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 47  

Settling In


It was about four o’clock when Cam came and crawled on Hank’s lap,  “Dads, we're getting tired.  I think we should go back to the ranch.”


Hank hugged Cam, “Go get the other guys and tell them to take a shower to get the chlorine off, and be sure to shampoo and condition your hair, good.”


“Dads, it would go so much faster if you helped us.  We could use both shower stalls, since there aren’t any girls here.”


Hank took the younger guys into the boys’ shower stalls and I took Randy and Tony to the girls’ side.  We were soon joined by the rest of the guests, and I noticed that Chris, Nolan and Bill were securing the pool area.


When I came out of the shower and dressing area, I asked, “Where is Wayne?  I would have thought he would have been here?”


Chad answered, “He went to see our Mother.  She had something that she wanted to talk to him about.  I wanted to go with him, but juveniles aren’t permitted in the facility where she is being treated.  It will be interesting to see what he has to say when he gets back.”


Chad wasn’t finished, “I’m eighteen years old, for heaven’s sakes.  I wouldn’t consider me to be a juvenile.”


I laughed, “Chad, enjoy being a juvenile for as long as you can.  It’s not fun being a responsible adult, sometimes.”


When we arrived at the ranch, the boys went to check on the horses, before dinner.  As we were eating, Randy asked, “Dads, if Daddy Steve is going to be the superintendent, who’s going to take care of us and make sure that we get to school on time and be there to pick us up?”


Hank looked little miffed, “What’s the matter, guys, don’t you think I can do the job?”


Cam shook his head, “Dad, we’re not saying you can’t do the job of taking care of us.  But sometimes you get so busy doing things that you almost forget to go to the bathroom.  Some mornings, you aren’t here when we wake up.”


I stepped in, “Guys, we’ll make sure that you get to school on time and are picked up on time.  Freddie and Chase wouldn’t mind being your chauffeurs if you are good for them.”


Randy giggled, “Did you hear what Daddy said?  He said we were bad kids.  We need to go on strike and quit going to school.  We’ll show him how bad we can be.”


I laughed, “I suggest that you bad boys get the cleanup taken care of, before Pinocchio comes and leads you to Never Never Land.”


Cam put his head on the table, “I told you guys, the Dads have been watching too many Disney movies that they can’t keep them straight.  Do you suppose Tinkerbell will come sprinkle us with fairy dust so we can fly to school and home?”


While the boys were taking care of the cleanup, Grandma Ellie, Grandpa T., Hank and I were sitting at the table.  Grandpa T. grinned, “I don’t think it’s going to be easy to pull anything over on the young people.”


Hank and I checked the phone messages after the boys were settled and there were still some more threatening messages.  We were getting ready to go to bed and when the phone rang.  Hank answered, “This Hank Rodgers. … Oh hi, Bill.  Are you having withdrawal pains from not being around the boys? … Yep, sitting here playing with his favorite toy.  I’ll put him on.”


Hank handed me the phone.  “This is Steve Michaels.”


“Mr. Michaels, the bosses are really concerned after what has happened at the School District Offices over the weekend, and I’m to be assigned as your personal body guard while you're on duty.  They suggested that I even drive to pick you up at your residence and accompany you to the Central Office.”


“Bill, that's ludicrous.  I’ll tell you what.  I'll meet you at the house on the hill at seven thirty, and we’ll meander to the Central Office from there.  What if I need to go somewhere during the day?”


“Then I guess I will be taking you in a squad car.”


“Great, people will think I’m a common criminal.”


“Better that than riding in a hearse.  Nolan wants to know what you want him to do tomorrow?”


“Tell him he is going to be a very important player before this is all done.  I’ll see you at the house on the hill, at seven thirty.”


After I hung up, I turned to Hank, “Hank, I get the feeling that the adversaries are trying to intimidate me, or should I say, us, into not creating waves.”


Hank grinned, “They’re running scared because they have been caught with their hands in the piggybank.  Let’s see what tomorrow brings, but first, I think I need to relax your body so you’re ready to face whatever tomorrow throws your way.”


In the morning I hugged the boys goodbye, and made my way to the house on the hill, where there was a police car waiting by the garage exit.  I pulled into the garage as the Smith boys were climbing into Chad’s car.  I frowned, “Why are you taking all the boys, this morning?”


