Good Morning Ted and Jody:
I picked my first blueberry this morning. It was ripe and sweet. I can see there will be more marine cover mornings that I will be able to pick blueberry from the comfort of my porch chair on the front porch and not have to wear a sun hat. A few days ago, I turned the chair over than removed the wasps’ nests that were there with the pressure hose setting on my watering wand. I did not quite escape unscathed as one of them left a stinger in my right thumb. Fortunately, we have a ready supply of baking soda so I was able to sit quietly for a time and let the drying mixture of baking soda and water draw out whatever the wasp injected into me. I survived. Next time, I decided to de-wasp the chair, I will do it during the coolest part of the morning. I know bees do not fly below 52 degrees F. I am guessing others of their genus have similar temperature restrictions for flight(I hope).
Today is 182 out of 365. So by Nancy’s reckoning noon tomorrow will be the mid-point in the year. That makes tomorrow, by her calculus the first day of the second part of the year and the last day of the first part of the year. That should make noon tomorrow a special event (unlike my crude estimate of the last day of June and the first day of July having the honors, stupid of me to use a crude measurement like months). However, I will not tell Nancy this, as I am sure this is still imprecise and I am not in the mood for a lecture on atomic clocks and adjusting them or the like. So, this will remain between us.
Tomorrow is the anniversary of our independence. Let us pray we still are tomorrow.
Warmest regards, Ed
015 27 Years Before the Present – Part III- Flight to Chicago
Fiction in 1090 words by T. Edward Westen, 2017
At the sound of the first gunshot, Detective Clements lunged towards the Blanchards yelling, “Get down on the floor.”
Alfred Blanchard reacted almost as fast as Detective Clements pulling his wife to the floor and ending up between her and the door. Detective Clements landed across the two Blanchards.
After the three gunshots, there was a brief deadening silence even though the Blanchard’s car alarm continued to sound. The silence was broken by “CRACK”. Another gunshot from a smaller caliber weapon pointed in a different direction.
“This is one hell of a time to be without a weapon,” said Detective Clements as he raised up enough to get his phone out and dial 911. “Active shooter at 1245 Bison. An out of town officer, U.S. Deputy Marshal and the two adult residents, a male, and female, in the House. The Deputy Marshal is armed and may have been hit.” He listened then said, “Yes, I’ll put the female resident on the line.” He handed the cell phone to Mingy Blanchard.
“This is Mrs. Alfred Blanchard.” After a pause. “We are using an out of state cell phone to call because our telephone is on the table across the room and we hit the floor when the shooting started. We were not interested in sticking our heads up. Besides, he gave you the address. The Detective that called you is on the floor with us. Thank God he had his phone in his jacket pocket. ” She paused as the reflections of red and blue lights played in rapid succession on her living room wall said, “I think some of your first responders have arrived..” She listened and then said, “Thank you.” She handed the cell phone back to Detective Clements over her husband.
“Everyone O.K.?” called Deputy Marshal Moran from near the front door. His voice seemed muffled. The Blanchard’s car alarm finally fell silent.
“We are,” Detective Clements called back. “How about you?
“Just some splinters from the front door frame. That and Mr. Blanchard’s Fedora have seen better days. Four squad cars and am ambulance out front looking at the body of the shooter. I aimed to wing him. I guess I was a tad bit off as he hasn’t moved since he went down.” The Deputy Marshal appeared in the room Looking down on the three of them on the floor. HE laughed and said, “I think it is over now. Can . . .” HE was interrupted by the tea kettle announcing the water was now ready for coffee or tea.
Mindy Blanchard jumped up and fled to the kitchen saying, “I forgot, I put the water on to boil.”
A uniformed officer stuck his head in the living room and asked, “Who shot the guy with the AK47 in the yard?”
Deputy Marshal Moran raised his hand. “I did. But in my defense, he did trigger a car alarm, trespasses, and fired three times at me before I shot back.”
“Well, funny guy,” said the uniformed officer. “You can dictate a formal statement to the patrolman while the EMS looks at that blood on your cheek. I’ll need to see your concealed permit and your gun.”
[Present Day] Detective Philipson took a deep breath and said to Captain Batan, “It turns out Edith Gunderson’s tip on birthdays nailed it. Mindy Sue Wood was born two hours after Edith Gunderson. She was the only other female born that day at St. Joseph’s with Ms. Gunderson’s doctor in attendance. Her family moved to Key West a few months after she was born. She married Alfred Hitchcock Blanchard while the two were in their last year at Florida State. She graduated wit a B. S. in Business Administration, he in logistics. Both received MBAs from Chicago. On a trip to New York City, they witnessed Salvatore Persico the head of one of the five families, murder a man. They have been in the witness protection program ever since. A copy of Mindy Blanchard’s driving license photo depicts a young Aida Calkins.
Captain Batan shook his head. “To think that the only information about Mrs. Calkins’s early life we get because of an innocent slip to a person joining the Credit Union.” He pointed to the flimsy the Detective Philipson was reading from and asked,” Are there any copies of that?”
Detective Philipson shook his head, “No. Other than my notes and what ever trail I left on that,” pointing to the computer.
“Let me have your notes and the report you just read,” asked Captain Batan.
Detective Philipson handed the Captain the report. He pulled three pages put of his notebook and handed them to the Captain.
Captain Batan picked up his metal waste basket from the floor and took out the plastic bag liner fill with the day’s cast asides. He opened his desk drawer and took out a lighter. He held the report that Detective Philipson had just read to him, lit it and dropped it in the waste basket. As the report burned he added Detective Philipson’s note book pages one at a time. Within a matter of minutes the few pages of paper were turned into carbon. Waiting a few minutes longer, he tilted the carbon remains of the report of the Detective’s notes into the plastic liner and put the liner back in the wastebasket and the wastebasket on the floor. He then picked up his telephone. Running a finger over the list of inter-agency phone numbers under his desk’s plastic desk cover he dialed the U.S. Marshal’s local Office. “This is Captain Batan, City Detective Squad. I need an appointment with someone. I think we have identified one of the people in your Witness Protection Program, and she has been kidnapped.” He listened for a few seconds and said, “I can be there.”
Detective Philipson said, “You want me to accompany you?”
“No,” replied Captain Batan. “I think it best that the Marshals don’t know you have the same information that I have. Besides, I want you to go to a branch of the public library on the other side of town and find a photo of Alfred Hitchcock Blanchard on line from a year book, driver’s license or the like, print one copy so you and I and the time travelers, and perhaps Special Agent Simpson, have an idea of whom we are looking for.”
“The library?” said Detective Philipson quizzically.
“That less prone to prying eyes than if you do it in house,” replied the Captain.