Monthly Archives: April 2017

Info Overload

The more we know somehow feels like overload,  yet our grey matter opens up to process something else we don’t know… 

Howard parked in front of the town hall and they walked into the Mayor’s office to see Lucille. “After noon Lucille is the Mayor in?”

“Yes Mr. Awls, he is waiting for the two of you, go on in.”

“Afternoon Mayor Awls” Craig said holding out his hand as they walked in the door.

James took Craig’s hand and pulled him in close, “Craig my boy, how are you? Howard, my son” James hugged him.

“So what have the two of your discovered today? Is your mind all mush Craig from the information Howard’s been pouring on you?” James asked pointing to the chairs for the two to sit in as he went behind his desk. “You here to pick up those papers I assume.”

“Yes sir, and yes to your previous questions. But the information is starting to sink in slowly.” Craig stated as he shifted in his chair. “I’m discovering my Dad wasn’t such a . . .” Craig couldn’t think of the right word to say.

“Craig I think I know what you’re trying to say. Auggy wasn’t all drink, he was a smart cookie when he was sober, wasn’t he?” James stated looking over at Craig.

“Yes so I am discovering. I will probably be asking you questions about him in the future. You Mr. Awls are my so called lifeline, you knew Dad and CJ, plus you knew CA as well.” Craig admitted.

“Yes Craig, anytime just ask.”

“Here are those papers Howard, you two need anything else, let me know. Otherwise, I will be seeing you two Monday morning. Hope we get to have some of that wonderful coffee cake for our break. Gotta run to a meeting, see you later” James stood putting some papers in his portfolio.

“How much more Howard” Craig asked as they got in the Hummer.

“A lot” Howard smiled.

“Let me guess, The Children’s Home?” Craig asked as Howard nodded his head, “Yes that’s the old Beardsley home.”

Craig nodded “I assume the General Store on Center and Lake is ours.”

“Yes and we built the church too.”

“Now I’m starting to understand,” Craig said as Howard smiled.

“So I see, Craig.” Howard pulled into the Awlsport Café and ran in leaving Craig in the Hummer with his note pad writing. “What have you got there, Howard?”

Mind Blowing

       There are different family inheritance treasures, never the same, always interesting, once in a while you  think you know your relatives, then you discover their unknown secrets …  

      “Yep, I’ve always thought this would be a good area for a resort, since it is so close to Chi Town by way of US 41!” Craig was nodding his head as he started writing on the legal pad. “Notation made, your partner is in agreement. I can almost envision it. Can we walk around the property Howard? How many acres are there?” Craig asked.

“Sure got walking shoes on Craig?”

Howard asked as Craig looked down at his shoes, “Ah no, how about tomorrow for a walk?”

“Ok that’s better. You know I would like to walk that farm land too, see how it would fit a golf course Craig.”

“Ditto on that partner.”

“I’m not sure Jonesy about the acreage, our papers should tell us that exactly.”

“Ok I made a note. This is giving me a great idea here Howard. Resort possibility is endless here, let’s drive into town slowly.” Craig patted Howard’s back.

“Got it, you might want to jot down the corners, trust me it’s going to come in handy Craig.” Howard slowed down and pulled in an empty parking place.

“This corner of Center and James; I own north and south, Craig you own east and west.” “Howard you mean AJ Inc. owns this corner?”

“Yep, we own the property, not all the buildings, just like the bank building here on Ohio and Center, some of these businesses are on a 100 year lease. We just renewed some of them. The corner where the VFW is, Center and Main, we own the property and building.” Howard
said then looked over at Craig who was feverously writing as he was listening. Howard raised an eyebrow, and shift in his position in the seat with that sinister look of his he smiled.

Craig suddenly looked up at Howard, “What? This is mind blowing I had no idea. Gee why did we live in Waukegan, when we had all this here?” Craig was now scratching his head and shaking it. He gazed out the window in silence.

“Howard I had no idea. I’ve not found much about this in all the papers so far!”

Howard nodded his head and said “Craig that’s because your Dad had everything important put into my Dad’s safe.”

Craig eyes lit up as a wide smile formed on his face, “So he really did clean stuff out of the house before he closed it up!”

Howard smiled, “Yes Craig and when we get back I have something very interesting to
show you and Carla. Now let’s get those papers, it’s starting to rain, the walk will have to wait Craig.”


The town you grew up in, lots of memories … but what do your eyes see years later?

Craig grabbed his legal portfolio and extra pens. “Carla will be back, fyi the library is locked.”

“Thanks see you later.”

“I’ll explain as we drive. You take your notes. Hope I can remember it all.” Howard said with his head tilted and a grin.

“Sometimes you look so sinister with that grin of yours Howard.” Craig laughed.

They turned south on East Lake Rd, Howard described in detail. “On this corner is the farm property that CA & JW bought in the early 30’s, 200 acres. We’re on East Lake Rd and 500 South.”

Craig said, “Howard that has some potential, I have an idea. What’s next?” He started writing out his idea and flipped the page.

“Where are the wells you mentioned, Howard?” Craig asked.

“That’s another road trip, down by the Kankakee, if I remember right. Craig, I will have to look at the map. I have not been there in 20 years, we’ll drive down there later this week.”

“Ok, that sounds like fun.” Craig said writing. Craig looked up at the road asking, “While it’s on my mind, where are the vehicles that you mentioned stored at Howard?”

“There over in the barn at the Tudor, Tommy’s new project; clean them up and get photos for the Museum’s web site.”

Craig snickered, “Good hiding place Howard. Tommy sounds just like his Dad!”

“The vehicles we’ll get to later this week along with the wells. That will be our exploration day. Might take Tommy and Carla with us,” Howard suggested.

“Great that will be a casual day,” Craig agreed.

“Sort of but we better have Betsy too in case of animals. Target practice included at
no extra charge,” they both laughed.

“Here’s the south end of Blackston, corner South East Lake Rd and 500 South. We own this whole wooded area.”

Howard said pulling into the short turn around as Craig questioned, “Howard isn’t this where the plane crashed a couple of months ago?”


Legal family documents hidden deep in a safe… Hum, a form of protection from others greed, might be how so many keep their secrets?

Craig grabbed his phone and dialed Carla. “No problem.”

Carla answered, “Yes sir.”

“Carla we’re going to need lunch around 1.”

“No problem.” Carla quipped.

“Let’s get started!” Craig said to Howard. “That only took an hour. Done, I’ve signed all the documents. Thanks for the loan of the pen. I may need to buy you a refill for this pen in fact I like this pen.” Craig said admiring the pen as he handed it back.

“Howard, my Father was not the slouch I thought he was. Aileen could not have taken this in the divorce. Do you think she knew and that’s why Samuel was,” Craig’s anger stopped his words.

“So devastated Craig?” Howard asked looking at Craig. “Yes, and the devious actions that he took,” Craig shook his head, “He pulled Mark into his scam!”

“That’s all over and done with Craig. There was no chance of them even knowing about this. AJ Incorporated has always been privately held, paid our taxes and our Dad’s attorney’s father Mr. Bradley Willsmith, was the only one who knew the papers were transferred into your name, and he passed away the year your father did Craig.”

“Should I call Mr. Vanderbilt about this or do you think this should stay with Mr. Willsmith Sr., Howard?” Craig asked as he grabbed the binder and pointed to the safe, “Should I lock it up now or do we still need it out Howard?” He asked.

Howard said, “Yes put it in the safe, that’s your copy. I’ll check with Dad but I’m thinking, first you need to find out more about your Awlsport connection before you get Mr. Vanderbilt involved in this.”

Howard looked at the clock as his phone rang. “Yes Tommy, Ok its 1 now, so you be home by 4.”

“Carla we’re ready for lunch,” Craig said opening the library doors.

“I’ll be right out, just want to check this message from Dad.”

“Craig, Dad has all the other papers ready. Oh he said after we finalize this it might be good to bring in your attorney. Hi Carla, yum your chicken salad, thanks.” Howard said smiling at her as she asked, “You two need water!” Placing down the glasses of water, Carla left them to their privacy.

“Let’s take a town run and pick up those papers. I’d like to really get a good look at this town!”


Promptly at 8, Howard pulled in with a big briefcase in hand. “Morning ready to learn, Craig?” Howard asked as he said, “Carla we need coffee and water, no interruptions, I’ll call your cell if we need you ok.”

“Yes, Mr. Awls.”

Craig and Howard walked into the library and closed the big oak pocket doors behind them. Craig sat at the big desk as Howard pulled up the gold library chair up to the front keyhole of the old oak desk to face Craig.

“So Howard tell me, just how dependent is this town on me?” Craig asked.

Howard suggested, “Grab a pen and legal pad partner.”

“This is more than the oil and gas wells then.”

“Yes sir it is!”

“Here is how we are so deeply involved.” Howard said pulling out a large binder from his big briefcase and putting it on the desk with a thud.

“Wow” Craig said as he closed his mouth. “Do I need to make copies of this?”

“Nope it’s your papers! This is what we have to go over and make sure that we have this set up as partners. This was in Dad’s safe, everything in there has your name on it already; your Father had transferred all of it to you when he got sick, all the proceeds have been in the trust fund. That is the Awlsport account I just showed you the other day.”

Howard laid down a report in front of Craig, “This is all current as of this morning?”

Craig looked up, “This is the Awlsport Bank account, but how come the dollars are higher than the other day Howard?” Craig asked as he looked over the report and went to his laptop.

“Craig this account fluctuates daily depending on what the wells production is and the price per barrel. When Dad first explained this, I drove myself nuts looking at it every day. Now once a month I look at it, then move some over when I need to.”

“OK!” Craig pushed back his chair and pointed to the table. “We had better move all this to the table so we can spread out. Let’s see how well I understand this, and get this into my gray matter Howard!”

“This may take all day Craig.” Howard said as he handed Craig his black & gold Mont Blanc roller ball pen.


        Remember that long vacation and how you felt the morning of your first day back to work …when you sort of had that brain freeze or blonde moment of reality setting in.

Monday morning started at 6:00 AM. “Carla we need to treat our week days as work days now, so how about some breakfast for this business man, otherwise known to you as your husband?” Craig announced walking out of the bathroom all dressed and smelling fresh.

Carla kicked off the covers and stood up. “Hmm L’Homme do I get a smooch and squeeze for motivation?” Carla went down to the kitchen started to fix sausage and ran back

“I at least need to brush my teeth, you slave driver.” Carla said laughing, as she ran back to the kitchen. Mental note to self—put toothbrush and mouthwash down here in the powder room.

“Breakfast is ready,” Carla said as she ran out and got the papers, thinking you had
better add sweats to the powder room.

Craig was standing at the door when she came back in with the papers. “Don’t go out there like that again Carla.” He smacked her behind shaking his head.

“I know I’ll make sure I have sweats down here to change into or how about if I wear my big fluffy red robe?”

Craig gave her a serious look “I don’t want any animals getting you, sweats will do,”
kissing her.

“Oh, I didn’t think about that.”

“Breakfast is good, thanks. What are you going to do today?”

“I’m going to start to learn how to be a housewife and I have a lot of work upstairs to do. Of course there are my ING jobs.” Craig tilted his head and gave her a look “the ing jobs” then it dawned on him. “Oh the washing, ironing, cleaning, dusting, vacuuming, cooking what else did I forget Carla?”

“Actually you did real well, just forgot the shopping and gardening. I haven’t figured out eating bonbon’s yet. I think that must be while you’re lying on the coach watching all the TV talk shows; or is it the soap operas.” Carla leaned over and kissed his cheek as Craig smiled.

“So Carla, Howard will be here shortly, you might want to dress!”

“Oh yeah” 15 minutes she returned “Better?”

“Much we need to do this every weekday it is back to reality time, ok?” Craig winked at her as Carla asked.

“Should I plan a lunch for the two of you?”

“Got something you can throw together in a minutes’ notice?”


“Then we’ll see how the day goes and play it by ear.” Craig went back to reading his newspapers.