Good shoppers day to you all! Those of you that get sucked into the malls and the buyers frenzie that is Black Friday. I never could understand the need to wake at five in the morning to get to stand in line until the store opens. Many movies 🎥 where developed with this theme. I thought the Christmas movie with Arnold and Sinbad was hilarious about a forgetful Dad who waited to long to get his child a special doll and the terror that goes with shopping on this quality day. Did I say quality? 😲
People seem to go crazy on this Holiday week end. My friends Melody and Sam Baugh have the right Idea; rent a cabin in Lake Tahoe and enjoy life and pass on the holiday spending. What about the specials running 🏃♀️ on Amazon or Kindle? Buy a good book and have them send it to you. If you have kids, buy them a book instead of a new phone they don’t need or a thousand dollar computer because their ten year old friend will get one. Throughout my childhood I can never remember getting a book for Christmas. Do not get me wrong, I had fabulous Gifts under the Christmas tree; a bicycle one year, a Chemistry set and a telescope a couple of years later. Now the bicycle lasted forever and it was well worth the money mom and dad spent. The telescope was fun but took a lot of research and being a lazy eleven year old it sat in the coroner. Besides no one wanted to stand out in the dark and watch the stars. Bonanza was on TV!
Maybe if I read more I would have gotten better grades and would be interested in learning. No one made me sit and read Gullivers Travels, Why bother? It was on Disney. My learner curve kicked in when I was twenty five and realized I needed some college education. College would go on forever, a good decision that would help me make more money. I write for a living now and I will jump on the Black Friday Bandwagon! You can visit my bookstore at:
If you buy a hard cover or soft cover copy of one of my books; I will send you an e book of one of my books FREE! That is right FREE! Send me your Xlibris receipt to email@example.com and I will send you the Timothy M Nugent ebook of your choice. P.s. Tell a friend, you will not be disappointed! Excerpt from Short Stories By Timothy M Nugent below:
A visit to the beach
It was a cloudy day at County line beach. All the overnighters had bon firers and began to awaken after a night of drinking, smoking pot and love making. It was seven A.M., and I jumped into the cold ocean to body surf. The water was about fty- eight degrees and the goose bumps popped up all over my body. When the water is chili, you need to get in quickly. Otherwise, you may give up and walk away. I love the cold water. It makes your heart skip a beat or two and makes you feel alive.
I played in the water for an hour and swam towards the beach. I do not know why I noticed the man, but two hundred yards from the water I see a senior man asleep in a red vintage Mercedes convertible. Bright red, circa the nineteen forties, give or take a year. It was so prestige and elegant. I decided to be nosy and walk up to highway one. I dried myself off and went to the car. I approached from the back. He had silver colored hair and was meticulously dressed. A pinstriped suit with silver stripes and black material. A beautiful suit was wrinkled like it has slept in the last couple of days. He was unshaven quietly snoring way.
Suddenly he snapped upright. I accidentally stepped on an aluminum can and startled him.
He turned slightly and pointed a forty- five pistol at me. “Whoa!” as I took a step back. “I did not mean to startle you.” “At my age, you must be ready” he responded. “What the hell are you doing?” “I saw you from the water, and I thought you needed some help. I thought you were ill”. “I guess my curiosity got the better of me, I’m sorry.” With that, I turned to walk away. “Wait a minute! Have you had breakfast yet?” “No I haven’t” “Hop in, I know of a nice place down the road.” After a short drive, we stopped at The Paradise Cove, an outdoor diner for breakfast. It was seventy degrees, and the clouds had disappeared. We sat and had breakfast at a table on the sand and talked for hours. The time went quickly. He talked about his family. He was ninety- two years old and was retired. His family was overly protective of him. He told me he made millions from inventing computer parts in the late fifties. He said he spoiled his wife and kids and they try to run his life. To escape the smothering; he leaves them a note and disappears for a couple of days. The ocean curls over the sand and the sun tan my face as we listen to Beach Boy music.
