HARDYS INN DANGER by Ann
Iola and I had some catching up to do. She had been away for a week with her mother, father and her brother, Chet. They’d gone to visit family in California. She and I videochatted and texted a lot, which was great, but in person, now that’s even better.
Dad and Mom were going to stay with the Duesenberg first, so their sons and girlfriends could walk around to check out the sights. We gave a wave as we started off. Dad had his arm around Mom, their love for each other very obvious. Real love that is appreciated every day. Frank and I have always thought that very cool. Gotta know what’s real, then that makes good times even better and makes the best of rough times.
As we walked around, we noted that pretty much everyone was really into the whole step back in time theme. The featured cars, which included rescue and emergency vehicles, were from the 1920s and 1930s. That seemed to be the prevailing style of clothes, hats, and shoes, too.
“Hey, is this cool, or what?” called an excited voice. We looked over to where Chet, along with his girlfriend, Daphne Soesbee, were coming down past one row of cars. Both had big grins on their faces.
“Yep,” I replied. “Iola was telling me you have a new hobby, but she wouldn’t tell me what it was. Said you wanted to do a big reveal tomorrow.”
“That’s right,” Chet said then looked around as if to make sure no one could overhear, before lowering his voice to whisper and tell us mysteriously, “But not yet. Not until the time is right.”
“When will that be?” I asked, copying his tone.
“I’m not sure. But you will all find out when you all find out.” Chet grinned.
“Of course. That’s super clear.” I looked over at Iola and winked.
“Patience, Joseph, patience,” Chet said.
“I can be patient,” I stated in my defense.
“True, but not always,” Frank commented.
“Who is?” I shrugged with a grin. “You are most of the time. I know, because I test it for you. You’re welcome.”
That got me a light, brotherly punch on the arm from my brother.
“Hey, are either of you in the exhibition boxing match later?” called out our friend, Biff Hooper, as he got near.
Frank shook his head. “You?”
“Yep,” Biff said with a quick right jab to the air. “Surprised?”
Callie laughed. “We’d be surprised if you weren’t.”
Biff’s love of boxing hasn’t changed in all the time we’ve known him. His real name is Allen, but the nickname is due to a relative who’s a boxer.
“Anyone seen Al Capone or any of his boys around here?” a voice asked in a loud whisper. Tony Prito, also attired in a snap-brim hat, suit, tie, and dress shoes appeared, pretending to look around in suspicion.
“Been watching ‘The Untouchables’ again?” I asked with a grin.
A TV channel aired a lot of shows like that and we’d started watching that year before last. The show was based on the real Untouchables from the Prohibition Era, a group of agents in Chicago who wouldn’t take bribes or be corrupted. Pretty cool and honorable.
“Man, can you imagine being in Chicago back then? I’d want to be one of the Untouchables and do what I could to stop the murders, thefts, extortion, racketeering, etc.! Make the streets safe. Try to put an end to the protection racket of forcing people to pay money.” Tony looked at his friends. “I’d jump at the chance if I could time travel.”
“Then you want to check out the app Phil’s been working on,” Callie said with a smile.
“What?!?” asked Tony.
“We can ask Phil right now. Here he comes,” I stated. Our group of friends had all planned to gather at the start of the show then catch up with each other during the rest of it. Jerry Gilroy and Perry Robinson came right after Phil Cohen. All three were also dressed 1920s style.
Frank knew the app featured history trivia and games, so after everyone said hi, he started the questions. They were worded carefully to continue the prank on Tony.
“Hey Phil, are you about done that app?” Frank asked. “What was the name of it again?”
“Just about.” Phil answered. “It’s called ‘Go Back in Time’.” He looked startled when Tony gasped.
“Seriously?!?” Tony asked.
“Yeah….why not?” Phil questioned.
“You’re almost done it?!?”
“Why are you so surprised? I know I’ve been working on it almost forever, but it’s worth the effort. It should be fun, innovative, and interactive. I’m pretty pleased with it.” Phil smiled.
Tony glanced around then leaned closer to Phil. “Time travel, really?”
Phil’s eyebrows rose. “Well, I started developing it to make a cool history app with games and trivia-” He got interrupted by a shout a short distance away.
“Hi, everyone!” Jamal Hawkins called as he jogged up. “Joe, Frank, we’ve only got a few seconds. The first of our air shows just got moved up. We’re taking to the air in minutes. The rest of you get yourselves some great seats!”
The air show Jamal referred to was being done by his family’s air taxi service, Hawkins Air. We’d been practicing for the event for over a month. Giving our girlfriends a kiss each, my brother and I hurried with Jamal to get suited up.
As I climbed into the cockpit of the plane, I glanced over as someone went into the hangar. Looked kinda familiar. Where had I seen that face before? I couldn’t puzzle on it very long. We had a gig to do.
Flying is amazing. All of our practice really paid off as we did a number of tricks, including the never-fails-to-amaze-me-that-I-kept-my-cookies rolling loop de loop. We entertained the cheering crowd for a half hour then we returned to terra firma.
After we landed it was my turn to go keep watch on the Duesenberg. Iola texted me and said she would meet me there. My parents were seated on a bench not far from the car.
“You kids go have yourself some fun,” I told my parents before I climbed into the Duesenberg.
“We are,” my dad said with a grin.
I smiled back at their happiness.
“We’ll take off in a little while.” My mom looked very content snuggled next to Dad, as did he.
While I waited for Iola, I decided to look up something on my phone. Hmmm. Phil had sent me his new app. Cool. I tapped the “Go Back in Time” app. The graphics and sound were great. When it asked for the year you wanted to find out what was going on then and what it was like, I typed 1927 in Bayport, New York.
Then….I guess I fell asleep.