Good Morning Ted and Jody:
Yesterday, Nancy started a three day “event” in sewing. Several of the local sewing machine dealer got together to sponsor a kind of sewing class where all that the participants bring is themselves. Normally a class requires the participants bring their own machine, thread and materials. In this event the participants will be working with five different machines, one per project, over three days. The machines are set up in an event center (on the fairgrounds) and they move from one group of machines to another. They serve breakfast and lunch (breakfast at 7 A.M. which is a tad bit earlier than Nancy normally wants to start moving, much less drive to town for breakfast) and run then from 8 to 5. Yesterday, Nancy completed an embroidery machine and a surger project—both are types of specialized sewing machines the embroidery machine is computerized, you scan in a design and it renders it int thread. The surger ( https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20081231175415AAQoZQ7 )is the machine that makes the bottom, neck and sleeve finishing for things such as t-shirts. However, I can see the machines becoming more and more integrated all-purpose like Swiss army knives as time goes by. Since she got two projects done in one day and has two days remaining for the other three projects, I would say the class will have a longer lunch break on Saturday.
I have been reflecting on the inauguration today. I was at Nixon’s first inauguration. I was a Congressional Fellow in Representative Barber B. Conable’s (R-NY) Office at the time. I also recall a lecture Professor Richard B. Fenno gave about presidents when I took one of his classes in graduate school at Rochester. Essentially, he argued, and I am severely paraphrasing and simplifying, that anyone who wanted to be President was an egomaniac. So, there was a lot of excitement then about a man who turned out to be an egomaniac plus a bit paranoid. So today there is a lot of excitement. I would love to commission a group of mental health experts to collective diagnose the current fellow.
Attached is episode 43 of the Amanda Saga (will it ever end?—do Sags ever end?)
I hope this finds you warm, happy and healthy and with little to no snow to blow.
Warmest regards, Ed
043 A Crises
Fiction in 1286 words by T. Edward Westen, 2017
Edith Gunderson was finishing up the daily, bureaucratic paper work that continued to pileup regardless of what else was happening. She punched the intercom on her telephone and did not get a response. She mumbled “where is that woman.” She stared to get up from her chair and noticed the time—7:47 P.M. ‘No wonder, it well past Millie’s quitting time.’ So, she got a yellow sticky note, wrote on it and stuck it as instructions on the file on which she was working. Then she got up, put her coat on, picked up the file and left her office. She dropped the file on Millie’ desk, left the office locking the door behind her and entered the door to the stairwell/parking lot exit only to run into a Patrolman who was escorting Mandy Clarkton, dressed in the same red outfit with mittens attached with yarn through the sleeves with one mitten off and one on as she had been on Christmas eve when Edith Gunderson in company of what she thought of as ‘The Judge Belemany Special Investigation Unit’ saw her appear off the swing in the small park on the 1200 block of Mission Boulevard. ‘Wait a minute, that was 20 years ago, that was the Mandy who grew up to be Mrs. Clarkton. Who is this child?’
Edith Gunderson addressed the patrolman. “Excuse me Officer.” She pointed to the little girl. “Is this Mandy?”
The Patrollman looked concerned. “How do you know that Mam?”
“I’m Edith Gunderson with Child Protective Services, Officer, uh . . .” As she was fumbling in her purse for her identification.
“Patrollman Benjamin Mason. Mam. And, yes, I know who you are. But how do you know this child’s name is Mandy?” Patrolman Manson asked.
Edith Gunderson found her identification and showed it to Patrolman Mason, put it back in her purse and said, “I know the family well.”
“Oh, they’ve had problems before?” Asked Patrolman Mason.
Edith Gundeson shook her head to respond negatively to Patrolman Mason, “No, they are good people. Just a bit, shall we say, unusual. But, they are very nice people. I’ll call her, er, her mother and have her come down to pick her up.”
Edith Gunderson searched her purse for her cell phone. She muttered to herself “I have got to clean this thing out.” She looked exasperated and finally said, “Take her up to the squad room and I’ll fetch my phone from my office and be right up.”
Patrolman Mason said “Yes, Mam.” He had to keep himself from instinctively saluting Edith Gunderson, he thought. ‘I have heard about her. She gets what she wants the fellows say.’ He quickly opened the stairwell door.