Not once did he tell me his name. I found that a little strange. We had talked for hours before he felt comfortable enough to tell me his name. “Friends call me Junior. My father John was a war hero. In nineteen – eighteen he stormed a bunker and knocked out a couple of machine guns. The Germans were decimating his squad. He saw a minute opening and ran up and threw a pair of hand grenades. He was a hard man to follow. They gave him the Congressional Medal of Honor. He saved hundreds of people that day. My father became a college professor of chemistry and an inventor. He is why I was such a driven young man. He expected a lot from me”. “Was he proud of you?” I said. “Yes, he was the kindest man I ever met.” “He is gone now. Lived to be eighty-four years old. I miss him dearly”.
We left the restaurant, and he drove me to my car. We exchanged phone numbers and promised to visit again. He pulled a U-turn and went towards Malibu. His silver hair is glistening in the morning sun. I looked at my car. A red Oldsmobile convertible with white interior, a nineteen sixty-three, Dynamic eighty- eight. My parents let me drive the car on occasion. It will be the last time I drive “my car.” I will be heading to military service. I lost my school deferment. It is the Vietnam war and if you did not have a disability you were leading to war. I was sixty- nine in the draft and came from a middle-class family, so I was doomed. I was lucky. I scored high on my Air Force test. I was accepted, two weeks later I was off to Lackland Air Force Base. I would not make it through basic training. I was standing next to a fellow recruit, and he accidentally discharged his M sixteen on the ring line. He ruptured my ear drum, and there was blood all over the place. I would get a disability discharge. I lose the hearing in my right ear. No Vietnam for me. I was happy. I did not believe in the war and was glad to be home.
Three months had passed since I last saw Junior. I get a phone call on Saturday night. “Bill, what are you doing tomorrow?” “No plans Junior, what’s up?” “Can you meet me at Paradise Cove” “Sure, what time.” He asked me to meet him at eight A.M. I hang up the phone, and my Dad asked me who that was. I told him it was a friend of mine who told me to meet him in Malibu for breakfast. My Dad kept asking me questions but did not hear him. My bad ear was facing him, and he forgot I need to be facing him to hear him clearly. He gets upset with me. He remembers I need to be careful when I am talking to people.” Sorry Dad I was facing the wrong way”. He smiles at me and apologizes to me. He reminds me father’s make mistakes too. “I worry about you son.” “Ok Dad, I have a date with Kelly. See you later.” I was nineteen, footloose and fancy-free. I received a disability check for my injury in basic. Free medical for the rest of my life. I never figured to be taken care of by my government. I received twenty- five thousand dollars for an education, part of the Gi bill. I put off my college for another six months. Dad did not like that. I was looking forward to seeing Junior.
Junior was visibly upset. He looked weathered, beaten. We sat at a table on the sand. He began to talk, and I listened carefully. We ordered some coffee, a breeze came up and blew the napkins off the table, blowing his hair. Junior grumbled about the wind and stood up for a second. Tears were in his eyes. My wife passed away two weeks ago. “Bill, I was with that woman for seventy years!” “What am I going to do?” It took all my strength not to cry. What a relationship he had. Every morning she got out of bed; making him coffee and homemade raisin toast. He lived close to work and came home for lunch. Most days he was not home until seven P.M. He worked long hours, six, seven days a week. She patiently waited for him and had dinner waiting for him. Just before he came home, she would take a shower and wash her hair. Put on a cute dress and a dash of perfume. She would wait for him to open the front door and rush to him. She would hug him and tell him how much she loved him. He would take off his jacket and hang it on the hallway hook and walk to his dining room chair. She would bring him his hot dinner and they would discuss their individual day.
“I am a lucky man, and I will miss her.” “My children want me to go to fancy old folks home, and they have been pressuring me. Both have run my business well since I retired ten years ago.” “I am not ready to hang it up yet” “I am ninety -two years old and still help them occasionally with the business. I come and go as I please and will not let them dictate my life.” Suddenly Junior stops and realizes something is different about me. “Why do you sit that way?” He asks. I explained my military experience the last three months and how I lost the hearing in my right ear. He was shocked and told me he was sorry for telling me his problems and not noticing mine. I said it is old news. “Did you ask an ear specialist about it?” No, I have not.” He began to explain that he did not trust Doctors and he would set up an appointment with an inventor friend of his. His friend is on the front edge of hearing devices. Junior was good for his word. In a few years, I would get an implant that helped me tremendously. The hearing became a way of life. It was getting late, and I needed to get home. Junior was going to stay in his car at the beach. It was his thing to do. I left for home and I head to San Fernando Valley; home is Canoga Park. I spend the afternoon with my mom and dad. We have dinner and watch our favorite shows: Bonanza, Wyatt Earp, and Have Gun will Travel. We went to bed early with the windows open. It is a cool night, and I should sleep comfortably. My phone rings, it is three A.M., “Mr. Justice, Mister Bill Justice.” “Yes, this is Bill Justice.”
“Do you know a John Chan from Seattle, Washington.” “Yes, I do.” “He killed a man tonight. It was self-defense.” “Can you pick him up?” I tell the Officer, yes, but I will be an hour. With a little hesitation, I wake my father to tell him what is going on. He insists on going with me. In ten minutes we are out the door. My dad wants a lot of answers I can not supply. Finally, Dad relaxes as we pull into the police station. I ask the cops desk Sargent,” where is John Chan?” He tells us to take a seat, goes and gets the lieutenant. Lt. Mike sits with us and explains what happened. “Junior was attacked at his car. The assailant had a knife, reach over to grab John and John shot him between the eyes. For an old man, he is a hell of a shot.”
The officer was explaining, Mister Chan has a single concealed weapons permit. Apparently, he is a remarkable man.” “He is a lucky man. Does he always camp out in his car?” I explain to the officer Juniors behavior. He smiles and walks away. As he leaves, he yells back; “Tell him to get a room!” Junior walks out from the interrogation room and notices me sitting down.He smiles as I introduce my Dad. My Dad smiles and says “Hi Junior! Long time no sees.” I can not believe my ears.
In World War 2 my father was in the Construction Battalion, he met this senior man who was sixty-nine years old. He invented the radio that produced a code that couldn’t be solved. My Dad helped supervise the building of the compound that produced the radio for the government. It would change the course of the war. It was a native Indian code translator. Another group of men developed a computer that changed how to break codes, but Junior did the Indian software. It was a great accomplishment and the beginning of new business for Junior.
Junior and Dad talked for hours. We went to Denny’s and had breakfast. I felt like the odd man out. I listened to their military stories. Junior talked about his children and wife. How he and his dad built a prolific inventors business. Dad and Junior rekindled an old friendship that disappeared after the war. My Dad has fallen on bad times. At a young age, his health had deteriorated to the point where he could not work anymore.He was a paint manufacturing superintendent. The caustic materials ate away at his nerves making it difficult to walk and concentrate. He was bedridden for three months and only recently has been able to function properly. He was told to change careers, out of manufacturing varnishes. Junior listened intently, “why don’t you come work for me?” “I thought you were retired?” Dad replies. “I have another business, with your experience, I know you would be a big help.” My Dad is visibly excited. You can see a difference in his face. They make plans to get together before Junior heads out of town.
We finish with some small talk and leave for home. My Dad would not stop talking all the way home. Once we were home, he continued with mom.
Mom looked up and smiled at Dad and said: “let’s hope for the best.” Junior would follow through with what he said. In the coming months, Dad would fly to Seattle and have a meeting with Junior and his new business partner. They signed him up for a technology school in computers.Junior knew Dad was good with his hands. He never graduated from high school so Junior made him get his GED. Six months later Dad was a high school graduate. He would work and go to school. He enjoyed the positive atmosphere he was surrounded with and blossomed. Mom loved the move. I think it was the change in Dad that prompted Mom to go back to school. Now she teaches kindergarten. She loves little children. All her children live productive lives. It is amazing what has happened in less than a year. I took over Mom and Dad’s rental in Canoga Park. Junior told me to go back to school. I decided to go to a computer school. I want to learn the business inside out. Junior gave me incentive. He told me to pay for the technology school, and he would help me with the next two years then my Masters of Science Degree. How could I say no! At the end of nineteen seventy -three I graduated from Northridge college and went to work for Junior. Junior was ninety-seven years old. He was completely retired and not doing very much traveling. He had turned over the company to my Dad. There were no partners, and my Dad was enjoying the fruit Junior gave him. He never disappointed remembering the generosity of his friend. I worked with my Dad. Junior always reminded us to stay up with technology. Two new companies sprang up: Microsoft and Apple. We embraced the competition. We kept up with military contracts which were the core of our business. We were never alone, we always had Junior visiting us. Junior’s family become our friends. It could not help but happen. We are with Junior’s Family.It is Saturday morning and there is No business today. Mom, Dad and I went to a bbq at Junior’s son’s house. His son’s name is Tom. A nice young man with a couple of kids and a beautiful wife. She is a lawyer who works at Junior’s firm. She is a talented lady who doubles as an accountant. She is the company Controller. A very dominant position in business. His sister Paula, a single business woman who has devoted her young life to books and publishing.
Slowly she begins to walk over towards me, and we start up a casual conversation. Her father is attentively watching his daughter. I glance quickly over to Junior. He smiles back at me, and a sense of relief comes as I sigh. Paula says, “what was that sigh for?” “Just relief, I was hoping you would slide on over to me.” “Are you seeing anyone?”
She smiles and kisses me on the cheek. “You saw Daddy watching us, and he smiled, didn’t he? I laugh a loud laugh making her giggle.” Yep!” “I believe you have your Father’s instinct.” “Yep and do not forget it!” With that, we laugh, and I suggest I introduce her to my Dad. The BBQ last through the night. Everyone begins to leave,Mom and Dad left early. Junior stayed overnight at his son’s house, and Paula and I leave in separate cars. I arrive home, open the front door and my cell phone rings. It is Paula. She is sitting outside my house hinting to come inside. “It is cold out here. How about a nice night cap?” I tell her the door is open come on in. She opens the door. Takes two steps and drops her coat to the floor. Showing her beautiful naked body, leaving the door wide open. I rush to her, give her a kiss and kick the door closed with my foot. I carry her to the bedroom and gently set her on the bed. I look down at her and tell her she is beautiful. “Do you always do this on a firstdate?” “No, but this is not the first date?” I take off my clothes and crawl into bed next to her. We make passionate love throughout the night. Paula would stay through the weekend. We would talk and eat. She is an excellent cook and passionate women. Paula, I will not let get away. Sunday night Paula would head home promising to see me again. She would keep her promise. A year later we would be married. We would begin a great life together.
Life has been great. Our company is going strong, and Paula, and I had our first child. Grandpa Junior dotes over little Johnnie. He is happy we named the first born after him. Junior always kids and says we have someone to leave his legacy. Junior still skips town for his road trips. He’s gone, a note on our door saying he was heading to Malibu. Little did he know we were heading there to a friends house on the beach.
He is a favorite author that Paula helps manage. It is a business vacation trip to begin his book tour. We are driving down Highway one heading to the author’s house. In the distance, I spot a Mercedes Convertable. Bright red, a vintage forties car. I slow down and pull behind the car. I get out and look into the car. His silver hair glistens in the bright sunlight. He is wearing a black suit with silver pinstripes. Junior has a smile on his face. Junior has finished his travels. In his shirt pocket is his registration signed with a note. Thank you for your friendship. Enjoy my Mercedes and live life your way. Take good care of my family. All my love, Junior.
I hope you like this short story! Timothy M Nugent