1 – ONE LITTLE PROBLEM – Cobblestone Investment Trust, Chicago, Illinois, October 1993
“Bobby, I’m prepared to offer you the position of Director of Real Estate Investments, but there’s one little problem.” He leans forward, elbows on a Herman Miller executive desk, dips his head, and looks at me over the top of his reading glasses.
Scene One – PROMISES – Bobby’s kitchen, Mequon, Wisconsin, June 1950
“Dad, are we going fishing this weekend?”
“I don’t know, Bobby. I have to mow the lawn and change oil in the Oldsmobile.”
“Frank, you said the same thing to the kid last week.” Uncle Larry reaches for the coffee pot and refills his cup. “I’d like to go fishing, too, and it's already a month past opening weekend. Pretty soon the weather will be too hot and fish won’t bite.”
Scene One – REAL MAN – Mequon, Wisconsin, April 1960
Strings screech, hum, and sing with never intended song. Gold and black-varnished maple, the color of sunlight in our windowless garage attic breaks over Dad’s knee. Splinters, like dead autumn leaves, drop to the floor.
Scene One – LONE WOLF – Bobby’s home, Mequon, Wisconsin, November 1957
“He’s my hero.” I thread 16mm black-and-white movie film around sprockets and behind the lens of dad’s Keystone home movie projector.
“Who is, Bobby?” Jeannie lifts a cardboard box. “This Castle Films label says Hopalong Cassidy in Lone Wolf. Is Hoppy your hero?”
“Na. I like the Lone Wolf.” I turn toward the basement wall switch to dim the lights. He’s cool. He robs trains and doesn’t need anyone to tell him what to do–”
Scene One – DOESN’T SEEM RIGHT – Ace Diner, Bluemound Road, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, April 1951
I sit on a stool at a lunch counter between Dad and Uncle Larry. My feet dangle above the floor like tetherballs at the end of skinny ropes that swing in the wind at my playground. Dad and Uncle Larry dunk ends of one-half of their cake donuts into brown-stained, white steaming mugs of coffee. Hills Brother’s Coffee, a neon sign on the wall, glows in the early morning light. I dunk one-half of a glazed donut into a glass of milk just like a man.
About the Author
Richard Wilberg writes fiction, creative non-fiction, self-help, and career counseling articles. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin.