Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 212

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 212

…Attorney Worth has located an abandoned stable on north Dearborn, the actual coach house for a Louis Sullivan designed home…

Coachhouse

North Dearborn

Also not very common in the middle of the Twentieth Century is specialized upscale livery by horse drawn carriage. Partially inspired by wife Edie’s insistence that he gives up his Checker Cab days, coupled with the inheritance left behind by his wife’s rich aunt from Jersey, Eddie Dombroski is teaming up with his cousin Rex from Western Springs on the concept of carriage rides in what is considered to be the downtown Chicago’s Loop.

There is a gaping hole in romantic conveyance in the city, in fact there are none at all. The only problem is, that despite his extensive knowledge of the byways and side streets, he has zero experience with Cleveland Bays, those 16-hand mahogany colored beauties that will tow the high-wheeled four person enclosed cabs.

Eddie is coachman to Rex’s footman, though one cannot exist without the other. Edie has broken away from her domestic chains to become the hawker for the fledgling undertaking and the three of them work together.

And seeing as Fanny has parked he fanny at that shyster Moore’s South Loop Hotel, they will be the perfect guinea pigs for this groundbreaking rebirth of a long lost mode of transportation. But he may be switching from the South Side for the North Side. Attorney Worth has located an abandoned stable on north Dearborn, just south of Lincoln Park, the actual coach house for a Louis Sullivan designed home. After clearing away the legal hindrance to keeping live farm animals, the Floridian decides he likes the home itself and buys it.

“What a wonderful place to start a family,” directing his comment to “we know who”, a “who” that is creeping up on the upper reaches of motherhood – tick-tock, tick-tock.

That puts Fanny to thinking. If he is thinking about children, he must have sexual intimacy on his mind. If he has carnal relations on his mind, then he knows that marriage must come first; which is the very same hurdle that Ace and Constance have facing them.

“Let’s get Rex and his horses into the stable first. The 28th is coming up fast and Constance wants us to meet up with Agent Daniels as soon as possible,” Fanny declares.

“After the stadium crusade is over, you’ll have to help me furnish the place.”

“I used to have simple tastes!”

To be foretold is to be forewarned. (or something like that)


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 178

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 211

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 211

Constance Caraway Private Investigation is calling the number that Agent Daniels left with her – just in case…

The one wildcard in this latest scheme to chase Satan back into his fiery hole continues to be his former deputy-devil-turned-Libbyite Cephus/ Agent Daniels. If Constance Caraway is a prickly thorn in the devil’s foot, this uncovered CIA mole would be a spear, prowling, lurking, and seeking to pierce without warning.

Pentateuch absolutely despises the very type of individual that he is himself: silent, devious, ruthless.

Cephus may be watching and Pentateuch would not know it.

Penty hates being unawares. —

Anolis grahami

— Even government operatives get vacation time and Agent Daniels has slipped off to Jamaica for some well-deserved rest, after he had confirmed that the inspectors of the Blue Ridge Angel were nothing more than phony-baloney nondescript, albeit willing government saboteurs.

“Jesse James,” the telephone speaks in his open-air room at the Silver Seas Resort.

“Wow, a real name to go with a real voice!” The founder and collective soul of Constance Caraway Investigation is calling the number that he left with her – just in case.

“Get out of here you pesky critter!”

“Excuse me,” she is surprised by the apparent rebuke.

“Sorry Constance, I wasn’t talking at you. I have a couple of House Geckos who insist on darting around whenever I’m about to use the shower; they seem to prefer domestic water over island water. Too bad they have no natural predators to worry about. I may need to toss them into the Caribbean.” He means business, but eschews real killing. “What has our two-legged lizard been up to?”

“Well, that’s just it, we have come upon some new information and in addition, Graham is returning to Chicago on the 28th for a baseball stadium meeting. I’m thinking that Penty has caught wind of this… you do remember what happened last month?”

“What information are we talking about?”

“It seems that Ace & I have acquired detailed, ancient instructions on how to put this sneaky bastard in his place. I happen to think that you may be the man who can carry out those instructions.”

No audible response – he had been enjoying himself for the first time in (xx) years.

“And there will be a little extra in your paycheck next month.” P.I.s will tell little-white-lies to get results.

“If you have either the authority to A: give me a raise or B: put Pentateuch out of business, I will be impressed,” he cannot resist the chance to deal a setback to his longtime notable nemesis. “I’ve got a few days left before I have to get back to work.”

“Can you read any ancient languages?”

“Among other modern tongues, Latin – Hebrew – Greek – Aramaic…”

“Yeah, the last one… wait ‘til you see what fell into our laps on OUR spring vacation.”

“That is the dominant language of 1st Century A.D. you know, Jesus-speak, but not too common these days.”

He will soon be reaching back into history to help reconstitute a divine formula for demonic eradication.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 177

Overrated! – WIF 10 Cent Travel

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World’s Most

Overrated Cities

The urban environment is powerful and evocative, reflective of the people, places and times that saw the construction of specific communities. Cities can be iconic, but they can also be overrated. They say you should never meet your heroes, but in this list, you might come to the conclusion that it’s equally unwise to visit your favorite cities. They may not live up to your lofty expectations after all…

You may or may not agree with me. This is just one traveler’s opinion. It could be I had:

  1. one lumpy mattress,
  2. two bad taxi rides or
  3. three  bad meals.

10. Paris

Paris may be iconic for its Eiffel Tower, culture, and architecture, and for being a romantic and meaningful place to get away. However, Paris is reputed to be overrated, so we’re going to check out the somewhat startling facts about this exceptionally famous French metropolis. Referred to as the City of Love or the City of Lights, Paris does have a variety of most famous human artifacts to appreciate or places to check out that are of historic or cultural fame and significance. Paris even has its own Disneyland. While seen as romantic and a place of love, Paris in fact might ironically be defined as a place to get lonely. Yes, there is much to appreciate architecturally and in the form of art and culture but Paris is well known as a place where bids for politeness do not constitute the highest priority in day to day life.

Paris has actually suffered the fate of being voted no less than Europe’s most overrated city, topping the list due to its unfriendliness. Visitors have often complained about unduly curt or unwelcoming treatment by locals. While Paris is a dream destination for foreign visitors around the world, it seems that becoming tired of serving foreigners without perfect French is an attitude clearly conveyed by enough Parisians. Apparently condescending attitudes and bluntness are ubiquitous in Paris to the point where visitors may not only feel disappointed but downright depressed. Finding that Paris does not measure up has created such severe symptoms as to be labelled as Paris Syndrome.

9. Rome

The Colosseum, the Spanish Steps, the Pantheon, and the Trevi Fountain. In iconic Rome, Italy, the list goes on, and there’s plenty to see for those interested in some more modern history too. The Vatican is also a stone’s throw away. While the famous ancient city does have remarkable architectural sites that are rich in history of religious, civic, and political significance, as well as being the scene of great conflict and drama, Rome itself is a place that one might say has seen better days in some regards. The ruins of ancient structures in Rome have been preserved for visitors but unfortunately, a number of modern amenities have come to resemble a less appealing version of what might be called another form of ruins.

Despite a steady injection of funds through tourist dollars, work to improve problematic transportation, sanitation, and municipal infrastructure shortcomings in Rome have lagged exceptionally. As money keeps coming in and the city remains crowded with tourists, a lack of efficiency and even strikes have left much to be desired, to put things mildly. Remarkably, sanitation problems, including garbage being left to the point of mass overflow, led to threats of European Union sanctions. Furthermore, visitors have complained about disreputable conduct from touts taking on the roles of taxi drivers, cash exchangers, and guides. Rome might attract millions of visitors yearly, but the city suffers some of Europe’s lowest repeat visit rates.

8. Sydney

The iconic Sydney Opera House of Sydney, Australia is so famous that one might say it is touted rather than simply promoted. Images of Sydney are also so curiously focused on the Down Under city’s famous opera house that you might make that image and the general character of the city synonymous in your imagination. However, the fact that the Sydney Opera House is such a focal point of the city’s depictions might hint, to the analytical mind, that perhaps this is the case because there is really little else that is all that remarkable in Sydney. Furthermore, the opera house itself is so overrated that the entire presentation begins to fall upon critical inspection.

The design of the opera house is the work of Danish architect Jørn Utzon, who won the contest to design it out of 233 contestants in 1956, with construction beginning in 1959 and lasting 14 years instead of the originally anticipated four years. Despite the fantastical appearance of the Sydney Opera House, the acoustics have presented many problems and it has not been the world star venue it was intended to become. With the acoustics of the opera house being widely criticized, makeshift solutions have often had to be sought due to some parts of the building being too big and others too small. The pit in the opera theatre has been identified as too small, causing acoustic difficulties, with the concert hall being overly large, causing sound to get lost. Interestingly, Australian music magazine Limelight gave the opera theatre the worst rating for acoustics out of 20 venues of significance, while giving 18th place to the concert hall.

7. London

London, England has a history going back to the Roman Empire with everything from sites of Royal interest at Buckingham Palace, Big Ben as a monument for the most die-hard clock fans, those infamous red double decker buses, and perhaps the odd unexploded German bomb lying somewhere waiting to be discovered, decades past the rabid fighting of World War II. The largest city in England and the United Kingdom, the capital of England suffers pollution in the Thames that was once so bad people were dying from it, and air pollution had the same effect by a different means of causing ill-health. Despite the mix of grandeur and squalor, visitors to London may find themselves disappointed by the crowding and also the lack of friendliness despite being surrounded by people, as London has the questionable distinction of being voted the second most unfriendly city worldwide.

Then there’s the sometimes garish and disjointed modern construction that has grown up in the city. While historic squalor and wartime damage have been definitive events in London’s history, visitors will be surprised by how iconic traditional buildings and perceptions of English culture and architecture in London are dwarfed by modern architecture. The skyline of London definitely appears rather random, with buildings in the financial district described in comparison to a cheese grater, a scalpel, and a walkie-talkie in some prominent examples.

6. New York City

New York City may not be the political capital of the United States but the grand city is certainly the de facto financial capital of America (and some might argue the world). With such iconic elements portrayed in popular culture, literature, news, movies, and daily discourse, New York occupies a larger than life place in the minds of the American public and further. Those who live there know what it is like, but first time travelers may be in for a disappointment upon actually arriving.

From 1785 to 1790, New York was actually America’s capital city. In recent history, the tragic 9/11 attacks represented the single worst incident to strike any North American city. While many cities are destinations for visitors, there has been a surprisingly significant level of effort — to the point of sacrificing comfort — just for the sake of living in New York City. Due to grand real estate costs, living in tiny, overpriced, and sometimes substandard accommodations has become commonplace. For visitors, sites such as the Empire State Building, Wall Street, and Statue of Liberty are certainly icons of great interest, but the actual city will produce a feeling of being dwarfed by two things. These are the enormity of the buildings, crowds, and traffic-jammed streets, and the enormity of the tab run up to stay in the city.

5. Shanghai

Shanghai is so well known that it has become an almost clichéd stand-in for popular imaginations of the People’s Republic of China. Yet while Shanghai is an important Chinese city with enormous economic, historical, and cultural significance, it is a city with a significant legacy of influence by Western culture and hotspots of past east and west conflict. Known for its modern towers, including the aptly named Shanghai Tower, and a myriad of modern architectural wonders, Shanghai is also defined by “The Bund” — a block of iconic European colonial buildings now repurposed for a variety of uses. Yes, Shanghai may feel too “westernized,” a valid perception based on the composition of the city by those seeking the “real China.” It certainly is the place to get coffee and hamburgers in China.

While modern architectural creations may define the Shanghainese skyline, the “waterline” of Shanghai is largely defined at its most famous points by these magnificent but undeniably foreign European buildings, the work of “Laowai” — or foreigners — in China. The foreign presence in China has been a tumultuous one, with many flash points relating to trade and attempts at colonization. So, why is Shanghai perhaps overrated as a place to experience China? While interesting, there are many other places, such as Xi’an in Shaanxi province, with the Terra Cotta Warriors close by, remote hill forests in Sichuan and incredibly spicy cuisine, ancient temples in Henan province, and of course the many access points to the Great Wall that more accurately reflect traditional Chinese culture over a more Westernized one.

4. Rio de Janeiro

Depicted in countless movies and artistic images, Rio de Janeiro in Brazil is known for being located below the huge Christ the Redeemer art deco statue that contrasts with the extraordinary natural features of Rio de Janeiro combining steep hills, the sea, and perched buildings. The world famous statue constructed above the city is 98-feet tall with a 92-foot arm span, built on the 2,300-foot tall Corcovado Mountain in Tijuca Forest National Park. While famous for everything from car race hosting to nightlife and urban tourism, Rio de Janeiro is actually not so great to look at once you are down amongst the buildings, many of them generic in architectural form, lacking a sense of place, and often run down.

While Rio is often promoted as a center of culture, activity, and interest for travelers in search of a lively and exotic destination, the Brazilian city is becoming a hotbed of criminal activity. Crime rates have risen so drastically that violence is feared throughout the city, costing an immense number of tourism dollars. People are becoming smart enough to stay away from many parts of Rio much of the time, to the point where lost revenue in the year 2017 totaled an incredible $200 million.

3. Barcelona

Spain is both renowned for positive cultural aspects, notorious for being host to events with which many people do not approve (including bullfighting), and as the site of a brutal civil war in its 19th century history. With all of the complexity and intrigue of Spanish architecture and historic and modern culture, Barcelona is a famous destination that draws visitors globally every year, but something is clearly wrong when disappointment follows the arrival of the discerning traveler. What exactly is the problem with Barcelona? While the city is a cultural icon, the true Spanish cultural experience has unfortunately been, shall we say, diluted by the emergence of an extraordinary quantity of tourist traps replacing a quality experience.

At the same time, overcrowding of this already highly populated parcel of Spain is making additional visitors face immense challenges in simply getting around to see the place once they’ve arrived. Esteemed Spanish writer extraordinaire Miguel de Cervantes put the praise of Barcelona into the mouth of his fictional character Don Quixote, describing the city as nothing less than a “fountain of courtesy, shelter of strangers, hospice to the poor, land of the valiant, avenger of the offended, reciprocation of firm friendship, a city unique in its location and beauty.” Yet the crowded-ness of the city and tendency for many people to treat it as a short stop interestingly leads many people to be less responsible given that they will be in the area for a limited time, further adding to the aggravation many visitors experience.

2. Athens

Afforded near mythical status for being so ancient and the place where countless Greek Gods and Goddesses are described as having their origins, Athens is a richer place in history and culture than it is today in the flesh — or rather, in the brick and mortar. While the development of ancient democracy, philosophy, and faiths in a place where such famous humans such as Socrates and deities such as Zeus and Venus have their claim is bound to make Athens a revered site in popular imagination, there is much to disappoint, according to some visitors. The city of the Acropolis and other impressive architecture actually consists of vast arrays of run-down buildings that are often crowded together without very much shade in many areas. The Acropolis itself is known for being less spectacular and archaeologically, architecturally, and historically pristine than is popularly imagined.

Try to get to it, and you could be turned back by heat due to the barren nature of the grounds where the ancient relics stand, and monumental levels of overcrowding. Add that to the sometimes suffocating air pollution that Athens experiences. Upon arrival at the Acropolis, the scaffolding significantly takes away from appreciation of the architecture, creating the feel of a construction site. While ancient people built the monumental sites expediently, modern repair works have taken decades and still remain underway, resulting in not only scaffolding but all manner of construction equipment anti-climatically lying about the grounds of the most iconic structures of Athens.

1. Amsterdam

World famous Amsterdam. This city is an active metropolitan area situated on flat land, including areas that have had to be reclaimed from the ocean. Subject to flooding, massive urban construction has required more than just a little engineering to be sustainable. Amsterdam may be geographically flat and lacking in mountains, but it has been viewed as a place of where people can get high in the drug use sense without fear of legal reprisals. So-called “coffee shops” function more as marijuana lounges in Amsterdam, where use of the almost universally banned drug is tolerated by the authorities.

Furthermore, red light district activities draw more than a fair share of visitors, since prostitution is legal. However, a variety of issues, as well as a simple lack of interest when it comes to more standard comforts, render Amsterdam a place that is not just overrated but leaving something to be desired when it comes to mainstream human comforts.Amsterdam’s food is lagging behind the attention given to the marijuana focused “coffee shops,” being monotonous and simple for the most part, while the architecture of the coastal city is less than spectacular in many instances, with exceptionally plain construction defining much of the municipal jurisdiction.


Overrated! –

WIF 10 Cent Travel

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 210

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 210

Chapter Eighteen

THE SPREADING WORD

…“How can you make money by giving away free wine?” Devil Dollars aren’t redeemable…

DEVIL DOLLARS-001

On the heels of his great mischief of on March 12th, Pentateuch learns of the Billy Graham Crusades returning to Chicago. “They must be suckers for punishment.” What manner of tomfoolery can the Dark Deceptor unleash on the innocent and unsuspecting that plan to be there in late April? An infectious disease from 1000 B.C. may affect the greatest number of them, but if it gets out of control, too many of his best bad people might become ill. He is in need every rotten tomato in his shrinking basket.

Good thing for him, he can redeploy the Joseph Winters ruse, this time Mr. Winters will get a job as a concessionaire at Comiskey Park. Penty is so versatile that it’s a shame that he doesn’t use his talents for good.

Concessions

And even though his Great Deception monopoly has been pretty much shot to hell, his tormenting spirit lives on and if he can muck up all this revival nonsense, like he has done a number of times before. That would certainly make it a banner year for him.

There are no beer sales at this Major League ballpark, tailored just for the crusade Christian clientele. “How’s an angel supposed to make a decent wage?” You must keep in mind that Pentateuch is an Angel of God, although falling as far as possible from His good graces. His current lament applies to how he can poison as many of the 45,000 as inhumanely possible. “Poisoned bodies or poisoned minds, how did I do it back in 1904?”

(There have been other revivals since 1904, mainly in the British Isles and Africa, but the legacy of D.L. Moody was strong as he passed the torch on to others. But it is hard to keep the momentum going when you attempt to evangelize the entire planet; a noble but improbable undertaking.)

This time around, Penty/Winters have discovered that the concessionaires will be handing out something for free. “How can you make money by giving stuff away?” Devil Dollars aren’t redeemable.

Communion is the heavenly handout and it is only given to those who are right with God. This means that the vast majority of the forty thousand plus will eat a hunk of stale bread and drink a miser’s portion of Manischewitz wine; hmmm, the putrefying possibilities.

Libbyites-001The what-ifs and why-nots are all point toward mass mayhem. After all, what does he have to worry about? Those damned Libbyites think they have won, above all that witch Caraway; the one human that has plunked herself in the middle of his best laid plans…….but even she is given to go off and cavort with that grounded Texas fly/playboy. (She doesn’t even know -nor does he – that he has a kid in Brazil.)


Constance Caraway P.I.

Satans Place-001

Forever Mastadon


page 176

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 209

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 209

…Billy Graham and Samuel Goldwyn are talking about life and  other matters…

Billy Graham and Samuel Goldwyn are talking about life, its meaning and other matters on the bus trip back to Chicago. Sam is of the Jewish persuasion, albeit the non-practicing flavor, but like many of the crusade attendees, he has repeatedly heard the messages and cannot help having serious questions about the potential role of faith in his life. But it’s not only Judaism that haunts him. He can still hear his Grandfather speak of their centuries struggle against the Muslim world, right up to 1947 and when Israel was granted the promised homeland.

Much of the root confusion arises from the birthright of Abraham’s two sons, by different mothers; Abraham being the patriarch of the line of David.

“Why do Muslims claim that it was Hagar’s son, Ishmael, whom God spared from being sacrificed?” Young Goldwyn knows just enough scripture to be dangerous.

“… because it allows them to claim our God as their own. You see, sometime after Christ died on the cross, they changed the story in their holy book, the Koran, to fit their needs. But these same errant editors insist that their prophet Mohammed is like a god, which is pure hogwash. Mohammed has been allowed to write his own sacred manuscript to be passed off as divine. It is fiction by the strictest measure.

“In the real historical account, as transcribed by the apostles, our great God provided a 100 year old man with a son, by his wife of 90, a miracle that triumphed over the despair of barrenness. God ordered, ‘And you will call him Isaac’. So when He instructed Abraham to sacrifice his precious son on an altar, he was obedient. That obedience was proof of the man’s faithfulness and Isaac was spared; not Ishmael who has Egyptian blood and born of a concubine.”

Related imageGraham knows this story well.

“And I used to think that the Bible was just another book.”

Goldwyn sees the light.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 175 (end Ch. 17)

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 208

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 208

…“Marty, how’ve ya been man?” Ace likes Martin’s spunk, pretty cool for an egghead…

Without intentionally searching for it, Willard knows what it’s like to be a part of revival.

“Ever since that 3rd crusade event – what is that, a month and a half ago, I haven’t had so much as a hair out of place. The first two nights, however, I could feel something tugging at me or someone hovering around me, lurking.” Willard Libby knows full well that he has been the focus of a battle much bigger than him alone.

“Now you know what we’ve been dealing with all this time, with all the bad people, evil spirits and the devil himself doing more than nagging at us. On the other hand, we can sense that God is on our side, angelic intervention, if you will miraculous events and recoveries and now we get an instruction booklet on how to beat Satan at his own game.” This is one pumped Private Eye. “It is so significant that Billy buses have made a right turn from Iowa and they are headed back for an outside meeting at Kominski Field.”

“It cannot be both Constance, it is either Comiskey Park or Wrigley Field.” Martin Kamen is the resident baseball fan in and provides the proper stadia clarification.

“Marty, how’ve ya been man?” Ace likes Martin’s spunk, pretty cool for an egghead.

“With you guys out of town, it has been a breeze; no fires, kidnappings, hospitalizations, ice storms, or power blackouts.” He looks around and ducks his head, highlighting the possible dangers expected with their return.

“Can Billy count on your part of the live presentation on April 28th and maybe 29th too?” Connie asks.

“I have been talking to some other colleagues lately and I bet I could get them to join in, for a display of universal support,” Martin has bought in.

“You have a week and a half to work on that. Ace and I are going to have posters printed up. I called Eddie D and he said he would put them up around town.”

It is time to get busy.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 174

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 207

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 207

the Illinois speed traps were sneakily placed, while the unlucky deer was spending his evening hours chasing after a doe.

Speed Trap

“We will race back to see how things are shaking in Chi Town,” Race rhymes with Ace.

Constance rhymes with constant, “Let’s get back in one piece.”Deer Crossing

This time Highway 20 will see them back to home base, but not before acquiring two unwanted speeding tickets and colliding with an amorous White Tail buck; the Illinois speed traps were sneakily placed, while the deer was spending his evening hours chasing after a doe. The Buick Roadmaster is a 4415 pound vehicle so the deer barely leaves a mark, but the traffic violations mean that Ace will be making June trips, back to Jo Daviess and Boone counties.

 

When they do gain the expansive Cook County, a new morning has dawned. The roads and streets leading to the U of C are welcoming and more familiar than those of the past two weeks.Libby Dead or Alive-001

Homecomings, even to temporary homes, give the sojourners great comfort. 6137 Kimbark is just as they had left it, with the noticeable remixing of Willard Libby, who is hidden no more and basking in the positive reviews from Graham crusaders, longtime colleagues and educated citizenry. He has rekindled the national debate surrounding the divergent issues of creation and evolution.

Libbyites-001The man, who spawned the people known as the Libbyites, admits to being a changed man, like a new incarnation of his former self. From inside the Graham Crusades, this scientist has bridged the intellectual gap that has always existed between science and religion, a not small task in the face of prejudicial professional bias.

Without intentionally searching for it, Willard knows what it’s like to be a part of revival.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 173