and I both surf, the food lets us do that. We surf, cook, and make love, what more does anyone need?” he asked.

“Nothing, man, absolutely nothing, seems like a great life,” I said.

“That is, we have been happy. What do you guys do?” he asked.

“Music, the recording business,” I replied.

“Like it?” he asked.

“Yes, it has its benefits, it can provide a sense of accomplishment, not like your pancakes, those are special, but it is fun,” I said.

“What kind of music do you do?” he asked.

“Mostly rock, some gospel,” I said.

“Love rock Brad, any groups I would know?” he asked.

“If you love rock, you know Joey B,” I said.

“You work with Joey B?” he asked.

“Yes, I produce his work,” I said.

“No shit, I hear his new album is a smash; when will it be out?” he asked.

“Three or four weeks, we are finishing album covers,” I said.

“Brad, make a deal, breakfast is on us, send us an album, first cut, will you?” he asked.

“You got it, write me name and address, I send out a pre-release,” I said.

“You will do that?” he asked.

“Yes, I will, Corkey,” I said.

“One more request, will you sign this menu, I can nail it on the wall, prove you were here, sign to Erica, please,” he asked.

How fun, dear, we go for a walk to explore, we meet some wonderful people, have a terrific meal, and it costs nothing, we give, they give, all are happy, that is life. Our walk back was different, calm, holding hands, lost in our thoughts, totally at ease with our experience.

“Dearest Brad, lay with me, that meal filled me, now I need to rest, listen to music and watch the sea, come, my love,” she said.

The image of that couple, Corky and Shelly, together for 15 years or more, must have been our ages when they came to Malibu, now still in love, still enjoying each other, doubt if they could be apart, I yearn for that togetherness. The passion, the tenderness we loved each other, was consuming; Erica lay on my chest with tears falling on my body. I said nothing; I understood and felt the same. This much happiness cannot last. Life cannot always be so perfect, or can it? Only passing time will tell.

“Erica, dear, I would like one of those fish tacos; it is almost 4:00 pm, can we?” I asked.

“Yes, I would like to find a gift shop where I can buy some postcards to send to my family. They will love to see me in Malibu. They only know it from the movies, and I wish to get a thank you card for Howard. He has treated us so special,” Erica said. There was a small market, on the way they had the cards Erica wanted, plus I bought a bottle of decent wine. We picked up two tacos, with some avocados, back to our nest.

“Erica, in the lobby, they have some postcards of the hotel, want me to get you some?” I asked.

“Please, while I write these,” she said. We were late for dinner. Time will not slow down. It was after 9:00 pm when we entered. Howard said, I thought you guys got lost; I held your table even though some regulars complained. Corky called to say how much he loved you coming to his place, great couple, those two. Howard, your staff told me you would not be in on Sunday, so I would like to say, Au Revoir, please, this is for you. To Howard, she had written, Dearest Howard, I want to “Thank You For the Memories” Love always, Erica. After reading the card, he looked at her intently: Erica, thank you, dear one, you have no idea how much I appreciate this. Please return soon, both of you. Our meal and the rest of our night were memories we will cherish in our hearts forever.

 

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Chapter 1      New Beginning

 

I awoke at 3:30 am from a dream I did not want to end. In that dream, I met a beautiful girl; she was like the treasure all men seek. Her presence transformed my life, and all those around me. I was able to overcome any obstacle, I felt unstoppable. The need to be early to my business is what finally forces me out of bed. Dreams are for another time, now for reality  

Has this happened to you?  Your day is almost over, things have gone well so far, then to be interrupted for what, trivia?  Maddening.  It was about 4:25 p.m when the call came in from a new loan officer at Wells, Steven Engles.

”Mr. Donaldson we need to review your SBA loan.” Engles said. ”Come to the bank tomorrow at 3:30 pm’.”

”Review what?” I asked.  ”What’s to review about my loan?”

I had a three year loan for $50 thousand, now less than a year to go. Don’t think I owe them $14 thousand, never been late on a single payment. They should be asking me to increase the loan, that’s what I would do in their place.  Hey, perhaps that is what he wanted. Oh sure, then why would he want me to come there? He could offer to increase the loan over the phone, after thanking me for the business. Did I hear any thanks from him? No, Just a curt, I need to see you, come in tomorrow at 3:30pm.

”Is it important?’ I asked. ”Can’t we do it over the phone?”

”No, I need to review your file with you,” he said. Then he simply hung up.

My staff meeting did not end until almost 3:15 pm. I would be unavoidably late. I walked into the bank at 4:05 pm.

”Mr. Donaldson, you are late.” I heard a voice call out, ”Sorry, Mr.Donaldson, I can’t see you right now,” he said. ”Do you mind waiting over there, pointing to a chair at the rear of the bank near the john?”

”No, I don’t mind,” I replied. Of course, I mind you sending me to the back like an outcast, I thought. ”Sorry, to be late a client delayed me; at least we signed a new account.”

”I won’t be long,” Ingles said .

From his appearance, he must be at least 90 pounds overweight, his waist is at least 44 inches, with eyeglasses coke bottle thick. He’s going to dislike me for sure. He must hate guys that are successful and good-looking.

We both knew he was simply giving me crap for being late. Human nature never changes, those that can’t do, resent those that can. Resentment creates guilt. Guilt must be compensated, the compensation is always judgment. Judgment creates more resentment. It’s a never ending tragedy controlling humanity from time immortal. All the relationships and success we achieve in life are based upon our self-esteem, our confidence; this poor guy must have been teased miserably by his family and the kids at his school. That is why he has to make everyone else pay homage.

Look at that girl, window number 3. She’s a definite 10+. Oh my gosh! I’m in love. She has shoulder length dark brown shimmering hair that glistens and beckons as she moves.   She’s wearing an emerald green silk blouse that must cost at least $200. Her earrings, are they emeralds? Bet they are. How can a teller afford to dress like that? Why would she work here?  Gees, she could be a model, sure like to meet her.  I think she’s smiling at me.  She’s brushing back her hair, stroking it gently with her fingers; again, she’s looking right at me. For just a second our eyes locked together, it was as if an electric shock went through me. I have to at least say hello.  Maybe she will go to the restroom. That would be perfect. The jerk sat me right in front of it to piss me off. Gees, this might turn out to be the best seat in the house.  Oh my word, she’s coming; I’ll get up and say hello and smile.

”Hello, I’m David Donaldson, waiting for Steven Ingles,” I said. ”I have never seen you here before, of course I don’t come to this branch very often. What is your name?”

”Marisa, Marisa Dougherty,” she said. ”I have only worked here for a couple weeks. My father is a good customer of the bank; he felt I should work during summer break. I am a senior at SC.”

”Hey, great! I went to USC Law for over a year. I’d really love to talk to you about school, life, love, all sorts of interesting things,” I said.  ”I belong to the L A. Athletic Club down on 7th St. We could meet after work for a drink or tea.  I usually come to the club every night, work out and play a little bridge. Any day would be great?  I would love to hear your dreams. Dreams make life, don’t you think?”

”David, my father is a doer, not a dreamer.” she said. ”He said those that dream don’t do.  Those that do, don’t dream.”

”Perhaps he doesn’t know what dreams are. Dreams are what you really deep down want your life to be. What treasure would you like to find,” I said.

”I like the way you talk, Dave, can I call you that?”

”You can call me anything, but I prefer David,” I replied.

”Why?”

”David was the King most loved by God. I don’t recall anyone calling him King Dave,” I said.

”You want to be a King?”

”Not really, but I want to be loved by God,” I said.

”You are different David; yes I would love to talk with you, how about tomorrow?”

”Great, I can be here any time after 9:00 am,” I said.

”Silly, on Friday I don’t get out of here until 5:30 pm.”

”I will be the last customer here at 5:00 pm walking with you to the club,” I said.

”You don’t have to do that, I’m a big girl capable of taking care of myself.”

”That I understand, I just want to make sure you come; I will be protecting my interest,” I said.

”You are funny David, see you tomorrow.”

”Mr. Donaldson, I am ready for you now,” Ingles smirked.

”As you know; Mr. Donaldson,” Ingles said.

”Please call me David, no need to be so formal, I am an old customer.”

”Yes, a little over three years. We have had clients with the bank for 50 years,” he said.

”Great, but since I am only 26 that’s not possible, is it?”

”Mr. Donaldson, I was given the assignment to review all Small Business Administration loans to make certain they are in compliance. Yours is one of those,” Steven said.

”Yes, so?”

”Mr. Donaldson, I cannot locate your annual statement for last year or the second quarter statement for this year. Did you submit them?” he asked.

”Sure, the second quarter is not completed yet. This is only June 23rd. The quarter will end June 30th. That statement you will get about August 7th.  As far as last year goes, I submitted that to your predecessor in March.”

”Oh yes I have that, but where is your audited statement?” Ingles asked.

”Audited statement? Are you kidding, Steven?  An audit would cost me over $5000. My balance with the bank is less than 14K.  I am not foolish enough to spend 33 1/3 % of the loan balance for an audit? No one has ever asked me for an audited statement before, why now?”

”Mr. Donaldson, I told you I was given the task of seeing that all SBA loans are in full compliance. If you will read your loan application you will see the clause, Paragraph 19C, here.”

”I don’t care what it says, no way am I going to spend that kind of capital for something so foolish. Every payment to this bank has been timely. Do you see any risk for a measly 14K? You have my last statement. Our sales increased 74% over last year. Profits are great, better than the statement reflects. Mine is a private company, I’m not out to show big profits to pay big taxes, I am not foolish with money,” I replied.

”Mr. Donaldson, it’s not me, I am only following orders. I must ask you to bring me the audited statement within 30 days.”

”Thirty days! No CPA is going to be able to complete an audit in that time. I will ask my accountants their schedule then call you first of the week. Look, Ingles, I don’t mean to offend you, I will need to take this matter over your head.”

”That’s certainly your right; however, I have already cleared this matter with Herbert. He said I am in charge. Whatever I recommend, the bank is behind me,” he replied.

”Steven, I can see you have lots behind you, but remember it’s what’s in front of you that matters, I will call you by Tuesday.”  Darn, I felt this guy was going to be a jerk. What am I going to do now?  I need the money for new machinery or I would just pay the loan off. Damn, I should go back to the office, but I think I will go to the club to have a  good stiff gin, after he ruined a good day.

”Bye Marisa can’t talk now, see you tomorrow,” I told her.

”How did it go with Ingles?  she asked. ”He really is a jerk, nobody here likes him.”

”I will be here tomorrow to see you, until then I am enchanted,” I said. ”Tomorrow we will get much better acquainted.”

I decided to pass up my nightly workout to go up to the fourth floor card room. Maybe Judge Parker and Murphy are here already. A short game of bridge will give me time to clear my thoughts and help me decide how to handle Ingles.

”Hello Judge, mind if I sit in?  Good evening, Bradley, Greg, Murphy,” I said walking in.

”Hi David, you come to make your usual donations to our retirement fund?”  Murphy asked.

”Murphy, the last time you won was when your wife left,” I said.  ”Where is she now, Jamaica.”

”Who knows, at least it’s not costing me, now I have more time to scalp you losers,” Murphy responded.

The entire table laughed at that one. Murphy was the kind of player who always wanted to raise the stakes.  I did not mind except we rotated partners after each rubber. When I drew Murphy as a partner, I would refuse to raise stakes after he had three drinks.

I heard Murphy’s company, Unified Drill Bushings; annual sales exceeded $60 million last year. The company’s private, so no telling what their profits are.  Not bad for an ex-destroyer Captain. Navy pay was never like his now. Murphy never drinks during the day, but he loves to come here, play cards with his friends, and have a few belts as he says.  Thankfully, he can afford a driver. Raymond, his chauffeur waits patiently in the lobby every night for hours waiting to take Murphy home. Murphy lives way out in San Marino; he would never make it by himself.  Judge Parker is the presiding judge of the Superior Courts here in L.A. County. He’s a good bridge player, and the best person I know to learn what’s going on in town, politically. The Judge claims to be hard of hearing, but even a whisper he picks up if it’s interesting stuff. I imagine that years on the bench listening to boring lawyers, you learn to tune most of it out. I can’t imagine how I would be able to sit on the bench day after day, listening to the same lies. Only the names change, the play remains the same.

”David, do you want in or not, you sleeping?” Bradly asked.

”No, Bradley, just daydreaming,” I said.

”Daydream during the day my boy when it’s time to play cards and you’re going to be my partner you better stay awake,” Bradley replied.

”Shut up and deal, some of us are here to play, not yak, yak, like women,” George piped in. ”And give me some cards, you’re up 1800 points Bradley, share the wealth a little, you always deal me crap.”

”George it’s not the cards that are crap, you play like crap,” Bradley taunted.

”Play shit, I would like to see you play my hand, you’d be down three. Come on bid or pass,” George told him.

”Whose turn is it to order the drinks,” Murphy wondered.

”Yours, Murphy, you haven’t bought all night,” George said.

Murphy was a little pissed at that saying, ”I bought the last round what are you talking about.”

”How many of those Mai Ti’s have you had? They’re making your memory fail.  If you can’t remember that the Judge ordered the last round how in the hell can you keep track of the bidding?”  George asked.

These characters rib Murphy incessantly. All in good fun, nobody takes offense. They really don’t care who pays. Heck every player here has millions, even Judge Parker, his wife is from the Crocker Bank family, she inherited something like $35 million when she was 40. Believe me they still have every dime and then some. Frugal is a mild term for the Parker’s. Conservative the Judge says, just being conservative.

”How is that new factory you moved into David?”  Bradley asked.

”Cheap thrills, a good building, very inexpensive rent, but you take your life in your hands driving into that neighborhood,” I said. ”Judge, why don’t you get that Newton Street Division to get off their ass and patrol South Central?”

”No sense in pushing people around David, the police remember 64 and the riots down there. Best let those folks police themselves. That is what their Councilmen want. Why should we oppose the will of the people? If they want to shoot each other down there, at least they stay out of West L.A,”  Judge Parker said. ‘We don’t have any major companies down there. A bunch of mom and pop liquor stores. Nobody gives a damn about them anyway, so leave well enough alone.” ”Why did you put a factory down there David?”

”If I had done my research correctly I would never have. I was only looking at the cost of space. I needed a large building with secured parking and freeway access. Everything fit the bill; only too late did I find out that I was moving my company into a virtual war zone. Funny, I read in the Times yesterday that crime is down 12% in LA. What a joke. That is for the tourist trade isn’t it. When I had our last of many robberies at the plant, Detective Scott told me that they don’t even write reports in the area. The police simply ignore the entire region. Murders, rapes, armed robberies, dozens every day, no reports in the media. Tell the people everything is great in LA, and it will be,” I said.

”David, heed my advice, move your business, forget South Central. If what I hear is correct, another riot is soon to happen,” Judge declared.

”Judge, I’ve got three years to go on a lease, can’t move,” I said.

”David, what’s worth more to you, a little loss on a lease or perhaps losing your entire business? Remember, whatever you decide I gave you ample warning, Judge Parker sternly suggested. Why don’t you talk to Bradley’s bank? I know they are looking for new clients like you, young go-getters, men who can build businesses. City National wants to give Union Bank a run for their money. Union’s had all the small business markets locked up for years, except for the rag trade. That’s City National’s basket, tell him Bradley,” Judge said.

”Judge is right David; the bank is making a big push for new accounts in the small business sector. Who are you banking with now?” Bradley asked.

”Wells, but I tell you I dislike the bank or at least the jerk they assigned to my account,” I replied.

”Wells is a good bank, but they are a consumer bank. They like millions of small accounts. That way they have no risk and can suck fees out of customers who don’t complain. Good business if you have the volume they do,” Bradley volunteered.

”David, if you want to grow your company you must have a relationship with a bank, with its senior officers who know you; otherwise your competitors have a huge advantage over you. Capital is absolutely required to be a fast-moving company. Without access, you will remain like those mom and pops the Judge says nobody in City Hall gives a damn about. Banks and City Hall want to be with the players. You have the ability to become one of the big boys, but only if you have a team behind you. It takes a Bank and friends in Government. You know what I am saying David? ” Bradley asked. ”If you would like to join our bank and group of friends, call our Downtown head office. Ask for Arthur Townsend, he’s our Vice President, a really topman. He has authority on his signature alone to commit the bank for $5 million. At Wells, even Shandler, in San Francisco has to get the committee approval for anything over $2 mill.”

This coming from Bradley Goldman, Chief Legal Counsel for City National Bank was words to the wise. Listen and act, or be left in the dust of your competition.

”Thanks for the tip Bradley, I will call Arthur Townsend tomorrow morning. Is it alright if I use your name as a referral?” I asked.

”Certainly David, in fact I will call him myself and tell him to expect your call. At least if I lose money to you in bridge, I will get it back at the bank,” Bradley chuckled.

George is a big time lawyer. He is senior partner at one of the most prestigious law firms in the nation, the mighty, Latham & Watkins. The firm has over 600 lawyers on staff. They occupy 6 entire floors of the Arco Towers, the tallest buildings in California. George heads up the labor relations department. Julio brought in the food, by that time Murphy was sound asleep in his chair.

”Should we wake him up?”  George asked.

”Hell no! You wake him, he can be your partner, I am finally ahead in this game,” the Judge snapped back.

”Let him sleep for a while, I have to leave after this rubber, I have a busy schedule tomorrow,” David said.

”Sure David, you get $50 bucks ahead and want to run, I know you,” George kidded.

”No George, I have to be at Northrop Aircraft at 7:30 am. It means I will have to leave La Canada at 6:00 am to get to Hawthorne on time,” I said.

”Are you playing tomorrow night? We have the big duplicate match with our Jewish friends from Hillcrest?”  Judge asked.

”No, sorry I have an important meeting tomorrow night. It probably won’t be over until 10:00 pm,” I replied.

”Meeting my ass David, you’re probably seeing some young babe aren’t you?” Judge Parker said.

”Pass the cash men, Julio please bring my check so I can sign it,” I told all.

”Certainly! Mr. Donaldson,” he said.

”Goodnight men, see you next week, Bradley, thank you very much for the advice and introduction,” I said.

”No problem, David, delighted to be of help,”  Bradley said.

 

 Chapter 2        Fresh Start

 

I drove onto the Pasadena Freeway at 5:47 am needing to be early for my meeting with Armstrong, the head of building maintenance for Northrop.  When I met Ray Armstrong, it only added to my feeling that this would be a great day. Some guys you meet as a new vendor are not really anxious to see you. Maybe they are comfortable with the vendor they now have, they resent having to do business with a new company just because of the bidding requirements on government contracts. Northrup is a government contractor; there were more Air Force brass in the offices than civilians. Ray got us a coffee; we went into his office, shot the shit, got to know each other. Within fifteen minutes I felt this guy is a friend, the kind of guy you could share a beer with and enjoy good times with.  Ray said he had been at Northrup ever since he returned from active duty as an Airman First Class, A1C in 1967. Being head of maintenance Ray has access to every building at Northrup including those where the top secret airplanes were being designed and built for the Air Force. Not only does Ray have access to all areas, he knows all the project heads. Over the course of four years our friendship grew as did my business with Northrup. Ray had introduced me to many department heads that were all happy to do business with a friend of Ray’s. I left Northrup that day after lunch with Ray and the Purchasing Agent assigned to his group, holding a contract worth $300,000 in new sales revenue.

I phoned Cindy to let her know the good news, told her I was going to be at City National Bank.

”That is really good news Mr. D, a Mr. Townsend from City National Bank called before lunch he asked you to call him,” Cindy said.

”Great Cindy, call him back, tell him I will be at the bank by 2:00 pm. I hope to be back at the plant before 4:00, see you,” I said.

City National is located directly across Pershing Square from Wells. I took the elevator up to the third floor and asked the receptionist for Arthur Townsend. Classy, this man did not make me wait, he came out to greet me, saying;

”Hello David, glad to meet you, come on back. David; Bradley called me this morning and he explained the problem you have with Wells. What is the name of the loan officer who handles your account?” Arthur asked.

”Steven Ingles,” I said.

Let me call him, Arthur said.  Hello, this is Arthur Townsend, City National; put me through to Mr. Ingles, a loan officer, please. Hello Mr. Ingles, I understand you handle the Vantage Industries, David Donaldson account at the branch.

”Yes, how may I help you, came the timid reply?” Ingles said.

”Vantage is transferring their account to City National as of now, I understand they have a small loan balance with you, please give me the payoff on that,” Arthur asked.

”Sorry, but Mr. Donaldson would have to request that in person,” Ingles said.

”Ingles, you apparently do not know to whom you speak, if you do not give me that balance in the next minute, your boss will, I do not believe that will help you with Wells,” Arthur stated.

”His balance is $13.428.65,” Ingles told him.

”I will have my assistant bring a bank check to you within the next 15 minutes, please have his file cleared and give it to my man, is that OK?” Arthur asked.

”Yes sir, I will handle it myself, ” he said.

”David, that seems to have cleared your problem with Wells, now let’s get you set up. Bradley gave me a run down on your business, we took the liberty to check you out. City National wants to work with you. I have opened a business account for you, all you need is to bring your Corporate Seal to the Bank and stamp these documents. In addition we have approved a revolving line of credit for you in the sum of $300,000. that should provide capital for your expansion into a new facility. I understand your desire to get out of South Central. Is there anything else I can for you?”Arthur asked.

”Arthur, what else could anyone do? You have given me the Golden Key that will unlock many doors. I, we will not let you down, I will show you our appreciation,” I said.

”David, that is appreciated, you have good friends, always keep them close, you help them, they help you that is what makes this world grow. Bring these papers back on Monday if you can. Have a great weekend,” Arthur with a smile told me.

Leaving City National, I decided to walk over to Wells and cash out my account leaving only enough funds to cover the checks outstanding, plus I could not wait to see the look on the face of that jerk Ingles, but what I really wanted was to see Marisa and her beautiful eyes.   Entering the door of this mausoleum I saw Ingles sitting at his desk with his head buried in some trivial documents trying to look like he is important, he never had the guts to even glance at me, just stared at his desk. I bet he lasts at Wells for another Month at best; pompous asses like him never last. Marisa saw me, her face lit up with a huge smile. I stood in her line even though there were three empty tellers; the teller on her side said ‘may I help you’?

”No, but thanks,”  I said.

”David, what brings you back today?” Marisa asked.

”You, only you, dear Marisa your smile captured my soul,” I responded.”Cash this check for me, let’s get out of here.”

”David, be serious, this is for $7500.00 what do you need that much cash for?” she asked.

”To buy you dinner my dear,” I told her.

”David, I said I could not leave until 5:30 today, it is not even 4:00 pm,” Marisa said.

”Marisa, I am going to get my car from the garage over at City National that will take me about 20 minutes. You go to the restroom, come back tell your cashier you are feeling ill, nobody is going to be downtown after 4:00 pm, they don’t need you, I will pick you up in front. If you don’t come out I will sit in the car and honk the horn until you do,” I told her.

”You’re crazy David,” she said.

”Yes, I am crazy, crazy to not take you out of here right now. See you in 20 minutes,” I said.

I did not wait for her reply, only turned and left.  I pulled out of the garage needing to make several turns to get over on 5th Street as all these streets are one way. Driving up 5th, I see Marisa standing on the corner waiting. My heart is beating so fast I might faint; I pulled over opening the door.

”Come on let’s get out of here,” I told her.

”Well, David you were right, they do not need me tonight, they said I could leave early, now where are you taking me?” she asked.

”Hawaii, my dear, we have to make the 5:30 flight,” I said.

”David, I cannot go to Hawaii, Dad would kill me and you,” she cried out.

”Just joking dear, let’s go to Malibu, I know a great restaurant where we can dine on the sand if you want,” I said.

”It better be good, you have to get me home before 9:00 pm, I told Mom I was having dinner with friends,” she said.

”No problem my dear, let’s put the top down and enjoy this sunny day,” I said.

I pulled over, put the top down, Marisa took off her shoes, leaned her chair back then put some tunes on the radio; I can see she is excited for an adventure.  Driving west on the Santa Monica Freeway at 4:00 pm on a Friday is not fun, traffic is always heavy, but on Friday it is a congested nightmare, right now I do not care. Marisa is mouthing to the music, waving to the honking horns of the guys in their Porches checking out this beauty with her hair flying, arms waving in the winds, loving all the attention. Cruising North on Pacific Coast highway with the top down, feeling the gentle on-shore breeze coming in from the sea, with this lovely girl at my side is idyllic. The sun is only now beginning it’s descent into the sea casting a warm yellow golden blanket over the constantly moving waters. All I could think of at this time is walking on those golden sands holding the hand of this Angel.

”David, how much farther?” Marisa asked.

”Just about 5 miles dear, it is a long drive but worth it, you will see.”

Just ahead on the cliff above the sea, sat our destination, The Holiday House.  You simply cannot find a restaurant with a more spectacular view, the finest food in Southern California than The Holiday House Malibu. It sits on a cliff above the ocean, below the restaurant down the cliff, they have about 17 hotel rooms, some are fabulous with private patios on the beach, some with river stone fireplaces. What more could you want than to lie in your bed looking at the steady pounding of the waves being absorbed by the sand while a roaring fire is at your side. This place is a favorite getaway for the Hollywood Elites, great food away from prying eyes.  Jack Kennedy used to meet up here with Marilyn Monroe for a romantic evening or more. I was anxious to see the place again and have not been here since I started my own business.

”Mr. D, where have you been? My word it’s been three years, you spending your money in Pasadena now I hear,” boomed Howard,’ the genial owner of this great place.

”No Howard, I started my own company a few years ago, time is a luxury for me. I wanted to show my dear friend Marisa your place; this always has a warm spot in my heart. Howard, can we borrow a couple of towels from the hotel, I want to take a walk on the beach before dinner?” I asked.

”Sure David, I will hold a table for you only until 7:00, we are jammed tonight as usual,” Howard said.

”Thanks, I want a bottle of Mums and two glasses to take down, please?” I asked.

Marisa brought the wine, I picked up the towels then we took the little tram down the cliff to the beach.

”David, this place is incredible, I never heard of it before. Have you ever stayed in the hotel here?” she asked.

”Yes, a couple of times, when I did not feel like driving all the way home late,”  I replied.

”Who did you stay with?” she asked.

”Oh, a couple of young starlets who thought I was an agent, nothing to write about,” I said.

”You’re joking, right?” Marisa asked.

”Yes dearest Marisa, I don’t sleep around,” I said.

”Yea, I bet,” she responded.

”Marisa, leave your shoes here let’s take a walk. The sun will be setting in about 30 minutes, it is a view to remember.  Pour us a glass, take my hand. I have waited for hours to walk and talk with you,” I told her.

”Talk, is that what you want?” she asked.

”Yes, my dear, how else can we get to know each other if we don’t talk. I told you when we first met I wanted to get to know you, and you me,” I said.

”Why, what are your plans?” she asked.

”I have made no plans. If I was able I would rush you off to the church and marry you right now,” I replied.

”David, that is silly, you don’t even know me,” she said.

”That is precisely why we are here my dear,” I said.

”David, why do you call me my dear?” she asked.

”Because you are very dear to me and it is not proper for me to call you ‘my love yet, is it?” I said.

”You are a strange man, David; let’s have a toast, ‘Dreams can come true’,” Marisa said.

”Dear Marisa, that is a lovely thought, salute! Come let’s sit, watch the beauty of this sunset, while I look at you, only then may I determine who is more beautiful, you or the sunset,” I said.

”David, you are crazy, but I like it,” she said.

”Come on we better get our table, this place packs up at 7:00,” I said.

Hi David, you just made it, this party has been driving me crazy for that table, come on I put you center stage, directly in front of the deck, enjoy.

”Oh, my David, you get the royal treatment why?” Marisa asked.

”I found that if you treat others with caring and respect, they in turn do the same to you, that dear one is why my business is growing so fast, I care about the needs of my customers, I consider them friends,” I said.

Mr. D, nice to see you again, we have your favorite halibut tonight, shall I bring that for you both, our server asked?

”Marisa, they have the finest fresh halibut in the world, served with baby red potatoes, do you want that or something else?” I asked.

”David, you order, you know what’s good. I am happy you asked me. Say what happened with Ingles, he was like a sheep when you came in?” she said.

”Dear Marisa, no dearest Marisa, that is an example of treating people with love and respect. I play bridge with some great guys at the club at least three times a week. One of them is the Presiding Judge of the Superior Courts in LA County; another is chief legal counsel for City National Bank. Judge Parker recommended to me that I change my banking to City National, Bradley’s bank. Bradley told me that they are looking for up and coming young men to build business in the city.”  ”Bradley called The Vice President of their head LA office, he asked me to meet with him. I met him this morning after securing a very valuable contract with Northrop Aircraft; he paid off my loan with Wells, then set me up with a $300,000 line of credit. Now, I can expand in a new plant, I will be able to employ over 500 in LA. The city needs jobs so it works for everyone,” I said.

”Good Lord David, all this in one day, God must surely love you,” she said.

”Great things happened to me today, but this is the very best, being here with you, Marisa. I mean that with all my heart, I am so thankful you came with me.” I told her.

”You did not leave me any choice, you said you would sit out in the street honking your horn until I came, did you mean that?” she asked.

”Yes, every word. Enough about me, Marisa my dear tell me about you,” I said.

Mr. David, here is a treat from Howard enjoy. Oh my word my favorite wine, a Stags Leap Cabernet 69, this is too much. That is not all, try this crab dip, Chef made it special, dip this bread then sip the wine.

”David, this is magnificent, oh my word, I never had anything like this,” she said.

”OK, then talk, I want to know every detail of your life, every lover, leave nothing out, I did not, I told you things even my family do not know,” I said.

”David, come sit close to me, I want to say something very private to you,” she said.

I slid my chair up against hers leaning close to her mouth, then she kissed me. At that moment my life changed, I knew I could not live without this Angel in my life.

”I took her hands in mine, staring deep into her eyes and said, I love you.”

”I know David, I feel the same,” she said.

For the next two hours we talked, drank wonderful wine, enjoyed food fit for Kings, and loved each other. Howard came over saying; you both seem to be very happy.

”David, looking at this beautiful gracious lady I can see why.  Don’t be a stranger, bring this lovely lady back, my customers can see what real class is,” Howard said.

”Thank you, we will cherish this night,” I replied.

I left a $50 tip for the servers and chef as we had to leave.

”David, please put the top up as it is getting cold,” she said.

”Sure my love, you said you needed to be home by 9:00, we will be a little late.”

”That’s alright; I told Mother I would be a little late,” she told me.

”Marisa, I, never asked where you live?”

”David, silly man, we are neighbors. You live on Commonwealth, I saw on your account, I live with my parents on Woodleigh.”

”Good Lord, all this time you were my neighbor, and I never saw you, I am going to die,” I said.

”Don’t do that, we are just getting to know each other, I want to know more, thank you for inviting me,” she said. ”David, this is the most exciting night I remember, I will never forget it.”

”Marisa, it is I, who will never forget this night, this day, being with you. I care for you in a way I cannot explain at this time, but the time will come when I can say what is in my heart,” I said.

”David, you do not have to say anything, I understand you, for now just put your arm around me, hold me and dream,” she said.

I drove slowly not wanting this time together to end, thinking where do we go from here? Here I am with the first person in my life that I really want to be with, not just out of passion, but one I can share my dreams, my interests, my desires, and hers.

”Marisa, do you have your own phone line at home?” I asked.

”Yes, I do in my bedroom,” she said.

”Please give me the number I really must talk to you,” I said.

”Here David, I wrote it on this napkin. Drop me off at the top of the drive. I don’t want Dad to come out now. Call me!” she said.

Tonight I have many questions, the most pressing is life. When I was twelve years old, I began to learn how to find truth, not from reading, but from listening, not the words of man, but understanding from above. Whatever my questions or concerns, when I lay my head down at night, I cleared my mind of the garbage that had been implanted this day, and asked for the answer. I knew not who I was asking, I knew the answer would come to me.  Awaking in the morning I understood, I had my answer. We are all connected to this same power, some call it ”common sense”, I call it universal intelligence. The scriptures record it is available for all who seek to understand and gain wisdom, here is the key. It is written that every word from the mouth of man is recorded. From the beginning of time, all is recorded in a matrix of data in the universe. Where?  I do not know, that does not matter. The only thing that matters is that it is, and it is accessible to those who seek. What I seek is my destiny, what was I put on this earth to accomplish? God places doors for us to open, if we do not see those doors, we are lost, like a ship at sea with no rudder.

Most men and women think they know everything, so why should they seek anything?  Well, tonight I had the answer to two of my questions, the first was to have patience, the second was how to find a new factory to move into. I walked up the stairs to my office at 6:30 am Monday morning before any of my employees arrived and wrote a letter to the owner of this building I had leased from him.

Dear Mr. Abrams:

This letter is to inform you of my cancellation of the lease entered into with you for these premises. As you are fully aware of the conditions that exist in this neighborhood are not conducive to operating a business such as mine. During the time we have been here there have been nine (9) burglaries, one (1) armed robbery in which one of my employees was beaten and severely injured, I was shot at and fortunate to be here now.

There is a legal requirement for full disclosure when you enter into a lease agreement. You were aware of these pre-existing conditions and failed to disclose them to me. I have been in touch with your insurance agent who canceled your insurance due to these conditions. I am enclosing the lease payment for the coming month and consider that to be the termination of this lease.  In the event you do not accept this and choose to attempt to hold me to the terms of this agreement, I will file an action for all damages caused to Vantage Industries as a result of your willful failure to disclose the danger that existed in this area.

Sincerely,

David Donaldson

President

Vantage Industries, Inc.

That will conclude this, now to find a suitable location. I put in a phone call to every one of my vendors, including those who sell machinery to let them know I was looking for new facilities. Two days later, I received a call from a man by the name of Simon, he said he owned a laundry property, the building is 18,000 square feet and the land is 80,000 sq. ft.

”Will you be interested?” he asked.

”Simon, yes, very interested, when can I see it?” I said.

”How about today?” he replied.

”Give me a time and address, I will be there,” I told him.

”Come at 11:00, then you can buy my lunch, come to San Fernando Road, you know where the Van De Kamp bakery is on Fletcher Drive?’ ‘he asked.

”Sure, close to my house,” I said.

”Good, go 3 blocks toward Glendale on the right hand side, you cannot miss the big two story brick building, see you then,” he told me.

Cindy, come in please. Mr. D. What are you so happy about this morning, that is a big smile I see? Cindy, everything, everything, first happy you are here helping me, you are appreciated. I am happy for the new contract with Northrup, the new banking arrangements I made with City National, and we are going to get out of this shit building. OH wow, when are we moving? Soon, very soon, I am leaving now to look over a property that was offered to me. It’s in the Glendale area, a very nice neighborhood; hey it’s close to where you live in Eagle Rock. Can I go with you? No Cindy, I need you here, please write up this order for Northrup, have Juan check inventory, order whatever we need. This is a Rush, I promised delivery by Thursday. I will be having lunch with the building owner, and be back by 1:00 latest.

Finding the building was no problem. It is the largest building on the street, I saw a new Cadillac parked in front and knew that it would be Simon, I came early but he was earlier, we are both anxious. Let him be the most anxious that way it will be easier to negotiate terms.

”HI Simon, David Donaldson, great looking building; how long  have you owned it?” I asked.

”Hi David, it’s nice to meet you. For many years, I used to operate one of my laundries here for twenty years. I made a lot of money here, you can too. Come on in, look around. Hope you got a check with you,” Simon said.

”Check, I never pay with check only cash, is that OK?” I said.

”Cash yes, that way don’t pay taxes, spend it on the ladies,” he said.

”Simon you still chasing ladies?” I asked.

”David, the gray hair does not mean it does not work, but I don’t chase, they chase me. When you are old and rich, lots of ladies are looking for a nest,” he said.

”Come on Simon, no more bull, show me around,” I told him.

”I see that big boiler in the rear does it work?” I asked.

”You got a maintenance guy who knows boilers?” he asked.

”No, I have to call Ray at Pacific when I need help, but he is good,” I said.

”If you are going to fire up this big baby you need a man on site, but that is your choice. Start in the back; we have a gated area where your trucks can unload to sort the linens. The crane system over-head for bags works, it might take a little clean up. The boiler room is over here, there are lots of parts in the cabinets you can have. Walk outside, here is our water softener system. It can handle 80,000 lbs. per day, you can add another tank if needed. We have our own gas pumps here with a 10,000 gallon underground tank, why pay those pricks at the stations $1.09 a gallon you can buy direct from Richfield for .60 cents. This property is half in LA, half in Glendale so neither of those pricks knows whose regulations prevail. We fought with them for years, never losing. Let me show you upstairs,” Simon said.

”I used to have an office there, a big window looking out over the plant. The workers knew Simon was watching so they kept busy,” he said.

”Simon, I like the building, what do you want?” I asked.

”David, let’s go to lunch, I like Algemacs up the street, good food and cheap,” he replied.

”Simon, which is best, good food or cheap food?” I asked.

”I like them either the same, don’t be a smart ass or I will up the price. David, I ate here every day for twenty years, oatmeal and toast gives you energy that is all you need. I want you to do the same, with your brains and energy you will be able to pay the rent on time,” he responded.

We entered Algemacs, I see why Simon came here, almost out of another time and place, the staff was cordial, the service rapid, the food quite good, the coffee was from Farmers, it’s great. What more could I want at 6:00 am?

”David, I do not want to have someone in my building for less than 10 years, are you comfortable for that lease term?” he asked.

”Sure Simon, but I would like an option to purchase it also,” I said.

”How much would you pay to purchase?” he asked.

”Not sure, but we can have it appraised then agree to a certain appreciation each year, then when I exercise the option the price is determined,” I replied.

”How much appreciation?” he asked.

”Whatever is fair, the appraisers can give us appreciation over the past 5 years how about we use that?” I said.

”That sounds good, now how much will you pay in rent?” he asked.

”Rents are going for .20 per foot, so you say it is 18000 square feet, rent should be $3600.00 per month, it will take me 2 months to get moved and all the machinery installed, how about you give me the first two months free to allow fix up, we start the rent in October?” I replied.

”David, can you give me $7200 cash today?” he asked.

”Yes I can and will,” I said.

”Then it is a deal, I will bring the lease back here at 4:00 pm, you bring the money, you get the keys today,” he said.

”Simon, you are a good man, we will be great friends, you can teach me a lot; see you at 4:00,” I told him.

Simon drove away. I sat there for a few minutes in silence. All I could think of was thank you, thank you to the Creator who has given me such blessings. My dreams are coming to fruition. I stopped at City National, stamped my Corporate Seal on the documents, told Arthur, I have found and secured the lease on my new factory. Thank you again Arthur, see you soon. Cindy and all my staff were elated to hear the good news about our new home. I told them we will all go visit the site tomorrow and have lunch. Now I have to meet Simon and sign the lease, then it is ours. I will see you in the morning, take care of everything. Fortunately, I still have the cash from Wells to give to Simon, who was waiting at the front door when I drove up.

”David, good, right on time, I like that, means you are a serious man, come upstairs, the lease is prepared. Read it over carefully because once we sign there is no changing it,”  he said.

”Simon, there are two paragraphs I do not agree with, 21 and 37,” I said.

”OK, just cross them out and initial it, I will agree,” he said.

”The only thing that will be added is the option clause, we have to have the appraisal first, but we can indicate the agreement terms and then make a note of the addendum,”Simon said.

”David, you need to sign and initial each page, I will also. There done, where is my money?” he asked.

”Money? You said I have credit with you,” I said.

”David, you are a funny guy, I see that wad in your pocket, give it,” Simon said.

”I watched his eyes as he counted out the pile of hundred dollar bills, seventy two, very good David, here are your keys, to your health and success,” he toasted.

”Simon, ‘le heim’, please come see me as we set up, any advice you give will be appreciated,” I said.

I want to see how long it takes to get to my house from here. Fourteen minutes later I was driving down Commonwealth Ave to my house. This move will save me at least one and a half hours’ drive each way every day.  What I truly want is to phone Marisa, tell her all the good news; she should be home by now.

”Hello, dear, no dearest Marisa,” I said.

”Hi David, I just got home, where are you?  David, my parents are going to Boston on Friday, they have a cottage on the Cape, they will be away for two weeks, they asked me to go with them, I must work,” I said.

”Marisa, I will phone you tomorrow, I want to show you my new factory, just secured it today, ‘till then my dearest’,” I said.

”Come on Cindy, have Lupe answer the phones, you, Juan, Rogelio are going to lunch , we are seeing our new home,” I said.

”Muy Grande, Mr. D this is amazing, we can do lots of business here, bonito. When do we move?  Boss, this is a nice neighborhood, lots of Spanish girls can work here,” Juan said.

”Yes, Juan we are going to expand into many other fields also,”I said.

The next couple of days went perfect, the new Northrup account was installed on time, everyone was happy. Ray called to thank me and increase their order. I received a foolish letter from Abrams, saying his attorney said I must continue to pay him rent until he can find a new tenant. I replied saying if he or his attorney desires to get in a pissing match, please direct all further communication with our attorneys at Latham and Watkins. The mention of that name means he must spend more than he will want to play games with me.  Prince is jumping around like a lonesome child, so I let him come into the house with me. Ah, the blessing of silence, and peace. First a glass of wine, then a phone to call Marisa.

”Hi David, I knew you would call, I am all alone,” Marisa said.

”So am I, don’t know what to do, have any ideas, dearest one?” I said.

”You might come by and pick me up in about thirty minutes; I am going to bathe, see you dear,” she said.

”Dear, now I am dear, I love it. I will be there in twenty to help dry your hair,” I told her.

”David, I don’t need help, bring some good wine,” she said.

A quick shower, shave, change into some casual cotton pants and polo shirt, slipped on my loafers, grabbed a bottle of Raymond Chardonnay, away I went, not to grandma’s house, but to see an angel. Parking at the rear of her house seems like the best idea, neighbors can be nosy, I am sure her mother has friends watching the house, I would. The door is open so I walked into the kitchen, found an opener and poured us each a glass of this fine wine. The house is two stories, I hear Marisa singing upstairs.

”Beautiful voice, you sing like an angel dear, I yelled out. May I come up?” I asked.

”No, I will be down in five minutes if you wait in the family room,” she replied.

I would wait a year for the picture I was to behold coming down the stairs. She walked ever so slowly, each step a dramatic statement allowing me to absorb her beauty. Marisa had on a white long Mexican style dress; her hair was pulled high on her head, tied with a white silk ribbon. On her feet were white sandals with one inch heels, straps wrapping her ankle, long strands of pearls hung from her neck. Enchanted, I rose to greet her, taking her hand in mine, kissing those long delicate fingers. I found no words, could only stare into her eyes.

”David, say something, don’t just stare,” Marisa said.

”Words are not sufficient my dear, only my gaze can take in the feast my eyes behold,” I said.

”David, give me some wine, my you look nice and casual, where are you taking me?” she asked.

”To your castle my queen,” I said.

”David, are you always this funny?” she asked.

”Not funny, dearest Marisa, happy, cheerful and in love. First, we go for the finest appetizers to delight the palate and music for the soul,” I said.

”Where is this?” she asked.

”Be patient my love, I am, you must be also,” I said.

We drove in the entrance to the magnificent Huntington Hotel, one of the truly grand hotels in America, set on over fifty acres of the most prime real estate in the heart of Pasadena surrounded by gardens and lovely trees that would rival the Palace of Versailles.  The entire area is surrounded by old Pasadena grand estates. The valet took our car, we meandered into the lobby, walking down towards the dining rooms, however where I wanted us to be is in the den, a piano player is playing Gershwin tunes, the settees are large red velvet covered sofas, sitting behind elegant carved tables. Silently, a waiter appeared asking if we desired wine or champagne. This is an occasion, please bring us a bottle of Dom Perignon, some pate with hot bread, please.

There were three other couples enjoying their time, we all quickly exchanged greetings. ”I proposed a toast, the same toast Marisa said at the beach, ‘Dreams can come true. So keep dreaming and live well’.

”So, David, what brings you and Marisa here tonight, one of the fellows named Randall asked, he and Joan are on their honeymoon from New York?”

”Good food, music and delightful conversation, what more do you need?” I said.

”Only the money to pay for it,” Randall said.

”Touché, but money always comes to those who seek,” I said.

”David, those are true words, my wife Maggy, this beautiful lady, and I are from Boston, we came out to see if we wanted a second home in this area,” Richard Martinson said.

”Boston, my word, my parents left for Boston today, they have a house on the Cape,” Marisa said.

”Small world, you guys live in Pasadena?” Maggy asked.

”Close, we live in Flintridge, a suburb next door; it is only five miles from here,” I said.

”Flintridge, that is one of the areas, one our partners recommended, that, Pasadena, and Santa Barbara, David, I did not get your last name, ours is Martinson, Richard and Maggy. Our two sons James and Joseph are with Maggy’s mom in Boston. You two have any children?” Richard asked.

”Not yet, we must marry first at least in my faith,” I told him.

”Oh sorry, I assumed you were married, you look so together, like Maggy and I,” he said.

”That is what my toast said, ‘Dreams can come true’. Anything God desires will happen, so be it. Marisa has another semester before she graduates from SC, by then things will be ready,” I said.

”Marisa, what is your major?” Maggy asked.

”It is Sociology, Maggy.”

”How interesting, I was a history major at Dartmouth, but sociology was my love and still is. Oh my God I cannot wait to tell you about our trip to Greece. Marisa, I need to go to the restroom, care to join me?” Maggy asked.

”Marisa, you are stunning, how did you and David meet? Sorry, but I am interested in you both, he seems so confident, reminds me of Richard when I first met him, after two meetings, he asked me to marry him and I did,” she said.

”Really! On our first date David said he wanted to take me and marry me right then,” Marisa said.

”Dear, I need to hear all the details, are you guys having dinner here?” Maggy asked.

”I don’t know what David has in mind, he picked me up, said he was taking me to my castle, wherever that is,” she said.

”Marisa, is David a religious man?” Maggy asked.

”I don’t know if religious is appropriate, he loves God and wants God to love him,” Marisa said.

”Richard, I love Marisa, can we join them for dinner?” Maggy asked.

”Yes, if they invite us. I would enjoy that,” he replied.

”Richard, you said you wanted to see Flintridge, please come to my house have dinner and conversation with us, I guarantee you will enjoy, we will love your company, is that right Marisa?” I said.

”David, I would be overjoyed to be with these wonderful people,” she said.

“Splendid follow us, we will stop at a great little cafe, order some take out and feed the horses,” David said.

”Do you have horses, David?” Maggy asked.

”Yes, Maggy, do you ride?”

”I love to, what a wonderful day this is,” she said.

”Better yet, let’s go to the house where we can have delivery. Randall, nice meeting you, we wish you a happy life together, adios,” David said rising to leave.

We drove back to the house along Linda Vista so they could see the beauty of the area, down Flintridge Avenue to Commonwealth. We pulled into the driveway; Prince came running barking with joy, dad you’re home he was saying to me.

”Marisa, let’s eat out on the gazebo, help me set up, come on guys bring the wines, we will enjoy this lovely night. There are tablecloths and napkins in the buffet’s lower drawer. Richard, take four of these candlesticks out please, I will get the plates, silver and a wine bucket,” David said.

Within fifteen minutes the setting was perfect, as from a romantic film scene. As if on cue, the lights of the car bringing our feast showed on the driveway; please bring all back to the gazebo to set up Greg. Greg started a company, ‘Dinner is Served’, about two years ago, allowing people in the surrounding area to order dinners from any restaurant, his staff picks it up, delivers it hot and serves. All this for a fee of course, but the service is superb; I use him all the time. He knows I tip well that is why he came himself.

”My dear friends, may I say grace?” David asked.

”Yes, David, please, I knew there was something special about you,” Richard commented.

Our Heavenly Father, We come before you tonight with gratitude for your many blessings. I am blessed to have this wonderful couple with us; I am more blessed to have the one I truly love by my side at this time. In his Our Lord Jesus Christ’s name, Amen. Enjoy this meal, this night, and the company we have, salute!

Greg, the soup please, he served the soup telling each this is a cold cucumber delight, enjoy with garlic bread and this Chardonnay. Thanks, Greg, we will serve the rest ourselves, it is appreciated, and you have my card on file. Here is for the special service, I handed him a twenty.

‘Richard, you said your partners recommended this area to look at, who are your partners in California if I may ask?” I said.

”David, certainly, our company, Tech Investments, bought into a company, CSC, Computer Sciences, they are growing rapidly, we are looking for other such investments in California. Most of the aerospace and computer companies are headquartered here so it is natural to have a presence where the action is,” he said.

”Richard, is your background Wall Street?” I asked.

”No, David, I began as a lawyer from Yale; things just happened in my life, the best was meeting Maggy, having her accept me,” he said.

”Maggy, you started to tell me how you met Richard, now fill me in,” Marisa pleaded.

”Pour me some more wine first dear. My parents’ drug me off to DC to attend the Inauguration of President Kennedy, Richard was set as my escort by a friend of our family. Needless to say, we both were struck by the same wave. It was a most amazing night; everyone in Christendom was at the Mayflower hotel for the grand ball. We met President Kennedy, who knew Richard, he had personally invited him to attend, we went off and danced, and danced,

”Frank Sinatra came into the room as we danced and sang a song for us. Remember the song from My Fair Lady; ‘I could have danced all night’. That was the feeling we had, magical as if God meant us to be together. The next time we were together was around Christmas time in NYC; he took us to the most spectacular suite at the Plaza, then on to Winston’s and ordered me this ring. We married that night, not in a sanctioned ceremony, but before God we made our vows,” Maggy told her.

”Oh my God, that is the most romantic thing I can imagine, did your parents know?” she asked.

”No, Marisa, this was between us and God. The formal ceremony came the following summer, then off to Greece for our Odyssey,” Maggy said.

”Tell me, I simply must know the details, my dream has been to follow the journey of Odysseus,” Marisa said.

”Really, what a coincidence, that was our dream which we lived,” Maggy stated.

”David, this roast duck is fantastic, where did you get it,” Richard asked.

”My favorite restaurant in Pasadena, the best chef in the city,” I said.

”You must take us and introduce us before we leave,” Richard said.

”How long you going to be here?” David asked.

”Probably leave on Monday or Tuesday depending, we want to fly up to Santa Barbara to look around,” Richard said.

”Fly, I have a Cessna 182 sitting out at Burbank, I can fly you guys,” David said.

”David, this is too many coincidences, we have a Cessna 310 at Burbank, which is how we got here, how long have you been a pilot, David?” Richard asked.

”Three years now, I love to ski, so I bought a condo in Mammoth Lakes. It takes too long to drive so I bought a plane then learned how to fly,” I said.

”I love you, you sound like me. Open that red wine and it will accompany this duck, we will have dessert inside,” Richard said.

”First, tell us about Greece,” Marisa said.

”David, it’s getting chilly, let’s finish inside by the fire on that comfortable sofa, please,” Marisa said.

”OK my love, blow out the candles, bring the wine, inside we go. Go to your left, past the pool to the deck, there is an entry to the living room. Off with your shoes, no shoes inside this room, I will bring some pillows, another bottle of wine then we are ready to travel to the Greek Islands,” David said.

For the next two hours Marisa and I held hands listening intently as Maggy recalled every moment of their personal Odyssey. She only paused to drink a little wine, take a slice of the apples we had cut, She spoke with such passion, both Marisa and I felt as if we were there, Marisa was in tears.

”Marisa, why the tears my love?” David asked.

”I do not know David; her story just affects me somehow,”  she said.

”Richard, you are the ‘Sebontes’,” David declared.

”David, how in the world would you know that word and say that?” Richard demanded.

”I have many Greek customers; they own restaurants, one of them my good friend, George, told me to contact his friend Alexios, who owns Athens in Hollywood. I happened to be in the area one day, walked in and asked for Alexios. A large man came out and asked why you are here? I said a Greek friend told me to visit you. You are the ‘Sebontes’, Apostoles sent you?  No, Alexios, George from Studio City asked me to visit, I told him. Sit down David, you made my heart beat so fast I almost fainted, he said. I have been expecting a young man like you for several years now I thought you were him. When Maggy said the name Apostoles, it fit with what Alexios said,”  David replied.

”David, Marisa, our meeting was not by chance, this is impossible, God has a purpose for us to be together, we will learn what in due time. David, can we have some tea and the dessert you mentioned, we must rest tonight. Promise me, you will fly to Santa Barbara in the morning with us; we have a bungalow at the Biltmore. There is plenty of room for us all,” Richard requested.

”Marisa, you game?” David asked.

”Yes, dear, it sounds fun,” she said.

”Richard, we will be delighted to go with you, what time?” David asked.

”Let’s leave early, how about we pick you up at nine?” Richard said.

The dessert will be ready now, I had to heat it, you guys sit still I will bring it with a pot of tea.

”Marisa, David is very lucky to have found you, you are special, I can tell he is committed to you,” Maggy said.

”Thank you, Maggy; I do love him so, kind of scary how things work out,” she said.

”Trust your heart dear, that is what is real, the rest is an illusion,” Maggy said.

”Thank you both for the wonderful meal and hospitality, see you in the morning,” Richard said as he hugged us both.

”David, thank you for this night, I could not imagine a better time with nicer people. You and Richard seem to be somehow joined, what was that about the Sebontes?” Marisa asked.

”In Greek, Sebontes, refers to, ”The Worshipful Ones” kind of like someone who is sent by God,” I said.

”How do you know that?” she asked.

”Because I was curious when Alexios asked me if I was him, I saw how it affected him, so I looked it up. There is much more about Richard and Maggy’s trip than we understand at this time,” I said.

”David, I think we were meant to meet them, there is a reason for that we will find out. Now, I cannot wait till tomorrow to hear more, I love Maggy, she is so intelligent, so beautiful and real, not pretentious as one coming from a family of great wealth,”  Marisa said.

”Dearest Marisa, you are describing yourself do you realize it?” I said.

”Oh David, I do love you.please take me home, pick me up at 8:00 am so we can have breakfast together,” Marisa asked.

It was 11:50 pm when I drove Marisa home, we both desired to be together this night, but it is not right yet. We could only hold, kiss and dream.

Saturday morning the glorious sun rose at 5:45 am adding its beauty to the love I feel in my heart. The horses are calling me, they are forever hungry, which is good, means they are in good health and content, same with Prince, I had let him sleep with me last night because I have not given him enough attention, I do not want him to get jealous of Marisa. Come my boys, I called; both Adobe and Racine were ready to run, kicking up their heels like young boys at play. Today, you both get extra sweet feed, I will be gone tonight so here is extra feed, don’t gorge yourself.

Time, that strange unknown force goes slow when you want it to speed up, then rapidly when you want it to slow down. I could not wait for 8:00 and left at 7:30 to pick up my love, my life. Marisa as I was ready to go, she came out of the door the moment I pulled in the driveway carrying a small overnight bag.

”Good morning my beautiful love, I waited for hours to see you,” I said.

”David, you say the silliest things, do I look alright?” she asked.

”Look alright? No, you look sensational as always, you are a feast for my senses, my soul sings when you are near, listen to it, put your head on my chest,” I said.

”Come on silly; let me fix breakfast, should we make something for them?” Marisa asked.

”We can make it, but they will most likely have had breakfast at the hotel,” I said.

”What should I make?” she asked.

”Whatever you like, pancakes for me and Richard, some sausage with boiled eggs, I will chop some fruit, make the coffee. That will hold us until the Biltmore, have you been there?” I said.

”Yes David, I was at a friend’s wedding there, but I do not want mine there, it must be someplace special,” she said.

”It will be extraordinary my dear, that I promise,” I said.

”David, you have not hugged me this morning, come here my love,” she said.

”Now! I am your love?” I asked.

”Yes, let me show you big boy,” she said.

”Marisa, my heart will explode, my stomach cannot wait, let’s eat before I forget my vows,” I said.

”What vows, you did not tell me?” she asked.

”My vow to wait until it is proper to be with you,” I said.

”Thank you love, I know what you mean, I appreciate it, you have honor, I know you truly love me not just my body,” she said.

”I love both, body and soul my darling,” I said.

”David, they are here. I see their car pull in, go to the door,” Marisa said.

”Good morning Maggy, you cannot know how I missed you last night,” Marisa spoke out.

The girls hugged and kissed like long-lost sisters.

”Come dearest we are making your breakfast, did you eat yet?” Marisa asked.

”No, little sis, we wanted to be with you,” Maggy said.

”Maggy, I never had a sister, even though I always wanted one, now I feel I found my sister,” Marisa said.

”Marisa, my sweet, I am that sister,  let the men feed us. We deserve their attention,” Maggy said.

”David, can we dine on that rear patio?” Maggy asked.

”Go, little ones, we bring your feast, then you shall give us ours, fair?” David said.

”Richard, looks like we are assigned to cook, never mind I enjoy it. If you do the pancakes, I will do the eggs and sausage. The fruit is ready; I will take it out to our ladies with juice from our trees,” David said.

”Maggy, David really loves you guys, he thinks God meant us to meet, so do I,” Marisa said.

”Wow, I think the same, I told Richard we seem connected somehow. Here the men come, look pretty,” Maggy said.

”How do you do that?” Marisa asked.

”Come on girl, your mama taught you something or else you could not look so fascinating,” Maggy told her.

”Fascinating? I love it, you are so dear,” Marisa said.

”Dear ladies, enjoy the fruits of our labor for you,”  David said with a smile.

”David, you remind me of a poet I once knew, sitting beside you now, Richard, The Bard.  Lord, you two are so alike. Marisa, do not let this man go, he is a keeper,” Maggy said.

”I do not intend to Maggy, never.”  Marisa said.

”Richard, what airplane are we taking, mine or yours?” David asked.

”David, have you flown a twin?” Richard asked.

”No, I am taking my multi engine now,” I said.

”You fly in the right seat then. Everyone in?” Richard said.

”David, call ground for the runway,” he said.

Ground control, this is twin Cessna 99Zulu ready to depart. We received a clearance on runway 15, for immediate departure.

”Smooth trip girls, get your bag, I will go fetch us a car,” Richard said.

”Yes, boss, yes boss,” Maggy teased.

”David, you know how to get to get to the Biltmore?” Richard asked.

”Yes, just go south past town, then follow Cabrillo Drive, it is about 15 miles down to Montecito,” I said.

”Why don’t you drive, Maggy and I can look around?” Richard asked.

”Sure, do you want to go directly to the resort or look around Montecito, that is the best area up here, town is not much,” I said.

”David, how about we go to the hotel, I would like to swim in the pool, have some sun relax a while?” Maggy asked.

”I like that also,” Marisa chimed in.

Not much to the town, the beaches are nice if you like the view of offshore oil wells. We are in Montecito now, much nicer, they have large Mediterranean estates here, like Pasadena and Flintridge, but on the Ocean. Here is The Biltmore, looks kind of like the Huntington with a view of the sea, very lovely, did you say we have a bungalow, Marisa asked?

”David, Marisa, this will be your room is this OK?” Richard said.

”Looks great Richard, we will be out in a few.” David replied.

”David, there is only one bed in here,” Marisa said.

”We only need one, it is Queen size, looks comfortable, here jump on,” I said.

”I love it, dearest remember your vows,” Marisa said.

”My dearest one, I would never forget, you are much too important to me, I would never take advantage of you,” I said.

”David my love, it is not you I am worried about,” she said.

”Go change, I cannot wait to see you in a bikini,” I said.

”How do you know I brought a bikini?” she asked.

”Good guess, there are robes in the bath, throw one out to me, please. Wow, keep the robe on dear or every man in the hotel will be chasing after you, I don’t feel like fighting,” David said.

”Don’t be silly, how do I look?” she asked.

”Ravishing, my dear,” I said.

”Richard, the room is perfect, thank you,” Marisa said as she hugged him.

”Hey baby, that’s my man, you have your own,” Maggy laughed, happy to have someone to play with.

The pool attendant brought towels then set up 4 chaise lounges for us, do you want anything to drink he asked? Yes, a pitcher of iced tea, ask them to make it with a mix of green and jasmine, please, Maggy requested. Marisa, are you going to jump in or sit here and bake? Come on, Maggy pleaded. We all played in the water for an hour, then the desire for ice tea overcame us. Oh, that is so good, I feel renewed.

”Maggy, as beautiful as you are, I doubt you need to renew anything,” David said..

”David, I want to ask you a question, if it is too personal, I will understand,” Richard said.

”Shoot Richard; there is nothing between us too personal,” I said.

”Are you a religious man?” he asked.

”Depends on your definition of religious, I never cared for that word myself as it says nothing. Religion is a word to describe what? In the scripture, religion is only found I believe two times, neither time indicated any form of practice or belief. Religion is man’s design to keep people under control. So, I am not religious. I am simply a man who believes in God the Creator of all and Jesus Christ his son sent to earth to show us the path to salvation.’ David said.

”So what is the path you see?” he asked.

”It is the narrow path that few will pass. I prefer to follow the teachings of Christ; he said ‘my father does not reside in a house built by man’. To my thinking that is concise as he stated, he resides in those who love him.  There is the big rub most do not understand, love that tangled word, which is thrown around like leaves in the wind. Christ describes love in this manner, ‘If you love me do as I say’,” David replied.

”I understand, but what is the narrow path you refer to?” he asked.

”This is going far out there, I have had this conversation with several Pastors who cannot grasp what I am saying, too difficult to preach, most don’t want this kind of commitment. Richard, did you play sports in school?” David said.

”Yes, in High School and two years at Duke, I played football,” Richard said.

”Good, then you will understand me some; I also played football, every team I was on each candidate had to be tested; only the best, those who were dedicated could play on a varsity team. Now, what team is more important, a school team or God’s team? That would indicate a more thorough testing will take place, I believe this life is our test, Christ said, the road is narrow and few will pass. The key is found later when Christ tells his disciples, ‘In my father’s house are many mansions’. I believe his meaning is this; his team will fill those mansions, therefore only the best, those that endure to the end will pass through that gate. If you love me, do as I say,” I said.

”David, I asked if you were religious, never expecting an answer so compelling. You care, don’t you?” he said.

”Very much, Richard, very much,” I said.

”Girls, if you would  like to go to the salon to do your hair? Go ahead, I wish to talk more to David, meet us here and we will have lunch. David, walk on the beach with me, I need to reflect on all you said it fascinates me. My father is a Methodist pastor who now is part of the General Conference, in all my years I never heard anyone simplify life as you just did. Let me ask this, please, the way you speak, the thoughts you express do not seem to be from one who only wants to build a business to make money, what dreams do you have, that you can share? I recall the toast you made, dreams can come true,” Richard said.

”Richard, to be honest with you, the only dream I now have is to marry Marisa, then I will be able to do whatever God has destined for me, he leads, I follow,” I said.

”David, please understand, you will know more tonight when we can speak, but I see something, a big event that involves you and I, just a feeling, but we both understand that our meeting is not by chance, but the hand of God moving upon us,” he said. ”You studied law but changed your major before graduating, why David?”

”Life got in the way, every turn in our life, every choice has an effect, like the current in a river, once caught up in that current it determines where you go,” I said.

”David, do you believe that God directs your life?” he asked.

”No, he merely opens doors, it is up to you to enter or not, if you do not see the door, you are lost. Faith is listening to your heart speak, we all instinctively know right from wrong, but man is capable of rationalization, he can create his own, right. What he is doing is listening to the wrong voice, one that compels him to go against what he knows as truth.  The truth is we must go get our ladies before someone leads them astray,” I said.

”David, you jest,” he said.

”Yes, life needs levity there is enough drama every day to deal with,” I said.

Marisa was only then walking to the pool area wearing her robe, looking like a star in the heavens lighting up my world.

”Dear one, I miss you when you are gone but an hour, our time together is so precious I do not want to miss a minute. Let’s have lunch, is Maggy finished?” David asked.

”Yes, dear, she went to put a cover-up on, here she comes,” Marisa said.

”David, we can dine on the patio here under this tree, is that OK with you?” Marisa asked.

”My, you look lovely Maggy, more beautiful every second, how did Richard find such a treasure?” David asked.

”He was lucky, but so am I, so are you, David, Marisa is a rose among the thorns,” she said.

Our server asked if we desired some wine. I would like a mimosa, how about you Marisa?

”Make it four, Richard called out; bring us some boiled shrimp to start, please. I had a long conversation with David. My mind is still trying to grasp the wisdom he spoke along with the understanding of God’s words. Please, dear ladies, there is one more thing I wish to speak of with David, I do not mean to be so serious, is this alright with you both?” Richard asked.

”We are serious women, partners in the journey of life my love,” Maggy replied.

”David, you spoke of the test, trial if I may of life, which seemed to indicate that there is life and purpose after death,” he asked.

”First, a toast; Salute to you and Maggy, our lives have changed since we met, I love you both,” David said.

”The same to you and Marisa, we love you also,” Richard said.

”Here is my understanding of life after death?  No, I do not believe in life after death,” David said.

”OH my God, then you don’t believe in God’s word,” Maggy almost shouted.

”Dear one, hear me out, I had not concluded. I do not believe in death, only life,” I said.

”How so David? Richard asked.”

”Which is you the child of God, is it your physical body, the shell or your spiritual soul?  God as spirit does not die; we as spirit do not die; only the shell is discarded much as the crab can discard his shell to seek a new one. When Christ speaks of eternal life or eternal damnation, he is telling us, do as I say, be on my team and have eternal life. I do not believe this means existing or not existing, it means as he said, life.”

”What is life? Is it existing or living? Is the drunken bum on the street living? No, he simply exists, that is not life. Life is what we have now, right here, loving, enjoying each other and the blessings God has provided, that is life. I believe that is what he is saying. Death is the opposite of life; it has to exist in the same or worse conditions for eternity as the bums on the street, who in their right mind would desire that? Because, most do not hear, or understand the word, it is not taught in most churches, many are lost or succumb to temptation. Did not Christ say; ‘Lead me not unto temptation, but deliver me from evil’. Nothing is like it seems my dearest friends and my love. The wonderful thing is that all life is simple, follow the rules. In the Old Testament under the Law, it was direct, follow the laws. Christ did not alter the law, he merely condensed it. Now, let us dine, enough serious talk, it is time for love and fun,” David said.

”Dearest Maggy, I do not want to look around Santa Barbara for a house, if we are going to have a second home in California, I wish to live near David and Marisa, our new family,” Richard stated.

”Oh Richard, I am so glad you said that, I feel the same, Marisa is my sister who I cannot live without, David is the brother I never had,” Maggy said.

Then it is settled, we will spend this day and night in leisure, loving and growing together, no cares today or tomorrow.

”Maggy, please tell me more about your trip to Greece, I must know,” Marisa pleaded.

”First, another mimosa and our food, I am famished. We will talk about that in our bungalow with a bottle of Ouzo to set the mood,” Maggy said.”Now, Marisa has me thinking Greek, order me some fish like Soros prepared, please honey.”

”Sounds good, you guys up for some Greek style soup and fish?” Richard asked.

Our server came on my beckoning; please ask the chef if he will prepare us a Greek feast, some soup, flatbreads, and then fish prepared as the Greeks, please. Within ten minutes out came the Chef, a large Greek looking individual with happy eyes.

”Where are the Greeks?” Chef asked.

”Hi Chef, I am Richard, my wife Maggy, our family David and Marisa, we are the Greeks. We took a journey to follow the path of the King Odysseus, we dined with his family,” I said.

”Who did you see and where?” Chef wanted to know.

”Apostolos, in Kefalonia,” Richard said.

”Dear God, you are them, ‘The Sebontes’!  Let me prepare the feast, are you staying at the hotel?” Chef asked.

”Yes, in the Bungalow,” Richard said.

May I come and see you tonight? I bring food and Ouzo for us. He went around the table kissing each other as if we were his family from his homeland.

What a touching incredible day this is.

”Marisa, you see what you have begun, the Greeks will never leave you alone, you are their family now. I doubt when you met David you dreamed your life would become so involved?” Richard said.

”No, I did not,” Marisa cried, tears running down her face.

”Marisa honey, why the tears, come here baby?”  I asked.  I took her in my arms, she sobbed heavily.

”David, I don’t know, all this is so wonderful, so mysterious, it frightens me how I feel, may we go to our room now?” Marisa asked.

”Guys we will be right back, Marisa wants to freshen up,” I said.

”David, lay with me for a moment, put your arms around me, is this all real, do you really love me this much?” Marisa asked.

”My darling, there is no way I can measure my love for you, other than to say, next to my love for God, it is you and only you, forever,” I said.

”My God, I only dreamed of being loved like this, but never believed it possible, I have never seen such love, such truth, such life as I see in you and these people who seem to be attached to you. I am afraid it is but a dream, I will wake and you are gone,” she said.

”My love, I will never be gone, you are in my soul, locked with this Golden Key only you can open,”  I told her.

We lay embraced, kissing each other with a passion I have never understood or experienced before now. Come my love, wash your face, let’s have our feast.  We returned as Chef was with the servers, laying out our feast, his eyes reflected the joy he felt with us. He is family now.

”Marisa, you look extraordinary, that smile would light the world, I see love in the air,” Maggy exclaimed.

”Oh Maggy, I love you so, kiss me and pinch me so I know this is real,” Marisa said.

Chef, brought out the glasses, small shot glasses, poured, first we toast, ‘To the Pilgrims’, he shouted, we downed the Ouzo, which blasted like fire water down our throats. Chef was like a father looking over his flock as he oversaw each serving and awaited the approval of his children. We were like little ones, happy, grateful for all this loving attention.  Chef, made one last toast, ‘To my family, do not stay away’, we downed Ouzo, which by now was mild.  We all hugged and kissed as family did, then went with great cheer to our nest. Maggy asked if we mind that she and Richard want to take a little nap. That sounds like a great idea. Knock, when you get up.

”Honey, hold me tight, this seems like a dream,” Maggy said.

”You are so correct, my love, more than a dream, I feel. Did you hear what David said, he said, ‘nothing is as it seems’. Those very words I said to you and everyone I know since the day I was twelve years of age, how is it that those words came from him here and now? We traveled 3000 miles to look in a mirror. When he speaks, it is as if he sees my thoughts or feels them, I know not which, but it is scary in a way,” Richard said.

”You scared; I do not for a moment believe that, Richard,” Maggy said.

”Honey, not that kind of scared, just the unknown hand of God moving in a way I do not yet understand. We had some very strange experiences in the last five years, but this might be the strangest. David speaks as a teacher, but does not know it, he only speaks words and thoughts that suddenly come to him. I doubt he has ever uttered such before. It is the gift of understanding, not knowledge as there is no knowledge I am aware of that equals what he said, yet I feel it is true. This man has a greater task before him than operating a business in LA, what it is I do not know, but it involves you and me,”  Richard said.

”Good morning princess, I said as Maggy came out, dressed looking as if she was going to meet the queen, God you are beautiful, Richard won the lottery,” David told her.

”No flattery David, we both won as have you. Where is Marisa, my sister?” she asked.

”Showering, she will be ready shortly,” I said.

We said adios to the Biltmore at precisely 7:15 am and touched down in Burbank at 9:17 am; from there it only took 35 minutes to arrive at my house. Prince was going nuts trying to enter the car. Wait boy, I will feed you. Food is not what he wanted, it was attention. The horses were calling and kicking on the fence gate, desperate to be fed, and say hello.

Animals can form loving bonds as can we. When I opened the garage door, they saw me and began pushing each other aside to get first love. Racine rubbed his face against my head then licked my ear, yes, my boy I love you, just then Adobe kicked Racine, saying get out of my way. I opened the gate laughing as both horses stood on their rear legs waving the hooves at me, come on food time boys.

”Marisa, help me with these crazy guys, they want to smell you. Both steeds gave Marisa the once over rubbing her arms with their face, pushing her back toward the barn. Be careful my love, these are stallions they love you,” David said.

”David, there are too many boys around here, why don’t you have mares, or at least a female dog?” Marisa asked.

Maggy and Richard stood by laughing at the scene before them. At last all are content, we can have our breakfast. Ladies, you make breakfast for us, Richard and I have some things to discuss, please. What do you want to eat?  Surprise us my love, we will be out by the pool.

”Richard, you asked me many questions, I answered all, now I have a few for you. I found it very troubling when Maggy said your life had been threatened, you were with Kennedy, you hold some information that powerful people are desperate to find. This is a lot to put my arms around, can I help you?” David asked.

”David, let me begin with a question? Are you political, do you follow politics?” Richard asked.

”Richard, I deal with Politics every morning and every evening, I clean the stalls of my horses, I pick up the leavings from my dog. That is Politics, it is all shit. I pick up horse shit and use it to fertilize my gardens and trees, which is the only value of horseshit. Every politician alive is full of horseshit, but not suitable even to put in the garden, no value whatsoever. Does that answer the question?”  I said.

”My Lord David, you are a passionate man. You have friends in Politics, don’t you?” he asked.

”I know and deal with people in politics, but do not consider them friends. Friends are special people as you and Maggy are to us. Friends are those you can share love with, no politician alive even understands what love is unless it is money, which they understand and love. OK my friend tell me your story, I am here to help,” I said.

”David, it all started in 1960, during summer break, I was in my second year at Duke. My father came to me with a letter, saying I had been accepted to Yale Law School and would begin there in the fall. I said I did not apply to Yale and have no desire for the law. He told me that a family friend, we call him Uncle Stan, had arranged this and was paying for it. This Uncle Stan is not an Uncle, but a friend of my father for many years. He was the head of a very large bank, I mean a very large Wall Street Bank with vast resources. Not only did he arrange for me to attend Yale Law, he provided me with a house in New Haven. The house was larger, grander than my family home, completely lavishly furnished. Why would a student need these surroundings?  Upon my registration, the Dean of the Law School asked to meet with me. He explained that Stan was a very important alumni of Yale Law; I would be given special attention. I was only 20 years old; can you imagine my discomfort and bewilderment?”

”The first week of classes, my Professor assigned the class a mock case; we were to write a paper on how to retain a family farm that a city was trying to seize by eminent domain. Reading the file given, I thought there was no way in the court system for this family to prevail; they were former slaves who had been granted property after the Civil War. I wrote the only way for this family to prevail would be public opinion turning against the City and developers, we would organize all the colored civil rights groups, Martin Luther King and many others, get the political campaign of Kennedy to speak out on behalf of the colored, I felt they would be willing as this was September 1960 during the height of the presidential campaign. Organize a mass rally in the City, bring in newspapers and TV from around the globe to cover the demonstration, the City would cave under this pressure. This was not as told a mock case, but a real case; it was assigned to me to lead,”

”This changed my life. I met with the Kennedys both Jack and Robert, they took me to the family compound in Hyannis Port to meet their father Joseph and the rest of the family. This was to be the first of several meetings. Let me go back to the serious beginning, it was at the Inauguration of President Kennedy, who had personally invited me and where I met my bride, Maggy Drexal, that the intrigue began. A woman and her escort came to my table, I was seated with the Drexal family, who are also a powerful Wall Street family. This lady came to see me. She said Jack told her to say hello as I was a special friend. This lady, named Mary Pinochet Meyer, then went to the table next to us where Katherine Graham, owner of the Washington Post among other publications was seated, they were friends. Mr. Drexal asked why I was speaking to this lady. Do I know her? I said no, never heard of her. Then why did she come to you, he asked?  She told me Jack, I suppose she meant The President, asked her to say hello. Richard, be careful, she is the ex-wife of Cord Meyer a high-ranking CIA official, a very dangerous man,”

”Later that evening a man came to meet Mr. Drexal; his name was McBundy, another very high CIA official who was to be named Kennedy’s National Security Adviser. Bundy turned to me asking how I knew Mary Meyer and why President Kennedy invited me a student to his inauguration. I told him I had helped him in some way in his campaign, I said I wrote a paper that helped him in the South. He asked me to bring that paper to him, gave me his card then left. Drexal was furious, what did Bundy want with you? He told me, never meet with him, do not answer any of his calls,” Richard said.  David, it turns out Mary Pinochet Meyer was having an affair with Kennedy, she held the secrets, the most vital secrets the CIA must keep away from Kennedy. Shortly after that my house in New Haven was broken into, later my office in Alexandria was broken into, my security people got a photo of the man, we, this would take weeks to explain, I will just provide highlights today, my security group ID this man as CIA working under Cord Meyer.  He believed Mary had passed a vital book, her diary to me, to give to the President, they would never allow that.”

”How did you a first year student at Yale law have a security team?”  I asked.

”David, as I said this story is too involved for today, the girls will be here soon, let me tell you the importance of this. I believe Jack Kennedy and Robert Kennedy were killed to prevent them from getting their hands on this book, which they could use to destroy many powerful families,” he said.

”Richard, do you have this book?” I asked.

”It has been placed where it will not be found until the time is right,” he said.

”Richard, you are right, this is too much to absorb at this time, we will keep in touch, you can brief me how I can help. Are you or Maggy in any danger at this time?” I asked.

”No, they do not believe I hold this, they were told I am on their side,” he said.

”Who is their?” I asked.

”That will come later. Let us have breakfast then take us for a tour to look for a house near you,” Richard said.

Ladies, David is going to show us around the area, help us find a suitable property for our sons to thrive in.

”Richard, let’s take the Mustang, we can put the top down, girls in the back, boys in front,” I said.

”Why David?” Marisa asked.

”So we can look around and not be distracted by your beauty dear ladies,”I said.

The first thing to determine is location, Flintridge sits between two mountain ranges, from the tops down to the valley. So do you desire a home on the top with a view from the desert to the sea, or be in the flats as mine with views of the mountains with more flat usable land?

”Start at the top and work down,” Richard said.

Sure, we drove up Commonwealth to Flintridge Ave then up Highland to the top.

”David, the homes are lovely here, look at this view, is that the Rose Bowl over there?” Richard asked.

”Yes, the Bowl and golf course. Pasadena is the city to the right. The mountains to the front are the San Gabriel’s, it snows here in the winter at higher elevations, we have ski resorts less than an hour’s drive. The riding trails run through this entire area from the valley to the top of the mountains. That is JPL over there; they run our space program; they are affiliated with NASA and CalTech, which is over in Pasadena,” I said. ” If you are looking for brains to start up new tech businesses, CalTech brought us, Einstein. The schools have their own school district. It is the best in California, small, well-funded with local control. All of these houses are on at least 40,000 sq. ft. lots, which is the minimum allowed in Flintridge; some are up to six acres. My house is 1 and 3/4 acre.”

”David, I saw a property on the street you first turned on, was it Flintridge Ave?” Maggy asked.

”Yes, Maggy, which house,” I asked.

”I am not certain, but there were large iron gates and a drive that looked a half mile long,” Maggy said.

”I know that house and the lady, she is a widow, who lives there, I always wanted to buy the house, she told me she would not sell it while she is alive,” David replied

”That property is one of the six-acre ones, a grand Mediterranean estate, with tennis courts, stable area and eight-car garage, want to see it, she loves company, I stop by often when I am riding my horse to say hello?” David asked.

”Would she allow us in?” Maggy asked.

”Maggy, dear I said she knows me, sure she will,” I said.

”Does she have children?” Maggy asked.

”Yes, six if I recall, all grown with their own family,” David said.

”David, the gates are closed how do you call her?” Richard asked.

”We open the gates my dear and drive up. Richard, you open that side, these gates are at least 15 feet high and 10 feet wide each, bet they weigh over a ton apiece. Come my babe, this is one of her dogs, they love Prince,” David said.

Girls, come say hello to a grand lady.

”Hello momma, this is Marisa, I am Maggy, Richard’s wife. Thank you for letting us see this fantastic home,” Maggy said.

”Papa built it himself, Maggy back in twenty five. There were only five houses in the whole area when we came. Papa pitched a tent right up there, we stayed on weekends watching over the building, five boys and a girl, with papa and I crowded into that tent, but we were happy. My children were raised here.”

”I can see why you love it, the gardens are simply divine did he plant them?” Maggy asked.

”Yes, see over there, Papa had his own greenhouse, raised from seeds. Even with the hundreds of trees on the property, Papa never allowed a leaf to lay on the ground. He insisted it be like the floors in our house, clean, he needed four workers on staff at all times.You all go look around, the house is open, bring me those peaches.”

”Yes, Momma,” I said.

”Maggy, start here, walk over the bridge, this separates the Azaleas gardens from the Camellias,” David said.

”Dear Lord, Richard, there must be five hundred Azaleas and even more Camellias here. This is like a museum for flowers, I have never even in the public gardens seen such beauty, how could this be?” Maggy asked.

”See the water in the stream the bridge crosses, that is how, the water, also the love given by Papa. Follow the stream my dear friends, all the way down to the rear where it joins another stream, I told you this area is a natural Aquifer, this road leads from the entrance at the gates, forks to the garages or to the rear of the property. Over to the left are the tennis courts, all their children are accomplished players, the lawns are large enough to host a football game or an Olympic event. Papa did not approve of pools; he felt that people spread germs through water, which is why in the great house there are no tubs, only showers, 6 of them,” David said.

”Let’s go inside, David, is it OK?” Marisa asked.

”Momma said OK as long as I bring the peaches, we will later. We should begin at the entry of this marvelous estate; there is no other way to see its beauty. Enter, Momma told me she and Papa traveled to Italy to find the handmade tiles that you see. Even the lighting fixtures of solid bronze are imported. Every stone in the fireplaces were cut to order; they had an entire ship laden with materials to build this home. The ceiling in this room they call the music room is over 20 feet high, the entire structure is trimmed in solid gold leaf. Papa loved music; he had an organ room constructed with a pipe organ larger than the one in his church,” David said.

”David, I need to see no more, ask momma how we can or what we must pay to purchase this most incredible home, no price will be too high,” Richard said.

”You all stay here, let me speak to her. We must go now. I will let you know why at the house. Dear Momma, I will return in thirty minutes with your peaches,” David said.  ”Come on my loves, we must go to the house.”

”David, what is that all about,”  Maggy asked.

”Come dear help me pick some peaches I will tell you, first I need to take these to Momma. Marisa my love, please make some tea, I will be back soon Momma wants to talk to me alone,” David said.

When I returned Marisa, Maggy and Richard were sitting on the patio overlooking the pool, the property lights were on and the mood was festive. Hi my love, your knight returns.

”So, what was that all about?” Maggy asked.

”Your house, I said. Momma K, said she has directed in her will that no one, even family members may purchase or occupy her house after she departs this earth, except me. Do not ask me why, that is for her only, she is leaving soon, her words. She has told her sons to arrange for me to buy this house upon her departure. If you desire, I will purchase the property, then sell it to you, is that agreed?  If you do not agree I will buy it for me and Marisa,” I said.

”David, what is the price?” Richard asked.

”The price is not important, this property has no equal, I will pay whatever is asked,” I said.

”David, and my dearest sister, we must leave you now, we are flying back early in the morning, we have details to take care of,”  Richard said.

”Richard, Maggy, it has been such a joy to both of us being with you..” I said., I dread your leaving, when will we see you again?” David asked.

”Soon David, not sure, you know the pressure of business and children, their school will be starting soon, we will keep in touch. That is a promise. If you hear any word on that house or another similar call to us, we will fly right out, till then may God continue to bless you and grant your dream,” Richard said.

Marisa is in tears, come little sister don’t cry we love you; this is not goodbye, only ‘Au Revoir. Watching their car back out of the drive, I see that Maggy also has tears running down her face.

”David, my love, I need to go home now, my parents return tonight,” Marisa said.

”First our family leaves, now my only love leaves me, how can this be?” I asked.

”David, I know you jest, call me tomorrow, I love you madly,” she said.

Dropping off Marisa left me with mixed feelings, first anguish at seeing her walk into that house without me by her side, and great joy as I knew we would soon be together forever.

 

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PREVEIW: TOMORROW

PREVEIW: TOMORROW

 

 

TOMORROW

Part 3 of The Exempt Trilogy

Chapter 1                Intrigue

Time never ceases the march to the morrow, wondering what my meeting with Mary Pinochet Meyer will bring. Mary seems to me to be the key to unlock all those doors that remain hidden from view. Her ex-husband, Cord Meyer, is a top CIA Official heading up the Mockingbird Program that allows the CIA to control all media, both visual and print, therefore controlling the people and their perception of reality. Mary was also involved with President Kennedy; the secrets she holds seem to be the forefront of all the intrigue going on in DC and involving me. We left our betrothal party, which had to have been the event of the year in Boston. Maggy told her mother she would drive me back to the hotel, and we left; father and mom said they would be along soon.

“Richard, you seem deep in thought, what is it?” Maggy asked.

“Oh, nothing dearest, a meeting Monday morning about business,” I said.

“Business, on Monday here in Boston with who is it Terdayne?” she asked.

“No, dearest, something else,” I said.

“At MIT, I can go with you?” she asked.

“No dear, you cannot attend. Tomorrow is the only time I can see this person in Boston,” I said.

“What person, don’t keep secrets from me, is this person a girl?” she asked.

“My darling, a matter involving the Kennedys, they ask to keep it confidential, please do not tell anyone of this,” I said.

“You have too many secrets, in Newport, the police officer, and a phone call you had to make, what is this all about?” she asked.

“Dearest, all I can say is I am asked to do this for the President, it must be confidential, please trust me on this,” I said. “Come up to our room, be with me; you were with hundreds of people today. I barely saw you in that forest of folks.”

“Yes, that’s true. Do you know what all they asked?” Maggy asked.

“Sure, where did you get that beautiful dress?” I asked.

“No, silly, they asked about you, how we met, who you are, I answered the same questions hundreds of times, I should have written a hand out for them, it was fun though. I thought I would die when those horses came trotting in with the carriage laden with food, what a vision. It will take mana from heaven for mother to outdo today at our wedding,” Maggy said, laughing.

Once we are in our room, nothing else matters except we are alone, in love, and deliriously happy. The knock on the door startled me; it was 6:30 am; Maggy had left at 1:00; I recalled I told room service to bring coffee and toast at this time yesterday; he is here now. Excellent, thank you, please place it on the table. Works out good; there is time to walk around the harbor before church services at 11:00 am; the Drexal’s are meeting us at Old West Church, my father was asked to speak; I am confident the message they hear will be very different from their church. Dad gave me a copy of his text to read and retain;

OUR DUTY AND RESPONSIBILITY AS CHRISTIANS

We must first understand what is meant by the word. Duty. (from “due,” that which is owing, O. Fr. deu, did, past participle of devoir; Lat. debere, debitum; cf. “debt”) is a term that conveys a sense of moral commitment to someone or something. Moral obligation is the sort that results in action, and it is not a matter of passive feeling or mere recognition. When someone recognizes a duty, that person commits himself/herself to the cause without considering the self-interested courses of actions that may have been relevant previously. This is not to suggest that living a life of duty precludes one from the best life, but responsibility does involve some sacrifice of immediate self-interest. Our first duty (moral commitment) is to God and Our Lord, Jesus Christ.

How do we do this? The Word of God guides us. Jesus said to her, “I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in Me, although he may die, yet he shall live”. John 11:25. The word BELIEVE is mentioned 131 times in the Bible. This repetition underscores the importance of this word. What is meant by this phrase, Believe? Many Christians think that if they believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, they are saved Christians. Even the Devil and demons believe in Jesus. So we must dig into what is meant by Believe in. To see what is meant for us to do. To fully understand the importance of what “believe in” means, we must first go to its root. The New Testament was written in Greek. The Greek word for believe is Pistevo, which means; To Adhere; to support or maintain loyalty. B. To hold fast or stick by, as if by gluing or fusing. With this understanding, now look at what Our Lord Jesus Christ says in John 11:25, “I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever Adheres, Remains Loyal, Holds Fast to Me, although he may die, yet shall he live”. Jesus said in John 14:15, “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” What did Jesus Christ command of His followers? To have no other Gods but God The Father, and to Love each other as you Love yourself. To Love one another is probably the most misunderstood phrase in the Bible. What does Love mean? A simple but very concise meaning of Love is, “Don’t hate.” In the Greek, love has several precise definitions; we can infer from what Jesus said that His meaning was “Philia” or friendship. It is natural affection, like that felt by parents for an offspring, and describes relationships within the family.

In our daily lives as Christian men, we must understand His command to Love each other as yourself. Love also is a correction. We must correct our faults before we may correct others. How can the dutiful father fix his child if he does the very thing he demands his child not? That would be taken as hypocrisy and create resentment, not love. Resentment is the foundation for all rebellion and discord within the family. When Jesus said, we must Do unto others as we do unto ourselves.

When we understand that Correction is a vital part of that command, we as Christian men must correct ourselves, our Family, our Neighbors, which includes our Community and Our Nation. Herein lies our Duty to God. We must Hold Fast, Stick With Him, and Correct (love) ourselves as we Correct (love) those around us. If we as Christian men would truly Adhere to Jesus and obey His Commands, the wolves would be driven from power over the Lambs of God. Do you accept this responsibility? The second duty (moral commitment) we Christian men have is to our family.

Before we can accept our Christian duty to the family, we must know Who Our Family is. Christ has told us the answer, “For whosoever shall do the will of God. The same is my brother and my mother.” Mark 3:35. Our duty is to all the members of the Family of Christ. When Christian men understand this command and work in unity with their Christian brothers, those that are of the family of the Devil will not be over any of us.

The Christian family must be headed by men with virtue, Noble in character and deed. When a Noble Man leads the family, the family will follow him out of sincere respect. To be Noble is defined as possessing, characterized by, or arising from the superiority of mind or character, or ideals, or morals. If we are to be sincere men of Christ, we must be Noble. Sarah, Abraham’s wife, addressed him as “My Lord” because Abraham was a nobleman of God. How many of our wives would address us so?

We are living an extraordinary time of Spiritual Warfare. Christ has told us essentially those not with Him are of the family of the Devil.

John 8:42-47 (New King James Version) 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. 43 Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. 44 “You are of your father the Devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer initially and did not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore, you do not hear, because you are not of God.”

We today live when most of those who hold power over us are not of God. They do not hear His words, nor do they desire to do so. They want what their Father wants and do what their Father does. You know them by their deeds. Now! Christian men must do what our Father in Heaven wants of us and be not deceived. AMEM!

Father’s text profoundly affects the congregation; there is a silence in the vestry when he finishes. Later, we are in front of over two hundred members lined up to shake hands with this truth teacher.

Our families enjoyed a fabulous brunch at The Ritz; the day was splendid, the sun shining through crystal clear skies, the harbor bustling with activity, many taking their private boats out to enjoy the sea, breathing the fresh breezes of Springtime. Life seems without concern until my thoughts go to the morrow. This memorable day came and went as if in a flash. Now it is time to leave; we said our goodbyes for now. Mom is crying tears of joy; Father is quiet and thoughtful, William, the same, almost as if they wondered what tomorrow would bring for their children. Perhaps the words my father spoke opened some doors best left closed. I retired, thinking only of Mary.

Monday morning at again 6:30 am, the server brought my coffee and toast. I showered, dressed, then read the morning paper with butterflies churning in my stomach; what does she want with me? The river of time must have come upon a dam slowing the flow to a crawl; every minute seems an hour. Why call only at 10 am? Father called at 8:00, saying they are on the way home now and will see me tonight. Hours later, it seemed, the clock struck 10, I called the number.

Mary, answered immediately,” Richard, can we meet now?” she asked.

“Yes, where do I meet you?” I asked.

“Richard, unlock your door. I will be there in a minute,” she replied.

“How are you in the hotel?” I asked.

“Just unlock the door,” she hung up.

I had no time to call the Colonel, the door opened, and Mary Pinochet Meyer came in.

“Mary, does anyone know you are here, were you followed to the hotel, to my room?” I asked.

“Richard, come sit by me and listen. I spent many years with these CIA people; I know their methods, habits, contacts, and how to avoid them. Don’t worry; nobody is aware I am here. All my belongings were checked for bugs; most found were disabled, the ones I left operational were given to others unknowingly; those dogs will follow the wrong fox. Richard, you were at Hyannis Port; after your visit, my access to Jack was cut off. It had to be something you said to the family. What do you know?” she asked.

“Mary, I was advised not to speak to you; how is what I know has anything to do with you being here? I asked.

“Richard, you either know too much or not enough; both are serious problems. You have access to both Jack and Robert; this can be helpful for them. I now have no way to contact Jack, and there is important information he MUST have. Can you get this to him!” she asked.

“Mary, since I first met you in DC, my life has been under scrutiny, my house, my office broken into, my phones tapped. Now, you want me to get more involved in your schemes, why would I?” I asked.

“To protect the President, she replied. You care for the Kennedy’s; you care for the conditions the people of color live under, this I understand talking to Jack. He can help with those people’s plight if allowed. He has many enemies and is making more every day. He has those on his staff, not his friends. When he intervened in Alabama, it caused a stir in Washington among some powerful people. “What vital interest does the CIA have in Laos, Vietnam, and the rest?” I asked.

“Richard, don’t be naive, money is the interest in all things, money is derived from resources, oil, gold, food, drugs, it is all the same. Empires are built upon the resources from Southeast Asia. Why do you think the French fought so long to keep it under their control?” she asked.

“What about the Military? They certainly don’t want unnecessary war,” I said.

“Richard, I do not have time to give you a history lesson or an economics course, heed the words General Eisenhower gave upon leaving office, ‘beware the growing Military/Industrial combine.’ The military wants the power to control the world’s resources; the industrialists want to make and sell them the weapons to accomplish this objective, a very neat and tidy web of interests with the CIA their principal instrument. Presidents come and go, these people and their minions will be there forever,” she said.     .

“Mary, that is true, it is in line with research I am doing now on who controls the drug trade around the world, also what General Smedley Butler wrote, “War is a Racket,” how can I help?” I asked.

“You can help me communicate with the President; you are the only safe way I can now. He must be cautious; Jack suffers from a war injury. His back causes him excruciating pain; at times, so bad he has a difficult time standing; they have him on medications. That is what concerns me. My friend, Dr.Timothy Leary, at Harvard, working with Dr. David McClelland, a Yale grad with a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology, is heading up the Department of Psychology and Social Relations, a fancy term a “mind control” program. They developed a new mind-control drug called LSD, an extract of psilocybin mushrooms, Leary, experimented with in Mexico. The Department at Harvard is a CIA operation. Leary told me they plan on giving this drug to President Kennedy; it will be prescribed to help his pain. The real purpose is to control him. Jack does not know of this program. I am the one who introduced Leary to Jack; now, I cannot contact either person; they are ‘off-limits.’ They will use these drugs to have him sign off on anything they desire; he will be in another place in his mind. Do you understand the implications of this?” she asked.

“Mary, I do, is your ex, Cord Meyer, behind this?” I asked.

“Richard, I don’t know what Cord is up to now; he is in the middle of every nasty business. Cord is devoid of emotion or concern for those he believes beneath him, which includes most. They will stop at nothing to prevent me from passing this information to Jack; if they knew I told you this, you would be at risk. You must never tell this to anyone except Jack or Robert Kennedy; you will put them at serious risk. When I say risk, I mean life or death; these people don’t play games. Richard, I must go now. I will find a safe way to contact you again; do not attempt to contact me”. With that, Mary left.

I need to call the Colonel with this, but now I don’t trust making a call from my room, so I went to the lobby looking for their payphones.

“Colonel, Richard here, I need to talk, not on this phone, where?” I asked.

“Officer Shepherd, in Newport, drives back there and locates him. He will arrange a place to meet this evening. I will let him know what is up.” Colonel said.

I decided to check out now and drive, figuring it will take me about 2 hours. I arrived in Newport just past 1:30 pm, phoned from a cafe I had stopped to eat, the Newport Police Department asking Officer Shepherd; I told them I am a friend he is expecting. The desk officer took my number; all I could do was wait for his call, only taking six minutes.

“Hi Richard, Colonel asked me to have you meet him out at State Airport, go to the general aviation terminal, he will be there by 4:20 pm, it’s in Middletown, you can’t miss it,” he said,

Another two hours to kill might as well have some of that apple pie I see in the case on the counter. The general aviation terminal has a loudspeaker broadcasting ground control radio communications; it is interesting to hear conversations between ground control and pilots landing. They are directed at which taxiway to use and where to park. A little after 4:00 pm, I heard a voice calling ground control, who I recognized as Colonel. I went outside watching his plane taxi to a parking spot a truck led him to.

The first person out of the plane is Vanessa; she looks beautiful, not just beautiful but glamorous, I thought, out came Colonel, even the way he walks shows authority.

“Vanessa saw me and came running, Prince Richard, how glad I am to see you as she threw her arms around me, her breasts pushing into my chest, kissing me ever so lightly on the cheek.”

“Colonel is right there with a scowl on his face; he did not want her to get too friendly.

“Come on, Richard, let’s take a drive,” he said.

“Where to Colonel?” I asked.

“Drive over to the beach, Vanessa wants to take a walk on the sand while we talk,” he said. “Shit, Richard, what did this dame say, why did you not call me before you met with her?”

“Colonel, when I phoned her at 10:00 am as she asked, she was in the hotel, told me to unlock my door, and was inside in a few seconds, I had no time to call,” I said.

“Shit, how do you know she is not followed?” he asked.

“She said she is aware of being monitored, and had someone check all her belongings, found devices and deactivated some, others were planted on other people so they would be followed, she told me the dogs would be following the wrong fox,” I said.

“Smart girl that, what else?” he asked.

“She said what she told me is dangerous, I should not tell anyone, or they could be in danger as well. She said never try to contact her, she will find a way to contact me, then asked me to be her contact with President Kennedy, she is removed from any clearance to see Kennedy,” I said.

I relayed to the Colonel all she had told me about Timothy Leary, a Dr. McClelland of Harvard, and how his Mind Control Department is a CIA operation. Colonel, a drug tested there is LSD, a powerful hallucinogenic substance that someone will prescribe to President Kennedy. The drug will enable them to control his actions and sign off on the war in Southeast Asia. She said they could take control of the President’s mind with this drug. He is already on daily medications for severe back pain and will be willing to take any prescription they tell him will relieve his constant pain.

“Did she say who is behind this?” he asked.

“No, I asked her, she only alluded to the fact that some of his advisers are not his friends,” I said.

“Do you know where Mary lives?” he asked.

“No, Colonel,” I said.

“She is in danger with this knowledge, a walking bomb, best stay well clear,” he said.

“How do I tell the President?” I asked.

“Richard, you still have contact with the Police Sergeant, correct? Do you trust him with your life? That is the question you must decide because even I cannot protect you if this gets out. What about that FBI agent Robert Kennedy assigned to watch you?” he asked.

“She knew I would be in Boston for the event, but I made certain she could not find or follow me, I do not trust the FBI,” I said.

“That is smart; you cannot afford to trust anyone you don’t know intimately. Richard, I had your home phone checked out, there is a tap, do not use it except for social calls, your family is not privy to all this, are they?” he asked.

“No, sir, you are the only one I will talk to about this,” I said.

“Good, keep it that way. Find a secure payphone and call me this Thursday evening, I have some things to look into, let’s get Vanessa before she freezes,” he said.

I drove Vanessa and the Colonel back to the airport and headed home to Wake Forest away from all this intrigue, but first, a stop in Alexandria. I calculated that it would take about 8 hours from Newport airport to Alexandria, now 6:17 pm, I will there around 2:30 am, I have the keys to my office, I will rest there, be at Violet’s house by 6:30 am when Sergeant Porter is leaving for duty at the White House. Alexandria’s streets are deserted at this early hour, only the occasional taxi or police car in view as I pulled into the parking garage near my office. There is a security man posted at the reception desk. I knocked on the glass front entry door to get his attention, and he came to the door, asking who I am and what I wanted. I told him my name and company, he asked for ID, opened my wallet, and exposed my driver’s license. He unlocked the door; kind of early for you, sir?

The Colonel had purchased a leather sofa for the inner office, which I almost dragged myself onto and immediately was fast asleep. Shortly after 5:30 am I rose, washed my face with the cold water in the sink, then sat down to write the letter to the Kennedy’s;

President Kennedy, Robert Kennedy; This morning, I was contacted at my hotel in Boston by Mary Pinochet Meyer. She came to my room to tell me a serious matter that she begged me to relay to you. Dr. Timothy Leary, who Mary introduced to you, is associated at Harvard with Dr. McCelland; he heads up the Department of Psychology and Social Relations. That is a CIA funded Mind Control program; they have developed LSD, a powerful hallucinogenic substance, an extract of the psilocybin mushrooms.

Someone is going to prescribe this drug to President Kennedy supposedly as pain relief. The real purpose is to gain complete control over the President’s thoughts and actions to force him to sign off on troops for their desire in Southeast Asia. She did not say who was involved, only that some of your advisers are not friends. She also indicated this was a grave risk for the President.

Your servant, Richard Martinson

I sealed this in an envelope addressed only to Robert Kennedy then drove over to Violet’s house, making sure I am not followed. The lights in the kitchen are on. I knew that Sergeant Porter was up. He saw my car pull in the driveway as I approached the front door; he opened it saying;

“Richard, it must be important for you to come here at this time,” he said.

“Yes, sir, it is, the matter is urgent. I ask you to deliver this letter to Robert Kennedy this morning, please,” I said.

“Come on in; there is fresh coffee, it looks like you can use some,” he said.

“Thank you, yes I drove all night from Boston, now I need to drive to Wake Forest,” I said.

“Can you stay for a while, say hello to Vi? She will be up in about an hour or so,” he asked.

“Love to, sir, but I need to get home, I am overdue now, they will be worried, thanks for the coffee, give my love to Violet and her mom for me,” I said.

Now to go home at last.

 

Chapter 2                   THE MOLES

Home is special; seeing these familiar streets, my friends’ houses and the businesses I grew up with, friendly people visiting their neighbors, all bring peace to my soul.

The drive into my driveway made me reflect on how small my house became. When I was young, the house and yard were huge. It now looks tiny; it has not changed must be me. Father was not home when I arrived, but Mom, my anchor, is here to greet me with her loving smile that instantly comforted me. My home; a small but familiar world away from all the intrigues encountered.

“Richard, my dear, give me a hug; why were you so long driving home?” Mother asked.

“I needed to visit people in Alexandria, I have an office there now,” I said.

“You best call Thomas, he has been worrying me to death about when you are coming,” he said.

“After breakfast, mom, I will walk over to see him; I am hungry.” I said.

“Sit down, son, I will fix something, have some tea,” she said.

“Mom, I am going to shower and change, be down in a few,”I said.

Renewed is how I felt after taking a warm shower in my bathroom surrounded by old clothes and fond memories, then putting on a pair of jeans I had not worn in two years, they still fit, along with an old cotton tee shirt and well-worn sneakers, now I am home at last. Mom made my favorite pancakes smothered with fresh blackberries; after two stacks, I am ready to walk to the Nelson’s. Thomas must have called mom as he is sitting on the front porch waiting for me.

Richard, I waited two days for you, help me up. I gave him a hand, and to my amazement, Thomas stood on his legs without crutches, a cane, or a wheelchair, with tears running down his cheeks.

“Richard, see what God has done for me, it is as you and I prayed for,” Thomas said.

“I put my arms around Thomas and held him in silence, soaking in the joy he felt. When were you first able to stand?”

“Just last week, here look at the braces they made for me as he lifted the pants leg.

The doctors think within another month or so of rehab I should walk without the braces, certainly in time for school at Duke in September,” he said.

“Thanks be to God; come on, it is time to get you occupied. Thomas, is Marion or Matt home?” I asked.

“No, Mom is at Jones Hardware working, Dad is on some project, he will be home Saturday,” Thomas said.

“Do you have any iced tea in the kitchen we have work to do? Thomas, you will soon be ready to take on more than the investigating you are now doing. Do you know of Pathway and Tech Investments? This new company made some exciting investments in tech companies in the computer sciences field. Now, I want you on board as Vice President; here is your assignment. Tech Investments is looking for the brightest new faces in the industry, those with new ideas, visions for the future; let your mind explore what tomorrow will be when computers can compile and store data. Then search that data from sources worldwide, enable people to make computations, generate reports, create new hardware, write new programs to run business, banking, government, universities, and the military. We are already using them to compute the trajectory for space flights. The opportunity is limitless, we will be at the forefront of this science, we need to find and recruit the gifted people,” I said. Find us the person who can make Dick Tracy’s two-way wrist-watch a reality, and the sky’s the limit.”

“Richard, I always wanted one of those. Can they make it?” Thomas asked.

“There are men out there who can do anything they can dream; let’s help them fulfill those dreams,” I said.

“I envision you contacting universities with departments of computer science, seek talented students in need of scholarships. Have them write applications outlining their projects, those most promising we will provide scholarships under Pathway Foundation. Those gifted and ready to start-up their own company, we will invest taking a share in their stock; later, when they mature, we can have them taken to the public market; this is when we all hit the jackpot. Your starting salary is $500.00 per month effective July 1st. Questions?” I asked.

“Yes, Richard, why me?” he said.

“You are gifted and trusted to carry out this vital part of our business; you will become a partner in Tech Investments as the company grows. Are you onboard?” I asked.

“Heck, yes, Richard, I love the title Vice President, sure help me with the girls, right?” he asked.

“Hey man, girls will run after you, be more selective with them than you are with the candidates for scholarships. Might help talk to these guys if you know their vocabulary and take some computer science courses at Duke. While you are visiting these universities, snoop around to see if there are anti-war groups on campus. If so, make contact, let them understand you can provide funding, and communicate with other like minds. Unity is what will make changes happen. If we can build groups in 30 or more Universities, those in Congress will react. With your father’s war record and your position on American war for profit, you will fit in. We need this separate not a part of Tech Investments. We will need to set up some non-profit organization Pathways can fund,” I told him.

“You know my feeling on that, I want to be part of anything that keeps this country out of the war, is the war in Asia going to happen?” he asked.

“Thomas, I guarantee it. Kennedy is under extreme pressure from the Joint Chiefs and the CIA to engage American troops, who demand this war now! The bankers who profit from war, and those who make the machines of war demand it. They  spread money. They own Congress and the State Department. They tried to force Kennedy to go to war with Cuba, which failed; they need war for profits. Talk to Matt; I am certain he can help you with Veteran’s groups; let’s coordinate all we can. Now, partner, I will be in bed for a couple of hours; call you when I rest up,” I said.

“Sarge, Captain wants to speak to you, hello Porter here,” I said.

“Sargent, sorry to bother you at the gate, but will you stop by my office before you go home today?” The Captain asked.

“Certainly, Captain, something up?” Porter asked.

“No big deal Sargent, we need to go over some things,” the Captain said.

“I will be there by 4:15, Captain.”

That is the first time in the last four years the Captain has asked to see me; maybe my request to become a Detective has been approved. Most of the other uniformed officers say I have the department’s cushiest assignment, but most jobs become boring and routine. I became a police officer because I thought it would be interesting and useful. The most exciting part of my day is driving home through the traffic. Going into the gate at the station caused me a little apprehension; I noticed the slight look of concern on the officer’s face at the entrance as he waved me in. As I walked down the hallway toward the Captain’s office, I could not help observing those at their desks kept their heads down as I walked by.

The Captain’s office is glass-enclosed, commanding a view of the Detectives desks; as I walked up, the door opened, and I heard; Sargent Porter, come in, please. The Captain is seated at his desk, and two other men are inside, one sitting next to the Captain, the other standing by the door. When I came inside, the man standing went around the room, closing the blinds covering the windows and door.

“Thanks for coming, Porter, this is Agent Clay and Agent Timmons of the Secret Service,” Captain said.

“Agent Clay is sitting with a clipboard on his lap from which he took out a photograph and handed it to me. Sargent Porter, this was taken this past Monday at 8:32 am, it shows you greeting the car of Attorney General Robert Kennedy, he put down the window, and it appears you are handing him an envelope, is that correct?” Agent Clay asked.

“Yes, sir, so what?” Porter asked.

“What was in that envelope?” Agent Clay asked.

“Captain, that is personal, do I have to answer this man?” Porter asked.

“Sargent, I told these men you are one of the most trusted members of this force and beyond reproach, but these men have the sworn duty to check out everything going into the White House or to anyone that works there, please, answer his question,” The Captain said.

“Captain, this is embarrassing, my family asked for an autographed photo of President Kennedy and Attorney General Robert Kennedy. They wish to display this photo in our house because Kennedy supports the civil rights movement. Is that a concern for the Secret Service?” Porter asked.

“No, Sargent, it should not be, Clay, what you got to say?” Captain asked.

“Sargent, there are protocols that must be kept, especially by sworn officers who should know better, we can’t let people stick things through the window of a high official’s car, you want a photo, call at the White House and request it, this happens all the time.”

“Sargent, wait outside for a moment, let me talk to these agents,” Captain said.

“Agent Clay, what the hell is this? You two did not come here to complain about my Gate Officer who has for several years now provided security and protection to those who work in the White House,” Captain asked.

“Captain, we are in a time of crisis, many things of national security are in the works. The Director does not want anyone who is not cleared to see, speak to, or have access to The President or his Cabinet members or communicate with them. This Sargent Porter is no longer allowed on White House grounds effective as of today!” Agent Clay stated.

Sargent Porter, go in the Secret Service Agents, said as they pushed past me, both had a scowl on their face as they stomped down the hallway.

“Take a seat, Sargent, I don’t understand what in the hell is going on over there, but something stinks. I was ordered to take you off gate duty at the White House; you are persona non grata there. Did you piss someone off, did you say something out of line? Porter, I have known and respected you for years; you wanted to get your Detective Badge, well, you got it. I am so pissed by those pricks telling me what I should assign; this is my department. Porter, give me your badge, take this one, how does Sergeant Detective sound? There is a pay raise with this grade, take your family out to celebrate. Report at 8:00 am, we will get your new assignment and work station.”

“Thank you, Captain, I appreciate all you do for the Department and me,” Porter said.

Leaving the station, I could not help thinking about Chinese food and the sweet and sour dishes they serve. The sour is being removed from the honor of the White House gate duty, the sweet, getting the promotion to Detective I desired for years. I will take the family out to a Chinese restaurant tonight. More to this sudden change than seems. Richard, must be close to some nerve, if they are watching me that close, what about him? I cannot have Violet involved in whatever is up; how do I let him know?

Richard, come down for breakfast with your father, he is leaving for Atlanta soon, mom called out. Be right down, mom, almost dressed. Gosh, it’s Thursday already, I need to call the Colonel and Maggy. Good morning dad, mom, a great day to be home.

“Sit with me, son, what are your plans for the summer?” dad asked.

“Not much dad, got a few extra credit summer assignments I want to complete to graduate early next year,” I said.

“I don’t blame you for wanting out, son, school gets to be a bore after so many years, plus your plate is full of other projects,” dad said.

“Yes, dad, that is the way I feel, school can point me in a direction, but then it is up to me. I found what I want to do, time to get on with it,” I said.

“Well, son, don’t be in a rush, enjoy your freedom; in a few years, you will have family responsibilities and commitments that take away from the personal freedom you now enjoy,” dad said.

“Dad, can I ask you a question both as my father and pastor?” I asked.

“Son shoot,” he said.

“Dad, I listened carefully to the sermon you gave in Boston. I also read the text, which I will keep forever as a guide. Now my question has to do with the text of my Duty and Responsibility as a Christian man. I saw and heard the thoughts of men in power. The drums of war are beating in Washington. These men desire to create a war not to make America more secure but for their interests. Thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, will die for no purpose except to fill a few coffers. How am I, as a Christian, who knows what is coming and believes this is wrong for America and the World for that matter, supposed to conduct myself? Should I speak out in the churches, in the schools, lead demonstrations, how do I help stop this madness before so many die? My wife’s family, those who support me in school, many of those who attended our betrothal, are some of those who will make the most profit from this war,” I said.

“Son, the questions you asked are best answered by God. You are in a most difficult position; you must weigh what you can accomplish by being public with your position and what you can accomplish behind the scene. I am sure the same thoughts tear president Kennedy as you. I, as a Church leader, have the same concerns. There are things I wish the Church to do, many in the Church opposed. How does the leader of any democratic society function? You told me Kennedy does not want to put American boy’s lives at risk in an unjust war. Yet many powerful people around him demand it. Many of these powerful people control the media; they can influence the opinion of Americans. They can make them believe war is needed to prevent the spread of communist dictators to our shores. They can make them believe we must sacrifice for the greater good of humanity. These people have the means to make it look like someone is Un-American if they speak out. They will wrap themselves in the Flag and call anyone who stands in their way a communist, a dirty Red, a traitor. Here in North Carolina. With the most Military Bases in the US and home to the largest Military Base, Fort Bragg, with the country’s largest military population, you would be run out of town if you speak out against the military. The economy of our state depends on military spending. That son is the problem; money to most is more important than God or good. The Lord told us you could not serve two masters, so many of those in power chose only one master, money. Your heart, your soul is serving the right Master, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, let his Holy Spirit be your guide,” he said.

“Dad, I understand, but if no one speaks out if money will control all events, we lose. There is no way to control the political scene without the money and support of those in power that operate in the background. No one may become a national figure, and those that do, are subservient, regardless of their populous speech. Money is the key; I must find a way to use the key in a way that benefits all, not only the Exempt. Have a good trip. Dad, I need to go meet Thomas,” I said.

The fresh summer breeze feels good on my face walking down the street to the Nelson’s. In the driveway, Matt is washing his car and playing with the dog spraying it with the hose as it runs around the vehicle.

“Hey Matt, how’s things? Great Richard, nice to see you, staying out of trouble?” Matt asked.

“Not sure about that, Matt, trying. Hey, I need to call the Colonel, he said not to use my phone and not sure of yours,” I said.

“When you are ready, I can beep him, let him call down at the store, he knows the number,” Matt said.

“Thanks, Matt, I am going to see Thomas first,” I said.

“You don’t have to go far, Richard, I am right here,” Thomas said.

I looked around; Thomas was sitting in the front seat of the car. He started laughing, looking like you saw a ghost man. Dad will let me drive around the block; I can’t wait to try it; want to come? Sure man. Matt finished wiping the car and got in the front next to Thomas; let’s go. Good thing the car is automatic. Thomas does not need to push his legs as much.

Drive over to the market, Matt said. He is on his beeper, dialing the Colonel. It is only two blocks to the store, so we parked in front of the phone booth and waited. The phone rang after only 2 minutes; I answered, hi Colonel.

“Richard, you spoke to your friend, Sargent Porter?” Colonel asked.

“Not since Monday, sir, why?” I asked.

“Well, don’t call him and don’t meet the girl. Porter has been re-assigned; he is no longer at the White House gate. This is certainly in response to you having him deliver the note to the Kennedy’s. If they are watching him that close it means that they know of your relationship. Be careful about what you do and say. If someone new tries to make friends in the next few days, they are with them, be careful,” Colonel said.

“What else did you find out about Colonel?” I asked.

“Nothing, Richard, there is a blackout on everything about Mary, keep your distance. I will continue to seek info and advice later, say Hi to Matt,” Colonel said.

“Matt, I need to call Maggy. Can I use your phone?” I asked.

“Sure, Richard, use the phone in Thomas’ room,” Matt said.

“Hi Maggy, love and miss you,” I said.

“Richard! I tried to get you for two days; when are you going to get a service?” Maggy asked.

“Sorry, love, I keep forgetting, I will go tomorrow for sure,” I said.

Michael Whitney Straight invited us to spend the 4th of July at The Carlyle at Kennedy’s apartment. The fireworks show’s view is spectacular, Michael said. It sounds fun, so I said yes, is that OK?” I asked.

“Certainly, dear, the 4th is, on a Wednesday, do you want to meet in the City?” Maggy asked.

“Let’s meet Monday at the Plaza; we can see a show, attend the party and spend some quiet time alone,”I said.

“Sounds like an anniversary date; I will be there by 2:00 pm, love you,” Maggy said.

“Matt, does your beeper let you see who is calling?” I asked.

“Sure, Richard, this thing is a blessing; I will order one for you so you can be in the loop; what number do you want it to use?” Matt asked.

“For now, my New Haven number, Maggy, is bugging me and says I never answer,” I said.

“You are never there. How could you answer?” Matt asked.

“Thomas, we are going to a 4th of July party in the City, why don’t you come with me? We will get you a room at the Plaza. Michael Straight is holding the party at President Kennedy’s apartment at the Carlyle. Michael is a Whitney, many lovely ladies will attend, I am sure some can help exercise your legs,” I said.

“Can I?” Thomas asked.

“Let’s do it; it is time my partner meets my bride,” I said.

Thomas and I got a flight to New York out of Raleigh on Monday morning and took a taxi to the Plaza Hotel. It is fun sitting next to Thomas, watching his eyes and facial expressions. He has never been to the City and is mesmerized by the sights, more so when we pulled up in front of the imposing Plaza Hotel, and a Uniformed Door Captain opened the taxi door, claiming; how lovely to see you. “Welcome to the Plaza, sirs.” I helped Thomas out; he still has not said a word. The Assistant Manager came saying, nice to see you again, Mr. Martinson, this is Mr. Nelson, I presume? Thomas’s eyes are as large as saucers at this time, but he could not speak, just nodded. I was not able to get you adjoining rooms. Mr. Nelson is on the same floor, two doors from yours; we gave you the same suite on your last visit with us. Let me know if I can help in any way while you are here. He motioned for a bellman to show us to our rooms. Thomas is still in shock, his eyes bulging, taking in all the sights silently. We took Thomas first to his place; the bellman asked him if everything is satisfactory.

“Heck, yes,” he said.

“Come with me, Thomas, we will go to my room and then get a snack,” I said.

“After the bellman left with a tidy tip, Thomas let out a yell, Richard! I never expected anything like this, this place; the City is overwhelming, you are a world traveler now, even the manager calls you by name, how do you do it?” Thomas asked.

“Thomas, I don’t do anything by myself. I am like you, a guy from North Carolina who made good choices that led me here. You are on the same path; we work together to help others, and good things happen. Perhaps that is God’s plan for us. Come on, let’s go down for a snack before Maggy arrives, it will give you a chance to look around, see the sights,” I said.

We stopped by the front desk. I asked to tell Maggy Drexal; we will be the Oak waiting. Monday at lunchtime in the City is hectic. The lobby is jammed with tourists arriving for the 4th of July spectacular, others wanting to dine, drink, and enjoy the endless parade on 5th Ave and Central Park. The wealthy crowd is here wanting to see and be seen; it made for a great show. Thomas is relishing the parade with all his senses, as am I. I did not think we could get a table in the Oak; there is a line of people waiting, shoving their way to get a spot. The Maitre de came to me and said, follow me, sir, your table is ready. He led us to a window table overlooking Central Park and gave us a broad smile. I tried to give him a tip, but he smiled and walked away. People demanding why these young boys were given a prize table? Thomas has no clue as to the drama being played out or why he is having fun. We ordered a pot of tea, a fruit plate with rolls, sat back, and watched the play.

“Richard, this scene reminds me of the Wizard of Oz when Dorothy said, “Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” We are sure not in Wake Forest,” he said.

I laughed, “Thomas, your Mom said the same thing in Baltimore,” you should have seen me when I made my first trip here, almost broke my neck looking around, wait until you go to Broadway, Times Square, tonight maybe Maggy will want to take a tour.”

Suddenly the room grew quiet, a sudden drastic change from the endless dim of conversation and clinking glasses laden with ice. I turned to look at what was happening; the people at the tables were peering toward the lobby entrance when I saw what captured the attention of even the jaded New York crowd. Entering the Oak is a young lady who could make a train standstill to observe her. She is wearing a broad-brimmed white hat with a veil covering her eyes. A long silky pale, almost creamy jade coat came to her ankles, covering her white silk dress. Wearing a choker of pearls that must be worth a small fortune, she wore white silk covered high heels; her hand displayed a large diamond that flashed for all, she was stunning, in control of the entire room. Thomas is sitting with his mouth hung open, eyes fixed on this vision who seems to approach our table. She is walking ever so slowly, enjoying every moment of the control she has over the crowd when she comes close saying, Richard, have you been waiting long? I stood and kissed the check of this beauty, this dream, this angel, saying to her, ‘all my life, my love,'” I said.

“Thomas Nelson, may I present Maggy Drexal, soon to be Mrs.Martinson, my love,” I said. People are clapping, smiling, waving to Maggy, as she sits between us, the smile on her face is worth whatever money this trip costs, a memory to be filed away forever. Thomas has not said a word; he is awe-struck until Maggy holds out her hand for him to kiss.

“Thomas, a pleasure to meet you. Richard speaks endlessly of you; he has a great love for you. I know of the accident and what you went through, now to see you sitting here, next to me is wonderful. We will be great friends, have lunch yet?” Maggy asked.

“No, waiting for you, we ordered fruit,” he said.

“Well, let’s order,” Maggy said.

Thomas is so nervous he knocks over his water glass, his face flushed red as the flags hang outside. A busboy scurried to wipe up the spill and bring fresh napkins while our waiter stood by to describe the chef’s specials—Maggy, elected for the poached salmon salad. I asked if the chef will make me a grilled roast beef with cheddar cheese sandwich with French fried potatoes? Thomas said that sounds good. Can I have the same? Indeed, any wines with lunch? No, more tea, bring another cup for the lady, please.

“Maggy, can we be tourists today? This is Thomas’s first day in the City, let’s show him the sights. I will get a car and driver to take us all over, we can take the ferry, to the Statue of Liberty, go to the top of the Empire State Building, tour Broadway, eat pizza and have fun,” I said.

“Richard, I would love that; we can change and go casual, oh Thomas, you will love it, too bad I don’t have a friend in town to keep you company. Richard, come, let’s change. I am excited to do this; I never get to be a tourist, mother always insists I must “stand above,” whatever that is supposed to mean,” Maggy said.

I stopped at the Concierge to secure a car and driver. How many hours Mr. Martinson will you need him? Let’s say 5 hours; we can be ready in 30 minutes. Gregory will be waiting in front, sir. Maggy is tugging at my sleeve, hurrying my love; I want to see our wedding room again as we rush to the elevator with Thomas saying, hey guys wait for me, I can’t run yet, you know. Thomas, change and come to our room in 30 minutes. Thirty minutes, what are you in a hurry for, darling, Maggy asked with a frown? She ran to our bedroom, undressed in a flash, threw back the comforter, and covered up, saying, come here, dear! Who am I to argue with such a lovely lady as I jumped in beside my wife. Hurry up, darling; we don’t have much time as she rolled on top of me and took my lips in hers. It seemed like only a minute when we heard the knock, knock on the door; I grabbed a robe and opened the door for Thomas, who can see I am preoccupied. Do you want me to come back? No, Thomas, we are changing, turn on the TV, watch the news, we will be right out. I am heading for the bathroom when Maggy grabbed me saying, not so fast, dear, we still have things to discuss, get back here!

We are in a festive mood going down to our driver, Gregory, parked in front in a new 62 black Cadillac Town Sedan; when he saw us exit, he opened the rear door for Maggy and me, while Thomas got in front, then as Superman says, UP-UP and Away.

“Gregory, we are tourists today, first stop at the Empire State Building’s top,” I said.

“Whatever you say Mr. Martinson, I am here for you,” Gregory said.

Gregory, please call me Richard; this is my best friend Thomas, and Maggy’s the love of my life. We are here to have fun, your suggestions are appreciated,” I said.

We drove down the most expensive street in the World, Fifth Avenue. Gregory gave us some history as we cruised down 5th; Caroline Astor built a house on the southwest corner of 34th Street, which began 5th avenue’s rule as the most fashionable residential neighborhood. In 1893, they made the Astoria Hotel, which later joined its neighbor as the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. That site is now the home of the Empire State Building, so you see the history here. Edith Wharton’s 1920 Pulitzer Prize novel “The Age of Innocence” has its central theme Fifth Avenue and the lives of New York’s social elite who lived here. They widened Fifth Avenue in 1908 to accommodate the increased traffic. This area was residential, now commercial. The first commercial building on Fifth Avenue was built by Benjamin Altman, who bought the corner lot on the northeast corner of 34th Street in 1896. In 1906 his department store, B. Altman and Company, occupied the whole block front. The fashionable women came and as did other high-end stores. Lord & Taylor flagship store is here near the Empire State Building and the New York Public Library.

Gregory pulled up in front of the Empire State and helped first Maggy then Thomas, a little stiff, so Maggy and I put Thomas between us as we went into the bldg. Gregory said he would be in front in an hour and a half. Thomas looked up as high as he could see and said, Richard, where is the top of this? Way up there, way up there.

“Have you ever been up there, Richard?” Thomas asked.

“Heck, no, I am afraid of heights,” I said.

“So am I, are you trying to get me sick?” Thomas asked.

“Thomas, we must overcome our fears so we may fight the dragons,” I said.

“Richard, I have no intention of fighting dragons,” he said.

Maggy is laughing at both of us, come on, children, I will protect you, as she got our tickets. To the top, up-up and away we go to the 102 nd floor, the top of the World. Boys, it takes about 40 minutes to get to the top, come all hold hands.

“Richard, my heart is pounding too fast I might pass out,” Thomas exclaimed.

“Thomas, don’t pee your pants, and you will be fine,” Maggy replied.

It gets more comfortable with each floor. By the time we get to the top, you will be like Superman, ready to leap tall buildings. You leap off one, he said with a laugh. Thomas and I spent the rest of the ride up with our eyes closed. Maggy is ecstatic; she is now the brave one, with two big strong men, squeezing her hands like little boys. Finally, the top, our scary trip is worth the pain, as the doors opened to a breathtaking view.

“Maggy, thank you, Thomas, told her, this is incredible, I would never believe this, nor will ever forget. Here, I understand why super-rich men desire their offices to be up high. They can look down at us, the minions they think we are and feel like Gods. They might even think they are Gods for all I know, they behave that way, dictating to all, standing here looking over the World it seems probable. Richard remembers the scripture when Satan tempted Christ by taking him to a “high place,” where he could see the World, offering Christ dominion over it all if he would serve him. I think Satan has taken some men here and made them the same offer,” Thomas said.

Maggy went up to Thomas and kissed his cheek, saying now I know why Richard loves you so much, you both are wise beyond your years. Come on; the trip down is easy. Gregory is waiting in front, as promised, we walked up, he is smiling, you all need a restroom after that trip? Where to now, he asked?”

“Let’s take the ferry ride to Liberty Park, I said. Will you go with us so you can take some photos?”

“Sure, you get the tickets while I park, I have a camera. Do you want motion or stills?” Gregory asked.

“Stills are best, easier to show around,” I said.

I can tell Thomas is getting tired; this has been his first day being on his feet for this long. Fortunately, the boat has excellent seats. We are lucky to have Gregory; he brought a superb 35mm Canon Camera, took dozens of memorable photos we will keep forever.

“Richard, I don’t think I am ready to take the trip up the Statue. Let me sit here and enjoy the view,” Thomas told us.

We will not leave you alone; let’s look around, buy some stuff for the family, and then return to our journey. The sun is setting, giving a strange orange and red glow to the skyline of the City. We got some stunning photos of the three of us with the City aglow in the background; those alone are worth the boat ride.

“Gregory, we need some great New York Pizza; where is the best place for it?” I asked.

“Di Fara, none better in the world, it is over in Brooklyn, want to try it?” Gregory asked.

“Sure sounds fun. Can we see the Bridge?” I asked.

Driving over the Brooklyn Bridge, Thomas asked if he could use the camera. Thomas took shots of the Bridge, Maggy and I kissed in the back seat. Gregory, driving over to J street, there is the unimposing facade of Di Fara’s pizza; the looks might not be glamorous, but roll down the window and breathe in the life. Gregory, park, join us for pizza, will get us a table, tell De Marco it is for Gregory, we go back a long way, he will be in the kitchen, but his staff will say to him. This man will not let anyone make a pizza except himself; he lives for those pies.

We entered this lovely pizza house welcomed as family. I told them that Gregory is with us parking the car. The waiter ran to the kitchen, bringing with him De Marco. Where is Gregory, he asked, then Gregory came inside, “paisano” and they hugged.

“Get my friends a table by the kitchen. I wish to talk as I work,” De Marco told the staff.

Without asking, the waiter brought a large carafe of red wine, some antipasto, saying salute, as he poured each of us a large glass of wine, which we did not refuse. Everyone is hungry, the fragrance, this joining of garlic, fresh basil, rosemary, hand-grated Parmigiana cheese, and the fresh smell of baking bread is enough to drive the senses wild. All toasted Gregory for this day, his bringing to this beautiful place, and the friendship he gave to us. We consumed a second carafe of wine while Gregory told us the story of De Marco and Di Fara Pizza House.

Each pizza is handmade by De Marco; he closes the restaurant if he cannot work. He believes he should make the pizza. Three of his seven children work in the kitchen; he makes about 150 pies a day and cuts fresh basil over each. De Marco will only use imported ingredients, flour, extra-virgin olive oil, only San Marzano tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella cheese from Casapulla. Freshly grated Grana Padano cows milk cheese, three types of mozzarella cheese, and hand-grated Parmigiana Reggiano cheese, all from Italy, the fresh basil, and oregano come from Israel. He bakes these hand made pies in the oven at about 800 F, which creates the thin crispy crust. Once you have one, you must have more; they are addicting.

The waiter brought our pie while De Marco came out to watch as we took our first bite. Maggy took one bite, then got up and kissed Di Marco. The blush made his face as red as his sauce, but he was delighted and shared a glass of wine with us before rushing back to his kitchen. We consumed our third carafe of wine and third pie before thanking this wonderful man, saying “Buon Giorno” to our new friend.

“Where to now, Richard?” Gregory asked.

“Let’s head back to The Plaza, drive through Broadway and Times Square, Thomas, needs to get the full treatment,” I said.

“Richard, I am so full and dizzy from the wine. All I need is a bed,” Thomas said.

“I am not sure if the sights he will see are worth seeing, that is the worst neighborhood in Manhattan, even the taxis are careful there. Thomas, where are you from?” Gregory asked.

“Wake Forest, North Carolina,” he said.

“Where else have you lived?” Gregory asked.

“Only in Wake Forest, Gregory all my life,” Thomas said.

“Then this is a must, you will see a part of life in America only seen here, not the life you want to live, but the life of many lost souls. This area is infamous for sex shops, go-go clubs, prostitution, and drugs, not the place for young Christian men from North Carolina, that is for sure. Look around, take a view of hell, that is this area now, used to be the center of the arts, all the greats artists from years ago played here, but the decay has set in,” Gregory said.

“Gregory, I saw enough, let’s go to the Plaza where it is clean,” Thomas said.

I paid Gregory $200.00 for his time and thanked him for being so gracious. Richard, I appreciate you; call me when you are ready to go to the airport. I will pick you up; the ride is on me.

We spent the next day, Tuesday playing around, took a rowboat ride in Central Park, we even took a ride on a horse-drawn carriage, all in all, we had fun. Wednesday, the Fourth of July, is to be a festive occasion. The city streets are ablaze with American Flags on every light pole. Flags and bunting on all the shops, even the taxis carried flags.

Tourists walking around with American flag tee shirts, there is a crowd of students in Central Park with Uncle Sam top hats; it seems as if everyone is in town to celebrate the Birth of Our Nation. After a lovely breakfast in our suite, we went to get ready for the Carlyle party. Michael asked us to be there by 3:00 pm, but Maggy said we would arrive not earlier than 5:00 pm; I will never be the first guest at a party, Maggy insisted. It is a short taxi ride up Madison Avenue to the Carlyle; we arrived at 5:07 pm, as Maggy requested. Kennedy’s apartment occupies two stories from the 34th to the 35th floors. The party is in full swing on our arrival; Michael comes rushing to the door to greet us, saying where you have been. Everyone is asking to see the couple of the year? My God, that was a grand affair, everyone in Christendom is talking about those horses carrying the food, spectacular. Come on, let me introduce you around.

“Who is your friend here? Do I know him?” Michael asked.

“No, Michael, Thomas Nelson, Michael Straight. Thomas is my best friend and business partner,” I said.

“Wonderful to meet you, Thomas, you have good friends,” Michael said. “There are more Brits at this party than Americans; he said, English love fireworks displays and any reason to party.”

Michael led us upstairs to the Solarium and a deck overlooking the City and Central Park. Most of the guests are surrounding a marble-top bar set up in the corner of the deck. Michael motioned to a young man who is talking to a group at the bar to come over.

“Max Stevens, meet my dear friend, Richard Martinson, the Yale Lawyer, Investor, and Philanthropist, I told you about,” Michael said. “Richard, Max here is an interesting guy, a student like you and an activist, you both seem to have similar interests, you guys chat, I must look after my guests.”

“Max, this is my fiance Maggy Drexel, and my dear friend Thomas Nelson,” I said.

“Richard, can you stay and talk for a bit? I know a couple of girls here that I want to introduce to Thomas?” Maggy asked.

I am left standing with Max Stevens, who seems a rather intense fellow, not much in smiles, makes me uncomfortable.

“Richard, care to join me in some lemonade? It has a kick to it, Michael says it is an old family recipe, I think it’s good English Gin with lemon juice,” Max said.

“Max, Michael said you were an activist, just what is that?” I asked.

“Nothing that will make me any money, that is for sure. A group of us led by Alan Haber and Tom Hayden formed a group we call SDS or Students for a Democratic Society. We are holding a meeting in a few days with LID or League for Industrial Democracy, to merge these groups so we can be a more effective voice,” Max said.

“So, what is the purpose of these groups?” I asked.

“To counter this Anti Soviet propaganda and keep us out of the war, he said. The United States is determined to go to war with Russia, and we do not want to die for their games. Michael told me that you are opposed to war and helped fight for people of color’s civil rights. Some of the colored civil rights organizations are joining with us,” Max said. “What is your position on the war now brewing?”

“Max, I am a lawyer, not a general. I believe there are wars of necessity and wars of opportunity. I am for wars of necessity and opposed to wars of opportunity,” I said.

“What do you mean by necessity?” he asked.

“Max, the way I like to define things is to take them to the smallest possible root, here I use a family as an illustration. A man with three children, a wife, a farm, lives in peace and is self-sufficient. Someone desires the man’s property and conceives a plan to take it by force. They take up arms and surround the farm demanding the family leave and give the attackers the property. The family, including the three children, take up arms and defend their home. To me, this is a war of necessity for the farmer and his family. It is a war of opportunity for those that attempt to take it by force. That, Max, is my thoughts on wars,” I said.

“Interesting viewpoint Richard, I would like to discuss this with you in more detail. Can we meet for lunch sometime?” Max asked.

“Max, here is my card, give me a call; today is for fun, not politics, I need to find my girl before someone steals her away,” I said.

Thankfully, Maggy came upstairs with Thomas and a rather attractive young, around 20-year-old girl on his arm; they seem to have hit it off. Richard, come and meet my friend Liz, Liz Altman, we know each other from Dartmouth. Liz came to me and wrapped her arms around me and kissed me on the cheek. We are dying to see who caught Maggy; you are better looking than she said.

Life creates some exciting scenes, how or why is the mystery. Six months ago, Thomas was confined to a wheelchair that had held him captive for years. The mysterious hand of God led him from the confines of his family home in North Carolina, with seemingly no opportunity in his future. Today he sits atop the most luxurious and by far the most expensive apartment in the great City of New York. He is surrounded by the wealthy elite, a lovely young lady, and his future unbounded. Seeing his smiling happy face makes my heart warm, it almost brings tears of joy to my face. Then, I turn and see the face of an angel smiling down upon me, Maggy, who only God could have brought. How do I deserve all this good fortune? I know not what, but now I want to be alone with Maggy and hold her tight to my chest before I awaken from a dream.

“Thomas, let’s get cold drinks for the girls; we went to the bar and ordered four lemonades; they float slices of lemon in the drink topped with a cherry. Thomas, what about Liz? Is she nice?” I asked.

“Richard, she is ‘really’ nice, she wants to go back to the Plaza with us for dinner, is that OK?” Thomas asked.

“Perfect, let’s get out of here as soon as the fireworks are over, tell Maggy you are tired, and we can split,” I said.

The firework show is, as Michael claimed, extravagantly beautiful. The grand finale is spectacular; they created the American Flag in the sky with bombs bursting around it so loudly; they shook the building. The entire City cheered the ending; you can hear their screams from our perch high above the City. Thomas is thrilled to be a part of this event, something he never dreamed possible. I found Michael and Maggy by my side, thanked him profusely for including us at this affair. Michael said, Richard, we have many things to discuss; perhaps we can get together before returning to Chicago. Please, call me, I said, giving him my card. The short ride back to The Plaza is a scene no one wanted to sit in the front of the taxi by themselves, so we all squeezed into the back seat, the girls crushed together with Thomas on one side and I the other were laughing all the way. I stopped at the desk and asked for two bottles of champagne with four glasses sent up.

“Right away, Mr. Martinson, anything else?” was asked.

“Send some crab cakes,” I said.

“Certainly, sir, how many?” was asked.

Enough for four will be nice.

Upon entering, Liz said, “How lovely Maggy, no boyfriend of mine ever treated me like this.”

“Richard is special, as I told you, so is Thomas,” Maggy said.

Let’s freshen up, Maggy said, leaving with Liz for the bathroom. Room service was there almost as soon as we were. They brought two bottles of Moet. Is this satisfactory? The waiter asked? Looks good to me, thanks.

“Liz came out fresh and fresher, sitting next to Thomas on the settee, “How do I look,” she asked.

Thomas blushed, looking at her slightly unbuttoned blouse, saying great, “really great.”

“Pour me champagne and let’s toast,” Liz smiled.

Thomas stood and poured each of us a glass; you could tell he is nervous as the bubbles spill over the glass; I am sure he is sweating. He raised his glass, saying, “today, tomorrow and forever with you.”

We touched glasses and swore our friendship forever.

Thomas is more at ease as Liz pulled him down next to her. She pulled him close then kissed his lips, not with passion, but earnestly. I watched, thinking Thomas might pass out, but he held her close for the moment.

Maggy laughed, “saying, go, girl, get that man.”

We were laughing, enjoying what has been a wonderful day, and promises to be an even sweeter night for all.

“Liz, where are you staying?” Maggy asked.

“Maggy, we have a co-op in Central Park West; Thomas will ride in a taxi with me home soon; we are going downstairs and get some hot chocolate, care to join us?” Liz asked.

“No thanks, I am tired, Richard and I will cuddle up and watch TV for a while. How about let’s  have breakfast before we leave for home in the morning,” Maggy said.

“Great idea, here or in the park. What time does Tavern on The Green open? Do you know?” Liz asked.

Never mind, I will call in the morning, perhaps we can meet there, see you bye. Come, my husband, we are finally alone as she pulled my hand to our bedroom. I was in bed before Maggy; I pulled the comforter for her to get under with me. We lay there for hours it seemed just looking in each other’s eyes, loving the other with our gaze. Finally, Maggy pulled close, and we embraced, locking our bodies together in a dance of love.

I lay half asleep thinking, what makes a marriage work, people join their lives, and become one? Why do so many families fall apart? How can love turn into hate? It does not seem possible you can genuinely love someone one day, and hate them the next, yet this happens often; why? Perhaps, there never was love, just emotion or convenience. What are the qualities that make for a good union? These thoughts might seem strange; I am lying here with the one I love incredibly happy. Maybe these thoughts are triggered by my concern for Thomas. He has never had a girlfriend; he is so vulnerable, it would be so easy for him to become entwined with the wrong person. I saw the way he looked at Liz; he knew nothing of her or her family. I recall the words of scripture in Ephesians. I think it is said, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” There is no command for wives to love their husbands, only to submit themselves. Trying to remember my Greek from a course I took at Duke, submit comes from the Greek word hupo, meaning under. That makes sense; man must love, honor, cherish his wife as Christ loves his family, women must respect their husbands and willingly be under him.

I like everything simple; I say it this way; man needs to give love, and woman needs to get love. If this exists within a family, the family is forever, because the fruit of that union will follow, as the apple tree gives apples. There! I found the key to happiness. When men and women select their mate, they only need to look at the tree to see the future. If a man loves his mother, only then can he truly love a woman and gives her the love she needs; if a woman truly loves and respects her father, only then can she respect and be under a man. Without these simple truths, you have chaos. Life is simple if we follow the rules. I recall the first time I spoke with Michael; he explained his family’s passion for racehorses and how they took such care in the breeding, searching for the best trees of the male and female.

“Richard, wake up, someone is at the door.” I shook my head, trying to open my eyes. Maggy is shaking me, answer the door. I pulled on my robe and opened the door to find Thomas standing there, smiling at me.

It is morning, look outside a beautiful day,” Thomas said.

“Thomas, I know it is morning, but it is early; why are you so full of energy?” I asked.

“Maggy, appeared still half asleep, hi Thomas, did you take Liz home?” she asked.

“Yes, around 2:00 am, we sat and talked for hours; we had lots of fun,” he said.

“Fun, what kind of fun are we talking about here?” Maggy asked.

“We just laughed a lot, she said; I am the first person she met who is not consumed with making money or starting a revolution. She said it is fun to be normal, not so darn serious. She asked about my home, my family, and do they love each other. Her mother and father live in separate worlds. Her father is a retailer with stores all over, and her mother is involved in politics, very socialistic. She said they never see each other. That is why she was at the party; her mother is a big supporter of some group, Students for a Democratic Society, who asked her to attend. Her mother could not attend, so she sent Liz,” Thomas said.

“Do you like her?” Maggy asked.

“Sure, I like her, not like you think, as a friend. Her father would never allow her to be with a “goyim” like me,” Thomas said.

“OH, I forgot Liz is Jewish,” Maggy said.

“Yes, a very nice person; she said I am the whitest thinking and looking person she ever met,” Thomas said.

“Did you guys make out?” Maggy asked

“Maggy, you are not supposed to ask such personal questions,” Thomas replied.

“Why not, all the girls at school will be asking me, we always tell everything, girls have no secrets, Thomas, remember that. We love the details of an affair. Let’s get dressed Richard, is Liz coming to breakfast with us?” Maggy asked.

“No, her mother is in town and wants her to go someplace with her. She said she would talk to you soon,” Thomas said.

“Maggy, let’s eat here. The view is great, it is comfortable, OK?” Richard asked.

“Sure, order me some poached eggs, toast, orange juice, and coffee,” I am going to take a bath.

“Thomas, what do you want for breakfast?” I asked.

“Whatever you order get for me,” he said.

“Come on, man, you are acting very strange, did you guys make out or not?” I asked.

“Kind of,” Thomas said.

“Kind of, what kind of answer is that? Come clean, it is me, Richard, I won’t tell,” I said.

“We put on the robes, the soft ones in the bathroom, then sat on the sofa and kissed a little. Liz put her hands in my lap and felt around; I guess I got excited, it got hard, and she played with it. She smiled at me and then rubbed her hands down my legs; when she touched my braces, Liz sat up, then asked about the braces. I told her the story. She cried, saying how sorry she was for my pain, while she was rubbing it. All of a sudden, she is kissing it; I experienced nothing like that. When she finished, she kissed me, saying, that will make your legs better. Richard, you know what, it did. I forgot I was wearing braces; all I could think of was how relaxed I am. That is when she asked me to take her home,” Thomas said.

Knocking on the door made us jump; we are both so engrossed in our thoughts, but the coffee is needed!

“What are you boys up to, Maggy asked as she walked into the room, dressed and looking lovely.”

“Nothing, waiting for you, my dear,” I said.

“Sure, why do you both have red faces, don’t keep secrets.”

Honey, Gregory will take us to the airport this morning. Did you fly or take the train?” I asked.

“The train, of course, he can drop me at Grand Central. So what do you have planned for us this summer?” Maggy asked.

“I thought we might go to the moon,” I said.

“You go to the moon; I want something closer to home with shopping,” she said.

“Just kidding, honey, my friend from MIT, William Lenoir, is in the space program. He asked if we would like to come to Florida and see the spaceship that is going to the moon. They recently opened the Launch Operations Center on Merritt Island, Florida. We can go to Florida, see the space center, and go to Palm Beach, how’s that sound?” I asked.

“Now you’re talking my language lover, you make the arrangements and pick me up, I love you madly,” she said.

I called Gregory to pick us up at 11:45 am. We had over an hour to kill before our flight to Raleigh. I want to phone the Colonel; there is something about Max Stevens that does not fit. Why is he so interested in me?

“Colonel, Richard, I am in the City. You asked me to tell you if someone new wanted to be friends, we asked to spend the 4th with Michael Whitney Straight at Kennedy’s apartment at The Carlyle. Michael introduced me to Max Stevens; he is involved with some anti-war groups, Students for a Democratic Society. He was Kind of intense and asked me to lunch to talk more. He said he works with Alan Haber and Tom Hayden, neither of these are familiar, appreciate it if you check them out for me,” I said.

“Richard, now you are thinking smart, find out before something happens. When will you be back in North Carolina?” Colonel asked.

“In a few hour’s Colonel, Thomas Nelson is with me, we are at the airport now waiting for a flight home,” I said.

“Richard, I will get a hold of Matt later; he will let you know. Have a good trip,” Colonel said.

“Richard, thank you for taking me to New York; it is the best experience of my life; I never imagined how some people live. It seems like there are two or three America’s, one for the poor, another for people like us, then a completely different one for those that thrive off of the labor of those beneath them. In nature, water does not flow uphill, but here you can see money, sure does. We don’t see the difference at home, there it’s all the same, but in New York, you see it in every face. I suppose it is like that in every great City, but this is the first one I have seen,” Thomas said.

“Yea, Thomas, your observation is correct; I am reminded of Hemingway’s line, “The only difference between the rich and other people is that the rich have more money.” I do not entirely agree with this line; I like your observation better; when you said there are three different America’s, I will add Worlds. What I see is people like us, those in the middle, have concern for the plight of the poor, those at the top have no regard for those they think beneath them. They see those as mere numbers. That is why it is so easy for them to start wars; they make huge profits and never feel death’s pain. Their sons do not fight in these wars; they most certainly do not; underlings take care of that. The only weapon they brandish is their martini glass while sitting in their clubs talking brave,” I said.

“Richard, don’t you aspire to be one of them, I mean rich and all?” Thomas asked.

“Thomas, we will make money, but we will not be one of them. I intend to be like Hemingway says, the same with just a little more money. Remember, in 1st Timothy, “For the love of money is the root of all evil.” The love, not the need for money, creates evil; we need money to fight those who love money as their God; it was also said, “It takes fire to fight a fire.” Thomas, you know what God meant when he commanded Adam and Eve saying, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die? The tree is not a fruit tree as commonly believed; it is the tree, the roots, the fruit, so to speak, of those who desire to control the World with money as their power source. Remember, in the scriptures, the fruit is a metaphor for man; for example, when it is said in Matthew 7, “A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.” It all ties to man’s character; he has a love of money as his center brings forth evil. You will not see wars started by the poor they have Nothing to gain; war is for gain. Thomas, we will be firemen, using money to fight money, how’s that sound, Captain?” I asked.

“I am ready to fight with you, Richard, point the way,” he said.

“Thomas, wake up. We are at home. You dozed off must have been dreaming about last night,” I said.

“Hey man, don’t talk like that, dad is very perceptive,” he said.

“Matt was sitting on the front porch as we drove up. Hey big shots, how was the trip, son?”

“Oh, great! I can’t wait to tell you and mom,” Thomas said.

“Richard, the Colonel called, he wants to speak to you asap, let’s drive to the store. Thomas, get your stuff, mother has dinner ready, I will be right back,” Matt said.

The phone rang in the booth almost as we drove up. Richard, your instincts are right about this guy Stevens. He is a CIA asset; they are concerned about any group that opposes their plans; the war is on their front burner now. Max Stevens is put inside to report on people who oppose the war.

“Colonel, is he an agent?” I asked.

“No, he is an asset, they have over 25,000 paid assets worldwide, why do you think they need the drug trade to pay all of this. None of this is in the US Budget. It is all ‘off the books.’ They require millions upon millions of dollars in cash every month to maintain their network of assets. These paid assets work in every defense contractor, every central Church, the universities, all embassies, and newspapers in the World. The pigs need greasing, and the drug trade pays for it all. Richard, you cannot imagine the vast network and the cost of it. Hell, the FBI has over 4000 assets in the States. The roots grow everywhere, be careful; you can use this guy, and feed him misinformation, which he will forward. Give him the 180 degrees, if you are going south, tell him north. You will learn the value, and use their methods against them. Keep in touch,” Colonel said.

 

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A Call for Freedom

Part 3 of The Exempt Trilogy

Chapter 1                Intrigue

Time never ceases the march to the morrow, wondering what my meeting with Mary Pinochet Meyer will bring. Mary seems to me to be the key to unlock all those doors that remain hidden from view. Her ex-husband, Cord Meyer, is a top CIA Official heading up the Mockingbird Program that allows the CIA to control all media, both visual and print, therefore controlling the people and their perception of reality. Mary was also involved with President Kennedy; the secrets she holds seem to be the forefront of all the intrigue going on in DC and involving me. We left our betrothal party, which had to have been the event of the year in Boston. Maggy told her mother she would drive me back to the hotel, and we left; father and mom said they would be along soon.

“Richard, you seem deep in thought, what is it?” Maggy asked.

“Oh, nothing dearest, a meeting Monday morning about business,” I said.

“Business, on Monday here in Boston with who is it Terdayne?” she asked.

“No, dearest, something else,” I said.

“At MIT, I can go with you?” she asked.

“No dear, you cannot attend. Tomorrow is the only time I can see this person in Boston,” I said.

“What person, don’t keep secrets from me, is this person a girl?” she asked.

“My darling, a matter involving the Kennedys, they ask to keep it confidential, please do not tell anyone of this,” I said.

“You have too many secrets, in Newport, the police officer, and a phone call you had to make, what is this all about?” she asked.

“Dearest, all I can say is I am asked to do this for the President, it must be confidential, please trust me on this,” I said. “Come up to our room, be with me; you were with hundreds of people today. I barely saw you in that forest of folks.”

“Yes, that’s true. Do you know what all they asked?” Maggy asked.

“Sure, where did you get that beautiful dress?” I asked.

“No, silly, they asked about you, how we met, who you are, I answered the same questions hundreds of times, I should have written a handout for them, it was fun though. I thought I would die when those horses came trotting in with the carriage laden with food, what a vision. It will take mana from heaven for mother to outdo today at our wedding,” Maggy said, laughing.

Once we are in our room, nothing else matters except we are alone, in love, and deliriously happy. The knock on the door startled me; it was 6:30 am; Maggy had left at 1:00; I recalled I told room service to bring coffee and toast at this time yesterday; he is here now. Excellent, thank you, please place it on the table. Works out good; there is time to walk around the harbor before church services at 11:00 am; the Drexal’s are meeting us at Old West Church, my father was asked to speak; I am confident the message they hear will be very different from their church. Dad gave me a copy of his text to read and retain;

OUR DUTY AND RESPONSIBILITY AS CHRISTIANS 

We must first understand what is meant by the word. Duty. (from “due,” that which is owing, O. Fr. deu, did, past participle of devoir; Lat. debere, debitum; cf. “debt”) is a term that conveys a sense of moral commitment to someone or something. Moral obligation is the sort that results in action, and it is not a matter of passive feeling or mere recognition. When someone recognizes a duty, that person commits himself/herself to the cause without considering the self-interested courses of actions that may have been relevant previously. This is not to suggest that living a life of duty precludes one from the best life, but responsibility does involve some sacrifice of immediate self-interest. Our first duty (moral commitment) is to God and Our Lord, Jesus Christ.

How do we do this? The Word of God guides us. Jesus said to her, “I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in Me, although he may die, yet he shall live”. John 11:25. The word BELIEVE is mentioned 131 times in the Bible. This repetition underscores the importance of this word. What is meant by this phrase, Believe? Many Christians think that if they believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, they are saved Christians. Even the Devil and demons believe in Jesus. So we must dig into what is meant by Believe in. To see what is meant for us to do. To fully understand the importance of what “believe in” means, we must first go to its root. The New Testament was written in Greek. The Greek word for believe is Pistevo, which means; To Adhere; to support or maintain loyalty. B. To hold fast or stick by, as if by gluing or fusing. With this understanding, now look at what Our Lord Jesus Christ says in John 11:25, “I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever Adheres, Remains Loyal, Holds Fast to Me, although he may die, yet shall he live”. Jesus said in John 14:15, “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” What did Jesus Christ command of His followers? To have no other Gods but God The Father, and to Love each other as you Love yourself. To Love one another is probably the most misunderstood phrase in the Bible. What does Love mean? A simple but very concise meaning of Love is, “Don’t hate.” In the Greek, love has several precise definitions; we can infer from what Jesus said that His meaning was “Philia” or friendship. It is natural affection, like that felt by parents for an offspring, and describes relationships within the family.

In our daily lives as Christian men, we must understand His command to Love each other as yourself. Love also is a correction. We must correct our faults before we may correct others. How can the dutiful father fix his child if he does the very thing he demands his child not? That would be taken as hypocrisy and create resentment, not love. Resentment is the foundation for all rebellion and discord within the family. When Jesus said, we must Do unto others as we do unto ourselves.

When we understand that Correction is a vital part of that command, we as Christian men must correct ourselves, our Family, our Neighbors, which includes our Community and Our Nation. Herein lies our Duty to God. We must Hold Fast, Stick With Him, and Correct (love) ourselves as we Correct (love) those around us. If we as Christian men would truly Adhere to Jesus and obey His Commands, the wolves would be driven from power over the Lambs of God. Do you accept this responsibility? The second duty (moral commitment) we Christian men have is to our family.

Before we can accept our Christian duty to the family, we must know Who Our Family is. Christ has told us the answer, “For whosoever shall do the will of God. The same is my brother and my mother.” Mark 3:35. Our duty is to all the members of the Family of Christ. When Christian men understand this command and work in unity with their Christian brothers, those that are of the family of the Devil will not be over any of us.

The Christian family must be headed by men with virtue, Noble in character and deed. When a Noble Man leads the family, the family will follow him out of sincere respect. To be Noble is defined as possessing, characterized by, or arising from the superiority of mind or character, or ideals, or morals. If we are to be sincere men of Christ, we must be Noble. Sarah, Abraham’s wife, addressed him as “My Lord” because Abraham was a nobleman of God. How many of our wives would address us so?

We are living an extraordinary time of Spiritual Warfare. Christ has told us essentially those not with Him are of the family of the Devil.

John 8:42-47 (NKJ) 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. 43 Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. 44 “You are of your father the Devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer initially and did not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore, you do not hear, because you are not of God.” 

We today live when most of those who hold power over us are not of God. They do not hear His words, nor do they desire to do so. They want what their Father wants and do what their Father does. You know them by their deeds. Now! Christian men must do what our Father in Heaven wants of us and be not deceived. AMEM!

Father’s text profoundly affects the congregation; there is a silence in the vestry when he finishes. Later, we are in front of over two hundred members lined up to shake hands with this truth teacher.

Our families enjoyed a fabulous brunch at The Ritz; the day was splendid, the sun shining through crystal clear skies, the harbor bustling with activity, many taking their private boats out to enjoy the sea, breathing the fresh breezes of Springtime. Life seems without concern until my thoughts go to the morrow. This memorable day came and went as if in a flash. Now it is time to leave; we said our goodbyes for now. Mom is crying tears of joy; Father is quiet and thoughtful, William, the same, almost as if they wondered what tomorrow would bring for their children. Perhaps the words my father spoke opened some doors best left closed. I retired, thinking only of Mary.

Monday morning at again 6:30 am, the server brought my coffee and toast. I showered, dressed, then read the morning paper with butterflies churning in my stomach; what does she want with me? The river of time must have come upon a dam slowing the flow to a crawl; every minute seems an hour. Why call only at 10 am? Father called at 8:00, saying they are on the way home now and will see me tonight. Hours later, it seemed, the clock struck 10, I called the number.

“Mary, answered immediately,”Richard, can we meet now?” she asked.

“Yes, where do I meet you?” I asked.

“Richard, unlock your door. I will be there in a minute,” she replied.

“How are you in the hotel?” I asked.

“Just unlock the door,” she hung up.

I had no time to call the Colonel, the door opened, and Mary Pinochet Meyer came in.

“Mary, does anyone know you are here, were you followed to the hotel, to my room?” I asked.

“Richard, come sit by me and listen. I spent many years with these CIA people; I know their methods, habits, contacts, and how to avoid them. Don’t worry; nobody is aware I am here. All my belongings were checked for bugs; most found were disabled, the ones I left operational were given to others unknowingly; those dogs will follow the wrong fox. Richard, you were at Hyannis Port; after your visit, my access to Jack was cut off. It had to be something you said to the family. What do you know?” she asked.

“Mary, I was advised not to speak to you; how is what I know has anything to do with you being here? I asked.

“Richard, you either know too much or not enough; both are serious problems. You have access to both Jack and Robert; this can be helpful for them. I now have no way to contact Jack, and there is important information he MUST have. Can you get this to him!” she asked.

“Mary, since I first met you in DC, my life has been under scrutiny, my house, my office broken into, my phones tapped. Now, you want me to get more involved in your schemes, why would I?” I asked.

“To protect the President, she replied. You care for the Kennedy’s; you care for the conditions the people of color live under, this I understand talking to Jack. He can help with those people’s plight if allowed. He has many enemies and is making more every day. He has those on his staff, not his friends. When he intervened in Alabama, it caused a stir in Washington among some powerful people.”

“What vital interest does the CIA have in Laos, Vietnam, and the rest?” I asked.

“Richard, don’t be naive, money is the interest in all things, money is derived from resources, oil, gold, food, drugs, it is all the same. Empires are built upon the resources from Southeast Asia. Why do you think the French fought so long to keep it under their control?” she asked.

“What about the Military? They certainly don’t want unnecessary war,” I said.

“Richard, I do not have time to give you a history lesson or an economics course, heed the words General Eisenhower gave upon leaving office, ‘beware the growing Military/Industrial combine.’ The military wants the power to control the world’s resources; the industrialists want to make and sell them the weapons to accomplish this objective, a very neat and tidy web of interests with the CIA their principal instrument. Presidents come and go, these people and their minions will be there forever,” she said.     .

“Mary, that is true, it is in line with research I am doing now on who controls the drug trade around the world, also what General Smedley Butler wrote, “War is a Racket,” how can I help?” I asked.

“You can help me communicate with the President; you are the only safe way I can now. He must be cautious; Jack suffers from a war injury. His back causes him excruciating pain; at times, so bad he has a difficult time standing; they have him on medications. That is what concerns me. My friend, Dr.Timothy Leary, at Harvard, working with Dr. David McClelland, a Yale grad with a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology, is heading up the Department of Psychology and Social Relations, a fancy term for a “mind control” program. They developed a new mind-control drug called LSD, an extract of psilocybin mushrooms, Leary, experimented with in Mexico. The Department at Harvard is a CIA operation. Leary told me they plan on giving this drug to President Kennedy; it will be prescribed to help his pain. The real purpose is to control him. Jack does not know of this program. I am the one who introduced Leary to Jack; now, I cannot contact either person; they are ‘off-limits.’ They will use these drugs to have him sign off on anything they desire; he will be in another place in his mind. Do you understand the implications of this?” she asked.

“Mary, I do, is your ex, Cord Meyer, behind this?” I asked.

“Richard, I don’t know what Cord is up to now; he is in the middle of every nasty business. Cord is devoid of emotion or concern for those he believes beneath him, which includes most. They will stop at nothing to prevent me from passing this information to Jack; if they knew I told you this, you would be at risk. You must never tell this to anyone except Jack or Robert Kennedy; you will put them at serious risk. When I say risk, I mean life or death; these people don’t play games. Richard, I must go now. I will find a safe way to contact you again; do not attempt to contact me”. With that, Mary left.

I need to call the Colonel with this, but now I don’t trust making a call from my room, so I went to the lobby looking for their payphones.

“Colonel, Richard here, I need to talk, not on this phone, where?” I asked.

“Officer Shepherd, in Newport, drive back and locate him. He will arrange a place to meet this evening. I will let him know what is up.” Colonel said.

I decided to check out now and drive, figuring it will take me about 2 hours. I arrived in Newport just past 1:30 pm, phoned from a cafe I had stopped to eat, the Newport Police Department asking Officer Shepherd; I told them I am a friend he is expecting. The desk officer took my number; all I could do was wait for his call, only taking six minutes.

“Hi Richard, Colonel asked me to have you meet him out at State Airport, go to the general aviation terminal, he will be there by 4:20 pm, it’s in Middletown, you can’t miss it,” he said,

Another two hours to kill might as well have some of that apple pie I see in the case on the counter. The general aviation terminal has a loudspeaker broadcasting ground control radio communications; it is interesting to hear conversations between ground control and pilots landing. They are directed at which taxiway to use and where to park. A little after 4:00 pm, I heard a voice calling ground control, who I recognized as Colonel. I went outside watching his plane taxi to a parking spot a truck led him to.

The first person out of the plane is Vanessa; she looks beautiful, not just beautiful but glamorous, I thought, out came Colonel, even the way he walks shows authority.

“Vanessa saw me and came running, Prince Richard, how glad I am to see you as she threw her arms around me, her breasts pushing into my chest, kissing me ever so lightly on the cheek.”

“Colonel is right there with a scowl on his face; he did not want her to get too friendly.

“Come on, Richard, let’s take a drive,” he said.

“Where to Colonel?” I asked.

“Drive over to the beach, Vanessa wants to take a walk on the sand while we talk,” he said. “Shit, Richard, what did this dame say, why did you not call me before you met with her?”

“Colonel, when I phoned her at 10:00 am as she asked, she was in the hotel, told me to unlock my door, and was inside in a few seconds, I had no time to call,” I said.

“Shit, how do you know she is not followed?” he asked.

“She said she is aware of being monitored, and had someone check all her belongings, found devices and deactivated some, others were planted on other people so they would be followed, she told me the dogs would be following the wrong fox,” I said.

“Smart girl that, what else?” he asked.

“She said what she told me is dangerous, I should not tell anyone, or they could be in danger as well. She said never try to contact her, she will find a way to contact me, then asked me to be her contact with President Kennedy, she is removed from any clearance to see Kennedy,” I said.

I relayed to the Colonel all she had told me about Timothy Leary, a Dr. McClelland of Harvard, and how his Mind Control Department is a CIA operation. Colonel, a drug tested there is LSD, a powerful hallucinogenic substance that someone will prescribe to President Kennedy. The drug will enable them to control his actions and sign off on the war in Southeast Asia. She said they could take control of the President’s mind with this drug. He is already on daily medications for severe back pain and will be willing to take any prescription they tell him will relieve his constant pain.

“Did she say who is behind this?” he asked.

“No, I asked her, she only alluded to the fact that some of his advisers are not his friends,” I said.

“Do you know where Mary lives?” he asked.

“No, Colonel,” I said.

“She is in danger with this knowledge, a walking bomb, best stay well clear,” he said.

“How do I tell the President?” I asked.

