Friday, January 22, 2016

Episode 17 - Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace, January 1999

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 17 - Christopher; Tuesday morning…

{From the close of Episode 16 - Bruce Randolph speaking:

“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.}

Christopher maintained his calm exterior, but inside, his mind and his guts were churning. “That is certainly an interesting revelation, to be sure. You understand, of course, that the family, the Bevins Trustees, will not accept that claim on your word, at face value?”

“Of course.” Randolph allowed a hint of a smile to show on his face. “Were you aware there was a sister?”

Christopher took just a moment to gather his thoughts. “Not personally, no. But, I was not involved back in 1986-87 when Mildred Bevins died and the Trust was created. I was still in high school. My father was the family attorney at that time. I am confident that those kinds of issues would have been carefully considered then.”

“Well, I can assure you that it is true. She died, in New York, shortly after I was born, and never had the opportunity to return to Missouri to claim her birthright. I am now here to do that.” The smile was gone. A look of fierce determination took its place.

“What factual documentation are you prepared to offer us, Mr. Randolph, to substantiate your claim? That would, of course, be our first request. Your name is not even Bevins. But I assume you also have an explanation for that. Perhaps a birth certificate with your mother’s name on it? That would be a good place to start.”

“I don’t have that with me, today. I first wanted to establish whether you would take my claim seriously, or if you would try to throw me out of your office.”

He seemed sincere in saying that, Christopher observed. “This office, I, adhere to the rule of law… and documentation. My current ignorance of facts you claim I actually see as useful, at this point. I have no prejudice one way or another. I’ll look at your documentation; listen to the rest of your story. I’ll check with the family, examine documentation we have in the files here, and we’ll see where it leads us. That is my approach. Is there anything more you’d like to share with me at this point?”

“No. I’ll give you some time to take this in, and talk to the family. I’ll return on Thursday morning. Will that work for you?”

“That will work well, Mr. Randolph. I’ll look forward to seeing you then.”

Bruce Randolph rose from his chair, and left the office.

Christopher sat at his desk, following Randolph’s departure with his eyes. He wondered to himself, “What proof does he have? What documentation do we have? What will happen next?”

Joan’s appearance at his doorway brought him back to the present. “Good. Joan, we have work to do.”

[To be continued - next Friday]

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

Dr. Bill  ;-)


  1. Life in Oak Springs gets just a little more complicated!! How do you do it Bill? Well Done!! As always looking forward to more.

    1. How would you respond to this kind of situation? I'm proud of Christopher, but concerned for the family... Thank you for your comment! Much appreciated! ;-)

  2. Replies
    1. What will they find in the files they search? What would you look for that would be useful? Thanks for your visit and comments! ;-)