140 Mile Stretch:It’s About Family

One moment Tom was in his hotel room folding the new shirts that he had sent up. The next minute, he was in Oscar Minnix’s office. “Hello Tom, I’m glad to finally meet you.” He had seen pictures of the man, but this was their first face to face meeting. The previous, heated communications had been by computer.

“When are we?” Tom asked, not expecting the truth. Minnix laughed, “I’ll tell you where, I’ll tell you why, but you don’t get when.” He was a short man, his hair had been dyed black. It had been dyed, and poorly so. Tom remembered thinking that someone like him could have afforded better. His eyes were blue, he was of average size. His suit was expensive, so was the rest of his outfit. That’s why the hair didn’t make sense, Tom filed this away in his mind.

“Ok, where and why?” “The top of the Flat Iron building in New York. Why is that I want to know what you know.” Tom laughed. “This is where you’re supposed to give me the clue on how to stop you.” Now Minnix laughed. “We know that isn’t going to happen. I’m not expecting you to tell me either.” It clicked.

“You’re keeping me here so your operatives can search my hotel room. That explains Sykes’ real purpose. You won’t find it there.” Minix shrugged.  “It’s worth a try. It also gives me something else. I can test your nerves. I wanted you to stare me in the face and see just how tough you really are. “

Tom shook his head. “If you’re expecting me to lunge at you don’t. You already know that I’m not easily frightened. You found that out when you burned my home down. I’m also not crazy enough to attack you physically. When I hit you, it will be silently, it will be fierce, and it will be significant.”

“Then it’s a battle of equals is it? Or, are you just wanting me to think you are as powerful as I am?” Tom leaned across the desk. “It’s not a question of how many strings I can pull. It’s a matter of patriotism. To me, this is a war for the history of our country, to you, it’s about power.”

Minnix laughed.  “It’s less about power than it is about family for me.  You and I will do almost anything for family won’t we?  If the 140 mile stretch is destroyed, it will alter the balance of power, but that’s an afterthought.”

“New York  will remain the nation’s capital.  My family’s history will be forever altered.  Sadly, you won’t figure out how until I’ve won.  Goodbye Tom.”
Tom set down on the bed in his hotel room.  Minnix wasn’t stupid.  Had his ego let him slip up? Was the comment about New York a red herring?
It was Tom’s chance to laugh now.  He couldn’t have made contact a year later than this one.  Now though, he was very much alive, and it was time to make a phone call.

The Italian Hatmaker: The Jailer Won’t Need

How do you escape a locked prison without a key?  That was the question that Guiseppe and Ethan had to answer.  Fortunately, Ethan was in prison with a hat maker.  If he had been in prison with a tailor, or a cook, he would have been in trouble.

A hat maker fashions hats out of very strange items at times, especially Guiseppe.  It was nothing unusual for him to have had to make a metal ornament for a wealthy client’s hair.  So it wasn’t that hard to fashion a key out of a cot wire.

Guiseppe always kept a spare tool hidden in his shoe.  His Father had taught him this trick. Although he failed to explain to Guiseppe how he had learned it.  Guiseppe figured that out years later when he discovered what his Father had done for a living.  A spy from Milan who vacationed away to spare his life.  So this innocent hat maker was not far removed from the intrigue of court after all.

The two fugitives hid in the best possible place for them.  One where no one would have guessed.  The jailer’s room in the castle.  They reasoned that he would either be searching the grounds or occupying their cell.  This meant that he would have no need of his quarters.

The dock was just under his window.  At midnight, the two stowaways commissioned the king’s ship, and sailed away from their castle prison.  They knew that all of the land exits would be patrolled, and that this was their only way of escape.

It wasn’t until the next day that they figured out that they were actually imprisoned on a small island off the coast of France.  “We have to get rid of this boat.  The king will chase us as soon as he gets to another ship.”  Guiseppe grinned, “Of course my friend, when we dock in Paris!”

Find out what the Italian Hatmaker and his friend find waiting for them in France’s capitol next time.

The Flop: The Cat’s Eye

Jean Luc jumped into her arms.  He was pleased to meet another person who simply adored him.  The Prime Minister was happy to meet someone whom she didn’t have to worry about how they would vote.

“Hello Augustus, how are you?”  “I am well Madame Prime Minister, how are you?”  She finally looked at me.  “I have a feeling that I am better than I will be in a few minutes.  Why are you with him?”

