The next morning Tony, Aunt Maggie and I were working in the office. Tony had arrived first and had fixed the coffee. I stopped and got some orange juice, half and half, some lemonade and some sodas.
Everyone was busy and at about ten o'clock, there was a call, Tony answered the phone. "Is my Grandmother there?" asked a young voice.
Tony said, "I don't know who your Grandmother is. Perhaps if you tell me, I can answer your question."
"You stupid jerk, I want to talk to Mrs. Jackson." the voice demanded.
"Well, why didn't you say so? She's having her coffee break." Tony challenged.
"Well, tell her to call Tip." The voice said.
Tony said, "I will if I can remember. I guess that you think your foster Grandmother is at your command. I'll tell her you called and I will also tell her that you need some attitude adjustments. Talk to you later."
It was about noon when two young men came into the office. "Hey Grams, can we have some money to get something to eat?"
Mrs. Jackson said, "There is plenty of food at the house. You can go home and eat there. If you need money, then maybe you should get a job. I assume that you have already spent your allowances."
"Now come and meet the people who I will be working with. This stud is Airman Tony Henderson."
Tony shook their hands and Tip asked, "You're the person who said that I needed some attitude adjusting, right?"
Tony looked at him and said, "I am even more sure now that I have met you and Ty that you both need some major attitude adjustments."
I could see that the two younger men were getting up tight, so I shook their hands and introduced myself. Ty said, "You're rather good looking for a white dude."
I shot back, "And you are not too bad looking for a black punk. Now both of you sit down or Tony and I will set you down."
The two grandsons sat down. I looked around and asked. "Aunt Maggie and Tony, what are you going to do for lunch?"
Mrs. Jackson said, "I'll just go meet some friends and we'll eat in the snack bar. I packed a sandwich and an apple."
Tony said, "I was just going to go to the chow hall and have a sandwich and a salad."
I looked at Mrs. Jackson and said, "Boss, why don't you call your friends and have them come eat with you here. You can eat in the conference room and watch to see if anyone comes in. The Colonel has to go to the Chamber of Commerce luncheon. He's giving a speech today at their luncheon. He probably won't be back until about 1:30."
I went and knocked on the Colonel's door. "Sir, you are scheduled at the luncheon in 30 minutes."
"Thanks Troy." The Colonel came out with his hat. "I'll be back about 1330 . Good speech Troy. You better be careful or you might have to write a lot more of them. Hey, who are the two good looking guys?"
"Colonel Allen, these are Mrs. Jackson's two foster grandsons. This is Tip and this is Ty." I answered.
The Colonel shook their hands and said, "Nice meeting you gentlemen. Maybe the next time I'll have more time to visit."
The guys were in awe. They were so amazed that a Colonel had shaken their hands. I announced, "Mrs. Jackson, you are in charge. Tony and I are going to take the guys to grab a quick lunch and then I am taking them to the Base Rec Center. I'll bring Tony back after we eat. Here is my cell phone number in case something comes up."
We went to a Chinese restaurant that had a buffet. I never even thought that more than likely the three of them had probably never been to a Chinese restaurant before. Without too much prompting, they acclimated and did major damage. After we finished I paid the bill. Tony started to complain, but I passed the signal and he stopped. I took Tony back to the office and went to the Rec Center with the two young guys. I took the guys to Ian's office and introduced them to him.
"Ian, Tip and Ty are looking for jobs. They are only 15 so they can only work 20 hours a week. I understand that you may be able to take them on as part time help at minimum wage. That would only be about $150.00 a week before taxes, but it will look good on their resumes when they turn 16. If they started saving right away, they could pool their savings and get one car to share when they turn 16." I said. "Why don't you get one or two of your young people to show them around while you and I visit?"
Poor Ian had no idea what was happening, but he played along with me. He called for two of his sergeants. The two Sgts came into the office area and we introduced everyone. The two sergeants each took one of the guys and showed the guys around the facility.
I looked at Ian, "Lieutenant Glenn sir, I would be much obliged if you hired these two young men part time. They both need to learn to be responsible and gain some self-esteem. I haven't had time to learn their stories yet, but I'm sure they have had some pretty hard knocks. They are living with Mrs. Jackson who is now Colonel Allen's secretary. Please do this, and I'll get the Colonel to grease the skids?"
The guys came back with their guides and Ian said, "Guys if you want jobs, you need to be here at 0730 so that we can get you processed through personnel. Hans and Jose will make sure that you get all of the paperwork done and then you can start to work as soon as possible. Do you have any questions?"
Tip asked, "Lt. Glenn, when and if we get hired, will we be able to use the facilities here?"
Ian looked at the guys. "You will have the opportunity to use the facilities in your off duty time, since you are employed at the base. However, when you are expected to be on duty you had better be so."
I got ready to go and said, "Ian, do you want to meet for dinner? Why don't you pop down to my room at 6:00 and we'll go from there? Now I have to take these two young men back to their Grandmother before they need a diaper change."
On the way back to the office, I asked. "How did you get to the office?"
Tip said, "We rode our tricycles. We'll just pull them out of our pockets and head on home."
I looked at the guys, "I hope those little peanuts in your little sacks don't get bruised or scraped from riding such little bikes."
"No fair, you were checking us out in the men's room." Tip pouted.
"Nah, I just used my x-ray vision to make sure you weren't doing anything wrong." I laughed.
Ty glared, "I suppose that you were checking Tony out too."
"Tony pulled out an iron shield like the dentists use and wrapped it over his arm before we went to the bathroom. I guess we will just have to take him skinny dipping. I want you guys to go home and clean your rooms and do your laundry. I'll call you after dinner and we'll get to together and do something with some of my friends."
Tip said, "You sure are demanding."
"That's they way we Lieutenants are. Talk to you guys later." I pointed at them.
I went into the office. Tony handed me some notes and I read them. I put the pertinent ones on the Colonel's desk. Mrs. Jackson asked, "How did lunch and the job interviews go with the two boys."
"Ma'am, they had some attitude adjusting but I think they are both in need of a male support figure. They were really quite good and I think that we made some headway. I told them I would pick them up later tonight to see what mischief we could get into." I looked at her and there were tears in her eyes.
"Troy, they are both really good boys. It's just that they have very difficult times. Neither one of them is related to me. They are both foster children. Tip's father, who he adored, was killed in Iraq. His mother died of cancer shortly after. I have to warn you though; I think that he is gay and a very confused young man. Ty on the other hand comes from an entirely different background. His parents were arrested for producing meth, and he and his sister were left to fend for themselves. Tip's last name is Washington and Ty's is Jefferson."
Tony and Troy both looked at her and asked, "Mrs. Jackson, why would you take on two boys with such big issues?"
"Troy and Tony, I really don't know; but I just know that these two guys will come out of this mess on their feet. They are basically very good young men. I'm just afraid that I am getting too old to be able to meet their needs. I just hope they can find someone who will give them a jump start."
Colonel Allen came in and said, "I have to tell you people that something happened today that I have never experienced before. After my speech I received a standing ovation. Troy, I don't know how you did it but you seemed to know which buttons would perk the audience's attention. The Omaha Royals presented me with a Box Seat with 12 tickets for tonight's game. Oh by the way General Ryan asked me to commend you on the speech. Troy, my wife and I have another commitment tonight, so why don't you and Tony take the Four Horsemen and some friends to the game?"
I turned to Tony and said, "Call Sergeant Dover and see if he would like to go. Mrs. Jackson, call the guys and tell them to be ready to be picked up at 6:15. I'll call Patty, Lauren, Ian and the Four Horsemen. We'll meet at my Q and then take off from there."
The calls were all made. Ian and Tony and I met at my BOQ. We picked up the Four Horseman. Chip and I picked up Tip and Ty and we were going to meet Patty and Lauren at the ballpark. We all hooked up and I took the pass to the ticket office. The young lady handed us our tickets and said, "Sir, the Publicity Director would like to talk to you and your guests. He will meet you inside the stadium."
We went into the stadium and there was a gentleman waiting for us. He handed us each a Royals tee shirt and said, "We would like to have one of you to throw out the first ball and another of you to sing the national anthem if that would be possible."
The guys pointed to Tim to pitch out the first ball and Tip turned to Ty to and said, "Ty needs to sing the national anthem."
I went to the concession stand and bought twelve team hats and six programs. We were escorted to our seats directly behind the home team dug out. The Public Address Speaker came on and made his announcements. "Ladies and gentlemen, this is Offutt Air Force Base appreciation night. The first ball tonight will be thrown out by one of the Vice Commander's sons, Mr. Tim Miller, but first, the national anthem will be sung by one the base civilian employees grandsons, Mr. Ty Jefferson."
