Friday, July 21, 2006

"Great Times," Chapter 19

Copyright 2006, Terry F. Phillips Sr.
All rights reserved.

Chapter 19

“So, you see, we are going to continue what Dad started, using the same principals,” Howard said. “That’s where this trip to California comes in. We are going to look into television.”
“Will you sell WXBR?” Ted asked.
Hearing Mr. Howard’s story about the way his father developed the Chicago radio station had emboldened Ted.
“Look - guys - what we are saying in here today stays in this room, OK?” Howard said. “OK. Ted that’s a good question, but it is for tomorrow not today. That part of the plan hasn’t been written yet, though I have certainly thought about it myself.
“Let’s just get this trip under our belts, debrief when you get back and I will let you know what you need to know when you need to know it. That’s it for now.
“Beck you know the travel plans; fill Ted in.”
Howard slapped the table with his palms, stood up to leave the room.
Ted interrupted his departure.
Howard waited, though visibly annoyed by Ted’s interjection.
“Um, I realize I know very little about these things - I’m the new guy on the block,” he said.
Howard blinked and Beck just held on, waiting for an explosion. He had been in meetings where others interrupted the Boss.
“I’m not even sure why I’m part of this discussion or this trip,” Ted continued. “But, have you thought about getting a woman’s viewpoint?”
There was along, dramatic pause.
“I’m listening,” Howard said.
“It just seems to me that since the war, women are taking a greater role in business and industry. You know, Rosie the Riveter and all. I don’t think that is going away.
“Perhaps we - that is, Mr. Beck - should take a woman with him on this California trip. That way, when you get your debriefing, you will have a broader base of information when you start to make decisions about television.”
“That, too, had crossed my mind,” Howard said. “What do you think, Beck?”
Beck saw the amused look on Howard’s face and returned it with a wink.
“Not bad,” Beck said. “But where would we find a suitable woman?”
Howard turned to Ted.
“What would you think about taking Miss Collins with you?”
“Who? Connie Collins?”
“Come on, boy, grow up. I’ve noticed you hanging around my office the past couple days. My spies tell me she helped you find a room in her boarding house.”
“If I spoke out of line, Mr. Howard, I’m sorry.”
Howard ignored this interruption.
“Actually, I’ve been impressed with Miss Collins, myself. I’ve been sorry we couldn’t do more for her. Perhaps this will help.
“Now,” Howard said, rising. “If you two have nothing else for me, I really do have to run this radio station. At least for the time being.”
With that, he left.
“Well, kid, it seems you have risen quite rapidly in this company,” Beck said with a smile. “Yesterday, you were my newest announcer. Today, you’re a valued and trusted employee. A confidant to Mr. Howard no less.”
The next five minutes was spent discussing the travel plans.