If you've made if this far you must like the story so I thank you for your time and your patience. This is a story that grew a life of its own once I started to write it. I had the idea a few years ago, but had trouble developing it into my brain. In fact, I started to write it more than a year ago, but stopped to write "My Old Fashioned Girl" and "Driving Miss Daisy." Only when these were completed was my brain able to piece it together. Again, thanks for reading. Sr. Longo
THE FREAK--Part 5--The Conclusion
If there’s one lesson I’ve learned from my dad’s business it’s that there are always delays. I wasn’t surprised that what we hoped would be done in a week actually took almost two to complete. Twice we had to delay furniture deliveries, but, by the second week in July we were actually able to sleep in our newly renovated home. Our driveway was ready to use and we’d added a space for me to park the jeep alongside the garage. The rear yard had been fenced and our furniture was delivered and installed. There were other things we wanted to do, but they could wait. New appliances in the kitchen and new paint on the ceilings, walls, and trim were the biggest items.
We loved the new refinished floors with their almost-white maple finish, but we also wanted area rugs for color and quiet. Finding what we wanted turned out to be a breeze. Installing them was not so easy, but we managed to get it done with the help of a few neighbors.
At first they were hesitant at the idea of having two teenagers living in their midst. However, a major thaw occurred at an afternoon party one neighbor had, supposedly to welcome us, but in reality to check us out. There was a keg and everyone helped themselves to plenty of beer—everyone except Barbara and me. When asked we simply explained that we weren’t drinkers. We were serious students and I was a serious athlete. We weren’t into parties although we might invite a few friends to visit—but only a few.
Of course, we were asked why we were married at such a young age so I asked if they had ever heard about St. Claudia’s School in Yonkers. Apparently, they had because the conversation went from a dull roar to dead quiet in a second. One neighbor commented that he never did believe those allegations and he continued his comments until I excused myself so I could walk home, returning a few minutes later with the photos of Barbara’s back. “Take a good look and tell me how this happened. These marks weren’t self-inflicted. Barbara lived through this hell and I worked with the police to get them to admit their roles in the actual whipping and the cover-up conspiracy. They couldn’t wait to brag about how they had beaten girls just to keep the others under control. And then there was the theft of girls’ jewelry like Barbara’s engagement ring that cost me more than $2500.”
Then one of the women opened the envelope and when she looked at the first photo she fell to her knees, throwing up all of the beer she had consumed. Everyone stood stock still, shocked by what had happened, except me. I took three quick steps to help the woman who I barely knew to her feet, wiping her face with cold water from the ice-filled tub holding the keg. Her husband picked up the photos and returned them to the envelope. “You have to understand; we’re all Catholic. It was hard for us to believe. The priests all said it was a bunch of lies.”
“We do understand. It would have been hard for us to believe, too, except that we lived it. I married Barbara then so she could attend school with me. There was no way in hell that I would allow her to return to school there. Barbara’s an orphan. Her foster parents didn’t believe until they saw the photos either. They would have forced her to go back into that hellhole of a school. Would you want your wife to have to deal with something like that? I don’t think so. You also know why we’re Lutherans now.”
I was ready to leave and I would have had two of the women not asked us to stay. “It’s obvious that we all made a serious error of judgment. We hope you’ll forgive us.” Of course, we did. We stayed at the party and had a good time, but the photo envelope remained closed and the conversation never touched that subject again.
When asked about our new fence I explained that I planned to play both basketball and baseball at Harvard and that meant that I would be away for several nights during the season. I didn’t want Barbara to be here alone. The choices for her protection were either a gun or a dog. The dog won.
That led to a discussion of my athletic abilities. I said nothing about them. I didn’t have to. Barbara was gushing, and the men joined her as soon as she said the words “All-American.”
There are lots of animal shelters in the greater Boston area and we visited several during the following week before finding what we wanted—a female lab mix about a year old. This one had come from a home in which an elderly widow had passed away leaving the dog to be taken into the shelter. Her name was Kelly and she bonded almost immediately with Barbara, licking her hands and wagging her tail wildly. She was already more than forty pounds and she still had a long way to go. We took her to a vet to have her checked out and spayed then she became an integral part of our family.
We had almost everything other than painting done by the third week in July so I mentioned to Barbara that I needed a workout at the Harvard gym. “I need to shoot once in a while to keep my skills sharp. Want to come and rebound for me?” Barbara bared her teeth and flexed her biceps as she agreed. I grabbed my ball and dressed a practice shirt, shorts and jock with a towel, socks and sneakers and head and wrist bands in my gym bag along with a tee, briefs, and shorts in case I could find a shower. We put Kelly out as we always did whenever we left the house and locked up once she was back in. We took the Jeep and fifteen minutes later we were parked and walking to the admissions office. I would have gone directly to the gym if only I had known where to go. Harvard is a big place and it’s spread out in various areas of Cambridge.
We spoke to Mrs. Atkins who told us to go to the Stadium to see the Athletic Director. She produced another map and circled the location. It wasn’t far so ten minutes later we walked into the office. I saw the secretary so Barbara and I walked up to the desk. “Hi, I’m Jack French.”
I couldn’t help but laugh. “You know I could have gone to Notre Dame or Stanford and I kind of suspect they’d know who I am, but I guess not at Harvard.”
Just then a silver-haired man who looked fit in spite of his age walked out from the inner office. “You’re Jack French? Great to meet you; ignore Irene, she’s a great secretary, but she doesn’t know much about sports.” That’s how I met the Athletic Director. I introduced him to Barbara then he led us into his office.
I explained why we were here, asking about getting my ankles taped, too. He volunteered to show us where to go, saying that there were trainers working in the stadium now because some of the football players were working out on the field during the summer. He also suggested that I use the Hemenway Gym if I wanted to work out. It was only a few minutes before he had walked us into the trainers’ room adjacent to the men’s locker room. I wasn’t surprised to see two trainers working there—one male and one female. He introduced me and told them to tape me or provide whatever services I needed whenever I asked. After shaking hands he was gone and I climbed onto a padded table. They taped me exactly the way I wanted, and much tighter than I could do on my own. Megan, the female trainer showed us a shorter way to the parking lot and I followed the directions to the gym on what the locals called “Mass Ave.”
There were four guys playing two-on-two at one end of the court so I led Barbara to the opposite end. I did some stretching exercises to loosen up then I started with some layups and short shots, rebounding any misses or just tipping them in. After almost ten minutes I started to shoot from farther out with Barbara catching the balls that went through the net and passing them out to me.
I had really warmed up, hitting twelve in a row when I heard one of the guys say that he had to go to work. I was asked if I’d fill in and agreed, meeting my soon-to-be teammate Ryan and opponents Phil and Mike. We started play and I had a problem almost immediately with Phil. I had taken a jump shot and as I did he jabbed me in the stomach. He didn’t hurt me, but I’ve seen guys lose their balance from such tactics, injuring an ankle or a knee or even their back by falling. I made the shot so I told him, “Don’t do that again.”
“Oh yeah; what are you going to do about it?” I let it slide then, but he did it three more times even though I repeatedly told him not to. In fact, he became more aggressive, bordering on arrogant, almost punching my stomach the last time. I’d had enough.
I set up on the left side low post, signaling my teammate for the ball. Head faking right, I took one dribble followed by a single long stride across the lane, the ball secure in my huge hand. Rather than take the hook shot I moved the ball along in a graceful arc, my right hand moving rapidly across the lane as I pivoted and brought the ball up even with the height of the basket. I’d made this move and taken this shot hundreds of times so I knew there was no way to block it, but that didn’t stop Phil from jabbing me once again. This time I was ready and as I finished the pivot I brought my left elbow forcefully into his solar plexus. He grunted, totally out of breath, as he fell back hard on his ass. I leaned down, whispering as I did, “I guess you now know what I’ll do about it, don’t you?” I thanked the others for the game and walked off the court to Barbara.
“What was that all about, Jack?”
“He was jabbing me in the gut every time I shot the ball and he refused to stop. I’ve seen guys get hurt from that. They lose their balance and fall. It’s a dangerous play…dirty, too. He asked what I’d do about it.”
“I think he knows now, doesn’t he?”
I kissed Barbara as we stepped outside. “Yes,” I said. “I think he does.”
I returned to the training room again two days later and I wasn’t at all surprised when the AD strode in while I was being taped. “One question, Jack; are you a dirty player?”
“If I had to guess I’d say you were speaking with Phil about his badly bruised chest.”
“Indeed I was. He’s a starting forward on our varsity.”
“Then he should know better than to jab an opponent’s abdomen when he takes a shot. Not only is that a foul, but it’s a great way to really hurt someone. I’m not a dirty player, Sir, but I also won’t allow myself to be abused. He jabbed me four times and four times I told him not to do it again. His response was, ‘what are you going to do about it?’ Now he knows, except the next time I won’t allow him to do it four times before I retaliate. By the way, I doubt he would have made my high school varsity—definitely not as a starter. I hope the rest of the team is better.”
“Not surprisingly he left his part out of it. I told him I’d speak with you and I have. I promise you I’ll speak with him, too.” I shrugged my shoulders. I really didn’t care. Barbara and I had the gym to ourselves and I spent a good hour dribbling and shooting with both hands. I finished by doing some line drills. Most players hate line drills, but they’re a great way to get into shape for the season. I also resolved to do some serious running before school started.
I had never realized how much we would need when we bought the house. Besides furniture we needed sheets, blankets, pillows, towels, dishes, glasses, pots and pans, ice trays—just to name a few. It seemed that we went shopping almost every day that first month. But that stopped the last week in July. I had promised Carole that she could come for a visit and that time was now.
My mother had driven Carole, now all of nine, to the Islip MacArthur Airport for a flight to Boston’s Logan Field. We were waiting at the gate when the plane began to empty. After talking to the gate staff I knew that she would be among the last to leave the plane and that she would be accompanied by one of the stewardesses. Sure enough, Carole walked up the gangway dragging her suitcase in the company of a beautiful woman and I would have been tempted had I not found Barbara. I showed my passport as a formality even as Carole was hugging Barbara and we left, walking slowly as the Big C told us all about her incredible flight.
“What are we going to do first, J.J.?”
“Well…I think we need to get some lunch and then we’ll take you to our home to meet Kelly.”
“She’s the latest member of our family.”
“Barbara had a baby?”
I couldn’t help myself. I laughed my ass off. “No, Big C…that takes a bit more than a month or two. You’ll see. We want it to be a surprise.” We left the airport a few minutes later and drove all the way to Somerville where we stopped at a sub shop where I ordered one large Italian sub, asking for one of the usual three parts to be cut in half. These were big—really big—subs; almost three feet long with Italian cold cuts and provolone cheese, lettuce and tomato and onion, oil and vinegar, oregano and salt and pepper. They actually tasted even better than they looked. We sat at one of the small tables with sodas and our sandwiches. This was one of the first places we’d found after moving in and it was one of the best, too.
We left with half of Carole’s sandwich wrapped in plastic wrap and drove home. “I think you need to stay here on the lawn,” I told Carole, “and let Kelly come to you.” Kelly bolted from the door with her usual greeting until she saw Carole then she ran up to sniff her. Carole was ecstatic. She had wanted a dog, but Mom had always said no. She held her hand out. There were dogs in our neighborhood so she knew what to do. A minute later she was hugging and petting Kelly like they were old friends
We showed Carole to our guest room with Kelly on our heels then we let Carole go out into the back yard to play with Kelly and her ball. I made her stop an hour later so Kelly could rest and have a healthy drink of water. Then we went inside to relax and watch some TV.
We spent the week of Carole’s visit doing just about everything we could in the Boston area. Carole may have been about to enter fourth grade, but she was a very bright girl who loved to learn. She enjoyed walking the Freedom Trail, checking out the tombstones at the Old North Church. I wasn’t at all surprised that she knew just about every one of the patriots buried there. We went to see the USS Constitution—Old Ironsides—but I stayed on deck while Barbara and Carole went below. Those lower decks weren’t built for someone with my height.
We spent a day checking out several museums in the city along with the Mapparium in the Mary Baker Eddy Library. The Mapparium is a large globe of the earth in 1935 made of stained glass. What is truly unique is that you can walk through the interior of the globe and the acoustics are incredible. I whispered at one end of the walkway and everything I said could be clearly heard at the other end. Carole was amazed. So was Barbara, for that matter. The next day we drove to Plymouth to see the Mayflower recreation and Plimouth Plantation, a recreation of the Pilgrims’ original settlement.
Our final day was spent at Fenway, sitting in the right field bleachers and cheering for the Yankees. We weren’t alone. There seemed to be as many New York fans as there were for Boston. That was the year of the M and M boys—Mantle and Maris—and their chase to beat the Babe’s home run record. Personally, I thought the Mick would do it. He was ahead of Maris with 54 homers when he was injured early in September. Too soon it was time for the Big C to fly home, but we did promise to visit in Long Island over the Labor Day weekend. We had some business to attend to.
My friend Wilson had an older sister who had married a highly regarded contractor. I had spoken to him several times on the phone about building a home for us on our lot on the bluff. He promised to have several house plans for us to look at while we were there.
We drove south on the Tuesday before Labor Day, catching the ferry at Mystic, Connecticut to Orient Point at the very end of the North Shore of Long Island. From there the ride was just about an hour long. Traveling with a dog was a bit different—we stopped once on the road south and again once we were in Orient Point.
Kelly was a big hit on the ferry where she was approached by every kid on board. A few were initially afraid, but warmed up to her once I jammed my arm into her mouth to prove she wouldn’t bite. I always held her tightly by the collar even though I knew the kids were perfectly safe. Once I had driven off the ferry, we stopped by the side of the road so I could take Kelly for a brief walk. I carried a small garden trowel and a brown paper lunch bag, just in case she left a mess.
The roads in this part of the Island are narrow two-lane secondary roads with low speed limits and frequent no-passing zones, but the traffic is typically light. I headed west until I ran into Route 25A. It runs along the North Shore all the way from Queens to Riverhead, the Suffolk County seat. From Riverhead the bungalow was only a half-hour away. There was no driveway so I drove onto the lawn, parking next to Mom’s car, just before lunch. Carole and my other sisters ran out to see us and Kelly was excited to see them, as well. All the same, I slipped her leash onto the collar before letting her out. She sniffed Marie and Angela then licked Carole’s face as I handed her the leash’s handle. She ran off, leading our pet into the house. Barbara was laughing. “Quite a welcome, eh?”
“Pretty much what I expected; they’ve wanted a dog for years, but my mom always said no. Maybe she’ll change her mind one of these days.” I leaned across the seat and we kissed. Unfortunately, that was all we’d be able to do over the next week unless we walked down to the beach late at night, maybe for an evening swim. Hmmm, that was a really good idea.
I carried our suitcase and Kelly’s bed into the house while Barbara handled her food and bowls. I dumped the bottle of water that we’d brought for her onto the lawn after closing up the car. We never locked anything here, not even the front door when we left for the beach or shopping. I dropped everything in what used to be my room while Barbara set up Kelly’s bowls in the kitchen.
We changed into our suits and walked down to the beach after lunch. Mom was really old-school, insisting that none of us swim for at least an hour after eating even though I had debunked that as an old wives tale for years. Once again, my experiences at the public library had proven fruitful. My research had turned up more than a dozen articles—some scholarly—on the subject and all were contrary to the idea that digesting food could lead to a fatal “stomach cramp.” Barbara and I joked with my sisters as we strolled down the path.
Our first trip to the beach had been in late March when the weather was cool. Today the temperature was in the mid-to-high eighties with only a light breeze. It was Barbara’s first opportunity to see the beach’s real appeal. Looking to the left and right from the bottom of the steps we couldn’t see another living soul for almost a mile. The water was glass flat and the tide was coming in. I liked low tide for snorkeling and spear-fishing, but there were lots of rocks--some as big as a foot across only eight to ten feet from shore at low tide. There were only tiny pebbles and sand to walk on at high tide. However, I knew from experience that stepping on those tiny objects would hurt like hell once our feet were wet and the skin was soft. That’s why I had told Barbara to wear flip-flops to and from the water.
We had just placed the blanket onto the sand when Barbara smiled at me and said, “I can see why you love it here, Jack. I can’t believe that the water is so clear and clean.”
“It should be exactly like this every day unless the wind shifts and we get a nor’easter. Then the water will be rough and cloudy for a day or two. I’d have to say that high tide will be around four today. That means it will be later at night by the weekend. We can come down after dinner and go for a swim. It’s only safe at high tide because of the rocks. Of course, there are other things we could do here on the beach…alone…together…in the dark.”
“Imagination—that’s only one of the reasons why I love you.” She reached up to kiss me then we walked together into the warm water.
We swam out about fifty feet. It was my first chance to see Barbara swim. She’d never make the Olympics, but I thought she was much better than average. We swam and floated and showed our love for each other, getting out of the water only when we began to get cold. Even then I was recruited by Carole to be her diving platform. I lifted her so she could stand on my shoulders, only letting her dive when I knew she was in deep enough water. I stood there helping her for almost twenty minutes before I picked her up and threw her bodily into the water. “J.J.!” She acted as though she was pissed, but we both knew better. A few seconds later she began to laugh and I joined her as Barbara stood to towel me dry.
I showed Barbara the rock I had told her about—the one we could dive from once the tide was high enough. We walked there around 3:30, climbing up the rear of the rock and diving off the deeper front then swimming back up its smooth sloped surface. We were on the rock when Barbara asked, “Where is our lot, Jack?”
I pointed to a long staircase that ran from almost the top of the bluff to the beach’s surface about two hundred feet away. “That staircase belongs to my friend Mike’s family. You haven’t met him yet, but you will. He’s in the Navy now, but he lives there with his mother and grandmother. Anyway, our lot is just to the right of his…figure about 100 feet from the staircase.” I pointed so Barbara could see more clearly. We left the beach at five so we could walk up, and wash at the shower just outside the kitchen window. Once on the concrete base we could wash and dry ourselves without walking grass or dirt into the house.
After dinner I suggested we get Carvel for dessert. Not surprisingly, everyone enthusiastically agreed. We closed the doors to keep Kelly inside and everyone piled into the Olds for the fifteen minute ride to Rocky Point. Most of us ordered cones, but Mom insisted that Carole get a cup—she was a slow and sloppy eater. We stood outside, leaning against the car as we joked and enjoyed our treats. It was dark and almost time for Carole to go to bed when we returned to the bungalow. That’s when we learned that she would sleep in her sleeping bag in the room with my other sisters. “You deserve to have some privacy, but please remember that my head is only a foot or so from your bed so DO try to keep the noise down.” I laughed, but I could see the twinkle in Barbara’s eyes. We turned in early because we had an early appointment with Mark Hanley, my friend’s brother-in-law.
We drove into Rocky Point again early the following morning to buy some pastries from the local bakery. Their donuts and Danish were great, but my favorite was the fruit ring—a 12-inch Danish crust filled with cherry, blueberry, and pineapple fillings. Everyone loved it so I bought two. We left to meet Mark at 8:50, walking down the hill to our lot.
We wore jeans because the lot had yet to be cleared and there was almost certainly going to be a lot of poison ivy. Mark was right on time. We shook hands and walked onto the lot which I knew from the survey was two thirds of an acre—150 feet by almost 195 with the land sloping up from the road to the top of the bluff. First, we talked about where to locate the house so we’d have a yard in the front and back then we got into the details of what we wanted—a family room and attached two-car garage, living and dining rooms, kitchen, two full bathrooms, and four bedrooms. We also wanted a screened porch in back where we could sit and enjoy the view. “We don’t know much about floor plans so we’ll leave it to you to come up with some ideas.” He agreed and gave us a few which we incorporated into the drawings he would make for us within the next week.
Both Barbara and I had orientation scheduled for the second full week of September so we planned to stay on Long Island for almost all of the week of Labor Day before driving back to Somerville. We’d have the beach entirely to ourselves. The summer season ends on Labor Day which I had always thought was a shame because the weather in September is ideal for the beach and the water is perfectly warm—for Long Island, anyway.
Mark phoned three days later, telling us that he had a few books of floor plans and had made a few scale drawings using them as a guide. He came the following morning at ten, spreading several large sheets of graph paper on the table for us to look at. He had given us exactly what we wanted and more. The basement held a two-car garage on the right with a large family room and small kitchenette on one side with a laundry room and lavatory behind a wall on the other. Also there was the oil burner and hot water heater and room for a workshop and storage.
Upstairs the house was shaped in a “U” with the dining room, eat-in kitchen, and another lavatory on the left. The center was a large living room with sliding glass doors leading out to the screened porch. The other side held the master suite, three smaller bedrooms, and another full bath. Mark explained that he thought a vaulted ceiling in the living room and master bedroom would be interesting touches if our budget could handle them. He also suggested a tray ceiling in the dining room so we could have a real chandelier.
He also showed us a typical colonial house, but commented that we’d have to remove a lot of soil to accommodate it. I thought that was a bad idea and told him so. He agreed, saying, ”I have to show clients a variety of plans and I always list the pro’s and con’s. You beat me to the punch on that one.” Barbara liked the U-shaped house so we asked him to put together a formal proposal.
I remembered to ask about access to the attic, thinking about storage and Mark agreed to add a regular staircase rather than folding stairs near the kitchen to that area, also suggesting that his men place plywood flooring up there to accommodate us. Barbara asked if we could add doors from our bedroom to the screened porch. Mark agreed that would be a good idea. I knew that there would be dozens of additional decisions as the house progressed, but we weren’t that far away. He returned the Tuesday after Labor Day with an estimate of $93,000. I wrote a check for $20,000 as a down payment when we signed the contract.
Barbara and I took my sisters out for miniature golf and banana splits on Thursday night and on Friday we gave Mom and Dad who had driven out after work the night off by taking them out to the drive-in. It was a family movie—a comedy—that we all enjoyed although Big C fell asleep long before it was over. I carried her into the house around eleven then Barbara, Kelly, and I went for a late night swim.
The walk down the path was aided by a flashlight as Kelly capered back and forth in front of us. I knew that I’d have to check her for ticks tomorrow, but that wouldn’t take more than half an hour—less with Barbara’s help.
Once on the beach Barbara came into my open arms for the most passionate kiss of our trip. We’d had sex our first night—oral, a sixty-nine to keep the noise under control. Tonight we’d make glorious love under the moonlight, maybe in the water. That would be a first for both of us.
I led my fantastic wife down to the water. The tide was ebbing, but was still high enough to enter the water safely. We had worn our suits, but they dropped to the ground in an instant. Holding hands we walked together into the water as Kelly scampered back and forth, barking, but not getting any deeper than her paws.
I began by massaging Barbara’s butt as we came together for a long steamy kiss. Her arms were around my neck and her legs around my waist. I moved my hands to massage what I thought were the perfect breasts, knowing that Barbara loved the sensation of my hands on her nipples and areolas. She got down to business by gripping my hard cock and bringing it to her molten tunnel. I was initially concerned about whether she would be lubricated, but my fears were unfounded. She shimmied down my shaft easily, moaning in ecstasy the entire time.
Barbara laid back, floating while her legs moved up my torso. I must have been hitting that spot I hit when her legs were over my shoulders. I was driving into her at a brisk pace, but she was moving even faster. I thought it funny at the time that we were making one hell of a wave with every thrust. There was white foam all around us and that’s not all. Our every movement resulted in a pale green light coming from the numerous comb jellies in the water.
Unlike jellyfish, comb jellies have no stinging cells and, in fact, have no tentacles. They’re basically filter feeders on plankton as they drift on the tide. There were probably millions or even billions in Long Island Sound, but unless you actually look for them you’d never know.
We went at it furiously for only five minutes until I felt the familiar rumbling and Barbara shook wildly. I knew that she had cum when she screamed at the top of her lungs. The sound bounced off the bluffs probably for miles as I pumped her full of frothy white semen. I lowered her legs and held her tenderly for another ten minutes until she began to laugh. “We are definitely doing this again. I loved it, but I love you even more.” Then she showed it once again by kissing me, her tongue deep into my mouth.
The rest of the trip passed quickly as we spent our days at the beach and our evenings entertaining my sisters, our late nights back on the beach making the most incredible--the most fantastic--love with my wife. Dad left early Tuesday morning as he did every week in order to get to work in time to eat some breakfast. We packed Mom’s car with the suitcases in the morning and they left just after lunch. Barbara and I were alone except for Kelly as we waved good-bye to my family. We stayed until Thursday morning when I turned the water off, draining it out the hose cock and throwing the circuit breakers to turn off the electricity. Then I double checked the windows and front door before locking up the kitchen door and joining Barbara in the Olds with Kelly in the rear seat.
The drive to Orient Point took just over an hour so we were early for our 11:00 reservation. I put the leash on Kelly and walked her near the beach on the side away from the ferry dock. She did her business and I dutifully cleaned up. We returned to the car just as the ferry was pulling in. Ten minutes later we were onboard and sitting on deck in the warm sun, knowing that we’d be in the shade once the boat turned around. We relaxed for the hour-long trip then drove north on I-95—the New England Thruway—all the way to Boston then west to Somerville.
Kelly was obviously thrilled to be home. I had just parked in the garage when Barbara led her to the gate that enclosed the back yard. She bolted in, running around the perimeter at a wild pace causing us and our neighbor Paul, two yards away, to laugh wildly. “I’ll be over in a few minutes with your mail.” We had just walked into the house when he rang the bell. We thanked him several times, but he just shrugged it off telling us that’s what good neighbors do for each other. All the same we thanked him again, shaking hands before he left.
We had a great weekend, taking Kelly into Boston for a stroll along the Charles River. We were stopped often by young children who asked if they could pet her. We went through the ritual of having her sit while I held her collar, sniffing the kids’ hands, and then the energetic petting. It was great seeing the laughter and joy in the children’s faces. Twice kids were afraid until I showed that Kelly would never bite them by pushing my arm into her mouth.
Barbara and I made love—frantic monkey love—every night and every morning until Sunday when we spent the entire afternoon in bed, showering right after dinner and setting out our clothes tor Monday morning—the first day of orientation.
I personally thought that most of it was a waste of time, but I did find the campus tour helpful as were the placement exams in English, math, and Spanish. I was exempted from Freshman English and from the math requirement. I was placed in Spanish 4 which I thought was appropriate. Barbara told me that she enjoyed her campus tour even though it was quite short. She found the placement exams “challenging.” On the positive side her freshman mixer was on Wednesday night while mine was on Thursday.
I was challenged at the door to the gym where the mixer was held because I obviously had no Lesley Student ID. “This is my wife who is a student here. She wants to attend so she can meet some of the other freshmen. However, she is not going without me, just as I will not attend my mixer tomorrow evening without her. Don’t worry--I’m not going to cause any trouble.” I pushed my way past him as Barbara and I entered the large open expanse. There was a huge canvas tarp over the gym floor, I assumed to protect the finish of the floor and there were several hundred chairs in a long continuous row all around the perimeter of the room. Canteens with soda and snacks had been set up at both ends of the basketball court.
