The Handyman held the secret: to DEATH!

The Handyman Held the Secret-to DEATH!

Matthias Jones Series

The Handyman’s Secret

Chief George Strickland, I understand the former coach at Hamilton College Lark Larsen smashed into a boat off the Hamilton shore.

Chief George Strickland: “Yes, incredibly that’s true.”

“Why Incredibly?”

Chief George Strickland: “Because the harbor was free of any vessel except Lark’s new boat.

Wendell Harris: “And there was nobody there either.”

Chief George Strickland: “Wendell, nobody asked you.”

“How is that possible?”

Chief George Strickland: “Because Lark never bother to learn how to operate the boat.”

Wendell Harris:” George called him a damned jackass.”

Chief George Strickland: “He is a jackass.

“I believe a murder investigation commenced after the collision.”

Chief George Strickland: Not at first.

Wendell Harris: “Matthias didn’t think it was murder until he snooped around. Lots of suspects. Lark thought he had killed the only one onboard the other boat.”

Chief George Strickland: “Well, that’s true and it did become complicated.”

Wendell Harris: ” Matthias knows more than the police.”

Chief George Strickland: ” Wendell go cruise the beach road, will you?”

“You say complicated, Chief. How so?”

Chief George Strickland: “Whenever Bucky Driscoll gets involved there’s trouble. Matthias and Cocoa Stefani traced down some evidence that brought them out of the area and as usual to some dangerous people.”

Bucky Driscoll: ” Said murder victim had a BIG SECRET.”

Chief George Strickland ” That’s astounding, Bucky-coming from someone who can’t keep his mouth shut!”

Bucky Driscoll: “Takes one to know one. I know somethin’ you don’t know.-ha-ha-ha.- Read the book the Handyman’s Secret. Hey, who are you Daddy-O?

I’m someone whose stepping out of this conversation. Thank you Chief Strickland.”

Chief George Strickland: “Anytime.”

Bucky Driscoll: “Hey, what about me?”

Chief George Strickland:Why don’t you take a boat out of Hansen’s Marina and look for icebergs, Bucky?”

Bucky Driscoll: “You must think I’m pretty damned stupid.”

Chief George Strickland: “We took a vote. It was unanimous.”

Bucky Driscoll: ” See I’m not as dumb as I look.”

The Handyman’s Secret-Prologue
SECRETS

Secrets

There are people who die at sea, sometimes by ill-begotten plans and there are secrets. Why do people keep secrets anyway? And worse why do they take them to the grave? And there is a mighty big secret that will impact Father Gallagher, Reverend Bricker and Webster Howard’s father.

Secrets can mess up family relationships for sure. Families can be divided into taking sides. And any chance for individual growth and relationships can be stymied by secrets. And the particular secret as in the Handyman’s Secret can affect a lot of people. Yet it may just amount to protection. The release of the secret would be a game changer.

Lover of the Immortal Beloved

Take Beethoven. Who was the bewitching woman he called his Immortal Beloved? There are letters and clues. The apparent relationship was not direct. I know there were no aircraft back then but Beethoven seems to be circling the airport. Listen to the great composer’s passionate words:

“Can you alter the fact that you are not entirely mine, and I am not entirely yours?”

Already in bed, my thoughts go out to you, my Immortal Beloved. I can either live wholly with you or not at all.”

WHOA!

Regardless of what he did or wanted to do, the letters remained secret until after his death.

And the Handyman held the secret: to DEATH!

And speaking of icebergs: The Titanic. Did you know that Second Officer Charles Lightoller survived? He later died with a family secret. Lightoller was aware that First Officer William Murdoch saw the iceberg and ordered steersman Robert Hitchins the “hard to starboard“order. Hitchins messed up his instructions and brought the Titanic toward the iceberg instead of away from it. It soon became too late to avoid the iceberg. Over fifteen hundred human beings died.

Compounding the error the chairman of owners of the Titanic, pushed the captain to go full speed ahead thus taking on water into the crunched hull-more than likely making a bad situation worse.

And the Handyman held the secret: to DEATH!

Wood and Wagner

When I lived in California Natalie Wood died in a drowning off Santa Catalina. Secrets? Oh yeah and the truth is eking out some forty years later. Protection of important people– lies-and murder. Secrets.

Beurling

Arne Beurling broke the German code used for strategic military communications. Beurling created a device that enabled Sweden to decipher German teleprinter traffic passing through Sweden from Norway on a cable. The Beurling code breaking allowed Swedish authorities to know about Operation Barbarossa (Nazi Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union) before it happened.

He never revealed his accomplishment. It was top secret.

Ben and William

Franklin’s son William was illegitimate. The mother was never known. Evidence suggests the mother was a prostitute. No doubt Franklin knew the mother but we will never know. Because it’s secret!

And the Handyman held the secret: to DEATH!

The Handyman’s Secret has Cocoa and Jones collaborating in a location away from Hamilton and Prince William. This is a common theme in the Jones books and their comradery solidifies the relationship and is an important element in the books. Sticking Bucky Driscoll into the plot soon sets the investigation into a tailspin. But it is Jones’s attention to detail that slowly begin to yield results. And with the results Jones begins to understand the reasons for murder. Sometimes the motive for murder is just the outer facade for deep-seeded secrets.

And the Handyman held the secret: to DEATH!

Robert P. Fitton

The Handyman’s Secret-CH-2

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The Statute of Limitations: You’re Guilty of murder!

Matthias Jones Series: Six Feet Under

New Hampshire Statute of Limitations: Murder: no time limit

I would like to address the citizens of Hamilton, New Hampshire. I speak specifically about the unusual disappearance of one Harrison Mobley twenty-five years ago. A long time ago. Mr. Mobley was a professor at Hamilton College and an assistant to former coach Lark Larsen. Harrison Mobley was here today and gone tomorrow. Mr. Mobley had come to blows with members of our community. He was aware of certain lewd allegations from others, and he was involved possibly in a love triangle. What I would like to do today is to clarify some of these rumors and most of all find out the whereabouts on Mr. Mobley.

I would like to call to the stage the former coach Lark Larsen, beloved by one and all in the town of Hamilton. Come on up here Lark. Lark you knew Mr. Mobley, correct?

LARK LARSEN: “Oh that’s just an ugly rumor. You know how people like to make things up.”

“Ah, yes, Lark. We all know how some people can exaggerate.”

LARK LARSEN: ” Well if that’s all I’m busy as a bee today. I have to go.”

Lark’s Red De Soto

“Many people in town say you parked your De Soto and were heavily inebriated on a certain summer night in front of Matthias Jones’s house, Jones the present owner. You confronted Mr. Mobley.”

LARK LARSEN: “Oh dear… well he knew something.”

“About what?”

LARK LARSEN: ” Something personal.

“That was twenty-five years ago. What was it, Lark? And what about the so called ‘Big Blow Out?”

LARK LARSEN: “I have to go now…Oh, I’m doomed! Doomed!”

“The patriarch of this town Mr. Hamilton Fletcher. Sir, could clear up this mystery surrounding Mr. Harrison Mobley?

HAMILTON FLETCHER: “You’re damned right I’ll clear this up right here. Right now!”

“Sir, it’s been rumored there was bad blood between the two of you. Mr. Mobley and yourself.”

HAMILTON FLETCHER: “It only goes to show you that there are those who would go to any lengths to bring down a member of a prestigious family in this town and all of New Hampshire. Yes, sir!”

I understand that Pudgy Wilson saw Mr. Mobley throw a brick through the windshield of your Lamborghini.”

HAMILTON FLETCHER: “No it was a rock. I can’t help it if Mobley was a lunatic!”

“L.G. Bentley was a young lawyer than and can verify-“

HAMILTON FLETCHER: “Well, good for him.”

“Apparently you lost a great deal of money and you tripped Mobley into the bushes and said: And I quote. ” You keep your big trap shut, Mobley if you know what’s good for you.”

HAMILTON FLETCHER: “That’s not provable. I fact it’s a joke.”

“Not according to court records.”

HAMILTON FLETCHER: “You listen to me. You take your court records and shove them where the sun don’t shine!”

Mickey Snowden

” How were you involved with the gangster Mickey Snowden?”

“Well, I guess that’s all we’re going to hear from Hamilton Fletcher.”

Peeping Arnie

ARNIE DEWARS: ” What about Mobley’s girlfriend, Lady Godiva? She was up in the bedroom. Va-Va-Va Boom!”

“Your name sir?”

ARNIE DEWARS: “Dewars. Arnie Dewars.”

“Thank you, Mr. Dewars.”

ARNIE DEWARS: “You wouldn’t believe what I saw through my old man’s binoculars! Va-Va-Va Boom! Right Pudgy?”

Circling around the common

PUDGY WILSON: “And what about the brown Toyota kept circling the common? And Mickey Snowden’s Cadillac? My father Butch saw it all.”

“Maybe Mobley just wanted to disappear.”

ARNIE DEWARS: “Oh yeah? Maybe he was murdered!”

Okay let look at this a little closer if it was murder, New Hampshire has no statute of limitations.

There have been murder victims who have turned up alive later. And that is possible with Mr. Mobley.

Hutton

There was the case of Richard Hutton who fit the profile of one of John Gacy’s victims. Thirty-five years after Gacy’s arrest Hutton turned up ALIVE in Montana!

Jane Doe case from Pennsylvania. Several women escaped from a nearby youth home and were murdered. The remaining missing girl Betsy Longjahr was assumed to be the last ID’d body. But she turned up ALIVE!

Lovell

Another possible Gacy murder but not… Harold Lovell-1978 disappeared. Lovell had done yard work for Gacy. Gacy in fact did try to lure him into the house but he didn’t go in and was found ALIVE some time later. “A few times, he tried to get me into the house, but I wouldn’t go . . .  Thank God that I didn’t.

Listen to this:

A degenerate named Frasier in prison for raping and murdering a nine-year-old girl, and three other known victims. Natasha Ryan, missing, was assumed to have been on of the other victims. The police later found her with an older boyfriend where she muttered: “the lie had become too big.”

Okay, it should be clear right now that Harrison Mobley could have been murdered which means that the murderer could still be out there and be charged. Or Mobley may have had a good reason to leave Hamilton, New Hampshire and was living in anonymity at a faraway location.

Hamilton Fletcher’s Lamborghini

I wanted to write this book for some time because I could take a look at the younger version of the characters that reside in Hamilton, New Hampshire. Many of the personality traits of the present day people were in full force but in a younger version of themselves.

What happened to Harrison Mobley?

Robert P. Fitton

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SIX FEET UNDER CH-1

Matthias Jones Series: Battle of the Mob Bosses

“You’re Dullio Stefani, defensive tackle for the “Fighting Irish.”

UNCLE DULLIO: “I had a good run in South Bend.

“At Notre Dame you were known as ‘The Wall.”

UNCLE DULLIO: “Yeah. Nobody got by me. Just the way it was.”

“Let’s talk about Matthias Jones.”

UNCLE DULLIO:Jonesy’s best friends with my nephew, Cocoa.”

“How does a coach of the college football team get involved with the power players?”

UNCLE DULLIO: Most of the time Jonesy has Cocoa’s back and visa versa. And yeah there are times when they get involved let’s say sensitive situations. There’s always some chump tryin’ ta push his way into control.

“Did you know Charlie DiPiro?

UNCLE DULLIO: “The Boss was the best.”

“But Albert Fiore is in power now.”

UNCLE DULLIO: “Not for long.”

“What do you mean?”

UNCLE DULLIO: “Cocoa’s takin’ care of it.”

“I won’t dig any deeper.”

UNCLE DULLIO: “That’s smart.”

One final question.:

UNCLE DULLIO: “Yeah.”

Chick Cory’s Gym

” Did you really, I mean personally bust up Chic Cory’s gym on North Main Street in Prince William?”

UNCLE DULLIO: “They put Jonesy in the ring with Kid Palooka, professional fighter. Jonesy didn’t too shabby either. But Palooka could have killed him. So I destroyed the place. They deserved it. Cocoa had Mayor Picatta fine Chick as well as somebody from the state. And Palooka was on his ass.”

“Amazing. Thanks for your time, Dullio.”

“You need anything. Just call the club in Prince William.”

“Whoa, tough handshake.”

“Stay safe.”

Having the clean-cut Matthias Jones, hovering of on the edge of mob business, and sometimes dragged into the thick of the fight, provides an explosive contrast with the wacky naive town Hamilton New Hampshire and the underworld. And there’s a sense of security with the unstoppable Uncle Dullio.

In the Life and Times of Charlie Diaper we see Cocoa’s loyalty to his old boss Charlie DiPiro. The current boss Albert Fiore is clever in how he deposed Charlie and nicknamed him Charlie Diaper because of his debilitated condition.

Let’s take a little journey back in time and outline how certain chieftains came to power.

Carlo Gambino

Gambino was not as subtle as Albert Fiore in the Jones Series. With a little help from his friends, specifically Vito Genovese, Gambino eliminated Albert Anastasia in 1957.

Vito Genovese

So how did Vito stay in power with a pending trial? Oh that was simple. All the witnesses were killed. Case close. Charges dismissed. Oh, there’s more. Adding Carlo Gambino and Meyer Lansky to his murder’s row Vito ‘removed’ Albert Anastasia. And the old Luciano family was now the Genovese Family. Wow!

Albert Anastasia.

Speaking of Albert Anastasia… a despised boss who sent chills throughout the underworld. He was a protégé of Lucky Luciano and with Lepke Buchalter led the hit squad dubbed ‘Murder Inc.This Albert wiped out the head of the Mangano family in 1951. His track record also included Joe Masseria in 1931.

Capone
Alcatraz

I can’t not mention Capone. I remember standing in Capone’s solitary cell at Alcatraz in San Francisco harbor. They had fattened up Capone so he couldn’t escape in the deadly currents of the bay. I asked myself how could Capone have been so feared to be locked solitary.

St. Valentine’s Day Massacre
St. Valentine’s Day Massacre

Let’s start with the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Seven members of the South Side Gang eliminated with Thompson sub machine guns by unknown assailants. How many people did Al Capone kill in all? -Linked to over 700 and associated with hundreds of murders.

Writing about Capone is hard boiled. The Jones series while expressing bravado is not hard boiled. But the Charlie Diaper story is a fight for power with Jones in the middle of the action. Also in the action is an off the wall sports reporter named Billy Bobcat who mucks up the waters for Jones with his big mouth. Cocoa is not too fond of this guy either.

CH-7 Charlie Diaper

I have to ask as the finale of this particular blog as to why the fascination with mob bosses, all of whom were killers and destroyers of lives. Part of it is the magnitude of the enterprise. Nobody I know would put the squeeze on people fueled by murder. When I read about the Civil War’s death and destruction, I’m studying a realm that I will never experience. The power of the bosses goes off the charts too. And yet many of these guys went on and on year after year finally succumbing to the courts or death. One can sit back and read out such things without the risk.

Be careful who you call your friends. I’d rather have four quarters than one hundred pennies.

Al Capone.

Robert P. Fitton

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The Slasher Welcomes Matthias Jones to Hamilton

“Did Matthias Jones think he’s fall right into a murder investigation when he moved to Hamilton?”

Cocoa Stefani: “How the hell do I know? Jonesy just like his old man has a nose for investigation. Bruno bring us over a couple of cold beers.”

“You own this place?”

Cocoa Stefani: Yeah. I’ve owned the club for five years. Club Max-Thanks Bruno.”

“This slasher was a series of brutal murders?”

Cocoa Stefani: “Sicko. Jonesy was taken’ his life into his hands by goin’ after the Slasher.”

Jones hang out here at Club Max?”

Cocoa Stefani: “ The club is Jonesy’s home away from home. Everybody likes Jonesy. Especially Bibi.”

“You’ve worked with Jones on murder cases?”

Cocoa Stefani: Let’s just say we’ve saved each other’s hide on more than one occasion.

“I’ve heard that Club Max has connections to certain people.”

Cocoa Stefani: “Yeah, so what. I’m associated with ‘friends’ in Boston.

“Your brother Anthony was close to you.”

Cocoa Stefani:” Anthony’s gone. I’d say now Jonesy kind-da fills that gap.

“And your father was the notorious Johnny Stefani.”

Cocoa Stefani: “Notorious. Yeah, I like that. My old man left when Anthony and me were teenagers. My mother, Rita and Uncle Dullio kept tabs on us. One thing about my old man. Anybody that crossed him lived or died to regret it.

“You have a nice place here Mr. Stefani. Thanks.”

Cocoa Stefani: “ Stop by here any time. The girls are very… friendly.”

“Whoa…”

A prescription for Death

The Slasher…. One word can make a title or a book. Jones walks into four unsolved serial murders in the Hamilton area. The same modus operandi- This blog/Podcast is not designed to be gruesome but there are exceptions.

Throat slashed and duct tape over the mouth. And the more recent the stench of gin. Even Mayor Picata in Prince William is under pressure to solve the crime. Jones becomes interested in the case when some of his players describe a murder in a high-end fashion shop in downtown Hamilton and bring him to the scene of the crime.

What are some of the egregious cases of multiple murders?

Jack the Ripper

I have to start with the stealth, the bloody, the brutal murders of Jack the Ripper. The only scary Star Trek episode when I was growing up was Wolf in the fold when Scotty apparently had brutally murdered women. ‘Scotty the Ripper’ of course was set up and the weirdo Mr. Hengus played superbly by John Fielder apparently housed the essence of the Ripper. The Ripper bounced around the galaxy and moved into space.

          The real Ripper’s notoriety came with his operating in the dark. He was never caught. What the Ripper did to the women will be left to the listeners to this podcast to research or not.

John Wayne Gacy

          The so-called normal guy yet trickster by day- the murdering scumbag by night, his basement a necropolis of discarded victims. By the numbers this psychotic brutalizer killed and tortured countless innocent human beings.

LETHAL INJECTION: MAY 10, 1994

Ted Bundy

          Bundy’s death count is close to Gacy’s but Bundy was like a killer on tour around the United States. Bundy eventually tried to up the ante, taking greater risks but guess what?  His highway to fame ended via the electric chair: January 24, 1989.

Jeffery Dahmer

Hey Dahmer the only thing I will say is: two inmates got you on November 28, 1994.

Ladies and Gentlemen Jones moves out of character in the Prince William Slasher because of his anger at the Slasher. Let me join in that effort. I was stunned at the number of serial killers and we’ll leave it at that. Let’s go back to Matthias Jones and the Prince William Slasher around the Prince William and Hamilton area of the New Hampshire coast.

As Hamilton Police Chief George Strickland says:

“Prince William is terrified and many people here in Hamilton are uneasy.”

I think that’s the key with this Matthias Jones book. In a town of misinformation and whackos even the rumor of a serial killer spread by loud mouths such as Arnie Dewars and Bucky Driscoll can wreak havoc.

“Yeah the duct tape was slapped on the mouth after the murder Buckster!”

“Hey maybe they didn’t want said deceased to open their mouths, Arnie.”

Jones quickly learns that the wounds of the victims are all from the 7-inch blade, with the two recent victims doused in gin. He also meets a knockout slightly aging model. Wendell Harris described her as:

Pia is ‘fascinated’ by Jones

Oh, Pia was a top model in New York and LA., Now she’s real hoity-toity in Prince William. Lots of moola.”

Now Jones has to deal with her advances while tracking down the slasher.

Jones meets the town’s newspaper owner Tom McGill and they start talking about the case.

The blade was a 7-inch razor, never found and the case is unsolved. The FBI got involved and the thing fizzled.  But this is interesting. The other women were killed on Saturday nights also.”

When the Slasher strikes at Club Max Jones becomes thoroughly immersed in the case. Then the part that makes the story smoke. Jones begins getting threatening calls directly from the Slasher. So, Jones is in jeopardy from the slasher and becomes just a wee bit nervous. Readers and listeners can pick up the Slasher’s rampage from here.

Slasher-Ch-2
Sub Human Manson

In the words of Charlie Manson:

Believe me if I started murdering, they’d be none of you left.”

I am out of this place!

Hey Charlie. We’re here and you’re not.

Robert P. Fitton

Slasher-Ch-12

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Paperback

See you next week- Same time, same station.

See You Next Week
Live Free and Lie

Hamilton Fletcher: Who the hell are you?

You’re Hamilton Fletcher. You are the CEO of the largest paint and coatings company east of the Mississippi.

Hamilton Fletcher: Exactly right.

The college founded by your ancestors still exists today in Hamilton, New Hampshire. Made possible by your management and financial prowess.

Hamilton Fletcher: I’m beginning to like you, my boy. Tell me more.

Hamilton, New Hampshire’s sports teams are A#1.

Hamilton Fletcher: Well, that’s true now since I fired that bumbling jackass, Lark Larsen. I only wished he had left town.

So, you’re happy with coach Mathias Jones?

Hamilton Fletcher: Absolutely.

How do you fund the college?

Hamilton Fletcher: Of course, we procure our money from a diverse number of sources and organizations.

Can you elaborate, sir?”

Hamilton Fletcher: One rule I learned long ago is not divulge you source of income… No matter how nefarious.

“Then your ventures are very profitable.”

Hamilton Fletcher: When it comes to money, young man. My time is your time.

So, Hamilton College is a secure school with an esteemed faculty-”

Hamilton Fletcher: I wouldn’t go that far.

Oh, are there problems at Hamilton?”

Hamilton Fletcher: Problems with the security personnel. That walking disaster area Bucky Driscoll.

“Fire him!”

Hamilton Fletcher: Oh, dear God I wish I could.

We’ll leave it at that.

Hamilton Fletcher: Right.

There seems to be a very odd  fact about Hamilton… An extremely high rate of murders.

Hamilton Fletcher: Murder, Mayhem, and Monkey Business. Like I always say: You don’t like it in Hamilton… Then move the hell out! Very simple. I have a meeting with the college trustees. Have a good evening.

Thank you, Mr. Fletcher I will.

Hamilton Fletcher: “Hawlings, where the hell is my Scotch and water? Make it a double!”

Toxicity Included

If for any reason you are dissatisfied with Fletcher Coatings I’ll give you a hundred bucks!

Hamilton Fletcher, CEO Fletcher Coatings

(subject to BIG limitations)

First let me give you a Boomer Alert. For those not familiar with the term. We were born from 1946 to 1964. And I have to warn you all who are accustomed to serious murder mysteries that you have just left the city of Prince William and have crossed the line into Hamilton, New Hampshire. This is not Mary Higgins Clark, nor is it Sue Grafton, Robert B. Parker or Ed McBain. None of these fine accomplished authors would be caught dead in Hamilton, New Hampshire.  On second thought maybe they would be caught dead.

Hamilton College Observatory
First Chapter of Povitch

Take the opening scene of The Strange Death of Dr. Povitch. The security officer for Hamilton College (there’s only one guy) has lost the key to the gate of the school’s observatory. As Jones and his friend Professor Fred Dempsey wait to drive into the observatory, Bucky Driscoll whacks and hacks away at the chained lock on the observatory gate-with three feet of snow blanketing the Hamilton area. Might there just be the most enduring scientific principle at play here? Is it possible to be dumber than dumb? Yes, of course. You won’t see any Bucky Driscoll characters consistently in the hard-boiled crime books.

Angel Martin

Angel Martin comes close in the Rockford Files and Magnum PI has some odd funny characters. Hamilton, New Hampshire is loaded with over-the-top bobble head characters bouncing about like a pinball as the solid citizens just don’t seem to be bothered the eccentricities.

Dr. Povitch is a brilliant professor and scientist but he’s solid or normal. He has a running feud with Father Jim Gallagher about some grant money that Gallagher was going to use to build a satellite chapel in Hamilton. In the opening scene at observatory Fred Dempsey is also solid. And poor Jones  seems to be sandbagged by the bobble heads, such as Bucky at every turn. One thing about the Bobbles is that they don’t seem to know they’re strange, eccentric, or bizarre.

Here’s the catch within all the madness: The actual unlocking of the murder is not wacky all though there are wacky scenes with the strange, eccentric, or bizarre characters. Having the crude Bucky in the presence of the esteemed doctor is an old theme. The Marx Brothers were geniuses in doing just that and the Stooges’ zaniness is collides with the snobby rich or someone who is ‘ the boss.’

From Duck Soup
Moe, Larry, and Curly
Groucho and Margaret Dumont

But somebody has to die in a murder-mystery and for Dr. Sergi Povitch- the bell is tolling. How would Dr. Povitch just croak at his telescope? At first Jones thinks it’s a heart attack. But the medical examiner, Clayton Morris finds that the Doctor was……..POISONED!

Healthy, Wealthy and Dumb

Oh dear oh dear who would want to poison the good doctor? Who would have the motive? Who would have the means? Who would have the opportunity? Who-Who-Who?

Ah ha-We have Gallagher who served Povitch his last meal but could not contain his anger at the doctor. Jones’s star player Duff whose secret drug problem, known to only Dr. Povitch. And what about Povitch’s companion Elsie McIntire? Was she just after his money? Many times, when I’m writing a Jones book, I let the culprit float out there for a while and maybe even change the murderer. Helping Jones solve the murder is the ever-incompetent Bucky. I like to bring in a flamboyant character to  muck up the investigation or sometimes help the investigation. And also important the connections to local Club Max- owner Cocoa Stefani brings the sometime naïve Jones from Indiana into a world of high-powered Mafia figures ans nefarious characters.

Schultz, Hogan and Klink
General Burkhalter not too pleased with Klink
Major Wolfgang Hochstetter

And let’s look at a few other templates from 1960’s TV series. I know I’ve mentioned this before but it’s probably more important than the mystery aspects of the Matthias Jones books. In Hogans Heroes the characters around Hogan and his operation are ‘out to lunch for sure.’ Colonel Klink has distinct character eccentricities. Klink plays the violin and rather badly although Werner Klemperer could do very well with the violin. Schultz eats too much, knows nothing and sees nothing and is chummy with the prisoners. John Banner who played Schultz once there should be more people like Schultz in the world. And in the Hogan’s series there is always a character popping into camp who drives the rest of the show and has distinct attributes.

Hi, I’m Larry. This is my brother Darryl and my other brother Darryl.
Green Acres Cast

The series Newhart again brought in zany characters, highlighted by Larry and the two Darryls. Going to infinity and beyond to suspend disbelief were shows like Gilligan’s Island, I dream of Jeannie, and Bewitched. In Green Acres many of these Bobble heads are all around Eddie Albert who is competent and has been a lawyer in New York, yet they think he’s the odd duck. I like to put Jones in those situations. These types of characters can have some device or plan that sweeps everyone else along though the episode. Also, Major Hochstetter, always a threat, shows up sporadically in the episodes. So does Burkhalter with a little more power. This produces variety and a tension in  the episode. Bucky is the culprit in the Povitch book, showing up-to mess up.

Star Trek the Original Series

Last but not least and you see it in every repeating book and TV show. The relationship of the characters. Take Star Trek the original series. Even though you might marvel at the science fiction or the far away planets or the unconquerable foes, it all revolves around the relationship of Kirk, Spock and McCoy as well as Chekov, Sulu, And Uhura. Holding the ship together is Scotty. The venue is different, but the mechanic are the same.

That’s what subtly influenced Matthias Jones with settings taken from places I’ve lived, worked or gone to school. I didn’t outline the series using shows or movies as a temple, but they were stuck in my brain and tumbled out into the books or audio.

As for Dr. Povitch- He’s still dead.

See you next week, Same time, same station.

Robert P. Fitton

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1968: Challenging the Disastrous, Divisive Policies of Those in Power.

Robert P. Fitton Audio
Senator Robert F. Kennedy
March 16, 1968

I run because it is now unmistakably clear that we can change these disastrous, divisive policies only by changing the men who are now making them.

              -Robert F. Kennedy

                                                    

“Dr. Raymond Meinkewitz I see you’ve made a return to Storybook Junction.”

RAY MEINKEWITZ: “Well, the fourth book in the Patch Kincaid Series is much too important even today not to comment on it.”

“Why is it more important than JFK’s Assassination and the Garrison investigation?”

RAY MEINKEWITZ: “Listen up. I don’t discount those events. They too changed history. But let’s look a little closer at where this book begins. The fall of 1967. In the words of Bob Dylan’s song- ah, but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.”

“Why do you say that?”

RAY MEINKEWITZ: “I have a different attitude now having survived my time with Patch. You see, The Title of the last book is called American Injustice, which is followed by Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy. Vietnam should be subtitled or added to the title. Vietnam never would have happened  if Kennedy lived. The decision by Kennedy had been made and was in the process of being implemented by Secretary McNamara and codified by McGeorge Bundy in Kennedy’s NSAM 263 in October of 1963.”

“How does the book address this change?

RAY MEINKEWITZ: “Patch and I were on the way to Vietnam at the beginning of the book.

Why was that?

RAY MEINKEWITZ: “Commander Beauregard had been imprisoned in an American jail which was a stinking pit. We get into two of the major themes of the war. Young American Men drafted against their will and mowed down in Southeast Asia. We experienced that nightmare firsthand. The death and destruction and  the atrocities carried out in the name of freedom. It was disgusting. And Patch was in the thick of the assassinations.”

Long Bihn after the Riot
1968

“And how would things be different now if these things had not happened?”

RAY MEINKEWITZ: “Vietnam was a stain on the American psyche. A stain like that brings shame and guilt. Societal norms were diminished. And further with the assassinations so cleverly carried out exacerbated the horror. Without the execution of our beloved and competent leaders our political and social ideals would have been proudly elevated. So, I guess the word important doesn’t begin portraying the enormity our how our history was annihilated. We are the ones left to deal with it. I see that retrograde is about to begin.”

“Godspeed Ray Meinkewitz.”

RFK Announcing for President

When I was sixteen years old, I sat with a 3 ½” reel to reel recorder, hard wired into the speaker on my parent’s portable TV. Robert F. Kennedy was going to announce his candidacy for president of the United States. I was a huge admirer of President Kennedy and deeply affected by his assassination. I heard the words of Senator Robert  F. Kennedy and soon realized that he spoke with the poignant passion. More than that I distinctly remember feeling the call for justice in RFK’s announcement. The same way I felt about President Kennedy. I still have my 3 ½” Mylar reel, supplanted by video digital files, and when I hear Bobby Kennedy’s words, I still feel the passion and call for justice but now there is a sweet sadness that will never go away.

Martin Luther King
I Have a Dream Speech

 

With Martin Luther King the process for me was like a slow drumbeat. As I grew into adulthood it became clear to me that Dr. King challenging insurmountable forces was nothing short of breathtaking. In the 1960’s day after day, month after month reports of civil rights marches, protests, denial of rights, and killing was a numbing process. I watched on TV the August 1963 March on Washington and listened closely to the flourishing rhetoric of Dr. King at the Lincoln Memorial. And later I understood more about his other speeches and read his writings about justice in the United States. My effort with this novel brings Patch to the truth about Dr. King’s death.

I did not fully comprehend the true nature of the RFK and MLK assassinations. That began in college with Mark Lane speaking at UMASS Amherst. I have detailed the assassinations in the Patch Kincaid Series with research meshed within a story narrative as seen through Patch’s perspective. One prevalent emotion persists, especially after wading knee deep into the history. That emotion is anger. And that emotion will someday depart in peace.

 

 

Love is Strange is a song written by Bo Diddley and most known by Mickey and Sylvia’s rendition, although I like Buddy Holly’s 1957 recording. And love is strange. It was most difficult to bring Natalie and Patch together in a credible fashion. Patch still had hopes of returning to Apex Junction to Shari and the boys. I was constantly searching for an opportunity to bring them together as the story progressed and even feared I wouldn’t be able to posit their relationship. Ah, but I found a way. And what developed was exactly what the novel and Patch and Natalie’s own journeys required.

 

I did not fully absorb when I first heard that someone in my town had been killed in Vietnam. In the mid-sixties we used to play touch football on the street, holding up the game every time a car went by. Today that game would be impossible with the traffic. When we got a game going one of the kids just down the street would somehow show up. I just remember his smile and friendly attitude and he could catch the damn ball! Like many of my generation, he was one of many African Americans drafted to fight ten thousand miles away for a spurious cause. I never saw him again -the kid with the smile who could catch the ball. He left for Vietnam with that smile and was returned to the United States in a body bag.

 

He’s buried in Arlington and is commemorated in the final Patch book in Vietnam and later in the book. Writing these scenes was not easy and the audio required many takes. Rest in peace.

 

Robert P. Fitton

 

We had no cameras

To shoot the landscape

We passed the hash pipe

And played our Doors tapes

And it was dark

So dark at night

And we held on to each other

Like brother to brother

We promised our mothers we’d write

And we would all go down together

We said we’d all go down together

Yes we would all go down together

 

From Goodnight Saigon

  Billy Joel

 

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Gentlemen, We Must Destroy Jim Garrison!

Jim Garrison

“I recognize this man as a member of the intel community.”

R.H.:  “Central Intelligence Agency.”

“Why would Jim Garrison need to be destroyed?”

R.H.:  “Because…because he had found the edge of the conspiracy to kill President Kennedy.”

“You know this?”

R.H.:  “Yes, I do.”

“Do you know who killed President Kennedy?”

R.H.:  “I honestly do not… wish to talk about it.”

“ Let me clarify. I was told that Clay Shaw worked for CIA. Garrison would have unraveled the plot with that knowledge.”

R.H.:  “I can’t comment on that.”

“You were involved in an operation  trying to stop information from getting to Garrison.”

R.H.:  “I can’t comment on that.”

“Patch Kincaid was severely injured because of your actions.”

R.H.:  “I know nothing of that. As far as Captain Kincaid he knew the risks in whatever he volunteered for. He was formidable.”

“What about Morocco, Gibraltar, France, and Great Britain?”

R.H.:  “Classified. I can’t talk about it.”

“Did you ever think, that what you were doing came out of a small group of people with a narrow-minded point of view?”

R.H.:  “I don’t like traitors. I’ve had my fill of traitors. And will take out  traitors when ordered.”

“You are the problem, Mr. Helms.”

R.H.:  “Go to hell…”

Richard Helms
HSCA Testimony of Richard Helms

After listening to Helms’s testimony one is struck by the fact that Helms was walking line between the devil and the deep blue sea.

RPF

So, CIA was as pure as the new fallen snow in attempting to thwart the Garrison Investigation. Ha,Ha. Take a look at this memo from F.W.M. Janney.

Janney Memo
F.W.M. Janney

As I have written before Baker Finch is a metaphor for all the agency dirty tricks, illegalities, and assassinations. The Garrison Group, chaired by F.W.M. Janney, was a serious group of individuals who recommended direct action against Garrison and were willing to confer with the defendant, Clay Shaw’s lawyers.

Clay Shaw
Clay Shaw Interview

Welcome to the third book in the Patch Kincaid narrative. I did not designate the third and fourth books as American Injustice because it was a catchy phrase. Egregious is the only word I can use to describe the result of the agency’s action during the two-decade span from its inception in 1948. Conversely, the agency has protected the people of the United States from foreign threats. The agency is complex and diverse. To view it as one entity would not be accurate nor fair. But there were those within the agency that had a parochial attitude to what they perceived as threats. It is how the threats (real or otherwise) were dealt with that has damaged the agency and the country.

Eladio deValle
David Ferrie

Patch enters the narrative in late 1966 and by early 1967 he becomes a part of an ultra-secret network, controlled by the illusive Denali. The mission is to get information to the Garrison investigation. But those in power try to thwart his efforts.  In the audio book I have melded contemporary audio 1967 in American Injustice: Jim Garrison. Just writing about the events of 1967 and 1968 or quoting someone is not enough. Listening to the investigators around Garrison as well as those who tried to destroy him gives reality to those who were not born in the 1960’s.

You can hear Mark Lane in 1967 debating David Liebler lawyer of the Warren Commission or Louis Nitzer in a feisty exchange. The NBC white paper is linked in the Kindle editions as is the Garrison response. Garrison’s investigator Gurvich who betrayed Garrison, is in the audio.

Mark Lane
Lane-Liebler

THE DESTROYERS

Walter Sheridan

James Phelan
Hugh Ayensworth
Gurvich

Eventually working out of Louisiana Patch and Meinkewitz commence operations against those who tried to take down Garrison.

The Mafia did not like being prosecuted by Robert F. Kennedy during the Kennedy Administration. They are still around in and out of jail during the Garrison Investigation.

Santo Trafficante
Carlos Marcello
Johnny Roselli

How about Dean Andrews the double-talking attorney who was asked by Clay Shaw to defend Lee Oswald? And the CIA plants in the investigation including Perry Russo’s job offer in California- and the media itself, become part of the narrative. (I thought Oswald did it.)

Dean Andrews
Dean Andrews
Perry Russo
Perry Russo Interview

I would be remiss if I did not mention Lieutenant Natalie Tompkins, who falls in love with Patch but Patch rebuffs her as he thinks he might have a chance to get back home to his wife and two boys. But don’t worry, it’s a long two books.

Tomkins’s boss is Commander Phineas Beauregard who reports directly to Denali. And Dr. Mike Cameron is an important researcher as well as a doctor who treats Patch after a bloody encounter. Both Phinney and Mike are off to Vietnam to interview a Dallas coordinator of the plot against JFK.

And holding the book together is Ray Meinkewitz, physicist, and time travel aficionado. Meinkewitz’s abilities both physical and mental are tested in the novel as he and patch attempt to front load Garrison’s investigation with information.

THE DOORS
Jim Morrison Interview with Howard Smith
November 6, 1969

Many people would ask why The Doors, especially Jim Morrison have an undercurrent in this book that affects the future. It’s because time travel is a risky venture.

Robert P. Fitton

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He’s got to go!

President John F. Kennedy

Arriving in US Mail from St. Louis in the original dehaviland dh-4 biplane in ten bulky gunny sacks are the combined audio book renditions and supplemental background in-formation as presented in podcast form by moi, me-Robert P. Fitton. Good evening one and all wherever in the galaxy you make your home.

Sir, can I help you?

I don’t think so. You don’t have anything I want.

You don’t know that. You have something to do with the Kennedy Assassination.

“What makes you say that?”

You certainly are dressed well and have a certain savoir faire. Do you know Patch Kincaid?

Yeah, I knew Patch very well. He saved my life and a few of my friends. I could always trust him to carry the load, He never opened his mouth. Most of all he was loyal. That’s the most important thing.

Who killed Kennedy?

You’ll have to contact the researchers on that subject. They’ll find the truth sooner or later.

“Where were you when Kennedy was shot?”

Vegas. Asleep. I got woken up with a phone call and got the news.

“ You like Kennedy?”

It’s not a matter of liking. The man had these college boy ideals. You know how the world is supposed to be not the way the world is. You can’t just try and change everything and think nothin’s gonna happen. There’s only a few of the people left who were in the thick of this. I know cause I was too. Stay safe and like I told Patch it’s not good to ask too many questions. Just do as you’re told. It’s the only way to stay alive.”

Return to Dallas originally detailed everything that happened to Patch Kincaid from his vendor table in Dealey Plaza until he appeared in 1963 in Spokane, Washington. When I rewrote the novel 1963, adding new research as well as what I did not include in the original book, I decided to re-title the novel Return to  Dallas, which became the second book in the Patch Kincaid Series. The entire chapter on Lee Oswald, David Phillips, and the Southland Center was rewritten because the truth was uncovered by Dr. John Newmans work.

Patch arrives in Spokane Washington in 1963. His memory has been targeted and he has a note instructing him to meet Johnny Roselli at an appointed time in Dodger Stadium.

Mr. Roselli

How and why Patch returned to 1963 is in a small book appropriately called Transition. I wanted Patch in the Return to Dallas book be like a Jason Bourne, not knowing who he is and why he was there. (Nor would the reader know) And who sent him to meet Handsome Johnny in Los Angeles?

Beginning of Transition

Two things seem odd about the Return to Dallas book.Placing science fiction in the shadow of the most researched, encyclopedic event of the Twentieth Century seems out of place. I can hear the researchers and conspiracy buffs cringing, moaning, and groaning. In Return to Dallas the forces producing the movement through time are emphasized not the machine.

This novel is designed to maintain a strong narrative and at the same time highlighting the mass of information surrounding the assassination. It was essential to footnote this information because simply put: Everyone has a theory or an assertion about the Kennedy Assassination. I wanted to demonstrate why I was postulating the facts as I saw them. The science fiction makes it possible to see the assassination unfold.  This is based on witness testimony as well as measurable scientific results. My insertion of the footnotes may seem top heavy to the plot because most novels don’t have over eight hundred footnotes. Conversely the plot may be antithetical to the narrative because there is so much data. Here’s the surprise : it works and it’s a unique approach.

John Barbour

Most who research the assassination study a niche, the idea most promoted by Penn Jones. “ And then research the hell out of it,”  he said. I’m heading toward a central point and that point was made in an interview with researcher and TV icon John Barbour. Do we or do we not want to solve the JFK assassination? Or how much do we want the truth? If we were dead serious in tracking down Jack Kennedy’s killers then we would be out in front of the Justice Department by the millions, demanding the answers to the Kennedy Assassination until we got them. I truly believe this. I’m not diminishing research by any means. Where would we be without what has been learned over the past sixty years? It all about political capital. In either case raising the public consciousness.

Novels raising the Consciousness

Some may this I recklessly changes part of the November 22 narrative and have done a disservice to the solving of the crime. No way. I wanted a salient point to be foremost in the public’s mind. Oswald was supposed to die from sinister forces. Jack Ruby was the one man with the means and the will to shoot Oswald dead. How Oswald dies in my book is less relevant than the fact he was supposed to be taken out. Obviously, no one involved in this operation wanted Oswald’s mouth to flap. And it was beginning to flap by Saturday night. And then he was dead. Unfortunately, Jack Ruby links  for the Patch Kincaid Series are all pre-Dallas.

Harlan Ellison
Harlan Ellison talks about storytelling

Bringing raw history into the body of the book is one thing the audio version of the long road to Dallas accomplishes. I began doing audio for my books simply because I was listening to see if the story flowed  nicely and at the correct pace. Since an author knows his characters, according to Science Fiction legend Harlan Ellison, what better way to accentuate their qualities than to have the author read or perform?

The Storm Drain Theory
Jack Webb

The Kennedy Assassination more than many historical events demands that you get it right. Many people can talk themselves into a theory when the place to start is with the facts. And people lie. Just what are the facts?

Just the Facts

This is not an easy thing, especially when multiple points of view are presented, and countervailing sets of research are telling you otherwise. And let’s add the big one here. The people who contrived this atrocity were not playing games. They never wanted any of this to see the light of day. And if you did find something significant that knowledge led you into a black hole. Try and get out of that one. They never counted on that information bonanza called the internet.  Because even when you uncover detail through internet documents you are led to multiple shooters from multiple entities and multiple locations. And in steps the coverup artists, also from multiple sources lead you astray. And who would believe any of it anyway?

Robert P. Fitton

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From Love Field through Dealey Plaza

Not Merely Peace in Our time but Peace for all Time.

JFK American University Speech
June 10, 1963

 

Arriving in US Mail from St. Louis in the original dehaviland dh-4 biplane in ten bulky gunny sacks are the combined audio book renditions and supplemental background information as presented in podcast form by moi, me-Robert P. Fitton. Good evening one and all wherever in the galaxy you make your home.

I see that the Fitton on the air spinning wheel is already in place. This man standing here is very efficient.  Sir, I would ask you to sign in but you’ve already done that too.”

The Kennedy Paradox

Meinkewitz: “Ah, the Kennedy Paradox. Volume one of the Patch Kincaid Series.

“With the Kennedy Paradox we are talking about peace, the peace that was proposed in June of 1963 and the peace that was subsequently enveloped in the explosive assassination in Dallas, Texas in November of that year. The peace that was squandered in Vietnam.”

“And you sir are Dr. Raymond Meinkewitz.”

Meinkewitz:  “I am, and I have an upper-level waver to tell you one thing:  I primarily work for the Central Intelligence Agency.”

“What brings you here today, Ray?”

Meinkewitz: “You might say I just sort of landed here in a process called retrograde. You see I’m involved highly in classified work.”

“Can you talk about anything that you do?”

Meinkewitz: “I can now. You see my work went off the rails as they say. I won’t reveal too much about it. You can understand more of the contemporary world  just after the mid-twentieth century by studying what happened in these four volumes. The Kennedy Paradox is the first volume.”

“Why Paradox?”

Meinkewitz: “A paradox is contradictory. It shouldn’t be. When an event is taken head on there are always incidents and impediments that prevent the change. But I‘ve come to believe that when approached obliquely the timeline can be transformed. When a timeline is changed— it shouldn’t happen, but it does. You’ll see what I’m talking about within these four volumes.’’

“Are you referring to the assassination of President Kennedy?”

Meinkewitz:  “Yes. Kennedy was alive in the 1980’s in the original timeline but history came undone. Volume one is the beginning of the change. Retrograde is commencing… Remember Time travel is a risky venture.”

“Thank you Dr. Meinkewitz.”

Meinkewitz:  “My pleasure.”

An older JFK
JFK alive in 1986
From Chapter One

The Kennedy Paradox
The Patch Kincaid Series

What were the forces aligning the timeline? And what changed? In our first timeline, as Patch Kincaid drives out west to Hastings Mountain, President Kennedy is on the radio in 1986. Say what? That’s an interesting scenario. Kennedy speaks about how he removed the troops from Vietnam.

1986 NYC

But Patch and his fiancé are summoned back to Hastings Mountain where classified time travel experiments have been taking place under the supervision of Ray Meinkewitz. Meinkewitz learns terrorists have planted potential nuclear devices in American cities. He will have to send Patch back a month or more in time to prevent what will be the decimation of the United States. And New York City is the first city to fall.

With the terrorist Carlos Sánchez attacking the underpinnings of the Hastings Mountain facility, Patch is thrust back to 1961. And here is the hotbed of international trouble in the Caribbean which would lead to the Cuban Missile Crisis in October of 1962. Vietnam is a nascent conflict. Patch locates the Meinkewitz of 1961 and is swept into the tornado of intel, mafioso, and anti-Castro operatives,

The young and vital President

When I was in school, even in the middle grades, I was aware of Castro. My perception as was most of America about JFK, came from what the press dished out-photos of the young and vigorous president and his family. The cast of characters opposing Castro, repatriated in the United States, was extraordinary. These men were armed and dangerous and would stop at nothing to remove Castro. That includes many in government at the time. This is what Patch and Meinkewitz experience in Florida and in Cuba in the Kennedy Paradox.

I did not recognize the anti-Castro emotional response to Castro and how the Central Intelligence Agency’s predominance in Cuban and foreign policy operated as they say covertly. Later I discovered this secondary government, whose power expanded rapidly. Here are some of the anti-Castro players:

Members of Operation 40
January 1963

And what was Operation 40?

Exhile Training Camp

I didn’t understand what was going on in the Carribean. Cut me some slack I was just a kid.

The author in 1963

I had a profound outrage and disbelief as an adult to learn the deep background of the USA in the early sixties. For researchers and aficionados of the Kennedy Assassination the people that were in CIA, the anti-Castro  crowd, and the mafia back then are icons.

There is a confluence of power with the government and the intelligence agencies and the Pentagon producing a whirlwind with President Kennedy in the middle. Remember too that Kennedy  is changing the entire foreign policy of the United States to democratic governments and away from special colonial interests.

The Kennedy Paradox is important- as those who loathed  JFK are on full display. Because Patch is back in this mess his actions result in certain people not dying as they should have died on the original timeline. That allowed other events to happen. Events sinister and life changing.

We are now just 2 ½  years from Dallas. Patch and Meinkewitz are in the thick of the Bay of Pigs invasion and captured by Castro. It’s poignant to hear, especially in the audio version of The Kennedy Paradox, Castro’s unhinged rhetoric leading toward the most dangerous crisis in world history. Here’s old photos from the Bay of Pigs Invasion:

May 2, 1961
Castro May Day Speech
Patch Kincaid-Ray Meinkewitz
English Translation

From Ch-39
The Kennedy Paradox

Patch and Meinkewitz’s being in the Bay of Pigs Invasion is useful in undertsanding the calamity of the CIA controlled event. The agency lied and then twisted Kennedy’s initial orders not to use air cover. Dulles, Bissel, Cabell and others obviously thought they could intimidate President Kennedy. It led to Kennedy taking the CIA out of operations, thus stirring up the snake pit.

Again, I never knew all this was going on when I was a kid. What it does is make it easy to nail Oswald for the crime because all the covert stuff was hidden.

Return to Dallas

The next book in the series, Return to Dallas illustrates more of the underbelly of the crime in narrative form.  Return to Dallas is footnoted because of the many viewpoints on what happened to President Kennedy. Patch and Shari, purely using the device of ‘being there’ can see or hear about the conspiracy and later events.  Perhaps, for the people tranparency to contempary events is the best weapon against tyranny.

RPF

Preisdent John F .Kennedy Speech
American University
June 10, 1963

Fitton on the Air Podcast-‘There it is: Take it!’

There it is-Take it!
William Mulholland

Arriving in US Mail from St. Louis in the original dehaviland dh-4 biplane in ten bulky gunny sacks are the combined audio book renditions and supplemental background information as presented in podcast form by moi, me-Robert P. Fitton. Good evening one and all wherever in the galaxy you make your home.

You guessed it if you’ve listened before- I’m going to talk about one of my books, available at audible and I tunes, in Barnes and Noble. Amazon and a plethora of outlets. And maybe sell one or two. To do that I’m going to ask one of my characters from one of my books to bring the Fitton on the Air spinning wheel center stage.  Will you enter and sign in please on the wall chalkboard? He’s writing with both hands at the same time. Wow! Boze—Boze Brannigan.

Boze Branigan
The Patio Boys

“Ya Boze.”

“Where’d ever get a name like Boze. I suppose it’s short for Bozo…“

“Watch it, Tenderfoot.  You’re askin’ for it….   What it… I’m still quick with the fists, ya know.

“How old are you?”

Old enough to whup your backside. “

“I am not going to do Bogart but I will say of all the novels in all the world… he walks into one of mine. What book of mine are you in, Boze?”

“I’m in the Matthias Jones Series—“

“Which book?”

Matthias Jones Series

Six Feet Under Book

“Six feet Under, Mr. Big Shot. My boys and me have a tile business in Hamilton New Hampshire. The Patio Boys”

“Wonderful… If you would kindly spin the Fitton on the Air Podcast spinning wheel.”

“Yeah, I can spin that baby. Round and Round and Round she goes where she stops nobody knows.”

“Okay it’s slowing to a stop.”

“Time Portal Alpha? What is that an electric toilet seat?”

“Yeah, right. If you will kindly remove the spinning wheel and head back to your patio work. Time Portal Alpha is a favorite story of mine Boze.”

You need any patio work done?

“Goodbye Boze…

Cheapskate…

Time portal alpha started out as a series, a Mission Impossible for time travel, where Mark McKenna brings his crew back in time to correct the evil deeds of Nikko Morro who wants to level the playing field by bringing down the United States. It begins in present day Southern California. When Morro effects a change in the timeline the crew assembles in space, a warp of sorts, to avoid what McKenna and his crew can readily see from Time Portal Alpha.

So, when we think of Southern California, we conjure up images of Hollywood, Disneyland, the Beach Boys, not the Patio Boys. Palm trees grow in the words of Neil Diamond… And let me add that freeways flow. Lots of Freeways. Southern California is green during the freezing snow cold winters back east.  Flowers and manicured lawns. Green grass golf courses. What the common denominator? 

The common denominator is not any of the above images of Southern California.

Water water everywhere  and not a drop to drink, Mr. Coleridge. California’s water system would foster the economic powerhouse that affected the rest of the United States. What if over a hundred years ago there was no water brought into he Southland?  Well, Mark McKenna and his crew can observe the timeline transformation firsthand and it’s not pretty. The original arid landscape is not desert- but not Beverly Hills either.

Fred Eaton
William Mulholland

Eaton and Mulholland went on several expeditions up north to chart the water before LA became LA we know today.

Los Angeles during the aqueduct construction

I have two distinct lines of thought about the original project to bring water to Los Angeles. It’s very easy, like any argument to latch onto a narrative, more reflective of your psychological make-up than to acknowledge concurrent or even multi current events.

There are reasons why the water was brought to Southern California. Certainly, former mayor Fred Eaton, who was aware of the Owens Valley water and Harrison Gray Otis of the LA Times were prime movers. And so was William Mulholland, chief engineer of the project and superintendent of Water and Power in Los Angeles. The Bureau of Reclamation as well as Teddy Roosevelt approved of bringing the water to LA. Some people made fortunes, yes. Mulholland did his job. Some people got screwed. Others did not. But what is evident with the 1920’s only a couple of decades away that Los Angeles and the country would be forever changed.

President Theodore Roosevelt
Harrison Gray Otis

The aqueduct (H-2-O) spurred the economic development of Los Angeles. People poured into California partially because of promotion not too long after the Civil War. Why all the hype you ask. Money, money, money, A cornucopia of land companies contributed to the concept called California, the land of milk and honey. And so, they came, the populace and the industry. The idea of a land with an ideal climate took hold as the crates of oranges, lemons and other farmland crops from the San Joaquin Valley arrived in a snow drifted winter back east. The water brought into Los Angeles raised the standard of living.

And then as with many historical sagas there’s another story. Yes, many landowners in the Owens Valley up north were paid for their land. But most had no idea how the men from LA were piecing it altogether to establish the aqueduct to Los Angeles. There were attacks on the aqueduct and shootouts. And many insiders made money off the San Fernando Valley land.

The California Water Wars

I’m not so naïve that I think that one side should dominate the history books more than the other. I guess people come down on either side depending on their point of view. Surely, the way the land was acquired in Owens Valley with little regard for family history, family structure and food resources is reprehensible. But that doesn’t mean that I throw out the extraordinary result of transporting water to Los Angeles. The progress and hope for a good life for millions and the contribution to Americana and the economic engine of the United States is worthy of consideration. I guess this is a concurrent view of history.

In researching this book, it was as if I were there on the aqueduct. Maybe I lived back in that time in California at the beginning if the Twentieth Century. Or maybe I’ve gotten too much inside my characters’ heads. Or more likely is I’ve just gone cuckoo.

Curly and the Cuckoo.

I said at the beginning of this blog that the book didn’t adhere to my original outline. McKenna and his people were to have confronted Nikko Morro in subsequent books to rectify changes in time. Again, a Mission Impossible team for time travel. Except McKenna’s team in this book is confronted with deadly consequences. And I didn’t count on McKenna, while working on the Los Angeles aqueduct, meeting, and falling in love with Aubrey, a former Harvey Girl who works the food concession along the aqueduct. The book balanced so much better with the villain Nikko, McKenna’s relationship with Aubrey, and with the history of the aqueduct.

The Harvey Girls
William Mulholland

Am I favoring Mulholland because I admire the guy? Of course, I am. From drifter to ditch digger to superintendent for the Water and Power to worldwide recognition Mulholland represents the American dream in the early Twentieth Century. Not bad. With regard to the horrible St. Francis Dam disaster-Current geological studies indicate Mulholland had no way in the 1920’s to evaluate what he could not see. In this ‘pass the buck’ world of today who would take responsibility for the death and destruction regardless of the consequences? They would be ‘lawyered-up

“There it is: Take it!”

November 5, 1913: The water flows from up north to Los Angeles. Mulholland briefly spoke to the crowd and the ceremony is in Time Portal Alpha and the event is reenacted in the audio version. Yes, I understand that the workers were important because they executed the dream. But without understanding the entire complexity of history we are left as narrow-minded purveyors of the past.

Time Portal Alpha is available at Audible, iTunes and Barnes and noble and Amazon for the paperback and kindle.