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...
After dinner, I got the boys ready for bed after I made sure their homework was done. I was getting concerned when Hank hadn’t called by eight o’clock. After I got the boys settled, I took a shower and was lying in bed reading when Cameron came in without knocking. “Dad, where’s Daddy. Why isn’t he home?”
“Cam, I was wondering the same thing. I guess he is still at the meeting that concerns what happened at Cody High School, today. If something bad had happened to him, we would have heard by now.”
Cam climbed into bed with me, “Dad, can I sleep here until Daddy gets home. There have been so many bad things happening that I’m worried. Please promise me that you and Daddy won’t fight anymore. It‘s scary to see you big people being mean to each other.”
I hugged Cam, “Cam, your Daddy and I will be okay.”
Cam and I were asleep when, Hank finally arrived. I woke up when Hank came into the room and I pointed to Cam. Hank leaned down and whispered, “So my son has taken my place while I was out finding you a job?”
I was trying to extricate myself from Cam, but he woke up, “Is Daddy here?”
Hank answered, “Yes son, I’m home, and everything is okay. Why don’t you go to bed, since tomorrow is Friday? You do have school, unlike some people I know.”
Cam stretched, “Daddy, why don’t you carry me to bed? I’m too tired to walk.”
I watched as Hank carried Cam to his bedroom and thought to myself, ‘How did one so young become so manipulative?’
When Hank returned, he shed his clothes and lay down beside me. “I just got my ass chewed by my son. He told me that I needed to be around, so you wouldn’t have to take care of the boys by yourself all the time. I get the feeling that our little altercation has him more upset than we realized.”
I wanted to know, “Hank, what kind of job did you find me? I thought you told me that I needed to be a stay at home Dad and take care of the boys.”
Hank moved and leaned on his left elbow, “If you must know, you will be wearing two hats for the time being. First you will be temporarily taking Mrs. Colgate’s position on the Board of Education.”
“Hank, I don’t live in the confines of the school district. You pointed out that you had to live in the city and the area you represented,”
Hank had an evil grin, “Ah, my love, you under estimate my evilness. The house on the hill falls within the district that Mrs. Colgate was elected to represent. I have changed the title to read that you are part owner, and we do occasionally spend some nights there, so therefore, you are a resident of the area. The selling point was that Jacob and Kevin had attended Cody High when it was a well run institution.”
“But Hank, why did you decide on me and not you?”
“Steve, being a parent is still new to me, and Cam is going to private school. Besides I have better things to do, now that I need to be part-time Dad, at the least. You have a meeting to attend at nine o’clock in the morning, and some of the other Board members are out for bear. It’s up to you to keep them in check, and the State Board of Education is going to be watching to see what happens.”
After I dropped the boys off at school the next morning, I needed to go to the meeting that I had no idea of what to expect. I finally found my way to the Board Room for the meeting, and it felt as if there was an iceberg in the room. Not only that, there were television reporters present. I walked into the room and I was met by a brusque older man, who I was to find out was Mr. Burwell; “I suppose you’re the new Board Member.”
The vice-president of the board, Mrs. Shepherd, opened the meeting with the pledge of allegiance. The next thing that happened was that Mrs. Shepherd nodded to me, “We need to welcome our newest board member, Mr. Stephen Michaels, and swear him in, even though it is a temporary appointment.”
After the welcoming, which was not very cordial, Mrs. Shepherd asked, “Why is it that you would even be considered for the school board even on a temporary basis?”
I took a deep breath, “Ladies and gentlemen, I have two sons who went the entire way through the public school system when the district was concerned about providing a quality education, instead of worrying about how people dress. Perhaps you have heard of at least one of my sons, Jacob Michaels, who plays basketball for the University of North Carolina. He has graduated in three and half years, and is already attending graduate school. My other son, Kevin, will be graduating from Harvard in May and has been accepted into the Harvard Law School.”
“The twins just happened to go to Cody High. I have two younger sons who are attending the Wentworth Academy, but will be attending public schools when they get older.”
Mr. Burwell asked, “If you're too good to send your young sons to public school, then why not expend your energy trying to run the rich kid school?”
I wanted to smack the jerk, “First, not everyone who attends Wentworth Academy is rich. Many parents cut corners to have their children be able to go there, because they know they will get a better education than in the public system. There is a waiting list of people wanting to transfer from the public schools.”
“Second, I am very familiar with the young people who were involved in the incident at Cody High, yesterday, and I witnessed Mr. Beans slapping Colby Granger in the face, not once, but twice. This entire fiasco reflects very badly on the school system Superintendent, whom I understand was hand picked by my predecessor, and yes, even this not so august board. I think that the credentials of the entire Central Office staff should be evaluated to determine if they are indeed capable of insuring that the young people are getting the best education. I think we should start by looking at the Superintendent’s credentials.”
Mrs. Shepherd looked at the Superintendent, “Superintendent White, what is your opinion on this matter.”
I was surprised, “Point of order. Superintendent White is not a member of this board. He has no right to state his opinions. His job is to do as we tell him to do, not tell us what he thinks or what we need to do.”
The Superintendent turned white but he knew he had no right to state his opinion. I decided to cut the discussion short. “I would like to move that we adjourn this meeting, since we obviously have no agenda items that have to do with running the school district, or at least I don’t have one in front of me.”
A younger man grinned, “I second the motion.”
Mrs. Shepherd looked around, “It has been moved and seconded that the meeting be adjourned. Is there any discussion”
Mr. Burwell jumped up, “We can’t adjourn. Mr. Michaels has made some very serious accusations. What right does he have to come in here and tell us what to do?”
“I raised my hand, Mr. Burwell, it is apparent to me that there are several more of you board members who have been hoodwinked by Mrs. Colgate and her cohorts. I think it is necessary for me to do data gathering, so I can act responsibly in matters that this board and the superintendent’s office should be concerned with. Mrs. Shepherd, when is the next scheduled board meeting?”
“The next board meeting is scheduled for next Tuesday at seven o’clock.”
I nodded, “All further discussion can be held until then. I call for the question.”
The vote was four to two to approve the motion to adjourn. Mrs. Shepherd and Mr. Burwell weren’t looking so cocky, now, and the Superintendent would obviously never be a friend of mine from the looks I was receiving.
Mrs. Shepherd announced, “This meeting is adjourned.”
Before we could get up, one of television people commented, “We have just received word that the Grangers have filed a law suit against the district for one million dollars, for the incident at Cody High, yesterday, involving their son.”
Mr. Burwell sputtered, “But we had nothing to do with what happened.”
I decided to rub it in, “You people had to approve the hiring of Mr. Beans, since I understand that he just started in August, and that the district told the principal, Mr. Daniels, to bury his head in the sand.”
A young reported asked, “Mr. Michael’s, what is your background?”
I was surprised, but answered, “My background is in the advertising business. I own the Michael’s Advertising Agency.”
The reporter commented, “That’s the largest advertising company in the entire state. Are you going to have time to adequately represent your constituents?”
I laughed, “I stepped away from the company, because I have an extremely capable staff. Let’s say it like this, I’m a stay at home Dad, with five young boys to take care of. Now, if you will excuse me, I have some things I need to take care of.”
As I was walking to the exit, the young board member who seconded the motion approached me, “Mr. Michaels, do you have a minute?”
“Sir, I’m Tony Romero. I want to thank you for what you did today. You were able to show this group, with their own agenda, that they were going to be monitored very closely. They’ve been thwarting my attempts to try to improve the schools, saying I was too young know any better.”
I looked at the young man, “Tony, why would someone so young be so concerned about what is happening in the schools.”
Tony started to laugh, “Mr. Michaels, I’m not as young as I may look. I have three children in the public schools. My eldest son had a horrible introduction to school his first two years. He had to have had two of the worst teachers in the system. Now that he’s in fourth grade, he has finally had some uplifting experiences. Fortunately, the second grader and kindergartner have had a much better introduction to schooling.”
“Thank you for being an advocate for children. You must have an interesting story if you have five young boys that you need to be a stay at home Dad to take care of. I gotta go. I have a court case in forty five minutes. See you Tuesday.”
When I arrived at the van, my cell phone was ringing, “This is Steve Michaels.”
“Steve, where do you want to meet for lunch? I understand you had an interesting meeting.”
“Cowboy, you did this deliberately, to get even with me.”
“Yep, now where do want to go for lunch?”
While we were eating lunch at a small restaurant, Hank floored me, “I have operatives checking on the backgrounds of the board members, the superintendent and his staff. The only one of those people I’ve met is Tony Romero. He’s a hard working guy who is a single parent, now that his wife has died. He’s an excellent attorney. We should have the reports in time for the school board meeting on Tuesday night.”
As we were walking out of the restaurant, Hank commented, “I’ll meet you at the Academy and we can do whatever the boys and you want.”
I stuck out my tongue, “I would just like to go home and relax, and tomorrow I would like for us to see the land and place where I grew up. I had forgotten about it. After the presentations I did, memories came rushing back. I still own the land that my parents owned. I haven’t been there for years. It would be fun to teach our sons about the old times. You might even learn a few things.”
The boys were content to go home, and we went for a horseback ride. I was pleased to see that the new guys weren’t going to be taking a backseat to anyone.
After dinner, we went to the master bedroom, where the five young guys were watching a video and Hank and I were working on the computers. When we were putting the boys to bed, Cam nodded, “Dads, this is more like it. What are we going to do tomorrow?”
I hugged Cam. “I thought I would take you and show you what it was like when I was your guys' age. We’re going to take you and teach you to talk to the animals.”
Randy looked at me and started to laugh, “Daddy, be serious. People can’t talk to animals.”
I sniffled a couple of times, “Bet me, I’ll have you talking to the animals just like I did when I was a little boy.”
On Saturday morning, Hank and I were awakened by a knock at the door. After we told the visitor to enter, we had five young boys standing there with two cups of coffee. Cam lit into us, “I thought we were going to talk to the animals.”
I looked at the clock, “Cam, it’s only seven o’clock. Your Daddy and I will be there as soon as we can get dressed. You guys need to wear the warmest clothes that you have, because it’s going to be cold.”
After breakfast, I went to the refrigerator and got some vegetables and fruits so we could take them with us on our trip to where I grew up. When we finally arrived at the cabin, I almost started to cry, because the place had been overgrown by vegetation due to years of neglect.
Hank looked at me, “Steve, how long has it been since you’ve been here?”
I had to stop to think, “I haven’t been here since Kevin and Jacob’s mother died. I guess I got so busy with the business and taking care of the boys that I forgot about it until I was talking to the fifth graders on Wednesday.”
Hank asked, “How much of this land do you own?”
“I honestly don’t know. I’m guessing its several acres. I have the deed in my safe deposit box.”
The boys had climbed out of the van. Ricky asked, “Daddy, I need to go bathroom. Where can I go?”
“Son, if you have to just pee, pull your penises out and let it rip. There’s no one who is going to see you, except the animals, and they’ll probably laugh.”
Hank laughed, “The animals will probably laugh when your Dad and I have to go to the bathroom.”
All five boys pulled down their sweat pants, and they were having a contest to see who could pee the furthest.
Hank hugged me, “What a way to start the visit to where you grew up.”
To be continued...
Editor's Notes: That was quite an interesting Board meeting, wasn't it? I certainly hope that the investigation will uncover some of the rampant corruption that is going on. It's about time that the children who are attending the public schools get a fair shake and a decent education.
It will be very interesting to see what will happen at the cabin. The boys are going to find out that life in rural America in the late 20th century could be quite different than life in the city.
I will be quite interested in the next chapter. Of course I am always interested in any new chapter from E Walk.
Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher