to voice over artist Tim George
the part of Hank Peabody
Tim George's website to learn more
about his work
We Arrive in Carmel
from The Reeducation
of a Turd Peddler
by John Henry Peabody
WE ARRIVED IN CARMEL in
the early afternoon. Peter had told us our objective was to find Ksen
and Ward at the park in front of the mission. At first this seemed like
a total joke. There were at least three hundred people preparing for
the Salamander and Gnutes festival. I turned to Janet who had been on
the same phone call for the last thirty minutes. She nodded disparagingly.
Sean, I slowed the jeep down. What do
you see? Any Captain Ahabs out there? Little chubby squaws making sure
Ahab isnt drooling on himself?
Ill tell you one thing, he said, standing
on the seat in the back. I dont see any beer tents.
As usual. You drive all fing day to these things
and you cant even get a beer. Its like the Padres won.
The Puritans did, at least, Heany squinted.
Wait. There you go! Sean jumped from the back seat Theres
the Captain Man. And Ksen.
Watch the upholstery, Heany.
We parked and wandered over. Ksen greeted Janet with a bow.
Ward looked me over and shook my hand. Then he reached for Sean.
Theres the little man, he greeted Heany
with a handshake, turning to Janet.
Little man? Sean looked at me.
Remember, hes senile, bud, under my breath.
You cant call him on everything.
Where are you staying? Ksen asked. If
we didnt have a special guest--
None of us would be here if you didnt
have a special guest, Janet assured her. Well be at
the Kisuna house, Myra and Boss. Im really impressed how organized
Its amazing, isnt it? Ksen said.
All these years, just waiting, preparing. And all the houses are
connected. Decades of buying the right ones. When we first moved up
here, we wanted the old Victorian down the street, but the tribe told
us nowrong house.
How so? I asked.
Theres a large boulder or rock configuration
between it and the other houses, Ksen replied.
It could be some kind of vessel, Ward added.
Janet explained the matrix of houses and tunnels in
the area secretly owned by the Fornay, I said to Ward. She
didnt say anything about an ancient vessel.
Its there, he assured me.
I love the little tunnels between each of the houses,
Of course you would, Ward looked him over. Youre
little. If they were big tunnels, youd feel overwhelmed. Right?
Heany slowly nodded, looking up at Ward in his sailor hat
and coat. Then he laughed. Alright, I get it.
Where is your brother, Janet? asked Ksen.
Here. But hes going to stay out of the way,
she said. Youll see him. Have you contacted Father Sandoval?
Yes, Ksen said. Hes on board.
And Danskin? I asked.
Back at the house, stuck inside until nightfall. He
thought that he had half a day on you, so that by the time the show
aired and you got word of it, the heart wouldve already been in
He has no idea were here?
None, Ksen said. In fact, we encouraged
him to do his photo shoot in one of our guest rooms. He set it up with
white sheets and a table, lamps. He ought to get some nice pictures
out of it.
We encourage him to do all the documentation he can,
Janet smiled. Peter will love to hear that. Danskins building
Sean noticed that Ward had a table set up for the festival where he
would be demonstrating various scrimshaw techniques. One of the samples
had fallen on to the grass.
Hey, Skipper, Heany picked the piece up. I
love this scrimshaw stuff.
Thanks, Pelican Boy.
He handed the carving to Ward. What do you call this
one? Is it an animal? A bird?
Ward took the relic from Sean and looked it over. Actually,
young man, thats the plastic head of a lawn sprinkler. Hey, Rodrigo!
he yelled over to one of thegroundskeepers. Werent you looking
Three blocks away, Gerry Danskin stood with his cameras, tri-pods, lights
and reflectors in a makeshift studio, taking shots of Serras heart.
He could hear the festivities getting under way at the mission.
Oh, dear, Gerry hit the shutter and then ran
to the window where he looked out from behind the curtain.
The Mariachis, horns, children, the noon time bell, the
smells of roasting meat and even the blenders spinning were hard for
Gerry to be separated from. There was hardly an important mission festivity
in the state that he hadnt been to in the last fifteen years.
As he listened through the window, looking out, he noticed the fog of
his breath on the glass.
Gerry turned back to the heart set in the studio light,
pulling the shutter again as a drum roll and crash of horns, a bass
and guitar, caused the formaldehyde to quiver in the jar.
At the mission, Father Sandoval began to lead the procession
out of the courtyard. The children followed, into the woods towards
the creek. Behind them, a mixed crowd in amphibian costumes and old
Spanish soldier and Lady Fiesta regalia followed. After them were the
musicians, strolling guitaristas, guitarones, a local with his
drums affixed to his chest, a saxophone player pal honking along, and
at the very end Sean Heany, Pelican Man, all costumed up, had joined
in, striding with wings high, beak up, and tail plume fluttering.
It was nearly an awful sound and mix of instruments, but
they were in time and in close key to one anotherclose enoughinnocently
clanking away as the entourage headed into the shade of the forest.
All around, sycamore trees. laurel bays, live oaks, miners lettuce
and ancient ferns sheltered the creek and the salamanders and gnutes
that awaited their blessing.
Sean looked over at us as he followed along. He saw me and
I gave him the biggest wink of my life.
Shakes for Dinner