The cruise ship gently lowers over the lush rolling foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. You sip your coffee, relaxing at the table on the deck as you think about the events that transpired yesterday. A ghost. You had spoken to an actual ghost! While you had to admit the trip yesterday was quite interesting, despite the constant companionship of the US military, you were concerned about your own life back home. Would someone recognize that your double wasn't you?
"Ladies and Gentlemen, we will be landing shortly. Please gather your belongings and meet Tasha on deck. Thank you," Dalton's voice ordered over the loudspeaker. Dalton had been on edge since everyone had returned to the ship last night. You wondered what could have caused his attitude change? You place the thought aside, lower your empty coffee and grab your daypack. Thank heavens the ship had returned to the United States. You never thought you would ....
You paused as you peer over the side of the deck. This wasn't the terrain of 2012 United States. You smile to yourself. Once again the cruise ship had gone back in time. Where and when were you?
“Dad, those people that Bussy invited to call on us are comin’ up the lane. You’d best get your good shirt on for they look to me like awful fancy folks! It’s a good thing we sent Bobby to town with the buckboard and horses instead of the Model T, for all of ‘em wouldn’t of fit in that little car.”
“Why, come on in, Folks. It surely is good to have you come to our farm. I’m Lena Gaffin, Bussy’s mother. We didn’t know how you were goin’ to get here in 1941 from 2012, but Bussy told us he could do it with that time travelin’ business he learned in that book. Him bein’ sickly, if he isn’t playin’ the mandolin, he’s listenin’ to the radio or readin’ a book, and he’s always doin’ some experiment or other that he’s learned in them. You were probably expectin’ Bussy to pick you up at the train depot, but he’s ailin’ bad again. Bussy got the measles a few years back and he’s had an awful misery in his chest and head ever since. All I can do is put mustard plasters on his chest and pray it draws that misery out…”
“Mom. These folks don’t want to…”
“Bus, now you get back in that bed like I told you!”
“Gee whillikers, Mom. I just want to say hello!”
“Well, alright. Come on over here with the other kids for a minute. Folks, this here redheaded feller is Bussy…now scoot on back to bed ‘til I call you for dinner, Bus. This here is my husband, Elmer, and that redheaded girl over there is our oldest girl, Roma. That white-haired boy hang doggin’ all over Roma is Lee Greene. Quit your moonin’ over Itty Bitty Boy, Roma and get back in the kitchen and tend to them skillets. We don’t want them chickens fried so tough these here folks would break their teeth on ‘em.”
“Mom! Lee isn’t Itty Bitty Boy! You shouldn’t talk about him like that!”
“Don’t you sass me, Girl! Now get out to the kitchen and mind the skillets! I slaughtered three big hens for our dinner, Folks. And we’ll have corn on the cob and mashed potatoes and gravy and green beans. It all comes fresh from my garden…don’t expect you get fresh on that big old boat, do you? I baked a batch of light bread this mornin’ and some apple pies and peach cobblers. Lee, you could make yourself useful if you’d go and get some more wood for the cook stove. That white-haired girl fidgeting over there like a cat in heat is Reva. Settle down, Re honey. I told you that you can sing for everyone later if we have time. These here folks need to get back to their trip on that big old boat. We can’t expect ‘em to spend all of their time on our farm. These two are our twins, Dick and Bette. Dick, he’s our only dark-haired child, and he’s an ornery one. You ladies best watch out for he’s likely to try to steal a kiss or two from you. Bette, she’s our shy one even with that mess of red hair on her head. That little feller over there with the red hair that’s the picture of his daddy is Dale. And this is our baby, Dean. As you can see, he’s another redhead and we named him Delano Dean for Mr. Roosevelt even though the president doesn’t have red hair…don’t expect that matters none.”
“I‘m not a baby no more, Mommy. I’m five years old and I pway the mandowin, too, and don’t nobody better call me Dewano.”
“Deany, you and the kids best be runnin’ on outside and play. Dinner will be ready in a little while. And Folks, you already met our oldest, Bobby. He’s home on a pass from the Army. Don’t you think he looks handsome in his uniform? We expect Bobby’ll be comin’ home for good in a year at the most. Mr. Roosevelt promised us mothers he wouldn’t send our boys into no war over in Europe. It’s awful though what that no account Adolf Hitler is doin’ to those poor people over there, isn’t it?”
“I suppose the folks are awful weary from their whirlwind tour and would like to wash up before dinner, Mother. My wife gets so excited when she gets company and she forgets her manners sometimes. Just come on over here to the cistern pump in our winter kitchen and wash up, Folks. That’s natural rainwater in our cistern. There’s mountain-fed spring water in the bucket there. Just go ahead and take a drink if you’re of a mind to. There’s cups there on the counter.”
“Now eat your fill, Folks. There’s plenty more where this comes from. That town rabble rouser, Oscar Rover wasn’t hangin’ around at the depot was he, Bobby? It’s just disgraceful the way him and his brother, Luther puts a blight on our little town…always drinkin’ that old rot gut moonshine and causin’ a ruckus, and they’re not the only ones. A body can’t feel safe in town no more. What did you think of our little town of Peebles, Ohio, Folks? I always tell everybody that if you blink when you’re passin’ through, you’ll miss it.”
“Oscar’s in jail, Mom. Remember, he’s comin’ up for trial next week. I’ll be back at Ft. Thomas then and miss the trial…darn it!”
“Bobby, you know better than to talk at the table thataway. I’m afraid our boy’s learnin’ some disrespectful language at that Army training camp. Soon as we get done with dinner, we’ll go to Serpent Mound, Folks. I’ll drive me and Dad in the Model T and Bobby’ll get you all there in the buckboard. I know…I know, Bus. You want to tell the folks about Serpent Mound. Go ahead, but you know you can’t go with us with that fever you’re carryin’. And hurry up and finish your dinner and get back to bed, Son. You haven’t eaten enough to keep a bird alive anyhow.”
“Well, Folks, it’s really called the Great Serpent Mound because it’s the biggest and best effigy mound in the whole wide world and it was built by Indians about a thousand years ago. When you go out on our front porch, look out over our valley. That valley is really a star-wound that was caused by a meteor strike over a hundred million years ago. The hills way over on the other side are the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. The star-wound is about five miles in diameter, and it’s one of the biggest ones in the whole United States, maybe the world. Our farm is built right on the rim of that star-wound. When you get to the mound, Bobby will show you our farm way up here from way down there. You can see the house the best because it’s white. And those smart Indians built the serpent effigy right in the middle of that star-wound.”
“Tell ‘em about how the serpent points to special stars in the sky, Bus.”
“You can go on and tell ‘em, Daley. My chest and head are hurtin’ real bad again. I think I’ll just go on back to bed. Thanks for comin’, Folks. It’s been real nice gettin’ to know you. I surely do wish I could see what it’s like in 2012.”
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This tour is based on characters from GUARDIANS AND OTHER ANGELS, the latest novel by best-selling author, Linda Lee Greene. Reaching across the years and striking a chord with people of today who are witnessing similar circumstances, GUARDIANS AND OTHER ANGELS is inspired by a dramatic true story of two Southern Ohio families during the Great Depression and World War II who also struggled for their fair share of the American Dream of hope, freedom and opportunity. Through dozens of authentic personal letters written by the characters and included in the book, readers are given an insider’s view of the hearts and minds and day to day experiences of a singular group of people called upon to be counted among the ranks of the greatest generation in history. Although spanning the years of 1936 to 1941, the letters could have been written by modern-day families and friends of troops and diplomatic personnel who, like their forebears, are risking their lives in hotspots around the world to protect their way of life and their country.
Linda Lee Greene was born on the rim of the famous star-wound in Peebles, Adams County, Ohio known worldwide as the Great Serpent Mount Crater. Mother of a son and a daughter, and grandmother of two grandsons, Greene resides in Columbus, Ohio. An award-winning artist, an exhibition of some of her artwork can be viewed at www.gallery-llgreene.com.
In the year of 2000, Greene wrote the original draft of the murder mystery/historical novel, “Jesus Gandhi Oma Mae Adams,” a manuscript that evolved into a co-authorship with Debra Shiveley Welch, and upon its release an Amazon best-seller. Greene has written two additional books in the Oma Mae Adams series, a murder mystery titled, “My ‘Aumakua” [In Hawaiian, “A Spirit Guide”], and a story of an expat-American who finds new meaning in life, as well as love, while on a spiritual odyssey in Australia, titled Garden of the Spirits of the Pots. Both books are in queue with her publisher and scheduled for future release.
Greene’s current novel, GUARDIANS AND OTHER ANGELS has inspired two other books on which she is currently working, one of them a non-fiction sequel to the novel titled, “I Received Your Letter …,” as well as Bussy Gaffin and His Champion Roosters, a book for young readers. Other than the book for young readers, excerpts of Greene’s current and future books can be found at www.booksbylindaleegreene-llgreene.com.
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Link to GUARDIANS AND OTHER ANGELS> http://amzn.to/PUOXl9
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