Rewind – Three Things Episodes 26 – 28

Welcome back to the “rewind” of the first serial I did here at Teagan’s 1916 ToastingBooks.  The timing of the rerun of Episode-26 is serendipitous. In the original introduction I mentioned one of my friends in Albuquerque, New Mexico and some of the self-teaching she has done to learn about medical things, in order to help her family.  Just a few days ago I got wonderful news from her. You see, her husband underwent a very risky medical procedure. A long recovery time was ahead, even more so because of his very poor health. Yet he has left the doctors with their jaws dropped to their knees because of how fast he came around.

So dear readers, here’s to your health this holiday season!  

Ah, my foodie friends — I have not forgotten you!  Since I just made a toast, of sorts… that’s all it took to have me thinking of champagne.  So I’m giving a shout-out to lovely Suzanne at A Put in the Kitchen and pointing you to a tantalizing recipe she did this summer.  It features champagne grapes!  Click the title and check out this amazing dish!

Champagne Grape Galette with Whipped Goat Cheese

Now let’s get a wiggle on with this rewind.

 

Introduction to Episode-26

St. Joseph Sanitarium, Albuquerque, NM; 1920's

St. Joseph Sanitarium, Albuquerque, NM; 1920’s

I’m privileged to have a dear friend whom I also think of as a mentor.  For the majority of her life she has given huge effort to educating herself about complex medical issues that have touched the lives of her loved ones.  That truly amazing woman sent today’s set of “things” and as usual, my mind went to unexpected turns with our 1920’s serial, Three Things.

I confess that it took me a little while to work my way to angiogram!  However, it was enlightening, educational, and fun.  Be sure to check out the story that I did not tell, by clicking on the link near the end for Werner Forssmann.  It’s pretty amazing.

26.  Angiogram, Burglary, Cockroach

Countess Babikov was utterly fascinated with Pear the hedgehog.  She had pulled both Mona hedgehog in handsand me into conversation.  However, I still noticed when John Ringling covertly motioned to Frankie and they began a quiet little exchange on the other side of the room.

The fireman looked over at me.  Oh, he was hiding something; that was for sure.  Frankie was about as obvious as a cockroach going after a plate of leftovers.  But he pretended nonchalance.  His long legs took him across the cabin in two strides.  Frankie excused himself and put his hand on the lovely wood of the door.  Then he turned back and I saw the glint of an idea in his eyes.

He moved to the countess who was still on the sofa with the tattered quilt over her lap.  “Here ma’am,” Frankie said bending down.  “Let me take this dirty old thing and get you a nicer blanket.  Something that smells nice and fresh.”

The circus magnate’s eyebrow shot up and his lips pursed.  I could tell that Frankie had just done something unexpected.  Ringling seemed to guess what the young man had in mind.  But I couldn’t imagine what he was up to!

After a moment, the millionaire left briefly and returned with a soft wool blanket.  He carefully placed it over the white-haired woman.  I asked him where Frankie had gone.  I felt a sudden pang of worry.  First 1920s 4_guys_carthere’d been a shooting with the countess being abducted.  Then the same night a burglary at Boris’ place.  Now the older woman was safe and sound, but the kidnappers were still free.  And I had a hunch they wouldn’t be satisfied with the payoff John Ringling gave them for very long.  I felt worried thoughts taking a firm hold on my mind.  My face must have showed it too.

“Don’t fret,” the millionaire told me with a tight smile.  “He’s going with a few of my men to fetch Boris.”

That statement got a pleased response from Countess Bepa.  She had taken Pear out of his lunch pail and held him in her lap, but her eyes were looking sleepy.  I thought the brandy was finally kicking in, and silently blessed the millionaire for skirting prohibition and having that kind of hooch on hand.

I wasn’t very pleased with this turn of events.  I should have gone with them to get Boris.  He hardly knew Frankie.  The retired dancer would feel less threatened if I was there.  I started to protest, but I already knew that somebody would tell me that it might be dangerous and that it was no place for a woman.  Now, I ask you — what self-respecting flapper could sit still for that?  However, a glance at the countess silenced me.  I didn’t want her to hear the word “danger” in the same sentence with “Boris.”

Ringling deftly changed the subject by complimenting Mona, and it quickly turned into a discussion of her acting career.  “My dear, you move with a natural grace,” he told the brunette.  “Have you ever worked on the trapeze?”1920s circus acrobats

While Mona replied animatedly, I looked out the porthole at the strangest sight.  Flavio and two men I hadn’t seen before got onto the old fire truck.  Even at a distance I could see that Frankie’s cousin still didn’t feel well.  One of the men helped him up onto the truck.  The really strange thing was what appeared to be a very large old woman hunched over a cane and hobbling along with two burly men.  They got into a sedan and sped away.  I couldn’t see what the woman looked like because she was huddled in an old quilt.

Then I turned an accusing look on Ringling.  That quilt was the same one the countess had been using.  And it had to be Frankie under it.  Was Frankie setting himself up to lure out the villains?

The circus magnate shot me a silencing glare and pointedly looked at the countess.  I could tell he was concerned about her, so I held my piece.  The white-haired woman was dozing quietly with the little hedgehog snuggled in the blanket.  Mona looked at them fondly.  She seemed to have had an instant rapport with the older woman.

“Why don’t you young ladies go enjoy the party for awhile,” Ringling suggested kindly.

Mona and I softly closed the cabin door behind ourselves.  As we approached the room where I had found the microscope, I heard male voices escalate.  One had a German accent.  We paused at the open door because we were so startled.  A bunch of brainy looking guys sat around the table.  The one with the German accent waived his arms in frustration.

“Calm down Werner,” another man said to him.  The guy on the other side of him said in a calm voice, “Dr. Forssmann, we know your ideas are scientifically sound.  But you know everything has to be properly tested.  Things involving the heart even more so.”

The German didn’t look as upset as he sounded, but he was still intense.  He vowed to everyone at the table, “I will create a true angiogram even if I have to insert a catheter into my arm myself, and pass it into my own heart!”

Werner Forssmann copyMona and I exchanged startled looks.  A young man in waiter’s clothes came up behind us.  “Don’t worry ladies,” he said as he adjusted his uniform.  “The German doctor isn’t as frightening as he sounds right now.  Werner Forssmann has ideas that sound like something Edgar Rice Burroughs would dream up.  But the others say he’s a real pioneer of medicine.”

“I don’t know…” Mona said to the waiter’s back as he went into the cabin to check on the group of men.  “He sounds like he really means to do… whatever he was talking about.  Good golly, that’s a lot of science talk!”

I had to agree with Mona.  It sounded like the German meant to do some very risky procedure on himself, just to prove it would work.  Mona and I retreated to the yacht’s deck.  Neither of us wanted to get into that conversation.

***

Introduction to Episode-27: A flash back to a past NaNoWriMo

Atonement TennesseeWith National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in full swing, I’m indulging myself with today’s set of three things.  When I wrote my NaNoWriMo 2012 winning novel, Atonement, Tennessee, I was somewhat influenced by the style of Charlaine Harris  — particularly her “Southern Vampire” series, sometimes referred to as the Sookie Stackhouse books.  While Atonement is very different from the books Ms. Harris writes, (and there are no vampires) I believe that if you enjoyed those, you will also like Atonement, Tennessee.

Even though it has nothing to do with the 1920’s, these three things are a nod to Charlaine Harris and the Southern Vampire series of books.  I took them from the first line of the first book in her series.  As always, you can do catch-up reading at the page where the entire Three Things Serial story lives.  And now… Cover of "Dead Until Dark (Southern Vampi...Three Dead Until Dark Things

27.  Vampire, Years, Walked

“I’d been waiting for the vampire for years when he walked into the bar…”

I couldn’t help being worried about Frankie.  Two of the men who worked for Mr. Ringling returned with a very uncertain looking Boris.  Or at least that’s how he looked until he saw his babushka.  It was a very touching reunion.  Mona and I both dabbed tears from our eyes.

But there was clearly more to the story of Boris being separated from his grandmother.  It had to be connected to her abduction… and not to forget that bent key.  The entire situation could be something that had been brewing for years.

However, the other two men and Frankie didn’t come back with the ones who brought the retired ballet dancer.  The last time I saw the fireman he was disguised as an old woman, wrapped in a tattered quilt.  He even walked with a cane to complete the ruse.

G-men PosterFinally I saw the sedan roll up.  Ringling’s two men were in the front seat, and a couple of other mugs were in back.  They weren’t moving.  Then to my astonishment, Andy — our little Astronaute man drove up in his Studebaker with Frankie and the Fabro cousins.  Flavio and the twins, Fedel and Frediano were squeezed into the back seat.  The twins jumped out and ran to help Ringling’s men pull two bound and gagged men from the sedan.  They looked like the same ones who had hurried away from the yacht after the circus magnate paid them a ransom for Countess Babikov.  They were a couple of blood suckers alright.  Regular vampires.

The young man in a waiter’s uniform that Mona and I had seen hours earlier was at Mr. Ringling’s elbow.  “Get to one of the radios, please.  Call the G-men.  Tell them I have a present for them.”

***

Introduction to Episode-28

Today is the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who.   As a long time “whovian” I had to give a nod to the BBCA Doctor Who 50th Anniversarytelevision show, because it is sublime.  If any of you are not familiar with this phenomenon, it is a BBC science fiction television series about a “time lord,” known as The Doctor.  He travels in what looks like a blue police box called the TARDIS.  The sound this time machine makes reminds me of a dragon coughing.  Apparently in the early days the series didn’t have a lot of funds for special effects.  However, I loved the old campy episodes with their low budget special effects.

“Doctor Who?” you might ask.  My favorite Doctor has always been the fourth incarnation, Tom Baker.   The late Jon Pertwee, the third Doctor, is dear to me as well.  If you like vintage fashions from the early 1970’s you should take a look at some of those episodes.

So today I give you three things supplied by Provincial Lady that I have just taken the liberty of turning into…

Three Doctor Who Things

28. Sublime, Dragon, Funds

Willie Garson

Willie Garson as Andy

Boris leaned on Andy heavily as they boarded the yacht.  As they got closer I noticed cuts and bruises on the faces of both men.  Poor Mona looked like she didn’t know which way to turn.  She was as conflicted as ever over the two Russian.  She fluttered around, trying to help.  Mr. Ringling sent for a doctor.

Countess Babikov sat back down looking like she was still a bit dizzy.  I picked up the blanket Ringling had brought earlier and tucked it around her lap.  Everything on the yacht was luxurious, even the blanket.  It was soft to the touch and embroidered with a Chinese dragon.  A thought suddenly popped into my mind — the bent key.  It had some kind of design engraved on it, but it was distorted by the damage to the key.  Could it have been a dragon?

The expression in Countess Bepa’s eyes was sublime as she looked at her grandson.  Something seemed to have been settled between grandmother and grandson just with that eye contact.  She was gracious, despite her own injuries and calmly asked for introductions.  By then all the Fabro boys were onboard as well.

“Pip dear, who are these fine young men?” she asked and I supplied all the “F” names of the Fabro brood.

They were all polite, even Andy.  Our poor little Astronaute man, who was so sweet on Mona watched sadly as Mona tended a cut over the Russian’s eye.  However, when I introduced him to John Ringling, his face lit up.  I gave a glowing description of the science fiction stories Andy liked to write.  The next thing I knew, Andy boldly pitched an idea to the circus magnate.  I was stunned, because I had never heard of anything like what he described.

“It’s a kind of advertisement, Mr. Ringling.  A very short film clip… of course staring Mona,” Andy said with a glance at the brunette and a blush.  “It could be shown just before a film.  Imagine this if you will…  A young woman sits on a swing, day dreaming of performing on the trapeze at the circus.  Then the film segues through a fog, and then shows a brief clip of one of your trapeze acts.”

I was fascinated by the idea.  Everyone had gotten quiet. Ca d Zan-1

Andy offered a bit of encouragement.  “The funds required to produce it would be minimal.”

The circus millionaire gave Andy a blank look and I was half afraid he might throw Andy off the yacht.  But then he tilted his head to one side, looked from Andy to Mona and pursed his lips as he studied the two.

“Oh, why not,” said Ringling.  “Now that I have Bepa and Boris both safely onboard I’m ready to go back to Ca’ d’Zan.  You could come with me and we’ll film this advertisement there,” he said.  Then he spread his arms wide and added, “All of you could come.  There’s plenty of room.”

You should have seen the look on Andy’s face!

***

Tune in again next week as this rewind continues. Same flapper time; same flapper channel.

 

Copyright © 2013 – 2014 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images are either the property of the author or from Pinterest unless stated otherwise.

Three Things 25 & Character Recap

1920s Vaudeville Cats Postcard

1920s Vaudeville Cats Postcard

Welcome back to our whimsical version of the Jazz Age.  You’re just the cat’s pajamas for coming back to this flapper tale.

I hope the characters in this 1920’s serial have wiggled into your mind so comfortably that you have your own ideas of how they would look or sound.  However, I thought it might be fun to show you how I imagine them. So in no particular order, please meet the cast of The Three Things Serial.

Paisley Idelle Peabody

Better known to you as Pip

Young Lucille Ball

Young Lucille Ball

The moment I saw a picture of a teen-aged Lucille Ball she became my Pip. In my imagination the voice of a grown-up Lucy narrates The Three Things Serial, looking back on the adventures of her youth.

Pip might be a tad conservative, naive, or innocent as flappers go, but that allows her to take people as they are, without judgement.  Time and “things” will tell if that open hearted naïveté gets her into a pickle — or maybe a barrel of them!

The heart of a true flapper beats in Pip, and she is determined to be what she thinks of as a modern woman.

*

Pops

Pip’s Unseen Dad

Thus far I’ve done three incarnations of this “interactive” serial.  Pip’s father has been mentioned many times, and he’s made a phone call or two. However, he has never actually made an appearance. It started to remind me of the 1970’s television series, Charlie’s Angels, with John Forsythe phoning in as the never-seen Charlie.

John Forsythe 1958

John Forsythe 1958

*

Mona the Movie Star

 Pip enjoyed giving everyone nicknames, usually based on their occupations or their aspirations.  Her friend and neighbor, Mona, had big dreams of being an actress, but little chance of seeing them come to fruition. Mona is something of a flirt, but you won’t see her “lead anyone on.” It’s just that people (particularly men) jump to do things for her.

 In my imagination, the original “It Girl” — Clara Bow plays Mona.

Clara Bow

Clara Bow

*

Andy the Astronaute-man

Andy Avis

The “things” for Episode-2 required me to write about a ballerina, a fireman, a movie star, and an astronaut. Have I mentioned that I’m a research geek? I had to make sure the word “astronaut” was actually used in the 1920’s. I got conflicting information, but the greater consensus said “no.” However, I learned the term Astronaute was used in France at the time. So Andy Avis is also of French descent.

Willie Garson

Willie Garson

Andy is a science fiction writer, hence Pip’s nickname for him Andy the Astronaute-man.  Despite the heroic stories he writes, Andy is not the bravest bean in the bunch. Discretion is pos-i-lute-ly the better part of valor with him. To his credit, sometimes Andy overcomes his big fears and takes action. Doesn’t it take a lot more courage to do something when you’re afraid than if you are just naturally brave?

Buster Keaton

Buster Keaton

Right away I saw a younger Willie Garson as my Andy.  (You might know him from “White Collar” or Sex and the City.) I could see the friendship between him and Mona. Although unlike Stanford, Andy hopes the friendship will become a romance. On the other hand, Andy could easily look like Buster Keaton with those sad eyes.

*

Ca’ d’Zan

The Ringling Mansion

Although it is not truly a character the Ca’d’Zan mansion is an important part of this story. Learning about this amazing place was so much fun that I had to include it here. I hope you’ll do some research of your own about the home of John and Mabel Ringling.

Ca'd'Zan Mansion

Ca’d’Zan Mansion

*

John and Mabel Ringling

The Ringlings don’t play huge roles in the story, but they were important nonetheless.  Pip and company are invited onboard a yacht that they don’t at first realize belongs to John Ringling. Countess Bepa is old friends with Mabel Ringling.  The entire gang ends up at fabulous Ca’d’Zan where the mystery concludes.

Mabel and John Ringling

Mabel and John Ringling

*

The Fabros

Frankie Fabro and His Cousins

Frankie the Fireman and his cousins Flavio, Fedel, and Frediano. First we meet Frankie. He’s taller and a little bigger than his cousins, but all four of the young men look a lot alike. Elder brother Flavio looks out for twins, Fred and Fedel. Pip has a crush on Frankie. Flavio, like most men seems to think Mona is the berries.

Oddly enough I never had an image in my mind of Frankie the Fireman. So he is included here with his look alike cousins.

1920s 4 Look-alike Guys

*

Countess Bepa Babikov

The mysterious white-haired woman… turns out to be not only the grand mother of Boris the Ballerina, but a real life countess. It was after Bepa Babikov came along that I saw a photo of Countess Von Hartenau that was simply the vision of Bepa’s elegance, as well as her fierce determination.  She instantly replaced any other image I had of Bepa.

Johanna Loisinger; the Countess Von Hartenau

Johanna Loisinger; the Countess Von Hartenau

*

Boris Babikov

Boris the Ballerina

Retired from the Ballets Russes after a career-ending injury, Boris gives the occasional dance lesson to earn a living. Mona is infatuated with Boris, but also conflicted. She has some ways of thinking to outgrow.  Boris is the strong silent type. His friends have to work at it to get to know him. When I saw a photo of Fred Astaire, in a rather sulky pose, it made me think of Boris Babikov.

Fred Astaire

Fred Astaire

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little break from the serial.  Next weekend I’ll be back with…. What’s that? Stop screaming so I can tell what you’re saying. No episode this week? Oh… Well if that’s what you really want.

Let’s get a wiggle on and round out this character recap with Episode-25.

25.  Kitten, Fake, Comfort

My eyes strayed to the Art Deco pottery jug into which Ringling had casually dropped the bent key. 1920s  Ben Key Had he been a little too offhanded when he did that?  What if his nonchalance was fake?  I shifted my gaze to the circus millionaire and found him looking at me.  I knew it might be foolish of me, but I couldn’t stop myself from blurting out my thoughts.

“That’s no ordinary key,” I said.  “It might be to Ca’d’Zan, but it’s no door key.”

Everyone became silent, except for Pear the hedgehog, scrabbling inside his lunch pail carrier.  I turned to Countess Babikov.  By the expression on her face, I knew the direction of my words didn’t give her any comfort.  It was obviously meant to be a distraction when she turned to Mona and indicated the tin lunch pail.

“Dear!  What have you in that box?  I hear a tiny creature moving around.  Is it a kitten?” she asked Mona.

It was a feeble attempt at diverting me and the white-haired woman must have realized that, because she blushed and glanced over at me.  However, I was not diverted.  My mind went to that very eventful night when the hedgehog in handscountess was abducted, and later the group of us returned home to find Boris’ place being burglarized.  I remembered the broken vase and speculating that a key might have been hidden inside.  At the time I wondered if Boris had a key to match the bent one that was dropped from the getaway car.  Once again I considered the same idea — and I voiced the thought.

Ringling and the countess looked at each other in a silent exchange.  She drew an unsteady breath and looked up at him from her spot on the beautifully upholstered sofa.  “John, I am more worried than ever for my grandson’s safety.  If these young people can tell us where to find him…  Can you bring him here?  Please?”

I couldn’t imagine anyone refusing the tortured look in the woman’s eyes.  The circus magnate was not immune to her gaze.  Frankie shifted his feet in a nervous way.  Mona sat in silence.  She licked her lips and looked from the fireman to me.  After all, these people were strangers to us.  Boris kept us at arm’s length, but he was our neighbor and a friend, if not a really close one.  We had already concluded that he was in some kind of trouble.  But did these people have his best interest at heart?  And why did my friends seem to want me to make that decision, I wondered in dismay.

***

Tune in again next weekend. Same flapper time, same flapper channel. You’re pos-i-lute-ly the cat’s pajamas!

Copyright © 2014 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images are either the property of the author or from Pinterest unless stated otherwise.

Three Things: 26 – Angiogram, Burglary, Cockroach

1920s Picture Day MagI’m privileged to have a dear friend whom I also think of as a mentor.  For the majority of her life she has given huge effort to educating herself about complex medical issues that have touched the lives of her loved ones.  That truly amazing woman sent today’s set of “things” and as usual, my mind went to unexpected turns with our 1920’s serial.

This episode is a bit longer than I usually like to post.  I confess that it took me a little while to work my way to angiogram!  However, it was enlightening, educational, and fun.  Be sure to check out the story that I did not tell, by clicking on the link near the end for Werner Forssmann.  It’s pretty amazing.

26.  Angiogram, Burglary, Cockroach

Countess Babikov was utterly fascinated with Pear the hedgehog.  She had pulled both Mona hedgehog in handsand me into conversation.  However, I still noticed when John Ringling covertly motioned to Frankie and they began a quiet little exchange on the other side of the room.

The fireman looked over at me.  Oh, he was hiding something; that was for sure.  Frankie was about as obvious as a cockroach going after a plate of leftovers.  But he pretended nonchalance.  His long legs took him across the cabin in two strides.  Frankie excused himself and put his hand on the lovely wood of the door.  Then he turned back and I saw the glint of an idea in his eyes.

He moved to the countess who was still on the sofa with the tattered quilt over her lap.  “Here ma’am,” Frankie said bending down.  “Let me take this dirty old thing and get you a nicer blanket.  Something that smells nice and fresh.”

The circus magnate’s eyebrow shot up and his lips pursed.  I could tell that Frankie had just done something unexpected.  Ringling seemed to guess what the young man had in mind.  But I couldn’t imagine what he was up to!

After a moment, the millionaire left briefly and returned with a soft wool blanket.  He carefully placed it over the white-haired woman.  I asked him where Frankie had gone.  I felt a sudden pang of worry.  First there’d been a shooting with the countess being abducted.  Then the same night a burglary at Boris’ place.  Now the older woman was safe and sound, but the kidnappers were still free.  And I had a hunch they wouldn’t be satisfied with the payoff John Ringling gave them for very long.  I felt worried thoughts taking a firm hold on my mind.  My face must have showed it too.

“Don’t fret,” the millionaire told me with a tight smile.  “He’s going with a few of my men to fetch Boris.”1920s 4_guys_car

That statement got a pleased response from Countess Bepa.  She had taken Pear out of his lunch pail and held him in her lap, but her eyes were looking sleepy.  I thought the brandy was finally kicking in, and silently blessed the millionaire for skirting prohibition and having that kind of hooch on hand.

I wasn’t very pleased with this turn of events.  I should have gone with them to get Boris.  He hardly knew Frankie.  The retired dancer would feel less threatened if I was there.  I started to protest, but I already knew that somebody would tell me that it might be dangerous and that it was no place for a woman.  Now, I ask you — what self-respecting flapper could sit still for that?  However, a glance at the countess silenced me.  I didn’t want her to hear the word “danger” in the same sentence with “Boris.”

Ringling deftly changed the subject by complimenting Mona, and it quickly turned into a discussion of her acting career.  “My dear, you move with a natural grace,” he told the brunette.  “Have you ever worked on the trapeze?”

While Mona replied animatedly, I looked out the porthole at the strangest sight.  Flavio and two men I hadn’t seen before got onto the old fire truck.  Even at a distance I could see that Frankie’s cousin still didn’t feel well.  One of the men helped him up onto the truck.  The really strange thing was what appeared to be a very large old woman hunched over a cane and hobbling along with two burly men.  They got into a sedan and sped away.  I couldn’t see what the woman looked like because she was huddled in an old quilt.

Then I turned an accusing look on Ringling.  That quilt was the same one the countess had been using.  And it had to be Frankie under it.  Was Frankie setting himself up to lure out the villains?

The circus magnate shot me a silencing glare and pointedly looked at the countess.  I could tell he was concerned about her, so I held my piece.  The white-haired woman was dozing quietly with the little hedgehog snuggled in the blanket.  Mona looked at them fondly.  She seemed to have had an instant rapport with the older woman.

“Why don’t you young ladies go enjoy the party for awhile,” Ringling suggested kindly.

Mona and I softly closed the cabin door behind ourselves.  As we approached the room where I had found the microscope, I heard male voices escalate.  One had a German accent.  We paused at the open door because we were so startled.  A bunch of brainy looking guys sat around the table.  The one with the German accent waived his arms in frustration.

“Calm down Werner,” another man said to him.  The guy on the other side of him said in a calm voice, “Dr. Forssmann, we know your ideas are scientifically sound.  But you know everything has to be properly tested.  Things involving the heart even more so.”

The German didn’t look as upset as he sounded, but he was still intense.  He vowed to everyone at the table, “I will create a true angiogram even if I have to insert a catheter into my arm myself, and pass it into my own heart!”

Werner Forssmann copyMona and I exchanged startled looks.  A young man in waiter’s clothes came up behind us.  “Don’t worry ladies,” he said as he adjusted his uniform.  “The German doctor isn’t as frightening as he sounds right now.  Werner Forssmann has ideas that sound like something Edgar Rice Burroughs would dream up.  But the others say he’s a real pioneer of medicine.”

“I don’t know…” Mona said to the waiter’s back as he went into the cabin to check on the group of men.  “He sounds like he really means to do… whatever he was talking about.  Good golly, that’s a lot of science talk!”

I had to agree with Mona.  It sounded like the German meant to do some very risky procedure on himself, just to prove it would work.  Mona and I retreated to the yacht’s deck.  Neither of us wanted to get into that conversation.

Three Things Serial: 15 – Tattered Quilt, Memory Squares, Quilting Bee

St. Joseph Sanitarium, Albuquerque, NM; 1920's

St. Joseph Sanitarium, Albuquerque, NM; 1920’s

Finally I’m posting another episode of our 1920’s serial.  These three things come from the most “crafty” lady I know — Joye in Albuquerque.

Since I didn’t do a mid-week post, you might need to refresh your memory of the serial.  You can read all the episodes at the Three Things Serial page.

Pip finds interesting things before the group even gets to the gate of the big shindig.  Read on as the mystery deepens…

Tattered Quilt, Memory Squares, Quilting Bee

Flavio bent closer to inspect the bullet hole, which was in the crease where the fender met the body of the car.  “I’m amazed that you spotted it,” he told me.

Frankie looked around uneasily.  One of the chauffeurs stopped his idle polishing of the limousine he drove and looked our way.  “We should get going,” the fireman said, with a significant nod in the guy’s direction.

He took my arm, but I pulled back.  What was that inside the car?  I sighed.  That chauffer was still looking at us.  “Mona, be a doll and distract that mug for a minute, will ya?  Ask him for something for Pear to eat.”

The movie star wriggled over to the first driver, and within seconds the other two were clustered around Mona and the tin lunch pail that housed the little hedgehog.  Flavio looked on with a hint of a green monster lighting his eyes.  I barely controlled the urge to tease him about being jealous.  The chauffeurs seemed to have completely forgotten about the rest of us.

I stealthily opened the car door and pulled out a piece of fabric.  I had to give it a good yank, as it was caught on some metal under the seat.  Then I eased the door closed again.  “What is it?” the Fabro cousins asked in unison.Vintage Quilt ad

“A tattered quilt,” I began.  “Or rather a torn off piece of one.  I think this is part of a memory square.”

Cotton batting clung to the bit of fabric.  I turned it over and saw part of an embroidered word was cut off at the tear.  It must have been a name.  I looked past the swirly print design and at the white muslin below it.  Frankie touched the print.  “Hey!  It’s Paisley, like you,” he kidded me about my given name.

I turned the bit of quilt this way and that to make out the stitched word.  “B-o-r… could that be part of the letter ‘I’ maybe?” I wondered aloud.  “Holy Hannah!  Boris!”

A reddish brown stain marred the white muslin, covered more embroidery.  The spot was caked and stiff.  Holding it close to my nose I detected a coppery odor.  Blood.

Frankie bent closer to have a look.  “That ain’t from the average quilting bee.”

Three Things Serial: 14 – Finger Waves, Shoe Horn, Cummerbund

Today’s “things” are from an innovative thinker in Albuquerque.  I think they help bring life to the story and our characters — a glimpse of their day-to-day life.

Remember, if you need to catch up, the full story lives at the Three Things Serial page.

Finger Waves, Shoe Horn, Cummerbund

The old fire engine roared up to the party at Santa Rosa Sound, streamers flying and bells ringing.  Frankie was driving.  Mona kicked off her shoes do she could stand on the highest point, arms raised and holding a flag in each hand, Flavio held her steady to make sure she didn’t fall off.  I just enjoyed the ride, our grand entrance, and the utter wonder of extravagance that was spread before my eyes.

1920s Bebe DanielsThe partygoers were dressed in all manner of attire, from elegant daywear to party duds I wouldn’t have expected to see ‘til after five, but everyone wore the latest fashions.  Women in nice dresses stood talking to others in beaded flapper gear with expensive jewels in their sleek bobbed hair.  Some men wore bowties and straw hats while others wore tuxedoes complete with cummerbunds.

I decided to take off my hat.  It wasn’t really fancy enough for this party or for my dress.  I cautiously touched my finger waves to make sure my hairdo was okay.  “Don’t worry,” Frankie assured me.  “You’re the cat’s meow.”

So was he.  I smiled at the fireman as he looked for a spot where he wouldn’t get blocked in, and parked the old fire truck.  I looked at all the nice cars.  There were a couple of chauffeurs idly polishing limousines.  I did a double take.  My eyes were pulled back to an ordinary car.  It was familiar, though I was sure it didn’t belong to anyone I knew.

Mona had definitely gotten the attention of the crowd, though it only lasted for a moment.  Wow.  That group was hard to impress.  I thought she’d be the first one down from the truck, but when I looked around, Mona was struggling with her shoe.  In a jiffy Flavio had a shoe horn and carefully helped her, like Prince Charming with Cinderella.  He kept his hand on her foot for rather longer than necessary.  Mona gave me a sideways look and then batted her eyes at her new beau.  I rolled my eyes at her and let Frankie help me down from the truck.

Something was nagging at me.  I turned back to that car, tilting my head as I looked at it.  “What’s up Pip?” Frankie asked.

For an answer I motioned for him to come with me as I headed toward the source of the nagging.  That car.  Frankie wanted to know why I was so interested in an ordinary car, nice though it was, when there were many more luxe vehicles.  I walked all the way around the car.  Twice.  Then I stooped and ran my hand across a fender.

“There!” I exclaimed quietly.

Mona and Flavio had just reached us.  Everyone came closer to see what I was doing.  “It’s a bullet hole.  Right there.  It’s almost hidden,” I said.

“That’s the car from the Nickelodeon, isn’t it,” Frankie said and took a quick look over his shoulder.  “The one that old woman got dragged into.”Hedgehog apple

Mona gasped.  “Are you sure Pip?  It was pretty dark,” She said.

I nodded in answer.  Pear scrabbled in his lunch pail eating his snack.

Three Things Serial: 13 – Miracle, Hedgehog, Gloaming

Can you believe we are already up to the thirteenth set of Three Things?  As promised in the previous post, these things come from the DC area.  The complete story (so far) is on the Three Things Serial page, if you need to catch up.

Also be sure to post a comment giving me three things to keep the serial going!  Maybe some viewers from Canada will play?  Or someone in the UK will send three things?  Or from India? Or Turkey?  Everyone is welcome to send three words or phrases!  Just remember it’s a 1920’s story when you pick your three things, and that it’s a “G” rated blog.

Miracle, Hedgehog, Gloaming

1920s Tin Lunch boxWhen I climbed up into the outdated fire engine I thought it would be a miracle if made it all the way to Santa Rosa Sound.  But the old thing must have still had some heart left, because we didn’t have any problems.  We were almost there when Mona asked Flavio to pull over so we could decorate the truck with the streamers and flags she’d brought.

Frankie bent over the seemingly bottomless bag of stuff, passing streamers and such to the rest of us.  I heard the tink sound of metal and turned toward Frankie.  As he pulled out an old tin lunchbox, the rest of us gathered round.

“Hey sweet cheeks,” Flavio said to Mona.  “I thought you said there’d be gourmet grub at this swank shindig.”

“Be careful!” Mona said in a worried voice when Flavio took the lunch pail from Frankie and started to open it.

I heard a scrabbling sound from inside the container and drew back.  Had a mouse gotten into Mona’s lunch?  And why had she brought lunch in the first place?  And, holy Hannah!  If there was a mouse in her lunchbox, there were probably mice in our building!

Mona quickly took the tin box from Flavio.  That’s when I noticed there were several little holes piercing both ends of the pail.  To my astonishment, she opened the container and scooped up a strange spinney rat.  Or maybe it was a baby opossum with matted hair.  Or, oh applesauce, who knew what!

“Oh Pear, you poor baby,” Mona cooed over the thing.  “Are you alright?”

Then she held it out at Flavio who jumped back with a shriek.  “Don’t be silly,” Mona chided.  “It’s just Pear.  I couldn’t leave him alone all day.  I just got him.  And it’ll be later than the gloaming when we get home tonight.”  She smiled coquettishly at hedgehog in handsthe expression her comment brought to Flavio’s face.  Yep, Mona sure knew how to get her way.  “Yes, you can be sure it’ll be much later than twilight before this party is over,” she told him with her eyelashes aflutter.

“But… Pear?” I asked.

“Why, for Prickly Pear, of course.  He’s a hedgehog.  Didn’t you know?” Mona told me as if it was all utterly obvious.