Jazz Age Wednesdays 14 ― Pip at the Holidays

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

It’s Wednesday and that means it’s the Jazz Age here at Teagan’s Books.  This time I’m not telling a story.  I’m just imagining what the holidays might have looked like for Pip and her friends during the Roaring Twenties.

Christmas tree hat Modern Pricilla December 1920

I imagined Pip decorating a Christmas tree.  Granny Phanny would have had a few prized glass ornaments to hang from the tree.  The baubles would most likely have been German-made back then.  Granny would have gotten in a lather if one was broken.  However, for the most part, they wouldn’t have had the sophisticated ornaments we have today. 

Pip would doubtless prick her finger many times while stringing popcorn, and that’s no phonus balonus.  She would painstakingly cut little strips of paper to make chains that would decorate the tree as well.  Granny Phanny would have likely been pretty handy with a crochet needle, not to mention deliciously preserved food treats.  She would have passed along those darb handmade gifts. 

Pip,  on the other hand would have needed to shop.  She is a bearcat, but she’s not very handy with crafts, and she’s still learning to cook.   During a few seasons Granny and Pip would have gone up to Atlanta for a special shopping trip at Rich’s department store.

Richs Department Store vintage

Rich’s Department Store

The holiday dinner table would have had a centerpiece made of lemons and oranges.   Granny Phanny would probably have served a baked ham rather than turkey, but I imagine she changed up the main course from time to time.  While her guests were waiting for the meal, Granny would have had Pip pass around some hors d’oeuvres like deviled eggs, roasted nuts, or olives.

Desserts?  There would have been more than one, but some kind of spice cake would have been in the offering.  If you’re looking for a recipe, try this delectable dessert from Suzanne at A Pug in the Kitchen.

Photo by Suzanne DeBrango

Now Granny Phanny is no Mrs. Grundy.  She might have had some giggle water on hand, and passed around a jorum of skee.  That is, as long as neither the G-man, Marshal Moses Myric, nor the copper, Detective Dabney Daniels, were around.

I’d love to stick around in the Roaring Twenties, but I have to get back to the present now.  

Hopefully it’s copacetic because I have to do the requisite shameless self-promotion.  Here are the links to the books about Pip and her friends.

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story Kindle 

I appreciate your visit.  You are pos-i-lutely the bee’s knees!

 

This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this work 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 provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise.

 

Jazz Age Wednesdays 13 ― Pip and the River Monster

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Hey Sheiks and Shebas,  I’m pos-i-lutely happy to see you at Jazz Age Wednesdays again! 

Early Lucille 3 copy

Young Lucille Ball

I started this short story back when I did a collaborative post with author John W. Howell*.  The three things driving that story were “Counterfeiting, Time, and Hollywood.” The ultimate result was In the Pip of Time, which you saw here

Like I was saying, that was when this story started, but not when I finished it.  I was having one of moments when the many characters I’ve written cross the boundaries of their stories.  Cornelis Drebbel (of Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers) popped into the short story I was trying to write…  I couldn’t make the story go where the “things” needed to take it — at least not at that time.  (Applesauce! If that sounds like a lot of bushwa to ya’ll, then all I can say is that’s part of how my brain is just wired wrong.)

I’ll stop beating my gums and say that for this post, I went back to that derailed beginning to finish the story.

Pip and the River Monster

Savannah GA Isle of Hope circa 1930

Isle of Hope, Savannah GA circa 1930

Sunlight glittered on the calm Savannah River.  My friend Alastair helped me down from his truck.  The vehicle had a sign proclaiming “You’re always right with Wongs!  Wong’s Chinese Restaurant.” I had been joking when I gave him that as a slogan for his family business.  I shook my head.

Arabella Wong’s birthday was coming up and Alastair planned a party for her.  I remembered the riverside park from childhood when Pops brought me to visit Granny Phanny.  I wanted to see if Alastair liked it as a venue for his mom’s party.

