HARDYS INN DANGER by Ann
The car and air show had been added onto a fun, family, community event that started back in the late 1800s. According to photos, it varied some throughout the years, but some elements like the fireworks, music, rides, game booths, food, and air show were constant features. Barnstorming, like the biplane tricks Joe, Jamal, and I performed earlier, is said to have been very popular in the 1920s.
There were a number of rides, including the ever-popular Ferris Wheel. It was invented by George Ferris, Jr., in 1893 for Chicago’s Colombian Exposition. Callie and I have loved this ride since we each first rode on one.
We waited in a not-surprisingly-long line. It wasn’t moving particularly fast, but that was okay. They had the lines going back and forth in a single file. That could have been annoying since we like standing next to each other, but it still worked out nicely, since Callie leaned back against her boyfriend.
As we moved up closer, we would occasionally see family and friends go by and exchange waves with us. The sun was pretty warm and let me tell you, the clothes we were wearing weren’t the best idea for the summertime warmth. Thankfully it wasn’t record heat, like 1926 Troy, New York’s high temperature of 108. Of course that’s better than 1913, July 10th, Greenland Ranch, California with 134 degrees.
“We’ll need to buy some lemonade before starting the walk to the Bijou,” I commented to Callie as we got nearer the Ferris Wheel.
“You okay?” she asked, twisting around a little to look up at me.
“Sure, I’m fine. It’s not been that long since lunch, but with these clothes and the summer sun, that walk is going to require it. Even though it’s not that far.”
She nodded. “Good idea. I could probably use something nice and cold by then.”
Once it was our turn to climb in and get secured in our seats, we were really ready for that cool breeze as the wheel began to move. The slight jerk of movement was replaced by the gentle sway of the car.
As we rose up above Bayport, we looked over the expanse of land, trees, a variety of foliage, houses, and buildings. A spectacular sight. The green of summer surrounded downtown and throughout the area beyond.
“Wow,” Callie breathed. “Gorgeous.”
“You sure are.”
Callie looked over and smiled. “Why, thank you, Frank Hardy. You’re even better to look at than all of that.”
I grinned at her compliment. “Thank you. Are you trying to make me blush?” I teased.
“Nope, just stating fact,” she said.
I laughed, but I liked it. Seemed like a great time to kiss and have a great time kissing. Minutes, kisses, and sighs later, we returned our attention to the scenery of Bayport. We watched as we went around in a huge, slow circle.
“You can see a little bit of the Bijou over there,” I said.
“Yep. We should probably start heading over there after this,” Callie said, with a glance at her phone before slipping it back in her pocket.
“Does Joe seem….,” I searched to describe how my brother was acting. I know him pretty well, and something was definitely concerning him. “Puzzled? Like something is troubling him?”
“Yeah, I’ve noticed sometimes he doesn’t seem sure what we’re meaning. It’s like he’s really into this 1927 back in time thing.” Callie thought quietly for a moment. “He’s doing a great job.”
“True. I was thinking those things, too. He’s been studying the time period a lot, like we all have. I played a little trick on him this morning,” I said. Callie gave me a look, so I quickly explained.
She smiled after I finished the story. “You bad boy.”
I grinned. “He took it pretty well, but I know he’s going to get me back. Just not sure how.”
“So you’ve kinda been waiting for it, half expecting something any moment?”
“Exactly. That’s why I just wasn’t sure whether it was my imagination or even a prank.” I shrugged.
“Well, I definitely say keep observing. Then you can be ready for whatever reason it turns out to be. But it does require some more information. Do you want to ask him particular questions to gauge the possibilities of what’s going on?”
“Maybe. Iola’s noticed, too, asking him if he’s okay. Maybe she’s finding out right now what’s on his mind.”
The wheel had already been stopping every little bit as people got off and on then it was soon our turn. As we got off and started walking, we saw Joe and Iola heading our way.
“Look at Joe’s blush through his dark tan!” whispered Callie. “I don’t think it’s a sunburn. Wonder what’s up with that?”
“Even Joe can be shy sometimes,” I said with a grin.
“Maybe he’s getting overheated and needs a cool drink,” Callie said quietly as we got closer to my brother and his girl.
“Couldn’t hurt.” I chuckled. Louder, I said, “How about we get some lemonade to drink while we head over to the Bijou.”
“That sounds great,” Joe said, to which Iola agreed.
I looked down at Callie and gave a nod, which she got. While Joe and I got the lemonades for them, the two girls sat under a shady tree on a bench.
“Fun day, huh?” I asked with a smile as we waited to get the refreshing drinks.
“Sure is,” Joe agreed.
“You doing alright? It’s getting warmer.”
“I’ve noticed. I’m okay. Good thing we have our lighter summer clothes on,” he said.
“Uh, yeah. Definitely better than winter clothes. We’re used to a little lighter weight clothes than this, though.”
Again, Joe did that strangely quiet thing. I’ve known my brother all his life and I can read him pretty well. When he gets quiet, which does happen even when he’s not sleeping, it’s noticeable. I’m more prone to being quiet, but that doesn’t mean he never is.
I waited a short time to see if he said anything, because he does usually confide in me. It helps to talk about stuff. He does better not bottling things up.
“Why so quiet, buddy?” I asked.
He gave a slight shrug and looked around.
“Something’s bothering you. What’s up?”
He looked at me a little perplexed and finally asked, “Why is your suit a different shade than when we were at home?”
I glanced down at my suit then back at my brother. “Maybe the lighting made it look like that?” We had tried the clothes on when we got them for the event then hadn’t put these on again until this morning. We were both wearing blue suits, but different shades.
He raised his eyebrows, considering the idea. Slowly he nodded. “That must be it.”
I nodded also. Yet, as we walked back over to the girls, I couldn’t help but wonder why my brother had thought my suit was a different shade. Was that important? I decided it was.