Write Me A Love Story By RettaMichaels “The Queen of Gay Romance”
Write Me A Love Story
The next morning, we woke up and I hustled around the kitchen getting us something prepared. The phone rang and I answered it, “Hello?”
“Hi, is this Jeremy?”
“This is your pilot. I'm here.”
“OH! Ok, we'll be there!”
“We've got weather coming in, so I'd like to beat it.”
“Thanks for letting me know. We'll be right there.”
I hung up , “Stu?”
“Yeah Babe...Why are you cooking?”
“He's here. I'll put it in the fridge.”
“You ARE aware I've got to fast, right?”
“Damn, I'm glad you're on the ball. I was trying to cook because you cooked yesterday!”
I put the entire skillet in the fridge and he said, “Babe, feed those eggs to Gyp. That man can wait.”
“He said there's weather coming in and he wants to beat it.”
“Oh! Call your Dad and see if he's flying up with us.”
“Here's my phone. I've gotta pee Gyp and get her fed.”
I fed Gyp and she gave me a look like, “Ok, I don't get fed this much...what's wrong with it?”
I said, “Gyp, it's good. I forgot Stu couldn't eat this morning.”
She tried it and then, decided it was fit to eat and ate both eggs.”
I took her outside and she went over and did her piddles and doos. I hit the fob on the truck and got it warming and Stu came out the door. “I've killed the lights and all that's needed is you.”
“Are you going to be cold with no jacket?”
“Nah, I've got the truck warming and the plane will be warm.”
“Your Dad said he'll meet us at the front entrance.”
We drove into town and on the way, I said, “Stu?”
“Remind me to get Ultra Bright headlight bulbs to replace these. I love the truck, but I feel like I can't see a thing.”
“We'll get 'em.”
When we got to town, Dad was waiting and had his jug of 'water' as well as all his meat. He said, “Jim's going to pull on out to the farm and drive my truck in. I'll take him back out and then, when your Mom gets up, I'll have her come in with her car and follow me. That way, you boys have something to drive.”
We got to the airport and the pilot opened the door. He gave me a look and I said, “He's my Dad. He came down yesterday with a delivery and that guy is going to drive his truck back home alone.”
He gave a surprised look, “Is all that meat?”
“Yeah, it's home cured and done up already. Each one of those is 25 pounds cooked weight and $50 each.”
“Man, there's a lot of them!”
“Fifty of them. My Dad bought a lot of 'em and a gob of jerky.”
Dad said, “Here, try some...If you don't fall in love with your mouth after tasting...”
The guy had already bitten off a bite and immediately said, “Mmm, this IS GOOD!”
I said, “An entire crock of that is $10. If you went to get a bag, it'd be $7 at the store and if you got that many pieces at a convenience store, you'd be well over $30.”
“Who has it?”
“I'll get you their names. They'll be selling it in our General Store at the Waters.”
“What's the waters?”
“Viennese Waters. It's our show on the strip.”
“Man, I love that show!”
I turned to Stu , “Thank him. He's the one who started it.”
We continued to load meat and finally, we got in the jugs of 'water'.
The guy shut the door , “I'll have the cabin heated back up in no time. We'll be flying about 450 miles an hour and will be there in about an hour.”
We buckled in and Stu pulled up his laptop. Dad asked, “Did you teach them about their computers?”
“Yeah, I imagine they went home and watched all the videos we downloaded. Rhen's really amazed at how much he's learned already.”
“You need to invite them up home and bring them out and show off your work.”
He turned to Stu, “Don't be nervous. The Lord and I had a talk.”
I smiled, “And you slipped him a fifty!”
He laughed and Stu really cackled. Dad said, “I'll have you know he listens if you'll try it.”
“Dad, I've had more conversations with the man upstairs since this has went on than you can imagine. Just imagine if it were Mom getting that sort've news and how many times you'd been on the phone with him.”
He gave a nod, “I can imagine. Through all our health problems, we've prayed a lot for each other.”
“Me too. Now I'm prayin' for a man to actually LIVE!”
Dad looked shocked, “You asshole!”
I said, “Not you....Dave!”
He laughed, “You should've just went ahead and killed him! The Lord knows He helps those who help themselves.”
“Thumbprints on windpipes tend to stay if they've been strangled to death.”
He smiled, “I should've taught you a few tricks from 'nam.”
“Takin' 'em out in the woods here and settin' it on fire from a plane above is rather obvious.”
laughed and Dad shook his head, “Kid....!!!”
“You gotta get up pretty early in the mornin' Dad!”
Dad smiled, “Or get you drunk the night before on shine!”
I chose to switch subjects, “I'm gonna buy that place I was lookin' at down in St. Louis.”
Dad gave a nod, “I was wonderin' if you were referrin' to that.”
“I can pull out all the brew equipment and lease it out. With that location, I should get several thousand a month coming in.”
“Ask $7,000 a month. While you were lookin' at it, I was talking with the lady next door who has the antique shop. She said all in all, her building's makin' her $7,000 a month.”
Stu asked, “Where's it located?”
“Laclede's Landing. Are you familiar with where the Spaghetti Factory is located?”
“The street which is right behind it. It's the building right next door to the one I'm buyin'.”
“Isn't that offices or something?”
“It's offices and bar space. I really think they opened their brew pub in too small of a space. I think a Starbucks would go real well there.”
Stu nodded, “Probably would.”
It didn't seem like it took any time at all when the pilot said, “We'll be landing in 10 minutes.”
Dad said, “We wouldn't even have been to Rolla by now...I don't think.”
I shook my head, “Nah, but I'm glad we're flying. I might just have to get myself a pilot's license.”
said, “Oh Lord!”
Stu chuckled , “The good thing about it is you don't hit deer in the sky.”
“Nah, it pisses Santa off.”
He chuckled and Dad said, “Man that was quick!”
Stu gave me a look like he was shocked, “You're demented, but cute!”
We landed and I saw Doc's Land Rover. We pulled up and the pilot went and opened the door. I said, “Doc, we've got goodies and we've got lots of stuff.”
“Nah, all this barbecue is for you. I got you some of this jerky also, but all the rest of that is Dad's. He went down with Jim Crabtree to deliver our tractor and decided to come up. He'll need your keys so that when Mom gets into town, he can off load into her buggy.”
Doc shook Stu's hand , “Rich Graper.”
Doc looked surprised, “Any relation to our Prosecuting Attorney?”
I chuckled , “Doc, if he was, he wouldn't admit it! This one's a Reddington who accomplished something with his life!”
Stu laughed, “The other had to pass law school.”
“He did...He went right to the bar!”
They laughed and Stu shook his head and told Doc, “I thought you would've taught him better!”
Doc said, “He's a smart ass until he has his first cup of coffee and then, depending upon how much super glue you put in it if you've got silence until lunch.”
I said, “Doc, our Trust is Buccaneer Trust...Ok?”
“What's that mean?”
“Ask Stu our Corporation's name...I dare ya.”
Stu giggled and Doc smiled, “Ok, I'll fall for it...What is it?”
smiled , “Stu, tell him!”
Stu said, “Butt Pirates Incorporated.”
Doc started laughing and Stu said, “He's the one who decided on Buccaneer Trust.”
Doc laughed and I said, “But if they already have that one given out, the other is going to be “Guess Where The Patch Is Trust.”
Doc laughed real loud and Dad really rolled. We pulled over to the hospital and I said, “Doc, we need to tell that pilot we'll fly back tomorrow. We've got some things to do up here and really, after the day you're going to be giving him, we decided to get all the supper we could out of you and then go home.”
Doc looked shocked , “Hey, I can sweep the crumbs your way, Ok?”
“Nah, you're the only man who could eat pussy and come away with your cheeks packed like a chipmunk and a string hangin' out of your mouth. I don't need crumbs.”
Everyone laughed and Doc shook his head, “The next time I operate on you, I'm gonna sew you up. Lord knows you're already full of shit.”
We went in and Doc said, “Rather than going in over there, we're going right to the lab. I need a full urine, and blood screen again.”
“Didn't you get the one he gave yesterday?”
“Yeah, and I didn't like the numbers I saw. I'm getting some more so we can see if they match. If so, we're in trouble.”
We went into the lab and I went over and hugged Bobette. “If you're takin' blood, Stu here needs you to do him....and tell Lisa in there we want you.”
She smiled real big, “I'll be right back. I'm the one who's supposed to get it from him anyway.”
“Good, at least you realize you work with needles. Lisa thinks she's got a damned drill bit and thinks she's gotta drill for blood.”
She smiled, “How's your little ass doin'?”
“Still with that asshole?”
“No, I'm with Stu here. He's a sweetheart.”
“You finally dumped the asshole?”
“Nah, I figured he'd get the hint when I walked in with Stu.”
She laughed and Stu really smiled. He said, “I'm not supposed to be laughing here!”
I said, “Bobette, do you see that bruise right there? That's from where the fucker punched me and all those bruises on my knuckles are where I beat the hell out of him in return.
After that, I threw his shit out the bedroom window and told him he could either leave the house or go after his clothes via the window. Wisely, he chose to get out and peel tires on down the street.
Since then, he's been hearing voices because he's been telling Mom I've been up here and he's been having arguments with me. Needless to say, I went to Branson and met Stu the same day.”
She looked surprised, “Are all of 'em as cute as him down there?”
“All the gay ones are, but I've got one for you to meet.”
“Does he still have all his teeth?”
“You wantin' a stallion or a fella?”
She smiled real big, “I want somethin' to ride! Does it matter?”
Everyone cracked up and I turned to Stu, “Bobette's Mom used to work for my Dad...in a way. We basicly grew up together and she and I terrorized everyone else. It wasn't until recently she got rid of the pig tails.”
Bobette said, “Hey, I've got sharp instruments in my hand dumb ass!”
“Stick me and see if there's a drop of blood! I betcha it's piss and vinegar! When it shoots on ya, you just remember it was YOU who wanted what you got!”
She smiled, “I can believe that!”
“And when you get stuck, you make high pitched squeals and fly around the room until deflated.”
She gave me a look, “You tryin' to say I'm an inflatable doll?”
“Nah, I've seen you layin' back with your mouth open....Vinyl has more advantages of getting' grippin'.”
Everyone laughed and she looked shocked. “You're terrible!”
She turned to Stu, “Promise me you'll take him out on that lake and throw him overboard with blocks around his ankles.”
“There ya go always tryin' to hook me up with fish.”
She laughed , “Get out of here. They're gonna hear us laughin' and dock my wages! No one's allowed to have fun in here!”
“That's ok, you're loved here.”
She gave me a hug , “I'm glad to see you mouthy as ever....Don't ever change.”
We went out and Doc said, “I love that girl. She's one of the bright spots of everyone's day.”
Stu said, “She has it bad for you...I hope you know that.”
“She might, but she was also the first person I told...It was either that or get raped on the hay rack ride.”
Dad added, “That's the one where you came back with hardly any clothes?”
“She threw 'em off the wagon! I thought she was throwin' 'em in the hay and couldn't find a thing!”
He laughed, “At least she got even.”
Doc took us to a conference room where a bunch of people were sitting. He said, “Guys, get yourselves something to eat and drink, and then, we'll get down to business.”
I said, “Doc, if it doesn't include Gene Therapy down at SLU, I'm tellin' ya to get screwed.”
He gave me a look, “What?”
“I had a talk with his ex, yesterday. His ex happens to be deceased. He told me there's a Gene Therapy down at SLU which will cure that cancer....something about you taking a biopsy and creating a toxin with the cancer to fight the cancer.
So, when you're wanting to talk about chemo and radiation as well as the bone marrow things...I'm gonna tell you guys to step back and we'll drive to SLU where we'll get what he needs.
Now, I'll repeat, before you do a damned thing to him, you're gonna call SLU or I will!”
He asked around the room, “Anyone familiar with this treatment?”
A girls said, “It's probably highly experimental.”
I exploded, “Experimental my ass! It's been in effect for the past 10 years. IF you'd staid current, you'd probably know that..,and IF you're the Oncologist, you just got fired!”
I turned to Doc, “I'll find out who the Doctor is...I'm getting the name Dr Fischer with a sch in it. Do you want to call or shall I?”
I walked up , “Anyone who's pissed can walk their asses out and stay the fuck out. That man right there is my heart and IF you loved someone half as much as I love him, you'd be fightin' your ass off to keep them....not tellin' me half cocked truths about somethin' you don't know nothin' about! Get that treatment put on the table and I'll keep it there. Keep it off and you'll see tail lights headed South....I've gotta buy a building down in St. Louis also...”
I walked back and saw the donuts and turned to Doc, “How high was his blood glucose in that?”
“Higher than hell.”
I turned to Stu.... “The only white thing going in your mouth that's right had BETTER be me!”
I said, “Whoever bought the donuts...Thanks, but no thanks...If you'd paid HALF the attention to his blood glucoses, you'd thrown 'em out before we got here.”
Doc said, “Jeremy, we'll confer when we've got the call made to SLU.”
“Sorry I'm such a bitch, but you're gonna play hell getting' through me to write him off.”
He said, “This person right here is our diabetes specialist.”
I gave a nod, “Is the medication the woman down in Springfield correct?”
He gave a nod.
I said, “Ok, hold that thought. Unless he's taken the pills with that damned donut you made him swallow, I'm gonna go get him something nutritional.”
I walked out and Doc came out, “What's the problem?”
“Doc, God damn it! I'm fightin' for him and I turn to see him eatin' a fuckin' donut! Thanks, but if you're gonna throw land mines, we don't need that bullshit!”
“I called for donuts. I THOUGHT this being a hospital, they'd have healthy donuts!”
“I spoke with Eddie and he said we get to save him, but someone else close to me has to die.”
“That's what I got told, so if you'll kindly tell me your height, I'll tell the undertaker and won't measure you out here in front of everyone.”
He smiled, “You're an asshole kid!”
“Ok, that'd be 42”....and tell the undertaker to 'cut him off at the asshole'.”
He chuckled, “What are we getting' in here.”
“I don't know....I looked over and realize I told him the only thing good to go in his mouth is me and I see milk over there and realize I'm wrong.”
“Egg whites are good.”
“He's gonna get real eggs and the entire thing...They said the amount of cholesterol in the damned things is negligible...however, it's probably best not to eat it on an egg McMuffin.”
We went over to where a man was making omelets. I said, “Three egg Denver or Southwest and if you tell me that's turkey ham, I'll strangle you.”
He smiled, “It's turkey ham.”
“Do you realize it's fine until you cook the shit and then, it remembers the only safe Thanksgiving turkey gets a fuckin' pardon for a crime it didn't commit....by whatever dumb ass President who obviously got told it's rather DUMB to pardon a fuckin' turkey without a rap sheet?”
Doc got to giggling and I said, “Fake turkey on fake eggs....and I'm supposed to be happy here. I guess for a hospital which installs fake boobs in fake preachers wives, that's about par.”
Doc got to laughing and I said, “Do you realize the bitch has false teeth also? And PLEASE tell me you've not laid the bitch.”
“No, I believe I've not had her...”
“You'd probably wouldn't know if you had or not...I imagine by the time she pulls off everything that's fake, you're probably in bed with her husband....I just wonder if that rock she wears is real?”
The guy said, “Uh.....she's on her way in here now.”
I turned around, “Michelle, speak of the devil!”
Doc got to giggling. I said, “Fella, could you make that fake omelet a double....and see if that's REAL turkey breast or fake.”
Michelle came over, “Good morning to you too asshole.”
“I'll have you know I dumped the fuckin' bastard...but unfortunately, he didn't make it so I had to dump his ass out the bedroom window.”
“He said you beat the hell out of him for nothin.”
“Must've been my evil twin because I beat the hell out him with purpose and intention to inflict bodily harm after he struck me first....but then again, he only hit me four times in the relationship and DID he bother to tell you that he got caught up in a bunch of fuckin' lies with my Mom also?”
“Well, if you got told he and I had a lot of arguments, you got lied to. I woke up and got in my car and drove to Branson where I promptly found the cabin had no LP gas in the tank and called my Mom.
Up to that point, she'd been doubting my word that I actually went. After that, he made up two more fictitious arguments we had at the house and that's when she finally called him out to be a liar.
Needless to say, here's what I'll tell you to tell your no good brother....IF he'd like to continue with the charade and make up bullshit and lies, tell him I've got one helluva lawyer and I'll be suing for all the bills he never paid.”
She made a face, “I know for a fact he covered all the bills you little shit!”
“Bitch please! All the bills were in my name and I've got checks and credit card statements proving I paid 'em.”
Doc came over , “I know for a fact Dave's life, health, and car insurance were covered by Jeremy. I saw HIM make out the checks to get 'em covered! I also know Jeremy bought the man clothes because I was with him when those were bought!”
I said, “Michelle, tell the fucker to have a good life and if he so much as steps foot on my property again, or speaks with me, I'll beat his ass with the passion I wish I'd done the last time.
You tell the cocksucker the next time he wants to blow someone when they're asleep, he needs to stop smotherin' 'em with a set of hairy balls! I SURE wasn't in the mood to wake up lookin' up at his asshole and I SURE as fuck wasn't one damned bit happy when he wasn't the blond I was dreamin' about!
When the fucker hit me, that was it....he'd done tripped the hammer on the powder keg of my day, so yeah, he got his ass beat and yeah, I hope I did some damage and yeah, if he'd like to press charges, I'll tell the fuckin' cops the REST of the story and yeah, I'll gladly tell it in a court of law where I get to speak loud again!
And do you want to know what REALLY frosted my ass? The dumb piece of shit was too lazy to get a coaster and a glass of water for his dentures and plopped 'em out on my Eastlake Bedroom outfit....and hell yeah I knocked 'em off onto the floor!'
I turned to the guy who was standing there smiling, “Are those EGGS done yet?”
“I've got 'em warming. They've been done for a while.”
“Needless to say, I don't need Bran to loosen me up this morning!”
He laughed and handed over the plates. I said, “I'll have two of those cottage cheeses and two of those peaches. IF you've got whole wheat toast, I'll take four of those...”
He handed everything over on separate saucers and I said, “It's been a pleasure.”
I turned , “Michelle, tell the doctor Double D's didn't do a damned thing for you.”
She looked shocked and I said, “When I get my set, I'm gonna go with a rack you could park a Mack truck between!”
laughed and I said, “If you get a chance to get down to
Branson, let me know...I'll show you around.”
“Are you going to be staying down there?”
“Why don't you give David the house.”
“Because it's not his! I bought the fuckin' thing and did all the work to it....” I decided to set her straight on a few things , “Michelle, here's the God's honest truth. Your brother paid the $420 a month truck payment. He put the fuel in HIS truck. He paid for one meal out a week and I paid for the bills, the insurances, and my car which we drove when I paid for all the rest of the meals...and yeah, the bastard thought he could take me to dollar menu places and have me buying from them.
In regards to everything else, WHEN the gas bill was too high and I didn't have the money to cover it, I had to go to my parents and get my bank book from them to get the money....because HE sure as hell wasn't gonna pay a bill...After all, it wasn't HIS house!
So no, you ask him why he never covered a bill at my house and he'll tell you it wasn't his house...Lord knows that's what I got told...and when he slips up and admits he didn't pay a bill because it's my house, you remind him that it's MY house and he's not entitled to a damned thing and yeah....if he wants to take the clothes to be dry cleaned because I threw 'em out the window, that he's fuckin' lucky I didn't throw his ass out also.
And lastly, when he tells you that I'm a lousy lay, you remind the son of a bitch that I was fuckin' lucky I didn't fall in that gaping orifice he calls an ass. He's the ONLY person I know who can go shit and it go, “Bloop!” that's how worn out it is...and did you know there's videos on the internet HE posted that shows him fisting himself?”
She gave me a look, “You better not have posted 'em.”
“Nah, I wasn't even the fucker who filmed 'em and from what I guess, it's out in Denver because there's mountains in the background and for someone who was supposed to be virgin when we met, I find it rather interesting that he's playin' puppeteer by shoving his OWN hand up his ass!”
Doc busted out laughing and took off walking. Michelle said, “Send me those!”
“Oh hell sister, I'll send you the link up.”
I walked out and the two women working behind the other counter were smiling real big at me. I said, “You gals have a wonderful day...and IF I see you for lunch, I'll have the hot dog soup!”
both laughed and I walked out with Doc standing there laughing at me,
“This place won't be the same!”
“Do you realize that SHE and my ex let their parents loose their house and be forced to move into an indigents nursing home?”
“Yeah....That old girl's teenage son was livin' with 'em and kept needing bailed out of jail. Apparently, he'd call home and would cuss them and tell them that if he wasn't bailed out that when he DID get out, he was going to come and kick their asses. SO, they'd go and bail him out and finally, when he skipped on the bail after they put up their house, you know what they lost.”
“He's getting' his now....He got 20 years for meth production.”
When we got back to the conference center. I gave Stu his breakfast and we sat down to eat. A man came in , “Dr. Fischer will be here in about 20 minutes.”
I gave Stu a look and he said, “This is sort've spooky.”
“Not necessarily. How would you respond if you were called in the middle of the night and asked, “What will it take for you to get up out of bed and go save someone's life?” You name your price and they fly you there.
When you get there, you find out you've got the elite of the elite working beside you....the proverbial A-Team of medicine.”
“Then why are you firing people?”
“How many times do you need to be given doubt before YOU fire someone? That girl is supposed to be up on her stuff. She's supposed to know your numbers and give a damn. You're HER patient and she's supposed to be looking out for you.
Now, you think about that....You're probably being paid something ridiculous and you walk into a room fully well knowing there lays a box of donuts which is like a coiled up rattler.”
“I'll be fine.”
“You'll be fine because I'm giving you a vow that I'm going to put you first. IF I see something I doubt, I'm going to question it.
IF I see something we've been told to stay away from, I'm not going to go around it. IF I'm told not to do something, you can damned well know I'm not going to do it so that you're tempted to do it.
Your vow to me is you're going to listen. You're going to look out for yourself. AND, you're going to not do anything you're not supposed to.
Do you realize you could lose your eyesight?”
I paused and gave him a look, “Where would you be then? The love you feel for the waters would be nothing but a bunch of splashing. Your legs, your kidneys, and your eyesight are at risk. Heart attacks are at risk. Dialysis is a potential future....And that's just with the diabetes.
Those fuckin' donuts were a questionnaire of whether you wanted dialysis...or would you prefer to lose your eye sight. IF you answered yes, you opened to door for it to happen.
Life changed Stu...We got the warning to head it off. Now we get to live with the option of saying, “No ya mutha fucka, I'm not goin' blind for your dumb ass, you're fired.
Best in the world my ass! She let you down before you even got here!”
He had a sober look on his face. By this time, my voice had rose to the point some of the doctors were listening.
I said, “Everyone, you took an oath. I've given this man my oath to be there in his life, to care, and to protect him.
To keep his legs, we're now walking and exercising. To keep his blood down, I'm going to hunt down sugars like it's the poison which could kill him.
IF you see something which poses a threat, it's your jobs....literally...to tell him and US what's up ahead for us to skirt it and to lead us out of harm's way.
SHE might've thought, “Well, he's dead anyway, so a donut won't hurt him...Let him have it so they have a bit of happiness.”
Well, That's not in my job description, so don't let it be in yours...Until his dying breath, I'm gonna be there fighting for him.
What if it were YOUR kid, or your spouse? Would you roll over and play dead? OR would you do your damndest? Well, you're paid to do your damndest and I don't really care what you do on your own time, but on my dime, you're going to do your damned job or you're fired.”
Doc stood up and went to the lectern, “Ok, we've had our asses jumped. I think he's calling you back on board. If you want to leave, leave. If you want to stay, you now know the job description.
Each one of us let Stu down. Maybe we saw the numbers and maybe we wrote Stu off....I don't know, but Jeremy just woke me up and I feel ashamed. I realize the back bone Jeremy's now got and I feel proud as hell to know him right now because in the last few moments, I've seen more fight in that kid for someone he loves than I have in the last eight years. He knows he's got a winner this time and he's fighting for him. Let's do the same...”
He paused , “Ok, while we're waiting on the good doctor to get here, here's what we know....
Stu...” He gave Stu a look , “Your numbers for cancer being in your body are through the roof. We need to run a full body scan with both a Cat scan and a PET scan. It'll tell us where it is and it'll tell us what we're fighting.
In regards to the diabetes, the signs are it's your kidneys and possibly your pancreas. The chances of survival are slim if it's in your pancreas.”
Stu gave a nod and I said, “Ok, if it's in the kidneys and no where else, how do we fight it? Do we remove the kidney and go on? I'll tell you now I'll give up some of him, but I won't part him out.”
Doc said, “IF it's in the kidney, we can remove some or all of it. We can also fight it in other areas like that.
The problem right now is determining what kind it is, determining the speed of growth and spread, and then, outlining a plan of action based upon what we know.
With diseases, it takes time. We can't do one thing and expect immediate answers. It takes time for your body to recover and to get used to the medicines....It's that way with diabetes and it's that way with cancer.
The problem with the two combined is this...Your kidneys are your filtration system for the blood. When they've got damage and are being afflicted by the one, the other can step in and deliver the knock out blow.
Yes, dialysis is a potential, but it can also be the life saving grace to do what the kidneys aren't doing at this point....”
I gave a nod , “Ok, here's what I'm going to say....and everyone, I want you listening close...”
I paused , “Stuart?” Stu gave me a look like he was lost and about to start bawling.
turned , “He's not to be a pin cushion. If you need to put in a
tag line, get it in. You do everything from those and don't you dare
fuckin' jeopardize it.
IF he needs I.V.'s get 'em in and keep 'em there. You draw from 'em and you let him know what's going on and why you're doing something....You don't swoop in and you don't take from him without saying WHY you're disturbing him.
IF he's in the hospital, you tell your people to get their work done before he's asleep.
Don't you DARE give him a sleeping pill and then wake him up every two hours to do something....I'll call you in and I'll fire your asses if I find out that's what's happened....so you get that on his chart and you tell the nurses and staff they go through me after 11pm and before 8am....I'll have him taken out of here BEFORE you get a chance to get here and apologize.
IF you think I'm talking from experience, you're damned right. To have a nurse say, “Well, you're not your usual chipper self!” at 4am when you're whoozy from a sleeping pill is bullshit. You're woke up and you're trying to figure out what the hell's going on and WHY something is so important it can't wait, and then, you're realizing it's just to check a bandage....Yeah, that's bullshit and it won't happen to someone I love. Let him sleep and you do your draws either before he goes to sleep or after he wakes up...and IF he sleeps for 9 hours, you leave him the hell alone. It's his body's way of saying, “Hey, you're fuckin' with me and I need time.”
I paused , “I realize I'm holding everyone in this room accountable for what failings I've had. Well, it was in this hospital and no, I didn't bitch about it, but I sure am now...because I'm NOT going to let someone else go through it!
YOU people probably don't realize that's what they do to patients, but let me tell you this...I began to wonder why in the hell nothing got done during the daytime and everything had to be done by the night shift...IF I'm supposed to be asleep.
NOW you know why people are asleep during the day. They're being disturbed on the night shift and they're so worn out from being disturbed, you're fighting THAT as well as the disease....
Yeah, I know cancer doesn't take the night off. Yeah, I realize diabetes doesn't take the night off. BUT, you give HIM the night off from bullshit, disturbances, and pain....OR, I will by removing him from here.
Stu's told me we're not rich. I'll tell you I'll blow through every fuckin' dime we've got in order to fight this...He's signed it over to me and believe me, if you're counting on me to be passive and count on a bunch of consolation prizes after death, you don't know me...It doesn't mean a thing without him there and I'm not a steward to some legacy he's leaving if I'm not using it to keep him here. YOU wouldn't do it if it was your family and I'm not gonna either.”
I paused , “Here's what I want from you.... You do a check list and you mark things off right now...IF his heart is good, don't you DARE come to me in a month, three months, or five and tell me his heart is suddenly having problems. I'm going to stare at you and ask you what the fuck you did to it....and yeah, if it's broke, fix it, but if it's not broke, don't you put something into his body which requires him to be fixed later....just to fish and find and see if something worked. He's not a guinea pig and I'm not letting that happen.
AND IF, you think I'm grasping at straws right now, watch this video. It shows someone who was Stage 4 lung cancer ten years after the treatment Dr. Fischer's group did down there at SLU....You might've written the man off as being a goner, but Dr. Fischer didn't...and he's still here.”
I sat down and Stu put his hand on mine. Doc said, “Ok, I feel like I'm getting my ass kicked over and over here. The bad thing is I can't apologize, but I can correct. I didn't know everything that happened when Jeremy was a patient, but I sure know now...and yeah, I've heard the complaint about people being disturbed and not realized it's effects.
What I'll tell you is Jeremy's someone who will make you laugh your ass off if he's in that mood. IF he's fearful, he's fighting and I'll tell you as a Marine, it's that sort've personality who survives a war...not someone who's led to slaughter easily....And yeah, they're the leaders who have their men come back alive.
I can't fault him for giving us hell. I'd be in the same position, doing the same thing, if it were someone I love. I'm damned proud of him right now because we're kindred spirits...We've both been through relationships where we could've given a shit less about the person we were with and to see him fighting like this right now tells me he's got someone he wants to keep....I just wish I had that myself.”
He paused , “I'm going to tell you folks a few things. Jeremy and I are dear friends. He means enough to me that I've written my own children out of my Will because they act more like enemies to me than not. In their place, I put Jeremy...because he acts like a son to me and he cares enough that he steps off into my ass if he sees something I'm doing wrong.
I'll tell you a story about him....and then, you'll understand his personality.
We'd just had one helluva storm in the fall where there was leaves laying all over the place, if not broken branches or limbs. The day after, I had four women at my house all lounging around the pool and was running an extension cord from the pool house to the inside of the house because the power was out in the main house.
He got there and saw that extension cord within a foot of the pool and climbed into my ass like you wouldn't believe. His exact words were “Doc, if the thought of dead and electrifying pussy is your thing, go to a grave yard and do your pickups because you'd be where you're actin' like you want them to be here. Until then, stop settin' your old ass up for a lawsuit...if anyone survives!”
I didn't realize it, all I was doing was taking care of the moment and not thinking about consequences. What's bad is he went out there to that plug in and got shocked unplugging it...The pool house had faults in it's wiring also.
Because he cared, we averted a major problem. Because he cared enough to go up against me with what was safe, I learned he's going to protect me when I'm not protecting myself.
Him coming back and asking me if I want to make the front page news for being dead with four women in nude positions laying around my home was enough to have him telling me, “If you want front page, you get it by doing something good rather than this bullshit!”
Would my own kids have cared? No...First of all, they would've had to be there in order to see something was wrong and then, they probably would've suggested I get out the sprinkler and helped me do the job...
Time and time again, he's done things for me like that. One time, he drove me home because he thought I was too intoxicated to arrive home safely. Another, he came out and sat with me when he knew I had the flu....
Each step along the way in my advancement out here, he's been there. He's cheered me on when no one else has and he's asked me what the next step is up the ladder and when I told him I was at the top, he said, “Bullshit, is there someplace else you can go up?”...that tells you how much he cares. So when I tell you he's like a son to me, he's there and that's why he's in my Will.
No Stu isn't my son, but he's my non-adopted son's love and that's why I called the alarm....sometimes, there are people closer to you than family. He certainly is.
Right now, I see he does it for those he loves. I know he's fighting for Stu and I know he'd be fighting for me like that too. I guess what I'm trying to say is this... IF you think I've crossed the line, I'm not apologizing. IF you think I'm in conflict of interest, well....I'm not apologizing.”
I'll tell you both hands hit the table and I stood up, “Everyone, here's what he's saying in pure Doctor bullshit....He's saying, “Fuck you if you don't like it and IF you give me the chance of letting me know you as a person, you'll probably benefit from it!”
The room erupted in laughter. Doc smiled , “That's beating the shit out of the elephant in the middle of the room!”
I said, “Doc and I know each other away from here. At first, I was his pool boy and when he saw I wasn't threatening his love life by being interested in all the strange he had layin' around, he decided that was fine.
Since then, we've met each other on increasing levels of trust until finally we're at a level where I look to him and he looks to me.
When I got out of that hospital after meeting that other doctor, I'll say on a seven out of an eight, she met my expectations. I don't use nine out of a ten because I've never owned a Dodge Viper which has a 10 cylinder, but I have owned an eight and you damned well know if you've lost a cylinder, it's not gonna win any races or take you to a finish line.
In THIS RACE, we need the machine running smoothly. We need to get all the wrenches away and we need to know we can count on everything. I guess this is what this meeting is about....and I'm GUESSING the only reason we're stalling is because some machine or something is broke down and that's why we're not doing tests right now.
To be honest, I imagine Stu's thinking right now that I'm pretty hateful...and that I'm jeopardizing his care. He's probably heard that I'll gladly get rid of parts of him in order to have the whole and that is overwhelming because he'd prefer to stay whole.
Right now, he's got that glazed over look in his eyes. He's told me that's what happened when he lost Eddie 10 years ago, and I imagine he's fearful for what's about to happen now.
I'll tell you we're put on this earth for a purpose and I'll tell you right now it's probably mine to guide him through the valley of the shadow of death, but I'm also gonna whip up on that Grim Reaper bastard when he comes around...so you best know this...
IF he's cold, I'm calling for more blankets, but IF they don't arrive as soon as I think they'd better, you damned well better have me able to get to where they're at so I can get them myself.
IF he's fearful, I'm going to be holding him. If he's good, you'll see me back...but don't think I'm someone who you can go around like that one fuckin' doctor did...”
I paused , “You've not met my Dad yet. I don't know why he didn't come in, but the man had a lot of problems with his heart. A couple of years ago, he had a quad bypass and the doctor fucked up.
You might think I'm judgmental and just a bitch, but IF you crack open someone you do NOT put a stitch in which holds the drain tied to the one you used in someone's aorta.
When he came out of surgery, he was great. Within two hours, he was walking the floor and whistlin' at the nurses. By the next morning, he was back in surgery because the nurse pulled the drain and that one stitch got pulled loose...
As it was, we weren't called by the doctor. We weren't told a damned thing except he wanted to blame it on faulty suture material....Let's see....Faulty suture material??? OR, faulty medical care???
What the man did was this...He had four trainees in that surgery when he did the bypass. They recorded it with an overhead video camera. ON that video, the stitch was made and his nurse asked, “Doctor, are you sure you want to do that?” and his remark was, “I know what I'm doing.” in a way that said, “I'm God...Don't question my authority ever again!”
Well, we damned near lost him because for nearly an hour, they didn't check on him. His chest cavity filled and he was unconscious. ONLY when they did a chest x-ray did they see what was happening and thank God one of his students was on...the same girl who had asked about that suture. SHE got him into surgery.
When our family got there, on the elevator going up, we saw surgical staff who were bloodier than hell talking about the Operating Room being bloodier than anyone could remember....that the patient needed something like 29 units and the hospital being low on blood.
MY first thought was, “Where do I go to donate?” because that's how I am....That was until we got up there and the doctor wanted to play the soft shoe routine and dance his ass out of trouble.
Well, I called in a lawyer right then and there....You don't fuck with someone I love like that and have me questioning your actions....and the only reason the doctor wasn't fired was because I didn't know I could do that at the time.
What I do know is this....The doctor wouldn't speak to us. He'd come in at times when he knew we weren't there and he'd duck back out fully well knowing that the lack of blood had left my Dad with a brain so much like a major stroke victim that we were swamped with questions and no one to ask.
I decided to go down and stalk the doctor to get questions with my
Mom. He wanted to ignore and then, I said, “Hold the fuck up!
You're gonna ignore her??? You son of a bitch! You'll respect her and
you'll answer her questions or I'll sue your ass off you fuckin'
Needless to say, he wanted to get indignant. Needless to say, he wanted to duck and dodge and finally, he called for security.
They came and the man suddenly wanted to get loud.
“Well, don't be a fuckin' pussy” was the last thing I said to the cocksucker when I was led away, but I'll tell you this...
my lawyer went in blazing. He had the Administrator on the wall by the short and curlies and he had the PROOF the doctor had done it four other times and had settled out of court.
SO, we notified them we were suing and suddenly, they called in another doctor who saw what happened and turned to my Mom and said the one thing he knew he should say, “IF you need me to testify, I certainly will.” because he couldn't believe what had happened.
What ended up happening there is this...My Dad was released from the hospital without enough blood in him. Where we're supposed to have a normal amount, he had 5 units in him.
He went home and ON THAT CHART, they put, “We're sending the patient home to die” without consulting us that's what they were doing.
Each time we stood him up, he'd pass out. Each time we'd adjust his recliner to sitting up from laying, he'd pass out. Finally, he went to the bathroom and passed out...and we called the ambulance to get him back to the hospital.
At the hospital, Mom told 'em, “You fuckin' broke him, you fix him...and don't give me no bullshit.” and for MY MOM to come down with that tone, believe me, she was at the point no one wants someone...because she's a southern belle and always a lady...
Well, you know as a medical staff you've fucked up when the patient's lawyer is sitting there bedside keeping vigil.
What's ironic is this...I asked around and asked what happened to the other doctor and got told, “Oh, he retired real sudden like!”. You see, his medical practice had gave him the option of being thrown out or retirement and he wisely chose the option which gave him some face.
Our lawyer used the video as evidence. He used their paperwork as evidence. He used people's testimony as evidence and they came TO our home and offered us $11 million.
My Mom lay into them like a bad omen telling them down to the penny how much nursing home care would cost and how much rehabilitation would cost and asking how much special times cost that we share...by not having him around.
She had it down to the penny and she told 'em, “Don't come to me with a check for $11 million when it's going to take $20 million to keep him alive for the next 40 years. IF you bring me a check for $22 million, I'll consider it and if you bring me a check for $25, I'll sign off...but don't think you're sweeping this under the carpet and letting that bastard back out of retirement to fuck someone up!”
Needless to say, three days later, they were back with the $36 million dollar check. They knew they were in the cross hairs and WITH THAT, we've bought the best and those therapists used what they call deep heat submersion therapy where they put him in a sauna and then, whirlpool up to his neck to do physio therapy.
That's what it took because it's like going back into the womb. When you come out of it, you learn to walk again and you learn to talk all over again. You learn to go to the bathroom again and THAT is why I had a part time job cleaning pools...to get away from it because my full time job was at home taking care of my Dad.
On the side, I'd go home to my own house and deal with a lover who was a selfish prick....He lived OFF me while I paid the bills and would snidely make remarks about not being able to do things with me. I kept my tongue and I didn't let my Mom know what I was dealing with because I figured she had her own problems and didn't need to worry about mine. At the same time, she put him up on a pedestal and finally, when he hit me once too often, I beat the tar out of him and told her if she wanted to put him first, she could keep him and I'd walk.
That was the day I met Stu and since then, I've been shown more kindness in the past few days than I have been by a lover in the past 9 years.
What I'm saying is this...I'll be your staunchest advocate if you're about something, but if you're worthless, don't polish shit and expect me to hold it up like a trophy...that's not how I am. I'll call it shit and I'll treat it like shit and flush it without mercy...Don't be shit and you won't go there because I'll be DAMNED if I've got a lawyer sitting beside me protecting him from you!”
Doc stood up , “Everyone, what he's NOT said is he's not told you about his own health problems....”
I said, “Doc, don't go there....This isn't about me and it's not about anything but telling them to keep focus on Stu...”
Doc said, “Dammit, if you go down, they've GOT to know!”
Stu said, “What health problems? I know you've had surgery, but you've not mentioned it.”
Doc said, “Jeremy was born with a congenital lung problem. As he grew, his lung didn't grow. No one knew a thing, but he played sports, and each time he felt like there was a stabbing knife in his side, no one would listen...especially the doctor who could've discovered it with a simple chest x-ray.
When I met him, he had purple lips and pale skin. He'd get winded easily, but he'd go on forward until he'd had to take another break and all the while it was getting worse and worse because at each step of his filling out, he'd put on more weight which needed more oxygenated blood and finally, he was operating an adult's body on what was a lung over here which was normal being squeezed by a heart which was enlarged and a four year old's lung over here.
When they did the checking, they found it and we got specialists in which did a stem cell infusion which caused his premature lung to start a growth cycle.
The problem with the lung growing is by the time you're an adult, all the attachments it has made are already made to the inner parts of your body are made and when those rip or tear, you've got a major headache.
We had to go in and take it lose and reattach it and stimulate growth. He's pretty much normal now, but I WILL say his voice was a lot softer when he had less lung capacity!”
Everyone laughed and Stu really rolled.
Mom walked in with Dad and came over and hugged me. Stu stood up and she said, “You must be Stu...I'm Swan, but you call me Mom.” They hugged and she asked, “What are they telling you?”
“His numbers are through the roof for cancer being present and diabetes. They're not sure where yet, but we're waiting on a doctor to get up here from SLU... That one I sent you all that information about last fall.”
“I've already fired the woman who was over his diabetic care. We walked in and they gave him donuts for breakfast.”
She looked shocked and I said, “Needless to say, there's been plenty of ass chewin's to go around!”
Stu gave a smirk... “Needless to say!”
She giggled , “Jeremy's not one to mess with with shoddy medical care. He found his voice with Wayne here and thankfully, he's not let up on 'em.”
I said, “We're waiting on Dr. Fischer. He'll be here within a few minutes.”
She gave a nod , “Ok, what are his numbers?”
I asked, “Doc? What are his numbers?”
Doc said, “I just got these in on my computer and I was about to project them.”
He put them up on the screen and gave us a rundown of what each number meant.
I asked, “Ok, give me what I can do to his diet to get up the magnesium and potassium? And what's that creatinine?”
Doc said, “Creatinine is a by product of the kidneys which gives us a sign how far the damage has went. We also measure Urea and BUM in the blood which tells us whether dialysis is needed.”
He paused , “I'm tempted to do a dialysis to see if we can ge those numbers down and see how long it takes to have them rise back up. IF they rise gradually, we know and if they rise sharply, he'll need dialysis.”
I asked, “Ok, what does that entail?”
“We've got a dialysis center here.”
I shook my head, “What about Branson and PLEASE tell me they've got one because that drive to Springfield is a bitch!”
He went to his computer , “Four of them.”
I gave a nod, “Good. Now what does that entail?”
“It's going in and filtering the blood. We put in a line for long term.”
A man spoke up, “We should try hemofiltration first.”
Doc asked, “Can that be done this morning?”
The guy gave a nod and I asked, “SO you're saying it doesn't take a long time?”
“It takes however long it needs in order to get the number back down.”
I asked, “Can you do that through the lines you need to put in so he's not made to feel like a pin cushion?”
The man said, “No, it's got to be done through his arm.”
I know I didn't look happy, so I asked, “Will you anesthetize his arm so you aren't making him feel uncomfortable?”
He nodded and I said, “Ok, let's get Stu to doing that.”
I turned, “Is that ok with you?”
He smiled, “I'm lettin' you fight this one!”
“If you disagree with anything, you speak up because I'll certainly not give 'em wiggle room!”
The guy stood up and Stu said, “I'll be back.”
They left and Mom said, “Damn that man is good looking!”
I smiled and Doc said, “The acoustics in here are so that everyone can hear everyone else.”
Mom giggled and everyone laughed. I said, “Everyone, Mom hasn't met Stu yet. Needless to say, we know her first impression!”
Everyone continued to giggle and a man was led into the room. Doc asked, “Dr. Fischer?”
He said, “Yes.”
“I'll make introductions. Stuart isn't in here as he was just taken for hemofiltration. Up here on the screen are his numbers and we're attempting to get them down to see how they respond.”
Dr. Fischer went up and looked at them. “What kind of cancer?”
Doc said, “We're still in initial consultation with the patient. His partner is sitting down there and those are his partner's parents.”
Dr. Fischer pointed at the number which had everyone concerned , “It's either in his kidneys or his pancreas. His liver isn't affected yet.”
Doc said, “His symptoms are leading us to think it could be in his lungs.”
Dr Fischer shook his head, “That's his blood with the toxins. When the toxins aren't allowing for proper oxygenation, it'll give the symptoms.”
He paused and looked up , “Everyone, I don't know if you're aware of who I am or what, but I'm guessing you do because I was called.”
I said, “Dr. Fischer, you were called because I saw the news report on you and SLU's research last Fall. Until I insisted, you weren't on the team, but now, you're here.”
Dr. Fischer went right into the studies and all the research SLU is making into gene and cancer research. When he got into the therapies, he said, “Our most exciting advancement is the one he mentioned...Where we're creating individual immunizations for cancer therapy. We take the cancer and create an injection which we put in and fight the cancer rather than the rest of the body. It goes through the blood stream and everywhere it's present, it's found, fought, and killed.
The patient responds in six weeks to two months. By the end of the two months, he or she is in remission.
We've been in studies with Stage 4 patients. It's there where we're finding success. We've used it on a wide variety of cancers and now, we're going into tests which breaks cancer down to it's genetic form so we can find that transmitter and kill it off before it turns on and causes us problems.”
The room was definitely paying attention. Mom said, “Well Thank God!”
She said, “Doctor, I watched my Mom died of breast cancer. Cancer has been through our family like you wouldn't believe...from brain cancer to lung cancer to my sister dying of bone cancer and another dying of leukemia.
Through the years, we've seen each advancement and now we're to the point we have hope and then find out it's in areas where it's not been fought successfully. If you can shut it off at the source, I'm all for it and want you to have whatever funding you need.”
Dr. Fischer said, “We're well funded. We're providing enough proof we're getting everything we need.
I need to find out what Stuart has and then, we can get that to the lab and get it so that we've got a way to fight it.”
He looked at the numbers on the screen again and asked, “What's the patient's weight?”
I said, “178 as of yesterday.”
Dr. Fischer said, “I'm going to give him some pills which will act as a way to put this into a holding pattern. It'll give us time.”
He turned to Doc , “Keep on those numbers and the dialysis if needed, but if those numbers show significant damage, put him on a transplant list and/or remove that kidney. I'd say it's not both from the signs.”...to which he pointed at another number... “that's telling me it's most likely the right kidney. So do what's needed until I can get what we need.”
I asked, “Dr, how long will that be?”
He looked up, “Eight weeks at the longest. Usually, we find what we need in as early as a week, but the average is two to three weeks.
At that time, we do a series of eight injections.” He paused , “They're not pleasant in this situation because it's directly into the kidney. Due to the amount of time being so short, we find it's best not to anesthetize the patient because they'll be up and active within ten minutes.”
I saw surprised looks and Dr. Fischer said, “We need those scans and we need the biopsies. I can get back to the lab and then, we'll have a genetic breakdown of it and can begin our tests.”
I know I had tears in my eyes , “Thank you Doctor. You've given him back to me.”
Doc said, “I'm impressed. All I can say is I'm thankful Jeremy saw that news announcement because we were all set to go with standard procedures.”
Dr. Fischer said, “Thereby allowing the patient to die with very little quality of life until death occurred.”
Doc said, “Yes, unfortunately, but now, we're hopeful and have you whereas we didn't know before.”
Dr. Fischer said, “If that's all, I'm going to leave a colleague of mine so I can get back to the city. I've pushed back appointments this morning for this and need to get back to where I'm needed.”
I stood up , “Thank you. This means a lot to us.”
He gave a nod and walked out without saying anything. Mom said, “Man! I think he's pissed!”
“At least he came. It probably saved Stu's life.”
Doc said, “To say I'm impressed is an understatement. I know everyone feels the same, so let's get to doing our jobs to assist that man.”
He paused , “To have hope where very little existed now has me invigorated and ready to whip some ass!”
A lot of heads were nodding and then, Stu came back in, I'm sure I looked surprised, “That was quick!”
He looked discouraged, “Someone else is on the machine.”
I gave a nod, “Doc, let's get the scans done while he's waiting then.”
Stu asked, “Aren't we going to wait for that doctor?”
“He's already been here and left. He wants scans. They're going to give you something which is going to put your cancer into a holding pattern and then, in 2 weeks, they're going to have the stuff you get injected with. Within 8 weeks, the cancer should have it's butt kicked.
What else he said was he's pretty sure it's only in your kidney and possibly pancreas. From the numbers, it doesn't look like it's in your liver.”
“Is that the good news or the bad?”
“That's the good news.”
“What's the bad...because I'm hearing a big but, here.”
“We gotta get on it and get you scanned.”
Doc got on the phone , “Ok, we're going to break up and I'll get them to the scanners.”
Everyone stood up and I took my laptop and walked with everyone to the scan center. Doc said, “You guys wait here and I'll have Stu scanned.”
We went into a waiting room and I flipped open my laptop and began booting it up. Mom asked, “What do you think?”
“I've got to remain self assured and calm for him no matter what, but I need lots of prayers for him and you guys to hold for us.”
She gave a nod and finally, my laptop booted. I put up two videos of the waters...one the old way and one the new way.”
I handed it over to Mom , “Here's the waters. The first video is how it is currently and the next is how it'll be when we've got the new building constructed.”
“Your Dad said he's never seen anything like the new one.”
“I've got my work cut out for me, but it can be done. It's going to take lots of work. Fortunately, it'll be something we can do together and keep his concentration off himself.”
Dad asked, “What do you needs done immediately?”
“I've got to buy a dump truck. I can get all the stone, gravel, and dirt I want out there from everyone else. Once it's at the waters, we can begin construction of that berm/hill and get that going.
What we've decided is we're going to call it Hillbilly Falls. I'm going to go ahead and put that on the new signage, but I'm going to have to have a statue of a mountain goat or something to put on that berm up there.”
Mom began watching the video and when it went over to the new one, she said, “Oh man!”
“The 3D projectors are incredible....You'll be amazed.”
Dad asked, “I know what you're doing, but I want to know the concept out there in front.”
“Ok, here's what I'm doing. I'm getting the big stone in where we need it. Then, I'm going to lay in the smaller stone and then, go with gravel and cover the entire thing with black plastic and landscaping fabric. Where we need plantings, I'm going to put insets and mist watering so it's already in place under the plastic.
Once that's done, it's going to be a whole lot of that rubber mulch and a spray adhesive. As you know, mulch tends to want to be pushed down with water and rain, but with the adhesive, it'll stay put.
The color there will be brown rubber mulch. I want it to look rich and dark.
Up toward the top, we're going to have a volcano feature. Basicly all that is, is an 8 inch diameter pipe with one heck of a pump under it and lots of underwater lights so that the water looks orangish red like lava. Our focus is to have that a small pool up there. I want some mist fountains so it's looking like it's steaming and then we're going to have a concrete overflow which keeps everything evened out with small holes...probably inch to an inch and a half in diameter so the water cascades down that hillside under the lettering and lights evenly.”
“How are you going to light it?”
“The lettering is going to be hollowed and up under it will be LED lighting strips. They're waterproof and bright enough that we can give off the under color.
All down that hillside is going to be mylar. It's going to be white and opaque. We can put lights under that and put in strips of blue and have it really lit up so that the lights under the lettering being a purple mixed with all that will give off a nice effect.
All the way around those letters, I'm going to have bubblers so as the water hits it, it's giving the effect of water hitting it and there being lots of bubbles, but really, it's not anything more than more water being added to the water coming down.
At the bottom, is a long continuous pool. We're going to have several pipes and features in there as I want small arches and up geysers about four feet tall.
In those trailers, we're going to have the pumps. We'll keep excess storage in there as well as the Christmas decorations.
The plus of it is I can run outriggers to those dandelion fountains and all the power to the trees under the front pavement from there so we've got everything on their own circuits and it's all working with those fault breakers.”
“Where the power comes from the building, we'll have another breaker and faulting circuit breaker so no where in the runs will there be a chance of electrocution.
Other than that, I've got to rent a trencher and cut the runs along the side from the back. I figure if we're going to take down the building, I need to get everything set up from where it will be rather than where it is now.”
By Memorial Day, I can have in all those trees and the berm/hill done out front, but within the next two weeks, I've got to get in the air curtain, the carpet, and all the new seats so we're showcasing the new seats for the Easter show.”
Dad asked, “Can I offer a suggestion?”
“There aren't any places with those big flood lights down there. ALSO, there's no place which has a gigantic flag pole. You might go with those also.”
I gave a nod, “I'll run it by Stu. I'm sure he'll give it a go ahead.”
When Mom got to the end of the video, she said, “My God! That's going to be impressive! The things they can do with water and fire are amazing!”
I gave a nod , “Eddie, Stu's last love...his ghost did that video. I don't know how he was able to do that, but all that is an illusion.”
“Yeah, he wants us to see it as it will be to help Stu along and get everything so we're helped to know what we're going to do.
I've spoke with him several times and he gave me the name of the doctor as well as the heads up here with Stu's medical problems.”
She shook her head, “He had to've loved him.”
I gave a nod, “Yes, and really, I wish I would've gotten to know them a long time ago, but I'm lucky for all he's done.”
My phone gave a vibration. I answered it, “Hello?”
“Uh yes, I'm looking for Jeremy Blue.”
“This is he?”
“This is Bud Martin up here at Minnesota Cabins.”
“Oh hi! We're needing to order a cabin kit and have it built as a turn key model.”
“Where will it be located?”
“Branson, Missouri down by Lake Tanneycomo.”
“Oh, ok!” He paused and asked, “When will you be available to come?”
“We can't today, but whenever is convenient for you.”
“Whenever you can, we'll certainly be accommodating.”
“I've got the style picked out, but I've got some questions.”
“The model DE-30.”
“Ok, let me pull it up here...Ok.”
“I love the way the back looks, but I'd like to ask if we could get both the back and the front to looking like that. The front doesn't need the walk out, but I want the walk out to be on the back toward the water.”
“Yeah, we can do that.”
“In the bathrooms and kitchen, we're going to want to pick out our own cabinets, counter tops, appliances, and fixtures.”
“Sure, that's no problem. We can get a blueprint and have everything going. Now, I've got a few questions for you!”
“Is there any power to the lot now?”
“Yeah, there's a cabin already there, but we're going to have it torn down.”
“Where is the septic field?”
“I'll find out. I don't know there.”
“If it's where that walk out is located, we'll have a problem.”
“I'll have it dug up if it is...”
“How big is the lot?”
“All the lots have to be 5 acres there. I believe his is 13.”
“You're not buying this for yourself?”
“It's my partner's and I's. My Mom and Dad lives next door. I'm still caught up in the thing of his and mine....I'm sorry.”
“Ok, that's no problem. When do you want construction to begin?”
“As soon as possible. I need it finished by Labor Day.”
“That's no problem. How soon will tear down be completed?”
“Ok, here's what we'll do. I could have you come up here, but I can come down there and do a sit down with you whenever you've got a moment. IF possible, we need to have permits and payment.”
“Ok, here's the thing, you don't need a permit to build here. It's rural and not even the county needs a plan or gives a permit.”
“I know you're going to get here and ask a LOT of questions about all the shows and hotels on the strip and wonder how messed up all that has to be. I'm just now starting my own construction and landscaping business and have the same worries.”
“Why aren't you building yourself?”
“Here's the thing....I wanted to, but now I've got a partner who has cancer. I'm not sure if you've heard of the Vienese waters in Branson, or not, but that's one of his shows.
We're building an entire new and bigger theater for all that. I'm probably going to be talking with you about how we could possibly put a log front on a metal structure as a lobby and possibly two long log cabins down the side of it to serve as restrooms, as well as a General Store...as well as storage.”
“THEN, we're going to want a home built out back, but we're going to need to work within the confines of everything, but the thought of us having that style right there and being able to walk on into the theater would be great.”
“So you're going to live in this one part time?”
“The one I'm building right there is already sold. That's why I'm allowing the person who bought it pick out the bathrooms and kitchen things himself.”
“OH! Will that person be available?”
“Yes, but no. He won't be there during the initial consultation, but he trusts my judgment enough to do what's right and nicest.”
Mom handed me the laptop and I pulled up the website for the log homes and got right to the design. I handed it back to her and she said, “OH that's beautiful!”
He chuckled and I said, “I just showed my Mom the design we're discussing.”
She showed my Dad and he said, “Ooh wow!”
I said, “When can you make it down?”
“Whenever is convenient for you.”
“How about Sunday?”
“OH, that can be arranged.”
“You've got my number. Give me a call and if need be, I'll put you up in our motel.”
“You've got a motel also?”
“We've got a bunch of restaurants, a motel, and one show so far. We're going to be taking down the building we've got right now and putting it up on more vacant land, to build another theater, but we'll be doing all that sometime next year, but just as soon as I can get the big theater under construction, it'll be moving along.”
“Oh, so I could possibly be in on the blueprint of the new theater?”
“Yeah, I don't want to do something which would mess everything up.”
“Would you be possibly interested in having the new theater made entirely of logs?”
“We could discuss that, yeah. We're going to need at least 24 feet side walls in the main theater....and possibly a bump up of 32 in the back. I want a wall of windows so everyone can look through the fountains and see the view of the hillside through the windows and then, we can roll down screens and have lasers, projected images, and a lot of other things displayed.”
“OH, it sounds interesting!”
“When you come, I'll show you what it's going to look like versus the current one we've got. The effects we're going to have are incredible.”
“Ok, I'll be glad to see it! I've got a lot of ideas and need to ask a few questions.”
“Have you thought about having a wall up of stone and then, going with logs?”
“That sounds good, but we've got to incorporate some projectors because we'll have some 3D images and holograms which come out over the audience.”
“Think of Casper the Friendly Ghost when the Ghosts shoot out over the audience and then, you've got a real good clue.
We'll also have some effects where an old steam train is coming and go right out and over everyone.”
“It's all a part of giving everyone a good show, but for Christmas, we can have Santa Claus going out over the audience and using a different projector having the effect of sparkles streaming behind his sleigh, so it's rather complex.”
“You've got me really interested!”
“It'll be good.”
“Ok, what I'll do is this. I'm not sure how flights are arranged, but I can get a flight there and then, have you meet us. Will that be fine?”
He got some more information and then, I hung up.
Mom said, “You've already sold the property where the cabin is and yet, you're still building a cabin?”
“We sold the property and the new cabin to Doc for a million.”
She looked shocked, “Really!”
“Yeah, we were building the cabin anyway and since Doc knows where it's located, we spoke and Stu said he was willing to sell. I shot the deal to Doc and he bought.”
She smiled, “And you made a fortune for you guys!”
“We made a fortune, but I want everyone to be happy.”
She gave a nod, “Your Dad and I were discussing doing much the same thing except hanging onto it of course.”
We heard an announcement of “Code Blue PET Scan....CODE BLUE PET SCAN! With some chimes.”
I suddenly gave Mom a look and she hurried over to hug me, “Oh my God!”
I hurried and said a prayer, “Oh Lord, please don't let it be Stu.”
We saw some people running by and then, we heard a cart being push in a hurry into the room. The doors got thrown open and I hurried up and went over to get a better look. I saw someone laying in the scanner, but they were working on the floor of the scan control room.
The girl who was operating the scanner went in and got whoever was in the scanner up and I saw it was Stu. The team did an 8 person lift onto a gurney and then, someone said, “Let's get him to the ER.”
They started pushing the gurney and cart. Stu came out and asked, “What's happening?”
I shook my head , “Who else was in that control center?”
“Doc and that girl.”
“Doc's having a heart attack, I imagine.”
He gave me a surprised look. “We're supposed to stay here.”
I turned to Mom, “Mom?”
She came to the door of the waiting room, “Yeah Jeremy?”
“I need to go down there.”
“You need to stay here.”
“Mom! I'm over everything in his Will and Power of Attorney for him!”
She gave me a surprised look, “When did THIS happen!”
I shook my head, “I need to GO!”
I turned to Stu and he said, “Go!”
I went down to the Emergency Room and when I got to the nurse's station, the nurse gave me a look, “May I help you dear?”
“I'm Doc Graper's Medical Power of Attorney.”
She gave me a surprised look, “They're trying to resuscitate him right now!”
“Ma'am, he has a no code.”
“I can go get my copy of everything if you need it, but he's a no code. He wants nothing and no life saving measures.”
She said, “Let me go get someone!”
She rushed in , “Doctor!”
gave a look, “DO NOT DISTURB ME TRISHA!”
“DOCTOR, he's a NO CODE! His Medical Power of Attorney is that kid right there! He said he's got the paperwork at his house. What do we do?”
He shook his head, “GOD DAMN IT!” and rubbed his eyes.
He walked out and everyone looked confused. He walked over, “You're SURE you're his MPOA?” (Medical Power of Attorney)
“Yes sir. He had his Will redrawn and gave me the copy. He doesn't want any life saving measures.”
He shook his head, “You're ABSOLUTELY SURE of this!”
“How'd you know this?”
“My partner is the person who he was getting the PET scan of... I was in that waiting room.”
“Oh man....” He gave me a look , “I'm going to need copies of that paperwork. I'm going to have to keep going until I've got them.”
“I'll fax them as soon as I get to my house...OR, you could call Mark Bassinger's office. They've got a copy also.”
“You call Mark's office and get them to fax us something. I hate to not believe you, but I'm praying you're wrong.”
“Me too, but I'm not. How do I dial out on this phone?”
“Dial 9....You know that number by heart?”
“Unfortunately, I do and right now, if you'll turn around, you'll see Doc's ghost right there.”
looked surprised, “WHAT!”
He turned around , “Oh man....”
Doc nodded his head and disappeared. I said, “He just told you I'm right.”
“Yeah, I saw him....Did you just see him in dark blue pants and light blue shirt?”
“Yeah, and he's not wearing that today.”
“Ok, I'll go in and cancel everything. You call that office.”
“It's ringing now.”
When it was answered, I said, “This is Jeremy Blue.”
“Oh hi Jeremy.”
“If Mark's in, I need to speak with him immediately. Doc Graper's in the Emergency Room and we need his Medical Power of Attorney paperwork faxed out here to Hannibal Regional.”
“OH man! Let me get Mark....but I'll get that faxed. Do you need anything else?”
“No ma'am, I've got paperwork for everything else.”
“What are they doing?”
“We're waiting on you to let them know he is indeed a no-code.”
“I know he is....It was a shock when he said he didn't want anything, but I'll get Mark and get that out of the files....I've got it right here on my computer.” She said, “I need to put you on hold for a moment.”
“The doctor came back out and gave me a look. I said, “She's getting Mark Bassinger. She's confirmed he is a no code, but she's printing it out to fax.”
He shook his head, “Ok, we're calling it off.”
A guy walked over and he said, “Louis, go speak with that kid. He's Doc's MPOA and says Doc is a no code.”
The guy said, “He IS a no code. We had an extensive talk about it. He's also a cremation with no service.”
Now that new I knew, but I didn't know it was anything right here.
The doctor looked surprised and shook his head. “Ok, I'll go get everything canceled.”
The guy said, “I'm sorry Stephen. He meant a lot to all of us.”
The doctor shook his head, “I'll regroup...This is just a shock.”
The guy nodded and walked over. He held out his hand, “You're Doc's MPOA?”
“I'm Louis Grant, Hospital Administrator.”
“I'm Jeremy Blue, I've heard your name from him a lot.”
He gave a nod, “We just discussed you this morning. You meant a lot to him.”
People started filtering out and then, the doctor came out accompanied by the nurse. He walked over, “Louis, I'm going to go take 5. This is hard.”
Louis nodded, “Doc and I were just discussing everything in regards to Jeremy's partner this morning, so I'm quite familiar with Jeremy here even though I've not met him. He wasn't lying when he told you he's Doc's MPOA...he's damned near the closest person Doc has to a living relative. If you knew that mess, you'd be overwhelmed all over again...but go take 5 and I'll go in with Jeremy and let him see him.”
“I'll stay then.”
Louis put his hand on my shoulder, “Are you ok son?”
“Shocked, but I'm ok.”
“If you need anything, please feel free to call me day or night. You seem to be taking things good.”
“Louis, I know he's in Heaven. That kind doctor right there and I just saw his ghost standing right over there. He's fine.”
Louis gave me a shocked look and turned. The doctor said, “He's not lying. I saw him myself. He nodded to let me know he was telling me the truth and faded.”
Mark's voice came on, “Jeremy, I'm sorry to be so long. What's going on?”
“Just for confirmation, we need Doc Graper's Living Will and no code paperwork faxed to the hospital out here.”
The nurse said, “794-1274” (Don't call that, I made it up! The last five are my birthdate.)
Mark said, “I heard her. I'm sending it now.”
Instantly, I heard the fax machine begin sending out papers. He asked, “Is he dead?”
“Oh man....Tell them he's wanting no services and a cremation. He doesn't want even a service at the cremation place.”
“I know. The Hospital Administrator is here. He knows also.”
“I'll need to make calls. Tell them I need a Death Certificate in order to do this legally.”
“Can I ask you to speak with this man?”
“Louis? Mark needs to speak with you.”
He took the phone and the doctor said, “Son, I'll go in here with you. You're sure you're going to be alright.”
“Yeah, I just feel like there's a big gaping hole in my life, but I'm fine.”
“We all feel that way. He was loved by so many.”
Louis hung up the phone , “I don't envy Mark at this moment. He's got to deal with Doc's kids.” He took a deep breath and turned to me, “He was proud of you.”
We went in and no words were said. He pulled back the sheet and I said, “Doc, you're in a better place. Watch over us all in this time of sorrow and give us a few laughs. You were like a Dad to me too...”
I hugged him, “You waited until I was in greener pastures before anything happened. Thank GOD I wasn't with David right now.”
I stood back up, “This is going to sound heartless, but I'm to get his remains. Also, he told me a list of things I need to do before his kids get up here, so I'm going to need his keys to get into his house.”
Louis said, “I'll go with you. I know exactly what you need to do. Do you know if he's got a paper shredder there?”
“I was planning on using the fireplace.”
“That's even better.”
(Doc had an extensive collection of porn in a closet. Magazines, DVDs, VCR tapes and everything. His instructions to me were to get rid of everything unless I wanted to keep it. I always told him I'd burn it. His joke back to me was, “Well don't burn down the house! It's yours!”)
Louis asked, “Where's your partner?”
“Over getting a PET scan. That's what Doc was doing when this happened.”
He looked up , “Stephen, this kid's lover has cancer. The numbers are terrible and the initial consultation was this morning....He's got more on his plate than what I'd want to have right now.”
Stephen asked, “Is there anything I can do?”
I shook my head , “No, I need to let them know I've got to do some things.”
He went over , “His personal effects and clothes are right here.”
I turned to Louis , “Would you lock his office? He said he wanted security on his office in case his kids wanted to go through it also.”
Louis nodded, “He told me the same thing. At least we know we were told the same things.”
I got Doc's billfold and keys. I said, “I need to call these credit card companies and get all the final bills, but I was told we were to go to the bank and get the safe deposit box before anyone else got to it.”
Louis nodded, “I was told the same thing.”
I said, “Ok, let's get this done.”
“Where are we heading?”
“Over to let my parents and Stu know what's happening.”
We went over and went into the waiting room. Mom asked, “How's it going?”
gave a surprised look, “OH NO!”
“There's a lot of stuff Louis here and I need to do. Both of us were told to do the same things, so we're going to do thing together.”
She gave me a look, “Right now?”
“Mom, you don't know his kids.”
Louis said, “Ma'am, this isn't a normal family. His direct quote to me was, “Get to it before they even get told because when they're told, they're going to get the fastest plane up here and do all they can to raise hell when they find out they didn't get a damned thing.”
looked surprised, “Who got it!”
Louis nodded towards me, “Jeremy here got everything except a $100,000 contribution to the Northeast Missouri Humane Society.”
She looked surprised, “What are YOU going to do with everything!”
I shook my head , “Right now, I need to be over to the house and burn his porn collection. Sooner than that, I've got to be to the bank and get the safe deposit box.”
“You're sure of this...”
Louis said, “Ma'am, I was told to do the same thing, except I was told to get everything and give it to Jeremy and he'd know what to do with it.”
She asked, “Where is he going to be taken?”
I said, “Straight to the cremation company....Bauer down in St. Louis. He wanted no services and no cremation service...I'm to get the ashes and I'm supposed to spread 'em out at 29 Palms Marine Base.”
Louis gave a nod , “You're supposed to hire a plane to take you straight there so you're not in any trouble. I'll get you that paperwork.”
I shook my head, “Do you have any idea who the pilot was who flew us up here?”
He said, “Yeah, why?”
“We'll need to have him fly us different places.”
Louis said, “Do you want me to go handle things at the house then?”
“If you don't mind. I know he trusted you, so that.....Ummm, Louis?”
“Let's step out here.”
We stepped out into the hallway and I said, “Before they move his body, someone needs to get the cock and ball ring from him.”
He gave me a look, “He told you that!”
“He laughed about them having it in the ashes.”
He gave a smirk, “He's probably laughing ass off right now!”
“I thought I should mention it.”
“I'll go look.....that s.o.b. Is lucky he didn't throw sparks when they were shooting him with those paddles!”
I laughed and he did also. “I'll be back!”
“You put the damned things in a sack!”
He continued walking and laughed real loud.
I went in and Mom gave me a grin, “What's so funny.”
“Doc always wore some metallic things in his nether region. I had him go get 'em!”
She busted out laughing real loud, “Oh my God!”
Dad was holding his sides laughing, “We wondered!”
“When they were shocking him, they were probably throwin' off sparks!”
They laughed harder and Mom said, “He was definitely one in a million! Are you going to be ok?”
“Yeah, but I need to get to that safe deposit box, there's a whole LOT of things in there which are payable to bearer.”
She looked shocked, “Oh my God! Go get 'em!”
“Louis knew, but Doc always said, “I don't care what you do, but you get to that box before anyone else because that's your inheritance. They can't prove they were there, but they'll sure be pissed when they don't find any bank accounts they can freeze.”
“Ok, go get 'em. I'll tell Stu you'll be right back.”
Dad got his keys and I said, “No, I've got Doc's to the Land Rover. He doesn't even want them able to get that....and yeah, the title is in the safe deposit box.”
He gave a nod and I said, “In my hands is his billfold. The million dollar cashier's check is in here without a name on it whatsoever.”
Mom said, “Oh man, get that damned thing deposited!”
I said, “I'm going to go, but tell Stu I'll be right back. I promise.”
“We'll be here with him. You just do everything you need to do right now.”
I went out and went to the bank. When I got there, Skip said, “Jeremy, right this way. I've already been called.”
We went in and I said, “One of these keys....”
He said, “This one here. Do you mind if I take it off this ring? You're supposed to turn it in just as soon as you get everything.”
“I don't mind.”
He took a letter opener and spread the ring. It took some doing, but it finally came off. He went over and opened a great big box down by the floor and pulled out the box inside.
He said, “I'll get you a bag.”
opened the top and thought, “What a dumb ass. Who puts stacks
of bills in a lock box! No one gets interest if you do it this
There was a letter on top which had Jeremy on it. I opened it,
If you're reading this, my time has finally come. Don't be sad, but know I cherished our friendship.
There are stacks of cash in this box. It's the best way for you to do things untraceable. There are Certificates of Deposit and a lot of Stocks, Bonds, and other investment papers.
When you need to give a code word, it's Semper Fi or Semp on a keypad. Empty everything and handle it as you see fit.
I want you to have a good life and do NOT give one damned dime to that bastard you're with or I will haunt you to the grave!”
“I won't Doc...You already know you can be at peace.”
Skip came in , “I'm pretty sure what's in here. If you need me to handle those investments and everything else, let me know.”
“Let me see what we've got here. I just got finished reading the letter he had for me in here.”
“You and I are probably thinking it's ridiculous there's $100,000 in cash in here, but you're to pay for his cremation in cash. He doesn't want them knowing who received the ashes or where they went.”
I opened a folder which had A.G. Edwards on it. I said, “This is his stock investments. None of these companies mean anything to me.”
He looked at them, “I'll do some checking. Some might be some really good investments.”
“Not if I've got to fight his family for them, they're not.”
“I'm supposed to handle things. In one of these is his membership to the clinic and another is his membership to the hospital. They need to be sold.”
“You're inheriting his corporation. Your name is already on it. All this is owned by his corporation and should be covered for you already with taxes. You getting his corporation gives you the ownership of his vehicle, his house, and everything else.”
“Ok, but don't sell those memberships until I get a chance to get into his office and get things out of there.”
He gave a nod, “I forgot about that.”
I said, “What I'll do is I'll hang onto all this for now. You sell the bonds and CDs if they're able to be sold.”
“I know most of them are mature. He was receiving a lot of paperwork all the time to roll them over into his trusts.”
“Ok, do what's needed, but here's my bank account number. Now, what I need to ask you is this... In his billfold here is a bunch of credit cards. Would you handle those?”
“Most certainly, but these which are under his corporation can continue to be used. Do you want to do that?”
“I'm going to ask you a few questions.... Can his corporation be rolled into another corporation and trust?”
He gave me a look, and said slowly, “Possibly, let me check on that, but why?”
“Here's why. You're going to laugh your ass off, but my new partner and I are Butt Pirates Inc. and the Trust is just being formed right now but it's Buccaneer Trust.”
He gave a smirk, “I'll advise you not to do that. He hated your partner.”
“This is a new partner. I threw David out. Stu, he just met this morning and gave his complete blessing on.”
“Oh! Well, I'm sure he was happy about that. Please forgive him, but he hated your partner with a passion.”
“I knew that.”
I lifted the paperwork out and there lay gold, platinum, and silver bars, and lots of coins. I took them out and put them in the bag without commenting.
Stu said, “I'm not going to say anything there, but now would probably be the best time to sell those if you want to.”
“I realize that, but I'm not sure how to go about doing it.”
“I'll handle it for you, but keep those coins. I know they're worth quite a bit of money. He didn't collect them, he got them from his Father.”
“Damn, I've got to call the old man!”
“Wait until after cremation, but DO ask the old man if he'd like to go with you to spread the ashes.”
“OH jeez, that old man is homophobic as hell and I've got to be in a private jet with him.”
“ON the other hand, forget that suggestion. I totally forgot your situation.”
“Ok, sell the bonds, and the CDs, and these bars. Look up these stocks and whatever else A.G. Edwards has....”
I paused , “Skip, go ahead and liquidate everything. I know it's going to probably be quite a bit, but let's liquidate it anyway and that way, I'm safer than sorry.”
He gave a nod , “Life insurance policies here...I know there's one of them which is for the old man's direct care, but it was to go to you if the old man was dead...or the remainder is to go to you once he passes. It wasn't in the Will, but it IS a part of Graper Trust.”
“Ok, cover me on that and please don't let the old man know where this went, because I imagine he'd throw a shit fit just as bad as his kids.”
“I'll do that.”
“Here's my bank account number. I don't know how you cover it so it's tax free going in, but do what's needed.
I'll keep these Deeds. It's going to take me a bit to find out where all this property is, but I'll get it transferred.”
“When you do, I'll be there with you...or you can have your lawyer do it for you. That would probably be easier.”
“Could Mark do it?”
He gave a nod , “Yeah, and then, he could have your Trust lawyer get everything handled and put into your corporation....but Jeremy, do NOT lose these to anyone else.”
“I'm not. Stu's trusting me with everything he's got and believe me, there's quite a bit there also.”
“Who is he?”
“Stuart Reddington. He owns a show down at Branson as well as a bunch of fast food restaurants and motels. There's a LOT of investments in his portfolio, and a lot of land. He was in on the ground floor if not the first floor when Branson was being really commercialized.”
“Really! He's got to be quite old then!”
I chuckled, “He's in his 50's. He bought a lot of the land in 1978.”
He smiled, “I'm sorry, I just remember that Branson started in the 30's.”
“Stu's fine. Everyone loves him and we're dealing with him having cancer right now. That's the reason we put everything in both our names and into a trust...he didn't know about trusts.”
“Oh, well good, you're covered then.”
I continued to look and open envelopes and when I got to the decorations and certificates, I said, “Ok, you might give these to the old man....and someone, I guess me, will need to contact the military about his pension and get that canceled.”
“I'll handle it.”
“I really appreciate this.”
“I'm just thankful he had someone to give it to rather than that damned dog pound.”
“Shit, $100,000 is supposed to go to them! How do I handle it?”
“This insurance policy here.”
“Ok, thanks. I was losing it for a second there.”
I put everything I was taking , “Let me know what you need and I'll get it for you.”
He shook his head , “I'm glad it's you I'm having this conversation with rather than his family. I'd probably not even bothered to assist them with a thing. Now, do you want me to liquidate his savings and bank accounts?”
“Find out what the final bills will be and see what I need to do in order to get the utilities turned into my name and then, we'll pay what's needed.
I'm not even sure what I'm going to do with another household, but I'm not gonna sell it!”
“I don't blame you. It's a beautiful house.”
I turned to see my Mom and Dad walking in with Stu. I said, “Here's Mom and Dad with Stu. You'll get to meet him!”
Stu walked in and hugged me, “Are you ok?”
“I'm about to ask you the same thing.”
He said, “They canceled everything. They got the scans and said my place was here with you. I agree.”
Mom and Dad came on in and she said, “Hi Skip. We're Jeremy's parents.”
Skip nodded, “He's inherited quite a bit. I'm instructed to liquidate these CDs, stocks, and sell these bonds and gold bars.”
I told Stu, “I'm going to have the lawyer transfer these deeds into our Trust and then, we'll need to deposit this $100,000 into my bank account, but I want it to roll into Buccaneer. Is that ok?”
He asked Skip, “What are we talking about here in regards to everything?”
Skip said, “We've got life insurance policies here in increments of $1 million each. There's a big one here which is with Lloyd's of London which IF he expired while on the job, they're to pay.
All of these are double indemnity, so we're looking at nearly $180 million.”
I grabbed the chair , “Sorry, but I gotta sit down....MAN, I knew he charged a lot, but Jeez!”
Everyone chuckled and I said, “Doc, I'll forgive you that $100,000 in cash there. You probably viewed that as chicken feed....Lord knows you had to be paying out the ass in insurance premiums!”
I turned to Skip , “Ok, liquidate and let's get 'em transferred. He acted normal and now, I've got to act normal also.”
Tears stung my eyes , “He loved me, but jeez....”
Skip said, “Jeremy, the day he came in and told me all this was going to you rather than that damned humane society, you don't know what a sigh of relief I had. Up until then, I resented the hell out of them, but you couldn't argue with him when you knew his kids....at least I sure didn't!”
“Ok, don't let this out. My ex, if he finds this out will probably sue the shit out of me for beating his ass like I did.”
Dad started laughing and Mom said, “I hadn't thought about that, but you're right!”
I said, “Stu, we've got a lot to talk about and think about.”
He nodded and I said, “Thanks Skip, I really appreciate your honesty here.”
“No problem. If you need anything, let me know and I'll sure get this handled for you.”
We went out and I dialed Mark's office. His secretary answered and I said, “Hi, this is Jeremy Blue again. I need to speak with Mark.”
“One moment Mark, he's out of the office. I believe he went to the hospital to look for you.”
“We're out here at the bank. I've got a bunch of deeds which need transferred into our trust down in Branson...and I have a few legal questions in regards to all that.”
“I'll get him sent that direction...Ok hon?”
I hung up and turned, “Skip?”
“Mark's going to be heading this direction. I need to go speak with Stu briefly and then, we'll be staying here so we're not playing tag.”
Stu and I walked outside and I said, “You're going to need to call your lawyer and have him working with Mark....”
He gave a nod, “Are you ok?”
“I feel like there's a tightness right here, but that's because I'm scared shitless right now. I expected some millions, but certainly not this much!”
“What are you thinking about doing with it?”
“That's up to you and I. I'd like to invest it, but you've been around there longer.”
He gave a nod, “Whatever you want to do.”
“Babe, don't throw me out on this....Right now, I'm clinging to you because I've never even been a millionaire before and now all this!”
“I know babe. I'm not throwing you out, but I don't want to appear to be influencing you on this.”
“Oh bullshit! You've trusted me with everything and now, I'm you too! Just face the fact that you and I are worth a helluva lot of money together right now and I'm already getting us the best medical care in the world, so we don't need to spend it on that.”
“Who else is in the Will?”
“The dog pound. They have an insurance policy for $100,000 and that's being handled by Skip...Other than that, there's a policy to handle his Dad's nursing home care and that's to remain in the trust and paid out until it's not needed anymore. After that, I get the rest.”
“Ooh man, no wonder everyone's worried about his kids!”
I said, “I've got to drive this truck here. Do I keep it up here? OR, do I take it on down there?”
He was quiet for a moment and asked, “Will we drive it?”
“Yeah, I still need to buy a dump truck, but on Sunday, the people for the log cabin company are going to be in Branson and go over the construction of the log cabin with us.”
“I totally forgot about that!”
“The check is in his billfold here. I'm going to go ahead and deposit that in my bank account up here along with the $100,000. I know it's ignorant to put it into a checking account, but right now, I'd rather have it deposited than be carrying it around on me without a bearer on it.”
He looked surprised, “Let's get back in there!”
We went back in and I walked over to Mom and Dad. “My brain is blank. I need to deposit this million dollar check and that cash and then, I've got to....” I turned to Stu, “Hon, please call your lawyer.”
He chuckled, “I'm just as blank Jer'.”
Mom giggled, “I understand. It's overwhelming!”
I went over to Skip, “In this billfold is the cashier's check he was going to use to pay Stu for the land down in Branson. I'm going to go ahead and deposit it as well as that $100,000 into my checking account. I know that sounds stupid, but we've got a man coming down on Sunday to speak with us about building a lot of stuff and I'll need to have it for retainer fees and stuff like that.”
He said, “I'll handle it for you. The IRS is going to have questions, but what I'm doing right now is I'm merging your account with his and that way, they'll see how it's working. It'll alleviate a lot of questions.”
He took the check from me, “Hang onto some of this cash. I'm not saying they WILL freeze your accounts, but let's make sure you've got something in case it happens. I doubt seriously it'll happen, but it's better safe than sorry.”
I heard Mark's voice and turned, “Mark's here.”
Mark came on in the office, “Hi Jeremy. What can I help you with?”
“Skip here is liquidating all this... He's just merged my bank account with Doc's, and now, I need to ask you a few questions.”
“Here are the deeds. They're all in Doc's corporation and in that trust....Now....My question is this....Can we merge the Trust into our Buccaneer Trust? I'll keep the corporation as it's own entity in it, but I'd rather have one headache than many.”
Mark said, “I'll need to work with the attorney over that other trust.”
“One moment, Stu's on the phone with him.”
Stu came in and asked, “I'll need your phone number and all that. He's going to call you.”
I said, “Stu, ask him if he'd like to speak with him now and hand him the phone.”
Stu said, “He's standing here in front of me. Can I have you speak directly?”
He gave a nod of his head and handed the phone to Mark. Stu said, “Hang on, I'm going to make a call to Lloyd's of London because I don't understand something on this insurance policy....these words here...”
I looked at them and Mark handed the phone back to Stu. He said, “We'll be handling everything together.”
“Mark? What's those words mean there on that insurance policy?”
Mark looked over, “Skip, may I?”
Skip said, “Sure! I'm trying to read it in context, but I'm about to call them.”
Mark read it , “It's their terms for double indemnity.”
I said, “Oh jeez, hang on...I've gotta go sit down again.”
chuckled and I walked past Stu and went over to sit in the plush
chairs they had sat in a grouping. Mom gave me a look, “What's
Stu came over, “Do you want me to tell 'em?”
“The Lloyd's of London insurance policy just doubled.”
Mom gave a shocked look, “What's that mean?”
I said, “Mom, it means instead of $180 million pounds, it's $360....and yeah, it said pounds, not dollars.”
She said, “Uh.....”
I said, “The pound right now is trading at about one point fifty to sixty of our dollars.....roughly $540 million US.”
Stu came over and sat down. He looked as stunned. Mark came out, “Jeremy, do you realize that's pounds?”
I gave a nod and Mom said, “We're all sitting here stunned Mark. Is that really $540 million dollars US?”
Mark said, “I'm not sure what the conversion for it is....”
I got out my phone and went to my internet. “Right now, the US to British Pound is 1.55 it's down a bit from yesterday. I remember seeing that on the Bloomberg yesterday morning.”
Mark said, “He's speaking with them now, but they're going to want to send a man to speak with you and ask you to wait one month.”
“One month! Do I get that interest!”
Mark smiled and then giggled, “You'll get the interest. I imagine it'll be something like 4% interest....whatever the going rate is.”
I did the mental math , “Ok, so in one month, I'll see roughly about 24 million in interest.”
Mark smiled, “Probably, but I'll tell you I'd have something planned to invest it into.”
Stu said, “We're going to have a conversation about that.”
I gave Stu a look , “Mark, we're in this together. What's his is mine. What's mine is his. Right now, we're trying to wrap our minds around being that wealthy. For Stu, he's been a millionaire for quite some time, but me, I'm going from having investments which are between $400 and $500 thousand to that many in millions.
Stu's got quite a bit down in Branson and I'm inclined to invest beside him in a lot of things down there.”
Stu said, “Let me do the dealing. A lot of them want a pretty penny in this down economy. Through scuttlebutt, I already know who's about to go under if they don't have a good year this year. It might be good for us to wait until they go under.”
I nodded, “For that matter, it might be good for us to look in other areas also.”
He nodded, “I was thinking the same thing.”
I heard Skip say, “Jeremy?”
I got up and went in rather fast. “Yeah Skip.”
“They're putting a man on a plane. When can you speak with him?”
“If he's here today, I can speak with him up here. Tomorrow, we're going to be back in Branson...but I'm taking my parents out to lunch and then, I think we'll go ahead and go back down to Branson...but we're going to drive the Land Rover.”
Mark chuckled, “Jeremy, may I interrupt you for a second?”
“RANGE Rover. It's a Land Rover, yes, but when they get that expensive, it's a RANGE Rover! When I heard he spent $141,000 on a truck, I just about flipped!”
I turned and looked at Stu, “Hon, remind me to call Donna and see what that's going to do to our insurance.”
Mark said, “It's insured for another four months. He just got that two months ago.”
“Ok, can I use that insurance?”
Skip said, “I'd wait until it's time to re-insure and then, transfer it.”
Stu said, “We might as well do it now. At least that way, all the insurance would come due at the same time.”
I gave a nod, “We're going to transfer it now. It might be a waste on the insurance, but I agree with Stu...If we have all the bills coming in at the same time, it'll be better for us.”
I asked, “Skip?”
“DO you have that title. Right now, my brain is like Play-doh. IF I stop and think about it, I'm going to be a mess. A man just died and I'm thinking about cheering because he made me a millionaire. A super close friend who I loved and a part of me wants to bawl my eyes out and another part wants to hide under a thick quilt and keep the world out until I get all this settled in my mind that this is real. Does that make sense?”
He gave a slow nod, “Yes, it's overwhelming. I don't blame you for feeling overwhelmed.”
He gave me the title and I walked out to the lobby and dialed Donna. She answered, “Hello?”
“Hi hon, it's Jeremy.”
“Oh, hi Jeremy? What's going on?”
“We're up here in Hannibal and we just inherited a Range Rover Autobiography.”
“Uh....Let me look that up.”
“Here's the VIN#” I gave it to her and she said, “Oh-kay....That's a helluva nice truck!”
“I understand. We need to get insurance on it. It'll be titled over, but right now, I want it covered for us to drive.”
She asked, “Anything else inherited?”
“Lots, but I'm not sure what all of it is yet. As soon as we've got the deeds transferred, we'll know what we've got.”
“Ok, but don't let the insurance lapse on anything.”
“I hope you got something to pay for everything.”
She crept there cautiously, “Um, did you know you were going up there for this?”
“No, but it happened suddenly.”
“To say the least....Well, I'll get off here.”
“That truck is going to be pricey.”
“That's ok, we're keeping it.”
I rang off and went back in. Stu came over, “Everything ok?”
“Yeah, I had to handle her like I was dealing with a cobra in a box. She wanted more information, but I'm sorry, it's not everyone's business.”
He gave a nod, “I'll deal with her in the future.”
I gave a nod, “I don't want her knowing about our wealth. It's a terrible box to put ourselves in, but just a moment ago, I got treated like I was sucking at your money to keep this truck. I realize she's got the hots for you, but had we been up here and the situations were reversed...and had I learned you just got treated like that, I'd pulled every damned speck of insurance we've got from her...clan or not.
I'm going to settle my feelings, but the NEXT time I'm made to feel that way, I'm going to stay calm and cancel....OR, I'll be polite and tell her, “I'm hanging up the phone now, but this is the last transaction we'll complete.”
She's not the only insurance agent on the face of the planet and I'm not going to do that again. You might think that's me being spoiled and acting like a prima dona, but it's probably best you do those transactions because I've tied my last end on the rope and no, I'm not hanging on in the future....The bad blood isn't going to get better on this...not with the claws ripping at my back with hatchets now.”
“Let''s simmer and find someone else. I'm sorry she made you feel that way.”
I gave a nod, “Stu, I'll see if I can simmer....”
I turned and went over to Mark, “Mark, do you need anything else to do all that?”
He shook his head no, “No, I'll handle everything so it's tied up and closed.”
“I don't know who does locks and keys, but we need to get locks changed on those doors at that house and that way, I know we're protected should his Dad have a key and Doc's kids get it from him.
In regards to the office and practice out there, I'm not sure what is going to be mine or how to go about handling all that.”
He gave a nod , “I'll handle everything.”
Mom and Dad got up and I went over to them. “I realize this has ruined things today. Let's go out to lunch and please not discuss this...I'm beginning to feel like I wish today hadn't happened.”
She gave a nod, “I understand dear. Where do you want to go eat?”
“You pick the place, I need to see if Skip needs anything else and then, I'll get out of here.”
I went into Skip's office, “Skip?”
“Do you need anything else from me?”
“No, but I need you to know I'm going to be handling a lot of things and really need to have you keep in close contact. You'll be asked a lot of things in way of permission, but it's me making sure everything is buttoned up.”
“Am I doing the right thing?”
He gave a short nod, “I can tell you're running scared. If things were in the same light for me, I'd probably be doing the same thing. Grab hold of something and hang on is all I can advise because you're going to see a lot of the sides of people you don't want to see when they find out you've gotten all this.”
“I realize that. That's why I'm wanting to put it away and pretend it's not there right now.”
He gave a nod, “I've got that check deposited for you and the accounts merged. In regards to the trust, your lawyer is going to need to be trust manager in seeing Mr Graper's nursing care is paid.”
“How do they bill? Do I put money on account? Or, do they send a statement?”
“They send a statement. It's best to have your attorney handle it.”
“In regards to the utilities for the house....How do I do that?”
“You're going to have to find billing statements and get account numbers. When you call them, ask to get the accounts moved over to your name.”
“Ok, I'll go out to the house this afternoon and find those.”
He said, “I'll give you a call later. Will you be up here?”
“Yes, I'm not ready or capable to drive that distance right now.”
He gave a nod, “I'll call.”
I turned and Mom said, “We're going to TJ's. It's quiet and we can have space to be alone in there.”
I gave a nod, “Good, it's not far either.”
We went out and when we got in the truck, I put my seat belt on and held up my hand and saw it shaking.
Stu said, “Babe, I'm here.”
“Please don't make me feel like you're over there and I'm over here when we're together. Twice so far, I've felt like you've cut the life raft loose rather than reeled it in.”
He gave a shocked look and I said, “If we're together, we're together. As a collective unit, when you get punched in the nuts, I go down because I got punched also.
You're giving the wince, but it's like, you're saying, “I feel your pain. It must suck to be you.”
I'll be nice and tell you there won't be a second time when I get spoke to in that manner. I'll be as polite as what's happening to me and yeah, if I gotta say, “Bitch, get the fuck back....You just wore out your welcome with me for the third time, the past two are now mistakes”, I'll do so.
Having money DOES grant me freedoms I don't have to tolerate...WE don't have to tolerate. Should you want to allow me to get ripped at again, you'll see tail lights because I can certainly go it alone when someone's not protecting me who's supposed to be there for me. It's a shame because I feel like I've been protecting your back...”
I started the truck and he said, “Jer', I'll call and cancel the insurance.”
“Don't cancel, ask for another agent. The insurance is good, but I want that point made...”
“Maybe it's best that we let her know that you're not using any of my money.”
“OUR money STUART! SHE doesn't get that! First of all, it's not any of her business! Second of all, had it been your money, I'd earned my own way and never would've done that to you! I would've had the money anyway! Third of all, we're putting 'yours' and 'mine' on this and I don't like it....What part of this aren't we going to carry forward?
We've got but a short time to present a solid united front. Rather than saying, “Well, Jer' just inherited money which if truth be known just put him in the stratosphere”, we need to say, “We're comfortable, the bills are paid and no debts are present.”
I KNEW he'd leave us well off, but I had no clue!”
He shook his head, “It's shocking.”
“Now that we know, let's sweep it back into the box and put it on the shelf. Sometime after Easter, we've got to go to California, but I don't want to tarry because we've got to act quick and get back so we're ready by season's beginning.”
“Are you fine with that?”
“Yes, our lives are together. IF we've got it swept into the box and it's on a shelf, it's not controlling us, we're controlling it.
When is that man going to be here from Lloyd's?”
“I don't know. He'll probably be there at the most inopportune moment. He'll probably have Donna ripping her hair out and really, I'm hoping there will be a time when we can do it discretely.”
“If we can't, you go and I'll run interference.”
“I'd rather we be there together. If you can't tell 'em we need privacy, I'll certainly do so...and if we STILL won't get it, I'll call the Sheriff and get it.”
“We'll get it.”
“Did you get those pills Dr Fischer left for you?”
“Ok, I'll make the call and we'll see who has them.”
We pulled into TJ's parking lot. I said, “This is TJ's Supper Club. It's not really a supper club, but a real nice restaurant. Everyone in our family knows the owner and she's a real sweetheart. You'll like her.”
We went in and Gayla came over to greet us, “Hey Jer'!”
“Hi Gayla, this is Stuart Reddington, my new beau. You can call him Stu.”
She gave him a look, “Vienese Waters!”
He smiled real big, “Yeah!”
She smiled really big, “They're beautiful!”
She turned to me, “Is that how you met?”
“No, he's literally the guy next door down there. I dumped Dave and went down there and was thinkin' to myself, “Ok, where am I gonna get myself another dude and low and behold, the best one starts speaking to me!”
She laughed, “You're so full of it!”
I smiled, “It was something like that...I might've embellished a little.”
She and Stu giggled and Mom asked, “What's your special dear?”
Gayla said, “It's a real nice filet of cod. You'll like it. We use the batter we do for the onion rings.”
I gave a nod and said to Stu, “Everything's real good here.” and turned to Gayla, “We're going to want a sampler platter as well as the mushrooms and cheese sticks.”
She gave a nod, “Marinara and Ranch?”
“As well as barbecue and dill if you've got it.”
She gave a peculiar look, “That's a thought...I'll get some.”
I said, “We need some privacy if possible. It's been an ordeal already today and we'd like to have some time to absorb what's happened.”
She gave me a look, “What's going on?”
I said, “Doc Graper passed away.”
She look struck, “Oh my God!”
I gave a nod, “It's a heckuva loss. I know a lot of people are going to be reeling from it.”
“Any idea when the funeral will be?”
“There won't be. He didn't want a funeral or a memorial service....Just cremated and his ashes spread.”
She looked struck again, “Are you sure!”
Mom said, “Gayla, we're sure. We're doing it to his wishes, but I imagine he didn't want his children there making a scene or acting a part he knew they couldn't perform.”
She gave a nod, “I know there was no love lost there. That one son of his spoke to him like a dog one night when they were here. Finally, I had to go over and tell him, “Hey, you might have feelings, but be a man and pay for your share of the tab....Then, get the hell out! He's too sweet of a person for me to let you keep this up.”
Of course, I got called a bitch and one of Doc's sluts because I defended the man, but I also got him trespassed from here.
Doc paid the tab, but he did so while apologizing and having me tell him the wrong person was apologizing.”
She paused , “I hope his kids didn't get a thing. That's bad of me to say, but if there's any justice in this world, he would've given it to someone who would remember him nicely.”
Mom gave a nod, “You can rest peacefully. He cut 'em out. One person got it all except for some money to the humane society.”
Gayla laughed, “The dogs will eat steak tonight!”
I chuckled , “I think this one's going to eat cod!”
She smiled, “I knew I could get you to eat fish!”
I winked , “Only yours and Ronald McDonald's!”
Everyone laughed and she said, “I'll go put in this order and leave you guys alone.”
She walked off and Mom said, “I hope I didn't say too much.”
“No, you were fine. I imagine word's going to trickle out and everyone will know anyway, but maybe not...Maybe it's just me knowing how secrets are in this little town.”
Mom said, “Don't think bad of everyone here.”
“I'm not, but it's a helluva secret to keep.”
Stu asked, “I wonder if she has baked potatoes yet.”
“Let me go see...Usually she does.”
I got up and went into the main dining room and asked, “Gayla? DO you have bakers?”
She gave a nod, “Yes, they're in the oven right now. Are you guys wanting them?”
“Stu's asking. I'm gonna have fish and chips...Do you have rye?”
She gave a nod, “Yes, but let me run up and get you some dill dressing. That really sounds good.”
She paused and gave me a look, “Jer?”
“You did damned good. He's a keeper.”
I winked, “I know.”
She chuckled, “He's damned good looking. IF I remember him from down there, you know he's good.”
“He's sweet. I didn't go for the looks, but it doesn't hurt!”
She smiled, “I know...”
I went back in , “She's got baked potatoes.”
We sat and when she came back with the sampler platters, she had the dill dressing. I said, “Thank you dear.”
She gave a nod, “Are you ready to order?”
We ordered and she said, “I'll have it back out.”
We began eating the nibbles and Mom asked, “What's on you guy's minds?”
I said, “We're putting it in a box and leaving it shut. It might sound like something crazy to do, but right now, I want life to be normal...not caught up in something outrageous.”