A gust of wind nearly took my pink cloche hat.  I shoved it firmly onto my head.  Maybe it was a blustery day, but it was still beautiful.  We both jumped at a bright flash of light and a crack of thunder.  A fisherman still carrying his rod and reel pushed past us.

Alastair caught the man’s arm, asking him what was wrong.

“River monster!” the fisherman gasped.  “No time to explain.  You kids will beat it, if you know what’s good for you!” the man cried as he pulled free of Alastair’s grip.

Sea Monster man woman Jean-Marc Côté 1900

Jean-Marc Côté circa 1900

My buddy Alastair was more excited than afraid.  His eyes twinkled as he looked expectantly at the Savannah River.  I however, took a step backward.  Alastair gave me an encouraging pat on the shoulder.

“Don’t worry, flapper.  It’s probably a dolphin.  You know this end of the river is close to the ocean.  Hey!  This has been a warm year, and Florida is not that far away.  It might even be a manatee!” Alastair exclaimed.

Alastair looked at the back of the departing fisherman and chuckled.  I looked at him and hoped he wasn’t a whole heap smarter than us!

We turned back to the river.  A faint purplish glow bathed the area at the shore.  I saw something rise from the water that looked like the head of a huge snake.  I slapped my hand over my mouth to hold back a scream.

Something huge slowly rose from the river.  Alastair stopped smiling.

“Horsefeathers!  That’s no manatee,” he muttered.  “What the Sam Hill is it?”

I tilted my head to one side, suddenly more curious than fearful.

“Alastair…  I’ve seen pictures,” I began hesitantly because I was stunned.  “That looks like an old submarine,” I finished as the thing rose higher out of the water.

It moved right up to the pier.  Water poured down as a hatch opened.  A man with unkempt blonde hair and bushy eyebrows stuck his head out from the hatch.  He waved to Alastair and me.  That’s when things really got strange.

Drebbel stamp

Cornelis Drebble, “Pioneers of Sea Transport” stamp, 2008

 

“Ah-ha!  Mr. Wong!  I wondered why I was drawn to this place.  It’s good to see you, old boy!” the strange man called.

Then he levitated up from the submarine’s hatch and over to the pier.  Honest!  That’s really what happened.

I heard a squeak and a gasp.  I wasn’t sure which sound came from Alastair and which came from me.  I grabbed his arm, although I wasn’t sure whether it was to keep him from running, or to anchor myself.

“Wong,” the stranger began as he walked up to us.

He stopped abruptly.  He looked at the shores of the river.  He sniffed the air.

“This is not Hong Kong,” he stated and then looked closely at Alastair.  “And you sir, are not the right Wong.”

With a perplexed expression he turned his gaze to me.  He took in my bobbed hair.  Then he looked at my fashionably short, but still perfectly proper skirt.  In fact, his peepers paused a little too long at my gams.

“And based on your attire, this is far from the correct era,” he added.

However, another look at Alastair seemed to settle his mind.

“I apologize for my lack of manners,” the odd man went on.  “Allow me to introduce myself.  I’m Cornelis Drebbel, alchemist.  Young man, your grandfather’s grandfather once was the holder of my skull.”

There was another louder squeak, and that time I’m pretty sure it came from me.

“Sk-k-k skull?” Alastair queried.

The man, Cornelis Drebbel looked at each of us, and then smirked.

“Well now, you didn’t think I was ordinary, did you?  If my arrival in a submarine was not enough, after I levitated out of the vessel, you must have realized something.  Maybe you didn’t,” he finished drolly.

I can’t begin to describe how the conversation progressed from that point.  However, we found ourselves sitting on a blanket and drinking coffee from the thermos I had brought.  Cornelis tried to explain the alchemy that connected him to Alastair’s ancestor, and how it brought him to Savannah, Georgia.  I admit most of that went right over my head, but apparently that family tree drew him to Alastair.

After a while he wanted to know more about us.  I told him how we happened to be at the pier, to see if it would be a good place for a birthday party for Alastair’s mom.

The alchemist’s eyes lit up.  He clapped his hands together and grinned.

“I have the perfect place!” he exclaimed.  “How about a river cruise?”

“A riverboat party would be the cat’s meow, but it would cost more mazuma than I see in a year,” Alastair said regretfully.

“Oh, dear boy, tsk-tsk.  I don’t mean a riverboat.  I meant my submarine!” he chortled.  “I’d love to meet your immediate family and give you a tour.  It’s not often I get to meet the descendants of one of the keepers of my skull.”

Unfortunately, Alastair and I couldn’t talk much about it later.  We had to pass it off to Alastair’s family as Hollywood type special effects.  Yet it was pos-i-lutely the most memorable birthday party I ever attended.

The End

***

After the amazingly talented Adele Marie Park asked to know more about my Cornelis Drebbel character, I decided to share a link to the old serial where he was “born” so to speak.  Here is episode one of that “three things” style steampunk series: https://teagansbooks.com/2015/01/17/new-interactive-serial-episode-1/ 

Thanks for visiting.  You really are the cat’s pajamas!

PS:  Of course, I have to show you the links to the books about Pip and her friends.

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story Kindle 

 

 

This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this work 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 provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise.

 

Jazz Age Wednesdays 12 ― Characters of the Three Things Serial Story

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Hello everyone, it’s pos-i-lutely divine to see you here at Jazz Age Wednesdays!  This time I thought a change of pace might be in order.  I’m going back to the novella of the first serial, The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story.

For those of you who are new to Teagan’s Books, this post is an introduction to the characters in that novella.  Some of them come back for Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I.  If you’ve been following all along, then I hope this will be a fun visit with your old friends.

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

lucille-ball-1937-stage-door

Better known to you as Pip

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, as she looks 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

John Forsythe 1958

John Forsythe 1958

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.

*

Mona the Movie Star

Clara Bow
Clara Bow

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.

*

Andy the Astronaute-man

Willie Garson

Willie Garson

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 lineage.

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?

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. 

*

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

Mabel and John Ringling

Mabel and John Ringling

The fictional characters I created of 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.

*

The Fabros

1920s 4 Look-alike Guys

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.

*

Countess Bepa Babikov

Johanna Loisinger; the Countess Von Hartenau

Johanna Loisinger; the Countess Von Hartenau

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.

*

Boris Babikov

Fred Astaire

Fred Astaire

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.

Would you like a tidbit from the novella?  This snippet is from pretty far into the story. Let’s get a wiggle on!

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 countess 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.

***

 

Of course I must engage in the requisite shameless self-promotion…  Here are links to the books about Pip and her friends.

 

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story

 

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Thanks so very much for visiting.  You’re the bee’s knees!

 

Copyright © 2014 and 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene 

All rights reserved.

This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental. 

No part of this work 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 provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise.

 

Thistledown Hiatus 6 ― on a Mattress

Friday, November 24, 2017

Thistledown is still on hiatus for National Novel Writing Month. So I’m leaving you with a vintage story.

Not all faery (fairy) tales are sugarcoated as we think of them today.  Most of you probably know that the originals from the Brothers Grim were far from sweet.  Many current TV series and movies with a dark take on those tales have been popular. I guess we should call them grownup fairy tales.  Here’s one of my favorite grownup versions… although I wouldn’t exactly call it dark.  But then again… 

Episode 6 of Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam gave shout-outs to Sally Georgina Cronin of Smorgasbord – Variety is the Spice of Life and Dan Antion of No Facilities.  Please visit their blogs and say hello.

If you missed that episode or you want to review…  Click here for episode 6.

Hugs on the wing!

 

 

 

This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this work 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 provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise.

 

Jazz Age Wednesdays 11 ― Turkey Time for Pip

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Hey Sheiks and Shebas,  I’m pos-i-lutely thankful that you’re at Jazz Age Wednesdays!  Yes, November is National Novel Writing Month (#NaNoWriMo), even at Thanksgiving (USA). And yes, I’m still woefully behind on my word-count toward drafting a novel of 50,000 words in a month… but I’m so grateful for all of you that I’m stopping to write this little vignette.  In gratitude, I’ve included a list of books that were popular during the Roaring Twenties along with links where you can get the books free at Project Gutenberg! 

Turkey Time for Pip

1928 Thanksgiving New Yorker

The New Yorker magazine, November 1928

“Paisley Idelle Peabody, I’ll have no complaining,” Granny Phanny stated firmly.

“But Granny, that’s practically all day!  Why can’t I do those errands for you?” I offered in my most reasonable voice.

“Because I said so,” was my grandmother’s answer.  “Don’t make me tell you again,” she added when I opened my mouth to offer a pos-i-lutely valid alternative.  “Now that turkey has to cook between four and a half and five hours.  Here’s a schedule for basting it.  That’s all you have to do.”

My eyebrows might have gone up a tad, but I am sure there was not a calculating expression on my face or anything like that.  So, I don’t know why she had to be such a bearcat about it.  However, Granny pointed at the oven and then turned that boney finger back at me and shook it.

“The only other thing you have to do is stay put!” she warned and I slouched down in the white ladderback chair.

“But Granny, I’ll be so bored!” I pleaded.

“That’s why I sent you to the library yesterday.  You have plenty of books to choose from to read.  But mind you, keep to that basting schedule,” she instructed with a final wag of her finger.

The heels of Granny’s oxfords click on the wood floor as she went to the foyer.  With a pearl hatpin she secured her favorite roll-brim hat to her head, and pulled on a pair of white gloves.  Then she left.

Horsefeathers,” I muttered, but I brought all the books to the kitchen table.

Some of these actually look pretty good, I thought as I read the title and author of each volume.

The Mysterious Affair at Styles* by Agatha Christie

The Age of Innocence* by Edith Wharton 

This Side of Paradise* by F. Scott Fitzgerald 

Main Street* by Sinclair Lewis 

Glinda of Oz* by L. Frank Baum

Queen Lucia* by E. F. Benson 

Dream Psychology: Psychoanalysis for Beginners* by Sigmund Freud 

Applesauce!  It was hard to decide.  I got up and basted the turkey and then sat down to choose a book.

The end

***

I wonder which book our flapper will read first.  What about you?  Have I interested you in a good read?  All of those listed above are available free, and in a variety of formats at Project Gutenberg.  You’ll find descriptions and reviews of these and other Jazz Age books at this Goodreads link.

Speaking of books, here are links to the books about Pip and her friends.

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story Kindle 

I really appreciate you taking time to visit Jazz Age Wednesdays here at Teagan’s Books.  You’re the bee’s knees!  To all of you in the USA, and anyone else who wants to celebrate a day of gratitude — Happy Thanksgiving.

 

 

This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this work 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 provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise.

 

Jazz Age Wednesdays 10 ― Pip Sees a Pug

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Welcome back to Jazz Age Wednesdays!  You’re all the cat’s meow, but this 1920s story went to the dogs!  Whether it is one dog or four remains to be seen. 

I shared this short story a while back in collaboration with A Pug in the Kitchen* where blogger-chef Suzanne cooked up some dog treats that looked good enough for human consumption.  

On to the Jazz Age!

Early Lucille 3 copy

Young Lucille Ball

The dog of the title, Wriggles, was introduced in the third of my blog serials, A Ghost in the Kitchen, Three Ingredients-II.  In that story he was a new dog for the character, Arabella Wong.  However, this vignette takes place prior to that story.  So I made Wriggles a puppy and gave him a different owner.

Did you ever get the feeling you’d have to be “hit over the head” with something before you finally got the message?  Well, that was true of Pip.  Here’s our flapper to tell the tail… eer tale.

Pip Sees a Pug… or Four 

“Floyd?  Hey, Floyd!”

That was definitely him.  The last time I saw Floyd — which was also basically the first time I saw him, the police were putting him into the paddy wagon when they arrested some bootleggers.  Yet there he was on a side street in Savannah.

Maybe all that with the coppers was just a mistake, I thought hopefully. 

After all, Floyd was as sexy as the Sheik of Araby.  Then I remembered how rude he had been to me and Alastair Wong.  He didn’t seem sexy at all before that thought even got halfway across my noodle.  However, he heard me and looked over his shoulder.Sheik of Araby

“Well now, aren’t you a choice bit of calico,” Floyd said as he turned to walk toward me.  “Oh, it’s you!  You’re a real bearcat, but you’re bad luck,” he said.  “Go chase yourself,” he told me and spat on the sidewalk.

I know.  I should have ran the other way and not even called out to him.  However, in the small Florida town where I grew up, if you saw somebody you recognized, then you said hello to them.  I didn’t see why Savannah, Georgia should be any different.

I don’t remember what I meant to say to Floyd when he started to continue on his way, but I opened my mouth to speak, taking a step toward him.

Floyd shoved me and kept going.  Unfortunately I also kept going — backward.  I slipped, fell, and cracked my head.

pugs-4-smoking-vintage

I think I was actually unconscious for a minute or two.  Then I felt something wet wiped across my face.  When I opened my eyes, the world was a spinning blur.  I saw a little pug dog.  It licked my face.  It was wearing a top hat and bow-tie, and smoking a cigar.  As I gazed at it uncomprehendingly I realized there were four of them.  However, when I held my hand out toward the dog, I seemed to have an uncountable number of fingers.  So I figured there was only one dog.  I wasn’t sure what to think about the hat and cigar.

The sound of a police whistle prompted me to try and sit up.  There hadn’t been any “mistake” about the coppers hauling in Floyd.  He had probably escaped and they were after him again.  A voice intruded on my thoughts.  I realized it had been trying to get my attention for a while, but it was hard to hear it over the bells ringing inside my head.

“Huh?” I mumbled, looking for the source of the voice.

“Young lady are you hurt?” asked what must have been the world’s oldest woman.

Her face was so covered in creases and crow’s feet that it was impossible to imagine what she must have looked like in youth or even in middle age.  Even so, bright eyes shown sharply from between the wrinkles.pugs-2-vintage

Despite her fragile appearance she took my arm in a vice like grip.  She put her walking-stick in my hand.

“Wriggles, get off the poor thing!  That’s a good boy.  I’m sorry, he’s still a puppy.  Here dear.  Use my cane to help yourself up,” she said but proceeded to help me up with unexpected strength.

Once I was on my feet, if shakily so, I looked at the pug.  There was only one of him.  The hat and cigar were gone.  That much was a relief, but he still wore the bowtie.  It bothered me that I wasn’t sure whether or not the tie was really there.

Moments later I sat at the kitchen table in the woman’s tiny home.  It was a good thing she lived right around the corner.  I was dizzy and my head felt like it had gotten in the way of a sledgehammer.

A young boy “helped” us get inside her backdoor on the pretext of getting a cookie.  However, she gave him an errand.

“What’s your name, dear?” she asked me as she handed me a cup of tea. 1916-good-housekeeping-woman-tea-cup

I noticed the cup had been cracked and repaired.  The one she used for herself had a chip in the rim.

“Pi… Paisley Peabody,” I stammered, still shaken.

“Peabody?  Would you be kin to Phanny Peabody?”

“Yes ma’am.  That’s my granny.”

“Billy,” she addressed the little boy.  “Take another cookie and run down to Miss Phanny’s house.  Let her know her granddaughter is here.”

Billy’s eyes lit up at the prospect of helping.  Although the extra cookie didn’t hurt.  He took off like a rocket before I could protest.

“Yes ma’am, Miss Olive,” Billy exclaimed as he disappeared.

The pug, Wriggles barked as if he picked up and shared the boy’s excitement.  I reached down to pet him and the little dog wagged his tail so hard that his entire back half wagged along with it.  The woman handed him a treat which was gone before I got a good look at it.

studebaker1920_2

“Paisley, I know you’re from a small town,” Miss Olive began.  “You come from honest, trusting folk.  But in this day and age, a young lady alone has to be careful.  Now, you tell Miss Olive if that man did anything he shouldn’t, you hear?”

I shook my head and immediately wished I hadn’t.  “No.  I recognized him and just meant to say hello.  It would have been rude not to,” I replied and was rewarded with a smile.

The elderly woman patted my hand.  I put my nearly empty teacup on the table and thanked her.  Miss Olive took my cup and swirled the dregs looking at the contents curiously.

“You haven’t gotten off to the best start here in Savannah, have you Paisley?” she commented consolingly.  “But you will make good friends here,” she swirled the tea again and a smirk, a smile she seemed to try and suppress came to her lips.  “And you will have grand adventures.”

I heard the sound of Granny Phanny’s Model-T outside.  Wriggles lived up to his name, wagging his tail excitedly, as he yapped to make sure his lady knew she had company.  Miss Olive put the tea kettle back on the stove.  I felt comforted by the entire scene.  Safe.

The End

***

Pip’s life in Savannah, Georgia got off to a rough start.  However, she’s making quite an assortment of good friends.  I think our flapper tends to bring out the best in people… except Floyd. 

Once again I engage in the requisite shameless self-promotion…  Here are links to the books about Pip and her friends.

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story Kindle 

Thanks so very much for visiting.  You’re the bee’s knees! 

 

Copyright © 2014 and 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this work 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.  

 

Jazz Age Wednesdays 9 ― Pip’s Friend Hank

young Lucy blue

Young Lucille Ball

Wednesday, November 8, 2017 

Wow, you’re the berries!  I’m glad to see you back at Jazz Age Wednesdays!  

When I posted a Halloween story, Pip in the Field of Fear, you got to meet Pip’s friend Hank Hertz.  Those of you who have read Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I also know Hank.  Awhile back, I collaborated on a post with Kirt Tisdale at The Wall Gallery.  Kirt also has a “sepia gallery” which is giving me a lot of inspiration for The Skull of the Alchemist (my National Novel Writing Month project). 

For that tale, Kirt’s photo (below) inspired me to write.  However, it didn’t make me think of Pip.  Rather it brought me a backstory for Hank Hertz.  Without further ado, meet Hank.

On the Radio — Meet Hank 

Photo by Kirt Tisdale

No harm in trying one more time, Hank Hertz thought as he stacked all manner of electronic components on the counter.

“Hi, Mr. Hardscrabble,” Hank mumbled, trying to avoid eye contact with the hardware store’s proprietor.

“Hank, I already told you.  Your ma told me not to sell you any of this gadgetry tomfoolery.  You might as well put all that stuff back on the shelves, son.”

Hardscrabble put a hand to his balding head in a frustrated gesture.  He found his spectacles there and smiled because he’d forgotten where he put them.  However, he brightened when the door opened.  One of “Savannah’s finest,” Detective Dabney Daniels strolled into Hardscrabble Hardware.  His finely chiseled features remained neutral, but he raised an eyebrow at the tableau at the counter.

“Now get on with you, boy.  Put everything back.  I can’t take your money,” the store owner repeated before turning to a real customer.  “That boy gets more like his granddaddy every day.  Detective, what can I do for you?”

1928 Detroit police radio Blue

“No need to rest on formality, Homer.  I can’t find my flashlight, so I’m here for another one,” the detective replied then looked sheepish.  “Go ahead and laugh about things going missing at a police station.  I can tell you’re holding it back.”

Hank watched the exchange between the tall detective and the portly shopkeeper as he reluctantly made trips from the sales counter back to the shelves.  He could have carried more things at one time, but he delayed the inevitable, hoping Mr. Hardscrabble would change his mind.  As he picked up a few more items to return to the shelf, the detective stopped him.

“What is all that stuff, son?  If I didn’t know better, I’d think you were building a ham radio.  Or at least intended to before Homer shut you down.”

For a moment Hank’s face lit up at the mention of his passion — all things electronic, especially radios.  He looked dejectedly at his feet.

“Momma wants me to study law.  She says electronics and inventions are a distraction.  She even said they were toys!”

“So all the old fogies are conspiring against you, huh?  Well, you’d better ankle all that stuff back where it came from, like Homer told you.”

***

1920 Radio News

After supper Hank got an armload of books and headed out the kitchen door.  His mother looked at the heavy tomes and gave a satisfied nod.  Hank knew she was watching from the window above the sink as he walked to the little red barn.  Vines of Cherokee roses ran riot over the building.  The Hertz family used the barn for storage, but Hank made it his personal spot to study or just hang out.  He also had a workbench tucked in one corner where he discretely kept his radio equipment.

The horizon blazed red with sunset when Hank slipped out of the barn.  He pedaled the motorized bicycle he had made until he was far enough away that his parents wouldn’t hear the noise of the motor.  Dusk descended as he rode into town.

Hank didn’t pay any attention to the dark Ford parked on the corner, or to the fact that someone sat inside it.  He rode down the alley and came up behind Hardscrabble Hardware.  The back door was locked, but he found a window he could open.  He took his flashlight and climbed into the store.

He knew exactly where to find everything he wanted.  So it didn’t take Hank long to gather all the electronics he tried to buy that afternoon.  He stood at the sales counter and added up all the prices.  He figured the tax.  Then he left the full amount of the purchase, plus two cents, because he didn’t have enough pennies to leave the exact change.

Putting everything into his bag, Hank turned toward the back of the shop.  It felt like an electric charge shot from his neck down his arm when he heard a cough behind him.  Hank jerked around to face the sound.

1920 Victoria motorcycle ad

The boy thought he’d lose everything he ate for supper when he saw the police detective standing there, arms folded.

“So you actually broke into the store and paid for the things Homer wouldn’t sell you?  Son, I don’t know what to make of that.”

Hank stumbled back a step.  He wanted to run, but the copper knew who he was and where he lived.  Besides, Hank had a pretty good idea that those long legs could catch up with him before he got to his bicycle.  His breath caught in his throat.  Hank couldn’t have spoken even if he’d known what to say.

The detective closed the distance to the counter in a single step.  He pointed his new flashlight to the paper where Hank had added up his purchase.  Then he pursed his lips as he thought.  He stared at Hank as if he could see every fib the boy had ever told.  Hank gulped.

“Where’d you get the money for this stuff, son?  Allowance?  Money for odd jobs?”

Hank only nodded, still unable to talk.  Finally he found his voice and croaked out a reply.  “It’s my money sir.  Fair and square.  I wouldn’t steal anything.”

“I guess I’m going to have to have a talk with your parents,” Dabney Daniels said, slowly shaking his head.

Poor Hank felt like he might sink through the floor, right then and there.  His knees felt weak.

“But this,” the copper motioned at Hank’s bag full of stuff.  “I don’t see as any law has really been broken.  After all, I walked in through the front door, which was unlocked.  I know Homer leaves through the back door and forgets to lock the front.  But being as you’re here, I assume he left it open for you.”

Hank gazed at Daniels in wide eyed confusion.

“Besides, I hate doing paperwork.  If you had actually broken into this store, I’d have to haul you to the station and spend the rest of the night writing up the report.  I do have to talk to your parents though,” he added causing Hank to sink further.

The young man managed a groan.

“You know, I really need an intern down at the station.  I think your mother will see that working for me would be a good learning experience for a future lawyer.  In a way, that’s where law starts isn’t it?  With the police?  Meanwhile you can put your talent with radio gadgetry to use.  How does that sound?”

The end

***

I hope you enjoyed this backstory for one of the Murder at the Bijou characters.

Now you know what I have to do next… I must do the shameless self-promotion…  Here are links to the books about Pip and her friends.

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story Kindle 

Thanks so very much for visiting.  You’re the cat’s pajamas! 

 

Copyright © 2014 and 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this work 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.