Chad answered, “Mr. Young and Chris received a call that they were needed to be at the Michaels’ Advertising Agency as soon as possible.  It seems that investigators from the Internal Revenue Service have arrived to do an audit of the company‘s finances.”


I pulled out my cell phone and dialed Hank’s cell number.  “This is Hank Rodgers.”


“Hank, the enemy is attacking me through auditing the Michaels Advertising Agency.”


“Relax Steve, I’m already on top of the matter.  Dusty called and told me what was happening at the Agency right after you departed this morning.  Let me take care of this.  I think it would be best for you to worry about the School District so the opposition doesn’t have too many avenues to attack you personally.”


When Bill and I arrived at the Central Office, there were media people camped everywhere.  One young man asked, “Mr. Michaels, we understand that you are being attacked from all sides.  Would you care to comment?”

“All I can say is that we’re going to take care of one problem at a time.  I have not been informed of what you were referring to as all sides.  Now, if you will excuse me, I need to get to work.”


When Bill escorted me into the building, we were met by Nolan.


“Boss, did you really mean what you said that only the employees who showed for work last Friday were to be permitted in?”


“That’s precisely what I meant.  The employment of anyone who chose not to come to work on Friday has been terminated.  They will need to reapply for any vacancies.  There is no guarantee that they will be rehired.”


I was about to leave the reception area when the first bomb exploded.  A woman entered the building and Nolan announced, “Miss Farnum, I’m sorry you will have to leave.  You no longer work here.”


The lady yelled, “What the hell are you saying?  You can’t tell me that I don’t work here.  I’ve worked here for nearly forty years.  I've been the secretary for more superintendents than you can count, you deviant.”


I walked up to the lady, “Miss Farnum,  since you chose not to come to work on Friday, I have replaced you with someone who cares about people and children.  You obviously were too busy gloating in your position of power to even realize what was happening in the district.  As Mr. Stark said, your services with the district have been terminated.  Officer Cline, will you show Miss Farnum to the exit?”


That was only one of the confrontations I, or we, had to endure before my nine o’clock meeting with the building principals and their administrative assistants. 


When the principals and their administrative assistant were seated, I went to the podium, “I’m Stephen Michaels.  I want to thank you for coming.  Mrs. Wright, would you call the roll of schools so the people can stand and identify themselves, and I will know who our building administrators are?”


Cynthia called the roll of schools and two schools were not represented.  “Mrs. Wright, call those two buildings and tell the principals that they have been relieved of their duties and that their employment with the district is terminated.”


The silence in the room was frightening.  One of the older gentlemen, in the group stood.  “Mr. Michaels, you have no experience in education, so how can you justify firing two people just because they didn’t show up for a meeting.”


I looked at the man, “Mr. Ardmore, I believe the instructions that were issued when the meeting was announced was that there would be no excused absences.  Your jobs are to make sure that each student in your buildings is receiving the best education possible, not telling me what to do or questioning my actions.”


“That means that you are to make sure that your teachers are doing their best.  If they aren’t, then be honest, and they won’t be employed in the district, next year.  I have the distinct impression that some of you have been participants in the previous superintendent’s shenanigans.  If so, you might find it advantageous to resign before we smear your names all over the media.  There will be another mandatory meeting, tomorrow at two o’clock.”


I watched as the men and women filed out of the conference room and there was definitely not a feeling of camaraderie.  It was as if they had their own ulterior motives to fulfill.  I thought to myself, ‘If there’s nothing else that I do while I’m in this position, they will think as a team and realize that their job is to provide the students with a quality education.


By the end of the day, I had made so many enemies that Cynthia warned me, “Steve, you need to be careful and make sure that the boys don’t become embroiled in this mess.  You’ve made a lot of powerful enemies.”


Officer Cline dropped me off at the house on the hill and I waited until I was sure there weren’t any media people lurking around before I departed for the ranch.


When I arrived at the ranch, the young guys were coming from the stable area.  Cam accosted me, “Where’s Daddy?”


“Cam, I haven’t talked to your Dad since early today.  I don’t know where he is.  We can go call him and see if we can find why he’s so late.”


When we walked into the kitchen, the television was on, “Ladies and gentlemen, here are some comments from Mr. Hank Rodgers concerning what has been happening in the Denver School District.”


“Thank you, Mr. Ford.  I want to assure the constituents of the Denver School District that the school board is taking action to prosecute the people who have been implicated in trying to take over the district for their own personal gain.  We have even been in consultation with the White House, since someone on the White House staff called and left a threatening message with the Interim Superintendent, Mr. Michaels, telling him to cease and desist the persecution of the people who were involved in dragging the district into the ground.”


Mr. Ford commented, “Mr. Rodgers, we have received word that some of the personnel who were terminated from their jobs at the Central Office are going to file a suit against the district and Superintendent Michaels.”


“Great, they’re playing into our hands and will save us the trouble of having to prosecute them for dereliction of duty.  This entire fiasco should serve as a wake up call to people of America that the rich and powerful are trying to take our freedoms away.  It’s time to let your legislators, congressmen and senators know that they are being monitored very carefully.”


We were to find out very quickly that the national networks had picked up Hank’s interview.  We had just finished putting the young guys to bed when the phone rang.  I answered, “This is Steve Michaels.”


“Mr. Michaels, this is President Snow.  Can you prove that someone from my staff threatened you?”


“President Snow, how do I know that you’re who you say you are?  With everything that has been happening, telephone messages and threats are meaningless.”


There was a silence, “Mr. Michaels, I am who I say I am.  Now can you prove your allegations that you received a threatening phone call from someone on my staff?”


“Sir,  I’ll need to put one of the school district’s lawyers on to answer that question.  He’s the person who traced the threatening phone call.”


I handed the phone to Hank and pushed the speaker button so I could hear the conversation.


“This is Hank Rodgers.”


“Mr. Rodgers, this is President Snow.  What evidence do you have that someone on my staff is involved in what’s been happening in the Denver schools.”


“When I heard the threatening message that someone on your staff made to Mr. Michaels, I traced the call and it showed that the call came from the White House.  The number was 551-6606.”


“That number sounds very familiar.  Let me check to see who it belongs to.  I’ll be right back.”


The voice returned, “Mr. Rodgers, I apologize.  That number belongs to my press secretary.  I can’t believe that he would be involved in a situation like this, but I will make sure that I get to the bottom of this and inform the American people what’s happening.  If you should see Mr. Michaels, tell him I apologize for disrupting his evening.”


After Hank had hung up, I looked at him, “Well.”


“Well what?”


“I distinctly heard the President telling you to do something.”


Hank laughed, “I never do what Presidents tell me to do.  I only obey the orders of people under the age of ten.  Let’s go to bed.  Let’s hope tomorrow is quieter than today.  Shit, I should have told the President to call off his goons from the Internal Revenue Service.”


“Hank, the IRS isn’t going to find any major problems and if they do we’ll be able to charge them with planting erroneous information.  It would be far better to let them admit that they hadplanted misleading information than having them pulled from the job.  That would only create suspicion in their petty minds.”


When we were eating breakfast, Cam asked, “Dads, are ever going to be a normal family again?”


Hank looked at Cam, “What do you mean?”


“Yesterday, the phone was blinking so I picked up the phone to see what the messages were about.  There were some that weren’t very nice.  Is everyone going to be okay?”


Hank and I looked at each other, “Cam and the rest of you guys, things will be back to normal in the near future.  We’re all going to be okay.  Your Daddy talked to the President of the United States, and he’s going to make sure that none of us get hurt.  I need to go.  I have to meet Officer Cline at the house on the hill.”


I hugged the boys and Hank, before I took off.”


To be continued...



Editor's Notes:  Things are getting a little bit dicey, I would say.


Some of the scum bags are getting a little worried, and are trying to intimidate our guys.  Luckily for the kids in the district and not so luckily for the bad guys, our guys have a bit of pull with people in places of power. 


I mean, when someone who isn't in the least bit interested in politics is called personally by the President of the United States, I think that says a lot about what kind of person is involved.  Steve didn't seem to be the least bit nervous while talking to the President. 


I really doubt that anyone is going to be able to sweep this under the rug.


I can hardly wait to see what will happen next.


Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher


Posted: 08/27/10