“Richard, you still have contact with the Police Sergeant, correct? Do you trust him with your life? That is the question you must decide because even I cannot protect you if this gets out. What about that FBI agent Robert Kennedy assigned to watch you?” he asked.

“She knew I would be in Boston for the event, but I made certain she could not find or follow me, I do not trust the FBI,” I said.

“That is smart; you cannot afford to trust anyone you don’t know intimately. Richard, I had your home phone checked out, there is a tap, do not use it except for social calls, your family is not privy to all this, are they?” he asked.

“No, sir, you are the only one I will talk to about this,” I said.

“Good, keep it that way. Find a secure payphone and call me this Thursday evening, I have some things to look into, let’s get Vanessa before she freezes,” he said.

I drove Vanessa and the Colonel back to the airport and headed home to Wake Forest away from all this intrigue, but first, a stop in Alexandria. I calculated that it would take about 8 hours from Newport airport to Alexandria, now 6:17 pm, I will there around 2:30 am, I have the keys to my office, I will rest there, be at Violet’s house by 6:30 am when Sergeant Porter is leaving for duty at the White House. Alexandria’s streets are deserted at this early hour, only the occasional taxi or police car in view as I pulled into the parking garage near my office. There is a security man posted at the reception desk. I knocked on the glass front entry door to get his attention, and he came to the door, asking who I am and what I wanted. I told him my name and company, he asked for ID, opened my wallet, and exposed my driver’s license. He unlocked the door; kind of early for you, sir?

The Colonel had purchased a leather sofa for the inner office, which I almost dragged myself onto and immediately was fast asleep. Shortly after 5:30 am I rose, washed my face with the cold water in the sink, then sat down to write the letter to the Kennedy’s;

President Kennedy, Robert Kennedy; This morning, I was contacted at my hotel in Boston by Mary Pinochet Meyer. She came to my room to tell me a serious matter that she begged me to relay to you. Dr. Timothy Leary, who Mary introduced to you, is associated at Harvard with Dr. McCelland; he heads up the Department of Psychology and Social Relations. That is a CIA funded Mind Control program; they have developed LSD, a powerful hallucinogenic substance, an extract of the psilocybin mushrooms. 

Someone is going to prescribe this drug to President Kennedy supposedly as pain relief. The real purpose is to gain complete control over the President’s thoughts and actions to force him to sign off on troops for their desire in Southeast Asia. She did not say who was involved, only that some of your advisers are not friends. She also indicated this was a grave risk for the President. 

Your servant, Richard Martinson

I sealed this in an envelope addressed only to Robert Kennedy then drove over to Violet’s house, making sure I am not followed. The lights in the kitchen are on. I knew that Sergeant Porter was up. He saw my car pull in the driveway as I approached the front door; he opened it saying;

“Richard, it must be important for you to come here at this time,” he said.

“Yes, sir, it is, the matter is urgent. I ask you to deliver this letter to Robert Kennedy this morning, please,” I said.

“Come on in; there is fresh coffee, it looks like you can use some,” he said.

“Thank you, yes I drove all night from Boston, now I need to drive to Wake Forest,” I said.

“Can you stay for a while, say hello to Vi? She will be up in about an hour or so,” he asked.

“Love to, sir, but I need to get home, I am overdue now, they will be worried, thanks for the coffee, give my love to Violet and her mom for me,” I said.

Now to go home at last.

 

Chapter 2                   THE MOLES

Home is special; seeing these familiar streets, my friends’ houses and the businesses I grew up with, friendly people visiting their neighbors, all bring peace to my soul.

The drive into my driveway made me reflect on how small my house became. When I was young, the house and yard were huge. It now looks tiny; it has not changed must be me. Father was not home when I arrived, but Mom, my anchor, is here to greet me with her loving smile that instantly comforted me. My home; a small but familiar world away from all the intrigues encountered.

“Richard, my dear, give me a hug; why were you so long driving home?” Mother asked.

“I needed to visit people in Alexandria, I have an office there now,” I said.

“You best call Thomas, he has been worrying me to death about when you are coming,” he said.

“After breakfast, mom, I will walk over to see him; I am hungry.” I said.

“Sit down, son, I will fix something, have some tea,” she said.

“Mom, I am going to shower and change, be down in a few,”I said.

Renewed is how I felt after taking a warm shower in my bathroom surrounded by old clothes and fond memories, then putting on a pair of jeans I had not worn in two years, they still fit, along with an old cotton tee shirt and well-worn sneakers, now I am home at last. Mom made my favorite pancakes smothered with fresh blackberries; after two stacks, I am ready to walk to the Nelson’s. Thomas must have called mom as he is sitting on the front porch waiting for me.

Richard, I waited two days for you, help me up. I gave him a hand, and to my amazement, Thomas stood on his legs without crutches, a cane, or a wheelchair, with tears running down his cheeks.

“Richard, see what God has done for me, it is as you and I prayed for,” Thomas said.

“I put my arms around Thomas and held him in silence, soaking in the joy he felt. When were you first able to stand?”

“Just last week, here look at the braces they made for me as he lifted the pants leg.

The doctors think within another month or so of rehab I should walk without the braces, certainly in time for school at Duke in September,” he said.

“Thanks be to God; come on, it is time to get you occupied. Thomas, is Marion or Matt home?” I asked.

“No, Mom is at Jones Hardware working, Dad is on some project, he will be home Saturday,” Thomas said.

“Do you have any iced tea in the kitchen we have work to do? Thomas, you will soon be ready to take on more than the investigating you are now doing. You know of Pathway and Tech Investments. This new company made some exciting investments in tech companies in the computer sciences field. Now, I want you on board as Vice President; here is your assignment. Tech Investments is looking for the brightest new faces in the industry, those with new ideas, visions for the future; let your mind explore what tomorrow will be when computers can compile and store data. Then search that data from sources worldwide, enable people to make computations, generate reports, create new hardware, write new programs to run business, banking, government, universities, and the military. We are already using them to compute the trajectory for space flights. The opportunity is limitless, we will be at the forefront of this science, we need to find and recruit the gifted people,” I said. Find us the person who can make Dick Tracy’s two-way wrist-watch a reality, and the sky’s the limit.”

“Richard, I always wanted one of those. Can they make it?” Thomas asked.

“There are men out there who can do anything they can dream; let’s help them fulfill those dreams,” I said.

“I envision you contacting universities with departments of computer science, seek talented students in need of scholarships. Have them write applications outlining their projects, those most promising we will provide scholarships under Pathway Foundation. Those gifted and ready to start-up their own company, we will invest taking a share in their stock; later, when they mature, we can have them taken to the public market; this is when we all hit the jackpot. Your starting salary is $500.00 per month effective July 1st. Questions?” I asked.

“Yes, Richard, why me?” he said.

“You are gifted and trusted to carry out this vital part of our business; you will become a partner in Tech Investments as the company grows. Are you onboard?” I asked.

“Heck, yes, Richard, I love the title Vice President, sure help me with the girls, right?” he asked.

“Hey man, girls will run after you, be more selective with them than you are with the candidates for scholarships. Might help talk to these guys if you know their vocabulary and take some computer science courses at Duke. While you are visiting these universities, snoop around to see if there are anti-war groups on campus. If so, make contact, let them understand you can provide funding, and communicate with other like minds. Unity is what will make changes happen. If we can build groups in 30 or more Universities, those in Congress will react. With your father’s war record and your position on American war for profit, you will fit in. We need this separate not a part of Tech Investments. We will need to set up some non-profit organization Pathways can fund,” I told him.

“You know my feeling on that, I want to be part of anything that keeps this country out of the war, is the war in Asia going to happen?” he asked.

“Thomas, I guarantee it. Kennedy is under extreme pressure from the Joint Chiefs and the CIA to engage American troops, who demand this war now! The bankers who profit from war, and those who make the machines of war demand it. They  spread money. They own Congress and the State Department. They tried to force Kennedy to go to war with Cuba, which failed; they need war for profits. Talk to Matt; I am certain he can help you with Veteran’s groups; let’s coordinate all we can. Now, partner, I will be in bed for a couple of hours; call you when I rest up,” I said.

“Sarge, Captain wants to speak to you, hello Porter here,” I said.

“Sargent, sorry to bother you at the gate, but will you stop by my office before you go home today?” The Captain asked.

“Certainly, Captain, something up?” Porter asked.

“No big deal Sargent, we need to go over some things,” the Captain said.

“I will be there by 4:15, Captain.”

That is the first time in the last four years the Captain has asked to see me; maybe my request to become a Detective has been approved. Most of the other uniformed officers say I have the department’s cushiest assignment, but most jobs become boring and routine. I became a police officer because I thought it would be interesting and useful. The most exciting part of my day is driving home through the traffic. Going into the gate at the station caused me a little apprehension; I noticed the slight look of concern on the officer’s face at the entrance as he waved me in. As I walked down the hallway toward the Captain’s office, I could not help observing those at their desks kept their heads down as I walked by.

The Captain’s office is glass-enclosed, commanding a view of the Detectives desks; as I walked up, the door opened, and I heard; Sargent Porter, come in, please. The Captain is seated at his desk, and two other men are inside, one sitting next to the Captain, the other standing by the door. When I came inside, the man standing went around the room, closing the blinds covering the windows and door.

“Thanks for coming, Porter, this is Agent Clay and Agent Timmons of the Secret Service,” Captain said.

“Agent Clay is sitting with a clipboard on his lap from which he took out a photograph and handed it to me. Sargent Porter, this was taken this past Monday at 8:32 am, it shows you greeting the car of Attorney General Robert Kennedy, he put down the window, and it appears you are handing him an envelope, is that correct?” Agent Clay asked.

“Yes, sir, so what?” Porter asked.

“What was in that envelope?” Agent Clay asked.

“Captain, that is personal, do I have to answer this man?” Porter asked.

“Sargent, I told these men you are one of the most trusted members of this force and beyond reproach, but these men have the sworn duty to check out everything going into the White House or to anyone that works there, please, answer his question,” The Captain said.

“Captain, this is embarrassing, my family asked for an autographed photo of President Kennedy and Attorney General Robert Kennedy. They wish to display this photo in our house because Kennedy supports the civil rights movement. Is that a concern for the Secret Service?” Porter asked.

“No, Sargent, it should not be, Clay, what you got to say?” Captain asked.

“Sargent, there are protocols that must be kept, especially by sworn officers who should know better, we can’t let people stick things through the window of a high official’s car, you want a photo, call at the White House and request it, this happens all the time.”

“Sargent, wait outside for a moment, let me talk to these agents,” Captain said.

“Agent Clay, what the hell is this? You two did not come here to complain about my Gate Officer who has for several years now provided security and protection to those who work in the White House,” Captain asked.

“Captain, we are in a time of crisis, many things of national security are in the works. The Director does not want anyone who is not cleared to see, speak to, or have access to The President or his Cabinet members or communicate with them. This Sargent Porter is no longer allowed on White House grounds effective as of today!” Agent Clay stated.

Sargent Porter, go in the Secret Service Agents, said as they pushed past me, both had a scowl on their face as they stomped down the hallway.

“Take a seat, Sargent, I don’t understand what in the hell is going on over there, but something stinks. I was ordered to take you off gate duty at the White House; you are persona non grata there. Did you piss someone off, did you say something out of line? Porter, I have known and respected you for years; you wanted to get your Detective Badge, well, you got it. I am so pissed by those pricks telling me what I should assign; this is my department. Porter, give me your badge, take this one, how does Sergeant Detective sound? There is a pay raise with this grade, take your family out to celebrate. Report at 8:00 am, we will get your new assignment and work station.”

“Thank you, Captain, I appreciate all you do for the Department and me,” Porter said.

Leaving the station, I could not help thinking about Chinese food and the sweet and sour dishes they serve. The sour is being removed from the honor of the White House gate duty, the sweet, getting the promotion to Detective I desired for years. I will take the family out to a Chinese restaurant tonight. More to this sudden change than seems. Richard, must be close to some nerve, if they are watching me that close, what about him? I cannot have Violet involved in whatever is up; how do I let him know?

Richard, come down for breakfast with your father, he is leaving for Atlanta soon, mom called out. Be right down, mom, almost dressed. Gosh, it’s Thursday already, I need to call the Colonel and Maggy. Good morning dad, mom, a great day to be home.

“Sit with me, son, what are your plans for the summer?” dad asked.

“Not much dad, got a few extra credit summer assignments I want to complete to graduate early next year,” I said.

“I don’t blame you for wanting out, son, school gets to be a bore after so many years, plus your plate is full of other projects,” dad said.

“Yes, dad, that is the way I feel, school can point me in a direction, but then it is up to me. I found what I want to do, time to get on with it,” I said.

“Well, son, don’t be in a rush, enjoy your freedom; in a few years, you will have family responsibilities and commitments that take away from the personal freedom you now enjoy,” dad said.

“Dad, can I ask you a question both as my father and pastor?” I asked.

“Son shoot,” he said.

“Dad, I listened carefully to the sermon you gave in Boston. I also read the text, which I will keep forever as a guide. Now my question has to do with the text of my Duty and Responsibility as a Christian man. I saw and heard the thoughts of men in power. The drums of war are beating in Washington. These men desire to create a war not to make America more secure but for their interests. Thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, will die for no purpose except to fill a few coffers. How am I, as a Christian, who knows what is coming and believes this is wrong for America and the World for that matter, supposed to conduct myself? Should I speak out in the churches, in the schools, lead demonstrations, how do I help stop this madness before so many die? My wife’s family, those who support me in school, many of those who attended our betrothal, are some of those who will make the most profit from this war,” I said.

“Son, the questions you asked are best answered by God. You are in a most difficult position; you must weigh what you can accomplish by being public with your position and what you can accomplish behind the scene. I am sure the same thoughts tear president Kennedy as you. I, as a Church leader, have the same concerns. There are things I wish the Church to do, many in the Church opposed. How does the leader of any democratic society function? You told me Kennedy does not want to put American boy’s lives at risk in an unjust war. Yet many powerful people around him demand it. Many of these powerful people control the media; they can influence the opinion of Americans. They can make them believe war is needed to prevent the spread of communist dictators to our shores. They can make them believe we must sacrifice for the greater good of humanity. These people have the means to make it look like someone is Un-American if they speak out. They will wrap themselves in the Flag and call anyone who stands in their way a communist, a dirty Red, a traitor. Here in North Carolina. With the most Military Bases in the US and home to the largest Military Base, Fort Bragg, with the country’s largest military population, you would be run out of town if you speak out against the military. The economy of our state depends on military spending. That son is the problem; money to most is more important than God or good. The Lord told us you could not serve two masters, so many of those in power chose only one master, money. Your heart, your soul is serving the right Master, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, let his Holy Spirit be your guide,” he said.

“Dad, I understand, but if no one speaks out money will control all events, we lose. There is no way to control the political scene without the money and support of those in power that operate in the background. No one may become a national figure, and those that do, are subservient, regardless of their populous speech. Money is the key; I must find a way to use the key in a way that benefits all, not only the Exempt. Have a good trip. Dad, I need to go meet Thomas,” I said.

The fresh summer breeze feels good on my face walking down the street to the Nelson’s. In the driveway, Matt is washing his car and playing with the dog spraying it with the hose as it runs around the vehicle.

“Hey Matt, how’s things? Great Richard, nice to see you, staying out of trouble?” Matt asked.

“Not sure about that, Matt, trying. Hey, I need to call the Colonel, he said not to use my phone and not sure of yours,” I said.

“When you are ready, I can beep him, let him call down at the store, he knows the number,” Matt said.

“Thanks, Matt, I am going to see Thomas first,” I said.

“You don’t have to go far, Richard, I am right here,” Thomas said.

I looked around; Thomas was sitting in the front seat of the car. He started laughing, looking like you saw a ghost man. Dad will let me drive around the block; I can’t wait to try it; want to come? Sure man. Matt finished wiping the car and got in the front next to Thomas; let’s go. Good thing the car is automatic. Thomas does not need to push his legs as much.

Drive over to the market, Matt said. He is on his beeper, dialing the Colonel. It is only two blocks to the store, so we parked in front of the phone booth and waited. The phone rang after only 2 minutes; I answered, hi Colonel.

“Richard, you spoke to your friend, Sargent Porter?” Colonel asked.

“Not since Monday, sir, why?” I asked.

“Well, don’t call him, and don’t meet the girl. Porter has been re-assigned; he is no longer at the White House gate. This is certainly in response to you having him deliver the note to the Kennedy’s. If they are watching him that close it means that they know of your relationship. Be careful about what you do and say. If someone new tries to make friends in the next few days, they are with them, be careful,” Colonel said.

“What else did you find out about Colonel?” I asked.

“Nothing, Richard, there is a blackout on everything about Mary, keep your distance. I will continue to seek info and advice later, say Hi to Matt,” Colonel said.

“Matt, I need to call Maggy. Can I use your phone?” I asked.

“Sure, Richard, use the phone in Thomas’ room,” Matt said.

“Hi Maggy, love and miss you,” I said.

“Richard! I tried to get you for two days; when are you going to get a service?” Maggy asked.

“Sorry, love, I keep forgetting, I will go tomorrow for sure,” I said.

Michael Whitney Straight invited us to spend the 4th of July at The Carlyle at Kennedy’s apartment. The fireworks show’s view is spectacular, Michael said. It sounds fun, so I said yes, is that OK?” I asked.

“Certainly, dear, the 4th is, on a Wednesday, do you want to meet in the City?” Maggy asked.

“Let’s meet Monday at the Plaza; we can see a show, attend the party and spend some quiet time alone,”I said.

“Sounds like an anniversary date; I will be there by 2:00 pm, love you,” Maggy said.

“Matt, does your beeper let you see who is calling?” I asked.

“Sure, Richard, this thing is a blessing; I will order one for you so you can be in the loop; what number do you want it to use?” Matt asked.

“For now, my New Haven number, Maggy, is bugging me and says I never answer,” I said.

“You are never there. How could you answer?” Matt asked.

“Thomas, we are going to a 4th of July party in the City, why don’t you come with me? We will get you a room at the Plaza. Michael Straight is holding the party at President Kennedy’s apartment at the Carlyle. Michael is a Whitney, many lovely ladies will attend, I am sure some can help exercise your legs,” I said.

“Can I?” Thomas asked.

“Let’s do it; it is time my partner meets my bride,” I said.

Thomas and I got a flight to New York out of Raleigh on Monday morning and took a taxi to the Plaza Hotel. It is fun sitting next to Thomas, watching his eyes and facial expressions. He has never been to the City and is mesmerized by the sights, more so when we pulled up in front of the imposing Plaza Hotel, and a Uniformed Door Captain opened the taxi door, claiming; how lovely to see you. “Welcome to the Plaza, sirs.” I helped Thomas out; he still has not said a word. The Assistant Manager came saying, nice to see you again, Mr. Martinson, this is Mr. Nelson, I presume? Thomas’s eyes are as large as saucers at this time, but he could not speak, just nodded. I was not able to get you adjoining rooms. Mr. Nelson is on the same floor, two doors from yours; we gave you the same suite on your last visit with us. Let me know if I can help in any way while you are here. He motioned for a bellman to show us to our rooms. Thomas is still in shock, his eyes bulging, taking in all the sights silently. We took Thomas first to his place; the bellman asked him if everything is satisfactory.

“Heck, yes,” he said.

“Come with me, Thomas, we will go to my room and then get a snack,” I said.

“After the bellman left with a tidy tip, Thomas let out a yell, Richard! I never expected anything like this, this place; the City is overwhelming, you are a world traveler now, even the manager calls you by name, how do you do it?” Thomas asked.

“Thomas, I don’t do anything by myself. I am like you, a guy from North Carolina who made good choices that led me here. You are on the same path; we work together to help others, and good things happen. Perhaps that is God’s plan for us. Come on, let’s go down for a snack before Maggy arrives, it will give you a chance to look around, see the sights,” I said.

We stopped by the front desk. I asked to tell Maggy Drexal; we will be the Oak waiting. Monday at lunchtime in the City is hectic. The lobby is jammed with tourists arriving for the 4th of July spectacular, others wanting to dine, drink, and enjoy the endless parade on 5th Ave and Central Park. The wealthy crowd is here wanting to see and be seen; it made for a great show. Thomas is relishing the parade with all his senses, as am I. I did not think we could get a table in the Oak; there is a line of people waiting, shoving their way to get a spot. The Maitre de came to me and said, follow me, sir, your table is ready. He led us to a window table overlooking Central Park and gave us a broad smile. I tried to give him a tip, but he smiled and walked away. People demanding why these young boys were given a prize table? Thomas has no clue as to the drama being played out or why he is having fun. We ordered a pot of tea, a fruit plate with rolls, sat back, and watched the play.

“Richard, this scene reminds me of the Wizard of Oz when Dorothy said, “Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” We are sure not in Wake Forest,” he said.

I laughed, “Thomas, your Mom said the same thing in Baltimore,” you should have seen me when I made my first trip here, almost broke my neck looking around, wait until you go to Broadway, Times Square, tonight maybe Maggy will want to take a tour.”

Suddenly the room grew quiet, a sudden drastic change from the endless dim of conversation and clinking glasses laden with ice. I turned to look at what was happening; the people at the tables were peering toward the lobby entrance when I saw what captured the attention of even the jaded New York crowd. Entering the Oak is a young lady who could make a train standstill to observe her. She is wearing a broad-brimmed white hat with a veil covering her eyes. A long silky pale, almost creamy jade coat came to her ankles, covering her white silk dress. Wearing a choker of pearls that must be worth a small fortune, she wore white silk covered high heels; her hand displayed a large diamond that flashed for all, she was stunning, in control of the entire room. Thomas is sitting with his mouth hung open, eyes fixed on this vision who seems to approach our table. She is walking ever so slowly, enjoying every moment of the control she has over the crowd when she comes close saying, Richard, have you been waiting long? I stood and kissed the check of this beauty, this dream, this angel, saying to her, ‘all my life, my love,'” I said.

“Thomas Nelson, may I present Maggy Drexal, soon to be Mrs.Martinson, my love,” I said. People are clapping, smiling, waving to Maggy, as she sits between us, the smile on her face is worth whatever money this trip costs, a memory to be filed away forever. Thomas has not said a word; he is awe-struck until Maggy holds out her hand for him to kiss.

“Thomas, a pleasure to meet you. Richard speaks endlessly of you; he has a great love for you. I know of the accident and what you went through, now to see you sitting here, next to me is wonderful. We will be great friends, have lunch yet?” Maggy asked.

“No, waiting for you, we ordered fruit,” he said.

“Well, let’s order,” Maggy said.

Thomas is so nervous he knocks over his water glass, his face flushed red as the flags hanging outside. A busboy scurried to wipe up the spill and bring fresh napkins while our waiter stood by to describe the chef’s specials—Maggy, elected for the poached salmon salad. I asked if the chef will make me a grilled roast beef with cheddar cheese sandwich with French fried potatoes? Thomas said that sounds good. Can I have the same? Indeed, any wines with lunch? No, more tea, bring another cup for the lady, please.

“Maggy, can we be tourists today? This is Thomas’s first day in the City, let’s show him the sights. I will get a car and driver to take us all over, we can take the ferry, to the Statue of Liberty, go to the top of the Empire State Building, tour Broadway, eat pizza and have fun,” I said.

“Richard, I would love that; we can change and go casual, oh Thomas, you will love it, too bad I don’t have a friend in town to keep you company. Richard, come, let’s change. I am excited to do this; I never get to be a tourist, mother always insists I must “stand above,” whatever that is supposed to mean,” Maggy said.

I stopped at the Concierge to secure a car and driver. How many hours Mr. Martinson will you need him? Let’s say 5 hours; we can be ready in 30 minutes. Gregory will be waiting in front, sir. Maggy is tugging at my sleeve, hurrying my love; I want to see our wedding room again as we rush to the elevator with Thomas saying, hey guys wait for me, I can’t run yet, you know. Thomas, change and come to our room in 30 minutes. Thirty minutes, what are you in a hurry for, darling, Maggy asked with a frown? She ran to our bedroom, undressed in a flash, threw back the comforter, and covered up, saying, come here, dear! Who am I to argue with such a lovely lady as I jumped in beside my wife. Hurry up, darling; we don’t have much time as she rolled on top of me and took my lips in hers. It seemed like only a minute when we heard the knock, knock on the door; I grabbed a robe and opened the door for Thomas, who can see I am preoccupied. Do you want me to come back? No, Thomas, we are changing, turn on the TV, watch the news, we will be right out. I am heading for the bathroom when Maggy grabbed me saying, not so fast, dear, we still have things to discuss, get back here!

We are in a festive mood going down to our driver, Gregory, parked in front in a new 62 black Cadillac Town Sedan; when he saw us exit, he opened the rear door for Maggy and me, while Thomas got in front, then as Superman says, UP-UP and Away.

“Gregory, we are tourists today, first stop at the Empire State Building’s top,” I said.

“Whatever you say Mr. Martinson, I am here for you,” Gregory said.

Gregory, please call me Richard; this is my best friend Thomas, and Maggy’s the love of my life. We are here to have fun, your suggestions are appreciated,” I said.

We drove down the most expensive street in the World, Fifth Avenue. Gregory gave us some history as we cruised down 5th; Caroline Astor built a house on the southwest corner of 34th Street, which began 5th avenue’s rule as the most fashionable residential neighborhood. In 1893, they made the Astoria Hotel, which later joined its neighbor as the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. That site is now the home of the Empire State Building, so you see the history here. Edith Wharton’s 1920 Pulitzer Prize novel “The Age of Innocence” has its central theme Fifth Avenue and the lives of New York’s social elite who lived here. They widened Fifth Avenue in 1908 to accommodate the increased traffic. This area was residential, now commercial. The first commercial building on Fifth Avenue was built by Benjamin Altman, who bought the corner lot on the northeast corner of 34th Street in 1896. In 1906 his department store, B. Altman and Company, occupied the whole block front. The fashionable women came and as did other high-end stores. Lord & Taylor flagship store is here near the Empire State Building and the New York Public Library.

Gregory pulled up in front of the Empire State and helped first Maggy then Thomas, a little stiff, so Maggy and I put Thomas between us as we went into the bldg. Gregory said he would be in front in an hour and a half. Thomas looked up as high as he could see and said, Richard, where is the top of this? Way up there, way up there.

“Have you ever been up there, Richard?” Thomas asked.

“Heck, no, I am afraid of heights,” I said.

“So am I, are you trying to get me sick?” Thomas asked.

“Thomas, we must overcome our fears so we may fight the dragons,” I said.

“Richard, I have no intention of fighting dragons,” he said.

Maggy is laughing at both of us, come on, children, I will protect you, as she got our tickets. To the top, up-up and away we go to the 102 nd floor, the top of the World. Boys, it takes about 40 minutes to get to the top, come all hold hands.

“Richard, my heart is pounding too fast I might pass out,” Thomas exclaimed.

“Thomas, don’t pee your pants, and you will be fine,” Maggy replied.

It gets more comfortable with each floor. By the time we get to the top, you will be like Superman, ready to leap tall buildings. You leap off one, he said with a laugh. Thomas and I spent the rest of the ride up with our eyes closed. Maggy is ecstatic; she is now the brave one, with two big strong men, squeezing her hands like little boys. Finally, the top, our scary trip is worth the pain, as the doors opened to a breathtaking view.

“Maggy, thank you, Thomas, told her, this is incredible, I would never believe this, nor will ever forget. Here, I understand why super-rich men desire their offices to be up high. They can look down at us, the minions they think we are and feel like Gods. They might even think they are Gods for all I know, they behave that way, dictating to all, standing here looking over the World it seems probable. Richard remember the scripture when Satan tempted Christ by taking him to a “high place,” where he could see the World, offering Christ dominion over it all if he would serve him. I think Satan has taken some men here and made them the same offer,” Thomas said.

Maggy went up to Thomas and kissed his cheek, saying now I know why Richard loves you so much, you both are wise beyond your years. Come on; the trip down is easy. Gregory is waiting in front, as promised, we walked up, he is smiling, you all need a restroom after that trip? Where to now, he asked?”

“Let’s take the ferry ride to Liberty Park, I said. Will you go with us so you can take some photos?”

“Sure, you get the tickets while I park, I have a camera. Do you want motion or stills?” Gregory asked.

“Stills are best, easier to show around,” I said.

I can tell Thomas is getting tired; this has been his first day being on his feet for this long. Fortunately, the boat has excellent seats. We are lucky to have Gregory; he brought a superb 35mm Canon Camera, took dozens of memorable photos we will treasure forever.

“Richard, I don’t think I am ready to take the trip up the Statue. Let me sit here and enjoy the view,” Thomas told us.

We will not leave you alone; let’s look around, buy some stuff for the family, and then return to our journey. The sun is setting, giving a strange orange and red glow to the skyline of the City. We got some stunning photos of the three of us with the City aglow in the background; those alone are worth the boat ride.

“Gregory, we need some great New York Pizza; where is the best place for it?” I asked.

“Di Fara, none better in the world, it is over in Brooklyn, want to try it?” Gregory asked.

“Sure sounds fun. Can we see the Bridge?” I asked.

Driving over the Brooklyn Bridge, Thomas asked if he could use the camera. Thomas took shots of the Bridge, Maggy and I kissed in the back seat. Gregory, driving over to J street, there is the unimposing facade of Di Fara’s pizza; the looks might not be glamorous, but roll down the window and breathe in the life. Gregory, park, join us for pizza, will get us a table, tell De Marco it is for Gregory, we go back a long way, he will be in the kitchen, but his staff will say to him. This man will not let anyone make a pizza except himself; he lives for those pies.

We entered this lovely pizza house welcomed as family. I told them that Gregory is with us parking the car. The waiter ran to the kitchen, bringing with him De Marco. Where is Gregory, he asked, then Gregory came inside, “paisano” and they hugged.

“Get my friends a table by the kitchen. I wish to talk as I work,” De Marco told the staff.

Without asking, the waiter brought a large carafe of red wine, some antipasto, saying salute, as he poured each of us a large glass of wine, which we did not refuse. Everyone is hungry, the fragrance, this joining of garlic, fresh basil, rosemary, hand-grated Parmigiana cheese, and the fresh smell of baking bread is enough to drive the senses wild. All toasted Gregory for this day, his bringing to this beautiful place, and the friendship he gave to us. We consumed a second carafe of wine while Gregory told us the story of De Marco and Di Fara Pizza House.

Each pizza is handmade by De Marco; he closes the restaurant if he cannot work. He believes he should make the pizza. Three of his seven children work in the kitchen; he makes about 150 pies a day and cuts fresh basil over each. De Marco will only use imported ingredients, flour, extra-virgin olive oil, only San Marzano tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella cheese from Casapulla. Freshly grated Grana Padano cows milk cheese, three types of mozzarella cheese, and hand-grated Parmigiana Reggiano cheese, all from Italy, the fresh basil, and oregano come from Israel. He bakes these hand made pies in the oven at about 800 F, which creates the thin crispy crust. Once you have one, you must have more; they are addicting.

The waiter brought our pie while De Marco came out to watch as we took our first bite. Maggy took one bite, then got up and kissed Di Marco. The blush made his face as red as his sauce, but he was delighted and shared a glass of wine with us before rushing back to his kitchen. We consumed our third carafe of wine and third pie before thanking this wonderful man, saying “Buon Giorno” to our new friend.

“Where to now, Richard?” Gregory asked.

“Let’s head back to The Plaza, drive through Broadway and Times Square, Thomas, needs to get the full treatment,” I said.

“Richard, I am so full and dizzy from the wine. All I need is a bed,” Thomas said.

“I am not sure if the sights he will see are worth seeing, that is the worst neighborhood in Manhattan, even the taxis are careful there. Thomas, where are you from?” Gregory asked.

“Wake Forest, North Carolina,” he said.

“Where else have you lived?” Gregory asked.

“Only in Wake Forest, Gregory all my life,” Thomas said.

“Then this is a must, you will see a part of life in America only seen here, not the life you want to live, but the life of many lost souls. This area is infamous for sex shops, go-go clubs, prostitution, and drugs, not the place for young Christian men from North Carolina, that is for sure. Look around, take a view of hell, that is this area now, used to be the center of the arts, all the greats artists from years ago played here, but the decay has set in,” Gregory said.

“Gregory, I saw enough, let’s go to the Plaza where it is clean,” Thomas said.

I paid Gregory $200.00 for his time and thanked him for being so gracious. Richard, I appreciate you; call me when you are ready to go to the airport. I will pick you up; the ride is on me.

We spent the next day, Tuesday playing around, took a row-boat ride in Central Park, we even took a ride on a horse-drawn carriage, all in all, we had fun. Wednesday, the Fourth of July, is to be a festive occasion. The city streets are ablaze with American Flags on every light pole. Flags and bunting on all the shops, even the taxis carried flags.

Tourists walking around with American flag tee shirts, there is a crowd of students in Central Park with Uncle Sam top hats; it seems as if everyone is in town to celebrate the Birth of Our Nation. After a lovely breakfast in our suite, we went to get ready for the Carlyle party. Michael asked us to be there by 3:00 pm, but Maggy said we would arrive not earlier than 5:00 pm; I will never be the first guest at a party, Maggy insisted. It is a short taxi ride up Madison Avenue to the Carlyle; we arrived at 5:07 pm, as Maggy requested. Kennedy’s apartment occupies two stories from the 34th to the 35th floors. The party is in full swing on our arrival; Michael comes rushing to the door to greet us, saying where you have been? Everyone is asking to see the couple of the year? My God, that was a grand affair, everyone in Christendom is talking about those horses carrying the food, spectacular. Come on, let me introduce you around.

“Who is your friend here? Do I know him?” Michael asked.

“No, Michael, Thomas Nelson, Michael Straight. Thomas is my best friend and business partner,” I said.

“Wonderful to meet you, Thomas, you have good friends,” Michael said. “There are more Brits at this party than Americans; he said, English love fireworks displays and any reason to party.”

Michael led us upstairs to the Solarium and a deck overlooking the City and Central Park. Most of the guests are surrounding a marble-top bar set up in the corner of the deck. Michael motioned to a young man who is talking to a group at the bar to come over.

“Max Stevens, meet my dear friend, Richard Martinson, the Yale Lawyer, Investor, and Philanthropist, I told you about,” Michael said. “Richard, Max here is an interesting guy, a student like you and an activist, you both seem to have similar interests, you guys chat, I must look after my guests.”

“Max, this is my fiance Maggy Drexal, and my dear friend Thomas Nelson,” I said.

“Richard, can you stay and talk for a bit? I know a couple of girls here that I want to introduce to Thomas?” Maggy asked.

I am left standing with Max Stevens, who seems a rather intense fellow, not much in smiles, makes me uncomfortable.

“Richard, care to join me in some lemonade? It has a kick to it, Michael says it is an old family recipe, I think it’s good English Gin with lemon juice,” Max said.

“Max, Michael said you were an activist, just what is that?” I asked.

“Nothing that will make me any money, that is for sure. A group of us led by Alan Haber and Tom Hayden formed a group we call SDS or Students for a Democratic Society. We are holding a meeting in a few days with LID or League for Industrial Democracy, to merge these groups so we can be a more effective voice,” Max said.

“So, what is the purpose of these groups?” I asked.

“To counter this Anti Soviet propaganda and keep us out of the war, he said. The United States is determined to go to war with Russia, and we do not want to die for their games. Michael told me that you are opposed to war and helped fight for people of color’s civil rights. Some of the colored civil rights organizations are joining with us,” Max said. “What is your position on the war now brewing?”

“Max, I am a lawyer, not a general. I believe there are wars of necessity and wars of opportunity. I am for wars of necessity and opposed to wars of opportunity,” I said.

“What do you mean by necessity?” he asked.

“Max, the way I like to define things is to take them to the smallest possible root, here I use a family as an illustration. A man with three children, a wife, a farm, lives in peace and is self-sufficient. Someone desires the man’s property and conceives a plan to take it by force. They take up arms and surround the farm demanding the family leave and give the attackers the property. The family, including the three children, take up arms and defend their home. To me, this is a war of necessity for the farmer and his family. It is a war of opportunity for those that attempt to take it by force. That, Max, is my thoughts on wars,” I said.

“Interesting viewpoint Richard, I would like to discuss this with you in more detail. Can we meet for lunch sometime?” Max asked.

“Max, here is my card, give me a call; today is for fun, not politics, I need to find my girl before someone steals her away,” I said.

Thankfully, Maggy came upstairs with Thomas and a rather attractive young, around 20-year-old girl on his arm; they seem to have hit it off. Richard, come and meet my friend Liz, Liz Altman, we know each other from Dartmouth. Liz came to me and wrapped her arms around me and kissed me on the cheek. We are dying to see who caught Maggy; you are better looking than she said.

Life creates some exciting scenes, how or why is the mystery. Six months ago, Thomas was confined to a wheelchair that had held him captive for years. The mysterious hand of God led him from the confines of his family home in North Carolina, with seemingly no opportunity in his future. Today he sits atop the most luxurious and by far the most expensive apartment in the great City of New York. He is surrounded by the wealthy elite, a lovely young lady, and his future unbounded. Seeing his smiling happy face makes my heart warm, it almost brings tears of joy to my face. Then, I turn and see the face of an angel smiling down upon me, Maggy, who only God could have brought. How do I deserve all this good fortune? I know not what, but now I want to be alone with Maggy and hold her tight to my chest before I awaken from a dream.

“Thomas, let’s get cold drinks for the girls; we went to the bar and ordered four lemonades; they float slices of lemon in the drink topped with a cherry. Thomas, what about Liz? Is she nice?” I asked.

“Richard, she is ‘really’ nice, she wants to go back to the Plaza with us for dinner, is that OK?” Thomas asked.

“Perfect, let’s get out of here as soon as the fireworks are over, tell Maggy you are tired, and we can split,” I said.

The firework show is, as Michael claimed, extravagantly beautiful. The grand finale is spectacular; they created the American Flag in the sky with bombs bursting around it so loudly; they shook the building. The entire City cheered the ending; you can hear their screams from our perch high above the City. Thomas is thrilled to be a part of this event, something he never dreamed possible. I found Michael and Maggy by my side, thanked him profusely for including us at this affair. Michael said, Richard, we have many things to discuss; perhaps we can get together before returning to Chicago. Please, call me, I said, giving him my card. The short ride back to The Plaza is a scene no one wanted to sit in the front of the taxi by themselves, so we all squeezed into the back seat, the girls crushed together with Thomas on one side and I the other were laughing all the way. I stopped at the desk and asked for two bottles of champagne with four glasses sent up.

“Right away, Mr. Martinson, anything else?” was asked.

“Send some crab cakes,” I said.

“Certainly, sir, how many?” was asked.

Enough for four will be nice.

Upon entering, Liz said, “How lovely Maggy, no boyfriend of mine ever treated me like this.”

“Richard is special, as I told you, so is Thomas,” Maggy said.

Let’s freshen up, Maggy said, leaving with Liz for the bathroom. Room service was there almost as soon as we were. They brought two bottles of Moet. Is this satisfactory? The waiter asked? Looks good to me, thanks.

“Liz came out fresh and fresher, sitting next to Thomas on the settee, “How do I look,” she asked.

Thomas blushed, looking at her slightly unbuttoned blouse, saying great, “really great.”

“Pour me champagne and let’s toast,” Liz smiled.

Thomas stood and poured each of us a glass; you could tell he is nervous as the bubbles spill over the glass; I am sure he is sweating. He raised his glass, saying, “today, tomorrow and forever with you.”

We touched glasses and swore our friendship forever.

Thomas is more at ease as Liz pulled him down next to her. She pulled him close then kissed his lips, not with passion, but earnestly. I watched, thinking Thomas might pass out, but he held her close for the moment.

Maggy laughed, “saying, go, girl, get that man.”

We were laughing, enjoying what has been a wonderful day, and promises to be an even sweeter night for all.

“Liz, where are you staying?” Maggy asked.

“Maggy, we have a co-op in Central Park West; Thomas will ride in a taxi with me home soon; we are going downstairs and get some hot chocolate, care to join us?” Liz asked.

“No thanks, I am tired, Richard and I will cuddle up and watch TV for a while. How about let’s all have breakfast before we leave for home in the morning,” Maggy said.

“Great idea, here or in the park. What time does Tavern on The Green open? Do you know?” Liz asked.

Never mind, I will call in the morning, perhaps we can meet there, see you bye. Come, my husband, we are finally alone as she pulled my hand to our bedroom. I was in bed before Maggy; I pulled the comforter for her to get under with me. We lay there for hours it seemed just looking in each other’s eyes, loving the other with our gaze. Finally, Maggy pulled close, and we embraced, locking our bodies together in a dance of love.

I lay half asleep thinking, what makes a marriage work, people join their lives, and become one? Why do so many families fall apart? How can love turn into hate? It does not seem possible you can genuinely love someone one day, hate them the next, yet this happens often; why? Perhaps, there never was love, just emotion or convenience. What are the qualities that make for a good union? These thoughts might seem strange; I am lying here with the one I love incredibly happy. Maybe these thoughts are triggered by my concern for Thomas. He has never had a girlfriend; he is so vulnerable, it would be so easy for him to become entwined with the wrong person. I saw the way he looked at Liz; he knew nothing of her or her family. I recall the words of scripture in Ephesians. I think it is said, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” There is no command for wives to love their husbands, only to submit themselves. Trying to remember my Greek from a course I took at Duke, submit comes from the Greek word hupo, meaning under. That makes sense; man must love, honor, cherish his wife as Christ loves his family, women must respect their husbands and willingly be under him.

I like everything simple; I say it this way; man needs to give love, and woman needs to get love. If this exists within a family, the family is forever, because the fruit of that union will follow, as the apple tree gives apples. There! I found the key to happiness. When men and women select their mate, they only need to look at the tree to see the future. If a man loves his mother, only then can he truly love a woman and give her the love she needs; if a woman truly loves and respects her father, only then can she respect and be under a man. Without these simple truths, you have chaos. Life is simple if we follow the rules. I recall the first time I spoke with Michael; he explained his family’s passion for racehorses and how they took such care in the breeding, searching for the best trees of the male and female.

“Richard, wake up, someone is at the door.” I shook my head, trying to open my eyes. Maggy is shaking me, answer the door. I pulled on my robe and opened the door to find Thomas standing there, smiling at me.

“It is morning, look outside a beautiful day,” Thomas said.

“Thomas, I know it is morning, but it is early; why are you so full of energy?” I asked.

“Maggy, appeared still half asleep, hi Thomas, did you take Liz home?” she asked.

“Yes, around 2:00 am, we sat and talked for hours; we had lots of fun,” he said.

“Fun, what kind of fun are we talking about here?” Maggy asked.

“We just laughed a lot, she said; I am the first person she met who is not consumed with making money or starting a revolution. She said it is fun to be normal, not so darn serious. She asked about my home, my family, and do they love each other. Her mother and father live in separate worlds. Her father is a retailer with stores all over, and her mother is involved in politics, very socialistic. She said they never see each other. That is why she was at the party; her mother is a big supporter of some group, Students for a Democratic Society, who asked her to attend. Her mother could not attend, so she sent Liz,” Thomas said.

“Do you like her?” Maggy asked.

“Sure, I like her, not like you think, as a friend. Her father would never allow her to be with a “goyim” like me,” Thomas said.

“OH, I forgot Liz is Jewish,” Maggy said.

“Yes, a very nice person; she said I am the whitest thinking and looking person she ever met,” Thomas said.

“Did you guys make out?” Maggy asked

“Maggy, you are not supposed to ask such personal questions,” Thomas replied.

“Why not, all the girls at school will be asking me, we always tell everything, girls have no secrets, Thomas, remember that. We love the details of an affair. Let’s get dressed Richard, is Liz coming to breakfast with us?” Maggy asked.

“No, her mother is in town and wants her to go someplace with her. She said she would talk to you soon,” Thomas said.

“Maggy, let’s eat here. The view is great, it is comfortable, OK?” Richard asked.

“Sure, order me some poached eggs, toast, orange juice, and coffee,” I am going to take a bath.

“Thomas, what do you want for breakfast?” I asked.

“Whatever you order get for me,” he said.

“Come on, man, you are acting very strange, did you guys make out or not?” I asked.

“Kind of,” Thomas said.

“Kind of, what kind of answer is that? Come clean, it is me, Richard, I won’t tell,” I said.

“We put on the robes, the soft ones in the bathroom, then sat on the sofa and kissed a little. Liz put her hands in my lap and felt around; I guess I got excited, it got hard, and she played with it. She smiled at me then rubbed her hands down my legs; when she touched my braces, Liz sat up, then asked about the braces. I told her the story. She cried, saying how sorry she was for my pain, while she was rubbing it. All of a sudden, she is kissing it; I experienced nothing like that. When she finished, she kissed me, saying, that will make your legs better. Richard, you know what, it did. I forgot I was wearing braces; all I could think of was how relaxed I am. That is when she asked me to take her home,” Thomas said.

Knocking on the door made us jump; we are both so engrossed in our thoughts, but the coffee is needed!

“What are you boys up to, Maggy asked as she walked into the room, dressed and looking lovely.”

“Nothing, waiting for you, my dear,” I said.

“Sure, why do you both have red faces, don’t keep secrets.”

Honey, Gregory will take us to the airport this morning. Did you fly or take the train?” I asked.

“The train, of course, he can drop me at Grand Central. So what do you have planned for us this summer?” Maggy asked.

“I thought we might go to the moon,” I said.

“You go to the moon; I want something closer to home with shopping,” she said.

“Just kidding, honey, my friend from MIT, William Lenoir, is in the space program. He asked if we would like to come to Florida and see the spaceship that is going to the moon. They recently opened the Launch Operations Center on Merritt Island, Florida. We can go to Florida, see the space center, and go to Palm Beach, how’s that sound?” I asked.

“Now you’re talking my language lover, you make the arrangements and pick me up, I love you madly,” she said.

I called Gregory to pick us up at 11:45 am. We had over an hour to kill before our flight to Raleigh. I want to phone the Colonel; there is something about Max Stevens that does not fit. Why is he so interested in me?

“Colonel, Richard, I am in the City. You asked me to tell you if someone new wanted to be friends, we asked to spend the 4th with Michael Whitney Straight at Kennedy’s apartment at The Carlyle. Michael introduced me to Max Stevens; he is involved with some anti-war groups, Students for a Democratic Society. He was Kind of intense and asked me to lunch to talk more. He said he works with Alan Haber and Tom Hayden, neither of these are familiar, appreciate it if you check them out for me,” I said.

“Richard, now you are thinking smart, find out before something happens. When will you be back in North Carolina?” Colonel asked.

“In a few hour’s Colonel, Thomas Nelson is with me, we are at the airport now waiting for a flight home,” I said.

“Richard, I will get a hold of Matt later; he will let you know. Have a good trip,” Colonel said.

“Richard, thank you for taking me to New York; it is the best experience of my life; I never imagined how some people live. It seems like there are two or three America’s, one for the poor, another for people like us, then a completely different one for those that thrive off of the labor of those beneath them. In nature, water does not flow uphill, but here you can see money, sure does. We don’t see the difference at home, there it’s all the same, but in New York, you see it in every face. I suppose it is like that in every great City, but this is the first one I have seen,” Thomas said.

“Yea, Thomas, your observation is correct; I am reminded of Hemingway’s line, “The only difference between the rich and other people is that the rich have more money.” I do not entirely agree with this line; I like your observation better; when you said there are three different America’s, I will add Worlds. What I see is people like us, those in the middle, have concern for the plight of the poor, those at the top have no regard for those they think beneath them. They see those as mere numbers. That is why it is so easy for them to start wars; they make huge profits and never feel death’s pain. Their sons do not fight in these wars; they most certainly do not; underlings take care of that. The only weapon they brandish is their martini glass while sitting in their clubs talking brave,” I said.

“Richard, don’t you aspire to be one of them, I mean rich and all?” Thomas asked.

“Thomas, we will make money, but we will not be one of them. I intend to be like Hemingway says, the same with just a little more money. Remember, in 1st Timothy, “For the love of money is the root of all evil.” The love, not the need for money, creates evil; we need money to fight those who love money as their God; it was also said, “It takes fire to fight a fire.” Thomas, you know what God meant when he commanded Adam and Eve saying, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die? The tree is not a fruit tree as commonly believed; it is the tree, the roots, the fruit, so to speak, of those who desire to control the World with money as their power source. Remember, in the scriptures, the fruit is a metaphor for man; for example, when it is said in Matthew 7, “A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.” It all ties to man’s character; he has a love of money as his center brings forth evil. You will not see wars started by the poor they have Nothing to gain; war is for gain. Thomas, we will be firemen, using money to fight money, how’s that sound, Captain?” I asked.

“I am ready to fight with you, Richard, point the way,” he said.

“Thomas, wake up. We are at home. You dozed off must have been dreaming about last night,” I said.

“Hey man, don’t talk like that, dad is very perceptive,” he said.

“Matt was sitting on the front porch as we drove up. Hey big shots, how was the trip, son?”

“Oh, great! I can’t wait to tell you and mom,” Thomas said.

“Richard, the Colonel called, he wants to speak to you asap, let’s drive to the store. Thomas, get your stuff, mother has dinner ready, I will be right back,” Matt said.

The phone rang in the booth almost as we drove up. Richard, your instincts are right about this guy Stevens. He is a CIA asset; they are concerned about any group that opposes their plans; the war is on their front burner now. Max Stevens is put inside to report on people who oppose the war.

“Colonel, is he an agent?” I asked.

“No, he is an asset, they have over 25,000 paid assets worldwide, why do you think they need the drug trade to pay all of this. None of this is in the US Budget. It is all ‘off the books.’ They require millions upon millions of dollars in cash every month to maintain their network of assets. These paid assets work in every defense contractor, every central Church, the universities, all embassies, and newspapers in the World. The pigs need greasing, and the drug trade pays for it all. Richard, you cannot imagine the vast network and the cost of it. Hell, the FBI has over 4000 assets in the States. The roots grow everywhere, be careful; you can use this guy, feed him misinformation, which he will forward. Give him the 180 degrees, if you are going south, tell him north. You will learn the value, use their methods against them. Keep in touch,” Colonel said.

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 CHAPTER 1         

   CENTER OF POWER

 

I have heard it said that hindsight is always 20-20, however, I tend to disagree. I think it is far more important to look ahead than behind. Looking back over the last few months of my life, hindsight has nothing whatsoever to do with the outcome. I realize that although some others may have plans for my life, it will be determined by what I do, not by others.

We are given free choice to go left or right. If I keep my focus on the objective in my heart, all will be well. All will be accomplished. I believe it is the will of God the Father, is that not what I pray? Thy will be done? I pray that I keep this in mind, now more than ever, with this gift I am to receive, I could go many ways.

To say I am excited is misleading, I am ecstatic. However, I need to appear as if this is expected. Sure, I expected to be rich by the time I am twenty, sure. I caught the 7:10 a.m. train to New York that will put me in Grand Central at 9:20 a.m. plenty of time to be in the law office by 10:00 a.m. This is my third journey into the center of power in this nation. Most think that D.C. is the center of the world, but even my limited experience has shown me that the real power lies in New York City. Power is wielded by those who control the money and by those who create the rules, or laws, for others to follow. Money is created and controlled within this city. The rules or laws are also created by the powerful law firms in this city that work for those who create the money. Those laws are written here and enacted by their friends in D.C.

All political appointments that concern who governs this nation are decided here. Who will be the advisers to politicians holding seats of power are determined in this city. Every candidate for national office is decided here regardless of political party. Both political parties work for the same bosses, those who control the money supply. Washington, D.C. is as Kathy told me, just a large stage where the actors play their roles. If they perform properly they remain in the play, if not, a new actor replaces them. The cast may change but the playwright determines the outcome. These are the thoughts that occupied me during the short train ride into the city. I am no longer overwhelmed by the size and scope of the city, as I was on my first visit.

Once inside Grand Central Station, I enjoyed a morning coffee with a toasted bagel. My usual would be an English muffin. However, the bagels are fresh and irresistible. I asked the waitress at the counter if she knew where the address on this envelope was. She looked at me quizzically and replied, “You new to the city?”

“Sort of,” I told her. “This is my third trip here.”

“That building is only three blocks from here, are you walking?” she asked.

“Only three blocks? Sure,” I said. “I got twenty minutes to waste anyway.”

She is kind enough to direct me and I thanked her with a tip of a dollar, which elicited a smile. The building is an imposing structure not a new modern building like the ones that are being constructed all around, it eludes a quiet elegance. I am directed to the 17th floor. The elevator opened into an extravagant reception area with an efficient appearing receptionist seated behind the desk. This lady looks like she has the secrets to all, her nose is held quite high, if you understand my meaning. “Hello,” I said. “Richard Martinson to see Steve Volman.”

“Is he expecting you?” the lady asked.

“Yes, he is.”

“Richard Martinson to see you sir,” she called.

“Tell him I will be right out,” replied Volman.

“Take a seat Richard, Mr Volman will be with you,” she said. “May I get you some coffee or water.”

“Hello Richard, You are right on time, was your trip from New Haven pleasant?” a smiling Steve Volman asked. “Come on back, I notice you brought copies of the documents.” Steve’s office is not a partner corner office, but functional. “I am new with the firm, and I need to climb the ladder to receive one of those plush offices and private secretary,” said Steve as if to apologize for his modest space. “I understand you are at Yale Law, I am from Dartmouth. Your benefactors want you to have a secure future from what I see, did you read all these documents?”

“Yes,” I said. “The organization seems straightforward, I understand control is with three directors, of which I am one. Stan and Morris hold the other positions.”

“Basically, yes,” he said. “However, this is set up as a non-profit foundation and there are rigid rules that apply, legal and accounting.

“Additionally the purpose and objectives of the foundation must be maintained for it to continue. Pathway is entitled to accept donations and grants from others as long as the funds are used for the purpose declared in the bylaws and approved by the board. Pathway is a religious organization and may not engage in political activities. Pathway may contribute to any other non-profit organizations for any purpose contained in the bylaws and approved by the board. The board is to meet monthly on the first Monday of each month. This can be accomplished by telephone provided minutes are recorded and placed in the minutes book. You are responsible for day to day operations and record keeping. There are no restrictions placed on you, except any expenditure over five thousand dollars must have board approval. In the event any board member is no longer able to serve, due to health reasons or otherwise, a new board member will be appointed by you, with approval of the remaining board member. Any questions?”

“Steve this is clear, what is not is the funding, how is this to be funded?” I asked.

“Good question,” he said. “This is how it was funded.

“There has been an initial contribution in the sum of fifty thousand dollars. They set aside stock in two corporations, the stock is not owned by Pathway. However, all dividends from that stock are paid quarterly to Pathway. Pathway does not enjoy voting rights to the stock only the dividends are a donation to Pathway. The donors will retain full ownership of these stocks. Pathway, however in the event of the stock involved splits, the created stocks over the original amount accrue to Pathway. This sounds complex but is not. Here are the stocks involved, General Electric, Pathway is assigned one thousand shares of the common stock, which has a current value of seventy-five dollars per share. Next, IBM Corporation, also one thousand shares, the current value of this stock is five hundred seventy-eight dollars per share. Pathway will not be the beneficiary if the stock price increases. Pathway will only benefit from stock ownership if the stock is split, and the new shares do not diminish the value of the donors original, as of today. Our firm will monitor and determine who receives any new shares of stock so split. Each of those corporations pays a quarterly dividend. Pathway bank account has been established at Chase Manhattan, your check register is here, all that is needed is your signature. Your signature is the only one needed, neither of the other directors are signatories to the bank account. Once you have signed all the papers I will make copies for your records and send the signature card over to Chase. Well, Richard, you are now president of Pathway Foundation. You must have clear objectives in mind for them to place such a large trust in you.”

“Thank you, Steve,” I said. “I know where to go, it is how to get there I seek.”

“Richard,” he said. “Are you going to be in the city for the night? If so, I would like to introduce you to people who can perhaps help you.”

“No Steve, but thank you,” I said. “I am going to visit a friend in the city and return to New Haven. I missed so many classes Dean Rostow must think me a slacker.”

“Richard, with your friends, the dean will not complain in any way,” said Volman.” If I can help, here is my card.

“Thanks,” I said. “I never had a business card, now I will order some, Richard Martinson, president, Pathway Foundation, sounds rather nice.”

“Sounds great to me,” he said. “Do you have a briefcase to carry all these documents?”

“No, but now I have a check,” I replied. “I can purchase my own, is there a shop around that sells leather ones?”

“Richard,” he said. “This is New York City, walk around the corner, someone will pop out of the alley with whatever you want.”

“Heck, you can buy a gold Rolex for ten bucks, everything is for sale here. Let me get you something to carry those important papers in. Richard, please join me for lunch in the Partners dining room, meet the partners.”

“Thanks, Steve,” I said. “I am short on time.”

“Richard,” he said. “I was hoping you will give me an opportunity to enter. I don’t enjoy enough seniority to use it, but if I am with a client of the firm, I am allowed. This would provide me an opportunity to sit with the big boys.”

“Steve, for that reason how can I refuse, we will get a bite and show you off.”

Steve led me to the elevator and we ascended to the 20th floor, the entire floor is occupied by what appears to be the dining room of an expensive private club, which it is. The walls are paneled in a dark grained wood. Large wood covered pillars seem to hold up the ceiling, are also paneled, but in a lighter grain wood. Large crystal chandeliers are positioned every twenty feet, hanging over each section of four tables. The room is surrounded by large windows almost twenty feet high overlooking the entire city, out to the East River and beyond. Dark emerald green draperies hung from floor to ceiling. The floor is carpeted with a thick plush emerald green carpet to match the drapes. Each table is positioned over a gold emblem of the firm woven into the carpet. There are six chairs at each table covered with white cotton linens starched and pressed as new. The chairs are high-back covered with black leather. The center of this grand room holds a larger table with twelve chairs, this must be for senior partners.

When we entered, the Maitre D’ bowed slightly and led us to our table, not by the windows and not in the center, but just off to one side. I noticed all eyes were upon us as we walked to the table past all other tables. Here I am twenty years old wearing khakis, penny loafers, and my navy blazer following a junior associate not much older than me. Lucky I wore a tie today, most of the time I do not. I am laughing inside realizing every man in this room wonders who in the hell this kid is, and I doubt they knew Steve either. Anyway, mission accomplished, I must say everyone was most cordial, the service impressive, and the food excellent.

When lunch was over, several of the lawyers stopped by the table to say hello to the firm’s newest client. Steve is beaming as we went back to his office and picked up my pile of documents. He had a staff member bring in a courier pouch to put my papers in.

“Steve,” I said. “Thanks for lunch.”

“Richard, thank you,” said Volman. “That is the first time, since I was hired, I had the opportunity to dine there, you made my day.”

I was so preoccupied when I first arrived I failed to notice the city is ready for Christmas. The streets are decorated with lights and wreaths, the shops have their Christmas regalia on display. What a joyous season this is because of the reason we celebrate. Sometimes it is difficult to think, joy to the world, when you see surrounding misery. How little man has changed over time, two thousand years ago, Christ was confronted by the same system as today.

The rich powerful who controlled the money were in total charge of the people, and the people suffered because of that. It mattered not if Caesar ruled the land, the money changers were in control. Jesus Christ the day before he was brutally crucified, went into the temple and with force threw the money changers, the bankers of today, out of the temple. I am certain that act set his assassination in motion. He had upset the balance of power by showing the people who their real enemy is.

Walking to Grand Central Station, I saw my first Santa of the season ringing the bell over his Salvation Army kettle. I realize how much I had missed of school since August, and now winter break is almost here. Inside Grand Central, I found a shop that sold luggage. They had a nice looking leather briefcase, and I bought it on the spot, costing thirty-four twenty-five. It is for Pathway. Now all I need are some of those engraved business cards like John Ey’s, Richard Martinson, president, Pathway Foundation. For now back to Yale.

“Richard,” Professor Manning said. “How nice of you to join us once again.”

“Sorry Professor, my lawyers summoned me to New York to sign documents.”

“What?” he asked. “Have you already secured a position with a New York law firm?”

“No sir,” I said. “Other business that needed to be finished, you will have my complete attention from now on.”

“How are you doing on your assignment?” Manning asked.

“Sir, I began my paper on the IMF, but once starting the research, I came across the BIS, Bank for International Settlements, that subject is even more applicable to your assignment. However, it requires additional research, which I plan to do during break.” I said.

“Interesting subject,” said Manning. “I look forward to your paper, in the meantime, there are more papers for you to respond to. See me after class. I expect these all completed after break, have a joyous season.”

Finally, this week is over. Somehow school seems a trifle mundane after the events of this past month. I look forward to home.

“Mom, I am coming home for holiday break, leaving in the morning, see you Saturday evening, is Dad home?” I asked.

“Richard,” she said. “He is always traveling these days. I miss the time when he only had to worry about our church. He will be home tomorrow and I will have supper for both of you, drive safe.”

“Mom, if you speak to the Nelsons, tell Thomas I am on my way.”

“Yes, I will,” she replied. “I am having breakfast with Marion in the morning.”

The drive to Wake Forest will take about eleven hours, best pack the car, get gas and drive! On the road again, almost noon as I approached D.C. better gas up and eat breakfast here. A quick breakfast of pancakes, eggs, and fresh coffee prepared me for the next four hours, at least I am homeward bound. The sun is casting dark shadows over the road making me drowsy, only sixty-three miles to home. It was almost 7:00 p.m. as I pulled into our driveway, Mom seeing the headlights came out to meet me. It seems like a lifetime ago when I left home for Yale.

“Mom!” I said. “It’s good to be home.” She said not a word, just embraced me so hard my back cracked. “Mom I have almost a month home, how I missed you.”

“Come in Richard,” she said. “It is cold out here, your father is home. He is excited to see you, he hurt his back that is why he did not come out, hurry now, get your things later.”

“Hi Dad, Mom says you hurt yourself, how are you?” I asked.

“Just sore son,” he said. “Tried to carry some things I should not, be fine in a day or two, come here let me look at you. Richard, you left as a young man, now you walk and speak like a man, a man with confidence.”

“Dad,” I said. The experiences I had since leaving home would make anyone older, but things or people do not intimidate me anymore.I believe God has empowered me to be able to handle any situation I am presented. Whatever I have done or do in the future is to bring glory to our Lord, Jesus Christ. Thankfully I will be home for my twenty-first birthday, December 9th I have a special surprise for you.” I said.

“You men come to supper before it is cold,” Marion called.

“My gosh Mom, this is a feast.” I said.

“My prodigal son has returned so the feast is set.” she said. There is a large pot of steaming shrimp. It must be over a hundred good-sized shrimps. She has a bowl full of brown rice and another of green salad. A feast for the mind and soul. “Father,” I said. “Please say prayers.”

“Dear Lord of all, we are here to offer our thanks for all you provide. May each of us here work for you and your glory, Amen.”

“Mom these shrimp are perfect,” I said. “Where did you get them?”

“Richard,” she said. “A member of the church, his brother runs a shrimp boat out of Fayetteville, they brought us twenty-two pounds yesterday. Walter, you know the Sikes family, these are from Larry’s brother.”

“Yes, Marion,” Father said. “They have been members for fifteen years, we will thank them at church in the morning.”

“Mom, Dad,” I said. “Thank you for this wonderful meal, I was starved, now I am stuffed and ready for bed.”

The sun shining through the curtains is what woke me from a comforting sleep. The aroma of Mom’s coffee propelled me downstairs. I do not know the time, but now with extra money I will purchase a watch.

“Good morning Richard, did you sleep well?” Mom asked.

“The best in months,” I said. “Are we going to early service?”

“Yes,” she said. “Your father was asked to conduct service at 8:00 a.m. Did you shower?”

“Yes,” I said. “I can be ready in five minutes.”

“We are having the Nelsons over for lunch,” Mom said. “So I did not make breakfast, just some biscuits and honey with your coffee. That should hold you after that plate of shrimps you consumed last night.”

Church service was kind of nostalgic as I had not heard Dad preach at service since high school. Only when service was over did I see Thomas and his parents in the back of the church by the door, to avoid the rush of members who want to shake hands with Dad. Thomas is my best friend, and he helps me on projects. His father Matt, along with his associates, Monk, and Tank run a security business that have been very helpful to say the least, in fact if it were not for them I would not be here today. I intend to have Thomas part of this new company. I snuck out the side door, and came up behind Thomas in his wheelchair then spun him around. “What the?” Thomas yelled out. “Richard, darn you scared the crap out of me. Great to see you man, we are coming to your house, did you get here last night?”

“Yes,” I said. “It was late, and I needed sleep. That was a long boring drive by myself. I have some fantastic news for you and Matt. Have you spoken to Tank or Monk?”

“I haven’t,” he replied. “Dad probably has, here he comes now.”

“Richard, glad you are home, how’s things at Yale?” Matt Nelson asked.

“Interesting,” I said. “Been a little quiet for the last week or so, kind of unusual.”

“Richard,” Matt said. “You make me laugh. I believe you enjoy the action, you should be going to military school, like West Point, not law school.”

“No thanks Matt,” I said. “I saw enough of that kind of action. I want more subdued entertainment, thank you. See you at the house, Mom is waving to me to come.”

“Richard, will you bring in some wood for the fireplace and make a nice fire?” Mother asked. The Nelsons drove up as I had the fire lit. “Come on in here Thomas and Matt,” Mom came out and took Dorothy’s hand and said. “Let the men talk in private, Richard is anxious to tell them something.”

“Dad,” I said. “Please come on in here, I want to talk to you all.

“Let’s pull up chairs around the fireplace. Dad, some of what will be said is confidential, and must not be discussed outside this room. However, you need to know as it involves you. You know that Matt and his associates have formed a security agency, they also conduct intelligence for clients. Without their help I would not be here today.”

“Son, what are you talking about?” Father asked.

“Dad,” I said. “Please just hear me out, questions later.”

“I was in New York, on Monday, meeting with the law firm of Sherman & Sterling, they are a major firm in the city. Their firm prepared the documents for a new foundation to be named Pathway. This new foundation is organized as a religious non-profit dedicated to protecting the Christian Church in America and keeping this nation as One Nation Under God, as our founding fathers directed. I am named president of this foundation and one of three directors.”

“Richard,” he said. “What are you talking about? How could you at twenty years old, and still in college, be named president of anything?”

“Dad, twenty-one in two weeks, God moves in ways we do not comprehend,” I said. “We do not understand his purpose, but must follow his path. He led me here and I will follow, I trust you will understand.”

“Richard,” he said. “There is so much that has occurred in these past months I do not understand, but those are choices you alone can make, I will support anything you do.”

“Thanks dad. Now, this foundation is funded with fifty thousand dollars, plus the quarterly dividends from one thousand shares of General Electric stock and a thousand shares of IBM.”

“The dividends will provide adequate income to accomplish the objectives of the foundation without interference. I am the sole signature on the bank account and need only the other director’s approval for an expenditure over five thousand dollars. My first expenditure was to purchase a briefcase in New York, the second will be to retain the services of Matt’s agency. I will need a great deal of intelligence to accomplish what needs to be done. Matt, will a retainer of one thousand dollars per month be adequate?” I asked.

“Richard, you amaze me,” said Matt. “But one thing I learned is to trust you, sure it would be great. I will have to talk to my associates to confirm.”

“Super! Matt,” I said. “If you can prepare a contract, I will be happy to sign it. I need to have complete records to remain a tax-exempt foundation.”

“Richard,” Father asked. “Where did the money come from?”

“Sorry Dad,” I said. “Some things must remain confidential even from you. Matt, have you found anything about the action going on in Southeast Asia?”

“Richard,” he replied. “We will talk about that later, I will set up a get-together with the team before Christmas where we can go over the details.”

“Matt,” I said. “One more thing I request is Thomas be given a job in your group.

“If you need more money we can work it out. He has been doing my research and intel. work. He is superb, I could not have done most of what I did without his help. Oh dad, I would like it if you can look over the work Thomas has been doing regarding college. I copied him with all the books and tests I took at Duke. He is an ace, his results exceeded my own, would you consider putting in a recommendation for him at Duke? I am sure Thomas would pass any exam they asked.”

“Richard and Thomas, I will be more than pleased to recommend this fine young man,” said Walter. “He deserves a break, give me a week on this.”

“Thank you Dad,” I said. “This is very important.”

“Hey Richard!” Thomas punched me to exclaim. “It’s important for me.”

“Enough talk men,” said Dorothy. “I have great shrimp for you all to munch on while we fix a proper lunch.

“I should make you sit at the table but you seem so comfortable here I will just bring plates. Here men, dig in but don’t put the peelings on the floor they go in this bowl, use napkins, and keep your pants clean.”

“Richard,” Dad said. “With all your extra activities, how are you doing at school?”

“Well, Dad,” I replied “They gave me a lot of work to complete over break, but since they received the letter from President Kennedy thanking them for training such a fine lawyer, I don’t think I will have any problems with the dean.”

“President John F. Kennedy sent a letter to Yale about you?” Dad asked.

“Yes he did,” I said. “Sent it to Dean Rostow who was floored, I could tell by the look he gave me that my time at Yale would be a breeze, or they would like me to leave early, whatever, it’s great.”

“Matt, can I show you something? It is upstairs in my room, Dad, Thomas excuse us for a minute. Matt, the first thing I would like for your team to check out is this, it is my understanding President Kennedy will be appointing a man named McGeorge Bundy to be his National Security Adviser. This man will not be a friend to Kennedy. Who is behind this appointment? Is this something your group can handle?”

“Holy shit man,” Matt said. “Do you know what you are asking?” “This man will have the entire security apparatus of the United States under his authority. He can, in that position, direct our foreign policy if he or someone behind him so directs. He will be able to support or subvert the President of the United States. My lord, Richard what are you involved with?”

“Nothing Matt, just curious,” I said. “I was told of this pending appointment, I don’t think Kennedy is aware of it yet. Someone told me a time ago, look at the adviser to determine who directs or truly holds power. If there is anything to this, I would like to alert Kennedy, I believe he is a capable man who can be a great president if they allow him to be.”

“Who are they, Richard?” Matt asked.

“Matt,” I replied “That is what I need you to find out, you are the experts.”

“Richard,” he said. “I will talk to the Colonel about this. This can be a dicey matter, folks can get hurt asking questions at that level.”

“I have seen some of that Matt,” I said. “But your men can determine what is safe or not. I don’t want you to stick your necks out, just ask questions, discreetly.”

“Richard, I will get back to you,” he said. “Don’t mention this conversation to anyone, even Thomas, is that clear?”

“Sure, I understand Matt and I appreciate it. The rest we can discuss in front of the others, I have another small project for your team, Thomas should be able to handle this one.”

“Lunch is ready you all,” Mom said. “Please wash up and come to the table. Richard, or should I say Mr. President, will you lead us in prayer?”

“Richard will be fine,” I smiled. “Thank you Mom.”

Our dear Heavenly Father thank you for this blessed family and all the many gifts you bestowed upon us. Guide each of us in all we do, may it only be your will, not our own. Amen.

“Thomas,” I said. “I have a project that I need your help with, I discussed some of it with Matt, and I think you are the best man to do this.”

“Well,” Thomas said. “Don’t you think I need to know what it is?”

“Truly that might help,” I said. “The Bank of International Settlements, or BIS, what is its purpose? Who funds it? Who owns it?”

“Richard,” Dad said politely. “You began by getting involved in Virginia, then in national affairs in D.C. now International affairs. Where is this going?”

“Dad,” I said. “You raised me to be curious, ask questions, read, study, and broaden my mind.”

“That is what I am doing. Trying to find out how this world operates, and who is in charge. He who has the gold, makes the rules. I read that the BIS controls or at least keeps the records for all banks gold transactions. They seem to be at the center, and that is what interests me. The church and the family of Christ need to be informed, not misinformed as to the world around them. We need more informed christian leaders in the cities, counties, states, and national politics. We have allowed through our silence and even laziness, for the wrong sort to be our leaders. For as God hath said, Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother. I remember that verse as Dueteronomy, 17:15 or close. The keywords are brethren or brother, one from the same family, the family of Christ, and mayest not, which means, we cannot. How many of our leaders are Christians? Dad, you know this best. What percentage of the U.S. population claim to be christian?”

“Richard,” said Father. “About seventy-eight percent claim to be christian.”

“Dad,” I said. “If this percentage are christians, how is it the family of Christ does not demand our leaders belong to our family? God told us we must not set leaders over us who are not brethren.”

“Richard,” Father said. “We have a public policy of separation of church and state. We may not demand christians lead us.”

“Who made that policy?” I asked.

“It is written in our Constitution, the law of the land.”

“Dad, are you certain?” I said. “I read the constitution with care and found no such.”

“No, I don’t think I read it,” he said. “However, this is what I was taught.”

“That is the problem,” I said. “If you tell people something, then they are taught it in school, without someone to speak the truth, people accept it as true.

“You can make people believe anything, the secret of advertising, just repeat it over and over. It soon becomes accepted truth. If Pathway Foundation can accomplish one thing, it will be to convince the church to speak to the truth, be the voice that counters the propaganda. I am impressed by the leaders of the colored churches. They are not afraid to speak out against injustice. They do not accept this garbage of separation, which is to silence them, yet will take a stand even if it means imprisonment. Isn’t that what St. Paul and other Apostles did? They spoke out even if it meant death. The silent ones are our white Protestant Churches.”

“Richard, perhaps you should transfer to divinity school,” Matt offered.

“No Matt,” I said. “If I were to become a Pastor I could accomplish nothing I feel is needed.

“Let’s say, I became a Methodist minister like my father, would the Baptists listen to me? No, there is too much competition between denominations, it is best if I remain a neutral voice, even then it will be difficult as I need to overcome habit, church doctrines, and fear. How many pastors tell their congregation they must be involved, take action or accept responsibility for the wrongs in society. Pastors tell me they are afraid to speak out against segregation or they will lose their position. Will our christian schools teach students to be fearless, become involved in their community, or stand against injustice? Family, forgive me for ranting on and on, things trouble me, and somehow I feel it is my duty.”

“Richard,” Father said. “You make me ashamed I have not spoken out against many things to the conference.” “I say this not only as your father, but a minister of God who should say what you did so well. One day I would like you to address the general conference, not just as my son, but the leader of Pathway Foundation. I assume Pathway conveys the narrow road our Lord spoke of?”

“Yes, it is Dad,” I said. “And it would be an honor to speak to the conference, anytime.”

“You all ready for dessert,” Mother asked? “Dorothy made us a fabulous pecan pie, if you want to try before I eat it all.”

“No, no, no we all want pie,” Matt yelled out. “Please, a cup of coffee would be good with that.”

“Mom and Dorothy, thank you for such a great meal,” I said. “Dad, Matt, and Thomas for the next few days I will be in hiding.

“My professor gave me a huge stack of work, and I want to clean it up before Thanksgiving. If you need me for anything I will be in my room, love to all.” I said.

“Thanks all,” Dorothy said. “We have to be going now.”

“Dorothy, said Matt. “If you want to stay for a while with Marion it is okay, Thomas and I need to talk anyway.”

“Yes, dear,” she said. “I will come home in a while, I will walk so don’t fret.”

“No honey,” said Matt. “You take the car home, Thomas and I will walk, I need the exercise. Race you home Thomas.”

“Real funny dad,” said Thomas. “But it is downhill I might just beat you.”

 

CHAPTER 2     

THE TEAMS

 

“Thomas,” Matt asked. “Did Tank install a secure phone line here yet?”

“Not yet,” he said. “Richard said he was going to, but I have not heard from him.”

“Okay,” said Matt. “I am going to run down to the store and make a phone call from there.”

We have no way to determine if our line is secure. Based upon some of the things that transpired it is best to be cautious. If Mom comes home, tell her I will be right back.

“Sure dad,” said Thomas. “See ya.”

The phone booth was at White Spot Market, just a block away, and after sixty-five cents in coins Tank answered.

“Hi Tank, how goes it?” said Matt. “Sorry to bother you on Sunday, but I need you to install two phones here, one at my house and the other at Richards.”

“Oh by the way, we have a new client. Got the first month’s retainer, and it will be for a grand a month, not bad to start, and every bit helps. This client I have a feeling is going to grow into something large.”

“Who is the client?” Tank asked.

“Pathway Foundation,” said Matt.

“Never heard of them,” Tank said. “Where are they out of?”

“New York is the head office.”

“How did you get this client?”

“Richard brought them to us,” said Matt.

“Richard,” Tank said. “This guy seems to get mixed up in a lot of shit, is this for real?”

“Yes,” Matt replied. “Perhaps too real, for us. I need to get the crew together and discuss it ASAP.”

“Have you talked to the Colonel yet?” Tank asked.

“Not yet,” said Matt. “That is why I need the phone. This is taking all my coins. When can you come?”

“I will be there on Tuesday,” he said. “Stay well, see ya.”

Tank arrived at 2:45 p.m. Tuesday, November 22nd without his sidekick Nails. I was glad to see.

“Hey man getting a little larger I see,” Matt said jokingly.

“Why not Matt,” said Tank. “No action for two weeks makes you lazy, where do you want this phone? You know we have to limit these otherwise Ma Bell is going to find the switches. If they do, some shit will come down.”

“These last two phones should make everything secure for us,” said Matt. “I do appreciate what you do, maybe you can show me how?”

“Matt,” Tank said. “You don’t have the contact inside Bell, and without the inside this will not work, let me handle communications. You take care of the muscle.”

“No problem Tank,” said Matt. “Just wanted to help.”

“How about you help me by showing me where you want this phone.”

“Come on in,” said Matt. “Dorothy, you remember Tank, he is here for a visit, maybe you can fix us a snack?”

“Sure, hi Tank it is nice to see you,” said Dorothy. “Everything alright?”

“Dorothy everything is great,” said Tank. “Matt here just missed me.”

“Tank,” said Matt. “Thomas is out with Richard now. We are going to put it in his room, and he is going to help our team with some research project that Richard asked us to do.”

“Man,” said Tank. “I’ve dealt with his last research project, it cost me fifty-five dollars just to clean it up.”

“No problem Tank,” said Matt. “We are going to his house next and he will pay those expenses,” Matt said.

“Where is he getting all this bread?” he asked.

“That info I will disclose when we all meet,” said Matt. “I’d like to set that up for right after Thanksgiving.”

“Matt,” said Tank. “Let’s test the phone, use your other phone to call this number.

“Matt, the phone works fine now. Write the number here so both you and Thomas will remember it. Tell Thomas to only use this for priority business, and don’t give the number out.”

“Let’s go take care of Richard,” said Matt. They walked over two blocks to Richard’s house.

“Hi Marion, is Richard there?” asked Matt.

“No Matt,” she said. “He and Thomas went for a walk about thirty minutes ago.”

“Marion,” Matt said. “This is Tank, one of our team. He is here to put a secure phone in for Richard. Is it okay to go to his room?”

“Hello Tank, it is my pleasure,” she replied. “Please come upstairs, I will show you his room, it’s messy but he does not want me cleaning up in there.”

“Tank,” said Matt. “Put the phone here by his desk.”

“No problem,” he replied. “But, I am going to have to run a line in from the box outside, he has no terminal here.”

“Need my help?” asked Matt.

“No,” said Tank. “I can handle it, why don’t you go home and see our lunch is made. I need food man.”

“Marion,” said Matt. “Tank is going to be for a while. I am going to the house and get our lunch, if Richard comes back let him know Tank is here, they are old friends.”

As Matt was walking back to his house he saw Richard and Thomas walking toward the house so he waited until they came up to him.

“Hey Richard,” said Matt. “Tank is in your room installing a secure line for you. Thomas you have a new secure phone in your room now, keep it private. Thomas, Richard, you come back with me, lunch will be ready in a few.”

“Okay dad,” said Thomas. “And thanks for the phone.”

“Oh Richard,” Matt asked. “Please make a check for fifty-five dollars. Tank spent his own money cleaning up some mess in New Haven, just make it to cash, and give it to him, is that okay?”

“Will do,” I said. “How about the phones cost?”

“Richard,” said Matt. “I will let you know about that later.”

Matt phoned the Colonel on Saturday the 25th, early at 6:30 a.m. hoping to catch him sleeping or whatever. He assumed that Vanessa was still there, “Yes,” was his abrupt answer.

“Hi Colonel, Matt here, hope I did not wake you.” he said.

“Matt,” said Colonel. “Of course not, been up for two hours now, I am just doing some writing.”

“You sure sound sleepy for being up so long,” he said.

“Matt cut the shit, what’s up?” Colonel asked.

“Need to get the team together and discuss a new project for a new client,” said Matt.

“Is this a paying client?” Colonel asked. “Or another freebie.”

“The last one was not free,” said Matt. “You got well paid didn’t you?”

“Matt, I said cut the shit, yes I am not complaining, what is this?”

“Richard has some backers, and they formed a new non-profit foundation, Pathway Foundation, offices out of New York,” Matt replied. “He gave us a thousand dollar per month retainer and needs a contract. These non-profits require documentation of every dollar they spend.”

“Yes I know that Matt,” said Colonel. “What is the project?”

“Extremely sensitive Colonel,” said Matt. “It is best we discuss that in person only, which is why we all need to meet.”

“When and where?” he asked.

“ASAP Colonel,” said Matt. “Your call on that. Tank is at my house now. Monk and Kong are in Virginia,”

“Matt,” he said. “Let’s meet at the boat again. That is secure and central to all of us. I will contact Monk and Kong, since Tank is there now, how about we set it for next Tuesday?”

“Colonel,” said Matt. “That will work for me, what time?”

“Vanessa and I are going to be in New York to do some Christmas shopping,” Colonel said. “We are going to stay in Virginia Beach, so it is about a two hour flight to New Bern, let’s plan at 11:00 a.m. Okay?”

“That is fine Colonel,” he said. “I will bring lunch.”

“Bring more of the pork you made last time, I took a small piece home and Vanessa almost tore my hand off for it.”

“I will try,” said Matt. “But that shit takes about twelve hours to prepare.”

“What the heck Matt,” said Colonel. “You not doing anything else are you?”

“You told me to cut the shit,” said Matt. “You also, Richard will be there with Tank and me. You and Vanessa, I assume you are bringing her, Monk and Kong, that is seven.”

“Matt the boat won’t sink,” said Colonel. “Just bring enough food, you know the men they eat like pigs.”

“Colonel,” said Matt. “I have two new phone numbers for you, this is at my house and this is at Richard’s.

“Tank is there to put these secure lines in, believe me with this assignment, we are going to need them. See you on Tuesday. One more thing Colonel, Tank asked if we could all be issued beepers, with this new account we have extra funds. I am bringing a check for one thousand dollars on Tuesday.”

“Matt,” he said. “That sounds like a good idea, have Tank take care of it.”

“Tank,” Matt called him. “I talked to the Colonel, we will meet up next Tuesday in New Bern. Can you meet here and drive down with me? Better yet, can you stay here Thanksgiving and then go?”

“Thanks Matt,” said Tank. “But I have to get home now. I can come back Monday and give you a hand though.”

“Sounds good,” said Matt. “Colonel said it is okay to go ahead and purchase six pagers, one for each of us.

“I will deposit Richard’s check into my account then write you one for the pagers, the balance turns over to the Colonel on Tuesday. That way we can give them out at the meeting, he also insisted I make one of those smoked pigs. Oh yeah, it was Monk that was here for that. Monday we can smoke it and have ready for Tuesday, the Colonel is bringing Vanessa with him.”

“Is she still with him up there?” he asked.

“Tank,” said Matt. “I doubt if he will let her leave even if she wanted to, I think he is hooked, they are going Christmas shopping in New York this weekend.”

“Good for him,” Tank replied. “From what I hear she is a looker.”

“A looker and a half,” said Matt. “Man, she is damn gorgeous. Thanks for the phones, here take this check, you know what to get better than I do, see you Monday, have a good trip.”

“Richard,” Matt called. “Hi, Matt here, the meeting with the Colonel and the crew is set for next Tuesday. We need to leave about 9:30 a.m. I am making another pig, maybe you can help on Monday?”

“Love to Matt,” I said. “I will come over about 2:00 p.m. if that is good. What are you all doing for Thanksgiving?”

“Have to talk to Dorothy about that and let you know,” said Matt. “Thanks for asking, later.”

“Dorothy,” asked Matt. “What are we doing for Thanksgiving? Richard asked me and I told him I would talk to you.”

“Honey,” she said. “You have been too busy lately, we are having friends up from Columbus, I told you weeks ago. Besides, Marion told me that the pastor has invited some out of town conference members to dine with them.”

“Dad,” Thomas asked. “Is it possible for you to drive me to Chapel Hill today?”

“Why,” he said. “ What you need over there?”

“This project on the BIS that Richard gave me,” said Thomas. “I called the University of North Carolina’s school library, and they have a comprehensive report I can read or copy. It should only take me less than an hour once there, and it is only about thirty-eight miles from here. If you can’t today, tomorrow is okay.”

“Why not Thomas,” he said. “We should be back by noon or so, let me tell Dorothy. You have all you need?”

“Sure Dad,” said Thomas. “I am ready to fly.”

“Thomas,” said Matt. “Tell me about these tests you have been taking, the ones Richard gave to you.”

“Dad,” he said. “All the time Richard was at Duke he copied all his work. I was able to take all exams just as if I was there, not officially of course, but I learned the same as he did.”

“What subjects was Richard taking?”

“He was first interested in English, and psychology,” said Thomas. “But then became drawn to the sciences, heavy emphasis on applied mathematics.”

“What interests you the most, son?”

“Psychology,” replied Thomas. “It seems the most important.”

“How is that?” asked Matt.

“Populations are manipulated by the information they receive, whether in school, home, churches, or the various media,” said Thomas. “I want to learn how they are able to control people’s thoughts and beliefs.

It is only if we know what techniques they use to manipulate thinking that we can, as you Intel. people say, determine counter measures. For example, you were recruited into the Airborne, you served your time, and then they brought you back to fight in Korea. Did you at the time believe that the war was noble and was to save America from the evil of Communists?”

“Yes,” said Matt. “That is what we were told.”

“Did you believe it?”

“At first I did,” said Matt. “It was later, when maybe I became wiser, that I understood that war is never for a noble purpose. War is for either conquest of territory, the nation’s resources, or profit from the war itself.”

“Dad,” said Thomas. “That is my point, someone has to sell, convince people to willingly send their sons to die for a perceived noble purpose, the people would rebel if they were told the truth.

“We need your boys to fight for our drugs, or for oil, or for copper, you know what I mean. That is why in history, wars were fought by mercenaries, they were paid, most were foreigners, who could not care about the purpose of the war, only it was for their profit, they were allowed to pillage and keep whatever spoils of war, they could. I want to be the counter voice of the truth, letting people know inside their minds, the true purpose their sons are being asked to die for.”

“Thomas you make me very proud,” said Matt. “The path you seek is dangerous, and these people do not want the truth told.”

“Yes,” replied Thomas. “I realize that Richard and I believe that only the Church can be the center of truth, as it was meant to be. Remember the words of our Lord, Jesus Christ, And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

That, son, is how it should be,” said Matt. “But what you will find is that getting the churches to preach the duties and responsibility of christians will be difficult.

“Most churches only desire to build or keep congregations, they will be afraid to ask men to actually do something, it is much easier to pacify them and say, God loves you as you are. Church leaders are now more politicians than preachers.”

“Dad,” said Thomas. “Nothing is easy, but you have to try, or accept whatever is put in front of you. I don’t choose to do that, am I wrong?”

“No, Thomas,” said Matt. “What you speak is the truth. I admire your purpose and I will always support you. Here, we are at the University, Thomas, did you know that the University of North Carolina, here at Chapel Hill was the first public university in this Nation?

“No I didn’t dad,” said Thomas. “When was it founded?”

“It was founded in 1789 by William R. Davis,” said Matt. “Born of Scottish parents, who moved to the Carolinas when he was eight years old.

“William Davis was a Cavalry Officer under George Washington. He served on the University’s Board of Trustees from 1789 to 1807. Very interesting man, I have a book on him at the house, I will give you. Where is the Wilson library?”

“Not sure Dad,” replied Thomas. “But we can ask anyone walking around, they will know. There, a groundskeeper, he will know. Hello, can you direct me to Wilson Library?”

“Sure,” he said. “Just go down Raleigh Street, you can’t miss it.”

“There Dad,” said Thomas. “The Wilson, it is the central library on campus, they have several others.”

When they entered the library everyone was looking them over, a young man in a wheelchair with a man that looked like a huge bodyguard. They went over to the counter, “Hi, I am Thomas Nelson, I called about a report on the BIS, and was told it was available.”

“Do you have a student ID,” the lady asked.

“No,” Thomas replied.

“Sir,” she said. “Only students or faculty can check out books or paper.”

“Yes,” said Thomas. “But they said I could copy it for a research project.”

“That is correct,” she said. “There is a copying machine located at the side by the F stacks. Here is the location of that report, make your copies and return the report to this desk.”

“Dad, look,” said Thomas. “This report is twenty-eight pages, I am certain this will cover most of what Richard needs. They have one of those new Xerox machines here, do you know how to do this Dad?”

“Yes,” he said. “Let me have it, we can remove the staples and put the entire report in this feeder. Thomas why not make two copies and give one to Richard, you keep one for your files.”

“Good idea,” said Thomas. This machine was fast, in less than two minutes they had fifty-six pages copied. Once finished they headed back to the front desk. “Thank you miss,” said Thomas. “Here is your report. I need to staple it.”

“That’s fine we will do it,” she said. “The copies will cost you seven ninety.”

“Thanks Dad,”said Thomas. “You know I don’t have money yet, but soon I will, let’s go home.”

“Thomas,” said Matt. “You have been silent for an hour now, that report must be interesting.”

“Dad,” said Thomas. “It is more than interesting, it is intriguing.

“This BIS, Bank of International Settlements, is not a bank in the normal sense, they do not accept deposits, but they are the administrator of all central banks gold accounts. It seems that Nazi Germany, when it conquered a nation, took over the central bank of that nation and transferred all the gold bullion into their own central bank, the Reichsbank. This was all done through the BIS with the rest of Europe approving this theft of billions of dollars in gold bullion. It appears that even during the war the allies continued to support the BIS and approved of these transactions, very strange on goings. No wonder Richard was intrigued. Looks to me like everyone just wanted a piece of the pie no matter whose pie it was. Richard always told me that nothing is as it seems, this certainly confirms that. I can’t wait to go over this with him. Dad, please drop me off at Richards house. I will come home when we have digested this report.”

“Sure, son,” said Matt. “We are here now, let me help you out. Richard must have seen us. He is coming outside now.”

“Hey Matt, hey Thomas,” I said. “Your mom said you were on your way. I was just going to your house.”

“Richard,” said Thomas. “We went to Chapel Hill to get a report on the BIS, here is your copy. I want to go over it with you.”

“Matt,” I said. “Let’s go to your house. It is easier for Thomas to navigate there. Thomas, this is a gold mine of information, excuse the pun.

“The point that jumps out at me is the original charter members of the bank, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, two banking syndicates representing both Japan, and the United States. That syndicate was headed by J.P. Morgan and First National Bank of New York, along with a hundred and five of their banking allies. The United States as a nation was not a member, yet the power lay with the U.S. banks. The president of this new bank was an American, from 1930 until 1946. Here is an important fact, the bank charter states that the bank, its property and assets, and all depositors and other funds entrusted to it, shall be immune in time of peace and in time of war from any measure such as appropriation. Clearly those involved in writing the charter were planning for a new world war. These American banks insured that the interests of the Rockefeller and Rothschild families would profit from any possible outcome. Those interests held power over the U.S. Military and the U.S. State Dept. Thomas, thank you once again, you have been a great help. Now I will be able to complete the report I need for Yale.”

Tuesday morning, November 28, 1960, at 8:00 a.m. Matt started to pack the car for the drive and meeting in New Bern. Tank had left for his morning run about forty-five minutes ago. He let Thomas sleep as Matt knew he wanted to be a part of this meeting, but it was best he stayed behind. Matt put half of the smoked pig in an ice chest along with four loaves of fresh French bread, and the sauce for the pig. The boat was equipped with everything else needed. Soon as he finished, Tank came running up the driveway and said, “Let me help.”

“No need, Tank,” said Matt. “ The car is loaded, let’s get some coffee, pick up Richard and split.”

Dorothy had coffee and some biscuits ready for them, which Tank devoured in five minutes. “Thanks honey,” said Matt. “We will be back about 5:00 p.m.” He gave her a big hug and kiss. I was waiting for them at the curb, Matt pulled up and I jumped into the rear seat.

“Good morning,” I said. “Are you all ready for some adventure?”

“Richard!” Tank laughed. “Every day with you is an adventure, my dog keeps asking me how are you.”

“Hey Richard,” said Matt. “You are going to see an old friend today.”

“Who is it?” I asked.

“It is a very beautiful young lady,” said Matt.

“Oh man,” I said. “Is Vanessa coming?”

“Yes she will be there,” said Matt. “She has been staying with the Colonel since the incident in D.C.”

“Lucky guy this Colonel,” I said. “I took Kathy, the mom, home with me and he got the babe.”

“You are too young for that much woman Richard,” said Tank.

“Yeah,” I said. “Well I will be twenty-one in two weeks, that is old enough is it not?”

“Just a joke Richard,” Tank said. “No offense meant.”

It was 10:35 a.m. when we pulled into the marina and saw the Missy Lou tied up down by the bridge. Matt knew where the key was, and we loaded our gear aboard as Matt started her big diesel engine. “Tank next to the reefer in those cupboards, bring out the plates, glasses and silver,” said Matt. “Richard, please help set the table for seven, Colonel is bringing Monk, Kong, and Vanessa, so we will need seven set ups, they will be hungry.”

“Colonel,” Vanessa asked. “Is that the boat where that blue car is parked?”

“Yes dear,” he replied. “I see the men are there already, Matt always wants to be the lead.”

“Hey all, glad you could make it!” Matt yelled out as they exited the car. “How was your flight?”

“Matt, you don’t want to know,” said Kong. “Never again will I get in a plane the Colonel is flying. The winds were forty-five miles an hour, direct crosswind, and downdraft over one thousand feet per minute. I thought I would barf, but I could not as I was too busy praying.”

“Come on Kong,” Colonel said. “You have had it worse, at least you were not getting shot at.”

“Forget that,” Matt said. “Just come aboard and let’s have some chow.”

I came out, and when Vanessa saw me she ran, jumped aboard, grabbed me around the neck, and kissed me square on the lips. I was certainly not pushing her off, and hugged her as hard as I could. Matt watched the Colonel and he was not smiling. “You seem a little tense Colonel,” said Matt.

“Screw you Matt,” he said. “I had a difficult flight, come on Vanessa let’s eat.” \

Finally she pulled herself away from my arms, and came to the table beaming. “My I am hungry and this looks delicious,” she said. “Pass me some of that smoked pork, Matt is this the same as you sent home with the Colonel?” Monk was smiling that impish smile as he watched me go to the head to cool off.

“Richard,” Vanessa asked. “Don’t you have any wine on this ship?”

“No,” Matt said. “But we have some soda, would you like some?”

“Yes, I would like a glass,” she said. “Anyone else?

“To Richard, may all good things come to you. We would not be here together were it not for you, thank you Richard.” That half a pig we brought was nothing but bones in about thirty minutes, and the fresh bread was gone before that.

“Vanessa, honey,” Colonel said. “Please clear up these dishes while we talk business.”

“Sure baby, be happy to.”

“Now men,” said Colonel. “Let’s talk. Richard, tell us about this Pathway Foundation, who is it, and what is its mission?”

“Well,” I said. “I and two other men are the directors.

“I am the sole officer, and have one vote on the board. The foundation is perpetual, and funded by the initial capitalization of fifty thousand dollars. It receives the dividends of the one thousand  shares assigned from both IBM Corporation and General Electric. The foundation can solicit donations and make contributions to anyone. I direct as long as the contribution made is under five thousand dollars, I need no approval. The only mandate is that the foundation not engage directly in political activities, as it is founded for religious purposes.”

“I understand,” Colonel said. “Richard, tell me what religious purpose do you ask our help in?”

“Colonel,” I said. “I believe the freedom of our nation, and its people, is a religious matter.

“I believe there exists, in America today, people who want the church silent. Who in fact want the Christian Church abolished. Our nation was founded upon faith in God, to advance the christian faith, the first governing document made when the settlers first came to our shores is called the Mayflower Compact, which states,

IN THE NAME OF GOD, AMEN. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c. Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the first Colony in the northern Parts of Virginia; Do by these Presents, solemnly and mutually, in the Presence of God and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid: And by Virtue hereof do enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions, and Officers, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general Good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due Submission and Obedience. IN WITNESS whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape-Cod the eleventh of November, in the Reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth, Anno Domini; 1620.

“This document,” I said. “And our Constitution are extremely clear that this was to be, One Nation Under God. That, Colonel, is the purpose of the Pathway Foundation. To redirect this nation back to our founding principles.”

“Richard,” Colonel said. “You want to bite a big apple. Now let’s get specific, Matt, here did not ask for a meeting of the entire team to hear you preach, what is this about?”

“Colonel,” I said. “I was able to help Senator Kennedy with his campaign.

“I persuaded some of the highest ranking colored leaders, including Martin Luther King Jr. to support him. They all did and Kennedy believes this swung the election for him. Here is a copy of the letter he gave to me, via his brother, Robert Kennedy. Some of the people who enabled me to attend Yale, and helped fund this Foundation, did not want Kennedy elected. Nixon was, and is, there man. I was ordered not to do anything to assist his campaign. I may be young, but I do not care to have anyone tell me what I must do. That is what God gave us, free will. After the election was over, I was told that even though I had helped Kennedy, it put me in a position they could use because I was granted access. I was also told that they had appointed their man to be Kennedy’s National Security Adviser, one McGeorge Bundy. I am very naive in politics, but is it not the prerogative of the new President of the United States to appoint his own team? The impression I got was that if Kennedy does not go along with the status quo, he will not be in the job for long. I also know that Johnson, who he was forced to take as Vice President, hates him and he is not someone I would want to mess with. Here is what I asked of your team, I want to know, who are they? Who is the one that can appoint their man without the approval of the president? That kind of power is far beyond our Constitution, and it is what Jefferson warned us about. I believe those same people are the ones that will force this nation to another war in Southeast Asia. Who and why, is what I seek. Colonel, is this within the scope of your team? And do you want to take this on?”

“Shit, Richard,” said Colonel. “If these people can appoint the National Security Director, that means they have existing control over the CIA and most likely the FBI. You trying to get us all killed?”

“No sir,” I said. “Just trying to find answers is all. I certainly do not want any of you in harm’s way, sorry.”

“I am also sorry,” said Colonel. “It is a very interesting proposition. Matt said you had paid him a retainer of one thousand dollars. That correct?”

“Yes sir,” I said. “If you require more, it is okay with me.”

“Matt said you required a contract,” said Colonel. “I understand the need for one. However, that puts you and us at risk.”

“How so sir,” I asked.

“People are going to be looking at everything you do,” he said. “Every check you write, every dollar you spend. Your bank account is with, I suppose, one of their banks?”

“Yes sir,” I said. “It is with Chase.”

“Chase,” Colonel said. “That is the Rockefeller’s for shit sake, they are at the top of the heap in control.

“If our agency shows up on just one check, we’re all screwed. We will be investigated and put on a watch list, nobody will talk to us. Doors will close and they will know you are an enemy. I don’t believe you really know why you were given this foundation to run, it could be just a test to see how you operate, and perhaps someone has plans for you in the future. I would be very careful if I were you. You said there were three directors, and two were needed to approve transactions over five grand correct?”

“Yes sir,” I replied. “That is how it is set up. If one of the directors is unable to serve the board, I alone can appoint the new director. Then I will have total control.”

“That is for the future,” Colonel said. “Today they still have control. What about your salary?”

“No restrictions,” I said. “As long as I don’t spend over five thousand dollars.”

“Where is your office?” Colonel asked.

“Don’t have one yet,” I said. “It is not necessary at this time.”

“How do you like Alexandria, Virginia?” Colonel asked.

“I like it,” I said. “I have a friend there.”

“Well then,” Colonel said. “We solved the problem. Yes Richard, we will work with you.”

“I have a friend who owns a commercial property in Alexandria. You will rent an office space from him. Your rent will be seventeen hundred per month, it’s a very nice office. Of that seventeen hundred, twelve will be paid to our agency for security. Will that work for you?”

“Heck yes!” I said. “When can I move in?”

“Matt,” Colonel said. “Do you still have Richard’s check for a grand?”

“Yes I do Colonel,” said Matt. “However I gave my check to Tank for beepers.”

“How much were the beepers?” Colonel asked. Tank opened his bag and brought out six pagers. “One for each of us,” said Tank. “I paid four hundred twenty-five for these.” Colonel pulled out a stack of bills and counted out four hundred twenty-five dollars. Matt tore up my old check. “Richard,” Colonel said. “Make a new check for seventeen hundred dollars, payable to Advanced Properties.

“I will have a lease sent to you in New Haven. Richard, why don’t you and Vanessa take a walk around the marina so we can talk in private. Our deal is done and you have this team, whatever you need let Matt know. He will be the one to communicate with you.”

“Vanessa,” I said. “Did you bring a coat? It’s cold out now.”

“Yes,” she said. “I have a sweater in the car, let me get it.” Vanessa and I left the boat. We went to retrieve her jacket from the car. Vanessa coming close to me whispered, “I knew you were special when you handled Kathy in the way you did, and also the way you directed me, but now I see more in you than I could have imagined.”

“You know, I am with the Colonel now, and I really care for him. If I was not with him I could only wish to be with you. I liked you from the moment we met on that elevator and I know you liked me. You could not stop staring at me since you kissed me for the first time. I hope the Colonel did not notice, here, take my hand and let’s just walk around and dream a little.”

“Well men,” Colonel asked “What do you think? Is this something I should have agreed to do?”

Kong spoke up, “Colonel, I see this matter in three parts.

“Who controls the security agencies? Who appoints the cabinet officers and advisers? Who is pushing the war in Southeast Asia and why? How are these parts connected?”

“Kong that is very astute,” Colonel said. I could not have stated it any better.

So let’s break this into teams, Kong and Monk you handle the first. Matt and Tank handle the second, and I will handle the third. I think this uses our best assets. I am very leery about communications when we are involved in matters of this nature. Let’s meet once per month, on the 10th in Virginia, I will let you know where it will be convenient for all. Each team keeps your own notes, if there is something that cannot wait only then call me. We must not have regular phone calls. I know Tank has put in secured phones, but even those rely on his contact inside Bell, and that can be compromised. Each team will be paid on the 10th, four hundred dollars plus expenses. I know it’s not much, but I have a feeling it will grow like a good tree does. I don’t have to tell you men, this must be done on the QT. We cannot expose ourselves or Richard. Okay, men, let’s tidy up this boat and get to work.”

“Colonel we will see you on the 10th of December,” said Matt. “Or do you want to hold over until January as it is now the end of the month?”

“Good question Matt,” said Colonel. “Let’s meet next on January 10th, that gives us more time to get some initial work done, with the holidays coming a lot of our contacts will be away.”

“Come on Tank,” said Matt. “Let’s find Richard and head home.”

“Matt,” said Tank. “I see Richard and Vanessa up towards the boat slips, and from their look we better hurry, Vanessa seems to be in a lip lock.”

“Hey kids, time to go,” said Matt. “Say your goodbyes, the Colonel is waiting for you Vanessa.”

“Richard what the hell was that?” Matt said. “You know that Vanessa is with the Colonel don’t you?”

“Yes Matt,” I said. “She was just thanking me, that’s all.”

“She must have been very grateful from what I saw,” said Matt. “Richard, we now have the teams set up that will investigate your concerns. Not only about Kennedy, but the war issue too. Don’t let a woman get in the way or this whole shit will fall apart, understand?”

“Matt,” I said. “It was nothing, sure I like her, but not the way you think. Just, she is kind of special to me, you know my life has changed since I met her, she feels the same is all.”

“Okay, let’s get home,” said Matt. “Tank and I will be heading the issue of the security agencies and who behind the scenes is in control. The teams will meet on January 10th to confer on our findings. You will receive the initial report after that.”

 

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Preview: EXEMPT

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EXEMPT

  A TRILOGY

Chapter 1  

 

It was 11:15 am on Thursday, the 27th day of April,1961, I was sitting in class at Yale Law when an assistant for Professor Manning came into the class saying there was an urgent call for me. I thought it must be Maggy, my fiance, so I rushed to the office and picked up the phone. “Richard, this is Ms Jones calling for Robert Kennedy, he wishes to see you. There will be a car, a dark gray Chevrolet waiting for you at Sterling,( that is Yale Law School ) at precisely 2:45 pm. Please come out, get in the car and leave with the driver. You will be told where you are to meet. This is confidential, do you understand?” she asked.

I left at 2:43 pm and sure enough, the dark gray Chevrolet is parked in front of Sterling. I opened the door and to my surprise, an attractive young girl not more than 25 was driving. She said I am Elizabeth, call me Liz, I am an agent with the FBI assigned by the AG to protect you. Are you ready to go?

“Yes, where are we going?” I asked

“You are going to spend a lovely weekend at Hyannis Port, the Kennedy compound, perfectly secure, the entire D.C. community knows the AG is spending the weekend with family so the coast is clear for us to be there,” she said.

“Liz, how long have you been around to protect me?” I asked.

“Just assigned Wednesday, orders from the AG,”she said.

“How long is the drive to Hyannis Port?” I asked

“It will depend on Friday traffic. It takes us about 3 hours, a nice drive, sit back and relax, want some music?” Liz asked.

No thanks I prefer quiet. The sun had begun its descent in the West casting shadows and streaks of orange on the Eastern coast as we approached Hyannis. The landscape was flat to rolling with an incredible view of the Atlantic bathed in the sunset. Within 10 minutes we were driving up a circular drive to the Kennedy main house. Rolling lawns running to the sea, I can see why the Kennedy family chose this place to make home. The main house is a large white clapboard, very Cape Cod house. The grounds are enormous, large circular drives leading up to the main house, I could see two other houses nearby, I assumed part of and why they call this the “Kennedy Compound”. Liz parked in front and led me to the entrance.

Robert Kennedy opened the door, welcome Richard so nice of you to come on short notice he said. Come meet the family. he said.

Ethel Kennedy, Robert’s wife, was chasing children out of the living room, the children thought it a game and were running her around in circles. I counted five children, exhausted Ethel came up saying how nice to meet you Richard, we have heard much of your exploits, all good. You saw my children, later when we have dinner I will grab them and let you meet the flock. Ena, our children’s Nanny is caring for Ted and Joan’s baby Kara. Come to the back and meet the rest of the family. Joseph Kennedy, his wife Rose are sitting on the terrace overlooking the sea, Ted and Joan are in the study reading.

Joseph stood up shook my hand, Richard delighted to meet you, we have had many conversations about you, we finally meet, this is Rose my darling wife, she started to rise so I said don’t get up you look so comfortable stay, I went to her and kissed her hand, which brought a lovely smile to her face.

Richard, come meet Teddy and Joan, Ted has the most charming smile, he is a larger man than Robert or John, has the look of a ball player.

“Ted said; young Richard, the lion hearted, we meet at last, welcome to our home, Joan who is very pregnant, just smiled and said hello.”

“Ethel, leading me back to Robert saying, Eunice and Sargent will be here tomorrow with their three children, John has to be in D.C. until tomorrow evening, then he, Jackie and the children will be here. You are in for a gang fight this weekend, care for anything to drink?” she asked.

“I would love a cup of tea if you have one,”I said.

“Tea! This is an Irish family most prefer something stronger in the evening, observing my smile,” she said, tea it is young man.

”Robert approached me saying, well Richard, what was so important that you had to go to the rather novel way of communicating with me, Sargent Porter was a good choice, very reliable man,” he asked.

“Sir, I would prefer if we could speak in private on some matter,” I said.

“Good idea, let me bring father though, he hates to be left out of anything that affects the family,” he said.

Joseph Kennedy with Robert at his side motioned for me to follow them, we went down stairs into a basement, not a normal basement mind you, this one had a movie theater, wine cellar that looks like a ship, and what they called a sipping room. I suppose if you have that much wine you need a place to drink it, enough wines to fill a good size market.

“Sit down Richard, would you like to try some of the finest wines in the world,” Joseph asked.

“No sir, I have my tea,” I said.

“Good boy, never approve of drinking even though I am in the liquor business. What do you want to discuss that involves my family?” Joseph asked.

“Sir, what I am about to relate to you please do not think it disrespectful in any way, I am simply relating facts.”

“Speak out son, we are very direct people here,” Joseph replied.

“Let me try to bring this into some order, I suppose it all began when I first was assigned a law case during my first few weeks at Yale Law School. That case which you are all familiar with was the Danville, Virginia matter, in which I contacted then Senator Kennedy for his support. I have a benefactor, a very wealthy important man who for some reason chose me to attend Yale Law, that was not my choice, or even ambition, he along with members of his circle when they found out I had contacted Senator Kennedy told me I was to have no contact with Kennedy or show any support for his campaign, they wanted Nixon as their man. They however once the election was over said it was okay for me to have contact. At the inauguration, which I attended as a dinner guest of the Drexel family, who’s daughter Margaret, I am now engaged to marry, I was introduced to several of the members of President Kennedy’s cabinet and advisers who are “friends” of their circle.”

“Later at the reception at the Mayflower a woman along with her companion came to my table, saying, Jack told me to say hello, her name was Mary Pinochet Meyer, she sat with my party for a time and then went to the next table to sit with Katherine Graham of the Post. It was not long after that when MacGeorge Bundy came up to my table speaking to William Drexel, they were friends, and asked who I was. He then came up to me saying he would like to talk, gave me his card and asked me to call him. For some reason of which I was not aware of this upset William Drexel immensely, first he told me never to call him and second he left D.C. the next morning cutting a day off of his plans. This upset his daughter, his wife and myself, as his attitude had suddenly changed from one of happiness to anger.”

“It was some time later after Margaret and I announced our engagement that William told me that he had phoned Bundy telling him to “stay away” from me, he told me that Bundy was a dangerous man, but a friend of their inner circle of families also that he was placed in the position of National Security Adviser by them. William then told me that Mac Bundy’s interest was piqued by Mary Pinochet Meyer coming up to me, someone he did not know, and was interested to find out why. He told me that Mary Pinochet Meyer is the ex wife of Cord Meyer, a very high up CIA official, she herself has been an agent with extensive knowledge of extraordinary secrets the agency would never allow to be divulged. I was also told this not by William but by a friend of my family who was a high ranking intelligence officer and retains a top secret clearance, that Mary Pinochet Meyer and President Kennedy are now and for some time having an affair, they were neighbors in Georgetown. There are certain people within the CIA who are very concerned she is passing information to the President. Mary Pinochet Meyer is under constant monitoring, her phones are tapped, some believe she even has tracking devices sewn into her clothing, she is not aware of any of this. I have had my house in New Haven broken into, my office in Alexandria broken into, my phone tapped, all by CIA agents,”

“How do you know this Richard,” Robert asked.

“I told you I have a friend, who knows their operations, we have a photo ID of the man who broke into my Alexandria office and we were able to ID him, I am not at liberty to tell you more,” I said.

“Good Lord Richard, you seem to know more than the damned FBI who reports to me, have you told anyone else of this? How is it that a young man, a second year law student, has these connections? How were you able to get Sergeant Porter to deliver a message to Jack and I, hell not even our Intel people could pull that off,” Robert said.

“Sir. I can only say all things are by The Grace of God. To answer your question, No! I have not told anyone of this, but that is why I needed to make contact in the most unusual manner,” I said.

Richard, do not talk of this to Jack or anyone, father and I will handle that part, come on let’s go up now dinner will soon be ready. Ethel. please show Richard around a bit, father and I need to talk with Teddy, Robert told her as he and Joseph went into the study, shortly after; Joan came out and asked, what’s going on Ethel, why all the tension all of a sudden?

“I don’t know anything Joan, just Bobby and Joseph wanted to speak to Teddy, no big deal, let’s set the table, ask Ena to set the table for the children in the kitchen, that way they can eat and play, we can talk,” Ethel said.

“Richard, has no one shown you to your room?” Ethel asked.

“No, it seems I have been occupied since my arrival,” I said.

“I did not bring a change of clothes, I left directly from school, I was not planning to take a trip,”  I said.

“Don’t worry this house is full of extra clothes, come upstairs with me we will fix you up, we don’t dress for dinner so anything goes here,” she said

She led me to an upstairs corner bedroom with a super view overlooking the waters of Nantucket Sound, the closet was stocked with shirts, both long sleeve dress shirts and polo’s of many colors, khaki pants and shorts. You will find something that fits I am sure, in the bath here there are extra toothbrushes, and stuff, help yourself, do you want to change for dinner?

“Richard, please don’t feel uncomfortable, this family is used to people dropping in, staying over, we enjoy it. Wash up, get comfortable and come down, dinner will be ready in about 30 minutes,” Ethel said.

I sat down on the edge of the bed to take time to gather my thoughts, perhaps Maggy was right, this is not my responsibility, let others handle it. I could see that Joseph particularly took what I said with a great deal of concern, the look on his face reflected that. When I went back downstairs everyone was congregating in a living room talking, when I walked in a sudden hush came over the room.

“Richard, come in, would you like a glass of wine now?” Robert asked.

“I think I will sir, my family is expecting me home this weekend. I need to phone to let them know something came up, they are used to that with me so I am sure it will not be a concern,” I said.

“Certainly Richard, though for now, it is best if you do not say where you are, go to the study where you met Teddy there is a phone on the desk,” Robert said.

“Mom hi, I won’t be home this weekend as planned, just too much I need to do, please call Thomas and let him know, he is expecting me, love you, say hello to Dad for me,”I said.

“I will son, when do you expect to come home?” mon asked.

“Soon Mom the betrothal party at the Drexel’s is now set for June 6th on Saturday, be sure Dad has the time marked off, see ya,” I said.

The family was walking to the dining room, Ethel took my arm showing me to the chair next to her between Joan and Robert. Joseph gave a toast, “to my family, and this young warrior Richard, now a friend”, You will meet Sarge tomorrow, he was a Yale Law man like yourself. Teddy here played football for the Harvard varsity squad. He scored the only touchdown in the big game, the Snow Bowl against Yale.

“Do you play any sports at Yale?”Joseph asked.

“No sir, my schedule hardly lets me sleep, let alone compete. I did play football while at Duke, 2nd team though, never made varsity,” I said.

“What do you do besides stir up the colored folks in the south, and go to school?” Joseph asked.

“Sir, I never considered helping people to be stirring them up. A lawyer is supposed to take cases of all in need, those people certainly need all the help they can get,” I said.

“Ted piped in, that is correct, I know how those southerners treat the colored, as if slavery still exists in this country, they lost that issue and will never allow the colored people to be free as long as they have anything to do about it, damn disgraceful, it will be changed only with a fight,” he said.

“Ted from what I hear that fight is coming soon,” I told him.

“Joseph spoke out, save this conversation for tomorrow, I want Jack to be here. Son, I don’t mean to pry into your personal business, but circumstances as they are you are now in my family, I like to know everything, how do you manage to be involved in all this, pay for Yale Law, have a from what I am told a grand house in New Haven, and manage to keep up with the work at Yale, takes a lot of money to do all that. You must be one hell of a smart man to have Yale Law admit you after only 2 years at Duke,” Joseph said.

“Sir, I manage the schedule although only because at Yale Law both my mentor Professor Manning and Dean Rostow believe in me. I am a hard worker, however independent in my views. I have the good fortune to have a benefactor who provides my housing, the school is on scholarship, and I have a foundation, Pathway, that provides me a monthly income. Now, I have established an Investment Company, called Tech Investments, that will enable me to provide sufficient income for my new wife, and my interests,” I said.

“What do you invest in, may I ask?” Joseph replied.

“The coming computer age,it is my belief that in a very few years every business, every college, every government organization will not only need these new machines, they cannot exist without them. Pathway is providing scholarships to bright new creative people who will lead the information revolution,” I said.

“How old are you, Richard?” Joseph asked.

“Past the age of consent sir,”I replied.

That comment brought a huge laugh from all at the table.

“Good answer Richard, cheers to you,” said Teddy. Let’s have another toast on that one,” Ted said.

“Be careful in your praise Teddy, I just might be financing this man for President after Jack’s two terms,”Joseph said.

“Richard, another question; who is your benefactor?” Joseph asked.

“Sir, you know him, I am not at liberty to disclose that without his approval, I gave my word and I keep it,” I said.

I respect honor in a man, not much around anymore,” Joseph stated.

“How about you, Richard, any questions for us?” Joseph asked.

“Only one sir,” I said

“Well, don’t be shy, ask,” he said.

“What is the Kennedy family view towards the coming war being pushed in Southeast Asia?” I asked.

“Boy, you go for the throat that is one hell of a question,” Joseph said.

“My family is not in the war business, we do not grow wealthy off the bodies of American boys, we do not believe in the need for war, but our views are not in the majority. There are those who profit from war, there are those who lust for the glory of war, some only care for the control conflict brings, however they do that from the comfort of their homes. I lost my oldest son Joseph in war, Jack was injured in a war I tried to avoid. The Kennedy family will never support a war that is not to protect our soil,” Joseph said.

“Sir, that is what I hoped for, my work, my life’s work is to prevent this tinkering with lives. I want to bring this message to every University in our Nation, those students who are the future of this nation, they have no idea what or why things are planned for their very life,” I said.

“Richard, you have my support and I speak for the entire Kennedy clan, be careful though, this view will bring you many enemies as it has us,” he said.

“I know that sir, but I have a secret weapon that they do not,” I said.

“What may I ask is that weapon?” Robert asked.

“God loves me, that is why I fight, it is for Him,” I said.

“Does not God love all Richard?” Joan asked.

“Joan, I don’t know if He loves all the same, the Word of God indicates he does not, however you will have to ask him as I cannot speak for God,” I said

“You don’t mince words Richard, maybe you should not be a politician,” Joseph commented.

“It was never my intention to be a politician, I am not able to tell people anything except the truth, nor do I wish to, most people do not want the truth they want comfort,” I said.

The rest of the evening was spent not as a unit but each branch of the family taking care of their needs which is as it should be. Joseph, looking very tired, asked to be excused, he and Rose left to retire, I asked the same just wanting to be alone to think for a time. Sleep, rest, throw out the trash is what I wanted. I lay in this strange bed wondering why and what was to be tomorrow, where was my Maggy as I dropped into oblivion to sleep at last.. The constant drum of the surf, searching for the shore is what finally woke me, the same sound that had lulled me to sleep now called me to rise.. One day I must splurge and purchase a watch, not knowing the time made me anxious, was it time the rest of the family would be up, should I dress and go down, I am not quite comfortable here yet, oh well I will shower and dress, perhaps take a walk one the beach while it is still quiet. Surprisingly I found a pair of khaki pants waist size 33 which fit, that with a white button-down Brooks Brothers shirt made me feel at ease. Just as I was going out the door I heard the whish-whish-whish of a helicopter setting down. We used to go to Fort Lejeune for Sunday services, and my father was asked to speak many times, so I was familiar with the sound of helicopters. Looking out the window I could see from the markings this was carrying President Kennedy, I thought it best if I wait now until called, allowing the family to greet.

“Hey Richard are you up?” Robert called.

“It was Robert at the door when I opened it, what are you doing here alone, Jack, Jackie and the children are here and want to say hello, come on don’t be shy,” he said.

I walked with Robert into a drawing room where the family was taking turns holding the baby John Jr, and loving the very pretty child, Caroline. Jackie was the first to approach me, I use the familiar name because this family only uses nicknames with each other.

“Richard, how lovely to see you, Hugh told me you had dinner with my family last week, my you get around? He spoke extremely favorably of you and your fiance, Margaret Drexel, he said in fact he was considering adopting you both. I suppose because you are both Yale men and this family is all Harvard; he was smitten by your honesty and intellect,” Jackie said.

Caroline was clawing at her mother for attention, honey met our friend Richard, say hello properly, Caroline departed after a quick Hi.

“She is only four now so please forgive her manners,” Jackie said.

“Forgive! I don’t think at four, I even knew how to say Hi to a stranger,” I said.

“That is our baby John Jr. Ethel is holding, she is fantastic with children, I don’t know how she keeps up with her flock, but she does, nothing gets past her,” Jackie said.

“Come say hello to Jack, he is looking forward to seeing you, he was astounded when Robert told him you were coming here,” she said.

“Richard, we don’t hold dances here but if you give lessons all will partake, welcome,” President Kennedy said.

“Mr. President, it is almost too much for me, it is an honor not only to be a guest here, but to meet you in private, is beyond my dreams,” I said.

“Richard, cut out the Mr. President crap, we are friends and family here, this is not a reviewing stand, as he put his arms around me in a warm greeting. Are we going to have some breakfast or are we all starving, the children are hungry, I am famished, and our guests must think we don’t have any food,” Jack said.

“Relax Johnny, the food will be ready in 5 minutes, go wash up,” Rose said.

“Joseph,came in, and proclaimed, get outside you all, we are having breakfast on the grass, come on,” he said.

What a lovely spectacle, the sandy beach with waves gently rolling in, giving off a gentle spray with the onshore winds, the lawn seemed to want to join the surf, the tables are set with starched white linens, the staff is scurrying back and forth to the kitchen, bringing out the plates of food while hot. Pancakes, sausages, scrambled eggs, pitchers of orange juice with champagne to make mimosas, the most delicious looking steamed crabs I have seen, my mouth is drooling, but I must wait for all of the family to eat first.

“Come on, Richard grab a plate, fill it up, we won’t run out, we are Irish here and love our food, first come first served,” Joseph chided me.

“Jackie was going to sit in the chair next to mine, so I hurried to pull it out for her, that courtesy brought forth a sweet smile,” thank you sir Richard.

“That is how Maggy, Margaret, addresses me I told her,” I said.

“How sweet, Nina told me that you two were very much in love, she was envious of the warmth between you. What was your impression of her husband, Newton?” Jackie asked.

“I am afraid I was engaged by your father, or step father Hugh, Nina, and Michael Straight to pay much attention,” I replied.

