[From time to time, I will illustrate my story characters with: Richard Armitage as Sam Wakeforest, Marcia Gay Harden as Sam’s older sister Tessa Wakeforest Shoop Delaney, and Emily Deschanel as Tessa’s sister-in-law Olivia Delaney Wakeforest, Viola Davis as Pauletta Perkins, Cicely Tyson as Nellie Newton, Anna Sophia Robb as Alice Trent, Kevin Spacey as Roger Delaney, Sam Heughan as Todd Wakeforest, Idris Elba as Dominic Perkins, the late Polly Holliday as the Waitress Madge, Donald Sutherland as Aldus Warren, Teri Polo as Lillian Warren, and Ewan McGregor as David Warren, and others as noted.]
Author’s Content Note: “Love in the Great Pine Woods” is a mature love story with dramatic themes of love and relationships. It will mostly be at the PG and PG-13 movie levels. Specific chapters or passages may have a further rating of: L for language, D for dramatic emotions, and S for sensual themes. And I will rate the chapters accordingly. If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the ratings that I provide for a chapter, then please do not read that chapter. This is my disclaimer. And as is my habit, I will summarize the previous chapter’s events at the beginning of the next chapter.
Author’s Recap from the Previous Chapter: On Saturday, June 4th, 1956, Sam Wakeforest surprised his wife Olivia with a renovated fishing cabin on Hidden Lake—which is located well away from the heart of the Wakeforest Mountain, in order to ease her fears about returning to the mountain after her injuries and a vacationer’s death in the avalanche last January. And they spent a lovely weekend enjoying their new retreat. However, the following Saturday, there will be something unexpected that begins to make itself known in their lives.
“Love in the Great Pine Woods”, Ch. 36 (PG-13, D): Festival & Fate, Part 1
Sam and Olivia Wakeforest proudly walk hand in hand throughout the Wakeforest Summer Family and Flower Festival held at the Wakeforest County fairgrounds just outside of town this bright and sunny June 11th, 1956. There are carnival rides, booths by Wakeforest County businesses and locals with homemade crafts, food, and furniture to sell, the flower show—as well as, various fundraising booths for local charities such as the Wakeforest County Hospital, the Wakeforest County Orphanage, etc.
Sam and Olivia had already done their volunteer stint at the Wakeforest County Orphanage’s fundraising booth in the morning—selling homemade kitchen linens, desserts, and such. So now in the early afternoon it is their turn to enjoy the festival. And Olivia makes a beeline to the baby wares booths clustered together—where all manner of handmade knitted and crocheted baby clothes, blankets, and other baby things await. Olivia is fully five months pregnant and into her sixth month. So her maternal hormones are kicking into overdrive—along with her baby kicking in her womb quite a bit.
Sam: “Olivia, please slow down. You need to pace yourself.” Sam remarks in some concern as his very pregnant wife Olivia drags him to the festival booths selling baby stuff. “The baby booths aren’t going anywhere.” He teases.
Olivia: “Baby booths? You almost make it sound like they’re selling babies. Ha ha ha!”
Sam: “You know what I mean, Olivia. Look at the piles and piles of baby stuff. They’re not going to run out. But just remember, that whatever we buy we have to be able to carry it all home.” He admonishes her gently.
Olivia: “No, Sam. “ Olivia smiles minxishly [(2) right] at her husband Sam. “You have to carry it all home.” Sam grins, caught by his wife’s knowing statement. “This is our first child. I want him or her to have wonderful things to make its life joyful!”
Sam: “Alright, alright.” Sam acquiesces while shaking his head in bemusement.
Then Olivia proceeds to examine and purchase crocheted and knitted baby booties, jackets, hats, and blankets—in both pink and blue, just in case. Sam looks on with indulgence—and a great amount of manly pride. Olivia is carrying their child, what will be their first born. And Sam relishes this special time in their lives.
Meanwhile, an average sized man in a dark business suit and tie—with black rimmed eye glasses and a brimmed hat—knocks upon the door to the Wakeforest family home, where Sam and Olivia live. He pats at a bulge in his suit jacket’s left front pocket. The home’s door is opened by the housekeeper Mrs. Ventura—he just caught her before she left to enjoy the Wakeforest Festival.
Mrs. Ventura: “Yes?” The housekeeper asks curiously.
Mr. Quimby: “Is this the Samuel Wakeforest home?”
Mrs. Ventura: “It is.” Mrs. Ventura states reticently, but she wonders why this man is asking questions.
Mr. Quimby: “Is he at home?” He asks impatiently.
Mrs. Ventura: “Who wants to know?”
Mr. Quimby: “I am Mr. Quimby.”
The name means nothing to Mrs. Ventura. And she feels very wary. Then her husband walks up behind her in the foyer. She whispers into her husband’s ear something that Mr. Quimby can’t hear. Then Mr. Ventura pointedly looks up at the man.
Mr. Ventura: “Is anything wrong?”
Mrs. Ventura: “This person says he is a Mr. Quimby. He is asking for Mr. Sam.”
Mr. Quimby: “I am. And to whom am I speaking?”
Mr. Ventura: “I am Mr. Ventura.” The elder gentleman offers concisely. “Mr. and Mrs. Wakeforest are not at home at present. I suggest that you call ahead next time and make an appointment. Or if this is a business matter, please contact Mr. Wakeforest at the lumber mill.” Mr. Ventura doesn’t want this suspicious man coming around when Mrs. Olivia is at home alone—not in her delicate condition.
Mr. Quimby: “Ah! So is that where Mr. Wakeforest is now? At the Mill?”
Mr. Ventura: “I couldn’t say.” Mr. Ventura responds with discretion as he shakes his head.
Mr. Quimby: “Couldn’t say? Or won’t say?” The unknown man asks cagily.
Mr. Ventura: “We have answered your questions. Now you should please leave, or we will contact the local police and report that you are trespassing.”
Mr. Quimby: “You really don’t want to do that.” Quimby sneers. “I have a legal right to be here.”
The mature Ventura wife and husband stare down this interloper who would make such a strange pronouncment. But they say nothing further to him.
Mr. Quimby: “Very well. But I will find Mr. Wakeforest. Be sure of that.” He glares at the Venturas for a long moment, before he turns around and heads back to his car parked haphazardly in the circle drive.
After Mr. Ventura shuts the door on the departing unknown man, he and his wife lock it and then quickly walk into the living room to watch from the front window to make certain that the man drives away. After they see his car pass through the gate at the end of the driveway—presumably headed to the Wakeforest Family Lumber Mill five miles away on Wakeforest Mountain—they phone the Delaney home, just managing to catch Same Wakeforest’s sister Mrs. Tessa Delaney and relate to her the details of the unknown man’s disturbing visit.
The Venturas also do not feel comfortable leaving the Wakeforest Family home unattended from them to go to the Festival. So Tessa thanks them for their concerns and promises to phone them after she has spoken with her brother Sam when she meets him at the Festival. She hopes to see Sam in about ten minutes.
Tessa races her automobile toward the Wakeforest County Fairgrounds on the outskirts of town to look for her brother Sam and his wife Olivia. She doesn’t notice a nondescript car with Mr. Quimby in it driving toward her, that then turns off onto the Wakeforest Mountain road that leads to the Wakeforest Family Lumber Mill.
Tessa’s husband Roger had earlier driven their kids Alice and little Bobby into town first to have a dad outing with just he and them at the hardware store before meeting her at the Fairgrounds. Tessa doesn’t know who this Mr. Quimby might be, but she wants to get to Sam and Olivia quickly.
Roger Delaney delightedly [(3) right] carries his two year old son Bobby in his arms while his and Tessa’s fifteen year old daughter Alice walks beside them at the Barker Hardware Store in Wakeforest. Alice has been a sport to go to the hardware store with he and Bobby—to look at fishing poles as a Dad’s outing. The next outing will be Alice’s choice. However, Roger realizes quickly that Bobby is, perhaps still too little to truly enjoy fishing when Bobby grabs at and inadvertently drops a heavy spool of fishing line that unrolls itself down a very long merchandise aisle in the 75 year old store with uneven flooring. The Hardware store clerk just looks at Roger Delaney knowingly. The banker Roger Delaney is wearing his casual weekend attire of a dress shirt with the top unbuttoned and no tie, under his suit jacket.
So instead of fishing poles, Roger shifts his attention to something better suited to a two year old boy and he buys he and Bobby baseball gloves and small kid sized lighter weight and smaller sized base balls. In fact, Bobby seems so enamored of the notion of baseball, that Roger also buys all three of them baseball caps. Bobby looks cute in his cap worn with the cap’s bill cocked slightly to the side as Bobby leans into Roger.
Whereas Roger, the banker, looks a bit ill at ease in his ball cap—shifting the ball cap on his head, and then unmussing his hair before repositioning the ball cap several times. Finally, Alice just keeps her baseball hat in the store sack it came in. Like Tessa, Alice’s sense of fashion for hats for ladies would be more of the wide brimmed straw hat variety—with a prettily colored ribbon around the hat’s base.
After then driving his kids to the Fairgrounds for the Festival, Roger and the kids meet up with their Uncle Sam and Aunt Olivia at the tent for the flower show awards. They are standing by the Olivia peony that Mr. Ventura has entered in the show. They expect Mr. Ventura to arrive soon, since the results of the judging is soon to be announced. But they will soon find out why he has been delayed.
Sam: “Roger! Alice! Bobby! We’re over here!” Sam waves to get their attention from down the row of Fair booths as he and Olivia stand at the entrance to the Flower Show tent.
Alice: “There’s Uncle Sam and Aunt Olivia, Daddy!” She points and waves.
Roger: “What? Oh good!” Roger is grateful to have adult reinforcements for kid tending. He has been with his kids by himself for an hour now and he is running out of ideas to be amusing—hence them going to the Festival.
Olivia: Walking toward her brother, she greets him warmly with a kiss—as she lays a protective hand on her five months pregnant belly.. “Love the baseball cap, Roger.” Olivia teases.
Roger: “Oh, right!” Roger removes it from his head with his free hand and tries to unsuccessfully stuff it into his trouser pocket. “I guess I don’t need it now.”
Bobby: “Daddy wear hat!” Bobby pats Roger’s head.
Sam: Bristling at his brother-in-law’s implication, a scowling Sam asks tersely [(4) right]. “Do you have a problem with wearing a ball cap, Roger?” Though Sam is not wearing a ball cap now, he is often wearing one.
Roger: “No, of course not. It’s just … rather warm wearing a ball cap.”
Roger flusters. His brother-in-law Sam is a prickly sort at times. Whereas Sam would describe his brother-in-law Roger as being stodgy. They are both right.
Roger tries to smooth his quite disheveled hair, but gets his side parted hair wrong. Bobby plays at the long lock of hair that normally sits over the top of his Daddy’s hair, but is now hanging limply to the wrong side of his head. However Roger’s sister Olivia, takes pity on her brother, and she reaches into her purse for a small brush and holds it out to him.
Olivia: “Come here, Roger.” Olivia reaches for his hair, armed with her brush.
Roger: “What are you doing?” Roger recoils a little. Grooming in public is simply not done, in Roger’s mind. And yet, Olivia is trying to do him a favor.
Olivia: Eyeing her brother in annoyance, Olivia screws up her nose and says in a hushed whisper. “I’m fixing your comb over.”
Sam: “Ha ha ha!” Sam can’t help but chuckle a little.
Alice: “Here, Daddy. Let me take Bobby, while Aunt Olivia fixes your hair.” Alice smile wincingly. Her Mommy has been trying to get her Daddy to get his hair cut—to eliminate the comb over. But he has resisted up to now.
Bobby: “Nah! I’ve got him.” Sam reaches over and pulls his nephew Bobby into his arms. Then he hoists Bobby into the air. “You’re taller than I am!” Then Sam twirls around.
Bobby: “Wheee! Unc Sam! Eeeee!”
Roger: “Don’t twirl him too much, Sam. It upsets his stomach.” Roger pouts.
Olivia: “Oh Roger.” Olivia chuckles as she finishes fixing her brother’s hair. She rightly thinks that Roger is a little jealous of Sam’s seemingly innate rapport with little Bobby.
Roger: “Well it does.” Roger whines.
Tessa: “Sam! Sam!” Tessa calls to her brother as rushes over to him in a ladylike sprint. Tessa Wakeforest Shoop Delaney might be worried right now, but she still maintains a steely poise about her [(5) right].
Roger: “Tessa?” He looks at his wife worriedly—wondering what has gotten her agitated now. Tessa is a tad dramatic in Roger’s opinion. But afterall, her zest for life is what drew him to her.
Tessa pantingly reaches her husband, children, and brother Sam and his wife Olivia.
Tessa: “Hhhh! I hope I’m not too late!” She looks up worriedly at Sam.
Sam: “Too late?” Then he thinks he knows what she means. “Oh! No. They haven’t given out the flower show prizes yet. We were just waiting for you before we go in and sit down.”
Tessa: “We can’t go in there.” Tessa shakes her head somberly.
Olivia: “We can’t?” Olivia asks quizzically, not understanding her sister-in-law Tessa’s alarm. “But we want to see if my peony wins a prize.” Olivia winces.
Tessa: “Hhhh! Someone came to the house, for Sam, the Venturas called me.”
Sam: “What? Who? Is it the Mill?” Sam looks quickly around the fair booths to see if he can spot his brothers. But they are nowhere to be seen.
Tessa: “No! They said that a man named Quimby came to your home in a suit and tie and insisted on seeing you. I think they sent him on a wild goose chase to the mill. But he’ll surely realize that its closed for the Festival and then come here looking for you.” Tessa states logically.
Olivia and Roger eye Sam with some concern, wondering what it can be. But Sam brushes off their concern—especially for the very pregnant Olivia’s sake. He doesn’t want to worry her and cause her or the baby any distress.
Sam: “Now now, it’s probably some lumber buyer with a rush order. But he is out of luck since we’re closed today.”
Sam laconically smiles and shrugs his shoulders with a studied air of relaxed ease. He is a poker player from way back.
Tessa: “Sam? Don’t you want to call the Venturas? They didn’t feel that they should leave your home with someone strange poking about.”
Sam: “Ah! Yes. Mr. Ventura should be here in case his peony wins a prize. They’ll want a picture of him for the newspaper.” Sam states jovially while giving his sister Tessa a pointed look—as if to convey to is sister not to press the point.
Olivia: “If he wins?” Olivia teases.
Roger: “Sam, I’ll drive back to the bank and call the Venturas, asking them to come to the flower show.”
Sam: “Thanks, Roger.” Sam nods his head in acknowledgement at his brother-in-law Roger. They exchange a knowing look.
Sam doesn’t know what this man Quimby wants, but Sam’s years as a full time practicing attorney before the war give him an inkling. But what puzzles Sam is that he can’t figure out what it could be about. And a chilly breeze catches Sam and he shivers, then looks up at Wakeforest Mountain. It is his home, his livelihood, his family’s legacy. Next to Olivia and their coming child, Wakeforest Mountain means everything to Sam.
However, Mr. Quimby will soon present himself to Sam Wakeforest with tidings that will not be good for the Wakeforest Family—nor for their legacy on Wakeforest Mountain.
To be continued with Chapter 37
References for Ch. 36 by Gratiana Lovelace, May 16, 2016 (Post #912)
1) The “Love in the Great Pine Woods” story cover is a composite of two images manipped by Grati:
a) the Richard Armitage portrait is from the 2011 Project Magazine photo shoot and article interview, that was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Richard/Promos/ProjectMagJuly2011/album/slides/ProjectMag-05.html;
b) the snowy Pine forest vertical image was found on Pinterest at https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/62/fa/ff/62faff1253d55f571eb3659cc7661e73.jpg
2) Olivia Delaney Wakeforest in scoop necked dress image is Emily Deschanel at the 2012 People’s Choice Awards found at http://www.bragmybag.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/emily-deschanel-wearing-HM-outfit-1.png
3) Roger Delaney smiling image is of Kevin Spacey found at http://www.everythingspacey.com/images/pose-kevin-spacey.jpg
4) Sam Wakeforest image is Richard Armitage in 2011 Project Magazine-BlkJkt664917000Oct0111RARU-pix-sized-brt
5) Tessa Wakeforest Shoop Delaney image is of Marcia Gay Harden found at https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcia_Gay_Harden
Previous Blog Ch. 35 Story link with embedded illustrations: