Monday, September 30, 2013

Hometown Monday - D is for Diane, Don and more

Hometown Monday
D is for Diane, Don and more

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 D. For D, we have (with two excerpts, below):

Danny Urich - Manager of McDonalds in Oak Springs in 1987, in "Murder by the Homeplace;" His wife is Jill.

Diane (Spencer) Bevins - Wife of Bart Bevins - see first excerpt, below

Dick Nixon - Editor and Publisher of the Oak Springs Enterprise in 1987

Doc Evans - veterinarian; approaching retirement, turned over his large animal clients to Jennifer in 1996

Don Kirk - lawyer at the Ogden Law Firm - see second excerpt, below

Donnie Bevins - first year student at OCC in 1987; deceased in 1996; son of Bart and Diane Bevins; sister of Jennifer Bevins

Douglas Johnson - lawyer with Ogden Law Firm, early in 1987; victim in "Murder by the Homeplace" late in 1987

A Diane excerpt from "Back to the Homeplace" from Monday, March 2, 1987:

"We should be able to get in an hour ride before dark, Mom." Jennifer cinched up the girth of the saddle on Bon Jovi, her chestnut stallion. "The days are finally getting longer."

Diane smiled back and moved her palomino mare, Marilyn, toward the drive away from the barn. "It has been hard to get out for a ride, hasn't it? The wind has been blowing so cold its just no fun. The calm today is very welcome." The sun shone brightly in the western sky as mother and daughter rode side by side down the lane from their house to the main road. A flock of little horned larks were visible in the field along the road where Bart had fed hay to the cattle earlier in the day.  On the other side a pair of cardinals chased each other in a patch of giant horseweed and ragweed. 

"How are you and Dad taking having all the family around? You seem just fine, but...are you really?"  Jennifer felt as though she hadn't had a minute alone with her mother in two weeks. They hadn't even talked about the will meeting. This should be the chance to do that.

Diane looked a little surprised at the question. "I am fine. Thank you for asking. It has been a strain, though… especially for your father. He has worked so hard on this farm since his Dad died. I don't know what he'll do if he can't keep working it."

"Can you tell me what is really happening? Before they all came you told Donnie and me what was going on. Now I feel left out a little. You and Dad have been so busy, it seems."

"Well, it is kind of complicated and none of us really knows as much as we would like. Your grandma used videotape, a “TV will,” for this part of her will. She talked to each of us just like she was there in front of us. Your father actually cried; tears just ran down his cheeks." Diane shook her head as she recalled. "She told us how important it was to her and your Grandfather Frank that the farm be kept together. They also wanted each of us to continue to benefit from the family farm life into the coming generations. Beverly seems convinced that Mildred was senile when she made the tape. I must admit to having wondered a little myself."

Jennifer tightened her grip on the reins as a quail took flight with a whurrrr from the roadside just in front of her. Bon Jovi did a nervous dance but then moved forward. "It is hard to imagine grandma sitting there talking into a video camera. I always thought she was pretty old-fashioned, actually. Maybe I was wrong."

"Carter says she saw an article in Successful Farming magazine and asked him if he could do it with her. She and Frank had talked about this plan a lot, had it all worked out. Being able to tell us about it ‘in person,’” Carter said, “made her feel we would all take the news better." Diane chose her words carefully, Jennifer could tell. "She was right, though. It was a shock to hear that it would actually be over two more years before we know for sure what will happen, who will own or control the farm. Seeing her actually saying the words did make it more believable, I must admit."

"Have you talked to Donnie? Does he understand there is still so much uncertainty?  What does it mean to him?" Jennifer was thinking of all the plans she had heard Donnie and Melanie talking about, about being a part of the farm operation...soon.

"No, he has been at school and with Melanie. The right chance just hasn't come up yet. Your father and I aren't sure ourselves how we feel about it." Diane hesitated with each thought.  It was almost as if this was the first time she had seriously considered that situation, Jennifer noted.

Diane continued, hesitantly. "It's hard to talk to anyone. We expected to be here 'forever'. Any other alternative wasn't considered. Your father has retreated into his own thoughts. He has hardly talked to me since the meeting, to tell you the truth." Diane slapped Marilyn into a trot as they turned right, onto the main road. Jennifer followed suit and they rode in quiet for a quarter mile. The cheery voice of a Carolina wren, singing as though it were summer, was the only sound to disturb the beat of the hoofs on the gravel.


A Don Kirk excerpt from "The Homeplace Revisited" from Thursday, August 15, 1996:

Returning from lunch, Christopher walked back into the office with Don Kirk, the other lawyer in their firm. Carter had hired Don late in the fall that Christopher went off to college, in 1987. Carter and Don had known each other since law school in St. Louis. While Carter had returned to the small town law practice, Don had stayed near home in St. Louis and gone into corporate practice and had served in several political appointments in recent years. He said he was more than ready to join a small town firm to finish his career to retirement. He was the same age as Carter, and they both hoped that Christopher would join the firm when he was ready, as he had done. Neither had anticipated the challenge that now faced them; that Carter would not be around much longer.

Christopher had gone to the Rotary Club luncheon meeting with Don today because the speaker was their local State Senator Charles Medford. Keeping current on local politics is always critical for each lawyer in a local law firm.

As they returned, Don told Christopher that the easement issue on the road through the Bevins property had been before he joined the firm. However, he had been involved in a few cases of environmental endangered species cases, in the past, so he would be happy to consult and help in any way he could with the current situation. Christopher returned to his office to renew his research on the issues he now faced.

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

Bill  ;-)

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