Monday, September 23, 2013

Hometown Monday - C is for Cletus and Carter Ogden

Hometown Monday
C is for Cletus and Carter Ogden

We are continuing this series of posts of excerpts from the novels, novellas, and short stories of "The Homeplace Series" Family Saga story-telling, with a new twist. We have adopted a format from the: "Blogging From A to Z Challenge." Each week we will share a published except related to a person whose name begins with that letter. 

This series of posts is 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. [Links in the text, below, provide more information on that person or entity]

Today we look at C. For C, we have (with two excerpts, below):

Callie - patient of Karen in Tucson, first novel only

Carter Ogden - see comments, and excerpt, below…

Charles Medford - State Senator; first novel only, but, may reappear later, if needed

Charlotte (Crane) McDonald - deceased - grandmother of Mildred (McDonald) Bevins - we'll look at her more in the future.

Christopher Ogden - We saw more about him earlier, here and here and here

Clarice McCauley, Rev. - Minister, First United Methodist Church

Cletus - neighbor and farm worker at stables, also appears in "The Homeplace Revisited"

A Cletus excerpt from "Back to the Homeplace" from Sunday, August 16, 1987:

Bart continued that as he had made some careful inquiries recently, a couple of unexpected bits of information had been disclosed. Cletus, their neighbor, immediately to the south, Jason did know him, who did fieldwork for Bart on a pretty regular basis, and with the horses, mentioned to Bart that his parents might be ready to sell their land. Now that they had both moved into the nursing home, permanently, they had actually raised the issue themselves of possibly selling their 80 acres. Cletus said he really didn’t want the responsibility. His folks had been on the place “forever” and everyone just assumed Cletus would continue the tradition. They had four riding horses, as well. In talking to Cletus, Cletus himself had actually mentioned the possibility of bringing the horses up to Bart’s place, so that they could be “looked after” all together. He had said their barn was in such poor repair… and they didn’t really have the cash to fix it. Cletus said he liked being around Bart’s place.

The additional of four more horses would make nine, and they would “need to earn their keep” was the way Bart described the situation to Jason. Diane said this had gotten them to thinking about the alternatives, just as the trustee’s meeting asked them to think about the future. She added that she had been thinking about wanting to do some different things, and this just might meet that need as well. Reading their horse related magazines with an eye toward alternative revenue sources led pretty quickly to the idea of trail rides, guided tours, nature interpretation, etc. They might even be tied into Paul’s talk of tours of the mill and the river. Diane’s English background would certainly be useful in preparing brochures and marketing materials, as well.

“We had never given a moment’s notice to the idea of “tourism on the farm” – but now, we can hardly think of anything else, and are wondering if we are really on to something, or just plain crazy?” Bart finished with a big grin on his face. He seemed to be relieved to have told Jason their thoughts to this point.

Jason replied, “Not crazy, but caution is reasonable. We each need to continue to collect information and we need to put all that information together. It does seem we have some synergy here… several pieces of the same puzzle seem to be coming together. Is it too good to be true? How does it all fit? What are the real facts, apart from the concepts? These are the kinds of questions we need to be prepared to take to the next trustees meeting.

Carter Ogden was the lawyer that helped get the

A Carter Ogden excerpt from "Back to the Homeplace" from Tuesday, February 17, 1987:

Jason noticed that Carter Ogden was unusually solemn greeting each family member as they arrived for the scheduled meeting. The family attorney for many years, Carter Ogden was like a family member himself. "Rough day, Carter?"

"Yes, Jason. This is not a meeting I have been looking forward to. You are all good friends. I told Frank and Mildred this would be difficult for me. They still insisted it was what they wanted!" Carter moved toward the conference room door. "Please join me in the conference room, everyone. We can get started now."

The dark mahogany panels on all four walls of the conference room added suspense that something very serious was about to happen. At the far end of the room, a large television screen was placed just to the left of center. To the right of center was an artist’s easel. It appeared to hold a number of large charts covered by a blank one. Nameplates were in place around the large rectangular conference table. It seated sixteen, Jason observed, two on each end and six down each side.

Bart and Diane followed Carter and took their places in the first two chairs on the right side of the table.  As he helped Diane with her chair, Bart said, "Seems mighty formal; but if this is what Mom wanted, fine." Bart shook his head as he took his seat.

"Didn't you ever disagree with what she said, Bart?" Beverly had ushered Paul to their chairs on the left side of the table directly across from Bart and Diane. "I'm beginning to wonder if she still had all her faculties when she planned all this rigmarole." Beverly's eyes darted down the room to where Carter had taken the far seat on the right side. "What is all this stuff for, anyway?"

Carter was reviewing the papers in front of him. He ignored both the words and the stare Beverly leveled at him.

Karen and Jason took their assigned seats at the near end of the table. Jason noticed that Peter was still standing, seemingly in near shock, staring at the person already seated in the chair next to Carter. The young man seated did not notice Peter's gaze. He was poring over the several papers in three stacks before him. Peter now quickly moved to his place beside Diane. Just one empty chair separated him from the well-dressed mystery person.

Carter stood and faced the group assembled. "You all know Harry Flanders, President of Oak Springs State Bank." Carter introduced the gentleman seated across the table from him.

Jason had come to know Harry Flanders as the quintessential small town banker. Silver haired and in his mid-fifties, the impeccably attired banker more than adequately filled out his three-piece, charcoal suit. The gold watch chain across his girth matched the arrogance of his nod of acknowledgement as he was introduced, Jason noted.

Continuing, Carter smiled down at the young man to his left. "I am pleased to introduce the newest member of our community, my new junior partner, Douglas Johnson. Doug just got into town last evening. I feel very fortunate to have Doug joining us here. He has a fine reputation in St. Louis as a trial lawyer, but now wants to broaden his interests into general practice here in Oak Springs."
The handsome young lawyer with blond hair and a fair complexion stood, facing straight ahead, as his name was presented. Only after Carter paused did he begin to acknowledge those seated across from him. That was followed by a nod toward Karen and Jason, then Bart and Diane. Seeing Peter, the smile left his face. Without saying a word, he looked down at the papers stacked in front of him and sat down.

Carter continued. "For the record, my secretary, Edith Brown, seated next to Mr. Flanders, is taking notes and recording these proceedings. We are gathered here today for the presentation of Phase II of the Last Will and Testament of Frank and Mildred Bevins. Present are the four surviving children and their respective spouses. Peter is single." Carter stepped to the video tape player.  "It was the request of Mildred that the following video tape be played at this time. She asked that you be sitting in the seats you were assigned so she could feel she was speaking to each of you directly." 

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

Bill  ;-)

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