I led Barbara over to the opposite side for no reason other than to keep the entryway clear. We had a seat for a few minutes before getting up to dance. I was reminded of junior high with the boys and girls on opposite sides, neither quite willing to venture into hostile foreign territory so Barbara and I were the only dancers. That was okay with us. I had my hands around her succulent body while she moved into mine as closely as humanly possible.
We had danced five slow and two fast dances when Barbara told me she was thirsty. I left her at the seats and walked over to the nearest canteen where I pulled two cold Coke cans from an ice-filled cooler. I saw that Barbara had acquired an admirer as I returned.
“I’m flattered, but I’m really not interested.”
“You’re saying no, but we both know that you really mean yes.”
“No, I’m definitely saying no to you. I mean it. Leave me alone. I’m a married woman.” Barbara held up her hand to show her rings.
Then I heard her “suitor” respond. “Hey! That’s okay; I love married women. There’s no substitute for experience.”
“That may be, but I think my husband would not approve. Oh, here he is now.”
I handed the Cokes over to her as the jerk turned around. I had a scowl on my face as I reached out, taking his shirt and tie in my left hand. “This is your lucky day, little man.” There was terror etched into his face as I lifted him bodily off the floor and for good reason. I was at least eight inches taller and sixty pounds heavier and I was obviously all muscle while he was not. “I promised at the door that I wouldn’t cause any trouble so I’m not going to take you apart. You were told no, weren’t you? No means she’s not interested so a gentleman would just turn around and try somewhere else. There are probably at least a hundred good looking girls here tonight. So, why don’t you try your luck with those girls over there?” I pointed to a group of about ten standing about thirty feet away. “It goes without saying that you’ll never approach my wife again. I’m right next door at Harvard and I promise I’ll hunt you down like a mad dog if I hear even a single complaint from her lips. Do we understand each other?” He nodded quickly.
I slowly lowered him to the floor, brushing away the wrinkles I had made in his clothes. Reaching into my pocket I found a ten dollar bill and pushed it into the pocket of his suit. “You’ll need to have this suit and shirt cleaned and pressed. Now…get lost!” He did and that was the time I noticed the puddle he’d made. Looking at Barbara I laughed. “I think we need to find some new seats. There’s a bit of a mess here.” She laughed, too then handed one of the cans to me. I opened it and took a long pull before leading Barbara away.
Barbara waved to two girls who seemed to be walking toward us. “I met them at the tour and again during the placement exams. They’re both from Massachusetts.” Barbara introduced me to Darla and Marianne. Even I had to admit that Darla was built like a brick shithouse. I might have been interested if not for Barbara. We chatted for a while until I volunteered to get some more sodas and some chips for all of us.
“How can you handle all that,” Marianne asked. Then, to show her I held up my hands. Each of mine made three of hers. They laughed as I turned and walked toward the canteen, returning a few minutes later with four cans of Coke in one hand and two bowls—one of potato chips and another with pretzels in the other. Barbara took the bowls so I could distribute the Coke cans. As a surprise I then removed four cups—two in each of my suit’s pockets, then pouring ice cubes from one to the other. In a minute we all had Coke on ice. The girls all laughed as Marianne asked, “Is there no limit to what you can do?” I assured them that I had plenty of limitations. They laughed again when Barbara agreed.
They were from a high school on Cape Cod and had been close friends there. Now they were roommates at Lesley. We left around eleven when the music stopped and most of the kids had decided to return to their dorms. We were in the car when Barbara asked what I thought of her friends. “They seem to be nice girls.”
Barbara elbowed me and laughed. “You know very well that’s not what I meant.”
“Okay, Marianne looks like the girl next door. Darla is something else. I’d give her a tumble myself if I wasn’t madly in love with you.”
“What’s the expression guys use?”
“Built like a brick shithouse?”
“Yeah, that’s the one. I wouldn’t mind having her boobs.”
“Umm…I don’t think so. They look great now, but in thirty years….”
“Maybe you’re right.” She had just finished when I pulled into the driveway. I was only a little surprised to see Kelly run up to the gate followed by Ginny, the twelve year-old daughter of one of our neighbors. Knowing that we might be late on occasion I had hired her to put Kelly out when she got home from school and even feed her if we were stuck at school late. She loved Kelly and the feeling appeared to be mutual.
“Hi, Ginny—up late tonight, aren’t you?”
“Yes Jack, but I’m not going in until noon. I have an appointment with my dentist at ten tomorrow morning.” Barbara and I thanked her and she walked out the gate as we walked in. Kelly always had the same reaction when one or both of us came home—a tail wagging, tongue licking welcome.
I was still petting Kelly when Barbara and I walked into the bedroom. I’d been reluctant to go to the mixer, but overall it had been fun and worthwhile. I just hoped I wouldn’t have to repeat my actions with another asshole tomorrow. We hung up our good clothes and threw the rest into the hamper. A minute later we stood together under the hot spray of our shower. “I didn’t have a chance to tell you about Darla. Not surprisingly she had a steady boyfriend in high school—star quarterback, of course.”
“Of course! Why am I not surprised?”
“Well, she thought it was true love right up until he tried to pimp her out to a couple of his buddies.”
“You have got to be kidding. Why would anybody want to do that? I hope she dumped him like last week’s garbage.”
“Oh, yeah—immediately; turns out he was broke and his pals promised him a hundred bucks each if they could fuck her. She’s really scared of getting involved with some stranger here. I hope I can help her. A decent social life is one of the best things about being in college.”
“So says my Catholic school wife.” Barbara looked up at me, the spray bouncing off her nose. Then she laughed and kissed me.
“I have a great social life every single day, don’t I?” I didn’t have to say a word. I pulled her into my arms and our lips met in an expression of our total love for each other. Our tongues dueled as she directed my hands to her inner thighs. Seconds later she was up, back against the wall, my rock hard cock drilling her sopping pussy. Oh yeah, we had a phenomenal social life.
There was a mob of people at the Harvard mixer the following night, and there were a few who either tried to cut in while we were dancing or who asked Barbara while we were seated. She was polite, but firm when she replied. “Thank you, but as you can see we are married so my answer has to be no.” She stayed with me when I went for sodas and chips and, even though we’d had a good time, we left around 10:30, Kelly greeted us again, but without her buddy, Ginny, this time. We’d left her in the back yard with a bowl of water and the dog house I’d built in case of rain.
Barbara was laughing as we walked Kelly into the kitchen. “What’s so funny, Mrs. French?”
“I was just thinking of all the opportunities I missed by going to a girls’ school, but actually that did turn out pretty well, didn’t it?” I agreed mightily, pulling Barbara into a long lingering kiss. “C’mon, Jack—blowing off all those guys has given me an idea.” I laughed and Barbara soon joined me.
And so we began our college careers. Barbara was majoring in Business Management while I was studying Finance with a minor that turned out to be a second major in Business Administration. We were taking some of the same courses and even using the same text books so it made sense to work together. We spent at least an hour every day, alternating between meeting in the Lesley and Harvard libraries, and it paid tremendous benefits to Barbara. I had a straight-A average when we went home for Thanksgiving while Barbara was running a strong B+ to A-. We had a great three days with my family, but, truthfully, I thought that Carole was more interested in seeing Kelly than she was her brother. We did spend one day driving out to see the progress on our new home.
We returned three weeks later for Christmas, our trunk filled with suitcases, Kelly’s bed, and presents for my family and the Gleason’s. I was looking forward to seeing my best friend, Eli. He came over to the house three days before Christmas. After hugging Big C we walked into our room at the rear of the house. I wanted to know how he’d done at football. “Hard; it was really hard—a lot of work from the minute I showed up and it’s not going to change much through the end of the year. They expect me to work out in the weight room for an hour every day and I have to do fitness and quickness drills, too. How’re things at Harvard?”
“Well…they’re not that intense. I took Barbara with me to the gym about twice a week during the summer. It might have been more if we hadn’t been painting the interior of our house. Once school began I kept pretty busy with my studies, but I still found the time to work out a couple times a week. Barbara and I did a lot of running with our dog, too.
“I’m sure you understand that Harvard doesn’t have midnight practice in front of thousands of rabid fans. Most of our practices there’s nobody in the stands, although we did have a couple of hundred when we scrimmaged the varsity.”
“I think I would have enjoyed that.”
“It was a real rout, Eli,” Barbara added. “Jack was all over the floor—shooting, passing, rebounding, and leading the fast break. You should have seen it.”
Eli laughed and I joined him. I knew exactly what he was going to say. “I think I have, Barbara, for the past five years.”
“Yeah, but I had to have a few harsh words with the coach who wanted me to stay in the low post.”
“I wish. Can you believe—he knew nothing about my high school career until I told him I was the best shooter, passer, rebounder, and defensive player he had. I told him to check with the AD and apparently he did, because the next day he had me all over the court. We’ve had three games so far and we’ve won them all, but we’ll have our share of problems come January.”