As Patrolman Mason took Mandy up the stairs, Edith Gunderson unlocked her office and went in and closed the door.
Edith Gunderson sprinted to the phone on Millie’s desk, picked it up and dialed a number. After a few rings and the other end answered she spoke. “Detective Batan, this is Edith Gunderson. I am in my office. Patrolman Mason just picked up Mandy from the swing set on Mission Boulevard,” she listened then said. “Yes, I am sure, I just spoke with them in the stairwell. He is taking her to the squad room. Can you come down?” Again, she listened and then said. “I’ll call Mrs. Clarkton. Then I’ll go up and wait for you and Mrs. Clarkton to arrive.” There was a brief pause then she said, “No, we, er, I have no idea where Special Agent Fleishman is.” After another pause she said, “Yes, I think there is a problem with that kink in time he tried to explain to us. A big problem.” With that she hung up.
Edith Gunderson unlocked the inner door to her office, turned on the lights said with a great deal of exasperation “I’d forget my head if I didn’t have it sewn on tightly” as she spied her cell phone on her desk.
Sitting down at her desk Edith Gunderson opened a file folder, found the number she wanted and dialed. As the phone on the other end rang, she drummed her fingers on the desk. “Please be home. It would make things ever so much simpler if . . . Hello, Mrs. Clarkton. This is Edith Gunderson.” She paused to listen. “Yes, fine, but it would be a very good idea if you could come down to the police station where you picked up Mandy on Christmas eve.” She listened again. “Yes, as soon as possible. It seems another Mandy has jumped off a swing and she is upstairs in the squad room now.” She listened. “No, it is probably best if you leave your husband and Mandy home. They would create much more confusion that we already have.” She seemed to lose tension in her body as Mrs. Clarkton spoke. “Oh, Thank you. Yes, please have your husband inform the other women.” She paused for a second, “It might be a good idea if one of them comes too.” She listened. “No, I don’t think it matters, which of you comes with you.” Again, she listened and then said “Again, thank you. I will be with Mandy until you get here. Bye.” She hung up, remembered to put her cell phone in her purse and got up.
As Edith Gunderson closed the door to her office she paused and thought ’My goodness, I told her I didn’t think it matters which of you comes with you. I must believe she is the same person all five of her, no, six now, wait, isn’t there one on a cruise. My, my, none of this is at all normal and it the most confusing thing I have ever had to try to understand.’
Special Agent Fleishman appeared
in the parking lot just a foot outside the stairwell Edith Gunderson had used ten minutes before to get to the detective squad and stay with Mandy until Mrs. Clarkton and Detective Batan could get there. As Special Agent Fleishman reached for the door, it burst open striking him on the forehead and knocking him backwards. A man dressed in jailhouse orange flew through the open door and sprinted through the parking lot. The door banged shut. As Special Agent Fleishman tried to get up the door burst open again and three uniformed officers sped after the running man knocking Special Agent Fleishman down again with another blow to his forehead. As Special Agent Fleishman tried to get up the second time, he was illuminated by headlights of a car entering the lot. The car stopped and someone came over to him.
A voice asked him. “Are you OK Special Agent?
“Special what?” Special Agent Fleishman asked. “Who are you?”
“Detective Batan. I am working with you on one of your cases.” Said Detective Batan.
Already there was a nasty looking cut and welt on Special Agent Fleishman’s forehead. Detective Batan, pulled out his cell phone and called for an ambulance. “A black, male, about 35 suffering from a head injury in the Justice Center employee parking lot.” He listened for a moment. “No, it does not appear to be a hit and run unless you count a door and a jail escape in that category.” The dispatcher was talking and finally Detective Batan said. “Yes, I’ll stay with him. I don’t think he quite knows where he is or what hit him.” With that Detective Batan disconnected.
Detective Batan turned to Special Agent Fleishman. “I don’t suppose Edith Gunderson told you the news about Mandy.”
“Who are Edith Bunderson and Nanny?” Asked Special Agent Fleishman.
“Oh, boy. I think things just got interesting.” Said Detective Batan.