Friday, January 15, 2016

Episode 16, January 1999 - Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace

Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace
January 1999

This series of posts on each Friday, moving forward during 2016 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 in January of 1999, in episodic serial format…

Episode 16 - Christopher, Tuesday morning…

The new day did not spare Christopher the foreboding feelings of the previous day. Coming into the office, earlier, the temperature had been near freezing and it felt damp, but there was no precipitation, thankfully. Each day in this Ozarks mountain valley could bring changes in the weather, but this wasn’t a day of change. It was more of the same.

Sometime mid-morning, a buzz from Joan brought Christopher back to the present moment from where ever his mind had been, certainly not here. “There is a Bruce Randolph out here. He is not on your schedule. He says he wants to talk to you about the McDonald Conservancy.”

Those words put Christopher on full alert. He took a deep breath. “Please bring him to my office.” His thoughts included, “No more waiting for another phone call.”

Joan was followed into Christopher’s office by a man in a dark business suit, late fifties, early sixties, grim expression, salt and pepper hair, dark eyes. Joan said, “This is Christopher Ogden.”

“Bruce Randolph,” he shook Christopher’s extended hand, without changing expressions, and took the chair he was offered in front of Christopher’s desk.

“What can I do for you, Mr. Randolph?” Christopher had seated himself behind the desk, and maintained a calm demeanor to match that of Randolph. He was not able to read anything from his visitor’s personal appearance to give a hint as to his intentions. He waited for Randolph to speak.

“Am I correct that you are the attorney for the McDonald Conservancy?”

“Yes, our firm represents the McDonald Conservancy.”

“You also represent the Bevins Trust, which is primarily responsible for the McDonald Conservancy?

“Yes, we represent the Bevins Trust. The Bevins Trust has a relationship with the McDonald Conservancy.” Christopher was impatient to understand where this was going, but remained calm, and answered each question Randolph asked.

“I have an interest in the Bevins Trust and the McDonald Conservancy of which you are probably not aware. My mother, Ethel, was a sister of Mildred McDonald Bevins, and I am here to claim my half of the inheritance of her estate.” Randolph said this with no change of expression.

[To be continued - next Friday]

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

Dr. Bill  ;-)


  1. Wow Bill! you leave us hanging with a shocker to start off the new year. Very interesting and well done. As always, waiting for next week, I hope you have a great weekend :)

  2. Oh, I have the feeling a legal battle has just begun. Looking forward to the resolution of this problem....nice cliffhanger, Bill.

  3. Thank you... it will be interesting to see where this leads our family, for sure! ;-)