Photo – The Big Green
Photography & Writing by Mary L Marion
Originally Published In www.boomar357.wordpress.com 2012-02-15
The Big Green also known as the Colorado River.
This picture was taken in May 2001. I was at the Grand Canyon looking down and saw the green ribbon. I asked our guide what it was and he said “The Big Green”, which is the Colorado River.
I knew that the Colorado River is the main river going through the Grand Canyon but I did not know it was also called “The Big Green”. But seeing the river from the top of the canyon looking down that is exactly what it is. Green!
Nature is an amazing thing. Rivers make canyons, gulches, and divide land in many different ways. This river “The Colorado River” is probably best known for its path through the Grand Canyon but did you know it is 1,450 miles long? Did you know it is in parts of seven states and into Mexico? I did not know that until I went to the Grand Canyon then came home and did some research on it. The water shed of this river covers 246,000 square miles!
More than 20 dams have been built on the Colorado River and its tributaries. The Colorado River rises on the Continental Divide at La Pourde Pass in the Rocky Mountain National Park. At the rivers headwater the Continental Divide forms the boundary between the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean.
A mile downstream from its source, the Colorado River carved its first canyon Little Yellowstone Canyon. So this Big and Powerful river has created more than one canyon. It is also used to keep crops in several states surviving. This river is very large, and important. We all know how important the Mississippi River is, well this river seems to be just as important. I learned that unless we look to study something we really know nothing about it. The Colorado river “The Big Green” is one of the more important rivers in the United States but even in schools we don’t learn about its importance.
Go to one of your search engines and find out which states this river helps take time to enjoy learning about something you never thought about before.
Photo – Hoodoos In Bryce Canyon Utah
Photography & Writing by Mary L Marion Originally Published In www.boomar357.wordpress.com 2012-01-20
Year 2001 on trip with my sister to Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico
It was her 60th birthday trip. This picture is from Bryce Canyon in Utah. It is the HOODOOS. The indians said it was the silent people standing and guarding the canyon. It was an amazing trip but to look back at the pictures ten years later I am still amazed at the beauty of nature and our country. I love to travel and have had the opportunity to see many of the 48 lower states as they are called. All are beautiful and all have spots that are breath-taking. BUT, when you are in this canyon and see this site in my opinion there is no doubt that there is a God who loves us so much that He gives us beauty all around us.
The colors of the Midwest are wonderful. They change every hour of the day with the moving of the sun. This canyon is Red, Orange, Gold, an all the other shades of Orange and Yellow. My sister and I went and spent hours at this canyon I took about 30 rolls of film just of this canyon. Yes I have a LOT of pictures of our trip and each one shows a different view and different colors. I am blessed with a good memory and when I look at any picture of this trip, I can still remember exactly what my sister and I were wearing on that day, what some of our conversations were and how I felt just being in this beauty and having my camera with me to record it.
In a couple of days I will post a picture from the Grand Canyon and you will see the difference of colors there they were dusty rose, violet, lavender, green, and glorious. I have a picture of the Colorado River that runs through the canyon and it is so green. Our guid said the river used to be called The Big Green River and when you see that picture you know why.
Why am I reminiscing about this trip now? Well I was just looking at some of my pictures and remembering what seemed to be a better time. But was it really a better time? No because three months later we were attacked by terrorists in this country and that is when things started to fall apart. At least it seems that way to me. After this attack even though we got closer as a country for a while within three years people started acting like that act of terrorism never happened. Our economy started to take a nose dive, people became more violent, there were more crimes committed, more people being ignored, more people going hungry right here in the United States of America. No one in power seemed to notice or care, they kept sending help to other countries giving our resources away. Now here we are ten years later with millions of people out of work, more homes being foreclosed and taken away, more crime on the streets, more hunger, more children being abandoned and left on their own to fight the world. Who cares? Does anyone care?
God, cares yes He does. We as a nation need to get back to the basics of faith, love, and understanding. We need to help each other in THIS country first. Lets take care of ourselves and after we are back on firm ground then expand and help other countries. But we really need to take care of US first. We need to get our economy back to the position of strength, we need to get our people back to work making the items we need for ourselves. We need to stop buying items we can make from foreign countries. We need to use our coal, oil, water, and land to sustain ourselves NOW.
We need to pay our workers a decent wage so they are able to support their families like it used to be. We need to help our poor right here in THIS country. God has called each of us to take care of each other. Faith, Hope and Love those are things we all know about and remember LOVE is the greatest of these. So lets start loving each other again, lets build our country back the way it was. We can do this. We need to do this. Lets pull ourselves up by the boot straps as they used to say and start all over again. Who is with me? I will be interested in knowing who thinks we can get back this wonderful country the way it was. I will let you all know the next time I write if anyone is interested in living the life we had instead of the life we are told we have to live now.
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Text Copyright © 2013 Mary L Marion
All rights reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced in any form or by any means without the prior written consent of the Publisher, excepting brief quotes used in reviews.
This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons living or dead is entirely coincidental.
Pamela and Erich Morrison had been at the Fort Macon State Park outside of Jacksonville, North Carolina for six weeks. Since this was a state park, it had the same amenities as the Prince William Forest RV Campground in Virginia. The clean campground has over 200 sites throughout the wooded area and several on the beachfront. Since both Pamela and Erich loved the ocean they always tried to get a site near the beach but because they always required two side by side sites that was not always possible. Here at Fort Macon they had two sites right at the edge of the wooded area within walking distance to the beach. The campground had clean restrooms, a laundry facility, a clubhouse, a camp store, and a large area for barn fires in the evenings where the campers could gather to get acquainted, sing songs, and swap stories.
Fort Macon itself had great history; it was a five-sided structure made of brick and stone four and a half feet thick. There were 26 rooms called casements. During the 18th and 19th centuries, it was there for protection against a naval attack on North Carolina.
Construction of the present fort began in 1826. The fort was garrisoned in 1834. In the 1840s, a system of erosion control was initially engineered by Robert E. Lee, who later became general of the Confederate Army. At the beginning of the Civil War, North Carolina seized the fort from Union forces. The fort was later attacked in 1862, and it fell back into Union hands. For the duration of the war, the fort was a coaling station for navy ships.
Fort Macon was a federal prison from 1867 to 1876: it was garrisoned during the Spanish-American War and was closed in 1903. The government offered to sell the fort in 1923; the state purchased the land and made it the second state park. It was restored by the Civil Conservation Corp from 1934-1935. The fort was garrisoned for the last time during World War II.
The fort was designed by Brig. General Simon Bernard and built by the US Army Corp of Engineers. It was named after North Carolina Statesman Nathaniel Macon. Construction started in 1826 and took eight years to complete. The fort was completed in December 1834.
Pamela and Erich always stayed at fort Macon State Park RV Campground when they came to North Carolina. It was one of Pamela’s favorite places. It was close to her Son’s family her granddaughters and now the great-grandchildren.
The views of the ocean were magnificent and the water was actually warm enough to go into compared to the same ocean up in New Hampshire where the water was always cold even in the heat of August. There were always many people flying kites on the beach. Every time they came, they took the tour of Fort Macon and each time she learned more about it. She had good feelings from the fort from all the different soldiers of each war that had used the fort. The quarters were unique and now it was a museum. It told the history of not only the wars the fort was used for but also showed the difficulties the soldiers had living at the fort, especially in the winter. Even though winter in North Carolina was not as severe at New Hampshire it was right on, the ocean and that always caused discomfort with severe winds. Also during the times the fort was used soldiers were away from their families so it was always a lonely time for everyone involved.
Erich got his book back from the editors and he would be busy making the changes suggested. Pamela would have fun taking the great-grandchildren out to some of their favorite places. She would make time for her son and daughter-in-law and she would spend weeks on her painting. This would also give her a chance to photograph the entire family. She loved that they came at least once a year to see everyone. The children always grew so much she was amazed how tall her oldest great-grandson was at age eleven.
Pamela and Jimmy James Blue went to the beach every day. Blue had learned to body surf. He would swim out until he saw a wave coming turn and let the wave bring him into shore. It was while he was wet that one could see the blue of his fur most clearly. The look on his face was one of pure joy. Oh to be a dog for just one day Pamela thought. After twenty minutes, Pamela gave Blue the signal to come. He got out of the water and anything within a wide radius got wet when he shook himself. He smiled and came to Pamela stopping only once to look at a small boy building a sand building.
Pamela took a long walk on the beach with Blue remembering the wonderful chance she had to go back in time, Even if it was for such a short time it reinforced her belief that one could go into different time zones. To be able to see how others lived in a time a person only got a chance to read about normally.
Fort Macon supplied all the opportunity to sturdy not only the Civil War but also other wars that the United States had been involved in since the Civil War. Pamela looked forward to her family visits, to Erich getting his book finished, her getting at least four or five paintings done and heading either further south or back to Skyhaven.
She would never forget her face to face with Major John B Sherrad but she was glad to be moving on to another adventure perhaps of a different kind. Maybe she would find another portal into time past and get the chance to explore more than she had in Virginia. Pamela decided that if given the chance she would gladly go back in time and come face to face with someone from another time. That learning opportunity does not come often but when it did, taking advantage of it would always be something Pamela would certainly do.
Since Pamela and Erich had decided to stay in North Carolina for several more months exploring the coast and maybe, going inland across the state Pamela decided to study the history of the state. She discovered that NASCAR Racing was born in the state during prohibition.
The United States Prohibition was from 1920 through 1933. North Carolina became the first state in the south to enact statewide prohibition of alcoholic beverages. It was also the first state in the union to enact state prohibition by a direct vote of the electorate with a resounding 62% in favor.
North Carolina established prohibition years before it became a national law in 1920. It is safe to say that most North Carolinians wanted prohibition and they wanted it to work. Unfortunately, neither state wide or national prohibition did not reduce the production or use of alcohol. After prohibition was established, speakeasies or blind tigers sprang up. Someone said that they had sprung up like mushrooms after a rain. It was reported that Fifteen Million Dollars worth of alcoholic beverages came into North Carolina from nearby Richmond, Virginia alone each year.
A few years after prohibition went into effect the director of prohibition enforcement for the eastern counties of the state stated that they had more illicit distilleries than any other state in the union. Prohibition not only failed to reduce the drinking of alcohol but it increased and created more crime. It also failed to increase public morality it actually reduced it.
When the other states created constitutional conventions to consider ratifying to consider the repeal North Carolina voted against calling such a convention. North Carolina never ratified the repeal.
North Carolina was considered a DRY state for many years after the 1933 repeal of prohibition act. North Carolina never did sign the repeal act. However, it did not stay a DRY state. During the late 1920s, Bootlegging in North Carolina was statewide from Jacksonville on the Atlantic to Ashville touching Tennessee and from Greensboro to Wilmington.
It was during this time when people were making Moonshine at back woods locations moving the product to other places within the state and across the borders to other states that required skilled drivers in fast cars to navigate back woods roads. These drivers helped make the cars go faster with their knowledge of engines, and their vast knowledge of the twisty roads made it possible for them to out run the local and federal police. This is how car racing started and eventually turned into the modern day NASCAR racing that so many people love to watch and take part in.
Stock car racing in the United States has its origins in bootlegging during Prohibition, when drivers ran bootleg whiskey made primarily in the Appalachian region of the United States. Bootleggers needed to distribute their illicit products, and they typically used small, fast vehicles to better evade the police, or federal agents. Many of the drivers would modify their cars for speed and handling, as well as increased cargo capacity, and some of them came to love the fast-paced driving down twisty mountain roads. This started races between the moonshine drivers seeing who could get their product to the sellers of their illegal alcohol first.
When the government got wind of these back woods moonshine operations, they tried to close them down. Dozens maybe even hundreds were closed down. However, the federal agents wanted to catch the drivers with the moonshine. This caused many races between federal agents and moonshine movers or runners as they were called. These drivers were very good. They mostly traveled at night with their lights off so they could not be seen.
Since they knew the roads much better than the federal agents they could and did go faster and got away from them. During the daylight hours, the federal agents along with local police departments looked for the stills and the cars that moved the illegal alcohol from town to town. Many cars were stopped and searched but few were found. The cars used for moving the illegal alcohol were not used as much during the day. When one of these cars was found, it was removed to a federal facility and the driver was arrested for illegal transport of alcohol.
If the federal agents were lucky, enough to catch one of the vehicles during transport of the product it was because they had crashed going around a curve at high speeds. The driver was usually injured and required medical help before they could be arrested and interrogated which gave the owners of the still time to tear down and rebuild in a new and different place. Because of the skill of the drivers and the ability of the still owners to tear down and rebuild their stills within a matter of days this activity of chasing the moonshiners went on for years after the 1933 Repeal Act was signed. In fact, it was the 1950’s before all federal agents were taken off the chase for these runners.
By then the Stock Car Racers had started organizing races. They first started on Daytona Beach, Florida because of the hard packed sand where many land speed records were made. The people in the southern states specially the Wilkes County in North Carolina got fun and joy from racing each other. Soon race spots that later became race tracks sprang up all over the state. Racers, former runners, gathered on Saturdays to see who had the fastest cars.
The first races were just a short quarter mile events to see who could get started the fastest and push it to the floor before the other drivers. Then they started stretching out the distances because going only a quarter of mile real fast although fun was not enough of a challenge for these experienced back woods drivers. They made a dirt road in the shape of a large oval two miles round. Then they raced just pairs at first going around the dirt road twice. It was during these first races that they learned the art of making the turns skillfully. The first racers lost traction going around the curves and spun out causing crashes making it easier for the other person to win.
Once the drivers learned the art of making the turns at high speed going around the two-mile track twice was not a challenge enough for them. Also just two drivers at a time became boring so they made it a ten-car race and learned how to draw for their spot of starting positions. These races led to finding out that instead of drawing numbers or straws to get a good position needed to be refined. Therefore, they had pre-races to see who had the speed and those who were the fastest on these pre-races got the better positions. Now those pre-races are the trials that are two days before a race to see who gets the inside or outside spots and in which order the racers will be.
Today those car races that started as friendly competitions are a big money making business. Hundreds of young people want to be a part of the racecar industry today. Taking a small post in any capacity to get started on what they hope will be a long career with the racing organization. The way a person gets to be a driver is just as difficult as any other profession to get into. Yes, some of the famous drivers are families starting with the grandfathers down to the sons and then on down to the grandsons. However, someone just walking in off the street and becoming a driver is not likely to happen. It takes education, training and persistence along with the love of cars and racing over several years for someone to become a good professional driver.
A driver has to start working his way up the ladder like any other business. Some start out in the pits working on the cars and with the crew. There are only six crewmembers allowed out in the pit during a race to service a car. Getting on one of these pit crews requires someone who is in good physical health, who is strong not only physically but also mentally and emotionally. They are trained to work fast and together with no talking except orders during the service time.
These crews work daily on their routine of who does what. They are timed and are always made to work faster and harder. Sometimes the amount of time it takes a crew to service a car can determine the winner of a race.
After reading for several hours about how car racing got started during the prohibition era Pamela was ready to take a break and fix dinner for her and Erich. Blue was outside resting in the shade. It was obvious that he was still on alert for outsiders coming close to Christine but he was relaxed and staying cool in the shade.
One thing Erich always insisted on was having two campsites side by side so that Blue had plenty of space to take a short run if he wanted or needed to. The camp owners were never averse to renting two spaces for one RV especially when they saw that is was for the large blue dog. Erich constructed a run the width of both sites; he put up a temporary fence around both sites. This prevented people from walking into the area and let Blue know his space limitations and boundaries. The engineer in Erich knew exactly how much wire was needed for the run that Blue would be hooked up to and several times a day he would go out and throw the ball all the way to the other end so that Blue got exercise. They both loved these times together. Blue would eagerly try to beat Erich’s throw before it hit the ground. He got good at catching the ball in midair five feet from the end of the run.
When he brought the ball back to Erich they would frolic around together. If other campers were in the area, they would stop to watch the pair playing together. Erich had to field many questions about Jimmy James Blue. Since the questions were almost always the same, what kind of dog is he, how did he get that blue color, how fast can he run, is he a security dog, has he been military trained, just to name a few Erich could answer the questions without stopping his throwing game with Blue.
Another activity that Erich and Blue did together was in the early mornings around 6 AM the two of them would head out for a morning run-bike ride. Erich on Diesel Dark his trusty bicycle and Blue attached to Diesel by a short leash. Blue could run as fast as Erich could peddle the bike, and he could sense when Erich had to slow down to make a turn and it looked like he was leading the man and his bike from the perspective of onlookers. They would do about twenty miles round trip in an hour. When they got back to the campsite Blue would be fed and given water, Erich would go inside and take care of his morning routine. Pamela would get up and do her usual routine then fix the two of them a good breakfast. That was their time of the day to sit together and discuss what they would do for the rest of the day.
If Erich was working on a novel, he probably would seclude himself in his small office space in the bedroom area and Pamela would have the rest of the day to do whatever she wanted. On those days, she would take Blue and they would walk around the entire campgrounds exploring all the areas. Here at Fort Macon Camp Ground they had the advantage of the beach and they could go there so that Pamela could set up an easel and do some painting with Blue close by. She always gave him permission to go into the water before they went back to the campsite. How he loved the water.
Everyone on the beach would stop whatever he or she was doing to watch the large Blue dog body surf. There was pure joy on his face and in his body that attracted the people to watch him. After his swim, he would shake himself and anyone within a large radius of him would get wet. It was always fun to watch them try to get out of the way of his drying himself. Pamela had taken many pictures of Blue in the water and during his drying time. She should make a book about Blue just using the pictures of him having fun. She certainly had enough pictures of him running, playing catch with Erich, running alongside Diesel Dark and Danielle, the tandem bike that Erich and Pamela rode together, she had plenty of pictures of Blue in the water rather it was the ocean or a lake, more pictures of him running through fields chasing a butterfly or a squirrel. She would talk to Erich about such a project.
This was Tuesday and it was the day she designated to bake Blue his dog treats. Since Blue loved the water, he did not mind getting a bath. He did sometimes resist the shampooing part of the bath but the squirting of the hose water on him was fun, he chased that water wondering why he could not get under it like the big waters he went into. However, he did not wonder for long and had fun with Pamela and the hose. Once he was clean and had the salt off his skin. Pamela used a special skin conditioner so his skin did not get sores from the salt water. This conditioner also had something in it to keep the bugs off him.
Pamela also put Garlic in his food because she had read that fleas and ticks did not like the taste of garlic, which came out through the pores of the skin of a dog. Pamela remembered the first time she had put garlic in his wet food. She laughed at the memory he had taken a big bite of food and suddenly went still. He licked his mouth and shook his head then went in for another bite. Again, he went still shook his head and this time he went for a drink of water. The third bite causing the same reaction made him pick up his bowl and bring it to Pamela. He sat the bowl down in front of her and sat looking at her. Pamela knew immediately that she had probably put too much garlic in the food. She threw the rest of the food away and gave him a new batch. He tasted it carefully then gobbled it down in two bites. The next day Pamela put half the amount of garlic she had the previous day in his food and she never had a problem of him eating his food with garlic in it again. This did the trick he did not scratch and did not have any kind of bugs on him which was a relief to not only Pamela but also Blue who wondered how the bugs knew not to bother him anymore.
With Blue taken care of for the day Pamela and he set out for a nice long walk around the campground. They wandered near the building that held the theatre, laundry, and craft rooms. They went across a field towards a small stand of trees. Pamela got out her camera and took several shots of the trees from different angles getting a good range of shadow and light pictures. As they continued around the campground, they came to a dense section of woods. They ventured along a small path that looked to Pamela like it was not used often.
As they walked further into the woods on this small path, they suddenly came across a different campsite. One that was distinctly different from the others at the campground. This one had a rock fireplace built to one side. There was no tent but there was some kind of machine in a clearing. This machine consisted of three large wooden and metal barrels on different levels connected together by copper pipes.
There were about six or seven barrels with tops on them that appeared to be full of some kind of liquid. There were three large woodpiles with wood stacked up more than Pamela was tall. No one was around. As Blue and Pamela walked around the area, they noticed there were no people around just the funny machine, which looked like one of the old moonshine stills Pamela had read about, and the full barrels Pamela realized was probably moonshine siting waiting to be bottled. There was a funny smell in the air, Pamela could not identify. It was stronger than the smoky smell that hung in the air. It was similar to rubbing alcohol used in the emergency room to clean a wound. She decided to go and look in one of the barrels.
Suddenly Pamela felt a crackle in the air like an electrostatic shock. Blue went very still and was on the lookout for what, Pamela did not know. Blue got closer to Pamela in a protective stance. All at once, three large men were coming their way. They were dressed in flannel shirts and overalls. They each wore a hat to shade their eyes and each carried what looked like a rifle or shotgun. They were talking about getting out the filled barrels within two days so they could start making more “juice.” As they got closer, one of the men saw Pamela and Blue. He started shouting and running toward them.
Pamela panicked, she grabbed Blue’s collar and they started running back down the path. By that time, the other two men were running after the first. “Roy, one of them shouted, where are you going”? “Someone is messing around our place,” answered Roy. “I don’t see anyone,” said the second man. “Well I did,” said Roy. “A woman and a large blue dog.” They had arrived at the site and the three men started looking around, behind the woodpiles, the fireplace and behind all the barrels. After a few minutes, the other two men stopped looking and asked Roy to tell them again what he saw. “It was a small woman or a child with a large blue dog.” “Blue dog?” Asked one of the men. “Yes blue,” said Roy. The other two men looked at each other and laughed. “You must be drinking too much shine,” one of the other men added. “I tell you Ray I saw a woman and blue dog.”
By this time, Blue and Pamela had turned and were watching the men. Pamela noticed that there was a film or screen between them. She could see through it and could see the men clearly. One was named Roy another Ray and the third one had not been identified yet. Even though she and Blue were only about six feet away from them, they did not seem to notice them.
“What do you think David, asked Ray did you see anyone or a blue dog?” “Nope,” replied the one called David. “Well I did,” said Roy. “Well if you did where did they go?” asked David. “I don’t rightly know,” said Roy. “They ran off that way.” He pointed in the direction of Pamela and Blue. The three of them walked toward the area where Pamela and Blue were. Blue growled low and menacingly. The man called Roy stopped. “Did you hear that”? he asked. “Hear what?” Ray replied. “A mean growl” said Roy. “No I didn’t hear anything.” said David and Ray agreed, “Nothing.”
It was then that Pamela realized they were between times. She and Blue were not in either their time or the other time. If they took a few more steps backward, they would lose contact with them all together. She decided to stay where they were and watch them for a while. She signaled for Blue to sit and watch.
One more search around the site revealed that no one else was there except the three men, Roy, Ray, and David. They turned their attention to emptying the full barrels into bottles, some quart size others gallon size. They hid the bottles inside the empty barrels. David said the driver would be around after dark to take a load. They started the fire under the three staged barrels with the copper tubing. They started making a new batch of what they called ‘shine’. They poured in a large bag of what looked like corn taken off the cob. The bag looked like it weighed only about eight to ten pounds by the ease they lifted it. They then added water up to a line on the barrel.
Next David brought out some yeast along with what he called a Starter Yeast that he said he had taken from his wife’s kitchen stash. He knew she would notice that half of her starter used for bread was gone. She would ask him about it and he would have to lie. They needed the starter to get their own starter for each barrel of ‘shine’ they were planning to make hopefully that would be the only time he would have to take any of the starter yeast so he would not have to lie to her again.
After standing still for about 20 minutes to a half hour Pamela, and Blue stepped, back three steps, and she noticed they were back at the campground about to go into the wooded area. Blue shook himself as if he had just gotten out of the water. Pamela shrugged too. They went back to their campsite all the while Pamela was thinking about what they had seen and heard. She wondered what year they had stepped into and if she would ever be able to go back to the same place again.
When they got to Christine and Blue was put on his run Pamela went to find Erich to tell him about their adventure. Christine was giving off her signal that she wanted to be in on the conversation. Pamela went and turned on her computer so Christine could hear everything. Pamela knew that Christine would analyze all the information and be able to give Pamela some insight to where she had been and what she had seen and heard.
After relating her story to Erich and Christine, Erich said it certainly did seem she had gone back to a moonshine still sight. “Christine, tell us if there were moonshine sites in or near this area from 1922 until 1940”, Erich ordered. It will only take a few minutes Christine conveyed to both of them. It always amazed Pamela how quickly Christine could take information and compile everything in minutes. In this case, it was two minutes before Christine showed on the computer that there had been three moonshine stills in the woods around Jacksonville during the years Erich had asked about. All were within ten to fifty miles of each other. All were run by the same family.
The Caldwell Brothers who lived in Kinston, NC, which was about forty-five miles from Jacksonville, had taken over most of the wooded areas between Kinston and Jacksonville building stills and making moonshine, trying to stay out of sight and away from the police and the federal agents that were always hanging around. The brothers were named Roy the oldest age 25, Ray age 24, and David age 22 back in 1926. They were always together and were very adept at taking down a still site and building another one in just a few days. Their moonshine was a favorite among the people within a two hundred mile area. The federal agents really wanted to catch them and their crew and take away their business.
The Caldwell brothers had a group of drivers and cars that could out run any police vehicle in the state. At least that was the report that Pamela read on her computer screen. Therefore, she had seen the brothers had almost been caught in their time at one of their moonshine stills.
“So, Christine, was I in 1926 at one of the stills?” Asked Pamela. Yes, replied Christine. You were about thirty miles from the campground here. “Thirty miles!” Pamela said her eyes wide looking at Erich. “How is that possible I just walked into the woods one mile from this spot.” Pamela had confusion in her voice.
Let me explain, replied Christine, you walked into the woods, made a slight turn southwest, it was then that you entered the time portal. “Portal like the one in Virginia?” inquired Pamela. Yes-explained Christine. That slight turn and entering the Portal took you closer to Jacksonville. Why it happened has not been figured out yet but it will be soon Christine explained. You went what seemed only a few steps but was actually another two miles then went through the curtain into 1926. You were still in the woods because it was still woods in 1926. If you had gone into 1948, you would have been in the town of Jacksonville on the last street of that town at the very edge of the town touching the woods. Since you were in 1926 the area was still woods. Going through the curtain of time it seemed you only walked a short way but you actually get teleported the thirty miles because that was an actual place where people had been.
You would never go into another time and be stuck somewhere that no people were or had been explained Christine. “Well that is good to know,” said Pamela. “Christine, if I had gotten into trouble would I have been able to contact you for help?” Yes Pamela. You can ask for help any time and as far away as two hundred miles. “Great,” said Erich and Pamela together. “You both should know that I am working on a device that Pamela can carry with her in case she needs to have help in a hurry. It will be like a GPS signal that I am going to put in her watch and Christine you will be able to track her.” “Erich that is a wonderful idea, but, will it cross over or through time?” Asked Pamela. “That is exactly what I am working on. I want to try it out myself, so I am taking Jimmy James out tomorrow and we will go into the woods exactly where you did and see if we can recreate where you were.” “Good,” said Pamela.
The rest of the day Erich spent putting his GPS signal into two watches one for himself and one for Pamela. He then worked on inserting the circuit board needed into Christine. Pamela spent the rest of the day writing about her experience so she would not forget anything. They had supper together then went to the big barn fire that the campground held once a week to bring the campers together. They met a couple who had lived in Jacksonville when they were in their forties, now at age seventy they were coming back to see how it had changed. Pamela and Ellen struck up a good conversation and Erich could see that Pamela had made a new friend. Of course, it was not hard for Pamela to connect with other people. She was so smart, considerate, and genuine. People were attracted to her naturally.
Ellen and Pamela made a date to go to Jacksonville the next day to do some shopping and knowing Pamela, Erich figured she would be doing some exploring and trying to find old history about the town. He also suspected that she would pick Ellen’s brain about how things were thirty years earlier.
The next day started out bright and sunny. Not too hot, a cool crisp breeze now and then kept things just right. Pamela had a medical problem that made her body over heat so she enjoyed the spring, fall, and wintertime’s best. In North Carolina, the fall was usually pleasant and Pamela could be comfortable. On the days, the temperature was over 80 she stayed inside Christine as much as she could.
This Thursday would turn out to be one of many events for all three family members. Pamela, Erich, and Blue went for a walk and Pamela took Erich to the wooded path she had gone down two days before. The two embraced, Pamela hugged Blue telling him to keep Erich safe. They tried out the new signal in Erich’s watch and Christine buzzed him to let them know she was tracking him.
Pamela watched as the two went into the woods. She noticed that Erich had his small pack slung across his body. A man who was always prepared Pamela knew the pack held his thin coat, a hat, pair of gloves, and a sweater vest for warmth and in case it was raining the coat would keep him dry. There were sandwiches for Erich, biscuits for Blue and a large bottle of water for them. Erich had his compass, his watch with it newly installed GPS signal that would be useful when going back in time whether it be only a few years or almost a century, as well as a pair of small binoculars. He had notecards and a pen in his breast pocket as usual along with his cell phone.
Pamela told him to put the cell phone in his pants pocket or his pack if he did find himself in a different time because it would attract too much attention if someone saw it. They arranged to keep in touch through Christine. Erich told Pamela that Christine could track both of them and for her not to worry. He was looking forward to his first adventure of this kind. Of course, he knew he might not find the portal that Pamela had gone through but he was looking forward to feeling the things he had heard from Pamela and hoped he did at least find a portal, any adventure would be exciting for Erich and Jimmy.