She said, “It's more than winning the lottery.”
“Yeah, but even when I imagined myself winning the lottery, I only imagined myself going away and possibly traveling some.
Right now, we've got a lot of people depending upon us and I want to do right for them rather than being spendthrift.
IF you and Dad would like anything, let me know, but I'm not really that concerned in all that.
I'll probably spend some on Stu, but really, I'm not interested in having more than what I've got....IF you add in what we received today, it's really too much, but I'm not gonna be stupid and give it all away and shave my head either.”
Stu got to laughing, “NO!”
Mom and Dad got to laughing and I said, “Ok, what I've got to do is I've got to call the hospital and find out where those pills went which Dr. Fischer left for Stu.”
I pulled my phone and dialed the hospital. Finally, after getting transferred to the pharmacy, to the lab, to the Cat Scan department, I told them to transfer the call to Louis' office.
When his secretary answered, I told her my name and what had happened. She said, “Oh, let me do some searching. Have you called Dr. Fischer's number?”
“No I haven't. He said he was leaving the pills for Stu and his courier was taking the images from the Cat and Pet scan back to St. Louis. I highly doubt if the pills got taken with whomever it was.”
She said, “I'll track them down for you.”
We rang off and I held up my finger, “One more call.”
I dialed Louis' number. He answered, “Hello?”
“It's me, Jeremy.”
“I just spoke with your secretary as we weren't given the pills Dr. Fischer left for Stu.”
“Oh! I forgot about them. Do you know if it was a prescription or a bottle?”
“I don't know. I'd say it's a bottle since it's an experimental medicine.”
“Are you coming out to the house?”
“After we eat. I need to get the locks changed and draw all the curtains and blinds. I'm also going to call the alarm company and get that transferred over.”
“His family is going to be notified at 5pm. I thought we should formulate a plan.”
“Who's notifying them?”
“Ok, what else needs to be done?”
“Mark's hurrying to get something done in regards to the Will. You'll probably receive a call from him, but he's going to a judge right now in an attempt to get any challenges to it thwarted.”
“Ok, whatever needs done.”
“I'm still burning things here. If you knew how big that closet was, you'd wonder if we were violating the clean air act!”
I laughed, “We'll be there after lunch and see if the neighborhood is smokey!”
“There are some things which won't burn.”
“Oh man....” I said giggling. “I'll take care of them. Put them in a box and we'll do something with them.”
He giggled, “He was a good man....kinky, but good.”
I laughed , “When this is over, at least we'll have a giggle only we'll know about him! I'll be there as soon as we finish eating.”
“I'll be here. Any idea how bad DVD's burn?”
“Shred 'em first.”
“He had LOTS of them.”
“Man....Well, I'm not gonna say anything. We probably should recycle them, but I'm not about to have those put in anything where kids could find them.”
“I'll start shredding them. That sound you're hearing is one going through the shredder now.”
“Just take it easy and be sure it doesn't jamb. I'd hate to have to get stitches because Debbie Does Dallas splintered into my hand!”
He laughed real loud and everyone at the table laughed. I said, “Ok, I'll be there. Just be careful with everything.”
I hung up, “The porn closet apparently is a LOT larger than I had thought. We're burning everything and it's a bit much for him. I'm going to go over and lend a hand and then, I've got to run to get the utilities and everything turned over into my name.”
Mom said, “Let me call the Power and Water right now. Do you want the number for the cable?”
“Let's eat first and then head down that long road.”
When the food came, Stu was surprised at the amount , “Oh man, no wonder everyone loves eating here! I expected a small filet, but this is immense! I had no idea what cod was like, but this is big!”
I said, “It's all good. She always has a lot of good things.”
When we were stuffed, Gayla came in, “Anyone want desert?”
I said, “No hon, we're gorged and have all this left. I think Stu's a new convert to eating here!”
She said in a stage whisper, “I just heard you inherited everything!”
I gave Stu a look , “See how long that secret lasted?” I nodded to Gayla , “Yeah, I inherited everything. That's why we wanted privacy because it's an immense estate.”
She gave me a smile, “I know I'm happy hearing you're getting it.”
I asked, “How'd you hear?”
“Judge Clayton's court reporter is in there. Mark apparently took the Will to be probated through Judge Clayton so any challenges would have to go directly to the Missouri Supreme Court ....which won't hear that sort of case.”
“Mark's crafty. I knew he was going to be doing something, but I wasn't sure what.”
I gave her my credit card , “Gayla, we thank you.”
She smiled and waved, “Don't say that. I'm happy knowing you came here when you had other options.”
She left and Mom said, “Power and water are now in your name. The cable company has the phone, cable, and internet. It's now in your name also.”
I gave a nod, “Ok, I'm not sure what is left, but I need to call the home security people when I get there.”
She asked, “Do you want some help?”
“Yeah, come on over. We're going to have to empty the refrigerator and make sure the house is closed.”
We all went out and once we were in the Range Rover, Stu asked, “Are you ok?”
“Yeah, it's just overwhelming.”
We drove over to the subdivision and in on up and around to the house. When we got there, Stu saw it , “My God! All this for one man!”
“He had house guests often.”
drove into the driveway and hit the button for the garage. When we
got out, several neighbors came over, One woman asked, “Is
everything alright? We saw black smoke!”
I gave a nod, “Everything's alright.”
She asked, “Where's Doc?”
“He passed away this morning.”
She instantly looked shocked as did several of the other neighbors. She asked, “Did you get everything? I've seen you here before.”
“Yes ma'am. And if you see anyone around here, please call the police first and me second. The alarm system should sound, but not if they've got a code.”
She shook her head, “He was a darling man. I know he told me he wasn't having a funeral or a memorial service.” She made a face, “I begged to differ with him, but he said his lifestyle wouldn't make it be anything of a tribute. I DO know there were a lot of woman around!”
I smiled, “Yes ma'am.”
She said, “You were around also. Are you relation?”
“No ma'am...just a dear friend.”
She nodded, “I know I've seen you around.”
Another man asked, “Will you be living in the house?”
“No sir, I'll be living in Branson. I'm not sure what we're going to do with the house, but until we decide, I'll have everything handled, but if you'd take my number and let me know if you see anything wrong, I'd appreciate it.”
He said, “We'll ALL watch over it. We ALL know what his family did to him and don't want them around.”
Mom said, “We're going into the house. I'll call ADT and see what's needed to get it over into your name.”
“My birthdate for the code. They'll tell you that's already a code in the alarm and tell them I realize that, but I want to move it to primary.”
She gave a nod and asked, “What do we need to do?”
The woman said, “We'll let you get to doing what you need to do. We're just so shocked! I just spoke with him last night!”
I gave a nod, and gave them cards to the Vienese Waters. “This is our show down in Branson. That number there is Stu's cell phone. I don't have mine on it, but he'll be able to reach me.”
They were all surprised and said they'd keep an eye on the house.
I went in and Mom was having a time with ADT. She finally said, “Here he is...”
I spoke with the girl and gave the code I knew to be Doc's. I said, “Ma'am, he's dead. I don't have a Death Certificate yet, but it will be me who pays the bill from now on. As soon as I get a Death Certificate, I'll send a copy to you, but you will NOT get a certified copy. If that's needed, I betcha I can get it shut off and a new company hired in less time than this phone call has taken.”
She said the copy would be fine and we ended the call.
Mom asked, “What about the food in the refrigerator?”
“Take it home with you or we'll dispose of it. I need to call the waste management company, but....”
I was interrupted by the sight of Stu carrying in LOTS AND LOTS of VCR tapes. Mom chuckled , “That closet is HUGE!”
I shook my head , “Ok, we'll get through this, but it's going to be easier if we just open the flue wide open and just start chucking them in a bunch at a time.”
Dad said, “Be sure you put some logs in also.”
I went over and opened to glass doors and started putting in the tapes. Louis said, “I've been waiting a bit after I put some in so they burn down.”
I gave a nod, “We'll get them done.”
Stu asked, “Can we take a tour through it?”
I said, “Come on, I'll give you the tour. All the rooms upstairs are bedrooms or bathrooms except for the attic and the space over the garage. The loft above the garage is an art studio where he displays art works he doesn't have through out the house.”
We went through the house and when we got to Doc's bedroom, I went in and opened the portrait which showed a safe. I pointed at a number on the lower right hand of the safe , “Let me call the company and get the combination.”
I dialed the 1-800 number and when the computer came on, I got to the part where I put in the numbers. Stu gave them to me and it promptly put me through to a live person.
The girl came on and I told her I had inherited the house and needed the combination. She said, “We'll need verification.”
I said, “His Doctor is here downstairs. Would that do?”
She said, “We need a Death Certificate.”
I asked, “Can I fax that to you?”
She said, “Sure.”
I hung up and went downstairs. “Louis?”
“We need a Death Certificate. The alarm company needs one and now, the safe company needs one in order to get into the safe.”
He said, “Try the code for the house. If he's like me, he uses the code for a lot of things. You might also see if that is the password for his email address.”
I ran upstairs and punched in the code. Sure enough, it worked. The safe opened and I began pulling out jewelry boxes. When I got to the watch box, I opened it and saw a Rolex Submariner. I said, “He got this for himself when he got out of the military. He said he knew he was going into a prestigious hospital and wanted to give off the image of having nice things.
When his divorce happened, she had gotten most everything, but not his future, so he wanted something showing time was his and his alone.
Everything up there in that safe is mine. He showed it all to me and told me I'd receive it and to never sell it.”
Stu gave a nod, “What do you want done with it?”
“It's going with us. I'd rather have it in a safe deposit box in a bank than kept here where one of his kids could break in and be out before a police car could be half way across town.”
We took the boxes and shut the safe. “Remind me to call his housekeeper.”
We went down and I asked, “Louis? Where's that box of things you couldn't burn?”
I went over and put the boxes in the box and asked, “I'm taking this to the truck.”
I took it out to the truck and when I came back in, I went to the kitchen and dialed the housekeeper and told her about Doc's passing. She was shocked and immediately moved to tears. I said, “Your code still works here. I'm going to keep you on, but let's move it to every other day. I know there won't be anything to clean, but basicly, I need to see it's dusted and you do a walk around and make sure nothing's wrong. I'll pay you through your bank account, but it'll be me who pays you now.”
She thanked me and I said, “Hon, here's the idea I've got. I've got a house which is up here which needs cleaning also. I won't be living in it, but it'll be the same thing...you go in and do a walk around and dust. If anything is wrong, call me and I'll be up here.”
She got my number and then, we rang off. After that, I called about the pool and grounds keeping and got things switched over. It was tough speaking to my old boss, but he remained professional and said he'd have things done once a week.
With the grounds keeping, I stepped everything up a notch. They have packages which vary by price. The basic plan has no other services, the elite has hedges pruned, gutters cleaned, all the edges cut and leaves swept. IF there are flower gardens, they're weeded also.
The cost is steep...$120 a week...but the presence of a kept lawn and people around keeping an eye on the place is worth more than having people not around and someone casing the place.
I noticed the newspapers on the counter and dialed the newspaper and told the circulation manager to cancel as Doc had passed. He said, “I know they're doing a piece about that right now. Would you like to make a comment?”
“No, the less said about me the better.”
He said, “I understand. I'll note it's to be canceled and we'll get that stopped.”
“I appreciate it.”
I went out to the garage and saw Doc's 1967 Corvette Convertible. I opened the door and started it. Doc hardly ever drove it, but he'd start it once a week just to make sure everything was operating fine with it.
Stu came out, “Are you ok?”
“Are we driving that down?”
“Not yet. I think it'll be the car we keep here so we've got something to drive when we're up here.”
“What are we going to do with this house?”
“I don't know. I'd really love to keep it, but I realize that's useless and think we'll probably sell it. We'll probably never see what it's worth, but I don't know what we'll do with the furnishings or anything.”
“Let's wait and build the cabin. We can use some of them in it and that way, we got what he would've had and can sell it.”
I had just shut off the car when I saw Mark's car pull up. I said, “That's Mark.”
He came up , “Let's go inside and I'll get everything discussed.”
We went into the dining room and he said, “At 5pm, I'm calling his children. They've already been sent a copy of the Last Will and Testament and know they've been purposefully excluded.
It's nothing but a service that I'm calling, but I'll call his Dad at the same time and let him know what's happened.
I'll take over the payments for his care. When he passes, I'll get you the rest of that money, but should he live another 20 years, we'll have to have a talk about you paying for his care.... I doubt that will happen, but you never know.”
I gave a nod and he said, “All these Deeds have been transferred. I've gotten the Will probated through Judge Clayton who was a friend of his and had no problem doing it. He wishes you his best and knows it has to be a shock.”
“It is, but I'm taking the ball and running with it. It might seem bad from the external side of things, but I don't want any problems.”
“There won't be now. If they contest anything, their lawyer will find he's running head first into a brick wall. With them knowing about the Will as it is, they've had ample time to voice objections and none have been forthcoming.”
said, “There were two Deeds I couldn't transfer. I made calls
about them and need to tell you about them...”
He paused , “Doc owned these three Lifetime Leases with his Dad. His Dad owns the other portion and probably doesn't know about them.
You are able to purchase them and continue IF you are so inclined. I'll advise you to do so simply as an investment.”
I looked at them and asked, “Ok, what's Aston?”
“They're a chain of hotels....nice hotels. When I stay anywhere, I check FIRST to see if there's an Aston there and if so, I don't even consider another alternative. IF there isn't, I find something equally as nice.”
“Ok, where are these?”
“This is the Aston Maui Banyan. It's on the Island of Maui in Hawaii. This one is Aston MonteLago in Las Vegas.”
“He stayed there a lot.”
“It's beautiful.” He pointed , “This is Idaho and this one is South Lake Tahoe.”
“Ok, how much altogether to buy them?”
He gave a look, “$740,000.”
“Ok, I'll get them, but I can't do that right now as I've got to make sure I've got plenty to get the cabin ordered down at the lake.”
“You've got 30 days to decide. My advice is to DON'T let them slip away. The opportunity isn't one you let slip by.”
Stu said, “Go ahead and get it. I'll cover the cabin.”
I sat down and pulled out my check book and wrote out the checks. Mark took them , “I'll get them transferred over to your name.”
“Get them put into Stu and I's names. If I'm buying the damned things, his name better be on them also.”
Mark said, “Your name is the only one which can be on it until his Dad passes and then, you're going to have to do the switch over then. Until then, you'll see a return when they mail you checks.”
“They're condos and rooms which they rent out to other guests. When you want to take a trip there, you go and call ahead so they've got your room reserved for you. It's YOUR room, so you'll always have the same room and a closet which has your key lock on it for your things.
The nice thing about it is it's a completely outfitted suite which allows you one complimentary meal per night and room cleaning as a part of their deal.
IF you'd like to stay there full time, it's possible. There's a fee which is for the services, but it's minimal.”
“Ok, so it's like I own a hotel room or condo and get money back when they rent it?”
I gave a nod, “Is the return good?”
Mark smiled , “Yes, you'll be surprised. I know I was.”
“Ok, so you own in also?”
“I own in the one in Vegas. I've been to three in Hawaii I'm seriously considering the investment. My problem is I've been to several and want to go to them all and each one I go to is as nice as the others, so it makes the choice difficult.”
“Oh! I'll have to look them up on the internet.”
“You'll love them.”
He paused , “Stu, your attorney down there has been on the phone with me non-stop. He's really good and I've found it easy working with him. He's got BOTH of you's best interests at heart and seems like a really nice man.”
Stu nodded, “He's really nice. Jer's not met him yet, but I'm sure he'll like him when he does.”
Mark said, “Hand these over to him and he'll get them into your Trust.
These here have association fees with them. They're condos he's purchased in other resort and vacation destinations. THAT one in Orlando, I've personally stayed in and loved it. It's a shame they don't have any other investment opportunities, because I'd buy into it myself.
I'm getting their guidelines sent to you about how things are done, but you're free to allow whomever you wish to stay there without any problems.
At the Astons, you can have whomever you wish stay but it'll need to be YOU who does that reservation.”
I gave a nod, “Ok, we'll have plenty of off time to be able to travel, so I'm sure we'll get to stay in them.”
He put his hand on mine , “Let me know when you want to sell this house. I'm not rushing you, but please let me know first. I'll pay whatever you want.”
I gave a nod, “We're building the cabin and then, will need to move the furnishings down there. When that's done, we're going to sell it.”
He said, “It's appraised value is $949,000. You can get it appraised, but that's what it appraised out at last year.”
“Ok, we'll wait until we get our cabin built and then, we'll move everything down. I know it's not going to take until Labor Day because that's the first thing I told the builder.”
He gave a nod, “So you'll do it?”
“Yeah, that's no problem. We were wondering what we were going to do with it and how long it'd take.”
Mark smiled , “Thanks. I need to make a call and tell my wife. We were both holding our breath.”
I nodded, “I'm going to ask you keep on the housekeeper. I've kept her on every other day and that way, she can do my house also. There's no way I'm selling mine, so she'll have good reliable employment.”
He gave a nod, “I'm sure my wife will welcome the help!”
He got up and asked, “What's Louis doing?”
“Burning the porn collection.”
Mark said, “Let me dispose of that! I've done it for others.”
We went to the closet and Mark gave a nod, “I'll handle it. I wish I'd known because this shouldn't have been needed for you at this time.”
“He thought enough about it he had asked both Louis and I about doing it. I have no problems and I'm sure Louis doesn't either.”
We went back into the living room and Mark said, “Louis, I'll handle everything now. There's a company I can call which will send a truck and dispose of it without any problems.”
He pulled his phone and quickly made arrangements. When he rang off, he said, “They've got a truck here in town right now....They shred all sorts of paperwork for a lot of companies and handle other necessary disposals.”
We stood there and when the truck pulled up, I said, “Oh, ok...I've seen that truck around town!”
Mark said, “It's a service a LOT of places need so identities can't be stolen.”
The guys came in and we helped carry everything out. When we were finished, the guy asked Mark, “How do you want this billed?”
Mark said, “Bill it to my office. I'll handle everything.”
They got in their truck and when we were walking up the sidewalk, Mark said, “It's not that much.”
We went in and he asked, “What else?”
“I've got to get a Death Certificate and I've got to call to get the locks changed.”
Mark said, “Let me get that done.”
I gave a nod , “Ok, but both Stu and I get keys until it's sold. After that, it'll be on you and your wife. Other than that, the pool people and the housekeeper will need keys, but their numbers are on the pad by the phone.”
He asked, “Anything else?”
“I can't think of anything. I've not done anything with the house insurance yet, but Stu and I are going to be working on doing all that.”
Mom said, “We'll get to going. Are you going to drive back or staying?”
“It's up to Stu, but I would rather stay the night and drive back when we're fresh for it.”
left and Mark said, “Jer', here's the number for the pilot.
He's a guy who does a LOT of flying for a good number of us. His
rates are affordable and he's able to go most all the time.
As you've seen, his plane is beautiful and for the rates he charges, it's not that bad....It's CERTAINLY a lot cheaper than buying a plane.”
“How much are his rates?”
“Fuel and $240 an hour. Yes, first class tickets are cheaper, but when you consider the hassle of airports, waits, and getting felt up, it's a lot better to be able to go right to the private terminal and get on a jet which doesn't require all those headaches.”
Stu gave a nod, “We'll be doing that. I wasn't sure how much it was, but for us to fly up here non-stop was worth it in itself.”
I said, “It's CERTAINLY a lot faster!”
Louis said, “Jer', you're welcome to keep everything in his office for as long as you need. My advice is to sell his practice and sell it with the office and furnishings also.”
“I'm not sure what paperwork there is there I'll need.”
“His secretary will need to be notified.”
“How does that work?”
“There's usually some severance paid. IF there was a contract, there is severance expected in it...I've not seen one which doesn't.”
I gave a nod, “Ok, I'll need to speak with her. Any idea how I go about contacting her?”
Louis said, “I'll get her number.”
He pulled his phone and Mark said, “There's no contract.”
“I'll give her some money off the record. It should make things better for her.”
Louis got the number , “Here it is.”
I dialed it and the woman answered whose voice I recognized, “Hello?”
“Hi, this is Jeremy Blue.”
“How are you?”
“It's rough, but I'm holding up. I'd like to speak with you about everything.”
She gave me her address and I told her we'd be there. Everyone walked out and I locked up. Mark said he'd keep in touch and I told Louis I'd let him know about the practice. He said, he'd see if he could get buyers and Mark, Stu, myself, and he all discussed pricing it at $1 million even. Mark said, “That's a good price because I know others have sold for that much out there.” Louis agreed and we decided to go that route.
Right before we got in the truck, I saw the jars of lotion , “Guys??? Here...Doc was going to shop this lotion around to a dermatologist he knows as well as a bunch of other people. He was also going to get her this oatmeal soap.
Since that's probably not going to happen, I'll let you guys try it...It's stuff we're selling down at the show in Branson in a new General Store section we'll be building onto it. It's 100% natural and it's the best stuff I've ever felt on my skin.”
Louis tried some immediately , “Oh man, this feels good!”
I said, “$10 for a jar that big. We tried it on our burns from our car wreck the other night and by morning, we were great.”
Mark tried it , “It DOES feel good! I'm not one for lotion, but this is good stuff!”
I said, “It replenishes the essential oils in your skin. A lot of the women down there use it and you'd be surprised at how wrinkle free they are all the way into their 70's.
We're also selling a lot of other things, and some are hard to find laundry detergents which have rose, lavender, and lilac scents. Others, you can have custom made so they have the scent of your cologne or your wife's perfume. She can wash her clothes in it and it gives her entire wardrobe the scent of her perfume, but you can also get bars of soap scented like whatever you want....”
They seemed surprised and I said, “Here, try this lilac detergent. IF you have anything which is oily or stained up, put it in there and you'll be happy you did. It's lye soap and has a lot of those oils in it also.”
Louis said, “I'll get that oatmeal soap. No one can find it around here!”
Mark asked, “Is it better?”
I said, “Here's what I've heard....The lady who is the dermatologist out here asks everyone to use it because it's less harsh on your skin...but no one can find it.
These women here make it and they'll be making it for the general store. We're putting together a flier which has everything we're selling and when someone buys it down at the show, we're giving them a flier so that when they try it, they can re-order it at their own home.”
Mark smiled, “That'd be good!”
“So try it and spread it around. Give everyone one of these cards when you do and we'll ship it to them...and yeah, we'll have a website, but so far, there's nothing there except things about the show as we've not had time.”
My cell rang, and I said, “Ok, that's that...I need to answer this. Thanks you guys!”
We got in the truck and I answered the phone, “Hello?”
My Dad said, “Jer? Gypsy's out here at the house.”
“Ok, we'll be there to get her.”
“Jim's on his way in. He's already got two more tractors he'd like to tell you about.”
“Ok, we'll probably come out there and give Stu a tour of everything. We've got to stop by Doc's secretary's house and then, we'll be out.”
“We'll be there.”
I hung up , “He's reminding me Gypsy's out there.”
Stu chuckled, “Like you'd forget her!”
“Do you want to drive back tonight, or wait?”
“It's up to you. I'm fine with staying here and driving in the morning, but I enjoy driving at night also.”
My cell rang, “Hello?”
Skip said, “The Lloyd's of London man will be in the state on Sunday. Do you want him down there?”
“Yeah, I've got an appointment with someone on Sunday, but I'll certainly make time.”
“I'll let him know. He'll probably fly on into that airport.”
“No problem, your money is in your account and the accounts are merged. You've got a balance which is right at $4 million.”
“How so much?”
“That's what we found in his accounts here.”
“Ok, I'll probably need it, so don't move it!”
He chuckled, “Things going ok?”
“Going great. I'm going to use one of these tall stacks as his secretary's severance. It'll be tax free and off the records, so I'm sure she'll be happy with that.”
“How much are you going to give her?”
“$40,000. I'm not sure what she made per year, but I'm sure that will help.”
“That would probably be a good amount to pay her.”
“Ok, thanks Skip.”
“Jer....it's me who should be thanking you for keeping your account open. A lot of times, people who move shut them.”
“I'm keeping it open. There's more than plenty to go around.”
He chuckled, “Yeah!”
I rang off and pulled up in front of the address. Stu and I got the cash and I went up to the door with him.
She came to the door and let us in. She smiled, “I see you got his truck. Did you get his Corvette?”
“Yes ma'am. I got most everything except for what he gave to the dog pound.”
She chuckled, “They were getting everything until you came along!”
I said, “I'm giving you some money.”
“Oh hon, he's already taken well care of me!”
“Well, I'm giving you this...I know it's probably going to be hard getting another job. If you do, great, but if you don't, you'll have this which is tax free.”
I pulled out the cash and she looked surprised, “How much is THAT!”
She looked shocked again and I said, “Use it and know he's already paid taxes on it...just don't deposit it because they'll tax you on it.”
She gave Stu and I both shocked looks, “Are you sure?”
“Yes, I know you'll need it and I know he'd want you to have it.”
“He was a good man. ORNERY, but a really good man.” she smiled, “He bought me this house and I know he had a LOT of business because he was so kind.”
“He was my doctor just because he listened. He was my friend because he cared.”
She smiled, “He loved you a whole lot. You DO know he enjoyed your visits so much that he'd schedule himself off just so he could be there, don't you?”
“No, I didn't know that!”
She nodded, “I couldn't figure out why after all those years, he started scheduling himself off at such strange times, but I got it figured out when you called one day.”
I smiled, “I thought he just didn't work that much!”
She said, “He thought a lot of you and when he knew he could help you, he moved Heaven and earth to get it done for you....” She turned, “.,..AND you must be Stu!”
Stu said, “Yes.”
She nodded, “He was happy when he heard about you. I don't know how he was this morning because he was so much anticipating you guys being here.”
I said, “Stu has some health problems.”
She nodded, “I'll work on that for you. I can make the phone calls needed and help you with it.”
She paused and asked, “Are you guys going to need some help down there?”
I turned to Stu and asked, “Are we?”
He said, “I'd tell you no, but the second I did, I'd find out I needed someone.”
I said, “How about this...How about you come down next week and we see what we can find for you. I'm of the mind that we should get you into our office and have you doing scheduling and reservations, but Stu says he doesn't do reservations....I think we need someone doing it just because I know a lot of bus tours will go right on by if they think it'll be too packed and they're not anticipated.
With the new theater, we'll have a lot more going on next year, but IF I can get that company to hustling and building it, we'll have it available by possibly our Christmas show.”
Stu looked surprised, “Are you sure?”
“Hon, he's wanting to build it out of logs and stone. I'm of the mind that if he will hire our local help, it'll be something we can have done when we're busy. That way, I can be a part of it, but have no worries with things happening on construction that I don't know about.
My focus is going to be on the show itself as will you...IF we've got someone else worrying about all the rest, it'll be wonderful for both of us...but let's present what we need and listen to him and then, we can make up our minds.”
I turned to her , “Here's what's happening so you're on the same page as us...I don't know if you've seen the show or not, but it's a lot of dancing water.
Next year, we're going over to a way more complex show which will have holograms, lasers, water, fire, and lots of special effects. We've got both of the shows drawn up so you can watch them down there, and when you see them, you'll be amazed at both.
Right now, the place is called Vienese Waters and next year, we're going to be calling it Hillbilly Falls because we're switching themes and adding a lot of new things to the theater in the rebuild.”
She gave a nod, “I'll be there. It's been a long time without a vacation for me also....He gave me time off when he took his vacations, but I stay here and kept the phones from ringing off the hook. I think he forgot about the phones when he was gone, but I did all that for him.”
I gave her a hug, “I know he counted on you a lot....Well, I know I counted on you a lot. Heck, you were the one who probably did most everything I asked for when I called!”
She smiled, “Now you get the picture. He got the credit and I did the work, but I'm not complaining.”
“Here's the way it'll be...
We have a cabin which Doc was going to buy. We're doing a tear down and a rebuild of it also. As soon as it's built, we're going to move down the furniture from his house and sell the house to Mark, my lawyer.”
“Did you look under the mattresses?”
She said, “Hon, you go back and check under his mattress. Let me tell you how he did things....
When that man would go to bed, he'd empty his billfold out and put whatever was in it under his mattress. When EVER I'd remind him, he'd go clean it out and take all that to the bank. Usually, when I flipped my mattress, I'd remind him to do that, so it was usually twice a year....the last time being in November.
What I DO know is he'd laugh and tell me how much he found under it and say “It was getting to be a bit lumpy...”, but I know he found enough under there one time he bought this house in cash and another time, he bought me a car from the money he found.”
I looked at Stu and laughed, Stu said, “I know we're going to go BACK to the house!”
I shook my head, “The man needed a wife!”
She laughed , “He had me! He wasn't going to get married!”
I said, “Ok, we'll go back out there. I'm glad you said something because the moving crew we would've hired probably wouldn't have said anything.”
She asked, “What's going to go on with his Dad?”
“Mark's going to handle it. I was a bit apprehensive about it because of him being all military and probably having problems with our relationship.”
She gave a nod, “Don't worry about him. This will probably be the nudge he needs to get on in the grave himself. I DO know he's had a LOT of health problems for quite some time and yes, I get those calls....Well, I got the calls from him kids as well.”
She paused , “Whatever you've heard about his kids, please understand it's a two way street except he put up barricades when he got divorced.
The few times he's seen them, yes, it's been appearing that he's been asked for money, but I'll say that he made comments to me which said he didn't want kids in the first place and blamed them for most of the problems he felt were in that marriage.
All I'll say is this...Being a doctor's wife is a lonely lonely job. They're out first thing in the morning and in so late you can't count on them being at any school functions, or anything else. It takes a special breed to be a doctor's wife, and really I think it takes a special man to realize he needs to schedule in a family and a wife as well as be a doctor. Most don't and that's why I say I was his wife in more ways than he cared to admit...
BUT, let me say this....I understood my position was between he and his family....most of us do. When I asked him if he'd like to send something, he'd get off into a rant and finally, I stopped asking.
Where I think he was, was he wanted medicine and nothing else. Had he gotten it rather than the military, he'd probably been a lot better about familial things. I do know I could cheer him up by mentioning certain things and believe me, I'd mention you because he'd come right out of a funk when your name was mentioned.”
I gave a nod, “I knew I was special to him, but I had no clue how much so...”
She smiled, “Who is going to notify his kids?”
“Well, that's the end of that road. I think they'll know he wasn't ever going to change and I think they'll be able to move forward with their lives. I'm not going to say I've got mixed feelings on that, but maybe it's because I like the end of a story to have a happy ending. This one didn't.”
She paused , “It did for you, and you've shared with me, but please realize there's a flip side of this coin and it's his children.”
I gave a nod, “I understand that, but all I know is what I've been told.”
She gave a nod, “When would you like me down there?”
“Whenever you wish. We've got a motel we'll be living in while everything happens and it's right next door to the theater. Don't pack for a lot of cool weather because it'll be just as hot down there as it is up here.”
She gave a nod, “Ok, how is the scheduling?”
“Stu can explain all that to you when you're down there. It's been his baby and I'm just now getting on the scene. I know the man's done miracles and to him, I'll tip my hat...just know he's done it for the last 10 years being in a fog of depression over his last love dying in rather tragic circumstances...We'll tell you that story some time, but if you should happen to see a ghost down there in the theater, it's Eddie.”
She looked surprised, “Oh really!”
I gave a nod , “Doc saw him....I think Eddie let people see him who had purpose for needing to see ghosts. I saw him and spoke with him and that's why Stu's seeing a doctor now.”
She said, “I'll stay on the case and work with who you get.”
“We've got Dr. Fischer in St. Louis. He's one of the best in regards to cancer. He came up today and that's why Doc was getting the scans.”
“Oh! I wasn't aware!”
“We'll bring you up to speed, but here's how it'll be until Memorial Day...
We're going into Easter with me doing a lot of construction. There WILL be some shows and then, we're shutting back down and getting full up to speed on the construction so we're ready for this Summer.
Basicly put, we're holding it together with Band-Aids this year and getting in some new seats and a few safety things until next when we'll be ready for the blow out to show everyone what we've got.”
She said, “I'll be down there on Monday. It'll take me a bit to get this place shut, but I'll certainly be looking forward to being away.”
I gave a nod, “We'll have you a nice room reserved.”
She smiled and gave us another hug , “I'm glad it was you...I can't tell you how much so...”
We left and Stu said, “Ok, you DO realize we're going to have to pay her a good wage, right?”
“Do you realize whatever we pay people, it'll come out of the profits?”
“Yes dear...I realize that and I realize IF you change your show times a bit, you could have five shows a day if you wanted.”
“Go on the even hour from 2pm all the way to 10pm.”
“That'd be a mad house.”
“That'd be utilizing it better. Not that many of them down there have shows during the day and not that many have an early bird which catches 'em when they're just finishing dinner. IF you do that, you'll get 'em and for those two shows at six and eight, I think you'll have it full. The 10pm one will be JUST as full because they're going to be leaving and decide to shoe horn one last one in and you'll be it.
The advantage is this...YOU can have your rock and roll show at 10pm and with some new signage up there, you can have a lot more going on.”
“What sort of signage?”
“I'll work on it, but I'm thinking about a lot of different things....The main one will be some jumbotrons which show a bit of the show and can be used to draw 'em in when they're hemming and hawing about whether they should or shouldn't.”
“Where will that go?”
“I'm thinking about this....I'm thinking about having them at the sides with those other little fountains under them. The cool thing is you can have it programmed to say what you'd say to them if you were out there in person...”Glad to see you made it. Come on in!” and then bam...bam...bam...they see a little of the video and that's that impulse decision which gets 'em in the door.”
“When did you decide this?”
“When we saw that jumbo out there by the highway. I instantly thought about how we could use it and how we could do it so it wasn't making it like Vegas, but more down home.”
“Ok, I'll go for that.”
I smiled, “Babe, we're going to be good at this...”
He smiled, “Eddie used to say the same thing before we opened the doors.”
“AND it was!”
He smiled, “Yeah, it was, but now it's way more complex.”
“Jerrett is going to be a huge help programming.”
“Would you promise me something?”
“If this should happen to go bad, would you promise me that you'll give Jerrett a chance and date him?”
I turned to him and I'm sure I gave him a look, “Where'd THAT come from! It's going to be alright!”
“Don't have me out of the woods until I'm out of the woods. A large part of me has what happened today as an omen.”
“I'll say this....When you've got little faith, I'll pull you out of it with mine. You just trust and believe in me enough that we can get through this with you being here. Ok?”
“That's all I ask. Until that day when it's bad bad, I'm giving it all I've got.”
“I just think if it's bad, Jerrett is the one who would be best for you.”
“Dammit, YOU are the best for me!”
He smiled, “That made me feel good.”
“I'm glad. Now stop that way of thinking!”
We drove on out to Mom and Dad's and when we pulled up the driveway, he said, “Oh wow!”
“Don't think I grew up in this house. They built it after I was already away from home.”
“Why so big then?”
We parked and I said, “Mom still hasn't gotten it out of her head that she can't adopt.”
“Why can't she?”
“My Dad said NO!”
He gave me a look and asked, “Is that a problem between them?”
“My Dad considers me a blessing from God. He thinks that his war injuries were so severe that they told him that he'd never had kids. He prayed and got me and now, he sees what she's wanting as a spit in the eye of God.”
“Maybe that's God's way of giving them more!”
“Please don't bring that up. If you knew how many of them damned arguments I've heard over the years, you'd understand why I hate it so much.
I understand my Mom's need to have more, but I also understand my Dad's viewpoint. They're NEVER going to see it eye to eye, so it's a manipulative thing to suck happiness out of a life....MINE.
Now, I'm out of this house and I've gotten quite used to not having to hearing fussing, fighting, and arguing and personally, the time I spent with David where I detested the next breath the bastard took was enough for me. Finally, I got out of it and really, IF they'd gotten out of it, I'd been quite happy, but I'll tell you I would've lived with my Dad...Does that tell you WHO I view as bringing up those arguments and why I don't see eye to eye with my Mom most of the time?”
We went into the house and Mom had supper on. I went over and gave her a kiss and then, she went over to Stu and gave him a hug and a kiss. She said, “Don't come in here without feeling like you're at home.”
I said, “Just don't eat out of the refrigerator and PLEASE use silverware if you're going to dig into the mayonnaise jar!”
Mom gave me a smirk, “He's got better sense!”
laughed and asked, “What smells so good!”
“Jeremy's favorite...Smothered steak, mashed potatoes and gravy. He usually picks peas as his vegetable of choice besides that.”
She handed me the Grands Biscuits , “Open those and put 'em on a sheet.”
came in all happy to see us. Stu picked her up and babied her. I put
the Grands on the cookie sheet and Mom said, “Please tell me
you sprayed that with Pam!”
“Was I supposed to?”
“They stick if you don't.”
She laughed, “So what else have you guys done?”
“We went over to Doc's secretary's house and gave her some severance. Then, we decided to hire her to act as office person down there and make scheduling decisions for buses and reservations.”
“Oh, that sounds good!”
She turned to Stu, “When can we come down?”
He said, “Whenever you want to. You're welcome anytime!”
She turned, “When do you want us?”
“Anytime is fine. We're going to be tearing down the cabin and having another constructed, but...”
She pointed , “Your Dad's wanting to speak with you about that. I think he's wanting to do something similar.”
“Ok, if you're not opposed to being in a motel suite, we'll put you up there while construction is happening. For that matter, I can tell the guys who are coming for the consultation on Sunday that you'd like to speak with them...OR, you could be there.”
“Are you ok with that?”
“Yeah! Why wouldn't I be? BUT, we're going to have the Lloyd's of London guy in on Sunday also, so just know it's going to be busy.”
“Yeah, Skip got on the ball and they're sending someone. It's going to take that month, but now that I know I'm fine with it....Speaking of which, I need to go back to the house and get under Doc's mattress because he apparently used it as his bank.”
She looked surprised, “Who said that?”
“His secretary. She said he'd dump his billfold under the mattress and then, she'd remind him twice a year. He'd empty it and usually would buy her a car or her house from it.”
Mom's eyebrows shot up, “That much!”
Stu giggled , “Don't we all store money under the mattress?”
Mom got to laughing , “Not enough to buy a house! If you look under mine, you might find a penny or you might get to coughing from the dust bunnies, but....well...up under Jeremy's, you'll find houses and hotels in the Monopoly game!”
Stu laughed, “There ya go!”
I smiled, “You'll get that get out of jail free card also!”
He laughed , “I know the Sheriff. I should be fine!”
We set the table and then, when everything came out of the oven, got it to the table and sat down for dinner. Dad said Grace and then, we dug in.
As soon as Stu tasted the smothered steak, he said, “Oh man this is good!”
Dad chuckled, “We pulled the Buick grill out of the deer and went ahead and used it. I didn't figure Jeremy would mind.”
Stu gave Dad a look and I busted out laughing. Stu smiled and asked, “He's joking, right?”
“Yeah, it's a joke. You know already that the deer went to John so he could make jerky and smoked steaks out of it. This is a different deer.”
Stu asked, “This is deer?”
Mom said, “Yeah, we get a bunch of them because we own so much land out here. Jeremy helps process them.”
Stu said, “I really thought it was beef and was thinking it's one of the best beef steaks I've had!”
“It's deer. It's a lot more rich than beef...but if you don't clean it right, it's not much count for anything.”
Mom said, “Wayne showed him how to clean 'em and when it comes into the house, it looks like meat, so I'm fine with it.”
Stu asked, “How'd you get it so tender?”
Mom got to telling him how it was made and when she was finished, I said, “I'll make it for you some time. It's not that hard.”
Stu's face suddenly looked surprised, “You DO realize we've got a dinner party tomorrow night, right?”
I gave him a look, “When did this happen?”
“When Mel invited us over!”
“Oh man, I completely forgot!”
I turned to Mom, “Mel Tillis invited us over to meet his wife and himself. Stu and he are real good friends.”
Mom looked surprised, “Tell him we saw him in Quincy at a concert.....Well, tell him we saw him twice up there. The first time, he was with Ferlin Husky and the second time, he was with Ronnie Milsap. Both times, it was a real good show.”
Dad said, “We saw a lot of 'em up there.”
I gave a nod , “A good number of them down there we saw up there. We didn't see the Osmonds, but we saw almost everyone else.”
We took the tour of the house and as we went through, Stu said, “I love this house. Can we get one like this?”
I said, “Yeah, but ask my Dad first because he might be planning on putting one like this down there.”
I turned to Dad, “Is this what you had in mind down there?”
“No, I want something which is simple, but if they do them in turn key models, I'd be all for that.”
“They're going to be there on Sunday, so if you'd like to, you guys can come on down. I can stay with Stu and that would be no problem... The heat is on and everything is cleaned up and dusted.”
Mom gave Dad a look, “Do you want to go?”
Dad gave me a look, “Speak with Jim about those tractors.”
“Has he gotten in yet?”
“He's in. We pulled mine off and it's up there in the barn. He probably over at his place now unloading.”
“You should've waited on us to help unload it!”
He smiled, “We got it fine. Your Mom pulled it with the four wheel drive and we got it off fine.”
I gave a nod, “Any idea how much it'd take to rebuild?”
“I'm going to try running cider vinegar through it first. Him saying they shut 'em down before the tubes got too clogged tells me we might be in luck.”
I gave a nod and Mom said, “Boys, we'll be down on Sunday. I'm not going to get in too much of a rush packing, but what are you going to do if you decide to build?”
“We've already given some people the cabin. They're going to come over and help us pack everything into storage and then, they'll tear it down so they can rebuild it.”
Mom said, “Do the same for us, but tell them I'm fine with them having the furniture also. It's nothing but our old furniture, so if it can be of use to someone else, that'll be fine for us.”
Stu said, “I want one like this. The more I see it, the more I like it.”
Dad said, “Let me get you the blueprints for this one. They're up here.”
I said, “Dad? How about if you get the one set which is on the DVD. They could scan those into their computer and have them no problems.”
He asked, “What were you guys going to pick?”
I said, “One moment and I'll show you on the computer.”
I took him in and showed him on their computer and the more he looked, the more he liked, “All these are the ones they can build?”
“Let me and your Mom decide and then, we'll let 'em know on Sunday.”
Stu and I left and on the way back in, Stu asked, “Do you like their house?”
“I love it.”
“What's the downfall to living in a log cabin?”
“Cracks. IF the wood hasn't been dried or sealed right, you get cracks. They don't have them because we sealed and resealed all of it a bunch before it was built.
When we have our meeting, I'm going to be asking those guys if we can do that. If they say no, I'll tell you the conversation is over because I know the key to having it staying nice is that sealer.
Now, the problem there is this...When you seal, you've got to reseal it once every five years. It's not that big of a problem, but it's a problem if you don't realize it needs to be done.
What Mom and Dad did when they resealed is they went a bit darker than what was original to their's.”
“How big is their's?”
“Huge....That one is the same as six full size houses.”
“Ok, so you're telling me it's not smart for us to go that big.”
“I'm telling you that we'll never use the space.”
“I love their's. I guess what I'm saying is I love the way that great room is.”
“That's the best feature of the whole house...That's why I picked the design I did with that company...but yeah, I'm going to ask to have them make it so our great room is that size and really...I'd like to have that as our design for that part of it.”
“Good, I really like that.”
When we got back to town, we went to Doc's house and when I pulled up the drive, Gyp was all eyes. “Doc's not here Gyp.”
Stu asked, “She's been here?”
“Doc loved her. He said he hated dogs, but the tricks and the way she behaved, he really liked her.”
We got out and Gyp trotted over to the garage door to be let in. Stu chuckled, “She SURE knows her way around!”
I opened the door and disarmed the alarm. I told Stu, “Hit that garage door so it's shut. I'm going to rearm the perimeter so we're not disturbed.”
We went on in and in the kitchen, I got a bag. We went up and I flipped up the covers. Stu and I lifted the mattress and there was all the money.
Stu said, “MAN!”
“Five months worth...go figure.”
We started scooping up the cash and sorting it as to what denomination it was. By the time I got through counting, there was $21,980. Stu got to laughing , “This is funny!”
Gyp came in and gave me a look like, “I've searched ALL OVER this house and couldn't find him!”
I said, “Baby girl, I'm sure you smell him, but he's gone to Heaven. Some day, we'll all be there together.”
Stu said, “She's so expressive with her looks she gives us.”
“Yeah, she's a keeper.”
He laughed, “You said I was one also!”
“Yup, you're a keeper too!”
He laughed, and we'd just hugged when the cell phone rang.
Louis said, “I've got the Death Certificate for you, but I've yet to find those pills. I've got a call in to Dr. Fischer but I DO KNOW his courier got those scans. I'm totally amazed because that person doing the scans got them before getting Stu out of the machine.”
“Good, but I'm going to tell you right now that IF your oncologist took those pills and is using them, I'll stand beside Dr. Fischer in suing the son of a bitch.”
“No...no...We don't have that oncologist anymore.”
“Well, he was bad enough this hospital has a reputation to live down!”
(Our hospital made national headlines when the oncologist was using and REUSING medications from the same vials on multiple patients and billing everyone's insurance for fresh.
The bad thing there is he was also playing God and deciding who got placebos and not giving medication to them at all....poorer patients. THEN, he billed Medicaid and Medicare for full treatments!
Where the hospital screwed up is this...They drug out the investigation long enough they allowed the man to retire with full pension rather than seeking removal of his medical license.)
“I realize we had problems with that man.”
“I don't know who's wisdom it was to decide to drag out the investigation so he could retire with pension, but ask yourself if it was one of your loved ones whom he allowed to die without giving them medication and see if you'd want the fucker to have a pension.
What I'm going to do is I'm going to be in there fighting and double checking and yeah, I'll even check to be sure the medication is in the bag! The second I'm told I can't have the bag, I'll have Stu out of here and begin a lawsuit, so know that's what that man has cost you in trust.”
“You can't judge everyone by what he did.”
“Bullshit, I'm judging a hospital which kept him on staff until he got pension. If you'll cover for him to get that, you'll cover for a lot of other stuff!
DO YOU realize the oncologist you've got on staff made a comment that you guys don't turn in lesser quality doctors or “do that” to each other? THAT'S why I don't want the man in the room with Stu!”
“I wasn't aware he made that comment.”
“I'll get you the microfiche reprint from the paper where he made the comment...but you think about what I was thinking when I was laying in that hospital bed and read that article! Needless to say, Doc and I had a long talk that day and he promised me he'd double check everything for me.”
He was quiet , “I'm sorry Jer'. I don't know what to say.”
“Don't say anything, but make sure it doesn't happen to someone I love.”
Stu walked out of the room rather fast and Louis asked, “When would you like to get this?”
“I'll drop over by your house here in a few moments. We're back over to Doc's house because we were told about him hiding money under his mattress.”
“Did you find any?”
“Got a twenty dollar bill? If so, I'll have $22,000!”
“$21,980. His secretary said she told him twice a year and depending upon what he found, he bought her a car and a house from the pocket change.”
He laughed, “Well tell mine!”
“We're going to hire her to be our office secretary down at the show. She wants something different and I know she's a delight, so we'll have her down there and be happy we got her.”
“That sounds good.”
Stu came back in, “Are you ready to go?”
I nodded , “We'll be over in a few moments. We're leaving right now.”
I hung up and we locked up and got into the truck. Gyp quickly found her place down on the floorboard behind the driver's seat. We drove over to the next street in the subdivision and pulled up in front of Louis' house.
I said, “I'll be right back. I'm not going to go in.”
I left the truck running and ran up to the door. Louis brought the certificate to the door and in no time, I was back to the truck.
Stu asked, “Do you want to go ahead and drive back?”
“We've got to call Jim about those tractors.”
He said, “Man, I totally forgot.”
“We could trust my Dad and go ahead and drive down if you want.”
“I'd prefer that.”
“Call my Dad and we'll drive down.”
dialed and I pulled us into the gas station. As luck would have it, I
saw the guy on the other side of the gas pump was Doc's oldest son.
He said, “Hey, that's my Dad's truck!”
“Sorry, but it's mine.”
He said, “THAT is my Dad's truck!”
I said, “Dude, get a little louder.”
calling the police!”
“Do that and IF you show up at that house, I won't call off the trespassing charge you get! THIS TRUCK was inherited by me today...I believe you pissed your way out of the Will.”
He stared at me and I shrugged, “Opinions are like assholes buddy. I've got mine also. You were given a copy of the Will and can't contest it now.”
hell I can't!”
“Contact your lawyer and ask before you jump to conclusions. The Will got probated this afternoon by a judge which will require you taking it to the Supreme Court in order to contest it.
SINCE that Will was written, each one of you kids have asked for money. ATTEMPT to say it was written while he wasn't in his right mind and you'll be up on exploitation of the elderly charges before you step out of the courthouse.
Your Dad was a brilliant man in the fact he knew how to cover his ass legally. You were well aware you were excluded and IF you didn't read it and voice objection within 30 days of receiving it, you didn't have any rights.”
