Chapter Three

            The day of his flight to Hollywood, California, Mason could hardly contain his excitement. After a stop at O’Hara International Airport the jet flew another seven hours and landed at Burbank Bob Hope Airport in Hollywood. Mason rented a car and went across town. The bumper-to-bumper traffic in Los Angeles was heavy and slowed traffic to a snail’s pace. Mason didn’t like the smog. The cool and clean Michigan air had turned to sunny and hot in Hollywood, so much so that Mason had to turn on the air conditioning in the rental car. Then he felt more comfortable in the vehicle as he made his way through busy Los Angeles traffic.

Once Mason arrived in Tinsel Town, he drove along Mulholland Drive and came to the famous HOLLYWOOD sign situated on Mount Lee. The sign was in the area of the Santa Monica Mountains and overlooked Hollywood. He parked the rental car and got out his new digital camera. He focused the camera on the white, forty-five-foot capital letters that spelled HOLLYWOOD. From the ground, the contours of the hills gave the sign a wavy appearance. He took a couple of pictures with his camera and then got back into the rental car.

Mason was in a good mood and happy to have arrived in Hollywood. He sought fame and fortune like so many others who were chasing the allusive movie business. The would-be author believed coming to Hollywood to make a movie was the grand adventure of a lifetime.

            Driving through the city, he made his way to the exclusive Hollywood Hotel. The four-story hotel offered a convenient location to all of the tourist attractions and movie studios. He parked the rental car in the hotel’s lot, checked into a suite, and unpacked his suitcase. He made himself at home in the room, content with the lodgings. Worn-out from the flight and the drive across the large city he fell asleep early that night, eager to start a new day in Hollywood.

The next morning Mason drove his car to the Ultimate Hollywood Tour Company Center. He made arrangements to go on a four-hour Celebrity Homes Tourin a private white limousine with a chauffeur. The tour began on Rodeo Drive where the rich and famous shopped. Then the chauffeur took Mason past mansions owned by Tom Cruise, Madonna, Johnny Depp, Ringo Starr, Elton John, Ozzie Osbourne, Justin Bieber, and Taylor Swift. Mason had his digital camera ready to shoot pictures but he didn’t see any celebrities.

When they had finished the four-hour tour the limousine chauffeur took Mason back to the tour company’s headquarters. Mason gave the chauffeur a generous tip. Then he drove the rental car to the Hungry CatRestaurant for lunch. The restaurant specialized in gourmet seafood. Mason only ate a small lobster roll to make sure he didn’t ruin his appetite for dinner. While eating the lobster roll he had a whiskey and Coke to wash it down.

Mason telephoned an upscale escort service to arrange an evening date with a woman. He set up an appointment for six o’clock at his hotel suite. Next, he got in his rental car to start looking for a movie agent. The young author had done some research on the Internet at the mansion in Traverse City and planned on meeting with several prestigious movie agencies. Perhaps he could get a movie agent to represent his recently completed book. He knew he might have to approach several different agencies to secure one willing to take on his film project.

Mason drove through Hollywood traffic, stopping at five agencies without any luck. He didn’t even get past the receptionists. Discouraged, he made one last stop of the day at the LCM Agency.

Mason got out of the rental car and walked inside the office lobby. Once again, another receptionist told him the agency wasn’t taking any new clients. Mason handed her a letter from his New York City bank indicating how much money he had available to invest in a movie project and asked her to give it to the agent. She got up, walked into an office, and in a few moments reappeared with a smile.

“Mr. Finch has agreed to see you now,” she said to him.

“Thank you,” said Mason.

Good, he thought to himself. Maybe I’ll get lucky at this agency.

Mason walked into the office. He introduced himself and shook hands with Mr. Finch. Several pictures of movie stars were lined up along the wall. The movie agent was a tall man with red hair and a ponytail down the middle of his shoulder blades. They sat down on a black leather couch. “We don’t have to be formal. You can call me Paul. Why do you need to see me, Mr. Rossman?” the agent asked.

“You can call me Mason. I have written a book entitled The Love Affair. It’s a story about a young couple’s struggles in life and their hardships in Traverse City, Michigan, followed by successfully getting jobs. Recently, I won the Powerball lottery and have the money to go into a partnership to make my novel into a movie. I am seeking an agent to represent me to a film producer.”

            “Interesting,” said Paul. “How much money do you have to put up for the project?”

“Up to $50,000,000,” answered Mason, a bit nervous that wouldn’t be enough money.

“That’s a ton of money. Is the novel finished?” asked Paul.

“Yes.”

“Do you have a copy of the manuscript?”

“Yes, here’s a copy of my novel,” answered Mason.

Paul accepted the manuscript from Mason. He explained, “No promises, but I will read it over soon. Give your cell phone number to my receptionist in the front office. I’ll call you one way or another if I can find a studio interested in the project. You’ll hear from me within two weeks.”

“Thank you for your time and consideration,” said Mason, leaving the office pleased. He gave his cell phone number to the receptionist.

“You must be someone important to Mr. Finch since he asked for your telephone number,” the receptionist said, smiling.

“Hopefully, he will agree to be my movie agent,” said Mason, happy to have had an interview. He had gotten his hopes up about the movie production.

Mason thanked her and left the office.

I guess money talks in Hollywood. I sure hope Paul can find a studio to produce my movie. That would be awesome, he said to himself.

Then the young author returned to the Hollywood Hotel. He took a swim in the pool and had a sauna. After getting refreshed Mason fell asleep in his hotel suite. At six o’clock, the escort arrived and knocked at the door. He woke up and opened the door. She was an attractive brunette and had a large breasts, much larger than those of his wife.  

Mason welcomed her warmly, and said, “Greetings. Come inside my hotel suite. What’s your name?”

“Roxanna Clark,” she answered, stepping inside the hotel suite and closing the door. “What is your name?”

“Mason,” he replied. “I don’t want to give you my last name.”

“I completely understand,” she assured him.

“Damn, you sure are an attractive woman,” Mason told the beautiful escort.

“Thank you for the compliment. I get my good looks from my mother,” Rosanna said, smiling at Mason.

“How much for a dinner date, dance time, and later some action?” he asked.

“One thousand dollars,” she told him, “and I won’t negotiate for a better price.”

“Okay,” agreed Mason, pulling out his wallet and giving her ten individual one-hundred-dollar bills.

Pleased, Roxanna took the money and put it into her purse. She was discreet enough not to ask him if he was married and had a wife. That was none of her business.

They took a cab to a restaurant because Mason planned on drinking alcohol and didn’t want to get busted again for drunk driving. They made their way through busy traffic in Hollywood. The cabdriver took them to the Soago Restaurant on North Canon Drive. It was Wolfgang Puck’s place, serving California seasonal cuisine. Once Mason had paid for the cab ride, through a glass wall they checked out the chefs who were preparing food in the kitchen. Going outside to a patio, Mason and Roxanna sat down at a table. They had Jack Daniels and Cokes. Even after having eaten a late lunch, Mason ordered a garden salad and a grilled New York steak cooked medium. Roxanna thought a veal Wiener schnitzel sounded good to eat with a salad.

            During dinner, Roxanna shared, “I’m attending acting school at the Hollywood Film Academy. I hope to be a movie star someday soon. That’s my dream.”

“I’m a multimillionaire. I’ve written a novel that I want to make into a movie. I met with a movie agent today and he took a copy of my manuscript. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he will find a studio to make my story into a movie,” Mason told the escort.

“Sounds interesting,” said Roxanna. “I’ve taken advance UCLA acting workshops in the areas of audition techniques, scene study, script analysis, improvisation, soap operas, TV commercials, and talent shows. I even took private lessons, learning how to act on a set,” said Roxana. “Maybe I’ll try out for a role in your movie.”

“Feel free to audition if it all happens. The title of the movie will be The Love Affair. Hopefully the film will be produced here in Hollywood. Yourbackground and the workshops you attended sound impressive. I can tell you are taking your acting career seriously,” Mason told the escort, although actually he was not impressed by her aspirations to become a movie star. He was only interested in having sex with her later in the evening.

“I’m trying hard to break into show business,” she said.

“So am I but we both need some luck to get us where we want to go,” he said to the escort.

“I know my movie career won’t be easy. Please make me into a film star,” she said, hoping to jump-start her acting career with Mason’s help.

“I wish I could but first my agent has to find me a studio,” said Mason, thinking if he could find a bit part he would cast her in his upcoming movie if things worked out.

They enjoyed each other’s company, but Mason knew it was strictly business between them. She would never be a true girlfriend he immediately realized.

After dinner, they took another taxicab along West Sunset Boulevard to the Whisky A-Go-Go lounge. Mason paid the cover charge and they went inside. Both of them drank White Russians and loved to dance. There was a live band on the stage. They had a good time dancing to the rock and roll music. Mason snuck a kiss. When the last call ended the evening, Roxanna and Mason were loaded from all the alcohol they had drunk during the evening.

            They rode back to the hotel for the night, kissing in another taxicab. Going inside the hotel suite, Roxanna stripped off her clothes and got ready for lovemaking. Mason opened his suitcase and took out a new digital camera he had bought in Traverse City at the Camera Shop on Front Street. After assuring Roxanna that the pictures he wanted to take were not for a magazine or the Internet, she struck erotic poses for him in the nude. Mason took some pictures of Roxanna, pleased with her willingness to allow him to photograph her naked.

After the camera shots, they had unprotected sex. Mason didn’t like condoms as he thought it was like wearing a raincoat while taking a shower. Roxanna didn’t care if he wore one. During their lovemaking, she performed a sexual act that Samantha wouldn’t even consider. As usual, Mason climaxed fast, too quickly for Roxanna’s enjoyment. Despite the short time they’d had sex together, Roxanna had been a wild woman in bed.  He asked for her soiled panties as a trophy. She gave him the ones she had worn during the evening.

I got lucky. What a hot woman in bed. She’s so much better at making love than Samantha. Getting an escort is a lot more fun than getting intimate with my wife. I’ll have to do it again soon, Mason thought to himself.

At four o’clock in the morning she offered to come back later that week and said good-bye. She slipped out of the hotel suite and took a taxicab home, paid for by Mason.

Mason felt no guilt about cheating on Samantha. He knew the chances of him getting caught in Hollywood for having sex with another woman were slim to probably nonexistent. He had fulfilled one of his wildest sexual fantasies with Roxanna. Mason enjoyed the playboy lifestyle, but knew it was temporary and would be over as soon as he was back home in Traverse City in a few days.

Too bad I have to go home tomorrow. I’m was just starting to enjoy Hollywood, he thought to himself before falling asleep.

   Once awake the next morning Mason cleaned up in the suite’s bathroom and put on some casual clothes. He ate breakfast at Valentino’s Restaurant, which was located in the hotel. The complimentary buffet featured eggs, sausages, and pancakes.

Mason finished eating his breakfast and then he drove the rental car through the morning rush-hour traffic to the Chinese Theater on Hollywood Boulevard. He wanted to take a tour of the most iconic movie palace in the world. He bought a ticket and waited in the elegant lobby with about eight other people who looked like a mix of locals and tourists. They were all waiting for the event to start. The lobby of the theater was gorgeous. Mason had never seen anything like it in his entire life.

A young woman, no more than seventeen years old, with red hair and freckles, approached the group from the theater’s office. “Hello everyone,” she said in a loud voice. “My name is Nancy Alexander and I will be your tour guide this morning. I’m an aspiring movie actress just waiting to be discovered. So if any of you are movie directors please consider me for a part in your film production.”

Everyone in the group laughed, including Mason.

Nancy went on to say, “I want to welcome you to the historic Chinese Theater, which has been home to most of the prominent red-carpet movie premieres since 1927. This theater is where Hollywood’s biggest and brightest stars come to watch movies. In 2013, there was a complete renovation of the theater including slope seating, a new digital marque, main lobby refurbishments, and technology upgrades for both audio and visual presentations. Let’s walk inside.”

Once inside the large and beautiful theater with a painted ceiling she said to the group, “You can see just how big the theater is for watching movies. It’s the world’s largest IMAX laser projection experience. Everyone thinks it’s great. Now let’s go to the projection room.”

Mason looked up at the painted ceiling impressed. Perhaps someday my own movie will be released to the public here, he thought to himself eagerly.

The group of tourists followed Nancy and crowded into a small room. She explained, “The IMAX laser projection you see over here represents a quantum leap forward in cinema technology. It provides audiences with the sharpest, brightest, clearest, and most vivid movie experience in the world. So, come on over for a movie soon. You’ll love it.”

Nancy turned and the group followed her back to the lobby. She said, “The tour will continue outside. The sidewalk is named the Forecourt of the Stars. Let’s go see the five-point stars trimmed in brass, inlaid with a charcoal terrazzo background.”

The tourists and Mason followed Nancy outside to the sidewalk. She gathered them together and said, “Notice in the upper portion of each star is the name of the honoree inlaid in brass block letters. In the lower half of the star field is a round inlaid brass emblem indicating the category of the honoree’s contribution. Of the two thousand and six hundred stars, 47% have been awarded in the motion picture category, 24% in television, 17% in audio recording, 10% in radio and 2% in live the performance category. Approximately twenty new stars are added to the Walk each year.”

Nancy continued giving information by saying, “Some of the fans show respect for recipients of the honor by laying flowers at their stars. There is a tradition of placing flower wreaths at the stars of deceased honorees. For example, Bette Davis, Katherine Hepburn, Jackie Cooper, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Pryor, Ricardo Montalbano, Frank Sinatra, Joan Rivers, John Lennon, and George Harrison continue to receive anniversary remembrances of beautiful flowers.”

Nancy went on saying, “There is the Four Ladies of Hollywood gazebo at the western border of the Walk of Fame. It islocated at the confluence of Hollywood Boulevard, Marshfield Way, and North La Brea Avenue. Atop an obelisk is a sculpture of Marilyn Monroe in her iconic billowing skirt from The Seven Year Itch. The domed structure is held aloof by four statues representing African-American actress Dorothy Dandridge, Asian-American actress Anna May Wong, Mexican actress Dolores del Rio, and multi-ethnic star May West. Take a walk down to the obelisk if you wish. It’s a Hollywood landmark. That’s the end of our tour. Any questions?”

The group didn’t have any questions to ask Nancy.

“Thank you for coming,” she said, concluding the tour.

People clapped and gathered around Nancy, giving her tips. Mason was the last one to talk with the tour guide when everyone had left. He gave her a large tip and said, “My name is Mason Rossman and I would like to take you out for lunch.”

“I’m sorry Mr. Rossman but I’m not available for a luncheon date,” said Nancy, flatly turning down his offer.

“I’m a multimillionaire and want to get to know you. I’ll treat you right. I can help you financially and give you a part in my upcoming movie,” he said, hoping his money and promise of an acting job might persuade her to date him.

“I’m not impressed with your wealth. Money is just dirt when I consider a man to date. Sorry, but no way,” Nancy told him bluntly. She abruptly turned away and walked back into the theater, leaving Mason standing on the sidewalk alone.

What a bitch, thought Mason to himself. Nancy is missing the money train today; I don’t care that much for being turned down. She doesn’t know what’s she is missing.

Mason got back into his rental car and drove over to Madam Tussaud’s Wax Museum. He parked, paid for his admittance ticket, and went inside the famous Hollywood attraction. The wax figures looked like real humans. Mason especially enjoyed seeing the realistic images of Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley. Michael Jackson, Bruce Lee, Madonna, Johnny Depp, and other Hollywood celebrities.

After he looked around for an hour, he left Madame Tussaud’sand walked over to the nearby Ripley’s Believe It Or Not attraction. He paid for his admission ticket and went inside the “Odditorium,” which had two floors filled with more than three hundred exhibits. The exhibits included a twelve-foot-tall robot sculpture made of scrap car parts, pieces of duct tape art, genuine shrunken heads, an authentic vampire killing kit, and Marilyn Monroe memorabilia. Mason especially enjoyed viewing the Marilyn Monroe exhibit as she was his favorite movie actress. He was so impressed that he wanted to return to Ripley’s Believe It Or Not someday soon and stay longer.

Then he drove his rental car to the TeKila Restaurant on Hollywood Boulevard. After going inside and being seated he ate a salad and had TeKila wings with a large margarita cocktail. When he finished his lunch, he drove over to Universal Studios Hollywood.

Once Mason arrived at the thirteen-city-block and four-acre studio lot he paid for his admission ticket. He wasn’t interested in the rides or theme park attractions. Instead he wanted to go to the behind-the-scenes backlot studio tour. The Universal Studios Hollywood had the largest set construction project in the world and was impressive.

This day the set was designed for a new Harry Potter movie. A number of people who worked at the studio gathered around the set. Mason was surprised by the size of the film crew involved and the size of their equipment. The movie director was responsible for overseeing the creative aspects of the film project. He also managed the technical details such as positioning the digital cameras and lighting.

Mason learned that the first assistant director oversees the day-to-day management of the cast and crew, including equipment needs. The director of photography is chief of the cameras and the lighting crew of the film. Grips, for lighting and rigging, are operated by movie technicians. The production sound mixer is the head of the sound department. The booms are used during a scene to capture dialogue. A make-up artist works behind the scenes applying cosmetic makeup to the actors. A hair stylist also works in the background designing and styling the hair of the actors and actresses. Other crew members were nearby but Mason couldn’t see what exactly they did on the film.

Once the film crew got ready to start, the assistant director called out, “Picture is up!” to signal everyone that a take was about to be recorded. Then he said, “Quiet everyone!” Next, the assistant director announced, “Roll cameras!” which was answered with “speed” from the operator once the camera was recording. The clapper, who was already in front of the camera with a clapboard called out “Marker!” and slapped it shut. The director told the actors “Action!’ and the filming began. When the take was over the director called out “Cut!” and the camera and sound stopped recording.

Mason was fascinated by the action on the set. He had stayed five hours at the studio and couldn’t wait to start filming his own movie. When the daily movie session ended, he reluctantly returned to the Hollywood Hotel.

The next morning Mason flew back to Traverse City, with one layover in Chicago O’Hara International Airport. All the time on the jet, as he traveled across the Midwest, Mason tried to think of a plot and characters for a new manuscript. He struggled without getting any ideas for a story. It bothered him that he couldn’t think up another novel despite his desire to start one.

Samantha met him at the Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City with a kiss. Despite their arguments over the Powerball money and the slap on her mouth causing blood to flow, she still loved Mason dearly. She had no idea he had cheated on her in Hollywood and did not suspect in the least that he had been unfaithful to their marriage vows.

“I’m happy you are home,” Samantha told him. She felt better about her marriage now that Mason had come back to Traverse City.

“Traffic and smog are horrible in L.A. You wouldn’t like it at all,” Mason said.

“Probably not,” Samantha agreed, not wanting to go to Hollywood to live.

For a long week, Mason rode in his yacht around Grand Traverse Bay and drank a lot of Jack Daniels and Cokes. Much to Samantha’s surprise and disdain, he slept in a separate room while staying at their new mansion. He continued to watch porno movies in the privacy of his bedroom and masturbated twice a day.

One afternoon, Mason decided to go down to the Union Street Saloon to show off his new red Corvette to Wolf. He parked it right in front of the bar and walked inside. It was dark, but several customers were at the bar checking him out.

“Look who’s here, the multimillionaire named Mason Rossman! He’s going to buy the entire house a shot of Hot Damn Schnapps, aren’t you Mason, my friend,” shouted Wolf, slapping him on the back hard.

Mason was stunned by Wolf’s comment, asking him to buy everyone a round of alcohol. He replied with a quiet, “No.”

“You’re a multimillionaire! Let’s party,” encouraged Wolf.

People began to come up to Mason and said hello. They all congratulated him for winning the Powerball jackpot. Eager for a party and free booze they pressed close to him.

“No party, Wolf,” he told his old friend firmly. Mason was determined to stand his ground and not pay a large bill that night at the saloon.

“I know you have money, Mason. I’m your best friend. How about giving me $1,000? A grand is just pocket change for a multimillionaire like you,” said Wolf, hoping for some fast cash.

“No,” said Mason, feeling insecure about the situation. “I just came down here to show off my new Corvette. Then I’m going home.”

“Well, I’ll be damned. You’re no friend of mine, you cheap son-of-a-bitch. If I had just a million, I would host a party and give my all friends some money. I’m pissed off at you,” said Wolf, upset with Mason.

Feeling trapped by the tone of the conversation, Mason began backing up to the front door.

I better get out of here before I am hassled more and get beat up for not giving people some of my money. This could become an ugly scene, Mason thought to himself. He turned and ran outside toward his new Corvette, rushing to hop in. Several customers followed him to his new car. They pounded on the Vette’s windows, trying to get inside. Mason knew he had to get out of there fast or he would be overwhelmed by the angry crowd. He gunned the Vett’s engine. Tires squealed and burnt rubber, causing smoke to rise under the car. All of a sudden, Wolf threw a red brick at the back of the Corvette’s fiberglass body but missed it. Mason saw the brick bounce along the street in his rear -view mirror, causing him to flinch in fear of being hit. It broke in several pieces when it landed on the pavement. Driving away as fast as he could he almost got into an accident with a pickup truck, but missed the vehicle by inches. When Mason got down the road a distance from the bar, he thought about how he’d almost caused a riot at Union Street Saloon. He didn’t want to go back to the bar again anytime soon.

            That was a bad scene, he thought to himself. I could have gotten hurt or even killed by that rowdy crowd. It’s too bad because the Union Street Saloon was once my favorite bar. What a hassle.

Once inside the mansion, he told Samantha about the incident that had happened downtown at the Union Street Saloon.

“I’m not surprised, Mason. You better be careful about flashing your money and new Corvette around people. I have been fending off customers myself at the Walmart Hair Salon; they’re all asking for cash. I quit my job today because it was too much of a distraction for the other girls working there. I guess we will have to put up with some problems with the public now that we are rich,” said Samantha, feeling sorry for Mason and herself.

“I may need some bodyguards if I ever want to go down to the Union Street Saloon again,” said Mason.

“Don’t bother going back to that bar if it means trouble. It’s not worth it. They are not your friends anymore and will cause you to be hassled big time,” cautioned Samantha, concerned about her husband’s encounter.

“Good idea, Samantha,” said Mason, accepting her opinion this time without an argument.

Traverse City had a reputation of being a crime-free town. The local police busted the few escort services and prostitutes that came up to the area from Detroit with a vengeance. Fantasy’s was the name of the only legal, full nude strip joint in the area. Located on West Commerce Drive the fifteen-dollar cover charge included a free watered-down drink.

Ever since Mason had become a millionaire, he’d frequented the strip club often. He became well-known as a big tipper, placing one-hundred-dollar bills into the strippers’ G-strings. One white girl in particular with a stage name Ginger captured Mason’s interest. She was a good dancer and commanded the best tips in the adult club.

Like many of the dancers, Ginger had come up from the Detroit strip circuit. She stood nearly six-feet-tall in her high heels and did lap dances, which Mason enjoyed immensely. A no-touch rule was enforced by a huge bouncer nicknamed Hulk who had earned a black belt in karate. The oversized man had a scar down his face from an old knife fight he had gotten into as a teenager. Once costumers saw him, they didn’t cause any trouble except Mason. He often tried to touch Ginger and the other dancers.

Hulk didn’t like Mason at all. He tolerated the millionaire when dancers complained he touched them on their boobs or between their legs. While becoming drunk Mason routinely asked the strippers for dates but they always turned him down.

One night, things got out of hand with Mason while Ginger was dancing. Intoxicated, he climbed up on the stage and crawled across it to Ginger. On his knees, Mason hugged the stripper around her thighs. He buried his face in between Ginger’s legs, hanging on like a drunken sailor. Ginger’s crotch smelled good when Mason inhaled.

Hulk immediately jumped up on the stage and pulled Mason off Ginger. The bouncer said, “Don’t touch Ginger again you fool and get off the stage.”

Mason replied, “Go to hell.”

“Back off,” ordered Hulk, grabbing Mason by the arm and forcing him off the stage. Sitting down at his table, the millionaire made the mistake of throwing his Jack Daniels and Coke into Hulk’s face. The bouncer wrapped his arm around Mason’s neck and lifted him up off his chair. He began choking the drunk’s throat. Mason struggled to get free but Hulk was too strong. Other customers looked on and stayed away from the action, fearing the bouncer’s wrath.

The huge man dragged Mason to the front door by the neck and threw him out of the strip joint. Mason fell to the black pavement in the parking lot, trying to catch his breath. His throat hurt badly.

Hulk yelled, “Don’t come back, asshole.”

“Fuck you,” shouted Mason, standing up and stumbling over to his Corvette. Hulk became even madder. He approached the car with closed fists. Fearing the bouncer, Mason gunned the Vette’s engine and sped off.

Mason drove back to the mansion, rubbing his sore neck. He never went back to the adult club. Ginger missed his hundred-dollar tips, as did the other strippers.

One Sunday morning when Samantha and her mother were at church, Mason drove his Corvette to the Old Mission Lighthouse parking lot. He climbed out of the car and took a lawn chair from the backseat to sit on near the road. Mason waited for the Father Fred Charity Motorcycle Ride For the Needy to go by his spot. At eleven that morning two hundred motorcycles sped around the lighthouse circle. Most were various models of Harley Davidsons.

As they went past Mason, he thought the bikers looked cool in their leathers. He thought it over and decided to buy a cycle. The next morning, he drove to Classic Motor Sports on South Blue Star Drive, parking his Vette in the lot. He went inside the large store.

Mason looked at over fifty motorcycles on the sales floor consisting of all makes and models, including a large selection of Harleys. He fell in love with a $24,000 Road King Special. When he sat on the bike, he noticed it was large and powerful—just what he wanted. He paid cash for the Road King, delighting the salesman who only had a minimum amount of paperwork to file for the sale.  

That same day in the afternoon a truck and trailer delivered the Road King to the Traverse City mansion.

Upon seeing the Harley, Samantha told him, “Mason, motorcycles are dangerous to ride. Be careful. Don’t get killed on it.”

“No problem,” said Mason, ignoring her negative comment.

Mason thought it would be cool not to wear a helmet. He sat down on the leather seat and started the engine. The motorcycle roared. Gunning the engine, he coasted down the driveway quickly. Going along the road, his hair flew back and the strong blowing air blew past him. He had never ridden a motorcycle before and felt great handling one. Then he started to go out to the lighthouse, dropping the clutch into third gear.

Everything seemed to pass by him so quickly and he hadn’t a worry in the world. He gained more sped on the pavement, taking the Harley up to thirty miles per hour. Up ahead in the distance he saw a group of bicycles coming toward him. Suddenly a black pickup passed the group, driving by the bicycles in Mason’s lane. He panicked. Even braking hard it was too late to stop the motorcycle completely. Mason went down. He felt his recently healed arm and shoulder slide along the pavement, causing a case of severe road rash. The motorcycle went into the ditch and rolled like a tumbleweed. The pickup truck fled the scene of the accident. The group riding the bicycles did stop to help him. He told them he felt okay except for the road rash. They didn’t phone for an ambulance. The Road King had some damage to the gas tank.

The accident scared Mason. He didn’t want to ever ride a motorcycle again. Using his cell phone, he called Samantha and asked her to come and pick him up. Twenty minutes later she arrived in her Cadillac and parked near the motorcycle that lay on the black pavement.

When Samantha got out of her car and approached Mason she said, “Mason you were lucky. You could have gotten killed on that Harley Davidson.”

“I know. I know. I promise you I’ll never ride a Harley again. Call for a tow truck and have them haul this bastard back to our mansion. Tell them to park the damn thing in the garage until I sell it,” he told his wife.

The tow truck took its time arriving at the scene of the accident. Finally two men arrived and placed the damaged motorcycle onto the trailer and followed the Rossmans home. That day Mason put the Road King up for sale at a ridiculously low price in the Travers City Record Eagle. He sold the Harley the next day within hours, taking a big loss. Mason didn’t care about the initial cost of the motorcycle. He only wanted to get rid of the horrific bike as soon as possible. Mason accomplished his goal and sold the Harley to the first person who came along.

After seven days in Traverse City, Mason received a long-awaited telephone call from Paul Finch. His movie agent had set up a Monday luncheon appointment with a film producer named Scott Welling. If the movie producer agreed to the deal, he would put a down payment on a Hollywood mansion. Mason took $1,000,000 in cash to the airport in a briefcase so he was ready to purchase a mansion if things worked out for him.

“Call me, Mason, when you get to Hollywood so I know you arrived safely,” said Samantha, worried about her husband leaving Traverse City.

“I will call when I get there tonight,” assured Mason.

“Good-bye, dear,” she said to him at the airport gate.

“Good-bye,” said Mason, with a kiss.  

            Samantha cried as she saw the jet take off into the sky. She was actually going to miss her husband while he stayed in Hollywood.