Sheriff Porter 120
Mel and I reached an understanding quickly. The guest bed was for her and that is where she would sleep. I wasn’t real thrilled to have Andrew’s main squeeze staying with me. I know I’m pretty liberal, but I didn’t know too many women who had slept with old boyfriends of mine.
If I had loved Andrew, I probably would have been upset by her staying so close to me. As it was, I just wasn’t interested. I was subtle when I made that clear. After that we moved on to a good nights sleep. I heard her stirring at 5 AM. “Mel go back to bed honey. It’s too early to stir around inside a tin can,” I said to her.
“It’s just normally the time I awaken to fix breakfast,” She said.
“Force yourself to stay in bed till 7 AM, then I will get up as well,” I said then added, “Instead of cooking, we eat out most of the time. Now go back to sleep.”
I fell asleep and remained so for two more hours. When I awoke I felt pretty good. I was almost cheerful. Mel had not only needed some cheering up, but in doing so I had also reinvented my own mind set.
I peed then dressed in my shorts and sweat shirt for my trip to the airstrip. “If you want to run you can run up to the loop road then along it to the main road and back to the marina. It’s probably a couple of miles. I used to run the loop road from end to end before returning to the marina that is about four miles counting the drive out to the loop,” I said to Mel.
“What are you going to do?” she asked.
“I’m going to ride that ugly tricycle to the airstrip and fly my canary. I’ll be back about ten,” I said.
“Aren’t you going to eat breakfast first?” she asked.
“Usually Wilson and I don’t really get moving till about ten. Mostly we have a breakfast biscuit then and skip lunch. Then we go out to dinner.”
“Would you mind if I used your kitchen?” she asked.
“Not at all. Explore it first to see what is there,” I suggested before I set off on my adult big wheel. I made it to the airstrip and followed my usual routine. I had forgotten about the grass. I knew I needed to do it when I landed. Even so I ignored it to enjoy my flight. I waited until I was ready to land about 9:30 before I called Mel’s cell phone.
“Mel, I am going to fly over the barge now are you outside?” I asked.
“I certainly can be. I will look for you,” she said.
I dropped low as I overflew the marina and barge. I wagged my wings in the sign of greeting that was universal.
“What a cute little plane,” Mel said.
“Thanks I have to stay at the field to cut the grass, so I won’t be home till the afternoon. Get Wilson and you two have breakfast without me. He can give you computer lessons, if need be.”
“Okay, hey there is a bicycle in the shed can I use it. I would love to tour the area instead of running?” she asked.
“Of course you can,” I said. “It might need a little wipe down but it’s a pretty good bike.” I had liked the bike we used on the courier run so I bought another just like it one day on a whim.
“Cool thanks,” she said sounding cheerful. It was all part of a new life I supposed.
“When I finally got home, I was pretty tired.
“Well boss I got the land ready to buy for the gold mining operation,” Wilson said.
“Wilson what we are doing hardly amounts to gold mining. I have no idea what it is but gold mining it isn’t,” I informed him.
“And I have your hot jewelry making equipment all on order,” he said with a laugh. “The old men called and asked if you were going to come down to help with the shipping.”
I dialed them. “Hey guys how’s it going?” I asked.
“We are backed up with orders down here hon. Can you come down to help us out?” the old man in charge asked. “That move threw us way behind.”
“Tell you what I will do. I’ll be down before 3 PM with a little help,” I said. He agreed so we broke off the conversation.
“Alright you two we have a job. We have to get the old men back on schedule,” I said. “This is an all hands on deck moment.”
It was just shy of 3 PM when we pulled into the large almost empty parking lot. We had more than enough room in the parking lot, so that it wasn’t necessary to park along the empty Bayview Street. It was the name of the street leading from Main and going down to the warehouse and the boat store.
Once the three of us arrived we organized ourselves and very quickly had the orders boxed labeled and ready for the post office to pick up. The same company who managed the accounts for the marina managed the Old Man Enterprises books. They hadn’t repaid their start up loan yet, so I was still involved. Once they did repay it, I would stop taking a cut and deliver the operation to them. Oh course without my advertising they might have gone out of business after a week.
We were finished when Wilson said, “Damn Sylvia I forgot. You got an email about this operation this morning while you were cutting grass on the strip,” Wilson said.
“And who was this Urgent email from?” I asked.
“You need to read it, but you need to be sitting down and in a calm mood when you do,” he said.
“You know I hate fucking mysteries,” I said with a smile.
“No hell you don’t. You live for the mysteries of life,” Wilson said. All the while Mel just watched.
The old men had only five orders ready for shipping when we said good bye. “Where else can anyone get free labor,” the shop manager asked.
“Call your fucking kids next time,” Wilson said with a huge grin.
“Good luck with that,” the old man said.
We were sitting on the island pier when Wilson passed me his cell phone. He had pulled up the company email for me to read. Since most of it was crap I never bothered to read it. I did when there was something important. Mostly it was about crap Wilson had bought on the company credit card. My statement to him was always the same, unless we are on the verge of being broke, I don’t care about the expenses. Of course I really did, but it was just how I wish I felt.
The email read:
Dear Ms Porter,
We have been looking for a reality project to make a few TV pilots. Since another network has done so well with that Duck show, we have been looking at companies advertising on the home shopping channel. Your Old Man Enterprises caught our attention. We would like to make six episodes as a test. If we renew it then we will renegotiate the contracts based on ratings. We will pay Old Man Enterprises $100,000 dollars for the six episodes. I give you my word there will be no interference with the operation of the plant.
“Now what the hell do you make of this?” I asked Wilson. I asked because I knew he had already researched them.
They are legit. They make the shows then market them to the networks. Once they get it sold if it is renewed they negotiate for a better deal with the talent. This way you have a vested interest in their survival. To be honest Sylvia I don’t see a downside to it.
“Wilson there is always a downside,” I said matter of factual.
“So you are going to turn them down?” he asked.
“I’m going to ask the old men. It is their company,” I said. “It is going to have to wait till tomorrow though. I don’t want to bring it up so late in the day. Besides I need to figure out the ground rules, if I agree to it.”
The email ruined my dinner. I had that crap on my mind the whole time I ate. My knee jerk reaction was to say not just no, but hell no. That wouldn’t have been fair to the old men though. I decided to talk to the network guy first then put it to the men.
We had pizza for dinner at a small place on Jefferson Island. It was take out, but we only got as far as the picnic table at the edge of the parking lot. Wilson and I didn’t speak of the email, so it was up to Mel to pick the conversation. “I think it would be so cool to be on TV,” she commented.
“Well then maybe you will be in one of the episodes they fake those things to get pretty girls on the show,” I said. Mel really was pretty. Maybe not gorgeous and certainly not glamorous, but in that girl next door way she was pretty, freckles and all.
“You are not going to do it are you?” Wilson asked when we were in the office. Mel was getting ready for bed at the time.
“I’m going to try to work something out,” I said.
Mel managed to sleep until seven the next morning. She was up and dressed before me even. “So what are you going to do till Wilson gets his sorry ass out of bed?” I asked.
“I’m going to take your bike out to the airfield and watch you take off, then I’m going to bike into town and see if the old men need any help packing the boxes. Then I’m going to stop by and get biscuits and sit up on the deck and watch the river traffic,” she said.
“The trike is much slower than the bike but I can head you in the right direction,” I said. She would pedal ahead about a quarter mile then wait for me to catch up. Her first leg was to the west end of the loop road. When I arrived she turned left and she was off toward the airfield when she had to let me get ahead to make the turn into the long drive before she could catch up. She passed me of course and I found her waiting at the first of the hangers. She mistook the Judges hanger for mine. It was the bigger and most professional looking of the two.
“This thing doesn’t weight much so lets service her and you can help me push it out onto the strip,” I suggested. When we finished I took off then turned to buzz the field. When I did the engine skipped once so I immediately turned the plane around and lined up for a landing. I hoped the engine would hold but I could do a dead stick landing as well. I got her down just after Mel left. I put the plane back into the hanger and called my ‘house call mechanic.”
“Hey it’s Sylvia Porter. The plane’s engine hiccuped this morning. Come check it out before I go up again. Thanks.” That was the message I left. He knew where I kept the hidden key for the hanger walk door, so he would do the service then come to the marina to collect.
I rode the bike home in time to call the network guy. “So Mr. Robbins what is the deal with the TV show?” I asked. He went through it all again. Saying pretty much what the email said. It was time to find out how much he really knew.
“Will you still be interested if it is only the three men who run the business. I’m not part of the business in anyway. I loaned them the start up money, but it will be paid out if we agree to this proposition. I will discuss your answer with them before I commit,” I suggested.
Edited by Walt