Chapter 81

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

The Patience of Job

With my pared-down-choice of Personal Weapons, Gear & Equipment already-loaded in the Jeep, I left at 21:15hrs (9:15pm) on Friday, Feb 24th, for I-83 North and Adams' Junction. It was a cold, rainy and raw night, in the low-40s leaving York, and I exited on to the long and winding road, to "The Cabin", when I noticed the temperature had dropped 15-17°F on the Jeep's Overhead Console's Outdoor Digital Compass/Temperature Gauge, as it is prone to do in these mountains. I arrived at my snowy 1,000ft lane and pulled into the carport, on the left-side of The Cabin. After disarming the building, I went in to greet Jenny, and get her watered & fed, for the night. I'd called William-The-Caretaker and told him to "stand down" for the weekend, and that he could resume his responsibilities on Monday. After turning-up the heat to 78°F, bringing-in my things from the Jeep, I built a roaring fire to help take the chill off, poured a tall glass of Ocean Spray® Diet Blueberry-Pomegranate Juice, and unpacked in the Master Bedroom. All windows and doors secured, I armed the building, and sat down to rest on the Comfy Living Room Couch, called Capt Clay's cellphone and left a voicemail that I'd be in town until Sunday evening or early Monday morning. Jenny

was already curled-up on the Oriental Rug, as last weekend, I'd dropped-off "her favorite Kodiak Bearskin" to the cleaners/taxidermist, for some minor fur repairs and cleaning.

I was weary from a week of feeling that "nothing substantive got done", on several fronts. The GC&N Complex property sale just wasn't going fast enough for me, at this point-in-time, I was "breaking-in" a new cleaning lady, had all kinds of financial problems/decisions coming quickly with a complex conversion from Group Health Rates to Single Payer Rates, numerous utility/security/insurance bills to continue paying at the GC&N Complex just to "maintain its condition", weekly visits to check on water pipes, electric, security etc, fast-rising electric/natural gas prices at the Condo, fast-rising gas prices-at-the-pump, dwindling resources to cope with it all, and no job prospects, whatsoever. It was grim, but my Faith was seeing me through, and I was trying to re-learn my former, well-known-by-others, "patience", which I'd always had with other people. It would be a tough road to get back to that "point", considering all I'd been through in the past year or so. But at least I was trying, and that's what counts.

My new copy of "Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America", was still on the table, bookmarked at page 24, where I'd left it from last weekend. At around 22:50hrs (10:50pm), I decided to get some sleep, grabbed a shower, turned-down the heat to 68°F, and climbed into a freshly-changed bed. I put my old Nokia 6060 "Clamshell" cellphone on-charge, next to my Kimber® 1911 "Eclipse Target II" .45cal ACP, with a Premium 8-round Wilson Combat Magazine in the well, and 3 extra mags, on the nightstand, next to my bed. Jenny joined me and I was asleep within a few minutes.

I got up at 04:40hrs (4:30am) "O-Dark-Thirty" on Saturday, to the noise of 45-55mph winds howling, and a much colder 21°F/Wind Chill 8°F, with light snow as squalls moved through the area. Jenny needed watering & feeding, so I grabbed my Turkish Bathrobe, turned-up the heat, took care of her as The Cabin temp came-up to 78°F. I made French-Roast, Turkish-Grind Coffee (from whole, freshly-ground beans) with my Chemex® Drip System, and contemplated breakfast. After taking the cellphone off-charge, and scanning messages, I made notes with my

trusty Montblanc Meisterstück 149 Fountain Pen – which Mom & Dad had given to me on my 50th birthday, 12 years ago – on 3 of the 5 calls to return, and electronically-deleted them all. I called Clay back and left another voicemail. Then I made Fresh-Squeezed OJ w/ lots of pulp, Eggs Benedict, Hash Browns/Fries and Grits w/ Butter & Sea Salt. On the road, my Leather Writing Case pretty much becomes my "office", without a computer or anything electronic. Yes, I still hate laptops and vowed that I'd never bring any computer to The Cabin. Ever.

As I was reading "Ameritopia" in the Living Room and it was just beginning to get light outside, Clay called back at 06:45hrs (6:45am), and we talked for a while, with him telling me that he was "okay for manpower for the weekend", with his 5 remaining Deputies, and that Deputy Jon was still recuperating, after 3 surgeries for his leg and groin (ouch!) wounds from last weekend's ambush. With that, I decided to go back to sleep for a few hours and then go into Town, visit Tony & Bev at their General Store, and do a little shopping. I'd already decided to take Jenny along, as she could use the fresh air and a partial day out of the building, as could I.

With my Beowulf® .50cal with a newly-fitted Trijicon® TA648-50 6x48 ACOG Scope, and 10 extra 11-round mags for .50cal 335gr rounds loaded in the Jeep's backseat, my Deputy Sheriff Badge & ID, dark, navy-blue Deputy Sheriff Baseball Cap, carrying my

everyday Kimber® 1911 "Eclipse Target II" .45cal ACP, with a Premium 8-Round Wilson Combat Magazine in the well, in its Galco® Paddle PLE Holster, and the Galco® Paddle Dual 8-Round Mag Carrier for 2 extra Premium 8-Round Wilson Combat Magazines, and Jenny belted into the passenger seat, I closed-down The Cabin, armed it and we left for downtown Adam's Junction, to visit a few people and places, and get some things. I had a brief, but thorough "list" of things I needed for the Pantry Storage Area, just off of the Kitchen, so I stopped at Tony & Bev's General Store first, where I could get 95% of what I needed. I'd rather give them the business, anyway. The remainder I could easily get at the big, new Shop Rite Supermarket, on the west side of town.

I parked in front of The General Store, at around 10:00hrs (10am), unbelted and put Jenny on her leash, and we went inside. I'd no more than said "hi" to Bev and Tony, than I heard a store alarm go off, down the street. I handed the leash to Tony and quickly went outside to see what was happening, and where it was coming from. I pulled my cellphone and called Ruth, the "cranky AJPD Day Dispatcher", on her direct line with my observations: Carlson's Rx Drug Store, 114 S Main St, "211-In-Progress", no shots fired as far as I could tell, situation inside store unknown, civilians outside cleared away waved-away the several people and their kids from the front sidewalks, on both sides of the street, and pulled the Jeep into the street 200ft north of the store, perpendicular of the buildings, to block any oncoming traffic. Dammit, I needed a "traffic blocker" unit on the south end of the street, ASAP, to keep civilian cars from driving into this. Ruth replied that Deputies Tim and Arthur were responding; ETA 2-3mins. I grabbed the Beowulf® .50cal with a newly-fitted Trijicon® TA648-50 6x48 ACOG Scope, and 5 of the 10 extra 11-round mags for 335gr rounds, slid it out of its Eagle® Carrying Bag, and made my way along the fronts of adjacent buildings, ducking back into the door openings for periodic cover.

I had the Deputy Sheriff Badge & ID, dark, navy-blue Deputy Sheriff Baseball Cap and tiny Police-issued Radio on a wrist-strap, so it wouldn't interfere with the Beowulf or my Kimber® 1911 "Eclipse Target II" .45cal ACP sidearm, so when Deputy Tim arrived, I told him what I needed him to do with his Police Cruiser, to block the south end of Main St. He quickly complied, and I told him to have Deputy Arthur do the same thing with his unit, behind my Jeep, on the street's north end. Meanwhile, in a crouch, I peered around the drugstore's front entrance corner.

The shotgun blast came from out of nowhere and took me partially by surprise. It took my baseball cap right-off, as one of the .00 buck penetrated the visor. I felt my face and scalp; no blood, yet. Damn, that was close! I heard the perp rack-the-slide on the sawed-off 12ga shotgun, and stayed back from the edge of the doorway. Patience, self, I said. I looked across the street, at a store's large glass windows and saw his reflection in the door next to me, which was open on my side of the entrance. Reaching around the corner with my Kimber .45cal in my weaker left hand, I fired 3 quick shots – 2 hit him in the chest and stomach, with 1 missing and going to the back of the store. Shit; I hope no one was back there, standing-up. He went down right in front of me, bleeding-out on the pavement, and I pulled the 12ga away from him and slid it back along the adjacent building's front sidewalk. Now, I had some "working room". I slipped around the

corner and inside the open door, held open by the perp's body. The other 2 guys had hostages: Mr Carlson and 3 customers. This might get ugly.

I quickly sighted-in and aimed the Beowulf .50cal at one of the other guys holding a S&W .30-06 deer rifle – too clumsy and cumbersome in a tight situation like this – and fired. He went up and into the air, flying backward into a rack of Trojan® Condoms and cough drops – an "odd retail combination" display, I thought to myself – knocking them all over the floor. Mr Carlson and the 3 customers ducked-down and I fired a 2nd shot into the 3rd man, also sending him flying 8-10ft backward. Damn, those .50cal 335gr rounds are powerful when hitting "centermass" and even more deadly at up to 200yds! It was over quickly. But I needed to find where my 3rd .45cal round went; hopefully, no one got hit. Usually, I'm usually absolutely sure of my backdrop before firing, but in this case, my weaker left hand allowed the .45 to "rise" and I missed. I saw the hole in Mr Carlson's Rx counter's tempered glass and the hole in the wall. No one had been hurt. Relief.

I radioed Deputies Tim and Arthur to secure the dead man in front, and that I had 2 more in the store, and medical assistance and ambulances were needed, as Mr Carlson and 1 of the customers had been "rifle-whipped" and were bleeding from the nose and cheek. My baseball cap visor needed some stitching-up, but at least it'd deflected that one .00 buckshot pellet, just enough from my face. After the perps' bodies were tagged & bagged, I let down my guard

and put the Beowulf .50cal back in its carrying bag, in the backseat of the Jeep. Deputies Tim and Arthur would write-up the Incident Report, Capt Clay arrived with Sgt Alex, and we talked for a while. Then I moved the Jeep back to the parking space at The General Store, and resumed my shopping trip. Jenny was happy to see me back, after all the commotion outside.

Bev offered to repair my Deputy Baseball Cap's visor, and I left it with her as Tony and I loaded my numerous purchases – dogfood, bottled water, canned goods, dairy, fresh vegs and fruit juices – into the Jeep's cargo bay. Jenny stayed inside with Bev, as Tony and I watched Capt Clay, the Deputies, Memorial Hospital ambulances, EMTs and clean-up crew perform their "Incident" duties. It was nice not having to be involved, any more than I had to, in that milieu of activity. I had my Fedora along, so at least I wouldn't get cold without the baseball cap. Sucks to wear it with my Marlboro® Gear Down Parka, though. I didn't care and neither did Jenny. I could wait until I got back to The Cabin and get a proper cap to go with it. I was beginning to regain my "lost patience", slowly.

By now, it was almost 22:30hrs (2:30pm) and I decided to finish my shopping at the new Shop Rite Supermarket, and No, there's no "catching-up on sleep, either. Sleep is like time: once you've lost it, you can never get it back. then call it a day. The temperature had already dropped to a damp and chilly 29°F. Jenny and I arrived back at The Cabin at 16:00hrs (4pm), and after unloading everything, feeding & watering her, I locked the Jeep and armed the building, determined to stay-in for the evening, get some more reading done and catch-up on my sleep. For dinner, I made Chicken Kiev, Roasted Potatoes and Fresh String Beans, Mediterranean Pasta Salad, had some quick-'n-easy Jello® Mousse, and one of my ever-favorites, Ocean Spray® Diet Cranberry-Pomegranate Juice. After doing the dishes, I brought-in some replacements from the Firewood Stack on the Back Porch, settled into the Living Room & Roaring Fireplace to continue reading "Ameritopia". It was still getting darker and colder quickly, here in the mountains, by 16:30hrs (4:30pm).

After 20-21 pages of "serious reading", I leaned my head back on the comfy chair, closed my eyes and replayed the day's events. Once again, I'd "cheated death" by going after 3 bad guys, and had emerged unscathed, unlike several other Deputies in Clay's AJ Police Department, and as Deputy Jon hadn't, last weekend, and I was grateful. I quietly said a prayer of "thanks", and noticed Jenny looking-up at me. I guess that she agreed with my sentiment and action, yet I hadn't said a word. It was eerily-uncanny at how she just "knew" what was going on. Then, the cellphone rang. It was Bev calling to tell me that Tony just had a heart attack, and was en route to Memorial Hospital, in an ambulance, and that she was just leaving to be with him in the CCU (Cardiac Care Unit). I closed the book, told her that I was on my way, grabbed my Kimber .45, coat and hat, and left for Town. It was 18:45hrs (6:45pm) when I pulled into the ER (Emergency Room) parking lot, and ran into the lobby. Bev was there, looking scared.

This scenario now had me very unnerved. It was all-too reminiscent of when Bev, Tony and I had gathered in this same lobby, just outside the Coroner's Office & Lab, just after Gabrielle's car crash and death, back on Christmas Week, 2010; definitely one of the worst times in my life. I turned around, slapped myself in the face to "snap out of it", and quickly-hugged and comforted Bev. We sat down on the bench across from the chairs where the 3 of us had waited, that awful night in 2010, for the Coroner to talk to us about Gabrielle. Dr Bob Hansen MD and Dr Mike Bennett MD – both Cardiac Specialists – came around the corner and down hallway toward us, and were smiling; I guessed that Tony was now out-of-danger. They said he was "resting comfortably" and we could now see him. After extensive tests, they'd determined that it wasn't a massive attack, after all, and with a few days rest, a drastically-changed work schedule and some new Rx for his heart, he could safely go home in 2-3 days. Bev thanked them, and we went into Room 191, where Tony was half-sleeping.

Even with Bev & I talking to him, Tony was so heavily-sedated that he drifted-off to sleep within 5-6 minutes, and we left. The Nurse came-in from the Central Station to take his vitals, I drove Bev home and went back to The Cabin, at 20:15hrs (8:15pm). I'd offered to help her, and ask William-The-Caretaker, my handyman, to also help her with The General Store (and I'd take care of his costs). It was time for a quick shower, some fresh clothes, a load of laundry and sleep. Jenny agreed; I armed and closed it all down for the night. I have a Honeywell® Lynx Plus® Security System with a Honeywell® Ademco® 5804 Wireless Key Transmitter, for both my Condo and The Cabin, installed by Neal, from Choice One® Security Services, the same folks who've protected my now-closed Garden Center & Nursery, for the past 17 of my 21 years of operation. Sunday would be a busy day, since I'd be doing The Cabin's "chores" again, except for feeding/watering Jenny during the week, since William-The-Caretaker would be helping Bev until Tony could get back on his feet. I drifted-off around 22:30hrs (10:30pm) and Jenny joined me, at the foot of the freshly-made Master Bed.

The howling wind and horizontal rain had me awake at 04:30hrs (4:30am) on Sunday, and I noticed that Jenny wasn't at the foot of the bed, her usual place. I went into the Bathroom, splashed some cold well water on my face, put on my Turkish Bathrobe, and found her sitting at the front bay window, looking out at the storm, across the snowy meadow and stream. I turned-up the heat to 78°F, lit a roaring fire to take the chill-off The Cabin, and went over to her to brush and rub her coat. She was watching some rabbits running around the driveway and meadow, in the snow, and there was a small family of black bears, in the distance. She knows all about black bears, and it was once almost fatal, for her.

For breakfast, I made Fresh-Squeezed OJ w/ lots of pulp, Sunnyside-up Eggs & Toast, Hash Browns Fries, Grits w/ Butter & Sea Salt and several mugs of French-Roast, Turkish-Grind Coffee. After getting dressed, I did the vacuuming, laundry, refreshed the Master Bed linens, cleaned the bathroom and all of the windows, restocked the Living Room's firewood supply from the Firewood Stack on the Back Porch, closed the flu damper since the fire had died-out, swept the front porch and deck areas, reorganized the Pantry Storage area off of the Kitchen and cleaned the Beowulf® .50cal, on the now-empty Dining Room Table. It was pouring by now, so I checked The Cabin's Weather Station for a forecast, as well as the Police Scanner. Temps in the upper-30s. Rain, rain and more rain. Surprise. Well, at least it wasn't snow, like they were getting just 30-40 miles north and west of us. Yet.

I decided to go home this afternoon, since Bev wouldn't be opening The General Store today, as she'd be with Tony at the hospital, it was Sunday anyway and everyone would be at Church. I called her cellphone and left a voicemail at

10:45hrs (10:45am), to see if she needed anything or any help, today. Since I was going to be leaving for York, William-The-Caretaker, my handyman, would be now helping her with whatever she needed, until Tony could get back on his feet. Capt Clay hadn't said anything to me about working for him this weekend, after the Carlson Pharmacy Robbery Incident, on Saturday, so I was free to leave, if Bev didn't need me, either. William would be feeding & watering Jenny during the week, until I returned next Friday evening, after my Church Meeting. I had plenty of "things" waiting for me, and much to do at the Condo, in York.

After packing my Gear, Equipment & Weapons in the Jeep, I checked all windows and doors, refilled Jenny's 5 water/dry/wet food bowls, brushed her, called William's cellphone and left a message for him, reset the front porch light timer, armed the building and closed-it-down. As I drove down and out of my 1,000ft driveway and on to the long road back to I-83 South, I remembered "the lesson" which I tried to re-learn this weekend, about the Patience of Job, and wondered whether I'd really "learned it" or not. The coming week's trials and tribulations would tell. I was headed back on I-83 South through Harrisburg to York on Sunday mid-afternoon, and the rains continued.

Valid CSS!

Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict