Smart Mouth Wiley and the Ice of Triton

Smart Mouth Wiley and the Ice of Triton
Neptune from Triton

Triton is 56,958,438,584 miles from earth. Looks a little cold, eh? That’s because it is! It’s–235 degrees Celsius. But that’s outside not in the environment inside Station 32. This moon orbits in retrograde-kind of like Buck Wiley. I will only say that this guy and his snarky mouth is 99.99% based on a real guy I knew pretty damned well.

Orbitus

The Ice of Triton is another Harry Cobb, Intra Solar Investigator book but it’s different. Cobb operates out of Orbitus an artificial environment between Earth and Mars. His secretary is Saddie. Max and Jody one of which is an android work for him. His trusted second is Renee Coburn from down under-Australia that is. Cobb’s best friend is Inspector Jahn Patenaude from Mars. Cobb was a Bureau agent and now has his own private investigative service.

The Ice of Triton-Chapter One

Cobb, in his office on Orbitus, gets a frantic distress signal from his old friend Mark Belkin, Cobb has known Mark and his wife Jenna for decades. Broadcasting on a signal from Station 32 on Triton Mark pleads with Cobb to meet with him because Jenna’s career as a planetary food administrator is in jeopardy. He wants to meet on a Calisto based Cruiseliner, a vacation ship of sorts near Jupiter, to discuss the crisis. Mark ends the transmission by saying: “It may be too late.”

The Cruiseliner

After Commissar Nevis’s death Felix Alder and his cut throat deputy Phil Sevrenson take over the Intra Solar System. On the Cruiseliner Cobb meets a beautiful, golden haired woman named Angelique, a professional oracle player. What in the world is Harry Cobb doing with this woman when his friend is on the way with not so good news about his wife Jenna? A question Renee keeps asking Cobb. C’est la vie. Cobb spends time conversing with this enchanting woman until early the next morning. Then everything goes wrong.

Angelique waits for Cobb

Jenna Belkin dies in a tracer explosion and Cobb is abducted. Renee arrives, trying to figure out what’s going on the highest levels of government. Once freed Cobb contacts his old boss John O’Neil and other irregularities around Jenna’s death surface baffle him, including arch criminal Jacob Lovinski.

Buck Wiley Greets Cobb at Station 32 Dome on Triton

Bucky Wiley: Everyone’s smart ass

Buck Wiley on Station 32

The wise guy Inspector Wiley gives Cobb some phrase in Latin and a bunch of numbers that confuse everybody. Renee and Cobb move into the interior, the Buntas, as they gather information around Jenna’s Tracer exploding. Renee suggests a Pytoids, illegal, explosives. What was Jenna Belkin doing? The new information could lead right up the chain to Felix Alder and Phil Sevrenson, leaders of the Intra Solar System. When Cobb and Renee attempts to get cooperation from Wiley he smart mouths them again: “I’ll see what I can do.” It’s clear Wiley knows a lot more than he’s saying and is covering himself with tap dance answers.

The Buntas

Wiley’s Phases and more BS:

Wiley Translation- is one who is exceeding his territory jurisdiction and the other phrase is: great danger awaits. Like Renee says:” Why didn’t Wiley just say that?Renee and Cobb’s contact Calvin is missing. Cobb meets a powerful, sexy red headed bioregressive woman, who warns him about being nosey. Calvin finally shakes hands with Cobb in the lobby. The bioregressive is Norah Cerchenkov is wanted for murder. Calvin mentions the worst prison of the solar system is right on Triton.

Wiley Wise Ass Snippet
Cerchenkov

Calvin and Cobb find the body of Bernie Sorrel, a Lovinski contact, sprawled dead in the Buntas. His neck was snapped which was Norah Cerchencov’s trademark. Cobb confronts Cerchenkov and she tells him he will find all his answers in the Saurizen and he will wish that she had killed him.

The Saurizen Prison Station 32
Inside the Saurizen
Inhuman Conditions

Listen as Cobb is dumped into the worst prison in the solar system, the Saurizen . An old man at the entrance refers to the ‘Waters of Oblivion.’ And is soon Cobb facing the Nauravald, a massive slinking carnivore sent in to eat prisoners. Cobb must survive the Nauravald and somehow escape the Saurizen prison. Even if he gets out Alder is consolidating dictatorial powers. Where is Renee? And what of Angelique?

The Nauravald

The Idea of the Harry Cobb Series:

Cobb is in the future but the human condition remains intact. I will say as we leave Cobb in prison that there is some nifty science fiction coming up toward the end of the book-One involving sound etchings and another pertaining to the timeline. Jahn Patenaude, Cobb’s good friend joins the plot more than halfway through the book. We meet John O’Neil, Cobb’s old boss and his connections on Mars. Sevrenson and Alder vie to kill Cobb, O’Neil, and Patenaude so Alder can implement his plan to have total power. However, without getting out of the prison Cobb is finished. He has a plan but it’s a long shot and very dangerous. And what are the Waters of Oblivion?

Wiley: Short and Sweet

Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

John Lennon (1940-1980)

Clearly Harry Cobb on many levels had other plans. Dear, dear Angelique.

Sadak in Search of the Waters of Oblivion-an 1812 oil painting by John Martin

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Post Script:

I wrote the Ice of Triton in the wee hours of the morning before work, after work and sometimes during lunch.

Fitton at the time of the Ice of Triton

OMG: Are you telling me I’m turning into someone else?

OMG: Are you telling me I’m turning into someone else?
Duke York looks a little different Idle Roomers 1944

As we get older, we sometimes acquire the habits or even the looks of our parents or those who have come before us. Sometimes we pick up bad habits from people and plot a self-correcting course away from the behavior. When I worked in California for a major paint manufacturer, I often was in the production area. There were large metal vats where the paint was mixed precisely to match specific vibrant and varied colors.

While one side of my brain absorbed the technical aspects of manufacturing paint there was also a bunch of impulses that designs stories in sometimes bizarre way to make a point. On one such day and I don’t know exactly when as titanium dioxide and surfactants were swirling about in the tank, I imagined an antagonist. It’s good to start with a fiend even more than protagonist. Herbert Fredericks. (I lived near Frederick Street in Moreno Valley, California.) So, what would I do with this creep Mr. Herbert Fredericks? We’ll make him a creep of course.

The blunt of Fredericks sadistic permutations is Mr. Nick Kluger, a guy who does his job in the plant. Kluger is steady, reliable and serious. And he doesn’t like the pompous Fredericks. Fredericks berates and taunts Kluger 24/7 taking some inner sicko satisfaction from Kluger’s distress. He does not pay Kluger for overtime and increases his workload beyond Kluger’s ability to execute. Of course Kluger even with his sixteen years at the plant could just walk. But he doesn’t. Kluger is so furious at Fredericks that the only relief for his emotions is to murder Fredericks.

Fitton- when he wrote In my Image

Okay, Fitton who did you copy or what influenced you? Sorry, but this story evidenced itself from my imagination. There were no people in mind when I constructed Fredericks’ sick personality. It was a matter of piecing together the antithesis of Nick Kluger. Fredericks is suave, sophisticated, and ruthless. He gains satisfaction by the suffering of others. Sure, I’ve known people with snippets of this personality but they weren’t models for this story. I liked my job and the people, the stores, and the company. This story advanced on its own with Fredericks driving the agenda and Kluger reacting.

FITTON’S LIST-Let’s take a look at ‘Bad Characters’ I like or should I say the ones I don’t like!

#10- Noah Cross- John Huston in Chinatown. No question Cross would do anything to get the water to L.A. and personally- we’ll leave it at that.

