Jason's Coming of Age Story

Chapter Eight

We had a new brother!! And a younger one at that!! Logan asked me again to tell him about the others and partway through Mom called up the stairs that Logan's clothing was all dry and that Dad and Mr. Lane (the local lawyer) wanted us to go with them to pick up Logan's belongings from up the road. Logan rushed to get dressed in his own clothes as Mike and I got ready to go, but Mike ran to Logan while he just had his underwear on and asked him to stand still for a moment, he had to take a couple of pictures of his bruises. I had totally forgotten that Mr. Lane had asked for those and with all the excitement I had forgotten about them.

 Once he knew what they were for, he let Mike snap away and then he finished dressing and we went to meet up with Dad downstairs. We four rode over in Dad's car, his was the big SUV so there would be room for Logan's things. Not only was Mr. Lane there, but a police officer was, too. He explained we could take anything that belonged to Logan from the small ranch-style house. Logan piped up and said the whole place belonged to him, but if he was going to live with us, he didn't need the house. Mr. Lane spoke up and said that Logan was correct. The house had been left to him, his Aunt had moved in when Logan's mom died four years ago, leaving everything to him, in the care of her sister. That was the arrangement that was mentioned in the original guardianship papers he had seen that morning in court.

Logan was nine now, and he had been left to be raised by his resentful aunt, even though she had had a free place to live for all those years. With the revocation of her custody she was now homeless, but not for long, the courts would see to that. So, with the officer unlocking the door we entered and went right to Logan's room. The officer had to open a few windows; the place stunk to high heavens. Full ashtrays were just about everywhere, and it wasn't just cigarettes in them, Mike pointed out several roaches among the cigarette butts. The place was a mess, but Logan's bedroom was almost spotless. There also wasn't much in clothing there that still fit him. We bagged up his pajamas, all the underwear, all the T-shirts, his winter clothing since that all was pretty new, he said they got it at the church bazaar at Christmas (we heard from Mr. Lane that they had tables of kids clothing for parents to swap).

Five shopping bags full of clothing, some very used toys and games (again obtained at a swap meet) and a photo album he kept hidden under his bed from when his mother was still alive. I asked if he wanted his bedroom furniture, but he adamantly said NO, except for what we had already packed he wanted no reminders of his past life, he wanted to start out totally new. So, with that I dumped out the clothes on his bed and told him to pick out his favorites, but only if they still fit. He scrambled to sort the clothing again and what he came up with was less than half a shopping bag full. Next was the bag of footwear and with the exception of one pair of sneakers, the rest were left behind.

Then the bag of pajamas but there wasn't anything really worth keeping out of those worn and thin coverings. The final selections were taken with his photo album out to the car and I asked Mr. Lane what the next step was and I think he was wondering what this college kid was doing, but Dad nodded to me, and then to him and told the lawyer that I was actually the guy who ran the show around here. Mr. Lane looked surprised but proceeded to tell me that he thought that once the aunt was tried on the child endangerment and child abuse charges and found guilty, the house could be cleaned up and then either rented out or sold, the proceeds going into a trust fund for Logan's future. I told him that sounded good, but since he had seen documentation that the house was left to Logan by his mother, then I wanted him to proceed on that basis, and that I didn't care if the aunt's possessions had to be stored somewhere or not, but this was Logan's property and I wanted it settled as soon as possible.

With that said I asked if he would mind driving dad home, Mike and I were taking Logan shopping for some new clothes. I'll tell you something, I don't think Mike and I had had that much fun since our wedding night. Everything was new to Logan. He had heard other kids at school talk about the Mall in Holyoke, but he had never seen it. He couldn't remember ever having new clothes that hadn't been worn for a year or two by someone else. I could relate to that, and I was damned if my little brother was going to have to wear hand-me-downs. From the skin out, and from head to toe he got outfitted in new outfits, Mike reminded me that where possible to choose items with some growth potential, at nine years old Logan could start a growth spurt at any time.

Clothing taken care of as well as winter boots, boots for riding, a barn coat with a zip in lining, a parka to ride the bus to school in, a couple of toques to wear under the hoods of his coats on really cold mornings, a couple of scarfs, a set of insulated mittens and a pair of gloves, we headed to the electronics store, stopping to get him a watch on the way. We got him a decent laptop and a cell phone he said he wouldn't be able to use in school, but there was still the ride to and from, and we wanted him to have a way to communicate with us, or Mom and Dad, once he was familiar enough with the property and the horses to be out on his own.

He was almost speechless by the time we were done, marveling at the amounts of money we were spending on him, but Mike told him that even though we didn't know him at Christmas, or his last birthday, we wanted him to have all this to start his new life with, his new life with his new family.

Once we got home Mom announced that we had about a half-hour until dinner would be ready, and that everyone else was home and everyone was having dinner together to welcome Logan to the family. Logan seemed nervous as we brought all our purchases up to his room but he got right into it as we snipped the tags off a lot of his new clothes and emptied the packages of his new underwear and socks and T-shirts before heading back down to the laundry room to get the 'newness' out of the clothing. We did set both washers going, and I thought after dinner, if we didn't dally, that we might get everything dried before bedtime.

While Mom put the finishing touches on dinner, we three sons set the table, which now had the two extra leaves in it and Kate's high chair at one corner. Carole and Sam were the first to arrive and Carole wanted to know how everything went at Logan's old house. Mike and Dad filled her in while Logan and I played with Kate. Soon Ben and Ken arrived, followed shortly by James and Tim. Each one of them came over to meet Logan and soon the room was filled with conversations and laughter, that is until Mom rapped a wooden spoon on a pot lid to let us know it was time to take our places at the table.

Dinner proceeded with everyone asking Logan questions about his school, did he know how to ride a horse, did he have a big group of friends, what were his favorite subjects, did he know that us six college guys (except Ken) all wanted to be teachers? But he had one of his own, he said he kind of knew what everyone did, but what did Sam do? Sam was probably the quietest one of all of us, but he cleared his throat and told Logan he was a swim coach and trainer for the University's swim team, and he had also been a personal trainer before working at the University. Logan said he thought that was so cool, being able to work in a gym and now at the pool at the University, man that must be the best job ever. For once Sam was beaming like he had won the lottery or something. He had a fan in Logan.

Once dinner was winding down I heard the buzzers on the washing machines going off, so I excused myself to go start the drying process and Mom called out to me that if I put three dryer sheets in with each load to be dried then there was less chance of having to iron anything. I heard Logan ask to be excused, and he was soon with me, helping by shaking the damp clothes out before they were tossed in the dryers. We tried Mom's dryer sheet trick, and it really did work.

We found that out when after a couple of shows on the family room TV Logan, Mike and I went to go fold the dried clothes with Logan. Mom kept trying to help, but we guys had this covered and she ended up just sitting on a stool and talking to us, getting to know Logan was her goal, and he was getting to know more about us as the evening wore on.

Sunday morning, we all went to church, and Logan told us he used to go with his mother, he could remember that, but his aunt had never taken him. He hummed along to the hymns and when we were leaving a couple of other third or fourth graders called out to him and he stopped walking with us to the car and began telling his school chums that he had a new home, with a bunch of older brothers and a baby sister and a bunch of horses, and that he now lived in a big house but they would see that on Tuesday because he had to change his stuff at school tomorrow before classes started so he wouldn't be on the bus tomorrow unless they got his new information to the bus driver in the afternoon so he could ride the bus home after school and then they could see where he lived, but not the horses, it was too cold for them to be outside for too long but when it got warmer they would be out most of the day.

I thought he was going to faint from a lack of oxygen, but it only took him a few seconds to pass along all this very important information and with a wave goodbye to his classmates, he was squeezing into the back seat of Mom and Dad's car with Mike and me. He had a really pleased look on his face as he snuggled in between us.

We all changed out of our church clothes and then Mom called upstairs for everyone to get their school stuff ready for tomorrow before we did anything else, breakfast would be ready in forty-five minutes. She got a YES MOM, reply from our room, from Logan's room and one from James and Tim as well. Mike said that he bet she had called on the intercom down to Ben so he would not forget his school stuff either.

After breakfast, as there had not been any new accumulation of snow, we went to the stable and we let Ken give Logan a horseback riding lesson before we all saddled up and rode along the paths between the fields. Yes, it was cold out, but we were all dressed warmly and besides, Logan was so enthusiastic it was infectious, and we all had a great time. It was back to the stable a few hours later and Logan caught on to the grooming fast and it helped remove any residual anxiety about being around these big animals. He was pretty chuffed when we all mentioned what a good job; he had done, and he ran a little ahead of us to the house so he could tell Dad and Mom what a great time he had had.

In the morning we six going to the University all said our "Have a good day" wishes to Logan before we left, Ken riding with us as he was having his car tuned up and it wouldn't be ready before he had to go to work, so he would ride with us today and we'd take him to pick his car up on our way home late this afternoon. Logan was going to school with Mom and Dad as they had to update the school with contact numbers and who would be authorized to pick him up if the need ever arose. They would also present their guardianship papers so the new address could be entered in their records, and they had a part of that they usually copied for their own records, according to Mr. Lane.

Logan was home before us, the school had set up his bus ride before school let out and someone from their office had called Mom and let her know he wouldn't have to be picked up. He was full of how his day went and he admitted that he had bragged a bit about going horseback riding yesterday, but then a bunch of the kids in his school lived near the riding school not all that far from us and rode all the time, but they had asked him some questions and were impressed that he had learned so much in a weekend.

He seemed so happy here and it made me feel so good that now I had the chance to keep a kid out of the kind of place I grew up in, well not just me but the whole family would see that he was taken care of properly. We started a routine that afternoon. We college guys started on our assignments and then when they were done after dinner, we began to go over the next chapters of some of the texts we were working from. Logan was sitting with us at the now cleared dinner table while we did our work, and he was working on a little homework himself. When he noticed we were going ahead, he decided that if it was good enough for us, then it would be good for him, too. Not only that, he had five of us to check his work for him, but we only found one of his answers that we questioned. He went over the math problem again and found his own mistake; it made him feel good that we didn't just give him the answer; he had found his mistake on his own and corrected his answer.

So that was how our second semester started and that was a pattern we followed for the next couple of months. By Valentine's Day we were thinking of Florida. Jan and Matt kept in touch every week, and sometimes had stuff I had to sign and send back. They knew about Logan and his introduction to our family, but this had all happened after we came home from our holidays with them. This year for Spring break we were bringing Logan with us as he had the same time off from his school that we did, but Carole and Sam wouldn't be going with us. They had too much going on in their jobs and plus they wanted to save some vacation time to be able to go there with us after school let out. But before that, there was one little legality that had to be taken care of, Logan's adoption.

Mom and Dad were thrilled when they were granted permanent custody in January, but they were like kids themselves the whole week before the hearing in March. The hearing was scheduled for the Tuesday afternoon of the last week of March, and as it was Mike, Tim, and I had no classes that afternoon so we would meet Mom, Dad, and Logan at the courthouse. Logan ran to us as we entered the hall the hearing room was on and I gathered him up in my arms and wondered at the difference from the skinny kid I had carried out of the shack. He now had some meat on those skinny bones, not that he was fat or anything, but he had begun to fill out and I'd bet it was young muscle as he often would work out with us guys, and even Dad at times. He used a special set of hand weights that were no heavier than five pounds, but he liked thinking he was just another of us big guys but in a smaller package.

Once I put him down, he greeted the others just as enthusiastically, and just as we moved toward Mom and Dad, Mr. Lane stuck his head out of a door and told us we could enter the hearing room, they were ready for us. When we all were in the hearing room, it wasn't a real courtroom like you see on TV, but more like a big conference room with a row of chairs along one side of a big long table and another row on the opposite side. There was a wooden armchair at the far end and also a stenographer's desk off to the side of that chair and a bailiff standing at the door behind her. Carole was at one of the chairs across from us talking to a man sitting next to her, but she did smile and wave to us all as we got settled in our seats. Once everyone was settled in their seats, the bailiff called out that court was now in session and he opened that door he had been standing in front of to allow the judge to enter. The judge entered, and he had a couple of files in his hand which he placed on the table top in front of him as he sat.

He looked at all of us around the table and asked if there were any objections to be heard in the matter before him, the Clarke's petition to adopt the minor, Logan Green. The man next to Carole rose and identified himself as Paul Drake, attorney for the DCFS (Department of Children and Family Services). He stated that his department had no objections at all to the proceedings, in fact, Logan seemed to be settling in extremely well into the household and reports from his school indicate much better grades in just three months.

The judge rubbed his chin and then turned to Dad and asked him to explain to the court how his bank records showed such a huge increase since his retirement from the Denver, Colorado Postal Service. Mr. Lane stood and introduced himself to the court and tried to explain that the funds in question were the direct result of an inheritance, and the same held true for the separate account for Mrs. Clarke. The judge turned to the other side and asked the DCFS lawyer and Carole if these bank statements had been verified and Carole rose and after identifying herself she stated for the record that her husband was a nephew of the Clarke's and she and her husband had also benefited from the inheritance, as had all the rest of the family, including the young men on the other side of the table. There was no secret about the funds or where they came from, it was just the amounts that were never made public, to preserve the families' privacy.

The judge seemed quite flustered by this for some reason and just seemed like he couldn't get over all this money crap; I think he had been hoping to catch Mom and Dad in some sort of illegal activity that would have generated the money and stocks in their name that they couldn't have earned legally. I whispered to Mr. Lane that I thought I could put a stop to this and get things moving along. In my mail yesterday I had received the monthly statements for my accounts and Mike had his and we had them with us because there were some stock changes, we wanted to make with our financial adviser at the bank on the way home.

Mr. Lane stood and introduced me to the court and I handed the bank statements to the bailiff who handed them to the judge and after he looked at them for a few moments, he asked if these were for me and I explained that they were mine and my husband's, Michael Clarke and I was Jason Denver Clarke, the grandson of Johnathan Strauss whose death resulted in me and my husband becoming multi-millionaires and our family members becoming millionaires. The judge was staring at the bottom line on our bank statements, but then handed them back to Mr. Lane and then apologized to all, saying he hadn't seen the trail of money that had suddenly appeared in Mom and Dad's bank statements. He then asked Logan to join him for a couple of minutes in the next room and Logan jumped up, eager to get this, too, out of the way. Carole had talked to him about this part of the hearing just last night and he seemed to want to get to the exciting part, the part where the judge would declare him adopted.

That happened just twenty minutes later and since Logan had requested a name change, he was now introduced to the court as Logan Strauss Clarke, the little devil hadn't said anything about this, but it just blew me away the way he wanted to honor Grandpa, a man he had never met, but the man who had really made it possible for Logan to be found and taken in by us. Mom had tears in her eyes as I hugged the stuffing out of Logan and then passed him on to Mike who did the same. Soon he had been hugged by just about everyone in the room and we were all on our way out of the building, Logan's new birth certificate and his adoption decree firmly in Mom's hand, Dad holding the other hand, Logan riding on Mike's shoulders.

Our party that night at home was a lot of fun, first, we all shared dinner together, a meal comprised of Logan's favorites. The fried chicken with potato salad, and thick French fries were a hit with everyone and the cheesecake with Logan's new name on it (Mom had added that before serving it) had been a big hit, and he never stopped smiling the whole night.

Mom said he still had the same smile on his face when she drove him to school the next morning to have the office register his new name in their records. That weekend was the first in some time that we were able to ride out in the fields without the thawing ground turning to mud under the horse's hooves. It was an especially nice ride for Logan because we had all pitched in and bought him his very own horse as his adoption present. He proudly groomed his horse after his first ride on Blossom and thanked us again and again, telling us guys we were the best brothers a guy could ever have.

His upbeat attitude carried through the whole of the next week, lasting until we drove to the small airport in Westfield to board the plane for our Spring Break in Key West, James resuming his role as flight steward for our trip down and back. Once our baggage was checked/ inspected in the small terminal we walked out to the jet, Logan getting a bit more nervous with each step, but once we were aboard, there was so much to keep him occupied he was his normal inquisitive self, that is until James asked everyone to take a seat and buckle their seat belts, we were cleared for take-off in ten minutes, anyone who had to use the restroom should do so quickly.

Well, that set Logan off, he had to go immediately, and he rushed to the restroom and hurried back to his seat by the window next to Mike. Mike helped him buckle up even as we felt the plane moving to our assigned runway. When the engines revved for takeoff, you could see his hands gripping the armrests and his face really tighten up, then a grimace as the jet propelled down the runway, and the nose lifted up in take-off formation as we climbed to the chosen altitude, and then leveled off. I could see Mike talking to him the whole time, and Logan's body finally relaxed as the plane leveled off.

Logan had one more surprise as we flew down to Key West, James took him by the hand and led him to the bedroom in the plane's rear. You could hear his laughter and then his thousands of questions as the rest of us all imagined him bouncing on the bed as James was chuckling and trying to answer his questions. The meal was eventually served and then we could feel our altitude being reduced and sure enough, the "fasten seatbelt" sign was lit, and you could hear the ping before the announcement came from the cockpit to prepare for landing. Logan had regained his seat and was once again buckled in and peering out the window as the earth slowly appeared to his view. As we approached the island his hands were clutching the armrests again but now, I noticed his feet trying to push through the floor of the cabin as if he could help stop the plane as we started to moving down the runway. A big sigh of relief escaped from him as the plane came to a full stop by our rented hangar there.

Jan and Matt were there to meet us, with a borrowed mini bus from the hotel that Grandpa had left Mike and me. The driver of the bus loaded our luggage, assisted by us guys and Mom did the honors of introducing her new son to Jan and Matt. I think Logan was just as impressed with these two other 'brothers' as we all had been, with Matt's obvious Italian good looks and Jan's opposite Nordic ruggedness they certainly did make an impressive pair.

We all got settled into our regular rooms, Logan using the double room down the hall near Mom and Dad's room that Sam and Carole had used in the past. We all got settled in pretty quick and went back downstairs to find that Jan had started the barbecue and Matt had all the rest of our hamburger-based lunch well in hand. We all teased Logan about being the paleface in the crowd, but with sunblock and a few days in the sun he would tan up nice. It was of course the first time we had seen him in his new summer clothes, including the sandals he kept staring at as he walked, he just wasn't used to them yet, and his feet were the whitest ones I think I had ever seen.

We ate outside after Logan got a tour of the inside of the house and after he had a chance to dip his hands in the pool while he explored the patios outside. We were just finishing up when Jerry and John brought Brianna over. They had already had their lunch, but they did stay and chat with us for a while. Again, we had to hear all their news, and we told them about the drafts for our term papers we had started already, the ones we were each writing about different historical aspects of Key West and the influence Grandfather's company had on the town. Partway through this discussion, Jan looked at me and nodded off to the side and we both left the others and walked a bit away from them and he told me that just that week there had arrived an offer for the lumber yard and the hardware store. The offer was from a national chain, one that wanted a presence in the keys and had been trying to buy out Grandpa for years. The offer was for ten million dollars.

Once the dollar figure sunk in I told him that I had no intention of selling, but if Jan thought we should entertain that offer then maybe I could be convinced, but the whole shebang, the property with the two businesses on it and the huge lumber storage barns was worth much more than ten million. My financial adviser had told me that it was well worth over a hundred and ten million as it stood right now. Jan agreed with me and then he told me he thought the big national company was just feeling us out and that they most likely expected a counter offer. I told him that I certainly wasn't looking to sell, but if he or others in the family that held stock wanted to sell theirs, then I, or if need be, Mike and I would gladly buy their shares. That company was the biggest chunk of my heritage left and I would spend my last dollar and work the check-out lane in the hardware store if it meant it stayed in the family.

Jan hugged me and told me that that was exactly what he expected to hear, but as the majority stockholder he thought I should at least be informed of the offer and even though it was a Saturday, he would reply to the company that made the offer by fax the next day, flatly refusing the offer and informing them neither business was for sale. There was some place that he and Matt wanted to show Mike and myself while we were here and he thought that if we didn't have plans already, that tomorrow after church would be a good time to do that. He wouldn't give me any details, he just told me that it was a good opportunity for us to invest in, he thought. Our financial adviser back home was always going on about the money we had not earning us more money, especially around tax time his comments were heard every time we talked. I guess he was right, if we wanted to maintain what Grandfather had bequeathed us, we had to make it earn funds to be able to cover the taxes and the expense of having a lot of money.

After church, we took Logan with us as Jan and Matt took us to the Gulf side block behind the storage barns at the lumberyard. This was the former site of the steam generator plant owned by the city. It was a huge multi-story couple of brick buildings that the city was anxious for a developer to take over and turn into either apartments or condos. Jan said that it would take about seven to ten million to renovate the buildings but once completed and turned into living spaces we could expect a return of at least forty to sixty million, and that was only on the full retail units, ten percent of the finished units would have to be set aside for low income or senior housing, according to the city guidelines. Logan didn't really understand why we were here, but he found the buildings something he definitely wanted to explore, just as it was. I explained that the city needed someone to invest some money to make these into apartments or condos for people to live in. He thought that was neat, Mike, and I liked that idea too.

I asked Jan what he and Matt thought and he told me that they were ready to invest a million themselves, and I knew that that was just about everything they had with the exception of the stocks in the local businesses Grandpa had left them. If they were willing to invest most of their funds in this project, and they were the guys Mike and I respected the most as far as money matters went, then I thought we should go in on the project as well. Mike looked to me and nodded, so I knew he was on board so I asked Jan to go ahead and get a proposal for the city drawn up and if we four agreed with it, get it submitted and we'll see where this takes us, but to be researching big construction companies and of course an architect we could all agree on.

Mike spoke up and said he wanted a contractor involved in the project that would be devoting all his crews to the project, even if it meant dealing with a builder that was from out of the area, he certainly didn't want to see this re-build lagging on for years, let's look for a year to a year and a half for a completion date, at the most. Jan had his ever-present notebook in hand and was jotting our thoughts down as Matt and Logan were looking through the ground-floor windows at the former office space for the steam plant.

Logan was between Mike and me in the back seat on the way home. He looked thoughtful for about a block and then as we went down Eaton Street he asked me if this was a big deal we had been talking about and Mike chuckled and said that it was going to cost millions, but in the long run it would provide about a hundred homes for people to buy, and not just rich people, but people from all walks of life, so yes, if everything worked out, it would be a big deal here in town. All he said then was that he was glad we all were his brothers.

Our stay was a very relaxing time, although we certainly got a lot of exercise. We did a lot of swimming and a lot of walking. The Old Town streets are somewhat narrow and it isn't unusual to see a five- or six-room cottage sized house there on a seven to ten thousand foot lot sell for over a million dollars, but the neighborhoods are charming and we spent more time on this trip walking block after block to see these gentrified homes that used to house working-class families and were now vacation homes for the rich and famous.

By the last four days of our stay, we were pretty much just sticking by the pool and sunning on the lounge chairs on the patios. Logan had found the crafts and gaming schedules at the library across the street and he would often go to one of their programs if we became too boring for him. On the Wednesday before our return, Jan finally got an answer from the city about who they were going to assign the renovation of the old steam plant. It seemed they liked our bid the best and the plans we had outlined in our proposal that Jan and Matt had slaved over, after lining up a nationally known renovation company and a somewhat local architect from Islamorada, one of the keys in the chain of keys (islands) that made up the Florida Keys, construction and renovation would start at the end of the month with an expected finish date at the end of a year and a half.

Our flight home was a much different sort of flight for Logan. He was a flier with some experience now and it was funny to see him still tense up at take-off, but by the time we were at cruising altitude he was asleep!!, he had relaxed that quickly. Mike was going to take him to the bedroom and tuck him in, but Mom told him not to, Logan might then sleep too much and not get a good night's sleep that night, so Logan was left buckled into his seat napping, and sure enough by the time James was serving snacks Logan was wide awake watching the clouds go by his window.

Everyone returned to school after a weekend of reviews of the school work we were returning to, and a lot of laundry. Of course, we also had to ride, I think we all had missed that while we were away and Logan had missed his horse while we were gone. We were riding on Sunday afternoon after church while everyone else was kind of busy or napping. Mike and I and Logan, were heading to the far end of the farm lane, out to the gate that closed off our lane through the fields from the access road that separated our property from the one behind us. This access road provided a route that farmers could use to gain access to the fields they were working on, enabling them to drive their tractors and other farm equipment on these farm lanes rather that the town roads. Our gate had a remote-control opener on it and also a touch pad in case whoever needed access didn't have their remote on them.

We could see a guy standing at the touch pad trying to enter a code that would allow him to drive his pickup through the gate, and onto the property. Neither Mike nor I knew who this guy was, but Logan did. He told us that the guy was a sometime boyfriend of his aunt's, and a mean son of a bitch. We stopped our horses about twelve feet from the gate and I hollered over to him. "Can I help you with anything?" Mike had his cell phone in his hand, prepared if the guy was going to start trouble or something. The guy looked up from the touchpad at that point and hollered back, "Yeah, can you let me in? I'm here to collect that skinny kid you got here with you, Logan. His aunt asked me to come and collect him; he hasn't been to see her at the jail." I told him that Logan wasn't going anywhere with him, and certainly not to see his aunt, she was no longer a part of his life, so I suggested he get back in his truck and leave. He seemed pretty upset by this and began to rant about something and I saw Mike thumbing the phone in his hand, calling the local police.

The guy was now pounding on the touchpad box and kicking the post it was on and I feared if he did any damage to it that the farmers who needed access to our fields for their Spring planting would either have to come in the front way and bring their equipment all through the property to get out here, or have to wait until we got the electronic pad and opener repaired. Since we were not that far from anywhere in town it didn't take two police cars long to come to the farm lane and they boxed the pickup in and told the guy to put his hands above his head and walk toward them. Of course, the idiot didn't comply with their orders and the four officers then proceeded to taser him until he was on the ground, and they were able to handcuff him, and then get him strapped in the back seat of one of the cruisers which then took off for the police station I suppose. We then rode over to the gate and dismounted.

One of the officers was the one who had arrested Logan's aunt, and he asked Logan how he was doing, which set Logan off on telling the officer how he had gotten adopted by his new family and he had his own horse now and all new clothes, and he got to fly in our plane to Florida for Spring break and he was doing so much better in school because he studied with all his big brothers who went to college at the University… The officer asked him if he was happy and he said he was soooo happppppy. And he was glad I got the policemen to take away that mean Doug. The second officer came over and said it was a good thing we did, because there was a rope and a knife in the truck and it looked like the guy Doug had been going to try to kidnap Logan.

Author's note:

This story was inspired by a reader who sent me a note back in January. He asked me to write about a boy about to age out of the system who finds he has a wealthy grandfather through a DNA test. Thank you, David W. for the wonderful suggestion, my imagination went wild while I was writing this. It was actually fun. Art 

Comments appreciated at Art West