We all had a busy day planned. Jenny was going to Annapolis to chair the Governors Criminal Task Force meeting. Jason was going to go through the Crash Morton files with a fine tooth comb and then discretely check to see if all the exemptions were still in effect. I had left early to go to KCC and was only going to work half a day.
Ching Lee and Vicky were doing training of my new security people today. Marcy and Lorrie were working the numbers on the Crash airport. We had a 12:00 meeting to look over the property and see what kind of shape his house was in.
I had the blowups of the property plots and photographs. I sent Bozman a text that I wanted to see him when he had a chance. Then I started on the daily routine only to be interrupted by a visiting delegation from an international Asian education group.
I could easily see that Bob Jackson was not at his best. His guests were a mix of Japanese, South Koreans and Taiwanese. I was surprised that they were having so much trouble communicating. They were all carrying those little translation dictionary’s.
They must have been from the rural areas of those countries – in most of the cities English was almost a mandatory second language. I wondered where their escort and translator were; groups like these always had one.
As if reading my mind Bob said, “Their host is very hung over in my office; there was too much sampling of Kentucky whiskey and mixed drinks last night, from what I was able to understand.
An elderly lady in her early sixties and a younger lady were trying to get something across to Bob. She was flipping through the pages in the little book like crazy.
I asked in Japanese if I could help her. Her eyes flew wide and she threw the little book in the air as she stepped in front of me.
“Back there, outside, we just walked by a meditation area. There were these delicate white flowers.” She was doing little designs with her fingers. “I want to know what they are.”
The meditation area – as she called it – was a flower garden with several concrete benches to rest and relax on. Of course some of the students found other uses because of the privacy the taller flowers and trellises offered. The activity broke the boredom when reviewing security tapes.
“They are called Queen Anne’s Lace. They are a wild flower found over much of the East and Southern United States. The roots are edible and high in sugar, the flower can be French fried or used in a salad. Poison hemlock, fool’s parsley and water hemlocks are all poisonous cousins of Queen Anne’s Lace,” I replied in my best Japanese.
I answered questions for ½ an hour before Bob’s secretary, leading the tour host, found the group. I found out that she was from a small village south west of Tokyo – the same village as Master Chu Tuc, the BDSM master that I had trained under for awhile when I was stationed in Japan.
I asked if she knew of Master Chu Tuc, if he was still alive and how his health was.
She responded first with an astonished and surprised look and then one of steel as she said, “Everyone in village knows of the master. His health is failing. He sits in the sun every afternoon wrapped in a light blanket. He is out every day when I come home from teaching.”
“How do you know the master?” she asked.
“I was a student of his several years ago. We used to exchange letters and small gifts. It has been a while since I had any response from him; I thought he must have passed on,” I replied. Then I asked if she would deliver a note to him.
I wrote a simple note to him with my phone number, asking him to call me if he was able, and gave it to her.
When I had finished with the group and they had left me, Bozman entered to ask what I needed. I directed him to the table where I had placed out the property plots and pictures.
“Thirteen hundred and forty acres – nice farm – but don’t you think you have enough to do without getting into farming?” he asked.
I sort of laughed then I explained the property and the deal to go with it. Then I asked if he knew someone that could give me a ballpark price on a runway.
“There is more to it than just a price and you know the best: Jones & Jones,” he replied.
“Jake told me two years ago that when they finished the project they were working on, he was going close the US operations down. That was just before you came to work for KCC,” I replied.
“Jake is like you, he hired the best people he could and treated them well. Those that could not go to Japan for the clean-up contract were to finish up Samson Gap Bridge, which they did two months ahead of schedule and then find other jobs as the company was finished. The contract had a million dollar a month bonus for early completion,” he said.
“Jake let them use the 2 million as operating capitol to continue the construction company for as long as possible. When the operating capitol ran out they were done. The state of Pa. gave them another contract – this time it was the New Hope Road and tunnel project outside of Philadelphia,” he said.
It was finished 5 months ahead of schedule a month ago; gained them another bonus and they have another project to start in January. All the equipment is in the process of transportation to the yard until late December, and then goes to Oxford County to build a Mountain Bridge and dual highway extension.
“The engineers are bidding on every small job they can find to keep the crew busy,” he said then continued.
“I will call the engineers; they can bring all the bore test and equipment to give you a real picture of cost and what to expect. They will be excited to do the work for you. Jake had your pictures and accomplishments all over the office walls as part of his family. I have their number in my office,” he said as he turned and walked out with the address and directions.
I had three more hours before I had to leave to meet Marcy and Lorrie at Morton Farm Lane.
Edit by Alfmeister