“Allow me to answer that by first showing you what I found in the cat’s eye.”  Augustus held up the small contact lens that Harris Patel had made.  Inside it were the plans for project Eagle.  It laid out all the protocols, but it’s value wasn’t in the information it held.

The lens was a message to his niece.  It was the only way that she would agree to a, if you’ll forgive me Mr. President, crazy last resort sort of action.  She sighed, “All right, it appears that I have no choice.  One question Augustus, why did the President have to send him?”

Augustus laughed, “He knew how much that you like him.”  She actually smiled.  I smiled back, and then she frowned again.  This was going to test my patience.  We left the hotel room through Augustus’ “special exit”, through the ceiling, just in time.  This was right before the guns went off.

140 Mile Stretch: Hannigan Isn’t Hannigan

The group surfaced in 1986. They stood on the platform of an Amtrak train. Tom looked worried, “This isn’t right, something’s wrong. There wasn’t an Amtrak at the coordinates that we we’re supposed to land at.” Col. Taylor looked like he was processing every aspect of his surroundings. Finally, he headed for the exit.

The group followed as quickly as they could. No one asked any questions, even though their minds were running on overload. Col. Taylor stopped a stranger, “Could you tell me where the nearest three star hotel is?” The man gave him the information, and Colonel Taylor headed in that direction. Each of their group followed behind slowly.

A half hour later, they were having lunch in the hotel dining room. “What went wrong Tom?” Phyllis was furious, “I don’t like mistakes.” Tom alternated between worry and hope, “If I’m right, we have bigger problems than your preferences Phyllis. If I’m wrong, I’ll buy you a new Mercedes. Someone altered our signal.

Cameron thought a moment. “Logistics.” Tom nodded, “The question is, where is he in this room?” Cameron winced, “Too dangerous, he has an operative, probably more than one.” Phyllis wiped her mouth with her napkin, “So he wants us here, why?”

Virginia laughed, “A scene of a maniacal cartoon villain gloating over their plan comes to my mind.  We know that isn’t it, so what else could it be, besides the fact he wants us to know he can make our equipment unreliable.”

Tom smiled, “He can’t make it unreliable, he just wants us to think he can.” Cameron examined the room while talking, “Then how are we off course?”  Tom sighed, “A hard push.  If you want to stop a car on the road, and have no control of that car, what do you do?” Phyllis sighed, “You take another car and ram into it.  He makes a trip the same time as us, and the ripple effect, like a blunt object pushes us here.”

Tom thought about what she said. “No, he set up a road block, he’s transmitting a constant signal from two directions. He’s essentially locking us in geographically.  We could jump in time, but not any location in time, unless we reflected his signals in another direction.  In other words, we smash his roadblock. That’s what he wants to do, sidetrack us.  He wants us to think stopping his counter signal is more important than our mission.”

Phyllis cut her steak, “Since we all agree that were not going to do that, how do we make him think that’s what we are going to do?”  Cameron laughed, “The same way a cartoon hero would, by finding his operative, and punching him in the eye!”  They all laughed this time, as the man at table four sipped his coffee.

He put down his cup and joined them. “My name isn’t Hannigan, but you can call me that. I’m your contact with Mr. Minnix, and he expects to have to eliminate the stubborn ones. So, who isn’t stubborn, who would rather return to their own time and live?”

Tom never flinched.  “Walter Reynolds is in a small apartment somewhere.  If Oscar wants to know where, he can drop the threat. If not, then he can target practice all he wants.”

Hannigan frowned, “I am not a fan of new information.  I expect we’ll see each other again.”  Once he had gone, Cameron commented. “Convincing gentleman, probably an actor.” “Tom agreed. “His name is Sykes, he teaches acting at a small college in Colorado.”

“Minnix knows that I know him, and he’s showing his abilities. That was Sykes years before I met him.  He transported a younger version of him here.  Sykes is good, but not so good he wouldn’t have acknowledged me in some way.”

“What it means is this. He’s telling us that he has an army of resources. That he can not only pull people from time, he can pull versions of them from different times. He’s wanting us to believe that he has limitless power, some sort of Machiavelli. He’s trying to use fear, which tells me he’s not sure of anything.  If he were as powerful as he wants us to believe, there would have been two Sykes, setting side by side.”

140 Mile Stretch: A Surge

Next, Tom looked up the coordinates, he was surprised where they lead.  Throughout the notebook were references to an “140 mile stretch of land”, he assumed that the coordinates were in the middle of that 140 miles.

Tom’s mind came back to the present, Project Seismic wasn’t named for geological reasons. It was named for the magnitude of its importance. Tom had kept everyone guessing on purpose about where, and when, they were going. He had to be sure that his team could be trusted, he still wasn’t.

The problem was, he was out of time, and out of aces.  “Where are we going Mr. Secretary?” Colonel Taylor asked so he could key in the coordinates, Phyllis just wanted the secrecy to end.

Tom handed him the coordinates, Cameron looked at them, and looked at Tom. “That’s outside of Philadelphia? Is this a test?” Tom shook his head no. “Everyone has a theory on time travel, let me explain what my Grandfather found to be true.  Time has properties closely akin to magnetism or gravity. In other words, there’s a pull to it.”

Tom paused to see if he was making himself clear, and continued on. “Gravity pulls things down, to counter that, a space craft has to break free of its force. The regular pull of time is forward, to go back, you have to break free of it’s pull. When you do, much like my Grampa’s old rifle, there’s a kickback, or counter force. In time’s sake, it’s a geographical one, in other words, sideways.  If you’re in the west, it will project you eastward, and vice versa.”

“To get where you want to go, you don’t start from there. You start from one location and travel to another. There’s a geological journey, as well as a time journey. Cross one physical place in time, and you intersect with another.”

“I’ve told Phyllis about my visits with my Grandfather, what I didn’t tell her is that he wasn’t in the cabin in Colorado when he crossed over. He was in Pennsylvania, it has a magnetic or gravitational connection to Colorado. In fact, that’s why later in life he bought the cabin. It’s an entry/exit point.”

“What’s in Philadelphia?” Phyllis asked, suddenly very nervous. Cameron spoke, “Forgive me director, more importantly when in Philadelphia?” Tom pulled a device from his coat, the first stop is 1918.  Then he took two rods out of the device and handed them to Cameron. “Everyone suspected the earthquake was involved, it wasn’t, that was more a coincidence than anything. The storm is the catalyst.  Wear this glove, and thrust these two rods into the shuttle’s power source, they’ll get us there. Just be prepared for the kick back.”

“What do you mean kick back?” Cameron didn’t like this, he hated limited information. “Time jolts, is what they should be called. In reality that’s what they are, like putting your hand in an electric hurricane. You’re going against the current, and the current resists.  The first two minutes you’re disoriented, like short wave jet lag.”

Phyllis voiced her disapproval, “Thrills! What about the way we look, we’ll be a little two fashionable for the past.” Tom handed them each what looked like a smart phone.  “These are vital, they’re my design, built in a special facility ran by the Secret Service.”

“They contain an era based video database that projects wardrobes of the time you arrive in.  They’re powered by a self regenerating cool power source. They also allow you to communicate with all of us, and have a special feature.”

Virginia actually spoke, “Like time travel isn’t special enough.” Tom grinned, he had made the same joke to himself. “True, you can send limited messages to a special communication center in our time. Ironically, they can only be 140 characters, no joke.”

“One of two people will answer it, one is the President, the other is his Chief Of Staff.  Finally inside them are two rods like the ones I handed Colonel Taylor. If we’re separated more than two days, get home, period.”

Cameron asked what the others were thinking. “What about weapons? Isn’t this supposed to be a super device?” Tom laughed, “I’m guessing that all of us are already armed. I’m carrying two weapons on me, and I’m a civilian.” Cameron nodded, and plunged the rods in the panel. As a surge went through his body, everything went blurry.

140 Mile Stretch: Less Than Two Years

Tom didn’t respond, he wasn’t comfortable with one excursion through time, much less two. He nodded, shook the President’s hand and walked back to the transport.

Fourteen minutes later, they were at an underground military base in Colorado known as Camp Fiction, referencing the fact that most in the government was unaware of its existence. CIA agent and former Marine Colonel Cameron Taylor met them at the launch site. Tom had read his bio as they neared the base.

 An American with a rich heritage. His ancestors include a Cherokee Chief who fought for the colonies in the American Revolution. Another of his ancestors, Esther Taylor, ran an Ally spy ring out of France during World War II. Originally from Virginia, he grew up on multiple Army bases across the country and the world.His Father Aaron, now a Senator, is a military hero in three different conflicts. His natural blonde hair and blue eyes come from his Mother’s side, his height, strength, and speed come from his Father’s side of the family. His photographic memory and love of physics he received from his Mother. On her side of the family, at last count, were four Nobel Prize winners in Science. This thirty year old southern former soldier turned CIA agent is prepared for anything.

 It sounded like Phyllis was bragging about her choice of super agent. If so, he wasn’t impressed, he wasn’t concerned with resumes, he needed time, so did the country for that matter. If his calculations were right, they had less than fifteen days left.

His mind went back to that day in the cabin. He had a cup of coffee in his hand when the lightning hit. Suddenly standing there in his Grandfather’s old kitchen was a forty year old version of his Grampa.  He knew who he was, but Grampa didn’t know him. That was natural, the last time he had saw him, Grampa was 80 and Tom was 18.

Tom told no one about that day for a year, he thought he was losing it. Until, that was, the next year’s vacation. Three days into his trip, there was another a storm. Tom quickly recreated his movements from the previous year, right down to resting his body on the counter top.

This time, a sixty five year old version of his Grandfather was there. He spoke quickly, “Tom, under sink, you’ll find everything.” He placed a paper in his Grandson’s hand, and vanished. The paper didn’t leave, but as soon as Grampa vanished, it aged before Tom’s eyes. The letter’s words were etched in his memory.

Tom,

 Number one, you’re not crazy, number two, neither am I. Number three, Oscar Minnix is not only insane, he is deadly. This is not a joke, nor a drill. This is real, and to prove that it’s really me, “Hernandez”.

 Love Grampa

 P.S. You have less than two years to stop Oscar from destroying the United States.

 If there had been any doubt in Tom’s mind, it left when he read the name “Hernandez.” Grampa had made up a story on the spot one day about a great military hero, that happened to be a squirrel. He called him “Hernandez Alejandro Montalban.” Grampa and Tom kept the series of stories their secret. No one else in the family, or another soul, had ever heard them.

Within two minutes, Tom was on his knees under the sink. He would spend a lot more time on his knees seeking guidance after this. Underneath the boards was a box, inside it were several items including a notebook.  On the first page were coordinates, with a phrase written under it, “Memorize these, then destroy this page.”

Tom’s first question was, “Who is Oscar Minnix?” He began searching the Internet for any reference to a man with that name. He was surprised when he found that the Flatiron building in New York referenced an office for Minnix Industries. Tom discarded that when it stated that the C.E.O. was Olivia Minnix.  On top of that, as far as he knew, Grampa had never been to New York before.

140 Mile Stretch: Eight Year Bed And Breakfast

“So tell me about this agent that’s going with us.” He wanted to quickly change the subject before she asked about the coordinates again. “It was a tough choice,it came down to three agents. One from the CIA, NSA, and the Secret Service.  You’ll meet him at the second rendezvous point.  First, we have a side trip to make ourselves.”

 Tom didn’t like this piece of information. He was supposed to be in control, Phyllis was already rewriting the game, and they hadn’t even left.  He knew that he couldn’t argue either, she would simply threaten to shut down everything, and he couldn’t have that.

 So he nodded and they were speeding to an unknown destination.  Thirty minutes later, they stopped about a hundred miles away.  There was a man standing alone on the underground platform. He was tall, strong African American with gray hair and blue eyes. It was President Alex Whittaker! “What’s he doing here?” Tom didn’t understand, he had just talked to him before leaving the White House that morning.

 Virginia never left the transport, she had another conversation planned, and she didn’t want anyone else to hear. “Tom it’s good to see you. Walk with me please?” The President and the Secretary walked to a bench on the other end of the platform.

“I couldn’t talk freely at the office Tom.  Project Seismic is too important to take chances on. I’ve known you for what twenty years?” “Yes sir, about that, that’s why I’m asking you to trust me.” The President flashed his fake smile, “A lot of people ask me to do that Tom, half of them don’t work for me anymore. All of them don’t vote for me now.”

 Tom laughed, “You’re a second termer Mr. President, no one votes for you anymore.” That prompted a genuine smirk between two friends. “Tom, is this as important as you say, or some attempt to get the party behind you?”

 Tom sighed, “Sir, while every politician imagines sitting in that chair, my daydreams aren’t behind this.  My Grandfather’s research was an accident, my getting into politics is in no way connected to my desire to stop a terrorist plot.  This isn’t about getting a room in a four to eight year bed and breakfast, it’s about making sure the country is still standing this time yesterday.”

