Sunday, August 06, 2006

"Great Times," Chapter 30

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

Chapter 30
As things worked out, Howard wasn’t interested in any stories about why or how they disappeared from the train between New Mexico and Los Angeles. They were young people, and he assumed, they found ways of passing the time he needn’t know anything about.
“We do think you need to press on with your television plans,” Ted said.
“You do?” Howard said, not really believing him.
“Yes, we do,” Connie said.
“Well, I’m not so sure,” Howard said. “Instead of waiting on you two, I went ahead and talked to some of my contacts in the movie industry. They are discouraging the idea. They claim they will fight the widespread growth of the television industry. They say they learned their lesson when radio came along and offered live entertainment inside the home.”
“What about ‘Time For Beany’?” Ted asked.
He thought a minute. What was that string of words Smith had used? Color TV? Nothing there. Satellite TV. Hmm.
Ted strained to think what the word meant. He would have to think back to his high school science class for the answer.
Finally, it occurred to him - satellite. One body floating around another. The moon is a satellite of the earth.
Sadly, he could think of no way to connect the moon with what little he had seen and heard about television.
Another tact would be necessary. But, Connie was ahead of him.
“Of course the motion picture studios will try to discourage television,” she said. “They will never allow new movies to be shown on TV. TV is black and white and many of the best movies are made in color.
“But, what about some of the older pictures, some of the older sound pictures?”
She thought of her brothers who spent so many Saturdays at the local movie house.
“What about those old black and white serials? You know, Buck Rogers and the others.”
Ted picked up her line of thought.
“Sure,” he said. “And, what about the old westerns? No movie house shows them any more. Maybe they could be packaged for TV.”
Howard, who felt like a sucker for their youthful enthusiasm, was caught up in it nevertheless.
“That is an avenue to explore,” he said.
“Well, I can’t afford to build a TV station right now,” he said. “It’s going to take more capitol than I realized. I’m about ready to go home. How about you two?”
Ted and Connie were surprised by the statement. They anticipated being in California longer than this!
“We thought we might be able to do a little sight-seeing while we were here, Mr. Howard,” Connie said.
“And you could have, young lady, if you hadn’t spent so much time off the train! I’ve been here for a week and a half. I have conducted my business and done all the sightseeing I care to do.
“Now, I plan to be on the train at 8 a.m. tomorrow. If you two plan to work for me in the future, you will be on the train, too! Now, good night!”
There was nothing left but to leave Howard’s room.
“I guess we better make the most of tonight,” Ted said.
“I suppose,” Connie replied. “But, I certainly don’t feel like going out. Not after what happened the night we arrived with Mr. Howard - you know, the first time.”
The two had stopped walking. They were in front of Connie’s room.
Ted looked into her eyes and, finding the courage he had lacked since he met her, he took her in his arms and kissed her lips.
“Oh, Ted,” she said, when he let her go. She handed him her room key and said, “Let’s make the most of tonight!”