The music started and Ty did an outstanding job. Tim threw the first ball and the umpire called it a strike. Both guys received an autographed baseball. The Royals won the game and the guys ate their way through the ball game. Our party of twelve in the base box had a great time.
The next morning before Tony and I could get organized, I had a call from Lt. Gen. Miller, "Troy, the guys are jealous that you got Ty and Tip a job. They want you to do that for them too."
"Sir, why didn't they say so? I will see what I can do today, but I need to talk to them to see what kind of job they want."
I had just hung up when the Colonel came in, "Troy, you have created a mess. Why does everything that you do turn out right?"
"Colonel Allen, I have no idea what you are talking about. What is it I did wrong?"
"That's just it Troy. You have done nothing wrong. Your instincts guide you to make the correct decisions. I had a call from the Royals' Management last night saying how great you and your friends handled the notoriety. But more importantly, Alex and Scott are upset that you got the Jackson boys jobs and not them."
"Sir, I apologize, but they never indicated to me that they were interested in jobs. The guys seem to be so well adjusted that I never thought it necessary to interfere. I'll meet with them and see what I can come up with." I looked at the Colonel.
He said, "Troy, you are something else. The entire base is buzzing about you."
By that afternoon, I had lined up part time jobs for the Four Horsemen. I had taken my lunch hour and picked the guys up and taken them for their interviews. Chip and Alex were going to be working in the golf clubhouse snack bar over lunch and also responsible for keeping the golf carts clean during the week. Their hours were 9:00 to 1:00.
Tim and Scott would be working at the base bowling alley in the snack bar and helping at the check in and shoe rental desk during the day from 10:00 to 2:00.
I had Tony use my car to get the guys processed in for their jobs. He came back at 4:00 and announced, "Mission completed, Sir. The guys want to know what we are doing for fun tonight. Alex wants to know if we are going to the farm this weekend?"
The phone rang and Mrs. Jackson answered, "This is Colonel Allen's office. How may I help you? … Oh hi, Alex. Let me see if your Dad can visit." Maggie went to the door and the Colonel picked up the phone. Maggie came out and hung up.
The Colonel came out of his office and said, "Troy, I hear you struck again. Alex says you got all four of them jobs. He also says that you are to meet the guys at the tennis court tonight 7:00. The guys have called Tip and Ty and you are to get Tony and one of his friends and Ian and then you can have a basketball game on the court adjacent to the tennis court. He also wants to know if you are going to the farm this weekend?"
"Colonel, we'll make the plans for tonight. My mind is like a merry go round right now. Tony, call Sgt. Dover and see if he is available for tonight. I'll call Lt. Glenn and make sure that he is available."
Mrs. Jackson said, "Colonel Allen, I don't know what Troy did to the two guys, but when I got home last night, they had cleaned their rooms and done all of the laundry and even had started dinner. Then when they came home from the game it was like they were drunk. Their mouths wouldn't stop talking."
"We'll keep working on the guys. I don't give up without a fight. I try to make them be the best that they can be." I answered.
"Troy, I don't know how you do it but it is like you just make everyone you meet better. Just don't loose that quality. People are more important to you than anything except your family." Colonel Allen said. "I don't know how you do it but you can't solve everyone's problems. You have to think of Troy and his needs sometimes or you are going to wear yourself out and then you won't be able to help anyone."
I looked at the Colonel and said, "Are you saying that you would like me to back off and let the guys develop on their own?"
"That's not what I'm saying at all. I don't want you to make their decisions for them. You have given them all a good start, but they must do some of the work on their own. You can't be taking care of all of their problems or they will never learn to be self sufficient. Just be there for them when they come to ask for your advice and always be honest with them. Don't gloss over their weaknesses. Now everyone close down for tonight and I'll see you bright and early in the morning." Colonel Allen said as he left.
By the end of the evening, Larry Dover was going to work with Ty on his football skills since he had been an all star quarterback in high school. Tony had been an All State Honorable Mention in basketball and was going to be work to help Tip develop his basketball skills.
Alex and Chip organized the caravan of everyone who would be going to the farm after work on Friday. They made arrangements for everyone who was going to meet at the Miller's house at 6:30 Friday evening.
It is still a wonderful pleasure to read a chapter from E Walk, even though I have read this story before, it is as nice to read again as it was the first time around, and if you have read it before, you should still read it again, because there is information in this story that will help you understand some things in some of the other stories. Tip and Ty are indeed very good boys, and with Troy's help the will most likely go far in their lives to come.
Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher