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...
Down For The Count
After Hank departed, I had a string of visitors and calls, all asking that they be excused from the meeting at the Pepsi Center at four o’clock, claiming they had made previous plans. I called Cynthia into the office, “Cynthia, if anyone else calls to ask to be excused from the meeting this afternoon, inform them politely, that they are expected to be there and in their seats by four o’clock, or they will be looking for a new job, tomorrow,”
“At two o’clock, Ms Grace arrived, and Cynthia ushered her into my office. I looked up, and when I saw who it was, I calmly said, “How may I help you, Ms Grace?”
“Mr. Michaels, we are preparing to file a breach of contract complaint against you and the district office, for making the teachers work overtime, against their will.”
“Ms Grace, I have carefully read the contract that was signed by my predecessors and the staff, and there is no mention whatsoever of the hours that the staff is to work. If you want to hear a lot of crying and gnashing of teeth, then bring a box of tissue with you, to the meeting this afternoon.
I have checked, and even though your salary is being paid from the dues paid by the teachers of the district, you are actually under contract to the Denver Consolidated School District. Unless you have anything else significant to discuss, I need to get ready for the meeting at The Can.”
“Mr. Michaels, your predecessors would never have told me to buzz off, as you just did.”
“Ms Grace, I am certainly not my predecessors, and I will not tolerate being dictated to, by you or anyone else. Now, if you will excuse me, I have things to do.”
Ms Grace stood, “Mr. Michaels, I think I can assure you that you haven’t seen the last of me.”
I chuckled, “Unfortunately, Ms Grace, you are probably right, but also unlike my predecessors, neither you nor the teachers are going to walk all over me. Get ready to put the mitts on, as long as I’m in this position, I going to be concentrating providing the best possible education for the children of this district. I am ready to fight anyone who stands in the way.”
As Bill and I were going to the Pepsi Center, I asked, “Where’s Nolan?”
Bill shrugged his shoulders, “I haven’t seen him since he left with Mr. Rodgers, just before lunch.”
I moaned, “Oh no, don’t tell me that he’s one of the people whom I’m going to have to can for not having his can at The Can this afternoon?”
Bill laughed, “I hope you have to can his can. Maybe he’ll finally get a real job. I don’t want to be married to a custodian all my life.”
When Bill and I arrived at The Can, there were picketers milling around, in front of the main entrances. Bill and I made our way into the facility and Cynthia already had it organized so that the employees had certain designated areas where they had to sign in. She had enlisted the aid of the loyal employees, and the system was extremely efficient. Additionally the gallery was nearly full of people. I had no idea who they might be, but I figured that I should be ready for the worst.”
It was nearly five minutes till four when I saw Hank walk in with Nolan. Hank gave me a thumbs up sign, but I hadn’t a clue what he was trying to tell me.
At exactly four o’clock, I approached the speaker’s microphone, “Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for coming, this afternoon, on such short notice. I have some very important announcements to pass along. First, as long as I’m the acting superintendent, the mission of this school district will be to provide all of those who attend our schools with the best possible education we can, within in the financial restraints that we must act under.”
“Second, from now on, the hours for all salaried employees will be for a minimum of eight hours a day, on the job. The administrators will work as required to maintain proper security, and insure that the employees are working their scheduled time. As of now, there will be absolutely no overtime pay authorized for anyone. Your contracts do not have any provisions for overtime pay.”
Thirdly, every employee in the district is subject to be evaluated at any time. This is especially true of those of you who work with children. We will be forming teams to visit your classrooms and offices, unannounced, to evaluate you in the performance of your day to day duties.”
A young woman stood, “Mr. Michaels, that is contrary of what has happened in the past. Are you saying that we won’t have time to prepare a formal lesson plan, before we are evaluated?”
“Yes indeed, young lady, that is exactly what I AM saying. If you have to have a detailed plan to do your job, then perhaps you’re in the wrong profession.”
A black man stood up and pointed at me, “I’m Ralph Grace, I resent the way that you treated my wife, today. Why are you so opposed to the privatization of the schools, anyway? The leaders have assured us that our children would be able to receive a far better education if they were to take control of the schools.”
“Mr. Grace, I take it that you and your wife could afford to pay the various fees that the privatized schools would charge, initially. You should know, however, that there are many families out there who could not afford to pay the fees that the schools would demand. Where does that leave the young people of those families? Not only that, once the schools were privatized, the fees would steadily increase, and the number of teachers available would steadily decrease. These people are definitely not in the business to educate the young people; their only interest is to make money.”
A gentleman stood, “Mr. Michaels, you have no proof that that is what would happen. You’re trying to scare these people so you will have a job.”
“Sir, I don’t know who you are, but I never aspired to be in this position. If I had to guess, I would say that you are one of the conspirators in this fiasco. I strongly suggest that you sit down and be quiet, before you say something that would further embarrass you and your organizations. The big boys have tried several times to attack me, from all sides, and thus far, they have failed. I am not about to let them win, now that they’ve personally attacked me. President Snow is also personally involved, and has a high interest in what’s been happening here in Denver, because some of his cabinet officials have been implicated in the plan. We little people are not going to permit the rich to take over because of their greed for more money.”
A squad of local police had arrived and were standing at the exits. I looked at the clock, and it said five o’clock. I decided to close the meeting, even though I had some more things I wanted to say. I decided that we would get the word out in other ways over the next couple of days or so, “Ladies and gentlemen, that concludes this meeting.”
The visitors in the gallery stood up and started to applaud, as did approximately half of the district employees. As I was leaving, I stopped to thank Stan Kronke for the use of the facility.”
“Steve, this was great, the people of Denver will perhaps realize it’s going to take all of us working together to make this a viable school system once again.”
When Bill dropped me off at the house on the hill, he grinned, “Are you sure that you won’t need me to pick you up in the morning. I’d follow you home, if Nolan hadn’t had that shit licking grin on his face, I can hardly wait until I find out what happened to him.”
I nodded, “Nor can I. I hope it was all good. Bill, I think I can safely drive to the central office, tomorrow. If not, I’m in big trouble.”
When I arrived at the ranch, Cam met me, “Dad, where’s Daddy? It's like he’s disappeared into thin air.”
I hugged Cam, “Your Daddy was alive and well at five o’clock, or at least I think he was, since he was at the meeting where I was. I would suspect that he’ll be arriving shortly.”
I was surrounded by the five young guys. Ricky asked, “Daddy, are you going to work this much everyday. Are we going to be able to go to spend Friday night at the cabin, like you promised?”
“Guys, I promise that I’m not planning to work this weekend. We promised that we would spend Friday night and Saturday at the cabin, and we will. Let’s go get ready for dinner. Dad Hank should be here shortly.”
When we walked into the house, Grandpa T. informed us, “Hank just called and said we were to eat without him. He said that we were to watch the news.”
“Did he say why?”
“Steve, you should know by now, that you don’t ask Hank why. You just do what he says.”
I chuckled, “Maybe you do what he tells you, but I’m a doubting Thomas, and I need to know why I’m doing something.”
As we were eating, the six o’clock news started.
“Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen. This has been another action packed day here in the mile high city. There are so many stories that it is difficult to decide which is the most important.
We’ll start with the meeting held at The Can for the employees of the Denver Consolidated School District, because it applies to a significant part of our city‘s population. The Interim Superintendent for the district, Mr. Stephen Michaels, let it be known, in no uncertain terms, that the school district was going to provide the best possible educational opportunities for all the children.”
I’ve just been handed a new news item. State Supreme Court Justice, Andrew Mortensen has been impeached and will no longer be a member of that judicial body. The state bar association will be meeting tomorrow to discuss his disbarment. It seems that Mr. Mortensen has been extorting money from a Mr. Nolan Stark for the past four years, claiming that Mr. Stark was the father of Mr. Mortensen’s grandson.
DNA testing proved without a doubt that Mr. Stark was not the father of the young boy in question. Mr. Stark’s attorney, Mr. Hank Rodgers asked that DNA samples be taken of Judge Mortensen and his daughter, Elena, to prove that they were indeed related to the young man, since there was no record of the young man’s birth. Mr. Rodgers speculated, “The entire plot could have been designed to take advantage of unsuspecting young men. The Mortensens could very well have found an unwed mother and paid her for the child.”
Mr. Mortensen was so incensed that he was accused of committing a crime, that he agreed to have samples of his, his wife’s and his daughter’s DNA taken, to prove that the young man in question was indeed his grandson. That was his undoing. The results of the testing proved that the young child was indeed related to the three Mortensens. It was when the examiner announced. “Not, only is Mr. Mortensen related to the child, he’s the father of the child.” that everything fell apart for Mr. Mortensen.
Pandemonium started in the courtroom after that proclamation. Mr. Mortensen will be spending the night as a guest of the County. Mrs. Mortensen made it clear that he was never to see his grandson/son again.
We have learned that Mr. Rodgers has filed a suit against the Mortensens on behalf of Mr. Stark, for the money that had been extorted from him, plus irreparable damages to his earning power. Stay tuned for any late breaking news in these cases as it becomes available. In other news…”
I turned the television off. Cam was shaking his head, “Dad, I don’t understand everything that man was talking about. Is Uncle Nolan going to be okay? That Judge person must be a bad person.”
“Cam, I don’t understand everything that’s going on here, either. We’ll have to wait until your Daddy get’s here to find out what’s happening.”
Ricky asked, “Daddy, do we still get to go to the cabin this weekend or is everyone going to be too busy to go?”
I nodded, “Guys, I promise you that we will spend Friday night at the cabin. After you guys take care of the cleanup, we need to sit down and make a list of the supplies we will need. We need to go look for sleeping bags, for a starter. We won’t have time to make our own bed mats out of grass and moss.”
I had the boys ready for bed when Hank finally arrived with Bill and Nolan. I sent the three of them to say goodnight to boys. I figured they didn’t need me to answer any questions the boys might have. Finally, Hank appeared, “Steve, the manure is just now starting to fly. By this time tomorrow, everyone will need to be wearing gas masks if the fans keep oscillating.”
“Don’t blame me; it’s a good thing we’re planning to spend at least Friday at the cabin. We may be forced to move there permanently.”
When Bill and Nolan came down the steps, they were laughing. Nolan started, “We were informed that we had to get a sleeping bag if we were going to spend the night with you all at the cabin. Cam informed me that they wanted to know exactly what the newsman was talking about, today. He said we could tell them at the cabin while we were taking care of the animals.”
Nolan sat on the couch and sprawled, “You can’t imagine how great it feels not to have that albatross hanging around my neck any longer. Of course, Dad and Mom Cline will probably start charging an outrageous amount for rent, now that I’ll have a little money.:
Bill laughed, “If they don’t, I will.”
Nolan got serious, “Mr. Rodgers and Superintendent Michaels, thank you so much for giving me back my life. I feel sorry for the little boy who is caught in the middle of this fiasco. I hope that the Mortensen person rots in hell for what he did to Elena and me. Mr. Rodgers, will the little boy ever find out that his grandfather raped his mother?”
Hank answered, “Nolan, I hope the boy never finds out what happened. Elena’s mother strikes me as the type of person who is very protective. I don’t know for sure, but I’m guessing she might be the person in the family who has the money. Otherwise, why would Mortensen continue to extort money from you?”
As Bill and Nolan were departing, Bill asked, “Are you sure it’s okay if we accompany you people to the cabin? We certainly don’t want to be an imposition. It was your sons who invited us.”
I nodded, “Guys, you’re certainly welcome to join us. I, at least, will see you in the morning.”
When we were finally in bed, I asked, “Cowboy, what are we going to do for an encore, tomorrow?”
“How about we take time to smell the roses. You’ll probably be so busy that I’ll have to bring the guys to kidnap you and drag you away from the Central Office. Let’s get some rest. It’s been a long day.”
Author's Note: As the Sandman takes care of the needs of the people on the ranch, we leave this story that started a number of years ago, in a mall at Christmas time. There is a lot more to tell about Cam and his family and friends, but you, my readers, will need to wait until some of my other active stories have been put to bed. E
Editor's Notes: I am very pleased with this story. I am very glad that E Walk has decided to continue it, albeit later on. I am hoping to see more about any number of his people. Let's hope he will, in fact, bring us lots more details about all his wonderful stories. I will do all I can to help him.
Please let E Walk know what you think of his stories. And Keep him in your prayers, too.
Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher