Book 2 Chapter 159

I was as glad to see my mates as they were to see me. We went back into the White House to the residential section where we could talk without interruption. The presidential business day was over an hour ago. Many of my staff had already gone home.
After hugs and kisses – out of the sight of the media – we debated supper; did we want to eat in or go out to a restaurant? There were plenty of swanky places where we could be whisked away to and enter through a back door to a back dining room that had been approved by the Secret Service.
They were used for all the official visitors – heads of state, Ambassadors and other VIPs. We decided we would eat in so we would have more time together and not have to deal with travel and crowds. The kitchen sent up a list of items that could be put together on short notice.
After time with the kids and my mates, supper was announced. Then we made plans for tomorrow. When we finished planning my mates wanted to tell me about their week.
Lorrie and Marcy had indeed bought the property for the two new truck stops and the two to be expanded but had bought properties for the eight planned for next year.
The company they used to evaluate and choose locations had identified over one hundred prime locations for multipurpose full service truck stops in thirty five southern states. What Lorrie wanted was a continuous construction plan similar to the plans used by the giant retailers such as Walmart, Lowes and Home Depot.
The plan first identified locations – that was already done. The next step was to secure properties – in the case of retail stores most were leased sites, but in our case we wanted to own them. A team was in the process of buying those sites after a review of the legalities. That legal issue was with the local planning and zoning laws and if sewer and water was available.
After that the legal department under Jenny would take over securing permits and approvals. Once that hurdle was crossed, site engineering team put the final plans to paper as in construction blue prints. These plans in many cases would be used in securing final permits and local approval.
A site developer was next to get the site ready to build on; trees, rocks, rubble, old buildings – all had to be removed. Once all that was done, real construction could start.
Fuel tanks buried, lines run, pressure testing, environmental compliance approvals, pads poured, the building constructed, utilities installed – including wastewater drainage and in many cases ponds to allow oil and other unwanted sediments to settle out or be removed.
The final stages of the construction was blacktopping, curbing, painting for parking and directional arrows. When that was done and accepted, vendors would place the goods in the retail areas.
Many items were on a consignment setup such as the junk food items. Sodas, chips, candies and all the other things were vendor supplied and maintained normally.
Marcy was wanting to change that as the numbers of stops grew. Volume buying gained better discounts and more profit. Marcy envisioned a JBG warehouse buying, storing and then shipping out to the stops as needed. After all we had both FedEx and UPS centers at Morton Field. The ordering could be done by the bar code scans at the register as the items were sold.
I started to question fuel suppliers to that many truck stops.
”Our fuel supplier for Morton has fuel depots across the nation and contracts with fuel suppliers where they do not. They have guaranteed they can supply all the gas and fuel we can sell,” Lorrie said.
The girls wanted the process to be sped up with multiple sites being contracted and built at the same time. Bobs Construction agreed to supply inspectors to make sure the contractors built according to the plans, without shortcuts or inferior materials.
They had maps with locations, highways and traffic modules – as if I need convincing they had a good plan and needed to sell it to me.
I looked, listened and kept nodding my head in approval. They and their staff had put a lot of work into the project. I gave them my blessings to go with it, not that they needed it.
Lorrie had multiple fast food companies that had expressed interest in leasing locations inside each building. I was sure Marcy would insist that we use the franchises that we already had in the truck stop. All this told me that Lorrie’s truck stop was very profitable for Marcy to be that enthusiastic.
After that discussion we all went to the fitness center and then to the pool. It was a relaxing evening with my family.
After JJ, RJ, Takeo and Sara were in bed and asleep there was another affectionate gathering my super king master bed that lasted several hours and a short discussion. Vicky and Marcy informed the rest of us they were ready to have a child to round out our family. Jeanna was wanting a grandchild and it would be a surprise for Vicky’s parents.
They had already ordered new supplies and had the semen in the nitrogen tank in my closet at home checked to make sure it was still active and safe to use. I put the dates on my calendar that I needed to be home to participate. The long range plans we had made for our family were soon going to be complete.
Saturday morning I was up early as I needed to read the updates and was going to use the time until they came to read more information on Russian President Orbatch.
Breakfast was at 0700 and then we were going to Arlington National Cemetery to watch the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and view the other monuments there.
The Secret Service took us to Arlington in a couple of Suburbans – as low key as they would possibly go.
It was a reasonably nice day, but not very warm yet so I wore a white pant suit and black jacket because of the vest the Secret Service wanted me to wear and the fact I was still carrying my hardware. I also wore a White House baseball cap with my hair in a ponytail pulled through the opening in the back.
The guard is changed every thirty minutes during the summer months – April 1st to September 30. We were a few minutes early so I instructed the boys they needed to be especially quiet while we watched.
The changing of the guard was a solemn affair. Honor, tradition, duty and a dozen other feelings came to mind as I watched and tears formed in the corners of my eyes.
There was a crowd standing with us as the guard finished changing. The new guard resumed walking the twenty one steps.
”Ma-am, Madam President would you like to see anything else before we carry you back to the White House?” a Secret Service agent asked.
There was a sudden intake of air from the other visitors behind us.
”Yes we would like to see President Kennedy’s grave. Then we have to get back,” I said.
The White House media group was asked to stay back to allow the moment to be private with my family. As we walked away I could hear the cameras clicking away.
We were walking to the JFK memorial; it wasn’t that far away. I held JJ and RJ hands as we walked. At the eternal flame we answered the questions of the two little prosecutors as best as we could.
I explained the risk of being President, you can’t please everyone all the time and some people when they are mad and angry will do crazy things. The Suburbans picked us up and delivered us back to the White House.
Standing at the grave and seeing the eternal flame brought a new realization about holding the office of the President, just how dangerous it could be.
We were back at the White House in time for me to meet Adam at 1100 to go over tonight’s speech for the fundraiser. The teleprompter was set up in the Oval Office. Going through the speech took an hour, that and the corrections it needed. With so few changes it gave me a few minutes to look over more notes and reports for my meeting with Orbatch.
We left at 1400 for Daytona; it was only an hour and thirty minute flight. I was still reading through the stacks of information on Orbatch.
It was ninety degrees when I walked down the steps of Air Force One to the tarmac. I wondered what people would have thought if I did the speech in shorts. I was hot with the vest on.
We were going to the Daytona Beach Convention Center. The Beast was brought down yesterday to carry us from the airport to the convention center. The process was the same as with other fundraisers; meet and greet, socialize with the big contributors, pictures, handshakes and conversation.
More and more the conversations were turning to potential policy questions, long term goals for the military of the future and goals for the economy of the future.
I had one answer for the military, ”We need to be prepared but not trapped into a single mindset of what any potential enemy will do. That kind of planning causes us to lose battles and eventually the war.”
For the economy, ”We have to make it grow; there have to be good dependable jobs for our children. The goal of any parent – if you ask them – is for their children to have a better, safer, more productive life than they had. We cannot lose our industrial, our technical edge and our desire to be the best to any foreign country.”
To the question if I would change my mind and run for the presidency,
”We will just have to see what happens at the convention, I think the party will come up with a good candidate at the end,” I said.
The convention center was filling up as I finished with the VIPs. A trip to the bathroom and a bottle of water from the White House stock and I was ready to go.
The announcer was going through all the opening and safety statements. The TV cameras were waiting to go live, the stage was already filled with the bright lights for color TV.
I stepped out on the stage to roaring patriotic music. At the last note I stepped to the podium and put everything I had into the speech Adam and I wrote. I covered every topic that those in the party running for the presidency would not. I hit the topics hard.
Then I changed pace to covering the current troubles in Europe and Asia and how we needed to remain vigilant in world affairs. ”We are just a few mistakes from the next world war and it is right around corner,” I said.
“Security at home still needs to be one of our top priorities,” I added.
I followed that up by boosting the power of our record economy.
”The doomsday people said the pandemic of 2020 was supposed to destroy our economy for twenty five years. They were wrong – you – the citizens of American – proved them wrong. Not only did the economy bounce back in half a decade, it was bigger and stronger than ever before.”
”We learned from that terrible experience. Thousands of businesses and manufacturing factories returned home from China and the rest of Asia.”
”Determined Americans built a stronger, more powerful home base economy. That economy continues today and that is why we must have eight more years of conservative control of the House, the Senate and the White House.”
”We must mark our place in history for our children, our grandchildren, and care for our elderly.”
”We are the leader of the free world – we must lead. We must be bold and make bold decisions to ensure peace and prosperity continue for all Americans and the free world.”
I closed out by pleading for the pumped up crowd to vote and get out the vote, for our prosperity and freedom depended on it. “If your friends and neighbors have no transportation to the polling places, carry them. The most important thing is that everyone vote,” I said.
”Good night and please drive safely,” were the last things I said as I closed the book on the speech.
I led the crowd on the ”Eight more years” chant, then walked behind the curtain to my family.
A line of tornadoes and bad thunderstorms were coming and the pilots wanted to get airborne before they arrived in the area. That led to a rushed departure and a quick trip to DC.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.

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1 Response to Book 2 Chapter 159

  1. joe h. says:

    It give that warm happy feeling to wake up to a new chapter jack…
    Thank very much…😍

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