Christmas day was a lot of fun and we did attend Midnight Mass rather than cause a commotion. We even received Communion, but I couldn’t wait to get out of the church hall. We had maintained contact with Lt. Flanagan who had been promoted to captain. Using the list the police had taken statements from hundreds of women who had been abused. In many cases the statute of limitations had passed. However, there were still plenty of allegations against the two nuns and their ignoble leader—Msgr. Moran.
Statements from other nuns as well as the lay teachers meant that prison time was a certainty. Capt. Flanagan told us that a plea bargain was likely as both the District Attorney and the Cardinal—the local leader of the Catholic Church—wanted to limit the negative publicity as much as possible. Both sides just wanted the whole nasty mess to go away. However he also told us that the negotiations were proceeding very slowly.
We also spoke at length with Mr. Silverman. “For some stupid reason they think this is just going to go away, Jack,” he told us. “But they’re whistling in the dark. This has nothing to do with the criminal charges. I’m having at least one press conference every week and I see no reason to stop until we have a settlement or the case goes to court. They’ve thrown a few roadblocks up to keep us out of court, but public opinion is forcing the judge to act even if he is a devout Roman Catholic. Once I start my case he’ll act because he IS a Roman Catholic. I already had more than 100 women deposed and I still have to do Barbara, our star witness.”
I looked to Barbara. We both knew this day was coming and we had discussed it numerous times. I hated that Barbara would have to relive that horrible day, but she had repeatedly told me it was something she absolutely had to do. We set it up for the following afternoon.
Slowly and skillfully, Stan Silverman took Barbara through the day starting when the girls reacted to her ring to her decision to ask for it back. I could hardly breathe as she described how she was beaten and whipped. Finally, after almost two hours she was done. Stan thanked her and asked if we could return tomorrow afternoon to review the sworn statement and sign. Barbara was obviously drained as I led her out to the car. I put her into bed for a nap once we were home with my parents.
I did very well in all my courses, but especially in Accounting 1. Unlike some of the huge lecture courses the professor asked for and expected her students to participate actively in class. It seemed that I either answered a question or contributed an opinion in every session and I was viewed as a leader by my fellow students. Then, in the first week of October, we had our first hour exam, receiving our corrected test papers in the following class.
I was approached by one of the other students as I left class. He introduced himself as Justin Akers and wanted to know if we could set up a study group. He explained that he’d received a 79 on the test and was sure that I’d done better. I did, scoring a perfect grade of 100. When he asked what dorm I was in I commented that I was a commuter. “You’re can’t be a local. You sound more like a New Yorker.”
“Yeah, I am, but I’m married and I live now in Somerville about ten minutes away.” We spoke for about ten minutes and I learned that he was from Smithtown about fifteen miles from my parents’ bungalow and what would soon be our house. We did set up a study group, but the five of us—three guys and two girls—met in a room in the library Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons instead of a dorm. Our first meeting was interrupted when Barbara walked in. One of the girls started to tell her we were in a private group until I stopped her and introduced Barbara as my wife who was also taking accounting at Lesley. Barbara and I had the group to our house weekends before big tests. These sessions helped Barbara as much as they did the rest of us.
We’d been meeting about two weeks when Barbara asked how I would feel about setting up a blind date between Justin and Darla. “She’s really feeling lonely and so far the only guys she’s attracted have been real jerks. They take one look at her body and try immediately to grab her and worse. One of her dates actually pulled his cock out in the movie theater and wanted her to give him a blow job.”
“Well…every guy wants a blow job, even me.”
Barbara gave me a look that I’d come to dread. “That’s not funny, Jack. So, what do you think?” I told her I’d give it a try and we spent a few minutes deciding on what kind of date we should propose. I saw Justin right after accounting class Monday morning.
“Justin…got a minute?” I continued when he said he did. “What are you doing Saturday night? Are you seeing anyone?”
“No, I’ve had a few dates, but nothing serious, why?”
“Barbara has this friend she’d like you to meet.”
“Let me guess—she has a great personality.”
“Actually, she does, but she’s definitely not a dog. If anything I’d give her a ten, maybe even higher. She’s a really good looking brunette with a killer body. It’s her body that’s the problem. She’s had plenty of dating opportunities, but every guy immediately tries grabbing her tits and ass. I know for a fact that she’s not a virgin….” And then I told him about her ex-boyfriend from high school. “She’s a great person and down the road you’d probably be able to score with her. You’d just have to be patient.” Then I explained what Barbara and I were thinking in terms of the date and he agreed. I told him I’d pick him up at his dorm at 5:30 Saturday afternoon.
Five minutes after getting him I pulled up and parked in front of Darla’s dorm at Lesley. The three of us walked into the lobby and Barbara told the girl at the desk that we were there for Darla D’Angelo. I swear, I thought that Justin’s eyes would jump out of his head when Darla walked down the stairs dressed in a tight off-white top and even tighter navy blue slacks. Barbara made the introduction. Darla greeted Justin then hugged Barbara and me. Two minutes later we were in the Olds on our way down Mass. Ave. into Boston. We were headed for the same seafood restaurant that Barbara and I had gone to back at Easter. Lobster is a sloppy meal, but Barbara and I weren’t out to impress anyone. Justin ordered grilled scallops and Darla asked for deep fried calamari.
We talked about school—three business majors and one studying elementary education. I was surprised when told about everything Darla would have to learn just to teach young children. She told us that she couldn’t wait for her student teaching experience during her senior year. Lesley arranged for teaching assistant opportunities one day a week and Darla told us how much she enjoyed working with her second grade class. I could see her enthusiasm. Justin hung on every word.
We enjoyed our salads and the dinners were excellent. Darla exclaimed her pleasure with the calamari, sharing a piece with Justin who returned the favor with a scallop. Barbara and I made good use of our lobster bibs, laughing at each other with our faces covered with butter sauce. We had a great time, leaving around 7:15 for a movie back in Cambridge.
That was the beginning of Justin’s relationship with Darla and our close friendship with the couple. We had them to dinner several times and we went to several dances and parties with them as well. Both Barbara and Darla were subjects of keen attention from many of the males present. My physical size no doubt deterred at least some of the boys from hitting on my wife, but Justin was only five feet ten and was lucky to tilt the scales at 160 pounds.
Boys may have shown their interest, but Darla was deaf and blind to their charms. Her answer was the same every time—I’m flattered, but I only dance with my boyfriend. Once when a frustrated suitor threatened to beat Justin up she told him that would never work. “Just what I always wanted—a dumb oaf whose hands are bigger than his brain.” Then she took Justin by the hand and led him away, kissing him hotly once they were beyond arm’s length from the idiot.
We had more than two weeks off for the holiday break, but we had a lot to do at home so we planned to combine two important tasks into one long day. Tuesday night I told Mom that we’d be away all day. “Don’t expect us for dinner. I don’t know what will happen with Justin’s family.” The following morning--Wednesday, December 27, 1961—we were up early, around six, for our drive out to the bungalow. We had agreed to check on it while we also checked on our house’s progress.
The bungalow looked exactly as we had left it with the exception of the dead field mouse that I removed and dumped out in the woods. After closing the bungalow we walked across the street and down the gentle hill to look at our new house in progress. We walked through the poured concrete basement and garage and up into the house itself. The house was framed with plywood on the outer walls and roof which looked to be half completed. Mark met us there to explain how the construction was proceeding. He expected the roof to be completed that week and once that was done real progress inside would follow. Barbara and I met with the plumber to select fixtures and faucet sets for the bathrooms and kitchen. Next was tile for both areas and, finally, the electrician for lighting fixtures throughout the house. We had already specified the windows and doors as well as the shingles for the roof.
Leaving at noon gave us time for a quick lunch at a hot dog wagon on our way to Smithtown where we would meet with Justin and his parents. He had explained that he was a late life surprise for his parents. His three sisters were twenty, twenty-two, and twenty-five years older. Some of their children—his nieces and nephews—were actually older than he was. His parents were in their sixties so we were not at all surprised when a silver-haired woman answered the door. “Hello…you must be Jack and Barbara. I’m Gloria, Justin’s mother. Please come in.” She hugged me and then Barbara before leading us to the palatial living room. “I’ll let Martin know that you’re here. Justin is out picking up our dry cleaning. He should be home soon. Here, let me take your coats.” She opened a closet and hung them.
I met Justin’s dad a few minutes later and then, in what I thought was a well planned and executed maneuver, Mrs. Akers took Barbara for a tour of the house while Mr. Akers showed me to his study, closing the door behind us. “I don’t believe in beating around the bush, Jack. Justin’s mother and I are extremely concerned about his relationship with this….”
“You mean, Darla?”
“Yes, he is obviously infatuated with her. She’s all he talks about. It has to end. I can see no good coming fr0m this relationship.”
“Well, if you’re looking to me or Barbara for help you’re barking up the wrong tree. Darla is the best thing to happen to Justin, probably ever. We’re in a study group for accounting. Before meeting her Justin would be best described as an uninspired student. He was earning C’s mostly and occasionally a B-. Since meeting Darla he’s been getting mostly A’s. And, in case you think the feelings are one way, you’re dead wrong. Darla is Barbara’s best friend so we’ve been to parties and dances together. She could have her pick of guys, but she shoots all of them down for Justin. I know for a fact that they’ve seen each other every single day since we set them up on a blind date back in October and Darla sees to it that he studies his ass off.”
“Well…I just don’t want to see him knocking her kind up and having to get married.”
“I think what you’re trying to say is that you don’t want him to get involved with an Italian even though she’s Catholic just like Justin. Physically she has movie star beauty, but she’s even more on the inside. If not for my wife I’d be thrilled to have someone even close to her, but she only has eyes for Justin. I think that I need to tell you a few things about me so you’ll understand better.” I began by moving his paperweight across the room into my hand and then back. I told him about being struck and how my brain was changed and, after about ten minutes, I told him about my flashes.
“Have you had any about Justin?”
“I have and you’re going to be very proud of him. He’s going to be a wizard of Wall Street.”
He was almost sheepish when he asked, “What about…?”
“Oh yeah--she’ll be by his side every step of the way. You know what they say about, ‘behind every successful man….’ Darla’s studying elementary education. There’s a lot more to it than you might think. She’s going to be an incredible wife and an even better mother.”
“Wall Street! I was hoping he’d take over my dealership. I own a very successful Buick-Cadillac dealership here in Smithtown.”
We spoke for another ten minutes before we heard Justin and Barbara greeting each other outside. Mr. Akers thanked me for my insights and we went to join them. We talked about our new house and Mr. Akers asked how we could afford it. Barbara laughed as I tried to explain. That was Mr. Akers’ cue to find Newsday, Long Island’s newspaper. He explained that he liked to bet. “Nothing serious, you understand. I use this bookie I know.”
“What would happen if you had a really good day and by that I do mean really good?”
“Nothing, as long as it was only one.” Barbara and I laughed then I took the paper from his hands and marked my choices in pencil.
“Just don’t get greedy. Bet two bucks at first and not more than ten on the exacta. Then you can take Mrs. Akers on that trip to Hawaii she’s wanted for years. You’ll be able to afford it.” A few minutes later we heard him on the phone making his bets for tomorrow at Hialeah in Florida. Barbara and I stayed for dinner—delicious prime rib roast with potatoes baked in kosher salt—leaving around ten for the hour-long ride home.
We returned to Somerville two days later even though classes wouldn’t begin for more than a week. I had to attend a few basketball sessions—nothing formal, but still something I had to do to keep myself sharp for the games in January and February. In addition to Ivy League games we also played most of the universities in the Boston Area. That meant Northeastern, Boston U., MIT, Tufts, and Boston College. Of those I felt that we could easily handle all except B.C.
Of course, I had forgotten who I was playing with. Most of our players were decent—better than average--high school varsity types, but not All-County, and definitely not All-State or higher. I played my butt off every game just as I did in high school, but without the same results. For Harvard students their judgment with the ball was sometimes disastrous. Other than committing too many fouls there is nothing that ruins a game faster than turnovers. Some of my teammates acted as though the ball was contagious. They passed recklessly and fumbled too many passes out of bounds. Our records—freshman and varsity suffered greatly as a result. We lost more games during the first week back in class than I had in five years of high school. Unfortunately, my experiences in baseball followed the same pattern. I played well, but we still lost many more games than we won.
My last year of competition came while I was a grad student at Harvard Business School. Barbara and I had taken additional courses every summer, picking up almost an entire semester’s work over the two summer sessions. Thus we were able to graduate in only three years. I had applied to a few outstanding business schools in addition to Harvard where I actually enrolled while I finished the final two courses for my Bachelor’s degree.
Our house on the bluff in Shoreham was finished by June of our freshman year and we spent the first half of the summer furnishing it. We were rarely there with our busy times at school, but we knew it would get plenty of use once we had graduated. I never expressed any interest in playing in the NBA even though I knew that I was good enough. I had something else in mind.
Mr. Akers had phoned me about a year after our initial meeting with a business proposition. His health was failing and he wanted out of the automotive business. Justin had never shown interest in anything other than Wall Street. I agreed to buy the dealership once I had graduated with my MBA but first I had to deal with a little problem Mr. Akers was having—he was sure that someone was stealing from him.
One of the final courses I’d had as an undergrad was Forensic Accounting. I’d thought at the time that it was one of the more interesting and challenging courses I’d taken. Before taking full control of the business I had to do a little research and the only time I could do that was on Sunday when the dealership was closed. Barbara and I drove and ferried to Long Island four Saturdays in a row, staying at our house overnight before driving to Smithtown early Sunday morning. I had the key to the back door and the alarm code as I began my work. I checked through purchase orders for the past three years, noticing almost immediately that the dealership seemed to use a lot of after-market parts, much more than I thought they would. That was interesting, but not conclusive until I found the excellent records kept by the parts department manager. Once I compared the orders with what had actually been received I quickly realized what the scam amounted to.
Apparently it had started about two years ago when Mr. Akers’ health first started to keep him away from the dealership. At least once each month there was a bogus purchase order for parts that were paid for, but never delivered. At roughly $5,000 a month this was a profitable scheme for those involved. The name on both the order and the payment approval was that of the general manager and all of the questionable orders were for the same dealer—Able Automotive, Inc.—so there was obviously someone there who was in on the scheme. That was something that I would leave to the district attorney and the Suffolk County Police.
I shared the information I had with Mr. Akers and we agreed that he would take it to the authorities, but take no other action until I had taken control of the company. I doubted that these records would be missed. I knew that they were mostly held for tax purposes.
Barbara and I spent most of our spring break at our home on the bluff, inviting my family for Easter dinner. The dinner—roasted turkey with all the fixings—went well, but the best part occurred near the end when I asked Carole how she’d enjoy being an aunt. The reaction from my parents and sisters was bedlam. They were all over us with hugs and kisses and there was plenty of joyful crying. Everyone stayed overnight at the bungalow except Carole who slept in one of the guest rooms with Kelly by her side.
The horrible episode with St. Claudia’s had come to a sudden crashing end during the summer following freshmen year when we received a phone call from Captain Flanagan. “Good afternoon, Jack,” he began. “We’ve had a major breakthrough in the case. Sister Mary Patrick has confessed—she said that her conscience was killing her--and there’s more…a lot more. She told us that she and Sister Mary Theresa were talking in the school office late one afternoon almost twenty years ago when Moran overheard them. He threatened to expose them if they didn’t cooperate.”
“Oh no…tell me he didn’t demand sexual favors from them.”
“He did, unfortunately—oral and anal sex from Sister Mary Patrick and vaginal and oral sex from Sister Mary Theresa. We notified the Cardinal this morning and it will hit the news outlets tonight. I wanted you and Barbara to know. I anticipate your lawsuit will be settled soon, too. The Church is really embarrassed, but that will be nothing compared to what will happen tomorrow when the proverbial shit hits the fan.” I thanked him then ended the call just minutes before I expected Barbara. She was extremely relieved when she heard the news.
Capt. Flanagan’s assessment had been right on. The lawsuit was settled a month later, just before the end of Summer Session II. I was studying at home with Barbara—preparing for our final exams—when Mr. Silverman phoned. Each of the plaintiffs would receive $250,000 while Stan would receive $2,000,000 for his time and expenses in pursuing the case. He told us that the owners of the jewelry had been identified and that all of it would be returned as part of the agreement. Barbara received a certified check by mail about a month later. She had already received her ring.
All three pled to reduced charges. Sister Mary Patrick pled to three counts of aggravated assault and two of grand larceny receiving a sentence of six to ten years in state prison. Sister Mary Theresa pled to three counts of conspiracy to commit aggravated assault and another two of conspiracy to commit grand larceny with a sentence of four to seven years. Msgr. Moran pled to five counts of conspiracy to commit aggravated assault, three of sexual assault, and three of sodomy. He received a sentence of ten to twelve years in a maximum security prison. All three were required to sign an agreement never to work with minors again. Barbara and I were well pleased both with the results of our prosecution and that the entire episode was behind us.
Paul and Vera lived two doors down from us with their daughter Ginny who had helped us from the start with Kelly, walking and feeding her when we couldn’t get home. It was a Friday afternoon in April of my junior year when I put Kelly out. Barbara was picking up two of those three-foot Italian subs for dinner with our friends Justin and Darla. I was surprised when I looked across the lawns to see Paul apparently crying as he sat--head down in his hands--on their patio. I clipped the leash to Kelly’s collar and quickly walked her over to Paul. “What’s wrong, Paul? Can I help in some way?”
“Thanks, Jack, but nobody can help me. I’m about to lose everything. I got laid off seven months ago. We were barely getting by and now we’re so far in the hole we’re going to lose the house and everything else.”
“Can’t you find another job? What did you do?”
“I worked in a factory that milled machine parts. That involves a lot of metal shavings. My job was to sweep up the shavings so they could be recycled. There were four of us. Now there are only two.” I heard Barbara pull into our driveway so I left to speak with her. We agreed and, after a quick peek at the Boston Globe I returned to Paul who hadn’t moved an inch.
“Barbara and I will pick you and Vera up tomorrow at noon. Then we’re going to Narragansett. You can tell people that you had a good day at the track, but if you mention my role or Barbara’s….”
“The track? That’s your solution?”
“You need to trust and have faith in me. That’s how I made the money that got me started and how I’ve made millions since. Don’t worry about money. Barbara and I will lend you the money for the first bet.”
We arrived just in time for an enjoyable lunch then I led Paul to place our first bet. “Ten dollars on number six in the third race to win.” After checking the accuracy of the ticket I placed a second bet for twenty. The horse won at 8 to1 odds and we bet the bundle on the four horse in the next race. That continued until we had won four straight races and accumulated several thousand dollars. Together we stepped up for the ninth race: “Two hundred on numbers four and five--the exacta--in the ninth race.” Paul echoed my bet just a few seconds later. The four-five combo paid more than 1500 to1. We collected more than $300,000 each in cashier’s checks and went home.
I had a brief chat with Paul and Vera once we were in their driveway. “Pay off all of your debts and go to community college to learn a skill like plumber, or electrician, or welder or something like that so you’ll be able to find and hold a good job and don’t forget that you’ll have to pay taxes on the winnings so don’t blow it all.” They thanked us over and over, but after this our relationship suffered. We never did find out why—so much for gratitude.
I graduated with my MBA on a Saturday in mid May of 1965 with Barbara, my parents, my aunt and uncle, and my infant daughter present. Also in attendance were Mr. and Mrs. Justin Akers. Barbara and I had a very long chat on our return to Somerville after meeting Justin’s parents. We both knew that Justin and Darla hadn’t been intimate, but it was just a matter of time. To help them along we decided to offer them our guest room.
Barbara would talk with Darla and I would talk with Justin. Those discussions took place Monday between classes. Justin and Darla did accompany Barbara and me home for pizza and soda after Friday’s basketball game and around midnight I was more than ready for bed. I put Kelly out and Barbara and I closed the door to our bedroom.
Neither Justin nor Darla had made any effort to go back to their dorms. Finally, Darla took Justin by the hand and led him to the guest room. “This is nice, don’t you think?”
“Yeah, I…. Darla, you don’t have to. Jack told me that you had a really bad experience. So….” Darla silenced him with a tender kiss.
“I know that I don’t have to, Justin. I promised myself that I would never again give myself to a man I wasn’t totally in love with.” She looked up into Justin’s eyes and laughed. “That’s you, sweetie. Don’t you realize that? Haven’t I shown you that I love you…that I love you with every fiber of my body? And I know something even if you don’t. You love me every bit as much. Let’s go into the powder room and wash each other. There’s no shower, but Barbara promised me that there would be plenty of wash cloths and soap. I can’t wait to have your hands all over my body and—in case you’re wondering—I can’t wait to have my hands all over yours.”
Darla led Justin into the small room marked with only a small basin, a toilet, and a closet. There were two large and thick bath towels hanging from a wall-mounted rack and over each was a wash cloth. “Would you help me to undress, Justin? Don’t worry about cumming in me. I’m on the pill. I may be Catholic, but I’m not an idiot. She moved his hands to the buttons on her blouse while hers worked on his shirt. In minutes they stood naked before each other for the very first time.
Justin knew that he was nothing special physically, but Darla was a goddess. She had legs like Betty Grable and breasts like a Playboy centerfold model. Darla moved forward to grip his head and rub her breasts into his body as she kissed him once again. Justin’s response was clearly noticeable as his six and a half fairly thick inches of erect penis wedged between their bodies.
Darla took the lead again, running the cloth under a stream of hot water and soaping it up before handing it to Justin and repeating for herself. She washed Justin’s body slowly as she encouraged him to do the same for her. “Do a good job on my breasts, Justin and my pussy and make sure you do a really good job on my ass. I want to be squeaky clean for you.” Ten minutes later they were dry and tiptoed across the hall carrying their clothes. Seconds later they were together under the blanket.
“I’ve only done this three times, Justin.”
“I’ve never…,” he whispered back.
“Okay, then we’ll have to learn as we go. We’ll be fine as long as we communicate openly with each other.” She rubbed his cock slowly and teasingly, running his slick pre-cum over the head. “I don’t think we need any foreplay, darling. I’m so hot for you I’m actually gushing. Please climb between my legs and push it in. Don’t worry about cumming too fast. We can always do it again.” That was the start of their physical relationship. Justin showed himself to be a considerate lover that night as they made love three times and, if there had been any question about their love for each other it evaporated that night. They were hopelessly in love with each other when they awoke the following morning.
Justin and Darla had sheepish and embarrassed expressions on their faces the following morning, but we could see their complete love for each other, too. I heard all about it Monday afternoon in the Harvard library. Barbara walked up behind me, announcing her presence with a brief kiss to my neck. “I spoke with Darla this morning.” Oh boy, I knew this was going to be good! “She told me it was a comedy of errors. Justin was a virgin and Darla’s only done it three times with that loser in high school. She told me that they were so pathetic that they laughed crazily until he was finally able to stick it in then she said it was like heaven. Apparently Justin agreed and they had it down pat by the third time.” I laughed then kissed Barbara and laughed again. I was relieved that things had gone well for them. Little did I know how well.
After that fateful night they spent almost every weekend with us as their love grew even deeper than it had been before. They became engaged during their sophomore year and married in her home town of Hyannis on Cape Cod at the end of the school year. Barbara was matron of honor and I was best man.
I took the reins of Aker Motors—soon to be French Motors—a week after graduation, walking into the dealership in the company of two Suffolk County Police detectives who were there to arrest the general manager on 36 counts of grand larceny and embezzlement. I did the GM’s job for the next month until I hired an experienced executive for the position. He only lasted two weeks because he refused to hire a qualified mechanic, one who had extensive General Motors training and high recommendations from his prior employer in Indiana because he was, in the GM’s words, “a no-good fucking nigger.” He was gone by day’s end and I called the candidate myself to offer him the job. It was almost a week later that I received a letter from my local draft board notifying me that I was being drafted. I appealed, requesting a hearing based on economic hardship. That was scheduled for the Wednesday after Labor Day.
I stood before the board in a business suit and tie, briefcase in my hand. “Can you tell us, Mr. French why you think you will experience an economic hardship if you are drafted? How much do you think you would lose and why?”
“Well, sir—I’m not opposed to serving my country, but I would probably lose several million dollars, at least. I currently own three businesses including a Buick-Cadillac dealership in Smithtown, Long Island. I have the papers here in my briefcase detailing my ownership and the four million dollar business loan I have from Chase Bank. At the present time I am serving as the general manager. I fired the first for stealing roughly $180,000 from the prior owner and the second for bigotry that resulted in illegal hiring practices.
“I also own two Wendy’s restaurants—one in Medford, Long Island that is currently in operation and one in Commack, Long Island that is expected to open within the next three weeks. Without me to manage that one, at least in the beginning, I stand to lose my entire investment, franchise fee and construction costs coming to more than $650,000.” I passed the pertinent documents to the board’s clerk.
What is your marital status, Mr. French?”
“I have been married for more than four years and I have one child, a daughter who is eighteen months old. She and my wife are in the waiting room. My wife is also pregnant again although only about three months so you wouldn’t know to look at her.”
“How many people do you employ, Mr. French?”
“There are currently 67 at the dealership, but I’m short one accounts clerk, one secretary, and, of course, one general manager. Even with a GM I will have to be there at least three times a week to supervise and provide direction to the sales managers. I have 23 at my one Wendy’s and I visit the restaurant at least twice each week to audit the receipts and to handle the payroll. The same would be true with my second restaurant.”
One of the other board members spoke for the first time. “Mr. French, you’re awfully young to own one business let alone three. Can you explain how you managed this?”
“I’ll try, Ma’am. I’m a Harvard graduate and while there I became very good friends with the son of the man who owned the dealership. The son works on Wall Street and has no interest in selling and servicing cars so the father offered the business to me. Of course, I had to pay for it—a bit more than five million dollars. The others I just felt were a good opportunity.”
“Yes, Ma’am—Harvard Business. I was Summa Cum Laude at both.” I was asked to have Barbara and Brianna come in. Brianna ran to me as soon as the door was opened and I pulled her up into my arms. I introduced them to the board and we were excused. A week later I received notice that I had been reclassified 2-A—deferred due to occupation. I never heard from them again.
Barbara and I had four children—Brianna Marie, Jennifer Diane, Robert Michael, and Casey Lynn—all spaced between eighteen and twenty-four months apart. After Brianna was born Barbara had phoned Darla to tell her that we would name our next girl “Darla .” Darla’s reply was completely unexpected. “If you do I’ll never speak to you again. It’s bad enough that I have this horrible name. Please don’t inflict it on an innocent child. My parents wanted to impress a great aunt in the hope of getting an
inheritance. Instead, she told them they were crazy. She hated the name, too.” So much for “Darla” as our daughter’s name.
Barbara had promised to show her love for me every minute of every day and that’s exactly what she did. I knew that I would receive a searing kiss every night when I returned home from work and that was just a prelude to what would happen once the kids were asleep. Most nights she would have to wait until I had been officially greeted by our children and our dog, but that never slowed her down. If nothing else, our children knew that their parents loved each other totally.
We made the most passionate love at least once a day well into our fifties. Then we slowed down a bit to four to five times a week. I often thought that our love making was the reason why we rarely fought or argued. We disagreed as all couples do, but when we did we resolved those disputes through discussion, always sealing the deal in bed shortly thereafter.
Our children learned to love the beach and the water as much as we did. They could all swim by the time they were five. They also learned to fish and I insisted that they learn to bait their own hooks, running the ugly sand worms that I always used up the hook. We rarely caught anything worthwhile, but we did have a lot of fun. It was just one of the many things we did together as a family.
We never had to do without for lack of money. I cleared well more than a million a year just from the dealership and close to another million from my three Wendy’s restaurants and more once my loans were paid off. Yes, I opened one more in Smithtown near my dealership. I repaid my loans early and invested profitably in a broad spectrum of securities. I had those incredible flashes for my entire life.
Some of those flashes led me to purchase forty acres adjacent to the dealership once those loans were done. I put in two additional dealerships—Toyota and GMC, the latter including heavy duty vehicles in addition to pickups and vans.
I put in plenty of hours for the first six years. By then I had a cadre of managers I knew I could trust. I would meet with them once or twice a week to provide direction and to audit the business’s activities. I trusted them, but I wasn’t a fool.
I never forgot about my parents, my family, the Gleason’s, or about those in need. I contributed to local charities, especially those dealing with children. The local YMCA was one of my favorites as was the Salvation Army. My charitable contributions increased once I knew that Barbara, my children, and my parents were provided for in sizable trusts.
Justin began work the same time that I did, graduating Cum Laude, and taking a position as an analyst for one of the huge brokerage firms. He and Darla took an apartment in Garden City where she had secured a job teaching third graders and where Justin’s commute into Manhattan was reasonable. He continued his education at night, attending New York University until he had earned his MBA. He began at the bottom, but rose up the corporate ladder quickly, moving into management after only six years with the firm. When they opened a branch in Smithtown he obtained a transfer, taking the position of district manager with the title of Executive Vice President. Then he and Darla moved into a large home in nearby Stony Brook.
Darla was pregnant with their first then so she retired at the end of the school year. Stony Brook was only a dozen miles from Shoreham so she and Barbara got together often, sometimes for lunch at a local restaurant or to walk and sometimes in the summer to use our beach. I’d had many discussions with Justin about his work and mine. That was how I learned about the incredible stress he was under to produce more and more sales and higher profits every year. He told me that he was being treated for ulcers and for sky high blood pressure. I suggested in response that he resign and come to work for me. “I can pay you $500,000 a year to be my number two.” I knew I could easily afford to pay even that high salary, but Justin turned me down every time..
It was a rainy day in November a few months later when I received a phone call from my distraught wife. She was frantic with worry for Darla and their three children. Justin had been found earlier in the day dead at his desk. He was only fifty-two years old, the same as me. My best friend was gone, a victim of his own stubbornness.
Our kids grew up with Kelly and she was always totally protective of them and of Barbara. Unfortunately, dogs don’t live forever. Kelly did live to the age of fifteen, a very long time for a large dog. I readily admit that we all cried like babies when we had to put her down. We went out the following weekend to find another dog to replace her. We found one, a German Shepherd female, at the Humane Society. We would always have a dog in our home. Gretchen watched over our children like they were her own.
The way that Barbara and I married meant that we couldn’t have a honeymoon. Barbara’s back was too sore at first and we had school for the next three months. Once summer arrived we were busy setting up our house and getting ready for college. Not surprisingly, Barbara never complained, not even once. After I had everything pretty much under control at my businesses I asked Mom for a favor, one I knew she’d be thrilled to give us. She agreed to watch her granddaughter and our dog for two weeks while Barbara and I flew to Hawaii for a belated and much earned honeymoon.
Barbara laughed when I told her about it. “I don’t think we can make love any more often than we do now, Jack.”
“Oh, yeah? You know how I love a challenge. Good thing you’re already knocked up or else….” Barbara laughed again and I joined her. I knew what she was thinking. She was planning on fucking me until I couldn’t walk—exactly what I was thinking about her. She was right, though. We still made love every single day except just before and after she gave birth. Then we took care of each other orally.
I’m sure you’ll remember way back in the beginning of this story when I told my dad that I’d never had a flash prove to be untrue. Unfortunately, I sat now in that same hospital room I had envisioned with my wonderful wife. I knew she was dying as I held her hand for what was probably the last time. We were both 88 and in another six months we would have been married seventy years. They had been an incredible time, mostly due to Barbara’s love and support—the two major constants in my life.
We’d had some tough times in the 1970’s when oil and gasoline prices skyrocketed and American-made cars had been shown to be inferior to those made in Europe and Japan. I improved sales with gasoline giveaways and free oil changes. The dealerships bought gasoline wholesale and we had several 10,000 gallon tanks so we rarely ran short. We did have a laugh one day when a new employee ran into my office just a minute in front of Barbara ranting and gesticulating about some crazy woman who wanted him to fill her tank. He was red-faced when he learned who she was, but Barbara just laughed it off.
We had been married eight years when we learned that Mr. Gleason had passed—a heart attack while at work. Yes, he refused to retire, often telling us that he enjoyed his work as a bank guard too much to give it up. Sadly, my uncle Dave died just three months later from cancer.
My parents and all of their siblings are long gone, my parents spending their golden years in a spacious home on a canal in Fort Lauderdale that I bought and still own. Barbara and I spent our winters there, splitting our time between there and Shoreham over the past twenty-five years. Oh, how the memories come flooding back at a time like this!
We had learned that Barbara had terminal cancer only a month ago and were told then that the cancer was invasive and that no treatment would help her. When I asked the doctors how long she would have I was shocked to hear, “Maybe five or six weeks.” Barbara told me then that she wanted me to take her home.
Our children and their families were there waiting for us and it was obvious that they had been crying. “Please, don’t cry for me. I’ve had a long and wonderful life with the best husband imaginable and wonderful loving children and grandchildren. Why don’t you go out and get something to eat. Please give your father and me an hour of privacy. I don’t know how many opportunities we’ll have before I have to leave you.”
“Gee, Mom,” Jennifer said with a tragic laugh. “Is that all you think about.”
“You know how much your father and I love each other. I see no reason why we should stop now.” Everyone came up to hug and kiss us then we were alone as I led Barbara to our bedroom where I helped her to undress. “Take me now, Jack. I’ll want to do this as much as we can in the time we have left.” I stripped out of my clothes as quickly as I could then climbed between her legs. The freakish changes to my brain meant that ED had never been an issue for me.
I held my body above hers and tried to slowly and gently enter her until she stopped me. “No, Jack, take me the way you did our first time. Give me a fucking I’ll remember until the end of time. You can’t hurt me any more than I’m hurting now.” I did as she asked, pounding her sweet pussy, my lips on hers as my tears fell like rain. Barbara managed two orgasms before I managed to ejaculate into her. I climbed off and covered her with the blanket, telling her over and over how much I loved her. That turned out to be our last time together. She went back into the hospital and then to hospice two days later.
I turned around and gazed lovingly on Barbara’s greatest achievements—our four children and their spouses. They have wonderful loving marriages and I have twelve grandchildren and twenty-five great-grandchildren. Our son Rob has run my businesses—now the property of all the kids—ever since I retired almost thirty years ago. Thanks to Barbara there never was any sibling rivalry between them. Brianna’s husband, Scott, runs the Cadillac dealership. Jennifer’s husband, Brad, manages the Toyota dealership, and Chuck, Casey’s husband runs the restaurants. Robert’s son, Jack, manages the GMC franchise. They’re great people even though I still think of them as kids.
They all have tears in their eyes as my attention returns to the woman I have loved unconditionally for longer than I can remember. She squeezes my hand and I move closer as she speaks in what is barely a whisper, the terrible pain etched into her face. “I have always loved you, Jack. Thank you for being such a wonderful husband. I’ll be waiting for you in….” The room was silent then except for the weeping. My beautiful Barbara was gone.
I stood slowly and leaned forward to kiss her forehead tenderly for the last time. “I’ll miss you terribly, my love, but not for very long.” Yes, I’ve had a flash of my impending death. I don’t mind. I’ve had a wonderful life blessed by an incredible woman. There’s nothing left for me to do. Brianna and Jennifer took me by the arms as they led me from the room. I turned back to gaze upon my love’s inert form. “I’ll see you soon, my sweet wife,” I whisper to myself. “I’ll be completely lost without you.” I know that I’ll see her again in less than two months, passing in my sleep. They’ll say I died of a broken heart and they’ll be right. I turned again and trudged into the hallway, counting the days until Barbara and I would be together forever.