Good Morning Ted and Jody:
I ran out of cash yesterday and had to go to the Credit Union and get some more. The First Friday of the month is a bad time to run out of cash as the Credit Union puts out cookies and cookies attract a large crowd. You would not believe how many people go there for the cookies. Most people get in like to talk to a teller too. Those tellers have lots of friends who seem to like to talk to them at some considerable length. I don’t know any of the teller very well, so all I have to talk about when I finally get to talk to them is how many time the lady had to come out and put more cookies on the plate. Then I realized that the place does not have an armed guard, so if they put out the cookies a whole box at a time someone surely would come and take the whole box. Well, anyway, the fellow ahead of me in line was complaining about getting old. If I am any judge he had to be 45 or so. So, I got to talking to him about his aches and pains (see if I could find a new way to think about mine) and discovered he was a rodeo bull rider in his youth. He broke more bones that I have. So, I asked him why he didn’t now get a job as a weather man? With that many injuries he could tell the humidity, temperature and wind chill factors more accurately than scientific instrumentation. He looked at me and asked “Are you telling me there are people who want to know how badly I hurt?” I told him there were, but he would have to put it differently and learn to call things front, patterns, and the like. “It is all in vocabulary,” I told him. When we started talking he was a bit grumpy. By the time it was his turn to talk to a teller (I noticed he picked the pretty female and not the plain looking guy to talk to), he was all smiles. I do love to cheer people up.
Gerry is deployed. But his mother is here visiting. So, Sarah and Ger will bring her down to have lunch with us in Chehalis (that is meeting in between). Gerry’s parents are people I enjoy immensely. So, I am not at all sure we can count them as relatives. I prefer to think of them as friends rather than my granddaughters’ in-laws. Did you ever notice this relative business begins to take in people you never would have imagined were related to you? One day they are not and the next they are. Strange organizational concept this relations thing.
Speaking lunch reminds me of dinner last night. We went into town as one of the chain restaurants has Key Lime Pie. Now we like Key Lime Pie. To make a long story short, the table service was a bit messed up. One guy came and gave us water, another coffee, another came and took our order (but did not write it down). 30 minutes later a woman came with an order pad and wanted to take our order. We explained the succession of people who had been by and asked her for another one of those two cup pots of coffee (after they pour two cups from the pot, why do they leave the empty on the table? Well this woman filled our cups and then brought a full pot. Good thinking). She was aghast that we had apparently been ignored. Well Nancy was on her device, so I was the only one that had been ignored, so being a male (Did I mention a lot of people don’t realize in the battle of the sexes, most men gave up?) I am not likely to complain. So about 30 minutes later another woman showed up with our food and told us that pie was on the house. Since this place gives pie away free on Wednesday, I had to check my device to find out if we had been there 5 days (and it was now Wednesday). We hadn’t, it was only an hour from the time we were seated and served. I figure to look on the bright side, we had a leisurely meal with free Key Lime Pie on a Friday evening. So, I left a big tip.
Stay happy, healthy and warm.
Warmest regards, Ed
026 Walter Beaverton Returns Home
Fiction in 635 words by T. Edward Westen, 2017
The court scheduled visitation was from noon until 6:00 P.M. Walter Beaverton left his daughter with Frank Thompson and his female assistant at 10 A.M. Frank checked the time, ‘Going on 7. Where in the hell is the man? He was supposed to be here at 6:30,’ Frank thought and fidgeted. ‘I’ll give him another 30 minutes and the then, . . . and then what? Can’t report him to child protective services, for I’ve lost the kid, . . ., Who the hell do I report him to? Being late to retrieve a four-year-old daughter is criminal regardless of what the statutes say.’ He stopped thinking for a moment then chided himself out loud, “Don’t get on a high horse, Frankie; you’ll just fall off like all crusaders do.”
Frank was used to waiting. Working for the court required a lot a waiting. Waiting on juries, waiting on witnesses, waiting on judges, waiting on attorneys, waiting was the name of his job. But, waiting for a parent to pick up a child was not a component of Franks tolerance. Frank reasoned it out, ‘OK he is now two hours late. That means he is missing.’ Frank opened communications, “Contact me with the police.” It took a moment, “Yes, this is Frank Thompson. I am an officer of the Family Court. I would like to report a missing person.” He listened. “Yes, connect me with the detectives.” This was the kind of waiting at which he was well rehearsed, indeed, well-practiced, “Yes, his is Frank Thompson. I am an officer of the Family Court. I would like to report a missing person. Walter Beaverton.” He listened. “Well, detective, he is over two hours late to pick up his daughter. He has a privacy shield up so is unreachable. He daughter was abducted today and he has not been informed and I am beginning to think there is a possibility of an accident or foul play.” He listened to the detective. “That’s right Detective, I am at his home now and I did check his place of employment.” Frank frowned and said, “No, I think it best if I wait here. I verbally confirm your restatement of my report of a missing person, Walter Beaverton, and will sign the request for a missing person’s search when I get to a computer screen.” He listened again, “No, there is not a public screen in sight.” He cocked his head. “Thanks, sending a patrolman with a device would be appreciated.”
‘Even if they are searching for him as a missing person, it feels good to have the cops after a guy who stands a four-year-old up,’ thought Frank.
A young police officer arrived with a portable device for confirming Frank Thompson’s formal statement. The office left with the formal report and Frank was left to stew while he waited for Walter Beaverton to return home.
At 11:53 P.M. Walter Beaverton almost stepped on Frank Thompson who was sitting, leaning his back against Walter Beaverton’s front door. Walter said, “Wass you doingink here. Move.”
Frank got up. He could smell the alcohol on Walter Beaverton’s breath and said, “Excuse me,” stepped aside and opened communications with the police department. “Yes, I would like to report Walter Beaverton has been found. He is at his home address right now.” Frank listened for a second, “Yes, sir, I reported him missing. Apparently, he was out tying one on. He just staggered home.” Frank closed communications and turned to Walter Beaverton who was trying to get his eye at the right place for a key scan to get inside. Frank shook his head, he opened communications again and put one of his call me notices on Walter’s communications waiting list. He left Walter still trying to gain entry into his own home.