Listen to voice over artist Tim George

read the part of Hank Peabody

Visit Tim George's website to learn more
about his work

The Heart Arrives in Carmel

from The Reeducation of a Turd Peddler
by John Henry Peabody

JUST BEFORE NOON on September 1, a gold, four-door 2008 Lexus drove down Lasuen Drive in Carmel and came to a stop within site of Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo. Gerry Danskin had the wheel. He looked at his Blackberry and punched up a number. On the passenger side, sitting amongst a handful of wadded Taco Bell wrappers and an empty paper cup, sat Father Serra’s heart, in its jar, snug up in a black pleathor bag, seat belt securing it tightly. Gerry knew that he had only a matter of hours to get to his contacts at the safe house before the others would catch up with him.
  On his way up, Gerry spoke to the heart as he passed each of the missions on 101, the brown state landmark signs calling them out: Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa (tucked along the creek in its college town), San Miguel Archangel (the old haunt completely visible from the road), San Antonio de Padua (on the Hunter-Liggett Army base), and Nuestra Senora de la Soledad (across the highway from the prison with its cheery town billboard proclaiming, “It’s Happening in Soledad!”).
  With one stop for a few late morning breakfast burritos and a cup of coffee, which he bought and ate in the car, Gerry continued straight up the road, talking to Father Serra. At Highway 17, he headed west, through the pines, arriving into town around lunch hour.
  Gerry put the phone to his ear and listened to the ring. He could see school children on a tour of the mission grounds, the padre greeting the children’s teachers. A shred of lettuce in one of the wrappers caught Gerry’s eye and he picked it off the seat and put it in his mouth. The phone picked up.
  “Hello. Ward?”
  “Yes. Who is this?”
  “This is Gerry Danskin.”
  “Hello, Gerry,” the voice said. “How are you?”
  “I’m fine, Ward. How are you?”
  “We’re fine, Gerry. Couldn’t be better. What’s on your mind?
  “Well, Ward. I have some news.”
  “Oh, yes?”
  “I’m just down the street. Can I stop by?”
  “Please. Ksen and I are here—would you like lunch?”

Lunch With Ward and Ksen


Copyright © 2010, The El Fornio Historical Society
          Contact John Graham at