When Pamela could no longer see the two, she went back to Christine and turned on her computer. Christine surprised her with an actual video of the two walking through the woods. Pamela knew that Erich had done this not only for her to be relieved but also for him to be able to watch her when she and Blue went on their walks. All at once, they were no longer visible on the screen. Christine told Pamela they had walked through the portal into 1928. That was two years later than when Pamela had stepped through.
Ellen Wright knocked on the door and called out to Pamela. Sighing Pamela wished she had made the shopping date for another day but since she was committed, she blanked the screen of the computer and went to the door all smiles.
The two set off with Ellen driving, they talked about their lives how they were different, and yet the same since both had been born in 1942 and both raised in military families always on the move. Both had mothers who stayed home and took care of the house and family. Neither even knew if their mothers longed to do more than stay home. It was the way things were up until the 1960’s when women went to work more and more outside the home. Our mothers said it was sad that women went outside the home to look for satisfaction instead of just loving their homes and families.
Ellen had been a teacher for forty-eight years, teaching High School English. She had always had the dream to be a writer. Pamela said now was the perfect time for Ellen to make that dream come true. Ellen looked startled and asked, “You don’t think I am too old?” “Absolutely not. Look at all the knowledge you have, the stories you can tell about life, happiness, sadness, and adventures you have gone through. Write them into fiction stories.” Ellen thought about that and suddenly smiled, “Thank you Pamela, that is exactly what I am going to start doing.” “Good for you,” Pamela smiled back.
The two women were now at the edge of the shopping area of Jacksonville and decided to go the Jacksonville Mall.
The Jacksonville Mall is the regional Mall for a fifty-mile radius and is sixty miles from Wilmington located in Oslow County. It is large with three popular anchor stores and a multiple movie theatre complex. There is no actual food court, but food stations around the middle of the mall, over fifty stores with just about anything one could want, there are bank ATM machines located near the entrances of the mall. There is a store where one could mail packages using either UPS or FedEx. There are nail and hair salons also. The customer service central desk has knowledgeable people who can answer questions about the mall and some of the surrounding area one can buy gift cards for use at the mall. There is also a Barnes and Noble bookstore with a nice coffee shop.
Ellen and Pamela entered through the Belk store entrance. Ellen told Pamela that when they moved to Jacksonville in 1982 the mall had been open only a few months and had a smaller footprint. They took their time walking through the store to get to the inside section of the mall to the connecting stores. Since it was just 11AM Pamela and Ellen decided to look around and then go to Ihops for lunch around 1PM. One of the stores Ellen wanted to visit was The American Eagle Outfitters and the Harris Jewelry store, her watch had broken, and she needed it repaired with a new battery. Pamela had no specific store she wanted to visit so she would just go with Ellen and if one of the stores caught her eye she would go in and browse. Erich and she had learned long ago that having ‘things’ was not the answer to happiness and the two of them seldom bought many items when out on a shopping trip. They only got necessities. New clothes once a year donating the old ones when possible. Christine their sentient home had everything built in that they would ever need.
Pamela did have a few knick-knacks around that had to be stored when they were traveling and brought out at each stop. Pictures of their family were in an album and stored in the bedroom so that Pamela could go and see the faces of her loved ones any time she wanted. Her camera equipment and art supplies had a special cupboard in the bedroom. Her standing easel was kept in the under storage of Christine when they traveled.
Christine had exactly what they needed. A place for everything and everything in its place was Erich’s favorite saying when it came to keeping Christine neat and clean. In September when Pamela started her Christmas shopping there was a large container under the bed to put those items in. When it was filled she would stop buying and wrap presents making sure each of the grand and great grandchildren had the same amount of presents. Erich always marveled at how she was so fair to all of the grand and great grandchildren without making it feel like they were getting the same amount of items. Each person had gifts suited just for him or her. Pamela seemed to know exactly what each person needed or wanted. Erich often wondered how she was able to do that. Their sons and daughter-in-laws also got what they needed and she had the ability to give them fun items they would use in their homes.
The women spent about two and a half hours looking in various stores and stopped at the movie place to see if there were any good movies they would want their husbands to bring them to. At 1:30PM, they were both hungry and tired of walking so went back to Belk’s and out to Ellen’s car. The IHops was in the same parking complex so they did not have to drive far. Ellen once again parked her car; they got out and went into the restaurant. This was one of Pamela’s favorite places to eat. Since breakfast was her favorite meal, she could have another one today. French toast was her favorite and that is what she ordered. Ellen ordered a large Belgian Waffle with apples and whipped cream. They both ordered Ice tea, Ellen the traditional Southern Sweet Tea and Pamela regular unsweetened tea. Pamela never got used to the Southern Sweet Tea. She remembered the first time she had had it in 1988. She Frank and Leigh her oldest son and daughter-in-law had taken her to lunch and Leigh had ordered the Sweet Tea for them both. Pamela immediately said she did not like it. Pamela remembered how hurt Leigh looked and how defensive she had gotten about the tea and it tradition. Pamela had apologized and when they had lunch or dinner together over the next thirty years it was never mentioned again.
The women relaxed and Ellen told about how the mall had been much smaller when she was a teacher there at the Jacksonville Senior high School not far from the mall. She told how when she had started teaching the young people were polite and eager to learn without giving the teachers too much trouble. By the time, she had come to Jacksonville the young people were more rebellious and did not seem as interested in learning. It was then that she felt the decline of manners and politeness had started. She remembered one young girl in her first year teaching in Jacksonville which was 1982, Brenda Caldwell. At the mention of the Caldwell name, Pamela’s ears snapped to attention. Her mind started racing wondering if this could be, a relative of the Kinston Caldwell’s she had seen in the woods. Pamela knew she might never find out if they were related since there were many Caldwell families throughout Southern North Carolina.
“What about the Brenda Caldwell makes you remember her over thirty years?” asked Pamela. Ellen sighed and started to tell the story when their food arrived. Both women decided to eat and talk later. They both enjoyed their meal and were relaxed, full, and happy in a relatively short amount of time.
“Now tell me about this Brenda Caldwell,” Pamela said. “Well she was in my Sophomore English class. She had a chip on her shoulder larger than she was tall, and she felt she already knew everything and that she would slide through my class. She was very willful and tried her best to intimidate me in to believing she was right and I was wrong.” “Did it work?” “Almost,” replied Ellen. “Her brother, Frank, who was in my Senior English class was totally different, he was mild mannered and polite.” “Which goes to prove just because you are siblings you do not react the same in same circumstances,” said Pamela. “Very true, nodded Ellen. Brenda was the only girl with three older brothers, I think they tried to protect her from so many things that she was really rebelling at them and not the world in general,” explained Ellen. “Sounds about right to me,” Pamela agreed.
“Anyway, Brenda would do only half of an assignment or slouch in her chair and pretend to not pay attention during class, if I called on her she would shrug and say ask someone else. It was very frustrating. She was a pretty girl and seemed to be popular with others in her class. I could not figure out why she would be so unresponsive in my class,” signed Ellen. She looked off and Pamela noticed she seemed to be lost in her memories. “I am sure that with your teaching experience you were able to get through to her,” Pamela said bringing her back to the present and the story of Brenda Caldwell. Ellen smiled and answered, “Yes I did. By the end of the school year, we were friends and she was top student in the class. That was a surprise to me since the complete first month of school she only did what she wanted not what was right,” said Ellen sighing again.
“So the older brother, Frank, was he the only other sibling Brenda had in school at that time.” “Yes the other two older boys had already gone on to college and one was working as the lending officer in the bank and the other had become a policeman having gone to the police academy in Raleigh. He was a junior officer, 1982 being his first year on the force.” “Do you think she felt that she had to live up to the boys in some way?” asked Pamela. “Maybe, said Ellen thoughtfully. “At the time I did not know exactly what the problem was, but after the first month she seemed to settle down and became a model student. In fact I heard she went on to become an English teacher herself,” Ellen said smiling. “I am sure that is because you inspired her, have you looked her up since you got here to Jacksonville?” replied Pamela hoping she had.
“Not yet but I plan to do that. I am going to the high school next week to visit and see how it has changed I will ask around and see if I can reconnect with her,” replied Ellen. “What do you say we go to the grocery store and head back to the campground I have had enough walking for the day,” Ellen sighed. “Great idea,” said Pamela. Pamela knew she would look this family up to see if she could figure out if they were related to one of the Caldwell brothers she had seen in the woods. “By the way did you know her parents’ names?” Pamela asked Ellen. “I did meet them once during parent teacher conference. Susan and Steven Caldwell, that is it Steven and Susan, nice couple. He seemed truly interested in what the children were doing in school and Susan wanted to know everything about the class because Brenda bragged about it so much. Go figure!” laughed Ellen.
On the ride back to the campground, Pamela asked Ellen some more about the Caldwell family, but Ellen was not able to remember much about them except they parents were nice enough and interested in their children’s classes. Pamela made a note to ask Christine to see if she could trace the family lineage and see if they were connected to the Kinston Caldwell’s. Pamela knew of course that 1982 was a long time removed from 1926 but it was possible they were related.
As Erich stepped through the portal, he immediately noticed that his senses were heightened. It seemed he could see clearer and hear better, which was a nice change since he was just starting to get a little hard of hearing. He noticed that it seemed he was looking through a thin curtain but when he passed through that curtain, he noticed a small jolt like an electrostatic shock. Jimmy James shook himself.
Erich walked a few more steps and on his left, he noticed the still in a small clearing along with a stone fireplace it looked like what Pamela had described to him. He looked at his watch and the date said October 12, 1928. The date feature was another thing he had incorporated into their watches so they would know what era they were in and be able to act accordingly. Next, he decided he would add a feature that told where they were. That he decided would be most useful.
Christine buzzed him and he pushed the button to let her know he was OK and exploring. He walked around the encampment noticing all the pieces of the still, the stacks of wood, the area of where the corn and a jar of some sort with what looked like yeast starter. There were barrels of water that looked rather fresh. There were no tops on the barrels and there was little debris in them, which is why Erich thought they were fresh. He wondered if they used rainwater or if there was a well close by.
