Friday, December 18, 2015

Episode 15 - Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace

Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace
January 1999

This series of posts on each Friday, henceforth, moving forward during 2015 will continue the stories of “The Homeplace Saga” series of family saga, historical fiction families in the area of Oak Springs following the novel “Christmas at the Homeplace,” which ended as 1997 began. Earlier, we have seen the community move from January 1997 through December 1998. We are now into January of 1999, in an episodic format…

Episode 15 - Beverly (from Chapter 8 draft); Tuesday morning…

Beverly was pleased when Don Kirk, in the Ogden & Kirk Law Office, said he would be happy to see her at 11 a.m. She was waiting in his outer office to see him as she remembered her earlier conversation with motel General Manager Brady McClellan. It had gone well, and he seemed pleased that she had taken the time to talk to him about their new situation, and that she had expressed full confidence in him. They had a good working relationship, and she wanted to assure him that her new presence in town was to have no reflection on their working relationship. She was now living in Oak Springs as a personal choice, not a business imperative.

Don came out to greet Beverly, and they walked back into his office together. After they got settled in, she broached the subject of her visit, the possible name change. She wanted both to understand the local procedures that would be required, and what his reaction would be.

He listened very carefully before he took a few minutes to explain the local procedures. There was an Assistant County Clerk in the County Building that housed a single courtroom and several branches of county government. A County Judge was present most every week for a day or more on a scheduled basis. Paperwork could be completed any time and filed with the clerk. It would then be put on a schedule for an appearance before the judge. That part was relatively routine, he said; it just normally took a week or two to get through the process. There was no need to go to the County Seat in Eminence. It could all be done here in town.

The decision to change her name, however, he said was entirely up to her, of course. She had asked his opinion, so he said, after some reflection, and a couple more questions that she answered, “Here are my thoughts.”

Don continued, “The Bevins and the Gates names do both have meaning in this town, each with certain associations. The Threshold name is only generally on the fringes of discussion, about your late husband and yourself. I suspect most people, to the extent they think of you at all, still think of you as Beverly Bevins... married two times. That being said, I feel there are a couple of things to consider, perhaps. Should you talk to Karen, Bart, Peter and Paul before you make the change? Should you ask them about it, or should you simple tell them what you plan to do? Again, only you can decide how to approach that. Those are my thoughts. I hope they are useful to you. I suppose the other question might be simply timing, but I’m sure you’ve thought about that.”

As a good lawyer, Don then sat and waited for Beverly to speak the next words. He had said his piece that he had been asked about.

He was not surprised, then, when Beverly simply said, “Thank you, Don. That was exactly what I needed to hear.” She seemed to take a deep breath, which ended the formal conversation, put on a smile, and shifted to her southern charm, friendly approach, “I don’t think I’ve spoken to you since you and Linda married. It’s been a while, but I hope congratulations are still in order.”

Don smiled, shifting his own demeanor ever so slightly, and replied. “No, never to late. Thank you very much. We have each found a new, and very happy, life together, I’m pleased to say.”

Linda, of course, was the widow of Carter Odgen, Don’s late law partner, and Christopher’s mother. She had started going to see Don in some plays he did at the community theater at the local college, a couple of years earlier, and those “get-togethers” had surprised each of them when they flourished into a very real romance. They had gotten married the previous summer. As a result, Don had moved in with Linda at her house, and Brian and Jennifer had moved from her apartment into the condo full-time, that Don and Brian had shared, earlier, before Ashley was born in the fall.

Don continued, “It was musical chairs with our housing, for a time, but everyone seems happy the way it all came out.”

“I’m certainly pleased to hear that,” Beverly replied. “Well, I really shouldn’t take any more of your time.”

“I’m pleased to talk with you anytime, Beverly. Never hesitate to come see me.”

Beverly stopped at McDonalds for a Fish Fillet combo that she ate in the parking lot at the City Library. As she ate the fries, she couldn’t help but think to herself, “No matter how many gourmet chef banquets I’ve eaten at, I still enjoy McDonalds’ french fries, now and then!”

[To be continued - after a holiday break, on Friday, January 15, 2016]

"May everyone have a homeplace, if only in your mind."

Dr. Bill  ;-)


  1. Thanks Bill for another interesting update. I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year :)

    1. And, the same to you, Sam. Best wishes, all the way around! Thank you! ;-)

  2. There is something about McDonalds, isn't there? We know it's horrible for us but we always return.

    Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas or just Pax Vobiscum to you, Bill.

    1. And the same back to you, Bill! Enjoy your family, and a relaxing moment or two, if you can! ;-)