Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 206

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 206

…We are going back to Chicago and finish what old Satan has started…

Mark LLanuza on flickr

outdoor guy photography

outdoor guy photography

Connie and Ace are able to leave a message (about the Holy Scroll) (by Carrier Pigeon-Word of Mouth-Rumor) for Graham to wait  a bit before boarding the American Queen paddle wheel riverboat; so he is waiting, very curious as to what the fuss is about. He should trust Constance’s expressions of urgency by now.

When he gets his hands on their special delivery and briefly looking it over, he drops directly to his knees, raising both hands skyward, speechless.

“A local Wisconsin historian hinted that this was probably of divine origin,” relates Constance, “and you would not believe where we found it. Is it possible that it was intentionally placed in our path?”

Nothing should surprise her anymore. Graham certainly is not.

“Nothing is impossible for God and I truly believe that He has had His hand on you all through this entire year. This is a direct message from the Lord,” Billy concludes after consulting his on-staff Biblical scholar, “and we cannot ignore it.We are going back to Chicago and finish what old Satan has started.

“Written by hand on Holy paper, with Holy ink, wholly Holy; what a way for the Lord to communicate with us. I was fully expecting an angelic visit or God’s strong voice telling me what to do.

“There is Revival spirit spreading throughout this land and we must put on the show of our lives!” Graham has never been more convinced.

Comiskey Park Card“It is warm enough for an outdoor event, Billy,” Samuel Goldwyn is in on the meeting and still with the Crusade, even into mid-April. His keen business sense has proven invaluable. “I took the time to check with the Chicago White Sox and they are in Detroit on Saturday April 28th; why don’t we do a Comiskey Park blowout meeting?”

Goldwyn Jr. has dedicated himself to see the Crusades through and until they go back to California. He has also become the venue guru for Graham, freeing the good young Reverend to tailor his messages to each new audience.

“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.”


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Forever Mastadon


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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 195

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 195

“Get up & stretch your legs, as Constance Caraway and her dashing friend Ace Bannion contemplate taking a side-trip.”

Chapter Seventeen

CALL HIM ISAAC

“When will the plane be fixed,” Constance asks a typical girl question, when the answer is guaranteed not to be a simple one.

Ace Bannion uses his teaspoon to stir his bowl of Corn Flakes, mixing the sugar down into the milk. “You know, I never used to like milk CC or boxed cereal for that matter.”

“What did you used to eat for breakfast, oh never mind, you’re changing the subject! That big thing you ditched on its belly, when does it get back in the air?”

“The Angel has an upset stomach,” Ace uses human terms to describe considerable fuselage damage. “But the Douglas sabotagerepair shop cannot touch her until the Civil Aeronautics Board can trace any possible sabotage back to Kansas City.”

“Dirty pool, I’d say,” she said with more than token certainty.

“Those guys need to be taken down; you don’t mess with thirty-five lives and get away with it. And with the Crusade switching to bus mode, for who knows how long, could be months, Billy told me to relax and make sure the rest of the schedule is tied up in a tidy bow.”

“Fanny and Worth are taking care of security for the Crusade for the next month, so that gives us a few days to burn, any ideas?,” Constance isn’t one for sitting around.

“It looks like Worth is fitting in quite nicely,” Ace is surprised that Fanny has brought the Tallahassee attorney into CCI’s everyday operations.

“Yes he is, filling a huge need since we have taken control of Graham security. They work so well together,” which is quite an adjustment for a previously small firm like theirs, “but that is them and we are us.”

You don’t have hit old Ace over the head with a hammer. He can tell that Connie is feeling left out and now that April has rolled around.


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Forever Mastadon


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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 188

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 188

…Here are a few (unedited) conversations from Chicago Stadium Owner’s Box…

***Martin to Connie: “I don’t think I ever took the time to thank you for everything. You came all the way from Florida and made a stranger’s abduction your own personal fight and look at the results,” he spreads his arms wide, pointing out the unexpected fruit of her efforts.

Constance to Marty: “We’ve gone from a missing person investigation to a worldwide television broadcast,” what a difference 80 days makes.—

***Eddie D. to the food guy: “Do you have any more of those little flat things that taste like fish?”

The maître d’ to Eddie the buffet destroyer in the owners’ suite: “Do you mean the Baltimore Crab Cakes (you gluttonous heathen), yes I will get some more.”—

***Daniels to the Angel’s pilot: “Do you believe that those K.C. CAA guys were legitimate? In my world, I am a firm believer in Cause & effect.” The string of accidents is pointing toward a negative response.

Ajax Bannion to the G-Man: “Did I suspect that anyone would sabotage the plane? Hell no! I did my preflight inspection around the same time and didn’t see anything suspicious, but I did get their names. Here,” he hands over his pre-flight manifest.—

***Fanny to her new legal eagle: “What are your plans after the crusade program in done, and the days to come? she certainly doesn’t want Worth taking a midnight stroll or the next flight back to Tallahassee… without her.

Worth Moore to the reason he is staying in Chicago: “I am in no rush to head back to Florida Fanny. In fact, I was hoping that you would come up a visit my hotel suite, it has two king-sized beds.” The number of beds reference is to assure Fanny that his intentions are honorable.—

***AB to CC: I think I heard that lawyer asking Fanny up to his room. Maybe we could rope off the second floor at Kimbark for the night?”

CC to AB: We’ll see.”


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Forever Mastadon


page 158

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 187

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 187

…A fly on the wall…

Here is a random (edited) sample of  comments from the Chicago Stadium luxury suite at Billy Graham’s Crusade stop:

  • fly on the wall“Let’s slide the window open, I don’t feel like part of the crowd,” Constance complains.
  • “My husband is allergic to seafood,” Edie D. knows her husband like a bee knows its hive.
  • “Have you tried the shrimp cocktail?” Newly released Eddie D. asks. “This sure beats hospital food.”
  • “I am impressed with Willard Libby. I learned things that I hadn’t considered before,” Worth Moore’s first taste of carbon— carbon dating that is, is enlightening.
  • “I’ll have you know that my sister’s boy never scored less than an A in school,” Tolentine devotee Mary Joseph is beaming with family pride, in light of her nephew’s starring role.
  • “I wonder if Willard is going to mention my name during his presentation.” Every scientist expects credit for his work. Martin Kamen is no different.
  • “I have agents stationed at every gate.” Agent Daniels has his attention focused on his walkie-talkie, not allowing his search engine to idle. Such is the scope of his personal investment in the Libby Affair and Forever Mastadon long before that.
  • “I was part of the original search squadron retracing Amelia Earhart’s flight plan. I was positive that we would have found by now.” Ace doesn’t brag, he merely inserts himself into aviation history now and then.
  • “This is what sheer terror looks like live!” Sam Goldwyn’s projector screen replays The Blue Ridge Angel belly flopping at Midway Airport.
  • “My shoulder is killing me,” Fanny tries to adjust her sling, the inconvenient result of her own heroic accident.
  • “We’re all sinners, each and every one of us!” Billy Graham broadcasts through the loudspeakers.
Saint-Sinner

Oscar Wilde


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Forever Mastadon


page 158

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 186

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 186

…Gone is the spring-like weather of 2 days ago; ‘sleety days and Mondays always get me down’, but nothing will dampen the spirits of the Libbyites…

It is the third night of the Graham Great Chicago Crusade and it has been decided, byLibbyites-001 a straw poll of the Libbyites incl.: Constance, Fanny, Martin, James/Daniels, Sister Mary Joseph, Eddie, Edie, Ace and Worth to attend in unison, a united front of those whose lives will be forever altered by this experience.

Kimbark roomie, the elusive William the piano teacher, has a date with the Dean’s daughter.

Goldwyn the Jr. has two nights in the can (movie lingo for completed scenes) and is capturing the true flavor of what it means to come to Jesus. His wife of one year Jennifer is welcomed as an honorary Libbyite.

Gone is the spring-like weather of 2 days ago; ‘sleety days and Mondays always get me down’, but there is not anything that will dampen their spirits. Ever indulgent Ace Bannion has chartered a luxury motor coach for the occasion and with 100% attendance, good times they are a flowing. Though their guard is ever vigilant, the strange twists and death-defying turns are shelved for the Crusade finale, to make way for a good old fashioned southern worship service. Billy has promised them a special night.

The Libbyites occupy the owner suite, an enclosed luxury booth, one of fifty ringing the mezzanine, with the absolute best view (center ice). It also provides them self-service security, so they can be as carefree as possible.

If it were a Blackhawk Hockey game, team owners Arthur Wirtz or James Norris may be front and center with their family, friends and cronies, but the team is bad, bad, worse and they are on a long two week road trip. Thank God for small favors; those pesky sportswriters will fly away, fly away on the West Coast Swing with the team.


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Forever Mastadon


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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 184

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 184

…The hard working people of the Midwest will be spared a case of the dreaded Dianetics, which should not be confused with Diuretics…

The Chicago Stadium holds over 21,000 people, for events like these that do not require a wooden court, skating ice, or rodeo dirt. Political conventions and circuses also take advantage of its cavernous interior. Truman was not nominated there, but Democrat F.D.R. was. Economically ill-timed Herbert Hoover and ‘don’t count your chickens before they hatch’ Thomas Dewey were Republican conventioneers. And rumor has it that idyllic Roy Rodgers lassoed to Dale Evans into matrimony, wowing the crowd with his six-shooter… how can a girl resist?

And isn’t it a crying shame, that the very run of Billy Graham Crusades takes the dates once promised to the departed Langston Richard Cannon and his Spiritual Engineering gaggle. The hard working people of the Midwest will be spared a case of the dreaded Dianetics, which should not be confused with Diuretics, though they have similar results in different parts of the body, 2 feet apart.

One thing for sure, the many thousands seeking charismatic attention will not be causing much of a ruckus on their own. Neither would the weather on Saturday March 10th, with a warm front pushing the thermometer near 60 degrees, though the penalty paid comes in the form of a foggy drizzle. But signs of an early spring are a gift from God, having paid the price of a usually harsh upper Midwest winter.

The stage is set for another attempt at causing revival. Actual revivals are normally born of prohibitionist personalities, because it is easier to guilt a person into becoming a believer, if you can point out their debauched behavior. Graham, however, has found more upbeat ways to bring his audience closer to their God, like convincing a life-long scientist to profess his belief that, in his field of expertise, he readily accepts the parameters of a divine Creation over the speculation of random Evolution.

Alongside Willard Libby will be a 500 person choir, a full orchestra (both recruit locally) Youth for Christ International speaker Charles Templeton and popular baritone George Beverly Shea.

Footnote: More than a few of the people attending each evening mention President Truman’s radio address touting Billy Graham as the reason they came out.


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Forever Mastadon


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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 158

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 158

…Billy can’t let go of that unusual name thing, “Ajax Bannion — do you know that Ajax was a Greek warrior?…

“Reverend Graham, it looks like you found yourself an airplane driver.”

Fanny Renwick should be jumping up and down on her hospital bed, if she were only within earshot of the meeting.

“It sounds like a wonderful opportunity Ajax Bannion,” Constance speaks for the group. “Between Fanny and me, I think we can keep Martin in line.”

“Ajax? I thought your name was Ace,” Graham’s Southern drawl angling toward the truth behind the man.

“Never mind that for now Mr. Graham,” the flyer is already planning for things skyward. “I flew out at O’Hare Field the other day and I saw this slick Basler BT-67, it’s a refurbished C-47 with Pratt & Whitney turbines, a versatile plane with transatlantic capabilities… and I am C-47 certified.”

“I know the Holy Bible inside and out Bannion, but when it comes to airplanes, I defer to those who fly them. If you believe this plane can transport me and my staff, let’s buy it and you can fly it.”

“It was too pricey for my pocketbook, but if you’ve got $65,000 buckaroos?” Ace wants to fly that plane. “I think I can jew the owner down to 60, he seemed hot to trot.”

“Well I need the flexibility to go where I want, when I want and I’d rather have fixed costs for air travel,” he must operate his ministry like a business in order to have order. But he still can’t let go of that unusual name thing, “Ajax Bannion — do you know that Ajax was a Greek warrior in the time of the Trojan War, I believe.”

“No Reverend Graham, my mother really liked the scouring powder.”

“Really, I never would have guessed!” he concludes.

“Why don’t I fly us out there to see that airplane?”

“When Jesus called Peter to join him, he said, ‘Drop your nets and come follow me’. I am certainly no Messiah, but Ajax Bannion, ‘let’s soar on the wings of eagles’.”

And so the die is cast. The Billy Graham Crusades gets its own bird.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


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