What Happened to Baby Cameron?
by: E Walk
(© 2009 by the Author)

The author retains all rights. No reproductions are allowed without the author's consent. Comments are appreciated at...

Chapter 19

What Happened To Baby Cameron?


I was going to the bathroom when I was joined by Chad.  He apologized, “Mr. Steve, I’m not trying to perve, but I really need to go to the bathroom bad.  I guess I had too much soda last night.”


Chad and I were just finishing relieving our bladders when we were joined by Cam, “Move over, I gotta go to the bathroom really bad.”


As I was washing my hands, Cam was standing beside me, “Dad, how many more days do we need to travel?”


“Cam we have two long days ahead of us.  Your Daddy said today would be the longest day.”


Cam frowned, “Dad, I wish we didn’t have to drive so long in a day.   I know we have to, this time, because of Uncle Justin’s service.  We wouldn’t have to be driving if we didn’t have to get the two cars home.”


After we had breakfast at the motel, we started driving and I was driving Chad’s car because he was leery about driving in the Dallas area.  Our first stop was at the Oklahoma State Welcome Center.  I took the five young boys into the bathroom, so I could keep an eye on them since the bathrooms were extremely active.  After the boys had a chance to get some exercise, we started on our way. 


The first problem occurred when we arrived in the Oklahoma City area.  There was road construction that caused us to have to take a detour.  I was driving the BMW and Hank suggested that I pull into a restaurant so we could have an early lunch.  While we were eating, we talked about what we would do if we were to get separated.  We decided to meet at the Kansas Welcome Center where the guys could get a snack.


Hank was driving Chad’s car at Chad’s request and it’s probably a good thing, because we did get separated and getting through the Oklahoma City area was absolutely brutal.  When we finally met up at the Welcome Center, we went into the restaurant and went to the bathroom.  The boys had an order of French fries and a coke.  Hank handed Chad some money, “Chad, the rest of the trip will be a breeze.  Since this is the Kansas turnpike there will be a toll when we finally get off at Topeka.  We have reservations at the Holiday Inn there.”


The five young guys were great travelers.  They never complained even though it was easy to see that they were getting very bored.  When we arrived at the Holiday Inn West, in Topeka, the five boys were out of the car so fast that they looked like a blur.


Chad and I were standing by the cars when a young man appeared, to take our luggage, He looked at Chad, “If you’re Chad, you’re to go to the gift shop as soon as you park the car.  Mr. Michaels, your friends will meet you in your rooms.  Here are your key cards.”


I started to laugh, “I guess Cam has struck again.  Why is Chad to meet them in the gift shop?”


The young man was chuckling, “Why, to get a swim suit, of course.”


As Chad and I were walking back to motel, after parking our cars, Chad looked at me, “Mr. Michaels, I’m guessing it’s never dull around your house.”


I hugged Chad, “Son, you have no idea how true that statement is.”


When we entered the lobby, Cam was waiting.  He grabbed Chad’s hand and was pulling him, “Come on, Daddy wants to know what size suit to get you.  Dad, he wants to know if you want to go swimming?” 


I shook my head no, “Cam, I don’t think so.  I’ll meet you in our rooms.”


I was sitting relaxing when the gang arrived in the room.  We had two connecting rooms this time.  Cam surveyed the situation and proclaimed, “Here’s what were going to.  We three younger guys are going to sleep in the other room with Chad.  Since these beds are smaller than the ones we had last night, I’ll sleep with Chad.  Tony and Randy can sleep in here with you two Dads.  That way no one will get kicked out of bed.”


We went to the restaurant on the first floor, since the boys were anxious to ride the three story indoor water slide.  The restaurant had a nice buffet and the boys did a credible job. 


After dinner we went to the rooms and the six young guys changed into their swim suits.  We went to the pool area and found eight seats together.  There was a big sign, ‘Welcome to the New Year’s Eve Swim Bash.’


Chad went with the boys to the third floor and helped them into the water slide.  I was leery at first, but the rate at which people could come down was controlled by an attendant.  There was also a lifeguard on duty in the pool area.


Everything was going fine and the young guys were having a blast.  Chad was sitting at the side of the pool talking to two teenagers when two policemen came into the pool area.  They went up to Chad, and we heard the older officer say, “Young man, what is your name?”


Chad looked up not having a clue as to what was happening, “Why, officers?  I’ve done nothing wrong.  I’m here with my friends.  Why do you need to know my name?”


The officer got a little surly, “Young man, I asked what you’re name was.  You look like the young man who was kidnapped in New Orleans.”


Hank and I had moved to where the interrogation was taking place.  Hank intervened, “Officers, what right do you have questioning this young man like this?”


Chad answered, “Officer, I was not kidnapped in New Orleans.  I was saved from going to a reprogramming center by Mr. Michaels and Mr. Rodgers.  We’re driving our cars back to Denver.  My name is Chad Martin, if you must know, and nothing illegal has transpired except that my father threw me out and sent me to be reprogrammed, so I could be normal.”


The officer looked at Chad, “If you weren’t kidnapped, then what are you doing here?”


Chad threw up his hands, “Officers, I’m driving my car home to the Denver area along with Mr. Michaels and Mr. Rodgers and their five sons or people who they are responsible for.”


Hank had had enough, “Officers, we have the case well in hand.  I’m a lawyer, and if you persist, I will make sure that you are relieved of your duties.  As Chad said, we are not forcing him to come with us.  We just want to get back to the Denver area so we can rectify the problem.  We have the distinct feeling that it is Chad’s father who needs to be reprogrammed and not Chad.  If you need more information, call the City Attorney for the city of New Orleans, and I’m sure that he will set you straight.”


I handed the officers McKenzie’s business card, “Here’s his number.  I would like to have this back after you talk to Mack or one of his people.”


It was approximately ten minutes later when the two officers returned and the older of them was very apologetic, “Mr. Martin, I apologize for my behavior.  I had no idea such a thing existed.  I thought the people in Kansas were Bible thumping people, but I don’t think we would resort to treating our young people like this.”


Hank looked at the clock in the pool area and asked Chad to round up the five young guys.  We made our way to our rooms. Chad helped the three young guys take a shower while Hank and I monitored our roommates for the night.


As we were getting ready to go to breakfast, Cam entered the bathroom, “Dads, this is Ricky’s birthday.  When are we going to celebrate?  We don’t have any gifts for him.“


Hank hugged, “Cam, we’ll celebrate his birthday next weekend.  We’ve been a little busy.  Go ask Ricky to come talk to us, so we can tell him what we’re going to do.”


Cam returned with his roommates.  We had the six young boys sit on the bed so Hank could explain what was going to happen, “Ricky, Happy Birthday.  We’re sorry that there isn’t going to be a party today, but we’ll have a party for you next weekend. Is that okay?”


Both Hank and I were taken aback by Ricky’s answer, “Dads, just having two Dads to love us is all I really want for my birthday.”


I looked at Hank and he had tears in his eyes as did I.  Cam saved the day, “Come on, everybody, I’m hungry.


After breakfast, we started the long boring drive across Kansas.  The boys were really getting restless, but they didn’t complain.  As we were approaching the Denver area Chad asked that I drive his car the rest of the way.


As we were pulling into the ranch, Chad’s reaction was priceless,  “Mr. Steve, is this where you all live?  This place is huge.”


Randy spoke up from the back, “Chad, wait until you see the house on the hill that has a swimming pool.”


Fortunately, Hank had called ahead and warned everyone that we would be arriving and all of the guys were there to greet us, since he mentioned that we would be bringing a surprise visitor.


We were met at the car by Tad and Ramsey.  Ramsey looked at Chad, “I know you from high school, don’t I.  Aren’t you Chad Martin?”


Chad chuckled, “Guilty as charged, Ramsey.  How’s it going at Stanford?”


Ramsey laughed, “It sure is different than high school.  Did you play football this year?  I understand the team lost in the quarterfinals.”


Chad nodded, “I was a starter at the right end position.  We lost the game because the starting quarterback, Blaine, was injured and backup just wasn’t ready to take over since he had played for such a limited amount of time.  Hopefully we’ll be able to go all the way next year, since we’re only losing six seniors.”


The three guys were taking the suitcases into the house when Wayne approached us, “Hi guys.”


We hugged Wayne.  Hank started, “Wayne, everything is set for the service tomorrow.  I’m so sorry that something like this happened.  I’ve made arrangements for the burial site to be fenced when the weather permits.”


Wayne had tears in his eyes, “Hank, I appreciate everything you have done.  I went to church this morning and talked to the minister.  He showed me the program for service and it looks great.  Guys, I don’t think I can live here on the ranch anymore.  This place has too many memories for me.”


I was concerned, “Wayne, you’re not planning to quit the agency are you?”


He shook his head no, “I’m not planning on quitting.  Denver is my home, now.  It’s just that the years that Justin and I spent here were wonderful, and I really don’t want to always be dwelling on what might have been had he not died so young.”


I could tell that Hank was thinking, “Wayne, why don’t you try living at the house on the hill?   You could be the caretaker of the place after Chris leaves.  He and Michelle are looking to buy a house of their own, so they can start a family.”


Wayne shrugged his shoulders, “It would be worth a try.”


Hank added, “You are going to need to spend some time with Chase and Freddie to explain the farm finances, since Justin had been handling them.”


Wayne grinned, “The guys have already talked to me about that.  I’ll work with them, but it’s rather straight forward, since Justin always had things well taken care of.”


As we were eating dinner, I looked around, “Where are Lamar and Jordan?”


Chase answered, “They’re having dinner with the Summers.  They’re going to baby-sit the quads, while the others go to some party that Danny and David were invited to.  Lamar and Jordan babysat the Summers’ children last night while Dusty and Mimi went to a New Year’s Eve party and the kids loved them.  Bosses, you did good when you hired them hombres.  Lamar has been trying to buy some suitable threads to wear to work.”


After dinner, I looked around, “Cowboy and I need someone to take us to the airport so we can get our vehicles.”


Cam spoke up immediately, “Dad, I don’t want to get back in a car today.  My butt is tired from sitting.”


Tim volunteered, “Denise and I’ll take you.  You have picked all of us up and will be delivering us, so that is the least we can do.”


When we returned to the ranch, the fun began, Chad was helping Cam decorate a cake for Ricky’s birthday, while Ramsey and Tad  were playing games with the other four little guys.  When we walked in, Cam announced, “Dads, Grandpa Tibideaux called and wants you to call him.  The telephone number is on the pad.”


I looked at Hank, “Why don’t you call Mr. Tibideaux, since you met him first?”


Hank motioned his head for me to follow him, and we went to our bedroom.  He put the phone on speaker and called the number.  Mr. Tibideaux answered, “This is Jack Tibideaux.”


“Grandpa T., it’s Hank and Steve.”


“Thanks for calling; I talked to McKenzie and he informed me that the Social Services people were able to reunite ten of the young men from the reprogramming center with members of their families.  The social services was also able to place four of the young men in foster homes.  There are still six young men stranded in space, so to speak.  Is there any way you could arrange some help for them?  The people in New Orleans are still recovering from the effects of Hurricane Katrina.  I know that you have the financial where with all to be possibly able to help.”


“Grandpa T., this is Steve.  Sir, we have a more immediate problem that we need to resolve and that is what to do about Chad and his family.  He’s concerned for his three brothers and his mother.”


We could hear Mr. Tibideaux take a deep breath, “Steve, I guess you’re right.  You guys have had a lot dumped on your shoulders this holiday season.”


Hank interjected, “Sir, we’re concerned about the young people who were in that facility.  But now that we have five young men living with us, plus Chad, I don’t think it would be advisable to bring any more people until we get everyone settled.  The scary thing is that Chad’s family must live in the immediate area since Chad attends the same high school that our older sons went to.”


I decided to change the subject, “Grandpa T., would you like to speak to Tony and Andy?”


“No, I don’t want to interrupt their games.  Cam informed me that the boys were tired sitting on their butts.  He said that he and Chad were making a birthday cake for Ricky, since today was his birthday.  He said that you were going to celebrate his birthday next week.”


Hank was chuckling, “Sounds as if I might need to put a gag in my young son’s mouth.  We’ll have the boys call you tomorrow evening.  Talk to you tomorrow.”


To be continued...


Editor's Notes:  I have the feeling that there are going to be some serious situations happening.  With Chad's parents living so close, there is bound to be a clash, sooner or later. My bet is that it will be sooner.  Of course, I have no knowledge of that.  It is just an opinion.


I can hardly wait to see what happens next.


Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher


Posted: 01/01/10