He stared and I finished fueling. He said, “You're going to regret taking everything from my family.”
“Is that a threat?”
“Take it any way you want to.”
“I'll take it as a threat and call the lawyer.”
I pulled my phone and dialed Mark. He answered and I said, “Rich Graper is here at Abel's threatening me. I've got a voice recording as well as Stu as witness.”
“I'll call him and tell him I'm going to press charges. We can't get him for anything other than peace disturbance, but at least there will be a report...Save that recording.”
hung up and went in and paid. Before I finished paying, I saw Rich's
car tear out. The clerk said, “He just drove off without
The attendant dialed the police and I said, “The guy's name is Rich Graper. He's heading back to St. Louis. It's a rental car.”
The guy asked, “You know him?”
“IF you weren't paying attention, he's getting another phone call to the police over his threatening me out there.”
He dialed and I dialed Mark. He answered, “Hello?”
“Rich Graper just drove off without paying. He's driving a full size Cadillac rental car.”
“Ok, I'll let them know. Which way is he heading?”
“Back to St. Louis....And Mark?”
“We're driving on down to Branson tonight. It's probably not going to matter if it's tonight or tomorrow, so we're going down tonight.”
“Ok, I'll give you a call and let you know when everything else is handled.”
“I appreciate it.”
I hung up and the clerk asked, “You're sure that's the guy's name?”
I went back out to the truck and got in. Stu asked, “Ok?”
He chuckled, “You sure gave HIM hell!”
“Dumb fucker. He doesn't have balls enough to contest it when he had the option and then wants to blame everyone else for being such a putz.”
“What do you think he'll do?”
“He'll go back and tell his family who will of course decide to take it legal. Their lawyer will tell them Missouri Law dictates they contest it before it's probated and that we've got up to one year to probate it...The key there is that phrase UP TO one year which we already probated it.
Just as soon as that's discovered, the lawyer will tell them there's no way in hell contesting of the Will will happen after it's been probated...and that the Missouri Supreme Court will refuse to hear it.”
He chuckled, “So it's a slam dunk.”
“There's a chance the Supreme Court will hear it, but I doubt they will since the lawyers will have a field day with the case as soon as it's attempted.”
We got to discussing the theater and when we got to Jeff City, we stopped and refueled and got ourselves some drinks as well as pottied Gypsy.
Once we were back in the truck, I said, “The next part is boring as all get out. Go ahead and take a nap if you'd like. It's only 60 miles to Rolla, but it's the longest 60 miles of your life.”
He laughed, “You're terrible!”
“Hon, I think it's apprehension for getting back onto the interstate and with it being so desolate out here and nothing but up and downs like a never ending roller coaster, it's terrible.
Yeah, it's boring after Rolla all the way to Springfield, but it's interstate and you feel like there's a sense others are in the same boat with you, so it's not so boring.”
“Can we listen to the radio and see if we can find some songs we can do the waters to?”
“Can I play you a CD I've got recorded?”
I pulled over and stopped. He gave me a look, “What are you doing?”
“Getting my laptop and bringing Gypsy up so she's not being made to lay by the speakers.”
“You bring Gyp up and I'll get the CD out of the laptop.”
I went to the back and opened the laptop and got the CD out. By the time I got back up to the front, Gyp was laying in the middle between us.
I put the CD in and adjusted the tone of the stereo. Then, we got under way again.
By the time we got to Rolla, we pulled into a convenience store and went in to get snacks...and Terriyaki sticks for Gyp.
When we got back on the road, I paused it , “There are a lot of these which I think the water would be good to choreograph.”
He said, “That one has me all over it mentally.”
“Hon? I'm going to ask you a question and you think about it...Ok?”
“Sure, what's that?”
“Since he told me he could make the walls stone or look like stone, and I told him I want really tall walls, I've been thinking about a LOT of different effects we can use.
One of them is to have a side walkway on each side and have plexiglass out 3 feet from the walls so we can run strips up the sides and possibly some flame effects. The plus of it is we can fan effect and shoot lasers off it and do lots of LED light chasers into those walls.”
“Man! That'd be neat!”
“I want it to be a 360 degree experience where it's not just up front, but they realize it's all around them. I ALSO think that if we do it real nice and have the first couple of songs playing up front and then start with water and go on into the flames on the sides, they're going to feel electricity going up their spines.
I'd love to have something in the walkways like water pops, but that would require the floor to be concrete and having a super grooved texture to get the water to run off into channels, but I think it'd be neat especially if we had a chase effect on them...”
He chuckled, “You never cease to amaze me, but yeah, it'd be getting away from carpet and might be an egress hazard.”
“No, and here's why....They've got those one channels which are an inch wide which go over the deeper channels. None would get into the seating area if we control the splash.
With high grooved, we could do some blows which would blow those off well before they leave. The thing there is we'd have to go with Indoor/Outdoor carpet in the lobby, but most commercial grade carpet is basicly that anyway.
My thing is getting the sound to give good sound. It'd take some Peavey Speakers hanging down and possibly 5150's or HD1's to get the bass up to where it'd be good, but we're going to need that to get the rumble up there for a lot of those effects.”
“Ok, so what are you thinking it'll look like?”
“The entire thing can be transforming from lights on to lights off. When it's lights on, the jumbo screens and plasma panels can be totally blacked out. It can look like a barn, or it can look like a huge log cabin with the logs and all that, but when the lights go out and the show begins, it's a theater which has effects all over the place.”
“You're going to have us having the most expensive theater on the strip...Mel's not going to have anything on us!”
“Hon, if we do and we put out the performance I think we will, we'll fill that thing and easily pay for it several times a day and yeah, we'll need bookings and scheduling for multiple shows a day.
Our plus is we've got the long parking lot and the ability to build a side parking lot on each side. With some people out there directing everyone where to park, we can get parking into certain sections for different shows and waiting for those shows done so that everyone's entertained and amazed at the beauty of it.”
“How are you going to do that?”
“Side gardens and fountains. All sorts of old time things like having a mill with water wheel, possibly some other things like a lake which has a pirate ship and cannon blasts. And possibly having some water show effects out there like swaying water to music and putting on a show before the show so that they're captivated and not minding the wait.
It's giving them more for their bang and the plus of it is we can have side porches in the shade with chilled air and fans to keep people cool as well as feeding them sandwiches.
I'm thinking the front doors are egress out and the sides are sorting them for the different shows. They line up and we route 'em through with separate ticket boxes and maybe we can even through jumbos up out there which advertise upcoming seasonal shows and snacks in the snack shops and items from the general store.”
He chuckled, “Make that spending twice as much as Mel!”
I laughed , “Babe, I want us known as the best for less. When they get in line, they know they're in line for something which builds up the excitement and when they get in there, we blow them away so that when we're advertising that 10pm rock show, they're looking at each other afterward and there not being a question as to whether they want to see it, but words being nods amongst everyone that they ALL want to see it.
Yeah, it's a country mecca, but I think if we throw a show at them which is so over the top, they could likely put us at the forefront of their word of mouth advertising of saying, “Yeah, we saw Silver Dollar City, but for the money you've GOT TO see Hillbilly Falls. That show there blew us away!”
We drove on and he asked, “Would you play that one instrumental one again?”
“Sandstorm by Darude.”
“Is that what it is?”
“Yeah, there are three instrumentals on the CD, but that's the one we've heard so far.”
“Did you mix this?”
“Yeah, my cousin is a professional DJ and I get to go over to his basement and use his mixing computer when he doesn't have a gig.”
“What's his program?”
“I'll get it for us. It's real simple and does a lot of this without any problems....but I want to put it back to the song before that one because I'm going to dance for you with that one some day.”
He smiled, “Dance for me?”
“Dirty dancing....sort've like pole dancing without the pole.”
He giggled and I put it on Keri Hilson's “Lose Control”. When Darude's Sandstorm came on he said, “I can see those flames all over this one! Now that you've made me imagine them chasing up the sides it's even better! But how are we going to keep people from being gassed?”
“Sucking the air up and out with huge exhaust fans. We can also use nitrogen to get a fog effect and spray those holograms and lasers on it and then, suck it up and out.”
He laughed and we kept listening to it. When it was over, I brought in Sun Dance and Rain Dance by Pablo & Cezzane. I could tell he instantly loved them.
At the end, he motioned for me to mute it. I did and he said, “Man, do you realize I'm all over the place with those lasers and doing all sorts of effects?”
“Hon, do you remember that one effect up with those fountains which looked like sparkles?”
“I figured that one out and it's rather easy.”
“Putting strobe lights at the base of them. We have the colored lights shining on them, but that white strobe is giving it that twinkle. Yeah, I think they're giving a shot of a laser on it, but I'm not sure if it's a projector or a laser. All I know is if we put that laser on full pulse, it should really look great.
Now what I want you to think about is this....That rain effect where the words are cut into it.”
“It's rather plain, but if we shoot color at it from one side or if we animate it by shooting a projector onto it and possibly a hologram laser, it's making it three dimensional.”
“Remember I only have so many skills.”
“And remember I'll be there to help you...and whatever we don't get, Jerrett will be there to do.”
“He's really good.”
“I could tell you were impressed, but just wait until we've got everything. I think you're going to surprise yourself.”
“I'll give you the tools, but I'm going to see if there are some effects we can do which are easier than what I think it will be.”
“Ok, I realize we're going to have to license the right to show some of the videos on our system, but I want to see if we can speak with them about getting their digital masters so we can give a better show.”
“I doubt if they will allow it.”
“If we ask and show them what we're doing, I think they'll be all for it. It's not diminishing their performance, it's changing it to something we can use better.
One of them has their images transposed over some backgrounds which if we can use their images and transpose them over our water, it'd be cool.”
“We'll check and see if we can do it. I'm not sure what it'd take.”
When the Enrique bit came on, he said, “I really like this one...the way you let the next song be a part of this one.,,Do you think you can mix country like this?”
“Yeah. I'll see if I can find some mash ups and use those for cross reference.”
We continued to listen and when we got back to Branson, we stopped at the airport and got my pickup. Stu drove the Range Rover and when we got to the cabin, he parked and helped me carry in everything.
As we carried in, Gyp went around checking the area. She came back in and ran over to me. I picked her up and gave her lovin's. She really ate it up.
Stu said, “Driving that Range Rover is nice!”
“Yeah, but it's so damned expensive!”
“Don't think about the cost. We can afford it.”
I smiled, “Yeah, but it's hard for me to think that we can!”
He chuckled, “You'll probably start an avalanche of people buying the things!”
We sat down and I looked at the deeds. He said, “I think we did good buying those lifetime leases.”
“I hope we did. IF we have to buy you in when his Dad dies, it's some damned expensive real estate.”
“The plus side of it is we're getting income from it. IF we start putting that money towards the buy of it when it happens, we'll be better prepared.”
“Babe, we can afford it. Let's just enjoy it.”
I smiled, “I guess we can, but it's just strange for me to think that big.”
“Do you mind if I ask around and see what we can buy here at bargain prices?”
“I don't mind.”
“There are at least three theaters, seven motels, and probably that many fast food I think we can get....Those are the ones I know are in trouble, but I think when word gets out we're buying, we're going to see we've got a lot of them who will come make themselves known.”
“That'll be fine. We're in it for the long haul, so we can invest.”
He gave a nod , “Let's get to bed.”
“Hon? Tomorrow is going to need to be a moving day for us. My parents are coming down and we're going to need to get things moved to the suite.”
He gave a nod, “I was thinking that myself.”
“I'm going to ask a few things here...”
He gave me a look, “Sure.”
“What does the suite have in it?”
“It's like a one bedroom apartment. We've got two bedroom ones also, but I think the one bedroom will be fine...Both have kitchenettes.”
“Does that mean a little refrigerator or a college size one?”
“One about that size. It's not real big, but I know what you're talking about in regards to a college size one. When I learned the cost is about the same, I decided to go with the bigger ones.”
“I'm glad for that.”
He asked, “Draw me a rough sketch of what you're wanting in regards to the theater.”
I said, “Here's my problem. Depending upon the number of seats, I'm not sure how big it'll be.”
He said, “Let's go ahead and plan on the 5,000 seat theater. I'd rather have it too big than not big enough.”
I drew out a building and then, had the wings and then, the side porches. All along the front, I had the lobby and then, showed the rear projecting out and our house being on the side.
He pointed, “What's on that side?”
“I've not decided yet.”
“We COULD have another house, right?”
“Yeah, but who would live there?”
“Leave it open. We can have guests there, or we can house workers there. It's going to be just as hard on them to get through the traffic as it is for us.”
“Ok, I hadn't thought of that. I'm glad you're thinking of it.”
I continued to draw and he pointed, “Make those side walls in that theater 40 feet tall at least.”
We went into the bedroom and began stripping off for a shower. My cell phone rang.
“Jeremy? Louis here. We finally found that bottle of pills.”
“Ok, we're in Branson. I'll call my Mom and Dad and have them get them before they come down.”
“I'll have them here.”
“Would you get me copies of those scans sent to me? They should have the diagnosis already.”
“We do. I'll get those sent to you. Would you like that sent to you by email?”
“Yes, but I'd also like a dvd of them. Do you know the diagnosis?”
“Cancer in the kidney and some in his pancreas.”
“Ok, I appreciate it. None in the lungs?”
“Has that been sent to Dr. Fischer?”
“It was sent with his courier.”
“Ok, what do you think will be the next move?”
“Biopsies. He's going to want biopsies.”
“Ok, when he wants them, I'm going to need that jet down here and it done with speed.”
“He's probably going to want those on Monday.”
“Just as soon as we get that word, have that jet here.”
I hung up and Stu asked, “Ok, your voice went into that robot mode, how bad is it?”
“Kidney and pancreas.”
He sat down. I said, “Stu, we've got to believe in the doctor. Don't you give up on me!”
He had a tear slide down his cheek. I walked over and wiped it off and stood in front of him. He hugged me , “I'm scared.”
I hugged him to me , “I'm scared too, but we're going to fight this motherfucker off. Those who lay down for them and let them inject that poison into their veins are the ones who die. Those who fight are the ones who live. I mean to fight enough for the two of us to the point that whatever fight you've got in you helps the team so that we knock it flying and it decides it's going to go pick on someone else. All I ask you is not to give up before we get started.
Right now, we're going into a holistic approach. Spinach, broccoli, asparagus, and the green vegetables whip it's ass. You can best believe we're going to shove as much of that in our diet as we can.”
“I happen to hate spinach.”
“You ate a bunch of it at Subway and loved it.”
“Green spinach tastes good. When it's cooked, it soon tastes like shit. It's the green which has vitamins, so we're going to use that in our diet.
If you will give me a chance, I'll get asparagus and broccoli so we're able to eat it in stir fry. There's less vitamins lost that way and with the sesame oil, it'll be nutritious.”
I stepped back , “The Bible says He can do all things for those who believe in Him. I'm going to believe and I'm going to fight it on every front. You be prepared to fight and eat your way to wellness.
He called to tell me he found those pills. I've got to call Mom and Dad and have them get them. He's going to give them the dvd of the diagnosis and the scans....I'm getting an email of them also.”
I dialed Mom and Dad's number. Dad answered, “Hello?”
“Dad? Louis has the pills Dr. Fischer left for Stu. We're going to need them, I just got the diagnosis.”
“His kidney and pancreas.”
“Ok, the pancreas is bad, but the kidney can be taken out.”
“We're going to fight our asses off.”
“I wouldn't expect less. Do you need us down there tomorrow?”
“If possible, but if Mom needs to pack, that's fine. If she doesn't, then we'd appreciate it.”
“We'll be down tomorrow. I'll tell Jim to bring those tractors down also.”
“We'd appreciate it.”
“Now Jeremy, don't you give up!”
“I'm not. It's hard to take, but we're going to fight. I just wish there wasn't two days for us to wait on Dr. Fischer's decision.”
“You guys get some sleep.”
“We're gonna. We were about to get our showers and then, go to bed.”
“We'll be there tomorrow. You just keep that phone turned on.”
I rang off , “Mom and Dad will be down tomorrow.”
We went in and got our showers. The gentleness between us washing each other was more tender than I'd ever experienced.
When we got into bed, we made slow and tender love. Afterward, we lay there spooning. He nuzzled into my hair and I had my hand on his hip behind me. He said, “I know this is soon, but I love you.”
“I love you too. It's never too soon to say that.”
We had just begun to doze off when the phone rang. I grabbed it, “Hello?”
“Lon Fischer here. Is this Jeremy Blue?”
“I just got to looking over Stuart's scans. We need him in for biopsies. When can he be here?”
“Give me a few hours and I'll have a plane chartered.”
“IF he can be here at 7am, we'll have the biopsies done and those pills replaced.”
“We'll be there.”
By the end of the conversation, I was sitting up. I hung up and dialed the number they'd given me for the pilot. It took about 8 rings, but I finally got an answer. He sounded like he'd been sleeping.
“This is Jeremy Blue. You gave us a ride to Hannibal from Branson early this morning.”
“Tomorrow morning, we've got to be in St. Louis at St. Louis University Hospital by 7am. Is there any possible way I can get you to fly us there?”
“I can fly you to either Lambert or Spirit of St. Louis Airport.”
“Ok, let's do Lambert. I think I can get a car rented from there.”
“Will you need a return flight?”
“Ok, I'll wait. You be at that airport at 4:30.”
“We'll be there.”
I hung up and turned to Stu. He was sound asleep. I set the alarm on my phone for 4am and got some sleep.
When my alarm went off, I got up and woke Stu. He came to...”Wha...wha...What?”
“We've got half an hour to be to the airport.”
“You've got to be at St. Louis University Hospital at 7am for biopsies.”
“When did THIS happen?”
“I was about to doze off when Dr. Fischer called. He said he can get you in if we're there by 7am.”
He got up and asked, “What do I wear?”
“Wear sweat clothes. You'll want them after you get out of the hospital.”
He gave me a look, “I don't OWN any sweat clothes!”
“Then you wear whatever is comfortable and I'll buy you some!”
He said, “I've got to go get dressed.”
“Let Gyp out and I'll get her back in.”
He took off and I hurried and got dressed. I put four slices of bread in the toaster and cracked four eggs into a skillet and poked the yolks. They started cooking and I went out to warm up the Range Rover.
I went in and grabbed a bunch of the cash and a stack of the larger bills and then, put in another four slices of bread.
Stu came back and I handed him two of the sandwiches. He looked surprised and I gave a nod, “It's not healthy, but it's beating nothing.”
I got mine made and then, let Gyp in. I said, “We'll be back babes.” and went to the Rover.
When we got to the airport, the jet was waiting. We got on and in no time at all, we were in the air.
When we got to St. Louis, the pilot said, “I'll be here. You go and do what you need to do.”
I handed him the stack of money , “I don't know how much it is, but I know you're doing about as good as us on sleep. Get some sleep and we'll be back.”
We went into the main concourse and got to the Avis counter. I said, “I know we don't have a reservation, but we need to rent a car.”
The girl nodded , “We've got some. What would you like?”
“We're not picky. Right now, anything will do.”
She said, “I've got specialty and full sized.”
“We'll take a full sized. He's going to the hospital to have biopsies and will need a smooth ride when we get him back here.”
She gave a nod and took my credit card. I gave her my driver's license and soon, we were on the shuttle bus heading to the lot. Stu asked, “Do you have any idea where it is?”
“I'm looking it up right now on my phone.”
I saw where it was , “That's easy. We'll be there in no time.”
When we were dropped at the lot, the attendant had the Suburban pulled up. We got in and soon, we were out on the Interstate driving toward downtown. At Grand, I took the off ramp and took us on over to the hospital. We parked and I dialed Dr. Fischer's phone.
He answered, “Hello?”
“It's Jeremy Blue. We've just parked and are walking toward the hospital. Tell me where to go.”
“When you get inside, stay right there. I'll be there.”
We went in and soon, I saw him. He took us up and when we got to his office, he pulled up the images , “Here's what we're looking at.”
He showed us , “Right there is cancer. That all there is cancer and over here, we've got some we believe is cancer in his pancreas.
We're going to take biopsies and see what we've got. You're to start on the pills and hopefully, I can have something back by Tuesday or early Wednesday which is going to give us a start.”
He turned to me , “Your Father said money is no object. I'll tell you now I don't work that way. No one person is more important than another in my eyes.”
“I realize that, but one is in mine. You can do whatever you want, but let's do whatever we can to fight this son of a bitch.
I'll do all I can to it from diet and whatever we need to do, but you give me the tools and I'll beat it's ass.”
He gave a smirk and I pulled up my shirt. “That is from something they thought couldn't be beat. I whipped it's ass and there's a new lung in there now which tells you I'm not afraid of death...It had BETTER remember me because I whipped it's ass before and I'll do it again. It's thinking I'm going to let him go and I'll be damned if it wins this battle.”
He gave a short nod , “It's going to be a fight, but it should be win-able. I'm not saying we're out of the woods, but we're knowing where to look.”
“You get me the tools, but you had better be damned sure that when you tell me it's not possible that I don't have a molotov cocktail in my hand because I'll burn the woods to get us out.”
He chuckled and Stu said, “Doc, let's go get it done. I might just drink that bottle full of whatever it takes to give it to him!”
We went to the area where we were needed and Dr. Fischer said, “You guys stay here. Stu, get into this gorgeous little outfit and I'll be back to get you.”
Stu gave me a look and I said, “I realize you didn't wear shoes that match....Fuck it, we brought ass kickin' shoes...Let it know you mean business.”
Both of them got to laughing and Dr Fischer said, “I believe he's serious!”
Stu said, “I'll be ready.”
Dr. Fischer left and I said, “When he takes you in, I'm going to go get you some sweats. I'll be back.”
He gave a nod, “What do you think?”
“Babe, it didn't look that big to me. You worry about getting it's attention and I'll sneak up behind it and kick it's ass.”
He gave a smirk, “How am I gonna do that?”
“You just be you. It thinks we don't know about it yet. I'll let it know otherwise.”
Dr. Fischer came in and I said, “I'm going to go get him some sweat clothes. He'll be more comfortable in them.”
Dr. Fischer nodded , “We'll be about an hour and a half.”
“I'll be here.”
“Wait over there in the waiting room. I'll have him back.”
I gave Stu a kiss , “Remember...You get it's attention and I'll sneak up behind it!”
Dr Fischer chuckled and I patted his shoulder and walked out. When I got outside, I dialed Mom and Dad. Mom answered, “Hello?”
“It's me. We're in St. Louis. The doctor is getting biopsies, but I'm going to get Stu some sweat clothes.”
“Do you want us to go there?”
“It's entirely up to you. It'd be quicker for you to drive, but it'll require you to fly back up here.”
“We'll be down. They DO have flights out of Branson, right?”
“How do we get there?”
I gave her the directions and said I'd meet them outside the hospital. She asked, “Will it be ok to leave our car there?”
“We'll put it into parking at the airport. We might need to use it on Wednesday when the doctor has something substantial.”
We rang off and I pulled out and drove over to the brew pub I'd looked at previously. I went in and the owner was there. He recognized me and smiled, “Did you come to buy?”
“I'll be here on Wednesday to buy. Give me a receipt for this $20,000 as down payment and I'll have the rest bought when I come on Wednesday.”
He shook his head, “Cash upfront means nothing to me.”
I turned, “Ok, I won't be back. If you give no trust, I'll buy the equipment from the company. They sure as hell will take a credit card and personally, I shouldn't be here anyway. I thought since I was in the city, I'd drop by and tell you I was going to get the money from my bank account early in the week and we'd do the business on Wednesday, but now it's going to take you dropping the price in order for me to consider doing business with you again.”
I walked out and got in the Suburban. He came out and knocked on the passenger window. He said, “On second thought, I'll do that.”
I stared , “On second thought, you damned well better lower the price 20%. Unless we're talking $112,000 and I owe you $92 after this $20 grand gets put on as a down payment, I'll drive off.”
He said, “Make it $100,000 that you pay after the $20,000 down and I'll sell.”
I put the truck into drive , “You need to step back. I'm not the one pissing buyer's off.”
He said, “Ok! I'll do the deal!”
I put the truck into park and shut it off. I dialed my phone and when it was answered, “I'm dialing the phone and it's going to a recorder. You pull any fast shit and it'll be heard and taken to the police.”
We went in and I put the $20,000 on the bar. I said, “You've got a full bar inventory available?”
“I'll need it. You realize the trust I had is gone.”
He stared and I said, “Take the deal or leave it. If I walk again, you'll give up 50% before I buy it. My suggestion is to get me a receipt and that inventory and write on there I pay the rest on Wednesday. If I don't show, you get that money and smile. If I show before Wednesday, you sell just the same.”
“Will you be here?”
“I'll be here with a crew of guys to take the equipment apart and have it hauled out of here.”
looked shocked, “I've got batches started! They won't be
finished in time!”
“Don't start any more. IF that $20 grand doesn't pay for what you stand to lose between now and Wednesday, I beg to differ. Do whatever is needed to get the batches finished but tell your clientele that as of Wednesday, they can expect soap on these windows and that brew equipment out of here.
If there's a lot of vehicles parked out front, I'll drive the equipment I'm using to haul around the block or double park the son of a bitches and block in those cars until they're towed, so you do your part and I'll do mine.”
looked surprised, “You're serious!”
“Dude, my lover is in the hospital getting biopsies on his cancer right now. ONLY because I promised someone else that equipment and his legitimacy into brewing legally am I here.
When I buy this, it's getting taken out of here and this building gets used as storage for our soon to be opening business operating here. Right now, I need that receipt and the bar inventory. I'll be taking the inventory to Branson where it'll be used in another bar we own...What liquor I can't use there will go into storage for our home bar.”
He brought over a pad , “Wednesday by 5pm.”
“Write that down and the $92,000 I owe pays it off in full getting me the business and the building. IF you screw me on this, I've got $465 million I just inherited which will go into the lawyers to sue to get it back.”
He looked surprised, “Why go this route?”
“I need the location and I need the equipment elsewhere. My other half is family members with a lot of people who have brewed in the backwoods for more years than you or I have been alive. I'd just as soon keep their asses out of jail and legal than what's happening now.”
He laughed, “You're serious!”
“I'm serious. This equipment will go into making what they do illegal reputable and able to fuel farm vehicles and cars. With THOSE tax advantages, I can afford to do a lot of other things, but it's getting them diverted which matters most to me. They're good people.”
He chuckled , “One moment, I need to go to the office and get the inventory sheet.”
“Take the money with you. I've got the receipt.”
He took it and when he came back, he handed me the asset sheet , “That's our insurance sheet also. If you're going to insure the building minus the assets, that's what you should know.”
I gave a nod, “I'll be back.”
“I believe you.”
I went out and walked over to a store which I bought a pair of Blues sweat pants and jacket. I got myself a set also and went to the Suburban and drove back to the hospital.
When I got there, I sat in the waiting room and waited. The doctor came in , “Jeremy?”
“Call me Jer'....”
“Come this way and I'll show you what we've got.”
“Ok, but I've got to keep my cell phone on. My parents will be here shortly.”
He gave a nod, “That's fine.”
We went up and he showed me what I'd already seen. He said, “We got the biopsies and they're looking good.”
“What's that mean?”
He looked serious, “I think we can get him an injection.”
I gave a nod, “Ok, you'll know something by Wednesday?”
He gave me a deer in the headlights look. “No, it should take 2 weeks. BY WEDNESDAY, we should know what the cancer is...”
“Ok, there's no way to speed anything up?”
He chuckled, “I'm only human. What we're doing is we're putting it into an agar dish and we're growing it in a sped up environment and then, we're changing it's dna with some tests that WILL be sped up once it's grown. As soon as we see which responds to killing it, we'll know where to head with it, but that takes 2 weeks at the fastest....I explained all this in that meeting.”
“Ok, these pills will put it in a holding pattern?”
“The pills we've got puts 99% of the cancer in a holding pattern and keeps it from growing...yes.”
“Ok, do your magic and I'll do all I can to keep him healthy through diet and those pills. IF you need a high vitamin diet, I can do that also.”
“We're using a IV therapy to do that right now.”
“Ok, here's my insurance card.”
“I've got all that information already.”
I gave a nod, “Ok, I feel like there's something else I should be doing.”
“You're handling it as best as I can hope for right now. You're not letting him get down and you're not showing weakness. That's the best we can have right now.”
I gave a nod, “Ok, what do you need in ways of funding or donations...I know money doesn't mean a thing to you, but there's GOT to be something which you need around here they won't provide.”
He gave me a stare and I said, “I'm not buying you, I'm donating to your research. I just inherited a helluva lot of money and if you give me back the one thing money can't buy me, I'm definitely going to do all I can to assure those you've not got as patients yet will get to have their loved ones also....and please find something for brain cancer...if you knew the number of people up there in the Hannibal area who are dying from it, you'd be shocked.”
“We've got a herbicide plant up the river which has questionable releases. South of town, we've got a plant which burns toxic waste to produce cement. All that goes up into the air.
Although they BOTH say they're safe, I'll tell you releases of chromium into the air over a river which our town gets all of it's drinking water downstream just a few miles and snow down at that cement plant which looks neon yellow...both can't be healthy.
THEN, when you consider one of the largest employers in town is a soup factory which uses that water as it's source of boiling vegetables and noodles which has their own pesticides on them, you've got a mix which individually, they SAY is safe, but mix them and see what happens because they're dropping like flies with a lot of strange cancers and diseases.
THEN, when you look at that hospital, cancer center, heart center, and several clinics, and pay attention to the numbers, you see we've got 4,000 health workers in a town which has 17,000 people. Either we're Columbia with some serious med schools...which we don't have one....or we're some sick people.
I'll tell you I was born with one lung way too small. I'll tell you the number of family members which have had cancer, have died from cancer, or have questionable diseases attributed to breathing strange stuff and you'll see we're living in a brew kettle of a lot of mysterious diseases.
Just the same, the numbers of people I know who've had brain cancer or have died from brain cancer are staggering. Save them and I'll really be thankful.”
He was appearing shocked and asked, “Tell me some more about this.”
“Ok, my aunt. Never smoked a day in her life. Always had a healthy diet. Jogs and does a lot of physically fit things. Goes to Texas in the winter and fishes and eats those fish...and yet, her husband worked at the cement plant...and died from cancer.
After he died, she wore his hat as a way to keep him near her. THAT'S the only thing she kept. Yeah, she did his laundry all those years, but she got brain cancer....and get this....their home is right over the hill from the cement plant.
My cousin...from a different aunt was born and lived right down the hill from her. He died from brain cancer at 7 years old.
My mom's cousin's husband had brain cancer. He didn't know it until he went to Walmart and had a seizure where they took him to the hospital and found a softball size mass which came back malignant...guess where he worked?”
“What's the toxic waste they're burning?”
“For the large part, it's car oil from all these oil change centers, however, if you recycle car batteries, all that gets put into the kiln and burnt also. They also burn a lot of waste paint and body parts....You'd be amazed at the stuff which goes into those kilns.
What I'll tell you is this...they take in three train fulls of tanker cars a day. Besides all that, they take in a long line of semi trucks per day. It all gets mixed together according to BTUs and burnt.”
“How can they do all that!”
“Because they get it up to 3000 degrees, it's supposed to burn off all the bad stuff. Once again, it's a shell game. They take the chemical or whatever and hold it up as one thing and say, “Ok, that's good to burn....what they don't do is they don't hold up all those chemical compounds they make by mixing it all and aerating it and show that it's safe to burn...or what all those fumes mixed together are making.”
He shook his head, “Get away from there.”
“I've moved away. My entire family lives there and my parents live there. Yeah, they live far enough away that shouldn't be a problem, but even then, there are days when they get fumes which suddenly sprout up from nowhere ten miles away.”
“Any meth producers in the area?”
“Up there? That's meth USA!”
He shook his head, “Ok, I forget it's everywhere.”
“Lon, let me tell you something...We've got two counties owned by one tele-evangelist preacher up there. What he doesn't own, he's going to be buying because he's a billionaire and happens to make money from a company which happens to make pesticides, herbicides, and lots of things.”
He closed his eyes and shook his head. I continued, “Up there, there are two towns which are at an intersection of three counties. It's a no man's land because...A, he owns most of the land around there and when you're a Sheriff whose primary tax payer is one man, you tend to do what he tells you to in order to stay employed.
HE tells 'em to stay away and therefore, everyone goes up there to produce their meth....and yeah, with there being 3 states within 30 miles, they can go to those states and buy all their needed supplies and not be seen because name recognition systems don't go across state lines for that limit.”
“No, it's a fault in the system. Buy your three packs of whatever and go across the river and get your other 3 packs and then, go up into Iowa and get another 3 packs and you've got 9 packs. I'll tell you right now I've been tempted to sell the stuff because at $50 a pack per month, that's pretty damned good money!”
He looked shocked, “It's not THAT much money!”
I gave him a stare, “Up there, it's damned near 2 weeks salary for 75% of the people! If they're not making minimum wage at part time, they're not working! And with it being a cash income, it's easy to be a mule for a producer and rue the day he gets caught!”
“I guess I never thought of it that way.”
“I'm being honest here. My Mom and Dad would kick my ass if they knew I'd considered it, but I didn't even though I have four friends who do it and THEY are doctor's and lawyer's kids!”
He shook his head, “Well don't do it!”
“I'm not...I just inherited more money than we can spend in several lifetimes!”
He smiled, “Did you get that from that doctor?”
He gave a nod, “I know he cared about you.”
“Yeah, and if I dwell on it, I'll be a puddle on the floor. Right now, I've got to trudge forward for Stu and not think about death getting one and letting me hang onto another and tell me it'll be back. Instead, I flip it the bird and say, “Not if I get a chance motherfucker!”
He chuckled, “I'm glad you've got the attitude you do.”
“It helps that I beat it. When you know you can beat something which seems insurmountable, you're not afraid of it when it comes back. Had I not had my few bouts with it, I imagine I'd be thinking...”Ooh, that's a bad motherfucker. I better steer clear of him!” Instead, I know it's not so tough and do my George Foreman and grill it!”
He laughed, “There you go!”
“It's amazing that Doc left me damned near what George made off those grills.”
when you add it all up, we're half a billionaires!”
His eyes got big, “You don't seem like you're letting the money get to you!”
“Believe me, we sat down when we got told!”
He laughed, “I bet!”
“Finally, I told Stu we're going to sweep it back into the box it came out of and not let it affect our lives. Yeah, we're going to invest it, but at the same time, it'd drive me nuts if I really thought about it....but then again, you know what's funny?”
“I saw Doc driving that Range Rover and never once thought of it as that expensive of a vehicle and then, I learned what it costs and it's like, “Ooh dude, it's a wonder you got by with driving that thing around in that small of a town!” and then, on the way down to Branson, it hit me that in one month, the interest from just SOME of the money would have us able to afford one every four hours....is that nuts or what!”
He laughed, “Be thankful you've got it.”
“I know...I'll get your bill and have to sit down!”
He laughed harder, “You're a nut!”
“Do your job and I'll be happy I've got him. He means more than that money any day of the week.”
He gave a nod, “Ok, I've got to go in here. He'll be finished real soon.”
“Ok, I've got these Blues sweat outfits.”
He smiled, “Why the Blues?”
“Cards are red and who REALLY wants to wear anything with the Rams on it???”
He laughed, “I take it you're not a Rams fan.”
“Steelers....and don't even ask me what team Stu supports, but I know he doesn't support the Blues either...so it's kinda funny he's gotta wear 'em!”
He laughed real loud, “That's SO not right!”
“Hey, if he was really a fan of his team, he'd have a set of sweats of theirs....wouldn't he? So maybe IF he wears the Blues, something will rub off.”
He laughed and shook his head. “He might just want to kick some ass, but don't be surprised if death has to wait a bit!”
I smiled, “That's ok...If he wants some practice that's cool! He'll do it in a Blues sweat outfit!”
He really laughed, “You're hilarious!”
He walked off and I went back to sitting and waiting until finally, the phone rang. I answered it and Mom said, “We're here!”
“Ok, come in the front doors and take those escalators to your left. I'll meet you there.”
I went out and around and around and on over to the escalators. Mom and Dad saw me and we headed to the waiting room. On the way, I told them what we had found out.
When we got there, it was only five minutes when Lon came out , “You guys can come back now.”
We went back and Stu was awake, but groggy. He smiled at me and held out his arm. I went over and kissed him , “Look what I got you!”
He gave me a look and smiled....”You gotta be kidding me!”
He laughed , “Jer....”
“Hon, it's the Blues....My choices were the Rams, the Cards, or Mizzou....and Mizzou wasn't in a size which would've made you comfortable....I think you'd probably look hot in it if you were hookin' down there, but not being comfortable...and I'm sorry, but Rams gear.....nah, we'll get you some Steelers gear first.”
He laughed and asked, “Ok, what's wrong with the Cards?”
“It was too near the Blues stuff. Of course, I was drawn to the Blues stuff!”
Lon got to laughing and Stu said, “Ok, I guess it's better than showing my butt!”
“I'm not so sure...but if you insist!”
Everyone laughed and Stu gave me a look, “I do believe we better sell some sweat clothes with the show on them.”
I chuckled, “Could I put 'In it' on the back?”
He gave me a look and smiled, “No!”
Mom asked, “What's that mean?”
“We're calling it Hillbilly Falls ….Hillbilly Falls in it???”
She smiled, “Bad joke!”
I gave a nod, “Ok, I'll try harder.”
Stu said, “Ok, let me have those and I'll get dressed.”
He went into the restroom and when he came out, I said, “Man, did I tell you how good looking you are?”
He smiled real big and Lon really laughed. He said, “Stu, here are your pills. This little box here is some pills you can take for pain for the next couple of days. I'll be giving you a call as soon as we've got the injection for you.”
I said, “We'll be over next Wednesday. I made plans when I thought it was Wednesday.”
Stu gave me a look. I said, “We're buying that brew pub.”
He gave a big nod, “Oh, I forgot about that!”
“The place I got the sweat outfits was across from it.”
He smiled, “Stop by to get a drink did ya?”
“No, I broke a foot off in the guy's ass. He's now selling it to me for 20% less and had he pissed me off further, I told him he'd not be able to sell unless he took it to 50% off.
I put $20,000 down in cash and he didn't want to take it....He said he wanted it all at one time.”
Stu said, “Ooh, now I see why you didn't buy anything red! You had already gotten it waved at you across the street. I guess we're fortunate there wasn't a china shop across the street!”
Everyone laughed and Lon said, “You guys are a perfect match. Stu can dish it back!”
I smiled, “We're a good pair.”
We left out of there and Stu said, “Take me down to that brew pub.”
“Ok, you gonna get one?”
He smiled, “I might, but I just want to see where it is and how the equipment looks.”
I drove down there. He said, “Man, it's not that far is it!”
“No, considering I don't know where many things are in this city.”
We parked and went in. Mom and Dad parked behind us and came in. The owner saw us , “Back so soon?”
I said, “He's my partner. He wanted to see the place.”
Stu asked, “Could you show us how the brew kettles work?”
We went into the brew room and the owner showed us all the different tanks and kettles involved. Stu seemed surprised and asked, “Is this amount legal to produce? It just seems like a lot!”
I said, “They're allowed a lot per week for their output. Most of them go right up to the limit and yet, IF they have different licensing as distillers, they can go into distillation of so much of each type of liquor without getting in trouble....And then, there are wines. So when you see what's possible legally, it's immense.”
He gave a nod and asked, “How much is this equipment worth?”
“It's worth what we're paying....Well, it's worth a lot more than we're paying. There's somewhere around $210,000 in just the brewing equipment.”
He gave a nod, “So we're considering the building a throw in.”
“The building is worth a LOT. IF you were to get it without the brew equipment, you'd pay around $4 million for it. Everyone assumes it's so ingrained in here that they can't remove it and me, I see it as two halves which can be parted.”
He gave a nod, “I agree. Do you think this would be good for a General Store?”
“Yeah, the arch is less than two blocks away and there's TONS of walk by traffic in the off season, but when summer season happens, it's like fifty times more.”
He turned to the owner, “I'm finishing the payment today. I'm NOT paying you in cash, so don't think that's EVER going to happen. You'll get a check and that way I have proof you got your money and your creditors can go after you rather than us.
IF you choose to refuse, I'll tell you now Jer's good friends with the bankruptcy judge for this district. In fact, the man probated a Will for him yesterday about four hours after the person died. IF you think that won't affect any bankruptcy, I beg to differ.”
The owner said, “It's not the bills we're selling for. It's just not enough space to sustain business.”
Stu smiled , “Can I beg to differ? Had I chosen to operate a brewery on site, I'd went up into those floors up there and found a way to get the equipment there. There's more than ample space here for a pub, but not with all that equipment taking it.
You can't feasibly tell me you couldn't remove some bricks and hire a crane when you've bought a quarter of a million in equipment, but then again, I'd cut a hole in the roof and dropped it in if I'd went to the expense of hiring a crane.
We're fortunate that we've got an idea of how you got it in here, so we can get it out, but maybe if you go into this line of business again, you can think about space considerations versus what you need for patrons which sustain you day in and day out.
Without knocking you too hard, we're not going to ask there be a non-compete unless you plan on doing it in Branson and then, you can best bet I want you away from there.”
The guy shook his head, “We're thinking about over in Soulard.”
Stu turned to me, “Did you look at one over there?”
“Yeah, it's a LOT smaller.”
He gave a nod, “Did you consider buying that one?”
“I considered it for all of two seconds. This building kept having me come back to it due to the value for the money. Buying a $4 million building for less than a nickel on the dollar was where it was for me.”
He gave a nod, “Ok, let's get this done. I can see what we're getting and wholeheartedly support it...and you're right, the value for the investment is incredible.”
went in and Mom gave me a smile, “He's serious when it comes to
dealing in business!”
“I'm glad he's taking charge of this. It shows we're a team which I really value.”
She gave a nod and I went into the pub room. Stu wrote out the check and asked, “What's the soonest we can count on this being closed?”
The guy said, “We've got ten kettles in process. IF we have two weeks, we'll be empty.”
Stu said, “Two weeks from tomorrow we'll expect possession. I know it's a rush, but we've got to have this equipment out and it zipped up in time before summer seasonal rush.” He looked around, “Fixtures...who gets those?”
I said, “We get them. I've got the asset list to which we can check off against.”
Stu gave a nod, “Ok, I believe everything is good. Let's get on out of here.”
We went out and when everyone got in the truck, Stu asked, “Before I dump on them, what's that other one look like?”
“LOTS smaller and the building is on a side street. It's already a brew pub, but the capacity is probably 1/10th what they're making here.”
He said, “Stay on their good side, they'll be out of business in a year....” He turned , “I'm sorry I turned into a prick, but I have no patience for people who waste money like they did in there.
They went into business without thinking of the customer and how they were going to serve enough customers to keep the doors open. When you count the number of tables in there, it's GOT to be standing room only all the time and for the prices they are charging, they lose money when property taxes are paid.”
He turned to me , “You're one helluva person for your age. In investing, you have it and within a short time of being involved with me, you're showing me you care about the customer and how to deliver it.
think back to when I was your age and look at what Eddie and I had
done and how we were still working on things and having SOME
successes, but look how long I went not knowing it was
“Hush that up! You didn't know. IF you'd done it fully well knowing, that'd be different. Instead, look at all the ways you protected everyone from mold and look at all the ways you worked your ass off to make a constantly changing show!
With that said, I'm not looking at anything WE are doing as a failure. I think we're on a great move at where we are in our lives and really, I'm fine if nothing changes.”
Stu put his hand on mine , “I'm sorry for getting bitchy. I really didn't want to go there and get like this. I sort've wanted to go down and smile and toast a cheers to us and get the place bought rather than us having to come back on Wednesday.
When I saw them getting so little for the amount of money they invested, it really pissed me off because I know that if you and I had invested that money and we got so little in return, I'd probably been alone in the place also because Jer' would've already cut me loose.”
“Wrong, we're in it for better or worse....but we'd sold the place a long time ago.”
“Babe, you are so heartless it's pitiful. You saying that we were getting it for less than five cents on the dollar in front of him nearly had me busting out laughing!”
I smiled, “I thought it's a good return!”
He laughed, “What's terrible is they could've sold all that equipment for scrap and found the space they needed to be a bar and probably found it increased their business!”
We drove on to the airport and showed Mom and Dad where to park. Stu asked, “Babe?”
“Can I hop out here and go in with them? This is really starting to pull at me.”
“Sure! I should've thought of that!”
He smiled, “I'll carry my clothes here.”
“I'll be right there!”
I drove over and they filled the truck with some of the most expensive gasoline I think I've ever bought. They declared the miles to be within what was allowable, so all I was out was the price of gas.
The shuttle got me to the terminal and then, it was moving to get to the plane. At the plane, I introduced my Mom and Dad to the pilot , “You'll be flying them as I wouldn't trust my parents to just anyone.”
He smiled, “Ok!”
When we landed in Branson, we got in the Rover and went to the cabin. Stu said, “Guys, I'm going to take a nap. I've feeling under the weather.”
Mom said, “We're going to take a nap also. I think all of us have had very little sleep.
Stu, we're here for you no matter what. You're a part of this family more in a few days than David was in years. We ALL love you and we're going to be here for you no matter what.”
Stu immediately went to tears. “Thank you.”
Mom went over and hugged him, “Each of us loves you in our own ways.”
Stu said, “Guys, you don't know how much this means to me. My own parents threw me away when they learned about me. Having your support means a lot.”
I think it suddenly hit Dad how the words had affected Stu. He came over and hugged Stu also. He said, “You've got a family now. Maybe it's a sign of the times, but we don't see any reason to give up on you.
You're funny, caring, and you are a damned good businessman. You've pulled yourself up by your boot straps and are patient in ways, I'm genuinely proud of you.”
I went over and hugged Mom and Dad. For parents that I thought were screw ups in a lot of ways, I couldn't love them any more at that time.
Hugs went all around and then, Stu and I...and Gypsy too...went next door to Stu's cabin.
When we got inside, Stu chuckled, “Do you feel like we just got sent on our honeymoon?”
“Nah, I'm not draggin' my can around behind me.”
He laughed, “I sure feel like it!”
“Are you ok babe?”
“It's ok, it just feels like I've been made a pin cushion.”
“Do you think he'll find the injection for me?”
“Yeah, he made it sound like this one is a walk in the park for him. Did you ever feel like there'd be a day when they'd have an 'injection' for cancer?”
“No, that's why it feels surreal.”
“Don't feel that way. When I saw that news article the first time, I cried for a good half hour before I called my Mom and then, she couldn't believe it. Needless to say, she watched it and we cried again and then, it got sent to everyone who called her and cried all over again.”
“Thank God I saw it or we'd be stuck with chemo and radiation and most likely a death sentence. Let's just get you well and then, we can prove you're a survivor....or a white balloon.”
“What's that mean?”
“In those walks, they have red balloons, white balloons, and blue balloons. One of them is for someone who's lost someone to cancer, one is for someone who survived, and the other is for something else.
As far as I'm concerned, I'll donate whatever that man needs for his research. HE alone is showing results and we've already had that talk that whatever he needs for funding, I'll pay if I can have you at the end of all this. I know I sure want others to have their loved ones like I got mine.”
He hugged me, “You know all of you make me feel so good!”
“We're not telling you anything but the truth.”
He smiled, “SO, I look better with these sweats on?”
“Well....that particular shade of blue enhances yours, but if you put on Steeler's yellow, I might not be able to restrain myself!”
He laughed, “What about if I get naked?”
“Ooh, I know I'm getting' some then! You're playing for the jaybirds then!”
He laughed, “What sport is that?”
“If I have to tell you what balls that sport is, it'll be hard to explain. You put 'em through the uprights like football, but you get 'em dribbled all over like basketball and it uses a bat like baseball...or in your case, maybe that's polo since a horse seems like it was involved.”
He laughed real loud, “You're going to have to wash my back in that shower.”
“Ok, I guess it's like golf too since I'm your ball washer.”
He laughed again. I said, “Ok, let's go in here and get in the shower.”
We went in and got in the shower. The spots where he'd been stuck were bruised, but he was looking good. After our shower, we went in and got in bed and then, went to sleep.
Write Me A Love Story
Notes From Retta:
From My Keyboard To Your Heart,
The author, RettaMichaels copyrights this story and retains all rights. This work may not be edited, changed, or duplicated in any form, media [ known or unknown ], without the author's expressed permission. All applicable copyright laws apply. RettaMichaels does NOT give editorial consent in order for this to be published. If it is deemed unpublishable in it's context, permission much be granted before publication or changes occur.
Trademark Notice – 2011 by RettaMichaels
“From My Keyboard To Your Heart”,”'Retta”,“RettaMichaels”.“Retta”,“Rhett”, and “Rhette” are all Trademark of RettaVonnMichaels L.L.C. None of these trademarks may be used, or authorized without consent.
Disclaimer: All individuals depicted are fictional, and any resemblance to real persons, locations, or incidents is purely coincidental.