Erich had dressed for a walk in the woods his old army boots, jeans, and a short sleeve blue shirt. He was dressed for either present day or 1928 era. Jimmy James was on his leash taking everything in. Erich noticed that the dog was showing signs of heightened senses too. Erich took his small notebook out of his pack and jotted down some notes. Just as he was putting the notebook away, he heard rustling in the leaves and snapping of twigs as if someone or something was coming this way. He decided to just stand and see who or what came.
He did not want to hide and then come out, he wanted to meet whoever it was, and he expected them to accept him. Knowing that he was not expected to be there and that he was taking a chance that he could be shot for trespassing he was ready to jump aside if he needed to. Within minutes, two men came into view. Both appeared to be in their twenties and in good physical shape. One was carrying a rifle a Winchester 30-30 Erich guessed. It looked like it belonged in the hands of the strong young man.
As the two men came into view, they looked up and saw Erich. They both stopped with surprised looks on their faces. The one holding the gun raised it taking a step closer looking Erich directly into his eyes trying to intimidate him. What the men did not know was that Erich was seldom intimidated by anyone. He stared the man back standing his ground.
“Who are you?” growled the younger man. “My name is Erich Douglas Morrison,” replied Erich. “How did you get here?” the young man growled again. “I walked,” replied Erich. “From where? questioned the other young man. Erich did not know the name of the town in 1928 that would be near Fort Macon so he thought quickly and said, “I am not sure of the town name but I am camping between here and Jacksonville.” “You said you walked, that could be twenty miles,” the young man said. “Sounds about right,” said Erich.
The young man with the gun took another step closer and Jimmy James stepped in front of Erich and growled in his throat. The sound was a warning and both young men stopped and looked at the dog. “That looks like the dog I saw a couple years ago,” said the man holding the gun. “Right size, same blue-black color, were you here about two years ago?” asked the young man. “No.” was Erich’s reply. “You don’t need the gun I am not armed,” Erich told the men. “What are you doing here,” asked the second young man. “Just taking a walk with my dog,” was Erich’s reply. “Who are you two?” queried Erich.
“I am Roy and this is my brother Ray,” said the second young man. “Put the gun down Ray.” Reluctantly Ray did but he was ready in case there was trouble.
“Do you always walk twenty miles when you take a walk,” asked Roy. “Sometimes further,” was Erich’s reply. “Jimmy James and I talk long walks frequently. Today we ended up here,” Erich said as he looked around. “I have taken stock of your operation and it looks like a good set up,” said Erich. “Do you mind telling me how much you produce each week?” “How do I know you are not a Federal Agent? Here to take everything away from us?” Ray said. “I am not a Federal Agent and I don’t want to take anything away from anyone,” said Erich.
“Tell me about this dog; said Roy, he sure is unusual.” “Yes he is,” stated Erich. “He is a mix between a Labrador and a Mastiff which makes him so strong and tall. He has a wonderful personality gentle with children and very protective of me and my beautiful wife,” explained Erich. “I saw another dog just like him briefly two years ago at another location we had but it was a child or small woman with him that time,” said Ray. “I have never seen another dog like him since until today.”
“That sounds like it might have been Pamela and Jimmy James they take walks together too,” said Erich “That might have been my wife Pamela with Jimmy James that day, we do camp here in North Carolina near Jacksonville, and near the beach by Fort Macon any chance we can,” said Erich. “Well they sure did get away fast, we searched for them but never found them,” said Ray. Erich smiled and said, “When Jimmy thinks Pamela might be in danger she gets on his back and he runs and not many people can catch him. That might be what happened if it was them,” stated Erich.
“Where you goin’ when you leave here,” asked Ray. “Back to the camp ground I suppose,” said Erich. “Will you be telling people about what you seen here, because if you do, yes, would not be good for any of us,” said Roy. “No I don’t intend to tell anyone what I have seen or who I have met. My walks with Jimmy are private to me,” Erich reassured them. “I would like to see how this works if that is possible, and I would like to hear your story,” said Erich. “But first you need to know I am a writer and I might put some of the details into one of my stories down the road,” Erich told them.
“A writer? You look like a business man, or a vacationer,” Ray said. “I guess I am all of those things and more. I was an engineer for many years, and then my beautiful wife and I decided to travel and see some of this country and write about it. She takes photographs and paints what she sees and I write about what I see,” explained Erich. “Does it pay much?” inquired Roy. “Enough for us to eat, put gas in the camper and move on when we want, replied Erich. So in that respect yes it pays much.”
“How old are you, inquired Ray. Your build implies you are in your late forties or middle fifties, but you sound older and you hair is all white as is your whiskers.” Erich smiled, “I am sixty-four and my beautiful wife is seventy. We take good care of ourselves; we eat right, exercise, and keep our minds sharp by reading, so we do not seem to age as fast as some other people.” “Sixty-four? Wow and you have already walked twenty miles today and don’t seem tired, you are in good shape,” Roy exclaimed.
“Enough about me let me see your still set up and how it works. I have never seen a still up close. I of course have heard about them but this is a treat to see one in full operation,” said Erich. The two brothers looked at each other then decided it would be OK to show him the operation.
Erich spent the next hour talking with Ray and Roy about the still, the business of making moonshine, the transportation of the product, all the people involved. Ray explained how they find buyers for their moonshine. How they have to be constantly moving the location of their five stills so that they are not found. Two of the stills were found in the past and destroyed by the Federal Agents. No arrests had been made because thankfully, no one was at the site when they were found.
Erich asked if they had a pattern to the movement of the stills to a new location. “Yes said Roy, we have over one hundred acres that goes from Kinston into Jacksonville. Every three months we take one down completely and put it in another spot at least twenty miles from its current location.” “Do you tear everything down?” asked Erich. “Yes even the fireplace. All the wood is moved the land is filled with twigs and brush so it does not look like it has been used,” explained Ray. “That is a lot of work,” said Erich. “But is it necessary and it is why we have been so successful for the past five years,” said Roy. “How long has this still at this spot been up,” asked Erich? “About six months and next month it is scheduled to be dismantled,” answered Roy.
“So you actually have a schedule for each site to be dismantled and replaced somewhere else, is that correct,” asked Erich. “Yes and we cannot write it down because the Agents come to the house often to see if they can find anything,” said Ray. “Being constantly under scrutiny must get tiring; how do you handle the stress of that?” Erich asked. “We have a good family and everyone who is involved does not talk about it to any other family member who is not involved,” explained Ray. “How is that even possible,” asked Erich. “Your wives, brothers, sisters, parents, aunts uncles, cousins, that is a lot of people some know and some don’t. Have there been slip-ups and someone who did not know find out, asked Erich. What happened then, does that person get taken into the circle of the business, or is a fight about them going to the authorities and telling everything,” inquired Erich.
Ray sighed. “It is hard, one aunt wanted to immediately go to the Feds and I am sure she would have if it had not been explained that this is the only way our family can continue to make money and support the entire clan. Also, her husband, our uncle is one of our strongest enforcers and he told her the truth. The next time the Feds came to their house we all held our breaths but she was able to convince them she knew nothing about any illegal activities.” Ray laughed remembering the disappointed looks on the Fed’s faces.
“That kind of life has to be hard for everyone, I admire each one of you for doing what you have to in order to survive and support your families,” Erich told the brothers. “Well it is getting dark. Jimmy and I have to get back to our campsite, my beautiful wife will worry if I am not back before dark. Thank you for a pleasant and informative afternoon. I hope to see you again soon,” Erich said as he and Jimmy started back the way they came.
“Wait a minute,” said Roy. “Tell me again why we should trust you?” Erich smiled, “because I am a stranger not related to anyone around here. There is no reason for me to be questioned by any kind of police or federal agents. I am just taking a walk with my dog not causing any suspicions.” The boys looked at each other and nodded “OK be on your way and safe journey.” Erich nodded again and walked away. The brothers watched him until he was out of sight. “Nice enough fella,” said Ray. “I guess,” replied Roy. The brothers went about their chores because a shipment would be shipped out the next day and they had a lot to be done.
Erich turned to watch for a few minutes and he noticed he was behind what seemed to be a screen of some kind. He figured out he was between times in the portal. He hoped it was the same portal he had come through before. He looked at his watch/GPS and noticed it was. Breathing a sigh of relief he stepped all the way through and again the electrostatic jolt caused him to shudder and Jimmy to shake himself. Erich picked up his pace and got to the motor home at the same time Pamela and Ellen drove in from their shopping trip. It was four o’clock in the afternoon. Erich fed Jimmy James a big bowl of food and fresh water; went inside, fixed a sandwich, and drank a 16-ounce bottle of water.
Pamela put the groceries away and waited for Erich to fortify himself then quizzed him about his adventure. Erich finished eating sat down and told his story. He checked his notes and told Christine and Pamela everything he remembered. He said Blue was a great companion and at one time he went up to a barrel and took a big drink from it and the look on his face was the funniest thing Erich had ever seen. Turns out it was not water but a full barrel of Moonshine!
Ray and Roy had seen the dog take a drink and watched him closely. Blue did not like the taste of it and went from barrel to barrel looking for water. Each barrel had Moonshine and poor Blue was getting frantic. Finally Erich noticed what was happening and give Blue a bowl of water from his bag and Blue drank it all lifting the bowl as if he wanted more. Erich filled the bowl again and Blue drained it too. For the next hour, Blue sat down watching but made no move to go near the barrels again. The Caldwell brothers had a story to tell around the family table that night about the big blue dog that drank Moonshine and did not like it.
“Christine why did Erich go into 1928 and I went into 1926?” asked Pamela. Christine explained that even though it seemed Erich went through the same portal it was actually a portal that was about two miles down the road difference. That made the difference in the years. “Amazing,” said Pamela. “Two miles made a difference in the year.” There are about twenty portals in that general area all going into a different year explained Christine. “All of them during the prohibition era?” Asked Erich. No said Christine one went back to the 1800’s. “Glad I did not go into that one,” said Erich. “Me too,” replied Pamela. “So taking a step in either direction could take us to a different portal, is that correct?” asked Pamela. In this case yes answered Christine. However, not every place has that many portals. In Virginia, there were only about three different portals and all of them would have taken you to a Civil War camp.
