This weekend coming up is one of USA day to remember those who fought for our freedom. What does it mean to you?
Enjoying friends going to a festival or craft fair allows you to be free and sometime silly. Buying things you’d never buy elsewhere or the whimsical things you find or perhaps something to make…
“Yes and no, Blackie it was something that had to be done so the new garage could be started. Carla really found more jars earlier, and until the storm in July knocked down the tree, the garage was not in the plans. Luckily, I did not throw out the old tools; don’t know where that claw came from. My bride is full of interesting surprises.”
“Look Blackie, garden tools,” Craig grabbed his arm and walked in to the tent.
“Are you going to leave anything in here, Craig?”
“Just help me, oh can you carry these?” Craig asked.
“Yes,” Blackie offered a hand with packages. “Let’s get these to the car, she loves to play in the dirt, Blackie,” he said.
“She’s an old fashion gal Craig, a real keeper!”
At 1, everyone met at the restaurant. “I’m starving,” the girls said as they waited for their table rearranging their purchases in Amy’s cart. “This is what I like about this craft show. This place has the best food and its open all year.”
The food came to the table served family style, and everyone dug in. “Craig I must admit, I was afraid to ring the bell this morning, didn’t want to interrupt,” Blackie said. Craig snickered as he saw Carla blush. Everyone kept eating and an hour later Craig asked, “So what’s next on the agenda Blackie.”
“More shopping,” the girls said, “Meet you at the car 4 PM sharp.”
The men took off strolling through more of the booths joking and talking. “Craig look.” as Blackie grabbed his arm, “A Bikini clad lady covered in mud yard stake. You have to have this ornamental yard stake, its Carla, Craig.”
“Yes I do need that,” he said snickering, “Blackie you had better come to my rescue if she gets mad, because I’m blaming you.” Craig laid down a 20 on the counter laughing.
Carla and Amy were in heaven finding all types of clothes and accessories. They shared ideas that went racing through their mind of things to make. “What Carla?” Amy asked after seeing a glimmer in her eye.
“Craft idea Amy, look at all this fleece we can make throws for the games; University of Illinois, Purdue all the schools! Gotta get some, Amy!”
“But, the whole bolt, Carla?”
“You bet cha. What it won’t spoil!” Amy started laughing so hard she almost fell over the cart. Back at the car a few minutes after 4 PM, the purchases needed their
“What have you two been buying? Is there anything left?” The guys laughed.
They headed back west on US 6 just the driving was enough to put Craig and Carla to sleep. “Look at them Blackie all cuddled up.” Amy said touching Blackie’s leg and smiled.
“Sure would be better if you two quit talking,” Craig said as Carla stirred in his arms.
He reached down and kissed her forehead. “Sorry folks, didn’t mean to doze off, where are we?” Carla stretched her arms and legs, “You are comfy to fall asleep on Craig.” Everyone started to laugh.
Trusting that your body will wake you up at the normal time, you forgo setting the alarm cause it was the weekend…
Amy and Blackie arrived Saturday morning at 8 AM for the craft show to find the house quiet. They had to ring the doorbell several times. Craig came down the steps first. “Good morning come on in, sorry we overslept.”
“That’s ok, I’ll start the coffee pot, Craig,” Amy said.
Blackie went out the door saying, “I’ll get your papers. Take your time.”
“Looks like you two have been busy since I was here. You have wrought iron fencing and the whole back yard looks different Craig,” Amy said.
“Yes, a little project turned into a major one, some of this was done before you were her last, I think.”
Carla came down the steps a little less spry than normal “Good morning,” Carla said. Amy poured a big mug of coffee for everyone.
Craig started to tell Amy about the changes. “Billy, Mary, Tommy, Tim, Mary’s Dad, and Howard helped Carla and I finish our jar harvesting, turned out to be more treasure in the flower bed, which had to be moved in order to get the garage built.” Craig said
rubbing his biceps.
“Howard had to lift those angel statues.”
“You would have had to see it to believe it.” Carla said as she started to laugh. “Hope no one had a video camera on us.”
“Sledge hammers going at angels and stepping stones. “We’ll be right back guys,” Craig said as they went up to change.
The foursome headed out for the craft show, chatting as they drove about all the latest news and gossip since they were together last. Parking the car, they started to walk over to the show stopping in front of the restaurant. “Ok, everyone got their phones on, we’ll meet back here at 1,” Blackie said.
“Let the shopping begin,” Amy said taking Carla’s hand. “This looks
like a real fun day.”
Carla winked at her friend. “Remind me that this is a play day Amy,” Carla said smiling.
“Carla, I can do that. You two have really had a busy and rather rough time since you got married. You my dear are one tough cookie. You’d make a good cop, too.” Amy said
“Oh really, Amy I’ve gone through more tissues in a month than I did all year. Yes, what a challenge it has been! I still am having some nightmares over it. With Craig’s help, I am getting over the rough spots. Ooh scarves,” Carla exclaimed pulling Amy into the booth.
The men headed out to the building and equipment area of the show. “So Craig, what caused all the extra construction and fencing, the invasion?”
Dining with friends you wonder if you should soak in all you hear, times you don’t know if you should reply or not. Then part of the conversation sinks deep into your mind causing a smile, your mind navigates what this business talk is about. Friend and business partners talking about the value of your knowledge and ideas …
“Today’s special is stew and you can’t get it this good anyplace, don’t know what or who cooks this but it’s the best I’ve ever had, better than mine.” Craig dialed Carla “We’re bringing supper, set the table for 3.”
“Howard is this talk going to be a mind blower for Carla,” he asked.
“Not really, just some clarification for her as to how this is going to influence your lives Craig,” Howard said.
“Oh, so we need wine too?” Craig pointed to the liquor store.
“That probably would help, get a big bottle Craig, Bordeaux works perfect with
the stew.” Howard said nodding his head as he pulled in the lot.
Carla had put out placemats and set the utensils and glasses out, not knowing what Craig was bringing she just set plates down. She went back to watching one of the Thin Man movies on TCM. Thinking to herself, I really should find something to be doing besides sitting here watching a movie.Howard hit the horn as he pulled up to the door; she jumped and said, “Be still my heart,” she said opening the door.
“Howard you scared the crap out of me” Carla said as she went to pick up the throw that fell to the floor when she jumped up.
“Ah, caught you napping Mrs. Jones,” Craig inquired.
“No I was watching William Powell in the Thin Man till you scared me with that horn. Now I don’t know, who done it!” Carla took the remote and switched the TV off, “So what’s for supper?”
“Beef stew, salad, fresh baked bread and Bordeaux. Carla Awlsport Café makes the best stew, let’s eat shall we?” Howard stated.
“Well then I better get some bowls for the stew,” Carla said grabbing the bowls and
soupspoons. The dinner conversation was about Howard explaining all the new things
to be in the life of Craig and Carla for the next hour . . .
Howard finished his train of thought “So to put all this in a nutshell for you two Craig you and Carla are just as important as CA and Judith were all those years ago. After a few more weeks, you will understand all of the material in that binder. We’ll all sit down with James at that time.”
“Then what happens, Howard?” Carla asked sipping her wine.
Howard looked over at Craig and Carla and said “The Mayor, otherwise known to me as Dad and you two as James, will tell us all what we have to do next. I’m not sure but, I understand that he has plans for Awlsport and Blackston Lake that he hasn’t spoken about yet to anyone.”
That night Carla had to pull Craig away from his desk, which he went to after Howard left.
Craig kept putting his thoughts down about the resort and golf course; something told him this was part of what Howard had eluded to over dinner. It was an idea that would not leave his mind.
“Craig it’s almost 11, come on up to bed. The papers will wait, like Howard and James both said they have been waiting for years.
“You’re right Honey.”
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?”
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?”