#9- Nurse Ratched: I’ll be short and sweet here. Ratched (spoken with a Jack Nicholson voice) A heartless and inhuman piece of sludge.

#8- Kahn: Ricardo Montalban: The Wrath of Khan -“A criminal… a product of late 20th century genetic engineering.”

#7- Lionel Barrymore (Mr. Potter) in it’s a wonderful life. Potter could easily taunt people as he did George Baily and let them go down by possessing the Coup de gras in the form of the Saving and Loan’s check. RAT.

#6- Jack Torrance: Jack Nicholson” Heeeeere’s Johnny! You know the rest.

#5- Ming the Mercilessintroduced in the original 1934 “Flash Gordon” comic strip ” and he’s merciless. What can I say?

#4-Fredie Kruger-Nightmare on Elm Street

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 | Ralph Fiennes Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire , Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix , Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows Part…

#3- VoldemortRalph FiennesHarry Potter

Evil personified

#2- Darth Vader-Star Wars

#1-The Emperor Star Wars-Palpatine-

As I write this the emperor stars wars music started playing on the news channel. Weird. Very Weird. I rest my case. The emperor is the worst. He is in total control.

Back to Our Story:

Fredericks has a personal evil but evil nevertheless. He like the above creeps targets his victims at their weakest points and does whatever he has to do to accomplish his ghoulish end. It’s almost as if Fredricks is like a vampire demanding blood. He wants Kluger to kill him. Why? I don’t know. Maybe it was in the job description. But given what happens when Kluger becomes Fredericks- maybe it’s required!

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In my Image

Compilation: 17 Short Stories and Novellas

by Robert P. Fitton and Fitton Books

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Fredie Kruger get the Ax

Dreams that won’t come true…

Dreams that won’t come true

I am intrigued when life turns on a dime causing huge personal or sociological implications. The assassination of President Kennedy is one of those events. The United States changed irreparably, culturally, and governmentally when JFK was gunned down. Sometimes in history it is the motivation of individuals such as Washington crossing the Delaware absolutely changed the Revolutionary War and the history of the United States.

This blog is about an average guy and his wife living happily in suburbia with their children. Peter Sturgis’s reward for leading the exemplary life (he was Citizen of the Year) is not just to lose his wife Jeannie. It’s worse than that. He gets thrust into another timeline where his Jeannie exists but without him.

Okay you’re asking how does Peter end up in this trash bin timeline? Peter “Pete” is married to some woman named Roberta Jo in the same town of Westerly New York. He is an acknowledged bum and low life. He has a son named Curtis but his former children don’t exist. All this courtesy of one man who came in contact with an alien outpost five hundred years ago. Who is this man? Let’s hear the prologue.

Prologue
CIBOLA

So now we know who we’re dealing with. Ricardo is a fiend, a killer and a self-agrandizing egotist who will punish anyone who stands in his way. Martin is more like a servant but he is also an enabler of Ricardo. Peter has just won the Citizen of the Year award in Westerly New York. He and Jeannie, still sweethearts, are about to attend a company party in a trendy plaza downtown. The CEO of that company Riccom is Ricardo and he’s skimming funds. Peter and his friend Melvin try to nail Ricardo.

The Ricom Party

Picture this: You’re innocently arrive at a company party and the CEO is infatuated with your partner. You mention some irregularities on the Riccom books. Then Ricardo maneuvers your partner up to his suite. This is just the beginning of your life sliding down the skids where you lose everything you hold dear.

Ricardo’s Suite
Which reality is it?

I once took a job in a department store in California before I found my outside sales job. The chain store was identically built, identically stocked with identical signage as the store I worked in back east. Yet all my friends from back east were gone. To say I freaked out was an understatement. Years later time gave me the idea for a story of identical surroundings but in another timeline. Human relationships rock every time. Plus, it supermotivated me to find that outside sales job in LA which I did.

Pete Sturgis’s trailer park in Westerly

Alternate Realities

Sliders

Fox’s Sliders had alternate dimensions with every new show. I absolutely love the designation of ” Home Dimension.” Quinn finds a portal where different earth timelines exist: Alien invasions…US a part of Britain… Cool

Black Mirror

Black Mirror provided a frightening array of alternate realities, dystopian or humanity hanging in the breach. Use of out-of-control technology allows a persistent conflict of characters.

The Man in the High Castle

 The Man in the High Castle was molded in the thoughts of Philip K. Dick’s novel of the surprisingly called The Man in the High Castle. Listen to this: the Axis won World War II and occupy the former United States. Always with the possibility of a better life in an alternate timeline. I like it.

Awake

Michael Britten trapped between two realities after a car accident. He designates the “red reality” and the “green reality-Flipping realities and interacting with components and people within both timelines. One season. Not fair for such a good series.

Counterpart

In Counterpart, J.K. Simmons is Howard Silk, eventually learns that there’s another Howard Silk. Silk controls navigation from another Earth “Prime” Earth and another more ruthless Howard Silk. Series nosedived on Starz but that never stopped me from liking the concept.

And now back to our story

Hollywood perks

Peter tries to adjust to his infamous notoriety in Westerly New York. He gets closer to Curtis, his son in that reality, but he misses his children and Jeannie. It is only when Peter thumbs through the pages of a national magazine does he realize what has happened to Jeannie. She has been taken by Ricardo as he changed realities in Cibola. He became a Hollywood director and she a star. Peter organizes a plan. He must find Melvin and travel to the West Coast to reunite with Jeannie. But as they say things do not always turn out the way we think.

I will say this: Peter and Curtis find Melvin, who is very happy in this new reality. Jeannie alive but Ricardo has cleverly molded her into ‘Jean’ a movie star with her own past. It is, however, when Ricardo finally is confronted by Peter that this five-hundred-year-old, obsessed reprobate begins a long battle with Peter to the end of the book.

Chapter Sixteen

And what of the alternative Jeannie? She is battered by the lifestyle of the alternate timeline but she still is attracted to Peter but lives in the shadow of the controlling misogynist Ricardo. And therein lies the conundrum of dealing with two realities. The interesting concept is whether two people with the same essence from the alternate timelines can fall in love. It’s not only possible. It’s inevitable. They eventually meet at Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles and voilà!

Linda Ronstadt-What’ll I do by Irving Berlin (1924)

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Sid Smoltz – the old song and dance comes to Hamilton, New Hampshire.

Pick a motive

Sid Smoltz. Need I say anymore? What’s that you say? Don’t know Sid Smoltz? Oh you will. Sid Smoltz. (Shaking my head) A big man with a big head.

Nobody’s ever been arrested for a murder; they have only ever been arrested for not planning it properly.”

― Terry Hayes, I Am Pilgrim

Motives for Murder: Envy. Hatred. Anger. Pressure. Revenge. Greed.

I’m sure you could add another dozen motives for murder but it all reduces down to removal of competition. Yes, competing with the ego of another.

Welcome to Murder, Inc.

How many murders have there been in Hamilton, New Hampshire and the surrounds? The first inclination when thinking about the number of murders in this small town would be to begin stammering like a drunken fool. But rest assured ‘suspension of disbelief‘ has been inoculated into more area citizens than the Covid-19 vaccine in the United States. Especially Matthias Jones. More than anyone when there is a murder Jones slips into his side road theory mode and treats each murder as if it were the first murder ever!

Where is Sid?

Sid Smoltz doesn’t appear right away and the only reason he does appear is because he went to school with Lark Larsen at Kokomo U. Lark is the cheapest man on the planet. Lark needs a lawyer and fancies himself not paying a cent to his old friend... Sid Smoltz. (Shaking my head again)

Curly Howard: A Plumbing We Will Go, 1940

Even if you ‘re a Stooges fan the following concept is universal: The crazy thinking they’re not crazy and doing collateral damage. In a Plumbing We Will Go the Stooges are penniless, thieving chicken thieves who become plumbers. If you’re Woke that’s not funny. But remember I asked you to suspend disbelief and I will now request laughter where appropriate. It’s okay to laugh.

Kookie and Mookie

Twice as Nice Plumbing

Funeral March for the Maestro does not begin with the murder. As an out of towner Jones gets snookered by Mookie and Kookie Bisbane of Twice as Nice Plumbing. They are literally destroying the plumbing system in Jones’s colonial on the common. Making matters worse is that the bizarre looking Bisbanes are identical twins. Jones, trying to relax in the middle of summer, can’t wait to get away from these screwballs and to his baseball camp at the college.

Being a little different is listed on most Hamilton residents’ resumes. But here’s the catch which I strongly want to impart because many times we assign all kinds of shibboleths to people, when in reality everyone on has something to offer. It’s just a matter of finding that something and not dwelling on preconceived clashes with your own assumptions!

So, where’s the murder, Fitton? Right next to the ball field of course in proximity of Jones. I remember my cousin when I first began the Jones series asking me why Jones was involved in the murder investigation. In this case, having him right there at the time of the murder is one reason. The music conservatory is inside the shaker barn beyond left field. As the camp practice moves forward Jones is harassed by the town’s leading harassers: Arnie Dewars and then Bucky Driscoll. who shows up after the murder. Lurking in the immediately area at the time of the murder is Jones’s predecessor, the not all held together Lark Larsen, now a prime suspect.

There’s been a murder!

Let’s listen in on what will prove just another fatal morning of murder, mayhem, and monkey business in Hamilton New Hampshire.

Suspects

To know who dun it one must know about those around the victim. Professor Arnold Neusbaum, husband of Helga Neusbaum, father of Bernice Neusbaum, who is the estranged wife of a man named Steve Corbett, once convicted of assault, now a suspect because he was in the area working for the college. Corbett is a bit slow, possibly because of an injury in the service. The Maestro was close to Mayor Picatta’s wife Lenore, a patron of the arts. He was an associate of Mick Dumas of the Mick Dumas Quartet, who play at Club Max in Prince William. And there’s Rex Neusbaum’s dog.

Rex and the Frisbee

Many people in Hamilton have their own whacky theories about who has committed murder. It probably a good idea for Jones to consider all opinions. To assume otherwise may overlook the obvious.

I’m doomed! Doomed, I tell you!

With the beloved Lark Larsen in jail and in emotional turmoil Jones begins to study what happened inside the conservatory. Neusbaum owned money to Lark for his new Steinway piano. He learns quickly from Bernice that Steve Corbett knew that the Maestro was in the conservatory that morning. Jones wonders if the gun went off by accident Lark panicked and raced into the parking lot. When he finds Lenore Piccata snooping around the conservatory windows Jones begins a battery of questions. Then comes the twists and turns and more murders... And what about Mick Dumas, whose contract at the college was not renewed by Neusbaum, and is now preparing to move out of town?

Mick Dumas’s Volkswagen Bug

Sid Smoltz to the rescue soon!

When I first wrote Matthias Jones the series was very serious. It’s not that I thought the humor would add a dimension to the series and make it unique. The characters just seeped into the story and the town like gummy characters an R.L. Stein story. Before I knew it the small town animated characters overtook the series structure. My home town had dozens of characters, albeit not as whacky as some I have created. Yet and I’m not kidding there were people in our town years ago when I was growing up who were very’ unique’ individuals. All with nicknames!

And I’m an unabashed child of TV. I watched exaggerated and stereotypical characters abounding in dozens of situation comedies, most set in a specific location. In the Matthias Jones series there are ‘normal’ characters such as Matthias Jones and George Strickland. The quirky locals just do not realize why Jones isn’t on the same plane.

What Universe is this?

An example of this is the spin off series Green Acres. Eddie Albert is a reasonable person, a New York lawyer yet Albert is the one who seems the uninformed dummy.

Bernard Fox was a bull in the China shop character as Dr. Bombay in Bewitched and Colonel Crittendon in Hogan’s Heroes- in the middle of World War II. Hogan’s plot survived despite the comedic interference. Colonel Crittenton was 100% sure that he was right. Yet no one seemed to realize this.

Sidney V.D. Smoltz, Lark’s attorney is arrogant, sloppy and loud. With Jones trying to clear Lark, Smoltz just pushes his way into the investigation. I guess Smoltz can be lumped into these humorous characters also…

Club Max

Jones questions Mick Dumas at Club Max

Cocoa doesn’t make it into the book until Jones visits Club Max, always under the eye of the attractive Bibi. With Lark’s antics, and Bucky and Arnie trying to solve the crime and with Smoltz’s obstruction, Jones has his hands full. Not to mention Hamilton Fletcher’s interference!

Controlling the town, the college and the money from Fletcher Hill is Hamilton Fletcher. Having the Fletchers atop Mt. Olympus AKA Fletcher Hill is actually a critical part of the Jones Series. Hamilton Fletcher is savvy, smart, and substantial. He’s easily triggered– only he can do something about it. Bucky Driscoll in particular sets him off. (There’s an additional reason for that) He owns and controls everything!

Fletcher Hill

Enter Sid Smoltz

And what about Sid Smoltz? He’s worth every penny that Lark didn’t have to pay for his services. There’s a reason why Sid isn’t practicing law down south. Don’t hire this guy!

Sid V.D. Smoltz
Sid Smoltz comes in at the 4:15mark

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Post Script

Greg Provost and the River of Fate

Robert P. Fitton Audio

Do you believe in fate? I do but it depends which timeline and universe you’re operating in… I am not, however, parachuting into writing about multiverses or specific parallel universes in this post. I wish to get slightly creepier, focused on one predetermined timeline and people caught up in the whole scenario. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah.

Before you leave. The Calvinists were religious Protestants in the 1500’s. John Calvin went into great detail specifically defining the interpretation of the word of God. I’m focused on predestination. So, if you are a rat then leave the ship now. God has predestined your loathsome self. You’re a sinner and you are out of the club! If God chooses you- you’re in… you lucky dog. It’s unconditional. I must have been a Calvinist in another life when I wrote The River of Fate because what happens to Greg Provost is fixed in concrete.

The three Fates spinning the web of human destiny, sculpture by Gottfried Schadow, 1790.

The goddesses who determine human destinies: i.e. The breadth of a person’s life and his quota of misery and suffering.

“The fates lead him who will; him who won’t they drag― Joseph Campbell

The River of Fate

An anniversary of sorts. Caroline a young woman and her husband Greg. With a little too much hard liquor Greg begins a long ramble of his early life in Reedsville, Pennsylvania. Caroline is shocked as Greg reveals new revelations about an accident that occurred in the basketball game at Paul Revere High School in Reedsville. Although Greg is a successful realtor, he is downtrodden that he had not achieved his basketball goals as a youth in Pennsylvania.

Caroline reminds Greg they are heading for Chicago and a Christmas symphony concert. On the way out of the Hearthside Restaurant Greg notices the mausoleum-faced gypsy revealing the fate of individual restaurant patrons. But the gypsy spots Greg and something within her being tells her that the river of fate is not flowing safely for Greg Provost. From within she summons a warning that Greg will not heed. The gypsy warns him not to go into town because it will cost him his life.

Although Greg dismisses the gypsy’s prediction, Caroline if shaken. They enter the symphony hall and the pomp and circumstance of Handel’s Messiah. The threat of death instigated by the gypsy dissipates into the winter night as Greg and Caroline enjoy the festive season. Leaving the hall arms in arm they are treated to a brilliant and colorful light display in the trees. Greg isn’t sure but he will insist that he just saw Marco St. Germaine from his high school class back in Pennsylvania.

In the cold air they move slowly toward the crowd in the direction of the CTA Subway line. Out of the crowd comes an evil that dwells within a middle aged man with receding black hair. He grasps a hand gun tightly and buries the muzzle in Greg’s body, sending Greg in a bloodied mess to the pavement. He dies in Caroline’s arms.

You can’t just walk back a terrible break or the cold finally of death. Moving forward for Caroline requires grieving and rearranging her life without Greg.

Any change in life requires adjustment and a sense for the future. Caroline has a sense for the past. For weeks she visits Greg’s grave, clutching his yearbook from Reedsville, Pennsylvania. She marvels at the young and slender Greg and his basketball prowess at Paul Revere High School. That was years ago in another part of the country. Greg’s basketball career at U.C.L.A. and beyond was squelched on a winter afternoon. If only she could change the past.

Diverting loss is often accomplished by time away and that is just what Caroline and her uncle are going to do. Flying away from Chicago six months after Greg’s death would allow her to rest. Caroline is to meet her uncle at the airport but she is running late and about to face a violent thunderstorm. I assure you ladies and gentlemen there is much more going on here.

One of the Twilight Zones that really rattled my cage starred Inger Stevens. Stevens was driving across country and repeatedly encountered a hitchhiker she had first seen at a gas station, dozens of miles back. The episode is called appropriately The Hitchhiker and it was first broadcast by CBS on Jan 22, 1960. This hitchhiker is mysterious. We don’t know who he is or what his intent on Miss Stevens could be. Yet, he has a mantra that has ramifications beyond a few uttered words.

So damned simple and with huge deadly implications. Serling wrote the teleplay based on Lucille Fletcher’s radio play.

If you’ve read up to this point you know who is going to be popping up in the River of Fate like a duck in a carnival arcade. Add the loud threatening storm to that trip to the airport and even the strong-willed Caroline is afraid. Again, and again Caroline crosses an old iron bridge in the pouring rain and thinks she will be safe over the next hill. I asked the Hitchhiker in the Twilight Zone if Caroline would be safe. He merely laughed, stuck out his thumb and said: “Going my way?”

Well, are you going my way?
Chapter Three

On the bridge not only does that old gypsy seem omnipotent in the deadly storm. but she is able to surreptitiously enter Caroline’s car. The doors lock shut. Then the handles fall off the door side panels. Hey, she just wants to make a deal. That’s simple, too. She can bring Caroline back to change the river of fate. After what seems like hours the gypsy vanishes and Caroline continues to the airport in the thunder and lightning.

Caroline races toward the airport and barely joins her uncle before the jet takes off. Why was the gypsy on the opposite escalator. Caroline is sure she has missed her flight. Somehow the gypsy has become involved with the flights. Her uncle reveals that the gypsy has spoken to him on the flight. They will have to redefine Greg’s death. And as the plane starts on its course a wild transformation occurs hours later. They are not in 1993 but 1968.

Yes, the story evolves into Reedsville, Pennsylvania 1968.The evil in the human form of Marco St. Germain awaits them in the small town. So, does the youthful Greg Provost. The large Department store in Reedsville is based on my own experience as are snippets of the plot. The evil Marco is the driving force of the book and the obstacle to Caroline preventing Greg’s life changing accident.

Let me help. A hundred years or so from now, I believe, a famous novelist will write a classic using that theme. He’ll recommend those three words even over I love you.

Centuries from now? Who is he? Where does he come from er, where will he come from?

Silly question. Want to hear a silly answer?

Yes.

A planet circling that far left star in Orion’s belt. See?

This novel has nothing to do with Peggy Sue Got married. I know of the movie but never saw it. Rather, I was more influenced by Harland Ellison, the Star Trek episode City on the Edge of Forever in this way: The main characters interact back in time to resolve an inexplicable variance in time.

Kirk stops McCoy from saving Edith Keeler

“The Great Curmudgeon” Harland Ellison

Let’s get in the weeds. Only a few lines from Ellison remain in the final product. That must have gone over really well with Harland.  Steven W. Carabatsos wrote a draft from Elision’s originalNot used. Gene Koon got involved. Didn’t work. So, they get Ellison back. Nope-wouldn’t fly. It was Dottie Fontana’s version, tweaked by Roddenberry that made it to America’s TV sets on April 6, 1967. And Fontana literally never got credit for the effort. But she gets it here.

D.C. .Fontana

Seeing time evolve in some past epoch is as Kirk said looking at the Guardian in City on the Edge of Forever: Strangely compelling, isn’t it? To step through there and lose oneself in another world. Just watch the first Back to the Future and Marty marveling at what’s going on in 1955. There is an inane security about being back in the past. Be forewarned that security is like a defense mechanism, seemingly the be all and end all. But what is left, as for Caroline and Greg, is dealing with the evil force swirling around the River of Fate.

Okay I have to give a taste of the epitome of the dark side, everybody’s punk-Marco St.Germaine. And yes, yes, yes-City on the Edge of Forever is my favorite Start Trek episode ever.

Hello Lovely Lady.

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Who is Lurking Outside the Exchange House?

Many, many years ago, after a nice evening as I was kissing her, she screamed. “What’s the matter?” I asked. “The window! The window!” she said holding me. “Someone is looking in the window!” I thought I heard things. I dragged her into the hall and then exited out the front door. I checked the bushes and the driveway. No one by the street. As I returned to the house, I could still see the fright in her eyes. I wasn’t too calm either. Thus, in a small way I had some perspective of someone intruding into a private moment.

In Exchange house artist Mattie Summers is in Arizona. She leads a comfortable life but her marriage is not longer viable. He husband John is on the road for extended periods, leaving here alone in her desert home. But this story is not about Mattie and the desert home. It about leaving the area and leaving John behind to go on vacation. When King John pulls into the desert abode he treats Mattie with incredible abuse. Yet when his district manger calls John becomes accommodating and full of flattery, retrieving reports and evaluating the company. An argument ensues between John and Mattie resulting in John speeding off the property.

Chapter One Exchange House

It all sounds simple enough. Arrange with another person to exchange homes in different geographic areas. Her best friend DR from her hair saloon likes the idea and Mattie of off to Maine. Seems like a nice little town, Rexford, Maine but there are indicators as story progresses that there might be some people in the town that may not want her at the Exchange House. The property management guy Daniel McCabe is good looking but there is something that’s off with this man. Another man a long-haired mechanic is mouthy and doesn’t like her. Many people wonder what this outsider is doing in town.

Exchange House-Chapter Three

Hitchcock on TV-Nothing more scary than the use of the imagination in an isolated setting.

An Unlocked Window from 1965 Alfred Hitchcock

A crazy murderer targets nurses taking care of patients in a vulnerable, remote setting. Add to the setting a nasty weather mix. And phones calls coming in from the potential murderer. This demented ghoul is informing the nurses that he intends to make a house call. Stella, one of the nurses secures every possible entrance to the far away house. But she makes a fatal mistake-a cellar window has not been locked...

Exchange House:

I had not seen Unlocked Window prior to writing Exchange House. Once I got inside Mattie’s head and drove into town, I let the emotions take over. Mattie is already stirred up from her husband’s behavior. She felt alone and vulnerable even before she got on the plane to Maine. And now the most dreaded word: Strangers… Listen to Jim Morrison singing People are Strange and better yet buy the song if you want to seep down to that cautionary level. Everyone Mattie sees amplifies the unwarranted fear. Remember how FDR said boldly the only thing we have to fear if fear itself. Apparently, Mattie missed the history lesson.

In her head Mattie rationalizes the beautiful house along the ocean, somewhat isolated from town, holds the prescription to settle her nerves. After all, as she walks in the autumn sunshine along the cliffs overlooking the blue Atlantic and takes in the waves crashing on the rocks below, Mattie realizes how she has gotten far away from John. Or has she?

McCabe, the property manager, is masculine, capable, and dynamic. He has large strong hands. Her maiden name is already known by McCabe. He was a military lawyer. Smoking a cigarette somehow enhances his vital appearance. His touch is captivating. Why wasn’t he a lawyer anymore?

A Potpourri of Fear for Mattie Summers.

-Mattie’s rental car has “Major League” problems.

-McCabe gets the car into Belson’s Garage.

-One of the mechanics, a pony tailed man, is very weird to the point a frightening this already shaken woman, even when just taking to her.

-The little mechanic with the long hair, Raymond Snowden, eats at a booth in the diner near Mattie.

-McCabe’s strong hands tightens some ropes as Raymond Snowden smokes a cigarette while leaning against the garage ‘s open bay.

-McCabe tells her how far the house is from town and other homes.

-Does the touchy McCabe have problems with rejection?

-The old fashion ringing phone in the dead of night.

-The powerful storm moving up the coast.

-The drop to the rocks from the cliffs.

Losing power.

-Waiting-alone.

Rest assured there is more fear, spliced into the over all anxiety and tension the UNEXPECTED. This story should have been called ‘from the fire into the frying pan’ but we’ll leave the Exchange House title in place. Heed ye the warning-throughout the entire story there are people lurking, lurking, lurking.

RPF

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If you dare-Watch this Alfred Hitchcock Hour, ‘the Unlocked Window,’ from 1965 directed by Joseph Newman

Very Strange:

The Wonderful Land of WOZ

(I live there too)

Steve Wozniak

Creativity, innovation, persistence… Steve Wozniak is one of my favorites. Did he have the pizzazz of Steve Jobs, that uncanny ability to sell a product, an idea, a concept? In his own way he did. That’s not why I’m writing today’s blog. I’m actually being a bit sneaky in this blog.

I’m talking on the phone last week with one of my old friends and the subject of Steve Jobs and______. Steve Jobs and______. Oh come on, Fitton! One of your favorite people and you can’t remember his last name? Bad show. I’m picturing WOZ’s fully bearded face and his smile. Him working constructing the guts of the early personal computers. My friend is hesitating also and then begins Wozniak ‘s name. I quickly mangle WOZ’s name and we both finish at the same time. No denigration intended, WOZ.

Smith Corona portable with Samantha my proof reader..

This does and does not have anything to do with my books. I remember what it was like to pound away at the typewriter. Make a mistake you get the white out. And then wait for it to dry. Maybe with a hair dryer. And later on, a white ribbon to hide the mistake and not have to type the entire page again. Although I’ve done that too. And what if there’s a huge problem with the novel-You’re screwed. Without the computer revolution I would be typing this and a few locals might read it. Now I can correct and insert and paste and revise and delete. What would have happened if a typewriter key fell off?

Steve Wozniak is an introvert. So am I. What exactly does that mean? Is he anti-social or a recluse? No way. Wrong to all of the above. Well, let’s hear what Wozniak actually says:

I don’t believe anything really revolutionary has ever been invented by committee… I’m going to give you some advice that might be hard to take. That advice is: Work alone… Not on a committee. Not on a team.” ~ Steve Wozniak

I hear you WOZ. I was in outside sales most of my career and wrote during off hours. Some people are ambiverts-in the middle of extroversion and introversion. It can be complicated. I worked well with extraverts but found sales meetings with extraverted party-goers, to be sometimes overwhelming. Although I developed an outgoing sales approach, and thoroughly enjoyed the good and the bad customers, I needed to recharge! I still think most people have no idea of what I’m talking about.

Time out: People are complex with a variety of different aptitudes. The introvert/extrovert is one part of that complexity. A big part. If I looked at a circuit board in 1975, I would have said. ” Hey that’s really cool.” Steve Wozniak looked at the board and changed the world.

“You’re a hermit… A recluse… What’s the matter, don’t you like people? Let’s party! Now wait a minute partying and being out are fine- when I want to. Introverts can be very social and some not as much. Introverts can have fun-when we want to. (lol) I think understanding this basic general difference between people, helps to see their perspective. Thank you, Dr. Jung. I learned to talk left-right- up-down and occasionally be funny.. . A tremendous asset for the recharging introvert. I also knew what was going on in my head although I may not have had the terminology.

A slice of a sales meeting

For instance. In a long drawn-out sales call, being my sprucy best, explaining with enthusiasm just what I can offer. I feel my brain calling out to me. ” Time to come home and rest for a while.” I quite often would shoot photos between calls.

I have a library of books. Thomas Jefferson said:I had rather be shut up in a very modest cottage, with my books, my family, and a few old friends, dining on simple bacon, and letting the world roll on as it liked, than to occupy the most splendid post which any human power can give.”

Three more cases out of sight to my right

If you’re an extrovert you might say- Yeah, right. (turning to his left) Who gives a Shebang!

At sales conferences I would go jogging or biking between meetings. I guess it was like re charging the cell phone. Biking? Too much time to think, Fitton! When I return from exercise I am, recharged. It seems to simple but it isn’t.

Carl Jung: “Each person seems to be energized more by either the external world (extraversion) or the internal world (introversion).”

1/3 to 1/2 of all Americans are introverts. Say what?

And now back to our story:

Early on WOZ and Bill Fernandez use punch cards and chips to build a computer until a reporter blew it up by stepping on the power cord! Fernandez introduces WOZ to Jobs. (the extravert)

Steve Wozniak in the 70’s
The Little Blue Box

“Secrets of the Little Blue Box” – October 1971 issue of Esquire. The industrious WOZ builds blue boxes and Jobs sells them. You can see where this is going. In 1973, Jobs worked for Atari, Inc. in Los Gatos, California. He is assigned to create a circuit board for the arcade video game Breakout. . Atari offers$100 for each chip that was eliminated in the machine. Jobs makes a deal with Wozniak to split the fee if Wozniak could minimize the number of chips, which he does by fifty.

1975: Wozniak tests his first working computer prototype and a character was displayed on a TV screen from a home computer. Woz brings the computer to the Homebrew Computer Club, a Palo-Alto collection of electronics hobbyists enthralled by computers. Here’s their newsletter:

April 1, 1976: Jobs and Wozniak form the Apple Computer Company (now called Apple Inc.) Then just “Apple” after Jobs returns from an apple orchard in Oregon and tells Wozniak about his time spent in an apple orchard. The personal computer revolution begins. Word processors were just coming out when I wrote the freebee-The Ramdama’s Kingdom. So, for some lunkheaded, moronic reason I wanted to stick with the typewriter. And today I still have that typewritten manuscript. I didn’t get a computer until my friend SHIPPED me an IBM-XT in the 1990’s. It was like dying and walking into heaven where God says to you: “Where ya been?”

Fitton at the IBM XT-1999

Steve Wozniak didn’t personally design the IBM XT but he did start the whole thing rolling. My output soared with the computer. Errors were so easily corrected. Stories could be readjusted. Wozniak did hook up with IMB in 2009 for some targeted work. Well, Dang!

Here’s a good line from the band AJR where Ryan is bemoaning his dating life and speaking to his not yet born child. He says in the song Dear Winter, lyrics by Ryan Met:

Dear Winter, I’m looking for your mom
I gotta find a girl that doesn’t mind that I’m inside my head a lot
Winter, it won’t be too long
First, I just gotta find your mom

I get it. He’s inside his head a lot. So, I salute the joining of introverts and extraverts. And the need for introverts to retreat back into their head. Yeah, I was sneaky by bringing in WOZ but it all makes sense to me. How about you?

RPF

Post Script: For all introverts:

Carl Jung

Carl Jung used the terms introvert and extrovert a hundred years ago. There are two personality types and they get or spend their energy in different ways. Introverts, Jung said, turn to their own minds to recharge, while extroverts seek out other people for their energy needs. Jung-him smart guy.

Can sales pressure get a little too much for introverts? Sometimes…

Susan Cain, author of Quiet:

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25 inspirational quotes from Susan Cain.

1. There’s zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.

2. Spend your free time the way you like, not the way you think you’re supposed to.

3. Don’t think of introversion as something that needs to be cured.

4. The secret to life is to put yourself in the right lighting. For some, it’s a Broadway spotlight; for others, a lamplit desk.

5. We have two ears and one mouth and we should use them proportionally.

6. Shyness is the fear of social disapproval or humiliation, while introversion is a preference for environments that are not overstimulating. Shyness is inherently painful; introversion is not.

7. Introverts need to trust their gut and share their ideas as powerfully as they can. This does not mean aping extroverts; ideas can be shared quietly, they can be communicated in writing, they can be packaged into highly produced lectures, they can be advanced by allies. The trick for introverts is to honor their own styles instead of allowing themselves to be swept up by prevailing norms.

8. Introverts think before they act, digest information thoroughly, stay on task longer, give up less easily, and work more accurately.

9. Or you’re told that you’re “in your head too much,” a phrase that’s often deployed against the quiet and cerebral. Of course, there’s another word for such people: thinkers.

10. If you’re an introvert, find your flow by using your gifts. You have the power of persistence, the tenacity to solve complex problems, and the clear-sightedness to avoid pitfalls that trip others up. 

11. So stay true to your own nature. If you like to do things in a slow and steady way, don’t let others make you feel as if you have to race. If you enjoy depth, don’t force yourself to seek breadth. If you prefer single-tasking to multitasking, stick to your guns.

12. …introverts prefer to work independently, and solitude can be a catalyst to innovation.

13. Use your natural powers—of persistence, concentration, insight, and sensitivity—to do work you love and work that matters. Solve problems, make art, think deeply.

14. The trick for introverts is to honor their styles instead of allowing themselves to be swept up by prevailing norms.

15. Introverts need to trust their gut and share their ideas as powerfully as they can.

16. …we can stretch our personalities, but only up to a point. Our inborn temperaments influence us, regardless of the lives we lead.

17. By the time I was old enough to figure out that I was simply introverted, it was a part of my being, the assumption that there is something inherently wrong with me. I wish I could find that little vestige of doubt and remove it.

18. The authors whose books get published – once accepted as a reclusive breed – are now vetted by publicists to make sure they’re talk-show ready.

19. Introverts, in contrast, may have strong social skills and enjoy parties and business meetings, but after a while wish they were home in their pajamas. 

20. Introverts living under the Extrovert Ideal are like women in a man’s world, discounted because of a trait that goes to the core of who they are.

21. Why shouldn’t quiet be strong?

22. Some of the world’s most talented people are introverts. Without them we wouldn’t have the Apple computer, the theory of relativity or Van Gogh’s sunflowers.

23. A few things introverts are not: The word introvert is not a synonym for hermit or misanthrope. Introverts can be these things, but most are perfectly friendly.

24. If you have talented and motivated people, they should be encouraged to work alone when creativity or efficiency is the highest priority.

25. Introversion – along with its cousins sensitivity, seriousness, and shyness – is now a second-class personality trait, somewhere between a disappointment and a pathology.

Hello Sam Crud

This Sam Crud. I just performed my annual clearing of my voicemails. So you’ll be able to leave me a message at the beep until its full again.

BEEP: Sam, it’s Marion. The Colonel needs to talk to you. You know how he gets worked up when he can’t get a hold of you. Talk to you later.

BEEP: Crud: You know who this is. How do I put this? This is the Paraíso Oceánico most elegant hotel in the Southland. You are the head of security here. Why is it you’re not here? Are you trying to scrape out a living running down cheating jingaloes down at the Mediterranean? Get your ass over here mister. You have work to do.

Kiss my ass, Colonel.

BEEP: Hey, hey, hey Sammy. It’s Woody. Just a friendly reminder. That vintage car show is is this weekend in Monrovia. Cars, suds, and chickadees. Call me Sammy.

You’re vintage, Woody.

BEEP: Sam. Marty. I just talked to Bender about you being inside that murder scene on Raymond Ave. Listen, Sam I can only cover for you so many times. You’re disturbing a crime scene, my friend. Hopefully, Bender will get side tracked.

I’ll make a note of it Marty.

BEEP: Lieutenant Bender. About damned time you opened up your voicemail, Crud. You think you can just stroll into my investigations like King Shit. How do I know you didn’t lift something out of that apartment? You wannabee cop!

Hey Bender, you suck.

BEEP: Sam it’s Muck. The Colonel is running around the hotel like one of those rats in the basement. I’ll cover for you because Shorty is making an ass out of himself.

Shorty is an ass, Muck.

BEEP: Sam! Sam! The colonel threatened to have me locked up. You gutta answer this phone!

Lock you up where, Shorty?

BEEP: Sammy, it’s Aunt Cookie. That moron Crocker was up here looking for you. FYI he broke into your apartment and hit his nose on the closet door when he opened it. Bye Bye.

(Crud laughing)

BEEP: Aunt Cookie again. Had to give the Colonel a Band-Aid for his nose. (laughing)

Too bad it wasn’t his mouth.

BEEP: Hi, Babe. It’s Queenie. The red velvet dress. Reservations for two at the Cliffside. Nine o’clock. I think its time to take a trip to Capistrano. Love me do.

(Crud growls)

BEEP:(nasal) Now hear this Crud. Meeting in my office. Nine PM. This is all your fault, Crud. Your softball equipment was tossed around that space you call a closet. I think my nose is broken you stooge.

In your dreams, Colonel.

BEEP: Sam. Marty. Bender is seriously considering putting out an arrest warrant for you about Raymond Ave. If I were you I’d drop a dime to Karen . I didn’t say it.

Bender what a brain fart.

BEEP: Kyle here, Sam. The Weasel told me he’s in El Monte tracing down the computer readout I printed for you guys last Thursday. If that office manager is skimming funds the Weasel will find it.

Good man, Kyle.

BEEP: Sam… Woody. The women’s all-surf competition is this afternoon, man. They’re all down at MoJo’s now. Start that Vet and get your butt down here!

Cool your jets, Woody, will ya?

BEEP: Sam, it’s shorty. You broke the Colonel’s nose! Why did you do that?

BEEP: It BAD, Sam. Well looky who emptied their voicemail. I think I’m gonna roll up in a big ball and die. Call me before it fills up again. We have that alumni meeting at Long Beach.

BEEP: Screw you, Crud.

Yes, sir!

BEEP: Hey Sam. It’s Buster. Woof. Woof. Woof.

Buster

You are a dog Mucklestein.

BEEP: Karen Carnes. Marty told me what Bender was trying to do. I am assuming that if I don’t hear from you, Mr. Crud that you disturbed nothing at the Raymond Ave Apartment.

Karen you are super!

BEEP: Orin Harbinger here. We just landed in Madrid. I received a rather annoying call from Colonel Crocker. Something about a meeting. I merely told him that you will be at the hotel when you are good and ready. Cheers!

I am so lucky I saved your ass at that party!

BEEP: This is Chief Cranston. Pay no attention to Lieutenant Bender’s so called arrest warrant. It is null and void!

Yesssss!

BEEP: It’s Icky. I pressed hard on that fool office manager in El Monte. Tell Marty she’s adding 5 to take 4. He’ll know what I’m talkin’ about.

Weasel, you’re amazing.

BEEP: Sam, it’s Shirley. I’m all done with the paperwork. I’m takin’ the afternoon off.

Go for it, Shirl!

BEEP: Sam, it’s Marty. Don’t go any where near Bender. He is pissed, pissed, pissed.

Good. Good. Good.

BEEP: Sam, it’s Marion. Don’t go anywhere near the Colonel. He is pissed, pissed, pissed.

He and Bender can have lunch.

BEEP: You’ll get yours, Crud!

Thanks, Colonel. I’m looking forward to it.

BEEP: That was your last voicemail. You’re mailbox is full.

Just as I like it.

RPF

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Letter to Country Hide-A-Ways Magazine from Charley McGowan-Barclay, Idaho

Charles McGowan esq.

Corner of Elm and Main Street

Barclay, Idaho

Mr. Sam Freeman

Country Hide-A-ways Magazine

Los Angeles, California

Dear Mr. Freeman,

Greetings from God’s Country (This really is God’s country!) I’ve enclosed a post card from the area that might convince you that Barclay, Idaho is worthy of an article in Country Hide-A-Ways Magazine. I have two motives in writing to you. One is to have people visit Barclay and secondly to transcribe the remarkable story of Alan Sackett who summered in Barclay as a boy and then returned from Los Angeles to change all our lives.

International Circuits

We once had a huge plant called International Circuits. IC was the mainstay after the war. The plant provided two hundred and fifty-six full time jobs and half that number in part time work and summer jobs for the kids in school. Well, sad to say everything except the building shell was shipped overseas. As a result, the town lost its train stop, tourism just about ceased, and part of the population moved away. There didn’t seem like there was much we could do. We’re just country folk. We don’t own large corporations or investment houses. Then Alan Sacket got laid off.

Alan goes up Idaho

Alan vacationed up here when he was a boy and stayed with his Aunt Amanda. Amanda and Ned ran a wonderful little red store by the railroad tracks outside of town. As an adult Alan worked as a top-notch buyer for Lamberts out of L.A. He had an extraordinary sales increase and then found himself out of a job. I guess that’s how things work in the big city. Well, Alan’s Aunt Amanda died and left that little red store to Alan. That brought Alan to Barclay. In his high finance world Alan had built a massive credit and debt. Now he had no funds to pay his single debt to an unscrupulous loan shark named Roscoe from L.A.

Aunt Amana’s Store

Sure, Barclay got him away from the mess in L.A. But I wonder if it wasn’t that little girl he knew when he was ten years old that kept him here. Only she wasn’t ten years old. She was thirty-two, married albeit unhappily to a thug named Tug, and she had a boy named Ben. Alan Sackett changed everyone in town’s life-even his own.

The Cabin on the Lake

Tug and Alan faced off in Alan’s first battle. The irresponsible Tug left animal traps ready to spring open on the cabin island. Ben unfortunately was the first casualty, his tiny leg enveloped by the rusty teeth. It was Alan who rescued Ben and got him medical attention. But Tug fired back by threatening Alan and burning down Soonie’s house. Alan pulled out one of our volunteer fireman from the smoky blaze. Tug fled town and Soonie and Alan spent time together, eventually falling in love all over again if that’s possible.

Barclay Railroad Station

Alan’s mind was in a different universe when he walked through the abandoned train station or through Amanda’s empty store. He didn’t see what used to be. He saw what could be. He didn’t need a corporate board or research and development. Old Alan had it all inside his head. But he still had that one creditor on his back. We just didn’t know for just how much. Somehow Alan secured credit and raised the money to rehab his Aunt Amanda’s store. The stock he brought in came from thrift and second stores and Alan sold it as historic items. With the money he and Soonie piled up in they bought more stock and even some new stuff. Just shows what you can do when you put your mind to it and have the right attitude I might add.

He got people involved at a town meeting. People who thought they couldn’t- Alan showed them they could! He called the town not just Barclay but Historic Barclay. By God that got the retired professor Jacob’s blood flowing fast. Everyone had as they say a new lease on life. Smiles on their faces. Money in their pockets. Even Hershey that rattlesnake had a smile on his puss. Then it happened.

Alan still hadn’t paid Roscoe and his boys, well they made it all the way up from L.A. Then they came up a second time. They were looking for all their money and were going to use firepower to get it. And if they didn’t get it…. Well, here’s the skinny.

Roscoe had a gun; I saw it after he and his boys stepped out of their long maroon Lincoln. Alan was down Main Street near Soonie’s store. I saw the whole thing from my office. And he walks up Main real slow like he’s going to the firing squad. As God is my judge, one by one everyone in town, some with rifles, followed behind Alan. Kennie Baines from the bank carrying a brown leather briefcase, put his arm around Alan.  And he said what he said loud enough for everyone to hear. ” We’re not going to let you down, Alan.”  They stepped out of the woods and the fields and between businesses on Main Street. In a matter of minutes, I swear the whole town of Barclay was marching up the street with Alan. Even me!

Roscoe and the boys

To say that old Roscoe was slightly rattled would be the understatement of the year. I found out Alan owed two hundred and twelve thousand dollars. What happened next is now part of our beloved town’s history. If you’re interested in finding out that ending-You can purchase this letter in your magazine or we’d be happy to give you a tour of our wonderful town at your convenience.

Sincerely,

Charley McGowan

RPF

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An Interview with Coach Matthias Jones

Tom McGill Interviews Coach Matthias Jones

The following is will simulcast on WOFI Prince William, New Hampshire. Here is Hamilton Enterprise owner, Tom McGill.

Hamilton Common

I was able to sit down with Hamilton College Coach Matthias Jones before his basketball game against Mac Conner and his team.

Tom McGill, Hamilton Enterprise: Coach Jones, thanks for meeting with me today.

Coach Matthias Jones: My pleasure Tom.

McGill: I think everyone knows your story. How you were requited by Cocoa Stefani on behest of Hamilton Fletcher, to be the coach of three sports here at the college.

Coach Jones: That’s true. Cocoa flew out to Indiana after my high school team won the national championship. I was skeptical at first but with a little encouragement

McGill: Hamilton Fletcher.

Coach Jones: (Laughing) I was persuaded, yes, by Hamilton to fly back with Cocoa to New Hampshire to check out the job. Coaching college. Well, I had to consider it.

McGill: What was the defining moment that made up your mind?

Coach Jones: I think we both know the answer to that. And I can give you a clue. It happened at Fletcher Hill.

McGill: Back to Indiana. You dad had passed away. You didn’t know it was more than just passing away until Cocoa, owner of Club Max in Prince William, showed up in Indiana.

Coach Jones: Yeah, that’s true. My dad was very close to my Aunt Mae and myself. I think I was off my game about certain clues when Dad was found dead in his pickup.

R.I.P. BILL JONES

McGill: Your Aunt Mae is you father’s sister?

Coach Jones: Correct. Her husband as my mother died when I was just a kid. Cocoa joined forces with me and we found what Dad what up to and we tracked down his killers.

McGill: So, you get back to Hamilton, into a Colonial on the common.

Coach Jones: I stayed at a local inn until arrangements were made to move into the colonial.

McGill: Well, here’s where Dr. Jeckle and Mr. Hyde come into play. You investigated the Prince William Slasher. How did that happen and what gave you the legal power to do that?

THE PRINCE WILLIAM SLASHER

Coach Jones: First of all I am not an investigator. I learned a lot growing up in the middle of Dad’s investigations and the FBI were grateful not just that Dad’s murder was solved but that we thwarted the huge conspiracy around it. There are papers on file giving me special status. But I’m not an investigator. I have my father’s intuitive sense of the landscape. I call it my sideroad theory.

McGill: Did they give Cocoa that same legal status?

Coach Jones: That did not happen. (Jones produces a sly grin)

McGill: That’s when you met the new security cop for the college, Bucky Driscoll.

Coach Jones: Where oh where do I start?

McGill: At the beginning.

Coach Jones: Let’s just say Bucky was wearing his Bermuda shorts. He was a little chunky. I remember him adjusting glasses and blowing a brass whistle annoying everybody. He never got off on the right foot with Cocoa when he told Cocoa to move his butt. I’m not sure if that’s when Cocoa started calling him ‘Rodent.’

McGill: You were right there when Dr. Povitch from the college died in the observatory.

Coach Jones: So was Bucky. He locked us out of the roadway. Povitch’s death was complicated and involved my parish priest Father Jim Gallagher. But I was trying to coach an away game in Maine and then there was a second murder.

THE STRANGE DEATH OF DR. POVITCH

McGill: Any other investigations involving professors at the college?

Coach Jones: Before Woozy Williams, who I knew in Indiana, was hired, Hamilton Fletcher brought in a hot shot from Florida to help at the time Professor Brad Davis, a real bad boy, was knee deep with Boston mafia, the Fiore family.

MURDER AT TOLBY LAKE

McGill: You’re often out of Hamilton in your investigations Prince William and Boston itself.

Coach Jones: Cocoa has friends in Boston.

McGill: Friends?

Coach Jones: Friends… Prince William is just over the Devonshire Hills. Fifteen minutes as long as Corky Corrigan isn’t on patrol at the crest of the Devonshires-the notch. So I’m in Prince William quite a bit. St. Barts is in Prince William. Parts of PW are rough. I once chased a murderer in the fog in the rafters of the Crosstown Bridge. Too bad Arlo Wombat couldn’t have broadcast it live on WOFI.

FUNERAL MARCH FOR THE MAESTRO

McGill: Wombat is a lunatic… On another note you ended up in a very dangerous part of New York City.

Coach Jones: We were trying to find out what happened to Cocoa’s brother, Anthony. Thank God we had Uncle Dullio with us.

McGill: What does he do?

Coach Jones: You know, I really don’t know what he does. He’s loyal as hell to Cocoa and to me.

ANTHONY’S STORY

McGill: There’s always one question that’s gnawed at me ever since I bought the Enterprise from Jerry St. Clair.

Coach Jones: If I ever committed homicide it would be on Jerry St. Clair. The man is a walking annoyance.

McGill: No, no it’s not Jerry. Lark Larsen. Why did Hamilton Fletcher allow Lark to coach at the college year after year and have such an abysmal record?

Coach Jones: The town loves Lark. It’s that simple. His girlfriend Flo Nightingale is an airhead. But they filled the stadium for Lark. I think when Hamilton was convinced by Cocoa he could make more money with a winning record, things changed.

McGill: Coach let me off the record run down a list of names in rapid succession. I’d like your quick take on these locals and others.

Coach Jones: Sure.

McGill: Arnie Dewars.

Coach Jones: Reckless.

McGill: Bucky Driscoll

Coach Jones: Not too swift

McGill: George Strickland

Coach Jones: Steady, Strong, and Steadfast.

McGill: That’s good. Wendell Harris.

Coach Jones: Goof.

McGill: Leo Crowley, your old team manager.

Coach Jones: Reliable. Poor Leo.

McGill: Webster Howard and Clyde Hooper.

MURDER AT THE APPLEGATE

Coach Jones: Hooper thought he was a British agent and so did everyone else. Webster was a nice guy. You didn’t mention one of the pastors at First ParishBricker.

McGill: No Good?”

Coach Jones: No Good.

THE HANDYMAN’S SECRET

McGill: Has the town of Hamilton always been a little strange, I mean years ago?

Coach Jones: I didn’t realize that until I investigated what I thought was a disappearance twenty-five years in the past. Froggie Finlay was just as dense as he is today. And Arnie Dewars was born obnoxious. Lark was a little wilder in the past and did like the women. Your old boss Jerry St. Clair actually didn’t get carried away with his newspaper reporting back then.

McGill: Lark had some notable players.

Coach Jones: (bursts out laughing) Snookie Mackenzie is the one that stands out. He makes a reappearance in town ever now and then. And Brownie Plympton was the most spastic man I ever met. He runs a beach shop on Shore Drive. Lark had a nickname for everybody on his team back then. Fortunately I’ve forgotten all of them. Lark thought they were NFL caliber.

McGill: (Looking through notes) Who was this guy Daniels you helped with an investigation?

Coach Jones: You’ve got it wrong, Tommy. Daniels was a Sherlock Holmes buff who kept butting his head into the case of a hooker who was murdered two floors above Daniel’s apartment. The whole thing began in Club Max.

THE CLUB MAX MURDER

McGill: You like Club Max.

Coach Jones: Cocoa’s father put up money for Club Max. I like Cocoa and his family. Father Gallaher keeps telling me I can get into trouble hanging out at Club Max. And he’s right. Cocoa is like a brother to me. Bruno, he’s the bartender. He’s a good guy.

JOHNNY’S BACK IN TOWN

McGill: And the girls.

Coach Jones: And the girls… Frannie, if your listening to this… You’re my girl.

McGill: Before I wrap things up. Herbert Lane hates your guts.

Coach Jones: Herbert cheats his way back into office every four years. Herbert gets upset because I figure out things before he does.

McGill: And Mayor Piccata doesn’t nail him on the cheating?

Coach Jones: Why should he? He cheats worse than Herbert Lane. And they’ve got Dom Pacheco pinned in politically. He does his job as Police Chief in Prince William and forgets about the cheating and Kip Bosco.

McGill: Bosco is in vice.

Coach Jones: There’s the wolf watching the hen house. Winky can take care of Bosco and anyone Cocoa doesn’t like. Gives them ‘the treatment.’ That’s as far as I’ll go on that.

McGill: Who is your favorite opposing coach?

Coach Jones: Mac Conner-St. Pats… We fish together. He’s a good friend.

McGill: Those organized crime families. Isn’t that kind of scary crossing their paths.

Coach Jones: Albert Fiore always like me. Called me Matt. And Charlie DiPiro and I are on very good terms.

THE LIFE AND TIMES OF CHARLIE DIAPER

McGill: Last question. Did you anticipate Hamilton Fletcher had enemies enough to murder him?

Coach Jones: No doubt he did have enemies, Tom. Ham Fletcher was upset enough to leave town when he saw what Hamilton left him. I just didn’t expect to see Hamilton murdered by someone I knew.

DEADER THAN DEAD

McGill: Thank you, Coach

Coach Jones: Thanks Tom. Have a good day.

” The Matthias Jones Mysteries will bring you murder, mayhem, and monkey business.”