“That is a great way to evade my question, but I understand. How about Nina, she asked?”

“My dear Jackie, please don’t put me on the spot, I thought all your family were special, Nina is also, she needs more loving attention was my impression,” I said.

“Dear Richard, you can say the same for the entire world, that is what most lack and seek,” Jackie said.

The next two hours were very special to me, I will cherish them forever, we ate, drank mimosa’s, Teddy told me they are just fresh orange juice, and conversed, it was no different than my family in Wake Forest when we held a barbecue for family and friends, everyone is happy, contented, the way humans should be, the only difference is the setting. The older children had their fill now, they only want to play, they are running around throwing stones to the sea, happily giggling as children should, their play reminded me of our church, we have a playground for the young ones, I loved to hear their laughter, their screams, you knew they were happy by the sounds. Children like adults are silent when sad. I wish all people could be like these children forever, contented, no fears, no worries, just loved.

“Hey men enough sitting, gabbing like women. Let’s play ball, Teddy yelled out as he brought forth a football, Richard, you said you played for Duke, let’s see what you got, go out for a pass,” he said.

I ran out for a long pass, thinking this guy has a good arm, he deftly threw the ball into my bucket.

Good catch for a Yalie. Sarge and Patricia will be here shortly, then we can have a real Harvard v. Yale game, Sarge is another Yale man like you. Here they are now, come and say hello, Teddy led the way to the approaching car.

“Hi Sis, Sarge, have you had breakfast?” Ted asked.

“Long ago, the kids needed to be fed early,” Patricia told him.

“Come you two I want you to meet our friend, Richard Martinson, a Yale Law man like you Sarge,” Ted said

Greeting were exchanged all around when:

“Sarge Shriver asked me, ” What brings you to Hyannis?” Richard.

”Sarge, he came to play football with us, come on have a coffee, let’s get the Harvard/Yale game going,” Robert spoke out, swiftly changing the subject.”

Jack said his back is bothering him so he will referee for us, let’s set teams. Teddy you, me, Jr. and David will go against Sarge, Richard, Bobby and Maria, sounds even right? Here guys put these napkins in your pants for flags, pull the flag, play is stopped, okay. The game went on for one hour and 30 minutes, including the 30 minute half time, the Kennedy’s like things in order. Great fun was had by all, Harvard won 28 to 14, which made Teddy delighted, damn it we finally beat you Yalies.

Ethel and the other women took the children in for a snack, Jack said come on men we are going to the sipping room for a chat. Joseph was already seated as we entered, Richard sit next to me, Jack next to him, Bobby and Sarge sit on this side please. A large pitcher of water and 6 glasses were at the center table. Joseph began; we asked Richard to come here this weekend to provide us some inside information about what the colored folks are planning soon. He was instrumental in swinging some votes to us, he has good relations with many of the civil rights movement leaders, Sarge, this background is for your information, we have worked with him in the campaign. Richard, fill us in on what you know about any demonstrations that are in the works.

“I have a good friendship with Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker, a leader of CORE, a really super guy. He is very tough, I would not care to meet him in the alley, packs a pistol and would not hesitate to use it if provoked. Tough but honorable, he keeps his word and expects others to do the same. I also developed a relationship with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., he is more of a Gandhian, non-violent person than Walker, but all have lost their patience with the horrendous conditions with which they are made to live under in most of our Southern States. They do not trust politicians, they do not trust the police, for good reasons, they do not trust white people in general. I grew up in an all white community, an all white school, all white church, so I was never aware of the conditions imposed upon an entire race of people, they are treated as second, no third class citizens without simple rights. This has gone on now for hundreds of years, they are fed up and demand change. They ask for nothing except the same rights as given to others. Our constitution provides that all men shall be treated equally, but they are not. When I asked them to support the campaign of President Kennedy it was with the belief that things would change, laws already on the books, such as, the Interstate Commerce Commission that issued a ruling in Sarah Keys v. Carolina Coach Company (1955) that had explicitly denounced the Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) doctrine of separate but equal in interstate bus travel. The ICC has failed to enforce its ruling, consequently, the old Jim Crow segregated travel laws remain in force throughout the South.”

“That is what will be challenged now. These what they term Freedom Rides will begin this coming week in D.C. planning to travel in integrated seating on Trailways and Greyhound buses, throughout the South, traveling through Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi ending in New Orleans.”

“They know there will be resistance, some violent, they are prepared to face arrest, even beatings by KKK clan members who enjoy police protection, but they will receive the publicity they seek. The rest of this nation and the world for that matter will see how we the Americans treat our citizens. I do not believe this will show us to be “The Land of The Free” to the rest of the world. The people will not be deterred by force, they have been subjected to that forever, the time for freedom is now. They look to you, sir, to grant them that,” I said.

“Damn, damn this will be a real mess. Is there any way to forestall this Richard? What can we do to work out some compromise that will appease the movement and the southern politicians?” Jack asked.

‘Here is what Dr. Walker said for me to tell you; “I speak for C.O.R. E, and Dr King, “actions speak louder than words” We heard his words and supported his election, now we want Action,” he said.

“You could let them know that you were requiring the ICC to enforce the law and that Federal Officers would offer protection, then no violence would ensue from those southerners’ the matter would end,” I said.

“Richard, the turmoil that action would create at this time is impossible for us, would they stop if we promised this in the near future?” Jack asked.

“My opinion sir is that nothing will stop this now, these people are hungry, starving to be free, starving people have no fear. This train has left the station, it will not stop until segregation is ended,” I said.

“Bobby, you best have your people on alert, things could get ugly soon,”Jack said.

“Richard, I thank you for your presentation, may I ask if you encouraged these people to start this?” Jack asked.

“Not in any way sir, I was only advised of the plans by chance last week, that is why I thought this needed to be brought to your attention,” I said.

“Richard, I am glad you did, however this comes at a difficult time, you must know of the damn mess in Cuba. I have Generals begging for wars, I have the Russians causing tension, the entire world is in an uproar, now this mess at home,” Jack said.

“Richard, please excuse us for a time, need to talk in private, you understand,” Jack said.

“Certainly sir,” I replied.

This looked like a good time to take that walk on the beach, I went upstairs, walked out the rear, the children were playing on the lawn, I could see Ethel and Patricia sitting in lawn chairs watching the play, they did not see me as I walked down the beach sat down to watch the surf thinking about what had happened downstairs.

Lost in thoughts, I was startled when a man’s voice called out, Mr. Martinson, The President asked me to have you return to the house, please come with me. It was very obvious from his attire that he is a Secret Service man. Hi, Richard, Bobby and I are returning to D.C. now, meetings have to be held to prepare or forestall this, I sincerely appreciate all that you told my Father and Bobby, we have asked agent Jones, to pick you up, return you to New Haven, then watch over you for a time, let her know of anything, she will let you know how to contact her.  For myself and all our family, thank you, with that President Kennedy went directly to the waiting Helo. Within 30 minutes I was in the car of the FBI agent Liz, heading home. What a weekend this has been, extraordinary for anyone.How did I get where I am? This for me was that beginning.

My future begins today, and it will be whatever I make it tomorrow. I look forward to new things, new people, and undoubtedly new opportunities, but not without a little reservation as I head into the unknown. It was a beautiful brisk autumn morning this Monday, of August 21, 1960. I approached the house, I would spend a considerable amount of my time during the next two to three years. This is my first trip to New Haven, Connecticut, so I took my time driving up from Wake Forest, North Carolina, in the yellow 1955 Chevrolet Convertible my father gave me upon graduation from high school. Uncle Stan, what I call him, is not related, but he and my father are close friends and gave me directions to the house he arranged for me to live in. He said, drive up US-1 to Church Street, in New Haven, turn left and continue. Church Street becomes Whitney Ave at Grove St, until Trumbull St. Turn right to Lincoln, turn left to the corner of Bradley Ave, No. 18 on the left.

I left Wake Forest at 7:00 am, Saturday morning, August 19, intending to visit a family friend, Morris Bechtel, in Philadelphia before going to New Haven. Morris is a good friend of the family. He frequently said, Dickey, before you start college, come up and visit the family cottage outside of Philadelphia. His family is a significant benefactor of Duke. I am sure his vision of a family cottage would not be mine. Why do people continue to call me Dickey, my name is Richard? It irritates me, but I never say so. Darn it, I am no longer twelve, but twenty years old. I sure wish they would leave off that childish nickname.

The drive up US-1 to Philadelphia is estimated to be about eight hours. I told Morris to expect me around 5:00 pm. I need to pick up US-1. Once on the highway north, I have plenty of time to think. In North Carolina, there is one thing we have, an abundance of trees. There is not much interesting to see between Wake Forest and Richmond, only more trees. The traffic is light this Saturday morning, except trucks, which are a continuous convoy. My heart is pounding as I leave Wake Forest, I am on my way. On my way to where? Today seems like a journey into the unknown. This is a journey I had not planned or envisioned. Someone is directing my life, who or why I do not know.

One thing I am sure of is, nothing is as it seems. I am twenty years old, with less than two years of undergrad school, heading off to Yale Law School. I never wanted to be a lawyer. I did not apply to Yale, either the college or law school, so how is it I have in my hand a letter of acceptance? Yale Law School is the most challenging law school in the nation to be admitted. They only accept two hundred new students a year. The admission department screens every applicant, and the small number of applicants they select must go through an even tougher trial. Then a test by three members of the faculty, who score each applicant with a grade. Four is the highest grade. Only those with a perfect score of twelve are admitted. There are also fifty to eighty outstanding students admitted each year who do not have to undergo this screening process. They are exempt.

I suppose someone must feel I am an outstanding student. I did not consider myself such. What does it mean to be exceptional? The word, excellent, leaves it open to interpretation by whoever can make that determination. Grades wise, I have done well in all my years in junior high, senior high, and my short time at Duke. My Father considered a B to be a failing grade. He is a person you listen to, intently, if you want peace. I only received one B in the last six years. School is easy once you understand the code. They grade mostly on test scores. Tests are simple; the questions are apparent when you read the texts. Tests generally ask similar questions, what date did this happen. Where such and such are, and who did what and when. The only important question that never seems to get asked is, why? When preparing for any exam, I would scan the text looking for items on the exam. Not complicated once you understand their system.

Perhaps the reason I did well in school is due to my Father, Walter. He is a Methodist Minister, Pastor of the church in Wake Forest, where I spent three days every week regardless of my wishes. Father does not believe in wasting time. He had a library built as an addition to our house, and it is full, thirty large shelves of books. He expected me to read every book in that room. Up until high school, I spent many hours in the library. Father was appointed to the General Conference of the Methodist Church when I was in middle school at twelve years of age. He is now traveling more, and that certainly helps my social life. Even when Father is out of town, he has the warden, my Mother, Marion, to watch over me. She is as strict as Father, perhaps more so, if that is possible.

Good gosh, almost noon, I need to stop for gas and food. My stomach has been calling me for over an hour. I am past Richmond heading to D.C. Ashland is ahead. I will stop for gas and fill my tank. Cost me four dollars and twenty-five cents to fill up the car with gas and another eighty-five cents to fill my stomach. I left for school with three hundred dollars from the family and another one hundred twenty dollars of savings. Father gave me an American Express Card with the proviso that it should be used only in an emergency. No more stops until I reach Philadelphia and Morris. Should only take me about four and a half hours, I am still on schedule. Leaving the maze of Philadelphia continuing on US-1 north, I found the turn off Morris told me to take and drove east to State Street, which follows along the Delaware River banks. The cottage is not difficult to find as the properties out here are as large as city parks. As I turned into the driveway. I could see about a half-mile down a large house. As I got closer, this is not a house, but an estate that looks larger than the White House in D.C. Four Greek Columns graced the front entry. The main house appeared to have thirty or more rooms.

All I can see are lush gardens and a myriad of tree-lined paths. Even though it is fall, the leaves have turned color and are falling, yet everything looks untouched. I see not one leaf on the ground. They must have a staff of ten or more to care for the grounds. This place is so imposing even kings would blush with envy. I am not envious, only somewhat concerned. Who are these people, and why am I here, rushed through my mind? The front door opened, and out came a man dressed in formal butler attire, “Mr. Morris is expecting you,” he said. “Please follow me,”

He led me into the study. Morris is not there, so I looked around. The room is grand, if somewhat stuffy. Two large picture windows have centered between a large portrait of someone I assume essential. The center of the place has a large fireplace with another imposing picture hanging over it. Glass doors on either side of the fireplace leading to a dining room. The room is impressive, but not a place to spend with your chums from school. Warm, but too formal for my taste. I am peeking at pictures on lamp tables under the windows,

“Dickey,” Morris startled me. “Glad you could come, do you have a bag to bring in?”

“Yes,” I said. “On the back seat of the car,”

Morris said, “Come on, let me show you to your room; you are planning to spend the night, right?”

“Of course, how often do I get to stay in a palace?” I said.

Morris took me upstairs to a long hallway leading to a room overlooking the Delaware River, the banks of which are right in the estate’s backyard. I drew the curtains, looking out onto the most unbelievable scene in my young life. I could see off to my right the porch if it can be called such. There are at least eight massive Grecian columns. They appear to be marble surrounding the patio that supports a terrace above. Each column looks to be thirty feet high and about twelve feet around. The porch overlooks manicured grass lawns extending to the bank of the river. Large pine trees hem the yards. I could imagine what fun it would be to hold a football game here. It is large enough to accommodate the entire Duke squad. I wonder if any of them have ever been invited here.

“Dickey,” Morris said. “The family is not in town today, so I thought we might enjoy dinner on the porch. Did you bring a jacket, it gets a little chilly once the sun sets?”

“Sure, mine is the car, I will get it,” I said.

“Your bag is on the way up now. Why don’t you freshen up from your drive and come down at about 6:30 pm?” he asked.

As soon as Morris left, I jumped onto the soft-looking poster bed, looking around the room. Why am I here? This place is larger than the Grand Hotel, and it seems like it is only Morris and I. There is only one staff member, the butler. Why did he bring me to this place? Morris never behaved like one who needed or wanted to show off. Just the opposite, whenever he was at our house, he played the piano, listened to jazz, which is the only music my Father cares for and spent hours talking to Father. He acted very mellowly, here he seems a little stiff. Anyway, I am curious and will find out soon enough.

Wearing my dark blue Duke blazer over a white turtleneck and my best pair of khakis, I descended the stairs. Not aware of his name, Butler Joe did not offer, nor did I ask, waiting to take me out to the porch. Morris is sitting at a round table covered with a white linen tablecloth. Not a wrinkle in that fabric. The table has only two places set. However, there are four chairs. I wondered if someone else was coming later. The glistening white china trimmed in gold. The silver, indeed not plated, but solid sterling. There is a baccarat crystal decanter in the center and baccarat crystal goblets beside each plate.

“Hi Dickey, come sit,” Morris asked. “A beautiful evening, isn’t it?” As Morris reached for the decanter to pour me something of whatever is inside, I held my hand up as if to say no, thank you.

He smiled and said, “I forgot Dickey, you do not drink alcohol, do you? “You are not home now. You are a man headed off to conquer the World. It is time to learn and experience new things, new people, and new ideas. From this day, everything will be new for you. So let me pour you a taste of this excellent Bordeaux, raise our glass to your journey,”

The wine is extraordinary. I did not tell Morris, but this is not my first glass of wine or other alcoholic beverages. Father always told me that what I do, what others see me do, can either harm or help them in their lives with Christ. He said, Richard, you must live your life as others expect from a Christian Leader. If they see you intoxicated or acting unruly, then everything we have told them is a lie. Be upstanding in all you do. Be a model for all. Let them see the love of Christ through you. I can say this with all sincerity, my Father never once spoke a foul word. He did nothing I could say was inappropriate. He was firm, but a father must be to guide his child.

Dinner is superb; we started with crab bisque served with hot fresh baked rolls. Joe, as I call him, brought out a plate with a fish filet, assorted green vegetables, and boiled baby red potatoes served with butter and sour cream sauce. I enjoy eating healthy foods, properly prepared can be a feast to the body and comfort to the soul. The conversation at dinner is cordial, simple small talk meant to make everyone comfortable, but without substance. I am still trying to understand why I am here. Joe came and asked about the dessert; I said, none for me, thank you. It is starting to get a little cold with a breeze coming in from the river.

“Let’s go inside by the fire,” said Morris.

“Great idea,” I said. “I am ready for warmth,”

I followed Morris into the library, where Joe had a roaring fire. I rubbed my hands to soak the warmth into my body. Joe brought in a tray with two glasses of port wine. Morris looked at me with a warm grin and said,

“Dickey, I bet you wonder why I asked you to come here today, don’t you?”

“Yes,” I said. “That has crossed my mind,”

“Your Father has been a friend to our family for many years now. “I am not at liberty to explain all to you today, but let me say, our family and others value him and you. I am the last person in our family who should be advising you, government, politics, business, those areas I leave to others more suited. I love the arts, I love music, but I love my freedom to do as I please as long as it does not harm the family. I know you best, so it is left to me to be your consul. Our family was here before there was the United States of America. The family served the King. The family served Washington as he led the revolt against King George. Our family is still serving this Nation in all manners. Some serve in government, some in banking making America prosperous, some serve as advisers to those who govern. This Nation, Our United States of America, has been generous and kind to us. We have to continue to guide the Nation as it becomes the leader of the World. In the next few years, many changes will come upon this Nation. The country will need intelligent, strong people in positions of power to help the Nation adjust. We have watched you for several years and believe you can be a vital part of the new order to come. Can we all count on you?” Morris asked.

I sat there silent, not knowing what to say, still trying to decipher what he said. Dear Lord, I sit in the house of one of the most powerful families in the Nation, and he is asking me to help them!

“Of course,” I said. “I also have to help this Nation, and this family that is helping me. Morris, you can count on me now and forever,”

“We do not need to make a blood oath to that effect, but we can toast to the future, may it exceed our dreams,”  Morris said and with that, we drank the last of the port.

“Morris,” I said. “I think I will turn in now; it has been a long, eventful day, and tomorrow I leave for Yale,”

I lay looking out the window, watching the current flow in the river. I thought to myself, did I jump into the water? Nothing is as it seems. I lay in bed for hours and could not sleep. My mind is churning, trying to understand all this. Why was I summoned to this great house? It was not an invitation as I thought back, but a summons to appear. Then it occurred to me why. If Morris met me at any other place, what he had to say would have little effect, it would seem like idle boasting. What if he said this to me at a corner cafe in Wake Forest? It would have no meaning. Here in this palace, it showed authority and power over me. I knew it was to intimidate me, that’s why I am here tonight. Well, I am intimidated and impressed. Yet, I slept with the understanding that at last, I realized why I am here. I do not understand why I am off to Yale. The reason, I will discover for myself. Nothing is as it seems.

 

 

Chapter 2

 

I awoke late in the morning. The sun had already risen, shining over the waters of the river. After my shower, I got dressed and went downstairs. Joe, the Butler, is standing there. He said your breakfast is on the porch. Morris was not there, but my place is set. A fresh glass of grapefruit juice is poured. Soon Joe came out with a tray containing a bowl of hot oatmeal with raisins and toasted English muffins spread with butter and strawberry jam. Somebody had taken a great deal of effort to learn my preference for food. Dinner last night, and now breakfast served as I would. Just as I had finished my meal, Morris came out. He had been in the library completing letters he had to send, he told me.

“Dickey, I want you to take this card,” he said. “It contains a personal phone number that you can reach me at any time. Do not give this number to anyone, but keep it if an emergency you can reach me,” I took the card and put it in my wallet.

“Time to hit the road, Morris, I appreciate all you told me, and the opportunity to spend the night in the cottage. I am now off to Yale,”

“Dickey,” he said. “I will be in touch, have a good trip, go up US-1 to New Haven, Morris said as I drove away”.

I drove over to Morristown to pick up US-1 and calculated it would take about three hours to arrive in New Haven. Since leaving Morris at 9:30 am I should be at the house by 12:30 pm or 1:00 pm As I drove in silence this Sunday morning, I could not get the discussion of last night out of my head. The sentence I found most troubling was when Morris had said, Our United States of America. Being an avid reader, I understand words mean something. Why did he say Our United States of America? Most would say, The United States of America. One thing I learned is that wealthy people use words like weapons. They understand the power each word has. Most people don’t consider the meaning or Authority of a word when using it, but these people understand words can control people.

The time was a little past noon when I turned off at Church St in New Haven. Now, all I need is to find a house in East Rock. It is easy to follow the direction Uncle Stan gave me. The area has all tree-lined streets. Some places appear to have been built over one hundred years ago. I can tell this area was very substantial in its day and still is what I consider an upper-class neighborhood. The neighborhood looks far more expensive than most college students could afford. At Duke, I lived in a dorm with three roommates. I approached the house at number eighteen, Lincoln Street. The house appears to have four or five bedrooms on the second floor. I cannot tell how large the house is, appearing to be over thirty-five hundred square feet. What do I need for such a large place by myself? The front of the house has a large porch that reminds me in a small way of the Bechtel house in Philadelphia. Not as grand, but the patio has eight similar Grecian columns surrounding it—the front yard with a small hedge lining the walkway to the house. The Bradley Street side is where the garage is. I parked in front of the house, looking for the key Uncle Stan sent me. The key is in the envelope, with the directions and instructions I had put in my overnight bag. Now let’s see the inside.

Opening the front door, I am shocked. The house looks like a family is living here. The front entrance has a foyer with a staircase leading upstairs. Glass doors on the right side leading to a drawing-room, on the left side to the living room. You entered the dining room and a large butler’s pantry leading into the kitchen from the living room. Off the kitchen is a breakfast room or morning room as Mother would call it. The furnishings are elegant; nothing I imagined would be this palatial. My word, the president of Yale, would be content to reside here. I feel a little uncomfortable with all this, and would be happy to have a small apartment in town. Why in the world would I need something like this? At least, I am not paying for it.

I went from room to room, checking out everything, looking in all the closets, drawers, and cupboards. The pantry is full of all kinds of food, cereals, oatmeal, flour for pancakes, even my favorite pure maple syrup in the kitchen. Everything I could want is here. Even the refrigerator has fresh milk, grapefruit juice, butter, eggs, sliced ham, and meats’ various cuts of meat. The cupboards are complete with glasses, china for every day, and formal fine china, and crystal glasses. I am overwhelmed. Father’s house is not this impeccably furnished. I hope he does not get upset when he sees this place.

Now, to see upstairs. As I started up the staircase, looking down on me is a large portrait of Uncle Stan. He is watching me even now. That feels a little creepy, but what the heck is his house? The first two rooms appear to be guest rooms. Both have their bathroom—each room furnished with every detail considered—one place in blue and the other in yellow. The bathrooms, even the towels, are coordinated with the theme of the room. There is paper for the toilet, hand soap by the sink is also blue in one, yellow in the other, even toothpaste on the counter. Someone has gone to a lot of trouble to do all this for me. Why? Down the hall is the Master bedroom. The room is about twenty feet by twenty feet with a sitting area next to a fireplace adjacent to a picture window overlooking the rear yard. The bed is a king-size four-poster bed with a solid white comforter cascading to the floor. There are six pillows stacked up that look so comfortable I want to jump right in. This bathroom is all gleaming white, the tiles, the towels, and the shower and bathtub’s curtain. Windows on two sides, one is overlooking the rear yard, the other looking out to Bradley Street. There is a back stairway leading to the rear porch, rear yard, and the garage.

What I want now is a cup of coffee. There is a coffee maker with a canister in the kitchen that holds what smells like fresh ground coffee. In a few minutes, the kitchen was filled with the aroma of coffee brewing. It reminds me of the commercial for Aunt Jeremiah pancake mix, Mm-Mm good. I filled my cup with this delight, poured in some fresh cream, went into the morning room to sit at the table and look around. On the table was an envelope that said on the outside, Welcome to New Haven Dickey. I opened the envelope with a little trepidation. Inside is a two-page letter from Uncle Stan. It began,

 Dickey, you have looked over the house and found everything and more than expected. Your curious mind is asking why he is doing this for me. Correct? I have known your Father for many years; he is a good man. He has been helpful to many of us. I have no son of my own, only a stepson. He is a fine person who will be capable of carrying on for me when my time is at an end. I do not know how much time is left as my health is not as good as it was. We watched over you for many years and believe you will develop into a great leader for the Christian community. Your Lord, said in Luke 12:48, For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

Dickey, you have and will be given much. All that is asked is your loyal services. If I am here to guide or help you, I will do so. Suppose I am not here to advise or help you with another will in my place. You were with Morris last night. He will also be there to assist you in any way possible. Call me anytime you need me. With that understood, I wish you the best as you start this new chapter in your life. Yale will be useful to you and for you. Do not become involved in all those clubs and societies at Yale. Those are ambitious men who need to seek approval and benefit from others. Those groups will make your future difficult, serving the Christian Church. Many of those clubs are not friendly to Christians.  

His text was longer, but this is the vital part. My coffee is cold. I went into the kitchen to pour another cup and decided it was time to bring in my things from the car. At least, I have an answer to my other question, why am I at Yale? I am here to serve the Kings. How is my problem? That will be for later. Today, I need to absorb this. I planned to tour Yale Law School today, but don’t want to now. Check-in is not until Tuesday with orientation on Wednesday. I am going upstairs to that comfortable looking bed, enjoy my coffee, and think. I lay on my bed for two hours; it is almost 7:30 pm and I am not hungry. Having put away my clothes and personal items. I went down to the kitchen to enjoy a bowl of cereal, which always has a calming effect. Feeling more relaxed, I went up to the bedroom and made a fire in the fireplace. It has a gas starter, and there are wood logs.

The fireplace’s small wing-back chair provided a warm, comfortable place to plan out my coming day. It is my habit to leave nothing to chance. I prefer to plan my day in full, so I accomplish what is needed. Sitting here by the fire, listening to the burning wood’s crackling, smelling the pungent odor of the smoke, I picked up Uncle Stan’s letter to reread it. A couple of words bother me; perhaps I am not clear in their meaning. My concern is similar to when Morris said, Our United States of America, instead of The United States of America.

Here, I focused on two words Stan used, first is we. Who is We? Then the phrase, “Your Lord,” He did not say Our Lord as I would. Words have power, more power than most people understand. Men of power do not use words idly. Even though some questions I had have been answered or discovered, now I have another and quite possibly more important question. I was going to telephone my Father and ask him, but this came back to my mind. Morris said my Father had helped them in many ways, but he was not at liberty to tell me. In the letter from Uncle Stan, he also said my Father was helpful to us for many years. Father, never spoken of any relationship with either Morris nor Stan, is he hiding something from me? I will need to find out for myself. Tomorrow, I will check-in with admissions and look around campus.

The sun was peeking through the windows when I awoke at 6:00 am There was a Yale shuttle schedule on the desk that said I could pick up Whitney’s shuttle at 7:15 am. I do not want to drive. It is only a few blocks to the Law School Campus. If I miss the shuttle, I can walk. By 7:00 am I dressed, ate a small breakfast, picked up my letter of acceptance, and left. I took a small 35 mm camera to take pictures to send to friends; to them this is a big deal, Richard at Yale. The Admission’s office is not open until 9:00 am giving me over an hour to walk around and take photos. I walked the entire square block from Wall Street to York, back down Grove, to High Street, and returned to the Wall Street entrance.

The library in my family home contains thousands of books, including several on architecture. The Gothic style of the Sterling Law Building is to impress and inspire those fortunate enough to attend this great school. Buildings are much like temples to the people who commissioned them. That is why there is so much symbolism embedded in the architecture—every facade on the Sterling Law building adorned with Owls’ figures. There is also a statue of a large horned goat. I read extensively on the meaning of symbols used in Churches, Temples, Libraries, Government Buildings, Banks, and other important edifices. Symbols have a special purpose, to those who built the buildings and many who utilize them. A building with a cross atop, you know it is Christian. When you see a building with the square and compass displayed, you know it is a Masonic organization.

Symbols have been used for millennia in public buildings and monuments such as the Egyptian Obelisk found in Washington, D.C. Each symbol has a profound meaning and purpose. The owl holds significant importance in occult societies. In medieval times in western and central Europe, it was believed owls were witches in disguise. To this day, the owl is considered a witch’s familiar. Secret societies consider the owl a symbol of the oracle of intimate knowledge. At Yale, the Skull and Bones Society is associated with The Bohemian Club of New York and their Bohemian Grove in California. At the Grove in California stands a giant forty-foot high concrete owl. That owl used in all their occult mock human sacrificial ceremonies.

Now it is time to go to the Admission’s office and get checked in. “Welcome to Yale” were the first words out of her mouth when I handed the Admission’s clerk my acceptance letter.

Then she said, “We are expecting you, Mr. Richard. Dean Rostow asked us to let him know when you arrive, just a minute, please, Dean Rostow asked if you would stop by his office right after orientation in the morning.”

“Most certainly,” I answered.

I thought to myself, why is this person calling me Mr. Richard, and why would the Dean of Yale Law School want to see me?

“Sir,” she asked. “Would you like a tour of the law school?”

“Yes,” I said. “I would, I was around the outside, but not seen the rest,”

A young lady came out from an adjacent office; this is Rachel. She will show you around.

Follow me, Rachel said; we will start in the courtyard. We went down a small staircase to the door leading to the Law School Courtyard. Here in the courtyard, Mr. Richard, the students, the faculty, and the staff all use this area to study, meet, and relax. We hold many events here, including the law school picnic, and even classes are held here. Let me show you The Table, and this is the central meeting place for all the Yale Law School community. I am sure you will spend a lot of time here. Over here on the right is Classroom 127. It is our largest classroom; many lectures and events are held. Now let me show you the seminar rooms. These are where first-term small groups meet. Down this hallway is the student lounge where you can meet friends, watch television, or discuss the day’s events.

Upstairs is the Lillian Goldman Law Library. The library has six levels and holds one of the world’s largest collections of printed legal materials. You will spend a lot of time here. Here in the main reading room, there are many many carrels to read and study in private. We will go back downstairs and see the Levinson Auditorium, here we hold large Law School programs, special events, and some guest lecturers. Now, I will take you to my favorite spot on campus, the Dining Hall. It is open from 8 am to 7 pm except for Friday they close at 3:30 pm That is the show, said Rachel. If you need anything, just call the Admission’s office and let me know. I will; thank you very much you making this tour pleasant. Once Rachel left, I went back to the library to take a more in-depth look. Yes, I thought, many questions will be answered in this library.

Tomorrow is orientation day, then the first small classes meet. Orientation went almost as expected, what Yale means, how Yale will affect your future, what Yale expects from you and how many Yale grads changed the world. To be honest, I did not hear most of what was said. I am only thinking about meeting Dean Rostow and what he wants with me. As I approached Room 104, the office of the Dean, I wondered if something was wrong. Uncle Stan and my Father had taken care of all the details. I had not even read most of what they provided.

The assistant sitting behind the desk said, “You must be Richard.”

“Yes, I am,” I replied.

“Have a seat, Dean Rostow will be with you in a moment,” she said.

A buzzer sounded on her desk; you can go in now, she smiled as she told me. I read up on Dean Rostow, an academic giant. Meeting him in person, he was all the more impressive. Here is a man who knew what he wanted and how to get it. He looks like what you would envision as a Supreme Court Justice.

“Come in, Richard, take a seat. I am told a lot about you, all good things I might add. You must be concerned why I asked you to come in?” he said.

“Yes sir, I am a little anxious about that.”

“Stan, your Uncle Stan, as you refer to him, is fond of you. He believes that your good character, your brilliant intellect, and your steadfast determination, will enable you to be a great leader for the Christian Community. He said you would make Yale proud one day. I trust his judgment. We at Yale will do all we can to help you grow. I trust your Time here will inspire you to reach high. Richard, Stan is one of the most powerful men in this Nation and the world. He and his associates control the finances of this country and most of the world. Money is power; without it, Yale would not be able to train the leaders of tomorrow. Stan has high expectations of you, which is why he is personally funding the cost of your time at Yale. Don’t let him or Yale down. Do your best. All the resources you need are here. I asked Professor Manning to mentor you. He is brilliant. Listen to him, work hard, and apply yourself. You will find the environment here different from Duke. We do not put a lot of emphasis on classroom time. You can study and work wherever you are most comfortable. I am familiar with the house you occupy. It is a unique environment to learn, quiet, and comfortable. Are there any questions you have of me?” Dean Rostow asked.

“No, Sir, I am thankful to be here,” I said.

What I want to do is get out of there and go to the house. This day has been longer than expected. Nothing is as it seems.  Richard, someone called out as I was leaving the office, I turned, and Dean Rostow’s assistant said,

“Your small group is set to meet shortly in room 108. Do you know where that is? she asked?”

“Yes, thank you,” I said.

Rachel had shown me these rooms yesterday. It was no trouble to find. The door is open, and sixteen students are chatting away when the Professor enters, saying, “Now the fun begins,”  Once we all went through the perfunctory introductions, exchanged names, the Professor said, I am Manning, Professor Manning. Today, your regular schedule will begin. First, I would like to ask each of you one question, why are you here? Who wants to start? When he said that, I turned my head sharply toward him. He must think I tried to speak because he said, OK, you go first pointing to me. What is your name?

“Richard is all that came out.”

“You are up from Duke?”  Professor asked.

“Yes, sir,” I replied.

“Well, go on, why are you at Yale Law School?” Professor asked.

“That is to be determined is my answer,” I said.

I could feel and see all the other new students looking at me in silence as if they did not know if they should laugh or not. Professor Manning was silent for a moment looking at me intently, and said, that is one of the best answers I have heard to that question. None of us can see the future. We only know we are on a path to greater understanding and purpose. Most of you have plans and dreams of where this journey will lead. Some hope to join significant law firms, many desire to be political leaders; others want to change the world. Whatever your dreams and aspirations, the end will be determined by your actions and by the people with whom you surround yourself. At YLS, we value creativity in law. Not the usual rote reading of cases, then retaining them in memory. What we want to see is how you think, how would you plead a case.

Let me assign you an example case to plead. In this case, the City of More, just a name folks, filed an eminent domain action to acquire a small family farm through their redevelopment agency. This farm has been in the same family for over 95 years. Both residential and commercial properties surround the property. A large developer proposed to the City the taxes received from this farm are inconsistent with the city treasury’s needs. They submitted an extensive development that will bring in new tax revenues of over $225,000 per year. The city council approved the proposal, now all they need is the land. You have been retained by the property owners to fight this action. They do not want to sell at any price. Each of you can pick up a copy of the complaint on the table by the door. You have until next Monday to bring me your response.

I went upstairs to the library, checked out four books, and went home to study. I read cases in Circuit Courts of the State, State Court of Appeals, Federal Courts, Federal Appeals, even Supreme Court cases. From what I read, it will be difficult to prevent the City from taking the property. Most cases hinge on the amount of money paid for the property, not to stop the Authority from taking. Professor Manning said the owners do not want to sell at any price. I reread the complaint and all the accompanying documents. In reading the deed, this 40-acre property deeded to a former slave family in 1865. The farm has been in their family ever since. Wow! I now have the answer, how to save the farm. The case will not be a civil eminent domain action. It is going to be a civil rights action and perhaps the most massive suit to date. I understand how to accomplish this. We won’t waste time and the owner’s money fighting the City. We will attack the City and make them capitulate.

The Civil Rights Act of 1960 signed into law on May 6th, this year by President Eisenhower. It appears to ensure the rights of Colored Americans to vote. The law is new, and I am confident this can be a hot potato issue. Federal Judges will most certainly expand the purpose to include all civil rights. The Colored population now assured their voting rights; both political parties will be fighting for their vote. The vote of the Colored community can swing the power in many of the Southern, Mid-Western and Eastern States. The City of More! Watch out; we are coming. I see these six means to unify different groups to defeat the City of More. More, against more.

  • File a civil rights lawsuit in Federal District Court

(b) Rally prominent lawyers interested in Civil Rights. They will file amicus briefs in support.

(c) Bring the case to the attention of Rev. Martin Luther King and other civil rights activists. The activists will relish—the publicity. Rallies can be held outside the farm drawing National attention.

(d) Bring in a publicist to bring all these forces together.

(e) Have more liberal columnists write stories for the New York Times, The Washington Post, etc. many others will pick it up. The Nation will rally to the farmer’s defense.

(f) The Presidential election season is upon us. Contact the campaign staff of each candidate. Let them understand the political implications for their candidate. The candidate who jumps in first will collect the reward, votes.

This campaign has the winning edge, ‘public opinion’; the best part is it will not cost a dollar. All parties have a purpose of contributing their time and skills. More critical, Civil Rights will become the central issue it should be, both in the Courts and the public arena. Monday morning, I turned in my response to Professor Manning’s complaint. He was collecting one from each student. Manning took them to his desk and read each paper. I watched as he only glanced at some of the work even though many seemed like ten-page documents. I must have got this wrong as I had written only one page. Manning is reading my paper I can tell as it is the only one-page answer given. He sat there pondering something, then looked up at me and said, “Richard come here, please,” Darn it, my first week at YLS, and I am on the shit list already. I almost stumbled over the fellow’s chair next to me as I walked forward, trying not to look at anyone, but I could sense all staring at me. Richard, I want you to read this to the class as he handed me my paper. My first thought is he was trying to embarrass me; well, he did an excellent job of it.

I stood and read my text. Finished, I looked around the room for a response from someone.

Finally, Manning said to the class, does anyone have comments?

The fellow sitting next to me got up and said, Professor, I think that is brilliant. I wish I had seen it so simple. John Ely is his name. I remember from last week when we all made introductions; now, I will never forget him. Professor Manning then turned to the class and said, You all did beautiful work, but most missed the keywords. They do not want to sell at any price.  Remember, what I told you the other day, at Yale, we value creativity in law. You all got hits to use a baseball analogy. However, Richard hit it out of the park. Now! I will let you in on a secret. The case given is not a mock case; this case was sent to us to see if we can help this family.

Richard, the staff will prepare the Federal Court Complaint you will review before it is filed. You are assigned to do the rest. You outlined it, you can either work from home or Yale up to you. I want you to clear it all with me. We will assist in locating the law firms and law professors to add support through filing Amicus briefs; they will line up to do that. We will help find the best public relations firm that would love the publicity this case will bring. Some of our students likely have family in the news business. Query them and enlist their help. More is not the name of the actual City involved in this case; here are the details. I took the papers from him and went to sit down, Richard, you cannot win this case sitting in that chair, go to work, and report each day. I never wanted to attend law school, and now I love it.

Before leaving YLS for my house, I went to the library to find everything they have about Danville, Virginia, the site of this case. Nothing looks interesting; I might as well go to the house to conduct research. Father will know the Pastor of the Methodist Church in Danville. That is the best place to start. Local pastors are familiar with everyone in their community who is pulling the strings of power. I have not spoken to Father since I arrived at Yale. There is much to talk about as I dialed the phone,” Hello,” Father answered.

“Father, how are you and Mother?” I asked.

“It’s about time you called,” he said, somewhat grumpily,

“Father, this first week has been unbelievable. Professor Manning assigned me a case to prepare. I believe this will be a milestone in the Civil Rights Movement,” I said.

“What did you say, Civil Rights, explain,” father said. “Why would anyone assign you a case, you have only been there a few days?” he said.

“That is what makes this so exciting,” I replied.

I explained in detail all that had transpired in the last few days with the facts of the case. When I told Father the lawsuit is in the City of Danville, Virginia, he is silent for a time, then he said,

“Richard, Danville, is a hotbed right now. Reverend Dr. William Watkins of the Mount Vernon Methodist Church in Danville is a friend. We discussed events in the City, how they are affecting his Church and the other Churches. It is not good, I tell you. This past April, Danville almost had riots in the streets. Some Negro High School students tried to use the Danville Memorial Library, this is not allowed in a segregated town, and they are refused entrance. The City, rather than let the incident escalate, closed the library. I hear the Negros organized and filed a Federal Civil Rights case against the City that is not resolved,” he said.

“Father, I want to go to Danville to meet with Pastor Watkins. Will you, please phone him to let him know I am coming to meet him?” I said.

“Richard, I will be on one condition. You are not to let anyone in Danville learn why you are there. Tensions are running high there; I do not want trouble for you or Pastor Watkins. Do not use his name unless he allows you to, is that understood?” he said.

“Yes, sir, it is, and thank you,” I said. “I will leave in the morning; please tell him I should be there on Wednesday,”

I will phone Professor Manning and clear this with him.

“Hello, Professor Manning,” this is Richard.

“Yes, Richard, how may I help you?” he said.

“I need to go to Danville to meet with Dr. William Watkins, Pastor of Mount Vernon Methodist Church. My Father knows him and is arranging for me to see him. He will provide the contacts I need for this case. There is much more to this case than appears on the surface, but I should find answers. It should take me two days down and two days back. I will be in class next Monday, is that OK?” I asked.

“That sounds reasonable, keep track of your expenses, we will be reimbursed, have a good trip,” he said.

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