“Interesting,” said Erich. Every place has at least one portal but in this case, there are many close together. I have not figured the reason for that yet said Christine. I am working on it though. “Good Christine I know you will figure it out,” said Erich.
A week later Pamela decided to go back to Jacksonville, she took Blue with her. Stopping on Court Street she parked, got out of the car and decided to walk around and see what she could see. Pamela always loved finding hidden places right in plain view and taking pictures of those hidden treasures and places. Today with her camera around her neck and Blue on his leash, she started walking.
Court Street had been an important street in Jacksonville since 1904 when the courthouse was built. It was originally called Onslow County Courthouse at the corner of Old Bridge Road and Court Street. The street is about a mile long and can easily be walked end to end. As the town grew so did Court Street. There were small stores and bars or places for people to go and enjoy themselves. When prohibition started the open bars on Court Street closed down. If one went around the backside of a building, knocked on a door, and with the right password could go in, they would find a Speakeasy. At least fun to those who got in and if the police did not find them.
Her walk on Court Street leading Blue was done at a leisurely pace so Pamela could look at each building and inspect them. A lot were empty now but they all had a history. Pamela wanted to know the history of each one. She would see if she could find someone to tell her about this part of the town. For now, she would walk around and see what she could find out on her own. She looked at her watch and noticed it was 11:30 AM so she had plenty of time to walk around before she went to find a place for lunch. After walking down two blocks all the stores closed, she knew some of them had been small stores for clothing or jewelry, and four others were used for some sort of offices. There was still a sign saying Attorney At Law but the name was no longer readable. Two other places were apparently places for people to gather and enjoy a drink or two.
Court Street was a busy and upcoming part of town from the 1940’s through the late 1980’s when everything started to close down due to the economy. By 1992, Court Street was a ghost town street and all was closed except the oldest stores and few of the restaurants. By 2000, the entire street was almost completely closed. After 9/11/2001 what few stores had stayed open were closed within three years. Now there are a few more stores opened again but for the most part Court Street is empty buildings with lots of history and memories.
Pamela had walked about three blocks; she had passed a small jewelry store, a local restaurant, and four empty storefronts. She came to a crossroads and decided to turn the corner and see what was in the back of the buildings. Blue had been happy to walk and explore the area with his superior nose. He had smelled many different smells. Other dogs, a cat, or two, flowers and grass, as well as many people smells. He knew this had been a busy area at one time. Some of the smells were old and faded.
As they turned to the back of the building into a small alley Blue went right in so Pamela followed. At the third building, which was now an empty storefront Blue stopped, looked back at Pamela, and walked through the wall? Pamela followed because she knew this was a portal to another time. As they entered the building, Pamela’s heart started beating faster and her breath caught in her throat. She knew immediately she was inside an old bar. The wood was polished not only on the bar but also on the walls. It looked rich.
There were two windows but they were covered with thick dark blue soft fabric. No light came through them. No one was inside Pamela remembered her new watch she looked at the date. November 5, 1926 2PM in the afternoon. She was relieved to still be in the prohibition period. She and Blue explored the room it was not large and Pamela noticed it was only half of the building. Pamela knew the rest of the building, the front, was a restaurant because today it was a restaurant and on the wall was the history of how it had been there since 1920. Walking around the room Pamela noticed two tables probably for playing Black Jack or Cards, maybe some sort of dice games. The bar was not a large one but it did have four stools covered in leather the color of Burgundy. There were some gold trim around the room. Apparently, this was an important establishment even during prohibition.
Pamela wondered who owned or ran it. She knew there was no large gangster groups here in North Carolina but this had the feeling of one that would have been found in Chicago or New York or even California. It was then that the doorknob started to rattle and Pamela’s heart beat faster and harder. Where could she hide there was no place for Blue to hide at all and leaving him exposed was not an option. She and Blue stepped into the wall just as the door opened. She turned to watch and was so glad she was in the in-between worlds of time. It was strange to be standing in the walls of a building not being detected it was a rush, that was the word! For just a few seconds Pamela felt light headed. She took a deep breath calmed down and watched.
Whoever he was, he was dressed well. Good suit, shirt that was pinstriped. He took off his jacket, put on armbands they were black with a red stripe, and yes, he was wearing suspenders also black with a red stripe down the center. Pamela thought he looked sharp, young maybe thirty full head of hair combed and parted down the middle slicked down with some type of hair crème. Nice blue eyes that could turn hard in an instant she could see. He was the one in charge and anyone who came in would know that. Pamela hoped her watch was recording all this to Christine.
There was a knock at the door, the young man went and looked through a small window cut in the door. He smiled and opened the door. Standing there was another young man but he was not dressed in a suit he was dressed in the garb or a farmer, shirt pants and hat. Pamela noticed his boots were dirty. The two men shook hands and smiled at each other. Pamela stood a little straighter because she recognized the man who had just arrived. It was one of the men she had seen in the woods near the still. Ray? Roy?
She watched as they conducted business. Three large barrels were brought in, a taste test was done, and the snappy dresser smiled and nodded. “This is good; you are getting better not as bitter as the last batch. This will sell faster. I hope you wrote down the recipe this time.” “I did,” said the second man. “It was just that we were rushing the process. Now we are taking an extra day for the fermenting process and it makes the drink smoother with less bitterness.” “But, said the snappy dresser won’t that cut into the profits waiting that extra day?” “No replied Ray/Roy? just the opposite, smoother will bring more customers.” Two other men came in and put the barrels away filling bottles as fast as they could. Money was exchanged and another date was set for delivery. The farmer left and the snappy dresser went about the business of getting the place cleaned and ready for the evening crowd he expected.
Pamela stood there in between the two times watching. It seemed only a few minutes when men started coming to the establishment. There was a knock at the door, the snappy dresser went looked through the small window smiled and let two men come in. Both were dressed in suits and each had a woman with them. Pamela was fascinated with the dressed the women were wearing. They were short just to the knees; one was red the other green both had pleats all the way down and small straps at the shoulders. Each wore a stole around their arms, and each had a hat of soft tan fabric one had a broach on the hat the other hat had a silk ribbon on it. The dresses were not tight fitting but loose and comfortable looking.
Within a short time the room was full of people more men than women. There were people at the table’s playing card games. The moonshine was poured in the glasses, there was music too, a piano player, a drummer, and two horn players. Pamela did not recognize the songs played but a few couples were dancing together. It looked like any other club even in the 21st century except for the clothes.
There was another knock at the door, the snappy dresser went looked through the small window spoke to someone then opened the door. A lovely young woman came in alone. Several of the men looked her way and started to gather around her. She went to the piano player and asked him something. He started playing and this girl started singing a Marion Harris song “I Ain’t Got Nobody.” Everyone stopped what he or she was doing to listen. There was loud applause when she ended the song. Her next song was “A Good Man Is Hard To Find” also recorded in the early teens by Marion Harris.
Pamela noticed how rapt everyone listened to this beautiful young girl sing. Pamela wondered who she was. The snappy dresser came over after her second song, the walked off hand in hand. Fortunately, they walked near the wall where Pamela and Blue were looking through the screen of time. “Dee Dee you were wonderful as usual,” the snappy dresser said. “Thank You Joe,” she said with a lovely smile. “Are you still planning to run away and go to New York to sing in one of those theater places,” he asked. “Yes,” she answered. “When,” he asked. “I have not decided yet, but soon.”
Joe looked uncomfortable and when he spoke, Pamela heard concern in his voice. “Dee, I hope you will be careful. Have you told your folks yet?” “No,” she replied, “When do you plan to do that,” he asked. “Maybe never,” she answered. “Dee you can’t just leave, your mom would be frantic,” Joe said. “She is going to be frantic anyway and then she will stop me from going. So I am not going to tell them I am going and mail them a letter,” explained Dee to Joe. “So for two to three days your parents have to think you ran away and they send your brothers after you? How fair is that?” Joe asked. “Stop bugging me I’m going and that is that.” Dee said and she walked away from him.
Pamela stayed for another hour then turned and walked the rest of the way through to her own time. Pamela and Blue walked back to the car drove back to Fort Macon Camp Ground after stopping to get a few groceries. After fixing dinner, Pamela told Erich her story of what she had seen and heard. Christine was analyzing the info from Pamela’s watch recorder.
First, said Christine, you should know that in 1926 time you were watching a total of over three hours. In our time, it was about thirty minutes. “Wow,” said Pamela, “it felt like only a few minutes. I saw them as if they were moving in real time. The snappy dresser who I found out is Joe, cleaned the place, accepted a delivery from one of the Caldwell brothers, and admitted patrons. There was a young girl who came in towards the end of the time I was there she sang two songs and everyone was watching and listening. They even stopped playing their games to listen to her.”
“She had a really nice voice, but, she appeared to be very young. Joe called her Dee Dee,” said Pamela. Is there anything on her Christine?” Yes, her name is Deborah Dee Dee Jones and she was a very good singer. She went to New York in 1928 and became a major singer on Broadway. She came back to Jacksonville in 1996 when she was eighty-six years old. She never married but had the adoration of many men throughout her life.
“Why did she come back here,” asked Erich. She did have family here at the time and she stayed with her Cousins the Caldwell’s in Kinston until last year when she moved into an assisted living home here in Jacksonville. “Do you mean she is still alive?” asked Pamela. Yes, she is replied Christine. “That makes her at least one hundred years old, said Pamela. Does she still sing?” Yes to both said Christine. She will actually be one hundred and two this month and her voice is still beautiful.
“I want to meet her, said Pamela. Can you give me the address of where she is living, please, Christine?” Of course said Christine.
Two days later Pamela and Erich went into Jacksonville, one of the few times they were without Jimmy James Blue. They parked near Court Street and walked down the street the same way Pamela had a couple days earlier. They stopped at one of the restaurants and had a nice lunch together. After lunch, they continued down the street. They came to the corner that Pamela had turned and walked down to the back of the buildings. They went to the wall and walked through it. Looking at their watches the date said April 19, 1928, fourteen years before Pamela’s own birth. Pamela told Erich this is the same place she had been the time before. She took notice that it was eighteen months later in time from when she had been there before. There is the bar with the four stools, two tables for games, piano and again it is empty. “Well it is only two o’clock in the afternoon,” replied Erich. He was looking around and wrote notes on his ever-present 3×5 note cards. “Notice how the smell of cigarette and cigar smoke lingers in the air. There is the smell of perfume and hair tonic too, he said. I also smell alcohol and other body odors.” Pamela laughed, “Your nose is every bit as good as Blue’s.” “I know,” replied Erich.
They both heard the key in the door at the same time. They stepped back into the wall. Turned to watch through the veil together. “It’s Joe,” said Pamela. He looked around as if he expected to see someone. He picked up the broom and started to sweep. He stopped and looked over his shoulder right at the wall where Pamela and Erich were standing, they took a small step back. He walked towards it and stopped in front of it. “Funny I could have sworn that I saw someone standing there,” he said to himself. Joe shook his head and continued to clean. Soon there was a knock at the door. Joe went to it slid open the small window looked then opened the door. One of the Caldwell brothers came in with two barrels of what must have been moonshine.
Joe tasted from both barrels and smiled. “Your stuff is getting better all the time,” he said. “We think so too,” said Caldwell. “Well make another delivery in five days. Here is your money,” Joe said as he gave Caldwell an envelope. Caldwell opened the envelope and smiled. Folded it and put it in his pocket. Smiling he waved goodbye and left by the door. Joe was talking to himself again. “Well, all set for the crowd, everything is clean and with new supply for the weekend we should do good business. I hope Dee Dee comes and sings.” Joe sighed. Pamela knew he had a crush on Dee Dee and she could not blame him; she was beautiful and with that voice she must have had other young men who had a crush on her.
The knock at the door started the steady stream of people coming. After a while Erich said let’s go I have seen enough. Pamela smiled and followed him out the other side, back into the sunshine, and back in Jacksonville. They drove back to the camp ground gave their watches to Christine for analysis. Pamela took Blue to the ocean for fun and a swim. Erich went to work on his newest novel. He had been planning it for about a month now. Since the ideas were now in his head he wanted to write the notes down and formulate his outline of characters.
A week later Pamela found herself along with Blue in Jacksonville doing some shopping. She went once again to Court Street parked the car and got out and started walking towards her secret place. Blue was happy to be with Pamela and he walked nicely beside her. He always caused people to turn and watch him. He was such a majestic dog. A man came up and asked about him. Pamela smiled and answered his questions; Blue sat down and raised his paw for a nice handshake. The man walked on as did Pamela and Blue.
Pamela and Blue came to the corner, turned and went to the back of the buildings into the alley. Pamela led the way to the portal and they entered. They once again came out into the Speakeasy, Pamela looked at her watch it read April 20, 1928 three o’clock. They looked around quickly and as they heard the key in the door, they went into the portal. They turned to watch through the veil. Once again, it was Joe who came in, took his jacket off, and started cleaning the place.
Shortly there was a knock at the door, Joe looked through the small window, then opened the door. A tall man came in went straight to the piano and started playing. No one else was there yet but within a minute at least that is what it seemed to Pamela, the room was full. People were milling around some stopping to play at one of the tables others just holding conversations. All were drinking the moonshine that Joe was serving them.
Pamela thought this must be a profitable place of business every time I have been here the room has been full. One more knock at the door Joe went looked through the window and he got the biggest smile he had had all evening. He opened the door and in walked Dee Dee. She was wearing a shiny blue dress with sequins around the neck and cap sleeves. Her headband was also shiny blue with sequins; even her gloves that went to her elbows were blue. She had a coat over her dress, which Joe took and put away for her.
Pamela noticed she was still very pretty but her hair was shorter in what they called the Bob Cut, she seemed older than the last time she had seen her. Then she realized it had been two years since her last visit when Dee Dee was there. Dee Dee walked to the piano player spoke to him and he started playing. Dee Dee turned smiled nicely and started to sing “Bright Eyes” which had been written by Harry B Smith. Her second song was “All The Boys Love Mary” by Gus Van. By the time, she ended that song everyone was watching and enjoying her performance. She got a nice round of applause. Dee Dee started her third song “Broadway Rose” by Eugene West. Half way through there was a loud banging on the door. The music stopped and everyone tried to get his or her coats and leave by another entrance that Pamela had not seen before. She realized they went into the restaurant.
Joe brought Dee Dee her coat and at that moment the door brook down. There were about six men standing in the doorway all with guns. Three of them were wearing police uniforms the other three were in suits all were wearing hats. Pamela thought they looked like the Old TV show she used to watch in the 1990’s called The Hat squad.
“Everyone stand where you are this is a raid,” spoke the first man, one of the suits. About half of the people were still in the room and they did not try to leave. Dee Dee was edging her way along the wall. The police officer closest to the bar asked to see the person who was running the place. Joe stepped up to the bar. As the other police officers and the suits were going over and putting the people towards the door, Dee Dee was right in front of Pamela. Pamela could see how scared she was. Then Pamela did something she did not intend to do. She reached out and grabbed Dee Dee’s arm pulling her through the portal.
The shock and alarm on Dee Dee’s face would have been funny another time. Pamela told her to be quiet, turn, and watch what was happening. The two women were standing inside the portal looking out the wall through what Dee Dee thought was a screen. The first suit who seemed to be in charge asked, “Where is the singer?” Everyone turned to the piano, the player was there, but no one could see Dee Dee. Everyone looked around and Joe showed panic on his face. He spun around in every direction looking for her. When he did not see her, he wondered where she was. He hoped she had gotten out the door because she was under age and not supposed to be there. He still had her coat in his hand, he shoved it under the bar hoping no one saw it.
Bravely Joe asked “what singer?” “Don’t get cute with me kid,” said the main suit, “the pretty young girl who was singing. We heard her while we were outside the door.” “Yeah,” said one of the police officers, “I heard her too she had a pretty voice.” No one spoke. “Who was she?” asked the suit. “I asked a question anyone tell me who she was.” One of the patrons, a woman said, “We don’t know her name, but she goes by Dee Dee.” “Where is she,” asked the suit again. “She was not here tonight,” said another woman, “I was the one singing. My name is Lynda Purl and I often sing when I come here.” “Yes she does,” agreed Joe.
“Why did this lady say it was Dee Dee?” asked the suit. “Because we sound alike and when everyone is talking it is easy to make a mistake,” said Lynda. “I don’t buy it,” said one of the police officers. “Me either,” said the suit. “Get over there and sing, you piano man go play for her.” Lynda looked at Joe then the piano man. She walked confidently to the piano and told him to play “All The Boys Love Mary.” He did and she sang it very well and she did sound similar to Dee Dee just not as rich.
Everyone stood still the suits and the police were watching her. She had the confidence, she knew the song, and her voice was lovely. “All right,” said the suit. “All of you are going down town to be recorded for being in a place that is serving illegal alcohol. Outside and the officers will put you in the cars and take you to the station.”
The room was empty and dark. Dee Dee turned and looked at Pamela and then she saw Blue. She gasped and looked into Pamela’s eyes. “How did you get here? Where are we? How did you get that pony in here? Why did no one see me or you?”
Pamela smiled “Take a breath dear and I will explain. We are inside a time portal so we are between 1928 and 2012. On this side it is 1928 behind us is 2012.” “Yeah right,” said Dee Dee, “and I am really a monkey.” Pamela laughed. “I know it is hard to believe and grasp, I did not know of or believe in time portals either until I came into this one a month ago. I have been here three times in that month watching all of you having fun and listening to you sing. I know you are very young and that you are not supposed to be here in this place. When you walked right in from of me, I grabbed you and pulled you into the portal. I don’t know why I did it and I probably should not have done it but it is done now and there is no going back from it.” Pamela explained.
“So what happens now?” asked Dee Dee. “Well you can walk through back into the speakeasy and go home continue to live your life and never tell anyone about this and I will go back to my time and not tell anyone what I did. The choice is up to you.” What if I go with you? Can I live a good life in… what year did you say?” “2012.” “Wow 2012 that is a lot of years away from now.” Dee Dee became quiet. Pamela let her think about it for a minute. That is when Blue moved closer to Dee Dee and put his head under her hand. She looked down took off her glove and started petting him. “He is a dog isn’t he?” She asked. “Yes,” said Pamela. “His name is Jimmy James Blue I call him Blue my most wonderful husband calls him Jimmy.” “What kind of dog is he?” Dee Dee inquired. “He is a mix between a large Labrador and a Mastiff.” Answered Pamela. “He sure is pretty and seems like a nice dog,” said Dee Dee. “He is,” agreed Pamela.
As she was petting Blue, she dropped her glove. “Well,” said Pamela, “It is safe for you to go back now get your jacket and go home. Act like this never happened and live your life to the fullest. Do you have plans?” “Yes I do,” said Dee Dee. “I am leaving for New York next week and I am going to become a singer at one of the theaters there. I plan to be an actress and singer. I love performing and everyone says I have a good voice and that I am pretty enough to do it, so I am going to try.” “How old are you Dee Dee?” Asked Pamela “Eighteen'” she answered. “Your whole life is ahead of you go on now and live it.” “But I want to see 2012 maybe it would be easier for me to be an actress/singer in that time.” “No it would not. Also I don’t believe I can bring anyone from this time into my time just as I cannot stay in your time for more than a few hours,” said Pamela.
“Thank You for what you did I would have been in big trouble and probably would not be able to go to New York if I had gotten caught.” The two women hugged. Pamela showed Dee Dee how to step through the portal. She watched her go to the bar, get her jacket put it on, and go out the door. Pamela looked down and saw the glove; she picked it up and put it in her pocket.
Pamela and Blue turned and walked out the portal back into present day Jacksonville. Back at the campground, Pamela told Christine and Erich what had happened. Christine entered the data into the computer and finally she spoke. You were wrong to grab her and bring her into the portal, but you did the right thing not letting her come into this time. You were also right that you would not live long in their time if you had been trapped there. “How long is not long if I did ever get trapped into another time?” asked Pamela. Probably about a year or less. Then there is the possibility that you would take on the persona of another person and live a long life as if you belonged in that time. “Well I don’t intend to do that,” said Pamela I like living here in this time and it has been a grand adventure going back to the 1920’s but I think I won’t go there again, at least not now,” said Pamela.
A few days later while Pamela was painting a new ocean scene Ellen came looking for her. She watched Pamela for a few minutes then asked if she could walk over and see what she was painting. “Yes come on over I am almost finished this one.” Ellen went and looked at it. “That is so lovely makes me want to walk on that beach and feel the breeze that is making the waves swell,” said Ellen. “I am glad you like it I was painting it for you.” “ME! Why?” said Ellen. “Because we have become friends and I like to give one of my photographs or a painting to new friends. It gives me pleasure and it helps me remember the person who touched my life,” said Pamela. “Well thank you I will treasure it always,” said Ellen. “I will bring it over in about a week when it is completely dry and I have put the finish on it,” Pamela told her.
“Good, we are leaving in ten days. I came to tell you I went to the high school and spoke with Brenda Caldwell. You asked me to let you know if I had the chance to talk to her.” “How was she?” “Very good, she loves teaching and she said she became a teacher because of my kindness to her way back in 1982.” “I am not surprised that she would take your example and try to become a good teacher like you.” Pamela smiled at her friend who was blushing. “I only did what I thought was right at the time. She was a lovely girl who had potential and I was the lucky one to bring it out of her. So I really cannot take the credit for what she did with her life.” “Yes you can and do so, God wants us to be helpful, and when we are he wants us to feel good about what we did to help others. So smile and accept her praise and mine.” “OK since you put it that way I will,” said Ellen.
“So tell me did you get caught up on her brothers and find out if she has gotten married, had children, and any other things she might have been doing?” Asked Pamela. “Yes we spent lunch together and then we had another afternoon together. I went to see her brother Frank; you remember he was in one of my other classes. He became a lawyer and still practices corporate law here in Jacksonville. The older brother who was lending officer at the bank is now the General Manager of the entire bank and the police officer brother is now Captain at one of the precincts also here in Jacksonville.”
“You had asked if they were related to the Kinston Caldwell’s and Brenda said they were.”
She said it is a large clan of Caldwell’s throughout this part of the state. Brenda said they were influential during the prohibition period. She told me they were big moonshine runners and makers. She said they delivered moonshine from here to Tennessee and even as far north as West Virginia.” “Sounds like they were some of the people who not only survived the prohibition period but they probably were successful during the Great Depression,” said Pamela. “I would say that they were, all of them still have lovely homes and many of them have important positions here in North Carolina within the banks, State Police, and even teaching.” “That is good to know, said Pamela because with the research I have done on the family they seem like good people.”
It was a sunny day and it was a Tuesday, Pamela was baking Blue’s favorite dog treats and getting ready to give him a bath. Erich came in with a big wide grin on his face. “Guess who will be singing at the Jacksonville Assisted Living Home this evening?” Erich asked smiling. “Who.” asked Pamela. “Deborah Dee Dee Jones,” he replied. Pamela went very still, which was almost as unusual as Blue’s tail not wagging. “Really can anyone go?” “Yes, said Erich why don’t we plan to go.” “What time?” “Seven.” “We can be ready to go at six,” said Pamela happy Erich noticed the sparkle in her eyes, how he loved seeing her happy sparkling eyes.
The rest of the day went well; Blue was bathed and had his skin conditioning treatment. Erich had his outline and had decided on the main characters for his newest Sci-Fi novel. Pamela had gone through about three hundred of her photographs deciding on sixty that would be printed for her next showing that would be in six weeks in Florida. She had called her agent to make sure they would be framed and ready for delivery within the month to the Jacksonville Artists Gallery in Jacksonville, Florida. He assured her it would be taken care of to her specifications.
Pamela made a nice light supper; they cleaned up the kitchen area of their home. Took Blue on his leash, put him in the rental car, and drove into town. They arrived at the Jacksonville Assisted Living Center. They went to the front desk and asked where Deborah Jones was singing and if they could bring Blue in to see the residents. The manager of the front desk came around and met Blue. He was clean, smelled nice. With his good manners and lovely eyes, he would be a big hit with the residents. The manager directed them down the hall to the elevator and told them to go down one floor and into the function room.
The room was already full so they stayed to the back row. Deborah Dee Dee Jones came out, even at one hundred and two years old, she stood straight, and she smiled and looked over the crowd. She spoke to the young man at the piano and he started playing ‘Broadway Rose’, Pamela took in a deep breath, leaned in close to Erich and told him that was the song she had sung when she had gone to the Speakeasy back in 1928.
The song ended and everyone applauded. Dee Dee sang a few more songs not only from the 1920’s but some popular Broadway songs of today. After her sixth song, she told everyone thank you and that she would sing again next week. Everyone started going forward to talk to her. Erich and Pamela waited patiently while at the same time let Blue interact with some of the residents. He was always so patient with them allowing them to make a fuss over him. Finally, most of the people had cleared away from the front of the room. Pamela took Blue on his leash and started forward. Dee Dee turned around and saw them. Her eyes widened and she stood stock-still. Pamela smiled and walked right up to her, Blue went up to Dee Dee and sat down in front of her if a dog could smile he was smiling. Dee Dee reached out and touched him. She relaxed and started petting Blue talking to him. “You are real,” she said quietly. Looking up at Pamela she said and so are you.” “Yes we are,” answered Pamela.
“I went back to the Speakeasy several times and stood in front of that wall trying to figure out how you got in there and how I got out, Dee Dee said. I never found a door way or an opening in the wall at any time. It was like a dream, but I knew it had happened.”
She said. “I have something for you,” said Pamela. She reached into her purse, took out the blue glove, and handed it to Dee Dee. Dee Dee smiled and said, “I kept the other one because I suspected I had dropped it inside the wall.” “You were right, Blue saw it and pointed it out to me so I picked it up. To tell you the truth I did not expect you to still be alive and in the area this many years later,” said Pamela. Dee Dee laughed, “that makes two of us.” They both had a good laugh over that.
Pamela and Dee Dee had a good long talk catching each other up on what had happened to Dee Dee since April 20, 1928. Dee Dee had been in some big shows starting with No No Nanette in 1929. She was good enough to be in at least one musical play a year for thirty years. Two of her favorites were Oklahoma and West Side Story. Her last Broadway show was Hello Dolly. She started they show in 1964 and retired that same year even though the show went on to run for two full years. After her retirement from acting on Broadway Dee Dee started a school to teach others to sing and use their voice correctly. This was in New York and she ran the school for fifteen years.
Pamela was awe struck. To think she was sitting with someone who had a more than thirty year career on Broadway. Listening to Dee Dee tell the stories of the shows and all the people she got to meet and interact with. Dee Dee told how she did enjoy working on Broadway and said she had had a good life and would not trade it for anything. Pamela asked about Joe the snappy dresser of the Speakeasy. Dee Dee smiled a slow sad smile. “He was the one I let get away. He would not come with me to New York and I was determined to get there and sing on Broadway.” “Well you followed your dream and caught it,” said Pamela, “Not many people do that even in these days.”
Do you know what happened to him?” “Yes, said Dee Dee. “He worked the Speakeasy until prohibition ended and two years beyond that. He then got married to a lovely girl a Caldwell I believe one of the families that provided the moonshine to the Speakeasy. They had four children and lived a good life. Both have died now. I am the only one from that time still alive.” Dee Dee sighed. Pamela could see she was getting tired so she said to Blue “Let’s go home boy.” Both women stood, hugged, and said goodbye to each other. Pamela wished Dee Dee well. “I hope I live as a good a life as you did and as long,” Pamela told her.
Before she left Pamela gave Dee Dee a small framed picture of herself with Blue as a reminder of the time the two women had met.
On Friday, Pamela had all the children, grandkids, and great grandchildren over for one last evening of fun before she and Erich headed down to Florida. They would be staying at the Flamingo Lake RV Resort. They had done some research and what they had read and the pictures they had seen as well as the reviews they had read it sounded just like what they would like.
It had a lake, Wireless Internet, Cable for the TV, a restaurant on grounds as well as a store and an ice cream shop. It was close to the highway and easy to get into the town of Jacksonville. There was a car rental place nearby also. Since Pamela’s photography show was scheduled in three weeks, they would have to leave in the morning.
The family all came and everyone brought a nice dish with them so it was a potluck dinner. There was plenty of food. The younger children wanted to watch a movie after dinner, the teens wanted to go to the beach and the adults were content to sit and visit with each other. Frank asked, “Why Jacksonville, Florida, are you trying to visit all the Jacksonville’s on the east coast?” “Not really,” replied Erich, “but that was the gallery that wanted to do the show of Pamela’s most recent photography.” “What is the subject,” asked Leigh.” Both Pamela and Erich smiled and brought out ten of the pictures to be displayed all were of Jimmy James Blue at play.
“Wow said Ben, those are great grandma.” “Thank you, I was planning on doing a book about Blue and have more than three hundred pictures of him. Erich thought a display of some of them in a gallery first would be a good idea.” “I agree, said Frank these are great can I have this one?” That was one of Pamela’s favorite too it was Blue coming out of the ocean and the blue in his coat was sparkling like a million diamonds from the water. “Yes you may,” Pamela said as she hugged her son. It was hard for her to believe she had a son who was over fifty years old but then it was hard for her to think of herself being over seventy life sure did move on and some years faster than others.
All the men helped Erich get the outside equipment put away in the storage containers. The women cleaned up and took their plates to their cars. The teens were back from the beach and the movie was over. Everyone got hugs all around and he or she it was just Pamela and Erich standing with Blue at the door of the RV looking forward to their next adventure.