to voice over artist Tim George
the part of Hank Peabody
Tim George's website to learn more
about his work
Lunch with Ward and Ksen
from The Reeducation
of a Turd Peddler
by John Henry Peabody
WARD CRAVEN AND HIS WIFE
Ksen put Gerrys car in their extra garage after he arrived at
the house. While they had a place in downtown El Fornio and another
in the Pass, they would only stay through the summer. By September 1
every year, they would move back up to Carmel, down the street from
the mission on Junipero Avenue, always in time for the Blessing of the
Salamanders and Gnutes Festival.
Gerry, Ksen said, over tuna sandwiches and tomatillo
salad. Your arrival is just perfect. Tomorrow is the festival.
I know that Father Sandoval will receive the information about Father
Serras heart with extraordinary emotion.
Really good work, Gerry, Ward said to him. Great.
We had no idea it was youor did we? he turned to Ksen.
No one did, Ksen said.
There are so many things that people dont know,
Gerry fancied. Your commitmentthe two of you. The risks
you have taken as secret members of the society. Ward, your condition.
He looked at Ksen, Respecting the tribe yet knowing what the right
thing to do is. When all is said and done, the rewards will be great.
Im sure they will be, Ksen said, lifting
her glass of iced tea.
Oh, yes, Ward followed. Unimaginable,
he lifted a glass, followed by Gerry, as they toasted. I never
thought that joining SCOFS would be so much fun.
To the reuniting of Father Serras blessed heart,
Gerry said. With his body.
Here here, said Ward.
Seconds! Ksen said, drinking a sip of the tea.
Next you know, Gerry. The rebuilding of the mission at El Fornio.
Now, thats a dream, he turned and looked
at Father Serras heart. Think of itover two hundred
years ago it left the blessed body just a short distance from this spot
and soon it will be reunited. What a journey.
Splendid work, Ksen offered. But I think
that we should be a bit discrete and place the heart out of sight for
the time being.
I agree, Ward said. Gerry?
Well, if you dont mind. Id like to keep
it in my room tonight, like we had discussed, before tomorrows
Of course, Gerry, Ward said. I wouldnt
think of anything else. Did you bring your pajamas?
Of course, Ksen said quickly. It will
give us all a chance to get some sleep and take care of things.
Thank you, Gerry offered. It has been
a long time coming. To sainthood, he lifted his glass and took
another sip. On the coffee table Gerry noticed a Citizens Federal
Savings ashtray with the imprint of Drakes Plate of Brass on it.
Now theres a grail that was never realized,
he picked the ashtray up and looked it over.
Yes, old Bolton never knew it was a scam, Ksen
No, he didnt, did he? Gerry mused. You
can look all your life for something and never find it.
Or, Ward chuckled. You can fool yourself
into thinking what you found is what you were looking for. Or what you
were finding was what you were, um, finding that you looked for . .
. He looked at Ksen.
Well, like anyone, Gerry offered. Bolton
just wanted to think he was living an interesting life.
Yes, Ksen said, raising her glass again. May
we all live interesting lives.
I think we are, Gerry matched.
Oh, yes, we are, Ward said, reaching for his
glass and knocking it over.
That night at the Cravens, Gerry tucked himself into bed
in the guest room, looking at the heart sitting on the dresser in the
moonlight. By this time tomorrow, he mused, the heart would be down
the street, back at the mission. He had brought his best cameras and
film for the event. Tomorrow, he would shoot the heart in the back room
studio he had constructed. The cover of the Geographic, he wondered?
Could it be? Or would those shots come laterat the hand over ceremony
at the mission?
It was all coming true.
Making Ward and Ksen clandestine members of SCOFS was the
final stroke. He had approached them in the second term of the Reagan
administration, when Mrs. Reagan visited the site of the old mission.
She remembered Ward from the early days, when he played a young sailor
in Hellcats of the Navy. It had been her cajoling, her politicking,
that brought Ward and Ksen on board. As a sign of good faith, Mrs. Reagan
bought one of Ksens baskets, which she brought to the Whitehouse.
The Thank You card that Mrs. Reagan sent the following week
let Ksen know that it was one of the Presidents favorite places
to keep his jelly beans.
On the other side of the house, Ward was turning out the
lights to tuck in for the night. Ksen came into the shadows in her nightgown.
I feel a draft, Ward.
I was just down and opened the door to the tunnel.
I wanted to air it out, let it flow for a while.
When do the others arrive?
Theyll all be here tomorrow for the festival.
Just think, she whispered to her husband. All
those years playing the captain.
All those years playing the rube, he replied.
Im about to get my mind back.
Arrive in Carmel