Monday, August 12, 2013

Hometown Monday - Oak Springs Bank - The Flanders/Campbell Family

Hometown Monday
Oak Springs Bank
The Flanders/Campbell Family

This is the fifth of an expected irregular series of posts of excerpts from the novels, novellas, and short stories of "The Homeplace Series" Family Saga story-telling, to provide an insight into the story lines that may not be clear from other promotional pieces about "The Homeplace Series." These will also be coordinated with the content of the developmental Wiki, "Beyond the Books" - to expand the information available there, as well.

Today, we will introduce two supporting characters, Harry Flanders and Victor Campbell. This post today, along with the companion post on Wednesday, serve to demonstrate how characters, and families, carry through from the Founding to the Present as "The Homeplace Series" continues.

1) Harry Flanders was introduced in "Back to the Homeplace" as the town banker, but we also learned how long a history he had with the Bevins family members on a personal basis. (You will see on Wednesday, at the Wiki, how Harry is related to the Campbell banking family.)

The following excerpt from "Back to the Homeplace" is from Friday, May 8, 1987:

The aisles of the Wal-Mart were full of shoppers getting ready for the weekend just like she was. Karen guided her cart toward the beverage display. Jason needed his Diet Coke, she noted from her shopping list.  Of course, I'll drink it too, but calling it his makes him feel good. It was a running joke for how many years? Whether we are living in Missouri or Arizona makes little difference, does it. Life goes on. For all the big events we focus on, it is really all the little things in life that make it worthwhile, she reminded herself.

"See you are stocking up for the long week-end, too, Karen." Harry Flanders was standing not three feet away, filling his cart with Diet Coke, also. They shared a laugh.

"I didn't even see you, Harry. I must have been in dreamland somewhere."

"We're all entitled once in a while."

"You doing the shopping while Sarah helps Lisa with wedding preparations?"

Harry chuckled, "She is still doing plenty of shopping, thank you! My girth may not look like it, but I do prefer my Diet Coke. Sarah will get three bottles and complain it weighs too much. I come in and get eight or ten for a long weekend. I don't want to run out!"

Karen nodded her understanding. "Seriously, how are the wedding plans progressing?"

"Quite well, really…  about a month to go now. I even think Doug will show up, finally. He has been so nervous since he got to Oak Springs. Last night, he came over to the house and talked about the arrangements for over an hour. A pleasant and welcome development."

"As I recall, you were pretty nervous before you and Sarah tied the knot, too."

"That was a long time ago." Harry sighed, letting his guard down just a little. "You were part of those long ago times, too, weren't you?"

"Clear back to the one-room country school house, Harry. Remember Oak Creek School #4? Our biggest concern was what our mothers had put in our lunch boxes."

"And who would pitch first in the ball game after lunch." Harry's normally stern face softened as he recalled long hidden memories. "I never wanted to admit you were a better pitcher than I was."

"Do I actually hear you admitting it now, Harry Flanders. After forty some years, finally, a full confession!"

Karen's face flushed. She realized her voice had risen. Several people nearby had turned to listen to this "confession" being made by the banker in the beverage aisle.

"Yes. I confess that you could pitch a baseball better than I could when we were ten years old. I was better by the time we were twelve, but, at ten, you were better." He chuckled out loud at the image.

"You could put that ball right over the pasture patty we used as a home plate every time."

"You never slid into home plate, either, as I recall," Karen grinned. "What carefree days. Our kids did miss out on a few things growing up in towns and city schools."

"Thanks for the memories, Karen. I'll try to keep this wedding, and the rest of life, in perspective. When I get too serious, I can recall those ball games in the pasture next to Oak Creek School #4 and smile."  

"Will we see you at Graduation at the High School next week?"

"I'll be there. It is always a joy to see all those fresh faces going out into the world. Wouldn't miss it."

2) The Campbell Family was the first to settle in the Oak Creek Valley after the initial settlers, arriving in 1836 following the initial 1833 settlers. See the information in the Wiki, on Wednesday, to see the connections through the years.

The following excerpt is from the "Summer 1843 Progress Report" Short Story:

"Victor Campbell, along with his wife, Camilla, and their two teenage sons, Ralph and Delbert, had settled on 160 acres along the Western Branch creek below the ridge line in 1836.  All three men were experienced with working with mules in their agricultural pursuits. They brought a total of seven mules with them along with a herd of six beef cattle."

"May each of us have a Homeplace to hold onto, if only in our minds."

Bill  ;-)

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