 “Good, now about Virginia, the transport pilot, … she is not who she seems. Her and Phyllis are talking, that’s the primary reason for this stop. I used it as an opportunity to have our talk, but their conversation is more important.” Tom looked confused. “What’s more important than a conversation with the President?”

 The President smiled, “Politicians come and go, spies stay. She is the backup, should Phyllis’ agent and you fail, Virginia won’t. She never has, but she’s a known commodity now. That eliminated any future missions, but not past ones that haven’t happened yet.”

140 Mile Stretch: Hopping A Train

As they headed down the corridor, small talk quickly turned to the problem at hand.  “I’m your ally in this Tom, but I can only stick my neck out so far. In order to help you, I need the location.” Tom stopped, “I trust you Phyllis, but only so far.   Where is my only bargaining chip, and I won’t give it away until the last possible minute.”

“She looked at him. “I would ask when is the appropriate time, but in this case, where is the appropriate time is a better question. The President had an altogether different question. Is this about the 140 miles, or about the Presidency?” He laughed.

“You know it’s not power that I’m concerned with Phyllis, and it’s not about a140 mile stretch of land. It’s about saving lives, protecting the country, and stopping a mad man.” They continued on to the underground transport as she responded, “I just wanted to be sure. So, tell me, how did the Secretary Of Agriculture figure out the secret of time travel?”

“Everyone always asked how time travel was possible, or why it couldn’t happen. They should have asked another question, where could it happen?  I found out the answer in the middle of an Earthquake when I saw my Grandfather in the middle of nowhere.” He realized what he had said, but it was too late, not a big deal though. She had a sliver of information now, “So were going to the mountains?” Tom pulled a train ticket out of his pocket, “Actually we’re hopping a train!”

The Flop: The Ambassador’s Niece

Everyone thinks that the governments of friendly nations are friendly.  You and I know that is not the case.  As a matter of fact, one of the most animosity fueled relationships I’ve ever had was with a fellow agent from another English speaking country.  We ended up as friends, but it took two months in the jungle of Central America, and almost dying, to make it happen.

I mention this to explain my relationship with the Prime Minister.  She didn’t like me, I didn’t know why.  As far as I could tell, Camille Anais Fortin, and I had never had any unpleasant issues.  Still, from the moment we met, she seemed to loathe my very existence.  That was going to make this mission extremely hard, considering what I was here to do.

As you know, The Eagle was a joint venture between Canada and the United States.  It had only been used once, and that proved to be a disaster.  Still, it was the only weapon that we had in our arsenal that might accomplish the task.  When I was given the news month’s earlier, I wasn’t very happy about it to be honest Sir.  Now, standing in front of her, I despised it.

For the Presidential record twenty years from now, she was a year younger than I am. She was attractive, with dark hair, and green eyes.  Her parents had both been successful private business people who did heavy philanthropic work.  These causes lead her at nineteen to set her sights on a political career.

I admired her honesty, which of course had resulted in political enemies.  In her first time as Prime Minister, she was poised to lead her country into an economic gold rush.  Thanks, in no short supply, to the technical advances they made in health technology.  These were programs that she championed, and had paid off more than even she had expected.

Sadly, as usual, it meant that someone was targeting her to stop it from happening.  They had tried politically, manufacturing phony scandals that hadn’t stuck.  They would have threatened her family, but her parents were gone.  She had no siblings, or close relatives, that they knew of at the time.  As a last result, they had hired at least two assassins to eliminate her.

We felt that the only hope for both of our country’s immediate good, was her survival.  Normally, her country’s intelligence agencies would protect her.  That was of course, until the director of their most secret agency had been compromised.  We had proof that he, and an unknown number of agents, were receiving orders from a political faction in their country.

Thankfully, Harris Patel, the Canadian Ambassador, was the former head of their intelligence network.  He knew that only a small team could protect her.  In his hay day, his brain child had been The Eagle.  It’s failure cost him his job, and it’s reactivation had cost him his life.

This little acronym might end up placing me in a Canadian prison for the rest of my life. It stood for, “Extract, Abduct, and Guard Lead Executive.”   Patel said the golden eagles that nested in the Canadian mountains near their base inspired the name.  I hoped that the second time this plan was put in action would have better results, but I was skeptical.

So here I was in Canada to save his niece’s life. They found this out right before they killed him.  Unfortunately that mission also meant convincing Meyersmith to disobey orders.  Worst of all, it would result in kidnapping Canada’s leader.  If she didn’t like me before, she’d hate me now.

Cambridge’s: An Emporium?

“Imagine it, an emporium? With all kinds of items as far as the eye can see. Cambridge’s will be the most important store in all of England.” Winston Jr. was absolutely beaming with excitement. His Father smiled at him. He let his son enjoy the adventure of his imagination for a few minutes, then sat him down.

“Son, you have a bright and an exciting future ahead. I don’t doubt that you could make this the single most vital merchant location in all of Europe. If you choose to do that, I’ll back you one hundred and twenty percent. Before you do though, I’d like you to look around.”

Winston Jr. did so with an open heart. He knew his Father had something to teach him, and even if it wasn’t what he wanted to learn, he trusted him. “Son, do you see all of the things that we carry here? Is there another store in our community?

How many years have we been in business? I submit that, on a much smaller scale than you imagined, we are an emporium. We have everything from Mr. Clark’s foot pillows to Mrs. Carol’s pinching shears.” His son nodded his head, but still had a look of uncertainty on his face.

“When I opened this store, it was to woo your Mother, not to make money. At this cash register, the Doctor delivered you because we were snowed in, and you got in a hurry.” He didn’t say it but Winston Jr. was always in a hurry, it came with the eagerness of youth.

“That happened on a Tuesday at 12:05. I opened this store on a Monday at 11:30. Your sister Sophia, was born on a Wednesday at 7:00. I could also give you the times of Nicholas, Katrina, and Miles.

This store is not only filled with every item this town could need. It’s filled with memories, with laughter, with life. It has in it’s fibers a love for the past, an excitement for the present, and a hope for the
future.”
Winston was on his feet, the excitement of wisdom was pumping through his older joints. “It’s not only our family that has invested here. Your girl’s parents met in the gardening section. The Mayor of our little hamlet was convinced to run in the produce section. This place is gleaming with the history of living, breathing people.

None of them have made us millionaires, but they have made a difference in our lives, and they’ve blessed us to make a difference in others.” “As I say, you could very well make this bigger than Harrods, but before you do, think of this. I always say, ‘Nothing ever happens at 4:00.’ Why do you think I do that?”

With that, Winston left his son standing and headed for the car. They sat silently as they began the short journey from town to home. The younger Winston was struggling with this information. He still didn’t completely understand. “Why could you do one and not do the other?”

“Oh you could, without question, I chose not to for one reason. All of that time, all of that energy to build an empire. I had to make the choice too, that’s where I got the phrase ‘Nothing ever happens at 4:00.’ I looked ahead in time, and saw my face fifty years in the future. I saw two versions of it.”

“What were they?” Winston smiled, he had his attention. “One was wearing a thousand dollar suit. I was so important that the most powerful business men were at my elbows. Everything sparkled, including my complexion. I was happy, I was rich, I even had halfway decent relationships with my family.”

“I almost chose that path, until I looked at the empire I had built. It was a galleria of merchandise, it made only one thing, money to buy more merchandise. It would go on after my death, and after the death of my next two successors. “

“You see, I remember the names of businessmen that everyone else has forgotten. Americans watch the Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Parade every year without knowing something. They watch without realizing that the letters R.H. were in front of Macy before the parade followed it.

He hadn’t needed my help to turn a store into an empire. Neither had those famous men who came before him, and neither would those who came after. If the business empire was going to be built anyway, why waste my energy building it?”

“That’s when I saw the other version of my face. I was economically successful with a good business. Our store supplied the entire town. More importantly, we were friends with our neighbors. We were truly, and not in lip service only, involved in our Church.”

“I may not have had the ear of tycoons, but the most important men in our town asked for my advice. They did so, not only in business, but in conditions of the heart, life adventures, and in mattes of the soul.”

“Instead of a decent relationship with my family, we were completely in love with one another. Every member of our immediate family actually liked the others. We would have arguments, face disagreement, even snap at times. When the day ended though, we would love each other.”

They got out of the car and made their way up the snowy walkway. Winston Jr. asked his Father, “When did you make your decision?” Winston smiled, stopping briefly on the stoop. “When I was 21, underneath the Olsen Clock at 3:59pm on a Monday afternoon.”