Over the next several months, Danny and I helped our older selves install more equipment at other hubs (both the 25-year-old us and the 20-year-old us). We didn’t do all the hubs, at least not the 16-year-old us. Our 25-year-old counterparts explained that it took nine years to totally complete all of the installations, even though they were all done on June 15, 2015. Yeah, I know. It’s making our heads swim too.  😀  But remember, we had to do all of our regular pickups and deliveries as well as our schoolwork, and we had to go to school every day as well as have home and personal lives. I was glad we were able to catch up on our sleep at the break room or I think we would have given up.

We also took another trip to our 25-year-olds’ place so they could explain some of the portal equipment to us. It was on this second trip that we… I mean Danny… figured something out.

“Hey! How can we be in 2025 if we’re not allowed to go into our future?”

The older us just laughed. Older Danny explained: “Well, it should be obvious that it isn’t true. The rule was created just to keep you from going too far into the future… or going too far back into the past, especially now that you know about the portable portals. You see, if care isn’t taken, something that you change in the past might adversely affect the future. I know that you guys have heard about the ‘butterfly effect’. Even a small change in the past could cause major changes in the future.”

Danny looked at his older self and smirked. “You know that we’re going to go into the past now, right? Hehehe.”

“Yes. But now you’ll be careful not to change anything. Did you know we also set up a trust fund that pays your salaries and will pay your tuition and expenses at college?”

We didn’t.

“Well, we went back to 1987 and bought 20,000 shares of Tellabs stock at $11.50 a share, the lowest it would be before the telecom boom of the 1990’s, and we held it until 1999. The 20,000 shares had grown to 960,000 shares because of five splits. Each share had increased in value to $128.375, or a total of over $123 million. We transferred the proceeds into a trust. The trust earns somewhere around 18% interest each year, because we know what the stock market is going to do, and we invest the money appropriately so we don’t lose any of our investment.”

“Why didn’t you just buy a winning lottery ticket?” I asked.

“We could, but it might call attention to us. We could win every lottery there is in the country, but not without the news media finding out and hounding us. We couldn’t allow ourselves to do that.”

“Wow. That would suck!”

“That’s what we said,” Older Jerry joined in. Then the older us smiled. It took a few ticks of the clock, but we finally remembered that they were us and we got the joke.

“Why did you sell the stock if it was doing so well?” I asked.

“In 2000 the stock went tits up with the telecom crash, so we got in and out without looking suspicious. We bought the stock in January of 1987 and dumped it in December of 1999. That would help to make it look like a long-term investment and a cash-in at the end. The trust is in a diversified portfolio, so doing well every year won’t look out of line for the market in general.

“I don’t think we followed all of that, but what we understood sounded great. I guess someday we’ll understand it a little better,” Danny said.

Without a doubt, Danny. You see, you are gonna be the guys who do it.

“We are? Where will we get the money for that? 20,000 shares at $11.50 a share is a bit more than we get for lunch money,” Danny observed.

“True, but we have that figured out, too.” And then Older Jerry went into their office and opened a safe. In the safe was a small chest and in the chest were numerous gold and silver coins. “We got these in 1986 from an excursion to the Caribbean. We found an old ship’s log from the late 1700’s. It said that one of the ships in its armada was sunk off the coast of Cuba. The ship was carrying gold and silver from France for the Colonies to help them with their war against England. We kept these coins, but we sold others at an auction in Miami. We got just over $250,000 for the coins we sold, and we used most of that to buy Tellabs stock. It’s not difficult when you know what’s gonna happen.”

“So all of this manipulating didn’t hurt any of the other investors?” asked Danny.

“First of all, nothing we did would hurt anybody else. Second, we didn’t manipulate anything. We made one stock purchase and 12 years later, we sold it. The stock market works on the principle of ‘buy low and sell high’. That’s all we did,” older Danny replied.

= = =

Danny and I had to think about what older us said. We also thought about how we had untold millions of dollars in some trust fund somewhere, and it was going to pay us for doing stuff that we kinda liked doing anyway. We were delivery boys, like Fry from Futurama. But we were also going to invent a lot of stuff in the next nine years or so.

From reading and watching movies and stuff, we knew that a wormhole used an enormous amount of energy. We just don’t know how to make a power source yet. Heck, we don’t know how to make anything yet! I guess we’re gonna have to study so we don’t waste our time and money. As usual, we have more questions than answers.

It seemed that 25-year-old us controlled the trust fund, so we’ll have to wait a few years before we control it. At least we knew we would live that long.

= = =

Along with everything else we were doing, Danny and I were taking driving lessons. We’d be 17 soon and that’s a bit old to not have a driver’s license. Besides that, we had money in the bank and we both wanted to buy cars… but we needed the driver’s license first. Our respective parents seemed to have mixed opinions about getting a car. Both of our moms thought we should wait, while our dads were all for it… at first. Then they started to agree more and more with our moms. The change in their attitude was unexpected… until we found out that the moms used the bedroom for leverage. OK, let’s hurry up and change the subject; thinking about my parents having sex is making me nauseous. The bottom line was that each of us could buy a car, “but if your grades suffered as much as ‘an iota’ (whatever that is), you’ll be walking until the grades come back up.” (That was Danny’s mom who said that, but my mom was standing next to her and glaring at us.)

Keeping our grades up was the easy part. You see, we never realized how much even a used car could cost, let alone a new one. We didn’t have enough money for that… yet. 🙂 In 2017, I turned 17 on April 14th and Danny was 17 on May 19th. Even if we pooled our savings and included our birthday money, it still wasn’t enough to buy a cheap used car. *sigh* And there were always things coming up to spend our money on. It seemed that the car was going to have to wait. But at least we’d soon have our licenses, so we were ready.

= = =

One afternoon after making our deliveries, Danny brought up an important matter.

“Who are you taking to the Junior Prom?” he asked.

“I figured I’d ask Taylor Walsh. How about you?”

“I think I’ll ask Jamie Howard. We seem to get along in Chemistry class; Jamie is my lab partner,” he replied.

“I’ve seen you two giving each other longing glances in the cafeteria a few times. Hehe.”

“Crap! Has it been that obvious? I’m gonna have to work on that.”

“Make sure you let Jamie know, too. You two look like a couple of lovebirds. Haha.”

“Oh yeah? Well you and Walsh seem to put on a show of your own! Hehe. Cool yer jets!” Danny countered. Then he asked, “Have you told Taylor about the portals yet?”

“No… not yet. I don’t know how to bring up the subject without sounding like a lunatic. What about you and Jamie?” I countered.

“Nah – same reason. I was hoping you had so I could find out how you did it. I guess it’s better that neither of them know… for now. I’d ask our older selves how to do it, but I doubt they’d tell us, especially since it hasn’t happened yet.”

“Yeah,” I nodded, “We can really be difficult when we want to be.”

“Well, back to the prom planning… should we get a limo? That’d be cool.”

“Why don’t we check with some of the other guys and see what they’re doing. A stretch limo can carry a lot of people. It’d be cheaper if we had more people chipping in,” I said.

“Yeah… and maybe we should ask Jamie and Taylor before we start making transportation reservations. I mean, what if they say ‘no’?”

“You’re a bundle of confidence, Danny. But I see what you mean. I’ll ask Taylor tomorrow and let you know what happens.”

“And I’ll ask Jamie as well. Hopefully I’ll have an answer by lunchtime.”

= = =

Walking to school the next morning, Danny and I talked more about how to ask Taylor and Jamie to the prom.

“I think we should just come out and ask them,” Danny said.

I don’t know if I can do that,” I replied. “I have to find a way to get around to it. I’m as nervous as heck!”

“OK, let’s make a bet. The first one to ask his date will have the other guy buy him a Coke at lunch. Are you in?”

“I’m in.”

*sigh* I really didn’t have a choice… but I still had to figure out how I was gonna ask Taylor. I think what I was most afraid of was rejection. I mean, what if Jamie said yes to Danny, but Taylor said no to me? I suppose I could ask Robin…

+ + +
Editor’s Note:
Danny here. Jerry is really nervous about asking Taylor to go with him to the prom. I feel for him, but I still hope he ends up buying me a Coke for lunch. 😀 I’m gonna take Nike’s advice and Just Do It!
+ + +

When we got to school, we found Taylor and Jamie at their lockers. As I was trying to get up the nerve to ask, Taylor came over to me and said, “Jerry, would you go to the prom with me?”

“Of course,” I said, “Yes! Babe, you don’t know how great you just made me feel! I’d love to go to the prom with you! I was just about to ask you to be my prom date!” And then I went in for a quick peck on the cheek. (Public displays of affection – PDA – are frowned upon in school.)

While this was going on between Taylor and me, Danny was asking Jamie. From the look on Danny’s face, Jamie must have said yes. Hmmm… now we just have to figure out who won the bet.

+ + +
It was me. Jerry never asked Taylor to go to the prom with him; Taylor asked Jerry. That meant that I was the first one to ask. 🙂 It took a while, but Jerry finally gave up and bought a Coke for me.
+ + +

At lunch, the four of us split a table and made plans. The prom is June 2nd, so we had a lot of stuff to do and not much time to do it. Well, Danny and I had plenty of time, but Taylor and Jamie don’t know about the portals yet.  🙂  We’ll let them think we’re magicians. That should be worth a few points.

As it happened, we didn’t have any deliveries today, so we ordered our tuxes and checked with some of the other guys to see about sharing a limo. Jason and Ethan were up for it, so the four of us ordered a limo with room for eight. Ethan said he heard about a Lake Michigan cruise for after the prom. The trip starts at Navy Pier and then travels south past the museum campus before circling back north, almost to the Illinois/Wisconsin state line and then cruises back to Navy Pier. Danny and I were good with that, and Jason thought it was a great idea, so that was taken care of. Wow! I figured it would take days to put this all together! We did it in an afternoon and didn’t even have to time-travel.

= = =

The prom was going to cost a lot of money, so we were glad that the deliveries picked up. Since we started working, our ‘rents cut off our allowance. Now everything that our moms used to buy for us we had to buy for ourselves. That even included lunches in the school cafeteria! But like I said, the deliveries were picking up. We each get $50 per delivery in addition to the $100 per week as a retainer, or something like that. The way we were going, we should have plenty to cover our part of the limo and cruse fees. As well, even if it slowed down, both of us still had the money each of us was saving for our cars.

= = =

For the Memorial Day weekend, my family and Danny’s always got together for a barbecue at one of our houses. This year it was at my house on Saturday. This was one of the few times during the year our families got together, including our extended families. After all, there was reason to celebrate. This was the unofficial start of summer in the United States. It would run until Labor Day, the first Monday in September.

Danny and I were tossing a baseball around in the backyard when we heard our grandparents talking about how great it was at Woodstock. We had heard about Woodstock but we really didn’t know a lot about it, so we wandered over to where they were sitting and joined in the conversation.

“Yeah, it was billed as ‘Three Days of Peace and Music’,” Danny’s grandfather, Angelo, said.

And my Grandpa Mike chimed in with, “But it lasted for four days. I can’t imagine what that was like; four days living in a big mud hole. I guess with all the marijuana and other recreational accouterments, the mud didn’t seem that bad. Hehe.”

“But I would’ve killed to be at Woodstock instead of Viet Nam.”

“Hell, Angelo, I would’ve rather been anywhere than Viet Nam Hahaha!”

“Wait a minute… why did they have it in a mud hole?” Danny asked.

Angelo told him, “It wasn’t planned that way, and it also wasn’t planned to be the largest rock concert ever. It’d been advertised throughout the East Coast and it seemed that a lot of people went up there without tickets thinking they could buy them at the gate if they couldn’t sneak in. At the height of the concert there were almost a half a million people.” Grandpa Mike added that on the second day they stopped checking tickets; the concert was free.

They named a bunch of bands that were there, and I remember seeing a lot of them on YouTube. When I checked with Danny later, he seemed to know the same ones that I knew.

When Grandpa Mike and Nonno Angelo started singing the song ‘Woodstock’, Danny and I quietly walked off. The nicest thing we could say about their singing is that they were loud. Hehe.

= = =

Later that evening, Danny and I hatched another plan. Tomorrow, Sunday, we’ll go to the control room and ‘borrow’ a handheld portal. Then we’ll go back to 1969 and see Woodstock for ourselves.

Since it was a Sunday, neither of us wanted to get up too early, so we made plans to meet at the break room at noon. In the meantime, we’d Google everything we could find about Woodstock.

We came to the conclusion that it was gonna be wet if nothing else, so we packed our ponchos in our backpacks, some cash… and that’s when the first problem occurred; we remembered that 2017 money was different than 1969 money, so that wasn’t gonna work. It looked like we were stopped before we got started.

Then I remembered something that Grandpa Mike told me a couple of years ago. The candy store that he used to hang out at was also a bookie joint. Grandpa Mike said that he used to make bets when he was in high school, so I didn’t think they’d have a problem with us. All we’d have to do is find a couple of dollars in old quarters… and some old sports pages. That’d be easy enough to do. We also needed a 1960s ‘uniform’ so to speak. We decided on black T-shirts, Levi’s, and Converse All-Stars high tops. We should fit right in.

For starters, we went back to 1963 (Grandpa Mike was in his sophomore year that year) and we found the candy store, but first we had to know who the winners were. We walked down to the newsstand on the corner and got a Sun-Times. Then we went back to the break room and looked through it till we found a likely candidate – Charlie Horse came in first at 20-to-1 odds and paid $40. That would be our first bet.

We were little bit nervous, but we believed what Grandpa Mike told us. He said Walt Morrison was the guy he always dealt with, and he described him as about 6 feet tall, skinny, and going bald. We went back to Walt’s, but we went the day before we bought the newspaper. At about 10 AM we found Walt and told him we knew he let kids play and we wanted to place a bet. Walt took out a receipt book and asked us three questions.

“What race, what horse, and how much?”

We gave him the information and handed him our two dollars in quarters. He gave us a betting slip and we asked him when we should come back.

“Tomorrow about this time will be good. I’ll let you know how much you win or lose then.”

We told him we’d be back and returned to the Chicago Hub. So anyway, we knew we were going to win, although we didn’t know how much Walt was gonna take. But we had more important things to worry about: what horse were we gonna bet on next?

OK, let’s set this up to make it easier to understand. The day we placed our bet was Day 1. The day we bought the first newspaper was Day 2. Now we had to go to Day 3 to get the next newspaper so when we went back to get our money on Day 2, we’d let Walt ‘talk us into’ placing a second bet. Are you following? Good.

We went back to Day 2 and Walt told us we were winners! We put on a show of patting each other on the back before we asked how much we won.

“The bet won $40, but I get 10%… sorta like a ‘service charge’.” He gave us $36 and asked us if we wanted to make another bet. He must have thought he hit the jackpot when we said we wanted to bet the entire $36, and we gave him the race and the horse. He gave us a betting slip.

When we came back on Day 3, he told us that the bet won $108 (which we knew – it paid 3:1), but we only get $97.20. Then he asked if we wanted to let it ride again. Danny told him that we didn’t like any of the horses running today (Day 3), but that we’d check back tomorrow (Day 4) to place another bet. Walt shrugged and we left.

We time-traveled to Day 5 for a newspaper before returning to the break room to decide on a horse. We didn’t want to go overboard and look suspicious. We found another 3:1 win and decided to go with it. As promised, we went back on Day 4 to place the bet, and we returned to Day 5 to collect our winnings. The bet won $291.60, less Walt’s 10% share ($29.16), left us with $262.44; more than enough to finance our trip. When Walt asked if we wanted to place another bet, Danny told him that we didn’t have the time. We were going on vacation and we had to go to New York this afternoon. (Which we did. Hehe.)

= = =

The whole series of visits from Day 1 through Day 5 only took about three hours, total. And now Problem #1 was solved… we had money from the era. The best part is that money from the 1960s is still valid today. We split the money between us and headed to the break room to plan our trip.

After checking Wikipedia, we found that there were 32 bands that played at Woodstock, and we wanted to see all of them. Friday had nine groups and we definitely had to see three of them: Richie Havens, who started it off, Ravi Shankar and Arlo Guthrie. The rain started during Ravi Shankar’s set, but he played straight through it. We really liked Richie Havens and Arlo Guthrie. Our gramps told us that they were fantastic and we agreed.

We saw the nine bands on Friday and we were getting tired fast. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a place to stay, so we opted for going back to the break room at the Chicago Hub and, after showering the mud off us and our clothes, we transferred the clothes to the washer in the break room. Then we sacked out for about six hours.

= = =

When we got up, we transferred our clothes into the dryer. We had put the handheld portal on the charger before we went to bed, and we checked that it was fully charged before going back to Woodstock.

The Saturday sets were interrupted off and on by the rain that kept coming down. Saturday was gonna be wet and wild with 12 groups. We opted to not watch the first two (Quill and Country Joe McDonald). The groups for Saturday that we did see were Santana, John Sebastian, The Keef Hartley Band, The Incredible String Band, Canned Heat, Mountain, The Grateful Dead, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Janis Joplin (with The Kozmic Blues Band), Sly and the Family Stone, The Who, and Jefferson Airplane.

Danny and I were enjoying the heck out of the bands and the crowd! Neither Danny nor I smoke, but with all the clouds of marijuana smoke everywhere we went, we couldn’t help but get to feeling good. Jack, one of the guys we met, called it a ‘contact high’. After we heard that, we still didn’t smoke, but we did stay close to those who did. 😀 We roamed around the grounds with Jack and had a great time. It turned out that Jack, like us, was 17, and he too came here on a whim. He said that his parents were gonna be pissed when he got home because he didn’t tell them he was going… he was afraid they’d say no. Danny commented that he had done stuff like that too. “It’s a lot easier to get forgiveness than permission.”

There were five bands that we really loved on Saturday – Santana, The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, The Who, and Jefferson Airplane. During their sets, it was like we just melted into the music. It seemed like the music lasted forever, but when it was over, it seemed like they had just begun a minute before. We wanted more, but we were getting tired.

Again we opted for hot showers and warm beds for the night. We told Jack that we needed some sleep and said goodnight. With the crowds building, we had to walk about a half a mile before we felt safe using the portal to get back to the Chicago Hub. We went through the same routine of taking our showers, with our muddy clothes on this time, before putting them in the washer.

= = =

The next morning we put on the clothes we got from the dryer and transferred our clothes from the washer to the dryer. Next we had a healthy breakfast of peanuts and Coke before returning to Woodstock.

The same weather kept up on Sunday. The entertainment was provided by Joe Cocker and The Grease Band, Country Joe and the Fish, Ten Years After, and The Band. Joe Cocker was fantastic, but after he finished, thunderstorms washed over us (pun intended) and we were really glad that we brought our ponchos! The heavy rains lasted for a couple of hours and we spent the time just walking around and meeting people. We ran into Jack again and he introduced us to some people he had met that morning. It was really a great time! We mostly just walked and talked to anyone and everyone. It was like we were all life-long friends, even though we had never met before today.

Around 6:30 PM, Country Joe and the Fish started their set, and the music continued! The rain didn’t seem to drown anyone’s spirits (pun also intended); if anything, it made the atmosphere even better. Ten Years After was fantastic, and The Band was outstanding! They finished up around midnight and we were getting kinda tired, so we decided to go back to the Chicago Hub for some sleep. As we were on our way to a safe place to use the portal, we saw ourselves coming back. We looked fresh and ready to go. The other us waved and we waved back and laughed. Hehe.

When we got to the Chicago Hub, we again showered and not only laundered our clothes, but this time our shoes, the Converse All Stars, were caked with mud too… inside and out. We cleaned the mud off of them the best we could and put them in the washer with our clothes. They wouldn’t be dry when we woke up, but our feet have been wet for most of three days now anyway, and we didn’t think it would matter. Sleep came to me as soon as my head hit the pillow.

= = =

I woke up to the smell of fresh-brewed coffee. What the heck? I called out, “Danny, did you go out and get coffee?”

“No. There was a Mr. Coffee maker here when I woke up, so I made a pot.”

“Is there any cream and sugar?”

“No again. It looks like we’ll have to drink it black.”

“Are there any cups?”

“Yeah – I found some in the cabinet over the counter. Thank Zeus for that!”

By now I was in the break room. Danny had two cups of coffee poured and on the table with a couple of bags of peanuts next to each cup.

“I did find a note,” he said. “It looks like your handwriting, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t involved in it.”

He handed me the note.

‘Now you have no excuses for not having coffee the next time we come in here.’

“Yeah, that’s my handwriting. Did I leave the coffee too?”

“Yeah – an orphanage-size can of Maxwell House. You’re a great guy!”

“Haha! I told you so!”

“OK Butthead, let’s get going; Woodstock is waiting for us. Hehe.”

On our way back, we ran across us on our way to the Chicago Hub and we waved. The other us waved and laughed as we passed.

As for the program, it continued into Monday with Johnny Winter, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Sha Na Na, and Jimi Hendrix with Gypsy Sun & Rainbows. The last set ended around 11 AM.

Fortunately, the entire 400,000+ crowd didn’t stay until the end; there were only about 30,000 left with us, including our new friend Jack. He wasn’t looking forward to hitchhiking home to New Jersey in his muddy, smelly clothes. We walked around with him and tried to get him a ride, but all the people we talked with said they had full cars.

About 1:00 PM or so, Danny and I asked Jack if he’d excuse us for a minute and then we walked a few feet away.

“Jerry, we can’t just leave him here. He’s got no money and no way to get home.”

“We could give him our money. That should buy him a bus ticket.”

“Yeah, but will the driver let him on the bus covered in mud? Look, I know it’s probably not the best idea, but why don’t we take him back to the Chicago Hub and let him get cleaned up?”

I said, “That could work. After all, he can’t leave the hub without a key. Heck, after he gets cleaned up, we can even get him home. Whata ya think?”

“We’d need to find out where he lives, but it shouldn’t be a problem. Let’s do it.”

We walked back over to Jack and told him we have a way for him to get home.

“First, you have to come with us to our place and get cleaned up so the bus driver will let you ride with him. Then we’ll get you to the bus station,” Danny told him.

“Geez, dudes, that sounds great! Oh wait. I still don’t have any money.”

“We can give you bus fare,” I told him.

“Wow! I can’t thank you enough! Where’s your place?”

“Just follow us,” Danny said, and we were off. Once we were out of sight, we stopped and Danny took out the handheld device and opened a portal to the Chicago Hub.

Jack’s jaw dropped open and is eyes bugged out. “Whoa! What’s this?”

“Didn’t you notice that Jerry and I would walk away and then come back fresh and cleaned up? This is how we did it. We invented a device that lets us teleport, just like on Star Trek, but unlike the Star Trek transporter, this device just creates what we call a ‘portal’ that lets us go places instantly. Follow me.” And Danny walked through the portal. Reluctantly, Jack followed him, and I followed Jack.

Once we were all in the Chicago Hub and closed the portal, we showed Jack where the showers were and we gave him some towels. We suggested that he wear his clothes into the shower so he could get the caked-on mud off them. We showed him where the break room was and told him to meet us there when he was ready to wash his clothes.

“Do I have time? I mean, when does the bus leave?”

“Don’t worry about the time. We have a way to fix that too,” I said. “We’ll talk about it when you get finished with your shower.” And off he went.

= = =

When Jack returned about a half hour later, he looked worried. He had one of the bath towels around his waist and the other one around his neck. He had his wet, but less-muddy clothes in a ball in front of himself, and he asked where the washing machine was. Danny got up and walked him over to it and showed him where the soap was. A few minutes later Jack was back at the table.

When he sat down I asked, “Jack, would you like a Coke and some peanuts? We don’t have anything else, other than black coffee, but we could order a pizza if you’d like.”

“Yeah, a pizza sounds great! But no anchovies.”

Danny said he’d order an ultimate supreme with everything but the kitchen sink… and no anchovies. Then he pulled out his cell phone and called a little Italian place a couple of blocks away. When he hung up his phone, he said it’d be here in about 30 minutes. Then we noticed that Jack was staring at Danny’s phone. Fark! We forgot that they didn’t have cell phones in 1969! I looked at Danny and said, “Lucy, you got some ‘splaining to do.”

Jack laughed at my remark, and he seemed a bit more at ease. Then Danny told him the truth: we were currently in the year 2017, not 1969. He paused until it sank in.

“2017? Really?”

“Umm… Yeah, really. You see, the portal device we used to get us here is also a time machine of sorts and we can time travel pretty easily.”

“Wow! Everybody can time travel?” he asked.

“No, not everyone. Only me and Jerry. That’s what Jerry meant when he said, ‘Don’t worry about the time. We have a way to fix that too.’”

“Ha-ha-ha-ha! You guys are messing with me, right?”

“No, dude, we’re serious,” Danny told him.

And when Jack looked over to me I said, “…as a heart attack.”

“Wow! How does it work?” Jack asked.

“We don’t know,” Danny answered.

“You don’t know? You said you invented it! How can that be?”

“Well… we haven’t invented it yet,” I explained.

That blew his mind. “Jerry, you could have worded that a little better,” Danny said.

“Yeah,” Jack added.

= = =

When the pizza arrived, we all sat down and Danny and I explained what was going on and why we didn’t understand why or how the portals worked… yet. By the time we finished, the load in the washer was done, so we emptied the dryer and Jack put his clothes into it. He wasn’t sure what to do with his shoes – a pair of Adidas running shoes, so we told him that we’d put them in the back yard in the sun so they’d dry.

After talking for a little longer, Jack was getting tired and we suggested that he take a nap in one of the bunks. He took us up on it when we told him that we’d wake him when his clothes were dry. When Jack sacked out we decided to take our showers. It didn’t rain any more at Woodstock on Monday, but the mud didn’t dry up either. Fortunately, the only place our clothes were muddy was below our knees on our jeans. We let the mud dry and brushed almost all of it out before we put our clothes in the washer. After showering, we put on the clean clothes that we removed from the dryer earlier.

The clothes in the dryer were dry in about 45 minutes, but we let Jack sleep longer. What the heck, shoes are clothes too, and his were still damp. So I guess we didn’t lie. 🙂 While we were waiting, I played solitaire while Danny updated his journal.

A couple hours later, I checked on Jack’s shoes and they were dry. On the way back in, Chuck was returning from one of the other yards. When he saw me he jumped up and tried to lick my face. Hehe. I think I know how to wake Jack.

We walked into the sleeping area and Chuck made a bee line for Jack’s bunk and jumped on him. I don’t know who was more surprised, Jack or Chuck. Chuck was expecting to find Danny, and Jack sure as heck wasn’t expecting a dog to jump on him. But after a minute or so, they were best friends.

Danny and I had another Coke and a bag of peanuts while we were waiting for Jack to get dressed. When he came into the break room, we couldn’t tell that he had just spent the last four days mired in mud. We told him to check and make sure he had all of his stuff before we got him back home. After all, it would be 48 years before he could get back anything he forgot. Hehe.

We asked Jack for his address, and as we were feeding it into the portal, Jack asked if we could bring him back on Wednesday, August 13th about 2:00 PM… It seemed that Jack wasn’t supposed to go to Woodstock and he knew he’d be in serious trouble. Danny and I laughed and we reprogrammed the portal’s destination.

When Danny activated the portal, Jack’s eyes lit up like a Christmas tree when he recognized his street. “Wow! This is so cool! Can you guys get one of those for me?”

We laughed and told him we couldn’t. When we put out our hands to shake with Jack, he pulled us into a group hug and thanked us. He told us if we were ever in the neighborhood that we should drop in – no invite required. We told him we would, but none of us believed it would ever happen.

Jack went home and we returned to the Chicago Hub. We had a Prom to get ready for.

To be continued…

Copyright © 2017 Binneyan Smith



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