Shortly after sunup the girls and I along with two little boys were walking on the beach. Then we spent two hours working on tans and helping the boys build sand castles.
At 0930 we met the rest of the family in the clubhouse for breakfast. At 1030 we were going to meet with all the East Water Cay employees and then back to the beach for the rest of the afternoon.
Our meeting with the employees was an eye opener for us and them. There were a lot of questions and instructions given.
Lorrie was going to send two clerks and assistants on Monday to change and set up the computer systems and time keeping along with training on how things were to be done for the Florida rentals. East Water Cay would now have that information on their web site and the Florida rental site would be expanded with the East Water Cay offerings.
Once all that was done Lorrie was going to promote someone to oversee and remove herself from the day to day operations of the rental division.
Ching Lee was sending two more to change over and update the website with all new pictures and videos. Hopefully some of the ladies wouldn’t mind being the models in the pictures.
Then a thought hit me, why not send several ladies to be models – we had several who took advantage of free gym and tanning room as employees; four were an 11 on a scale 1 to 10 .
Mary Ann Johnson worked as a clerk in security and was single. Andrea Bush was one of flight attendants for Lorrie and her husband. Both were both fitness nuts; both of them would look good in the pictures. Kathy Hoss – one of the CIA pilots – at 48 could put most women to shame; her husband had just died in a snowmobile racing accident in Montana three months ago.
The other was Wendy Adams, the nudist who ran the tanning booths. I would bet there would be some great pictures with her. I called all of them to see if they would be interested in a week tropical vacation and modeling for a PR campaign.
Ching Lee decided she wanted to come back to be the photographer.
Marcy was sending two people, one was Hammond Price to set up the financials, banking and booking and payroll systems. The other – Lexi Morgan – was going to audit the last three years on the books with a fine tooth comb.
Lexi was a former IRS agent in their criminal division who had been shuffled around because of politics and finally had enough. She worked in our tax department with Robert Alderman. If there was a problem with the books, she could find it.
There were going to be surprised employees on Monday. The girls sent an email to their clerks and assistants they wanted to take with.
“We need five volunteers to go on a week long warm climate business training trip. Boyfriends or husbands can go along, passports and photo ID required and swimsuits are optional wear. They would leave Monday morning and be back Friday evening. Destination will currently not be disclosed,” the email said.
The rest of Saturday and Sunday went too quick, but we had a fun time mostly spent on the beach. We had a driftwood fire on the beach as the sun went down.
My security guys all but disappeared every now and then I caught a glimpse of them watching. They even went snorkeling and fishing with us.
It was 2100 when we landed at Morton to begin the routine again. At home with the boys in bed we planned tomorrow’s announcement. We hated whisper campaigns! Those things killed productivity tying up phones and email systems with texts and emails. All JBG employees would know by 0900. The office would be told by an announcement, everyone else by an email.
There were still several months to the bone fishing season. Tomorrow Hanna’s station would be the first to carry the ads and our radio station then stations in Washington and New York.
We were going to cut the price and include airfare from Morton, BWI or Miami International. We were sure that with so many similar offerings around the Bahamas, they had overpriced trying to cut their losses.
We were going to use some of the terrorists’ cash to finance the changes that were going to take place on the island. We figured we could safely launder some of the money that way. It was time to start using some of it.
We had already blocked out weekends and weeks we were going to spend in the surf and sand for ourselves. It was time to enjoy some of the fruits of our labors, the risk we had taken and things we had all worked so hard for.
Marcy wanted to diversify income; this would certainly help, please our tax department and give us the getaway we deserved.
At 0700 another G5 carried Ching Lee and the group back to the Grand Bahamas airport.
At 0800 Lorrie had all the Morton employees in the terminal building and Marcy all the office employees together on the gym floor and made the same announcement that we had written the night before.
“Over the weekend JBG made a significant expansion to the Florida Vacation Rentals division with the purchase of East Water Cay.”
“East water Cay is a twelve hundred and ninety acre resort island with miles of white sand beaches, including sparkling lagoons with some of the best bone fishing and snorkeling adventures in the Bahamas. There are private cottages, club houses and several ocean front town houses along with a marina and boat docks.”
“East Water Cay is located off the eastern end of the Grand Bahamas Island. There is still going to be a substantial investment to bring the resort to JBG standards and expectations and to full potential.”
“We wanted you to hear this directly from us and not a third party. Thank you for your attention.”
There were pictures from the Cay website and some we had taken scrolling on the big plasma screens. There were some pictures of us snorkeling or walking the beach naked – all side or rear view – with so much private beach, suits were definitely optional.
My security and I left for the White House shortly thereafter. I had a dozen of the new East Water Cay handouts with me. Ching Lee had in just a few minutes last night created a new one adding the ‘JBG Vacations and Resort properties’ logo to the front of it. Then she added the color pictures we had taken over the weekend to the ones that were already on the existing handout; I knew there would be questions so I was prepared. I figured by noon people would know.
In Section 12 Ben filled me in on Friday events; most of the day had been dealing with fallout from Patel. Every single conviction that had used any evidence from the FBI IT lab was going to be reviewed and most likely thrown out.
The argument the FBI was trying to make was that only the investigations that Patel participated in or led needed to be reviewed. Defense attorneys were not seeing it that way. They wanted every case that had submitted evidence to the FBI IT lab thrown out.
In the four years that Patel had been in charge there were over five thousand cases that the lab had processed evidence for, including all fifty states. Poor Mike had been kicked into the lion’s den with no sword or armor.
I was a little better off but not much; my next three days were to be on the Hill defending the task force recommendations for nationwide security guidelines. Then there were more days next week. Seven days to go; I was taking both Fridays off. We were going back to East Water Cay for another relaxing weekend this Friday.
It was nearly 1100 when Lorrie called on a conference call with Marcy. I listened for 30 minutes while they gave me an update on things happening on East Water Cay already today. Then Lorrie offered several more ideas on improving things to get from the airport to East Water Cay other than a fifty minute drive on crappy secondary roads and then a 15 minute boat trip.
I finished the call with Marcy and Lorrie while looking through the glass on my door. I was watching my secretary Bobbie Canterberry deal with a continuous stream of people – sometimes two and three at a time – all wanting something.
Bobbie had not missed a day or taken a day off in the six months I had been here. Then I remembered the talk that we had after I had her type up the resignation.
Bobbie – six months into her first pregnancy – had miscarried and lost the child just a month before I started my term. Bobbie had taken it very hard and talking about it was still difficult. Bobbie was trying to drown her pain in work by staying busy. I wondered if she had allowed herself to grieve at all.
As the days and weeks had moved along I could tell Bobbie was getting worn down and as frustrated as I was at times. I knew I needed a break and thinking about it now, I knew she did.
I sent her a text, “What have you and hubby got planned for the weekend?”
“Nothing much, snow still piled up in the garden and on the roses, too cold to do much of anything yet,” she replied.
“Do you think Dan can get Friday off?” I asked.
“Why do you ask?” she replied.
“The girls and I are leaving early Friday for a three – day weekend where it is warm. We have extra room and I would like you and Dan to join us,” I said.
“Where are you going?” she asked.
Before I could respond my phone was ringing, it was the President, “Can you come to the Oval Office? There is a VIP that would like to see you,” he said.
As I walked out I placed one of the East Water Cay handouts I had brought in front of Bobbie, “We are going there,” I mouthed and pointed.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.