Charlotte had many friends in Hollywood, mostly aspiring actors and actresses. She expanded Mason’s social life. He made friends with the costars of The Love Affair, Michael Peters and his Native American girlfriend, Cheyenne Moon. They were invited to some Hollywood parties, which Mason enjoyed. At these parties, there was a free flow of drugs, mainly cocaine, but also Quaaludes and marijuana.
Within a month, the film was progressing right on schedule. One afternoon on a hot summer day, Mason arrived at LCM Creative Partners to talk with Paul. He invited Paul to go on a short yacht trip. That was okay with Paul because the movie agent wanted to discuss some business with Mason.
Once out in the Pacific Ocean, Paul started the conversation as they rode in the yacht. Paul began by saying, “Mason, your movie and filming is about half done. Eric thinks it is going to be a hit on screen. He also thinks Charlotte could even get nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress. You’d better be ready to walk down the red carpet with her during Oscar night.”
“That would make me happy for her,” said Mason, pleased with his Hollywood lover.
“You’re going to make a handsome profit from your investment. It’s time for you to start thinking about a second movie,” urged Paul.
“To be honest with you, Paul, I am struggling to come up with a plot and characters for a second book,” Mason told his agent, with a frown. “I have a case of writer’s block.”
“Oh, no, you don’t need to write another book. Just pick out an outstanding bestselling novel you like at a bookstore, and write a proposal for Scott Welling to see if he will accept the idea. Then you can be part of the Screenwriters Guild. Also, as a financial backer of the film, you would be listed as the producer in the movie’s credits,” Paul explained.
“That sounds interesting to me,” said Mason.
“Think it over and start reading some bestselling novels” urged Paul, trying to encourage him.
“I will get started with a trip to the bookstore today,” Mason told his friend and movie agent.
After coming ashore, Mason said good-bye to Paul and drove to a large store across town named Skylight Books on North Vermont Avenue in Los Angeles. Stepping inside a large glass building he looked over several bestselling novels, reading their descriptions on the back cover. Selecting ten, he paid for the books and went home to his mansion. Later that evening, he unsuccessfully tried to narrow down the books for his next project. None of the bestselling novels interested him.
Only one movie will not make me as famous as I want to be. I have to think up an idea for a second novel quickly, hethought to himself.
Mason continued to shower Charlotte with expensive gifts. He bought her a yellow Ford Mustang, gold jewelry, clothes, and furs. The millionaire spent money freely on the actress. Putting the car’s title in Charlotte’s name seemed like a good choice so she would know he was looking for a long-term relationship. She got a large weekly allowance in cash and an unlimited American Express card to use while shopping at expensive Hollywood stores. Mason was having the best time of his life with Charlotte and loved her dearly. He stopped hiring escorts for sexual encounters, as she satisfied his strong sex drive sometimes even without his having to masturbate twice a day.
One of those best times happened the next Sunday afternoon. Charlotte had the day off and invited some of her girlfriends, including a new friend named Cheyenne Moon, to ride on Mason’s yacht The Love Affair. Cheyenne Moon was her stage name. The women sunbathed in bikinis on the deck of the yacht. Charlotte, and her girlfriends except Cheyenne, did some Quaaludes. Cheyenne liked to smoke pot while Mason snorted lines of cocaine. Everyone got high and Mason couldn’t keep his eyes off the near-naked women. He had fun that day steering the vessel out to the Pacific Ocean and eventually returning to the Hollywood Yacht Club that night.
Brett Savens was a lead actor in The Love Affair, playing a boyfriend’s roleopposite Charlotte. He stood almost six-foot-five inches tall and had a classic movie star’s handsome face. As a recruiting member of the Church of Scientology he gave everyone he came in contact with a book entitled Dianetics: A Modern Science of Mental Health written by L. Ron Hubbard. The book was first published in 1950 and appeared on the bestseller’s list for several weeks. Still popular with young people in search of eternal truth, two million copies of the book have been sold worldwide.
The Church of Scientology claims to have 8,000,000 members worldwide although this number is disputed as being too high. Its membership has declined over the years, however, Scientology’s financial empire has $1,000,000,000 in assets. That amount of money is much higher than most religions. Hollywood is where the majority of Scientology’s real estate holdings are located, valued at $400,000,000. Recently a Hollywood television station on Sunset Boulevard had been purchased by the church. The Scientologists’ financial empire includes the cruise ship Freewinds.
There are three levels of Scientologists. The majority of the membership are Public Scientologists and this level is about as far as they achieve. A Public Scientologist can be unnoticed and can quit without too much pressure from the church. However, they will probably be hounded by phone and mail solicitations until the day they die.
The much smaller, second level of membership includes actors and other celebrities. It’s hard to estimate how many people achieve the second level in the church’s hierarchy. Celebrity members are much more visible and are asked to publicly acknowledge they are Scientologists. A celebrity member can find it more difficult to end their relationship with the Church of Scientology
The church’s clergy makes up the top level of the hierarchy of membership. Many of them are second-generation Scientologists who were raised in the religion. Some critics have said these children have forfeited their education and are kept poor. These clergy members sign on for a billion years, which is a short time according to Scientologists, as the universe is four quadrillion years old. This lengthy period of time is considered not to be true by recognized Earth scientists. There are 3,000 to 5,000 members of the church’s clergy.
Brett was a true believer in Scientology. He called Scientology “a rocket ride to spiritual freedom.” All his close relations and friends were church members. He had been indoctrinated into the belief that Hubbard was a fascinating manand explorer. Brett accepted the falsehood that Hubbard cured his own World War II injuries by researching Scientology. After his 1986 death at Hubbard’s ranch in Creston, California, his followers expected him to eventually return to Earth reincarnated—so much so that they kept his modest house turned $10,000,000 mansion, by followers, the same after his death as before it. They even ironed his clothesfor himto wear upon his return to Earth. It is said Hubbard’s central and greatest goal was to be the most powerful person on Earth.
David Miscavige has emerged as the Church of Scientology’s new leader and currently continues in that position. He was the force behind the Scientology real estate empire, especially in Hollywood. Like Hubbard, Miscavige is a controversial figure and has his critics, including his own father.
Brett had spent a large part of his income and family inheritance taking advanced Scientology course at the Celebrity Center on Franklin Avenue in Los Angeles. This center was a base of considerable influence in the Hollywood entertainment world. He knew and taught new recruits that Tom Cruise, John Travolta, and Priscilla Presley were Scientologists. Brett believed that the entertainment network of stars, directors, and producers would advance his career rapidly. There is some truth to that claim by the Church of Scientology. Scientology is a Hollywood subculture.
Scientology in Brett’s and followers’ opinion introduced the steps creating the ideal self. It was thought to provide that followers had enhanced superhuman powers in the right mental state, such as turning on and off lights. Brett sincerely believed in out-of-body experiences and Hubbard’s return to Earth in the future. Scientology, he thought had improved his intelligence and creative skills.
Brett went through ongoing “therapy” known as “auditing.” Auditing involves the use of an electropsyhometer or what Scientologists call an E-Meter. He would grasp a cylindrical electrode during auditing and hold it in his hand which is the “science” of Scientology. A mild electrical charge would travel though his body. Hubbard claimed the E-Meter was like a lie detector.
The E-Meter is thought by followers to locate and destroy mental “masses” that block a person’s flow of energy. It is also believed by Scientologists to measure changes in these mind masses. After an auditing session Brett was encouraged to write a glowing report about the experience. Repeated auditing, according to its advocates, causes the individual to “go clear.” Hubbard wrote that a person who has gone clear can alter his environment, possesses perfect memory, and be more creative. The recognition of past lives is thought to be feasible among Scientologists. Out-of-body experiences are possible according to Hubbard. Scientology is a process that helps an individual achieve his own greatness.
Church members with almost zealot-like beliefs consider that Hubbard found the existential truths of life through research which is a “science,” thus Scientology. According to Scientologists, they assume Hubbard had godlike qualities and his every word is scripture. He is Scientologists’ spiritual guide and told his followers life is eternal. Scientologists believe only they can save the world from destruction.
When Brett gave Charlotte a copy of Dianetics to read and study he said, “Charlotte, you have a keen mind. This book is your owner’s manual.”
Once she read Dianetics she wanted to learn more about Scientology. Brett gave her a free “stress test” or what Scientologists call a personality profile. She was told Scientology could help her resolve any personal problems. Charlotte told him she didn’t have any personal problems and in fact was emotionally healthy. Brett didn’t know about her Quaalude addiction, which she always denied to be a problem. The lure of the Celebrity Center and Hollywood career advancement intrigued her greatly. She wanted to become a member of the church.
Mason was adamantly against the Church of Scientology, telling Charlotte it was a cult likeChristian Science. He discouraged her from participating in the “so-called religion” believing it was just quackery and a money-making scheme.
Despite Mason’s strong objections Charlotte began taking Scientology courses at the Celebrity Center, hoping to network with professionals in the entertainment industry. She started auditing therapy sessions with Brett as her auditor and mentor. The courses and auditing sessions came at a considerable financial cost, which Mason refused to pay. Charlotte used all her own movie star payments to fund the auditing therapy sessions.
Once Brett found out about Mason’s objections to Scientology he wanted Charlotte to stop living with him and cease contact with the playboy. But Charlotte had more desire for Mason’s money than pleasing Brett and the Church of Scientology. Also, he wanted her to stop contacting her family as they also discouraged her involvement with Scientology. This is church policy known as “disconnection” for people who oppose the church’s tenets. Followers are pressured to “disconnect” from friends and family who are critics of Scientology. A critic is known in Scientology as a Suppressive Person (SP) and if the follower stays in contact with a SP he or she can be called a Potential Trouble Source (PTS). A PTS can be barred from auditing and related courses. But Charlotte loved her family dearly and rejected the request to disconnect.
Despite Mason and her family’s concerns for her welfare, Charlotte became a true believer in Scientology. Like so many other would-be actors and actresses in Hollywood, Scientology definitely influenced her life. It also would probably eventually enhance her film career as it had for so many actors and actresses.
She had heard rumors that Brett was gay and living with his boyfriend. When Charlotte approached him with a kiss and ran her fingers through his hair, she found out the rumors were true. The handsome movie star flat-out turned Mason’s mistress down telling her, “I’m gay and I don’t have any sexual relationships with women.” Disappointed by his rejection, the beautiful and sultry Charlotte, who had never been denied sex before by a man, didn’t try to make a pass at him again.
Later that week Charlotte met Brett’s lover on the movie set. His name was Lou Dempsey, and he was another good-looking man. Lou had opened up to the world that he was gay and didn’t care who knew it, whereas Brett stayed much more in the closet about his sexuality. He didn’t tell his parents or anyone else except Charlotte that he was a homosexual. He kept his sexual preference silent after she had tried to seduce him. Although they were suspicious, the studio crew didn’t know for sure that Brett was gay. Unlike Mason, Robert and Brett practiced safe sex with condoms. Neither one of them wanted to contract a sexually transmitted disease like AIDs.
Charlotte felt troubled that so many of the males in Hollywood were gay but she continued to have fantasies of being in the arms of Brett. On the other hand, the fat and bald Mason stayed constantly horny from all the cocaine he snorted. He wasn’t particularly good in bed because of his small size and climaxing too fast. Because of Mason’s quick speed in bed Charlotte didn’t have time enough to enjoy physical contact with him. Like Samantha she also thought he masturbated way too much while he watched his porno movies.
She barely tolerated Mason because of his mansion, yacht, money, cars, and the unlimited American Express credit cards he provided for her pleasure. He loved Charlotte, who thought he was a jerk. She definitely didn’t love him in return and never even liked Mason, despite his being a wealthy man. Charlotte was out for herself and the ultimate gold-digger.
Mason never completely realized her true feelings about him although he feared some days she was just out for his money. He didn’t want to believe his suspicions that she wasn’t in love with him and said so just to please the rich man’s ego.
Charlotte continued to heavily smoke Virginia Slims cigarettes. Mason could smell the smoke on her breath and clothes. He didn’t care if Charlotte was a chain- smoker, ignoring the fact her habit was often up to three packs a day. She began coughing every morning from cigarettes.
During one evening at home, Paul Finch came over to see Mason and Charlotte. He sat down on a lawn chair near the swimming pool and said, “Mason, I have two VIP tickets for you and Charlotte to attend Ms. Butterfly’s concert at The Forum in Inglewood next Saturday night. Ever since she was the lead performer at the Super Bowl, her recording sales have been phenomenal. These VIP tickets will give you access backstage after the concert, too, and there’s a chance you might even meet Ms. Butterfly.”
“Thank you, Paul,” said Mason, as his movie agent gave him the tickets.
“I really want to see her live, in concert,” said Charlotte, who also thanked Paul herself.
The next Saturday night, Mason and Charlotte took the Porsche 911 to Inglewood. Parking in the VIP section of the paved lot, they got out of the Porsche and walked inside a large concert hall named The Forum. Charlotte wore a metallic miniskirt with silver high heels. Mason was casually dressed in a Hunter’s Red plaid shirt and designer blue jeans. His black leather boots fit his feet nicely and were polished.
Mason gave the VIP tickets to the usher, who led them to a box seat near the stage. After a few moments, the warm-up band named The Rockies played a few heavy metal songs. Then Ms. Butterfly and her band named Crimson went onstage with a roar from the crowd. Ms. Butterfly was dressed in an erotic two-piece sailor’s outfit and danced hard to the music.
“I love you,” Mason told Charlotte, during the performance.
“And I love you too,” replied Charlotte, lying. In reality she was in love with Mason’s money, not him.
After the long show with fireworks and a climatic ending, Mason and Charlotte were led backstage by the usher.
Much to their surprise, Ms. Butterfly came over to Mason and Charlotte, greeting them warmly. “My VIP guests are my favorite fans. What are your names?” asked Ms. Butterfly.
“I’m Mason Rossman, and this is my girlfriend Charlotte Martin,” answered Mason.
“I like your miniskirt, Charlotte,” complimented Ms. Butterfly.
“Thank you. I got it at Material Girlz Boutique on West Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles,” replied Charlotte.
“I love to go shopping for clothes. Mason, what’s your scene?” Ms. Butterfly wanted to know.
“I’m a movie producer working on a film titled The Love Affair. Charlotte is the star actress in the film,” explained Mason, trying to sound important.
“I’ve heard about that film project. Do you know a friend of mine named Michael Peters, who is costarring in your movie?” Ms. Butterfly asked Mason.
“Yes, I know him. He’s a good guy. I want to take him on my yacht sometime soon,” Mason told Ms. Butterfly.
“Do you have a business card?” asked Ms. Butterfly.
“Yes, I do,” Mason answered, handing the singer a card out of his wallet.
“I want to invite you two to my birthday party coming up next month. Then we can talk more and get to know each other better,” said Ms. Butterfly. “Good-bye for now.”
“Good-bye,” said Mason and Charlotte together.
Ms. Butterfly turned away and walked back to her dressing room.
“She sure is personable,” commented Charlotte. “I can’t believe she is going to invite us to her birthday party.”
“Ms. Butterfly wasn’t stuck up at all,” noted Mason. “I really like her style.”
“So, do I,” agreed Charlotte.
They drove back to their mansion and made love after doing more drugs.
The next Thursday afternoon Mason’s cell phone buzzed at the Welling studio and he answered it quickly. He said, “Hello, this is Mason Rossman speaking.”
“Mason, this is Ms. Butterfly. How are you?”
“I’m doing well. How about you?” asked Mason, surprised by her phone call to him.
“If I was doing any better there would be two of me” she said, joking around.
“I guess that’s pretty good,” he said, excited to get a phone call from the mega pop star.
“Mason, I want to invite you and Charlotte over to my home for a lunch sometime soon. How does this this Saturday a noon work for you two?”
“Charlotte has the weekends off so Saturday at noon works for us. Can you give me directions to your home?”
“Yes, I can,” answered Ms. Butterfly who provided Mason with directions to her mansion in Bel Air, the popular neighborhood on the westside of Los Angeles in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains where many of the rich and famous have large homes.
“We will see you on Saturday at noon,” assured Mason, pleased with the lunch invitation.
On Saturday Mason dressed in a blue suitcoat and matching pants. He drove his Porsche 911 with Charlotte sitting in the passenger’s seat. She wore a blue dress to her ankles. The went across Hollywood to the Bel Air area using a GPS. Once they got to the mansion it was larger by far than Scott Welling’s and his own one. Mason told his girlfriend, “This isn’t a mansion, it’s a castle.”
He pulled the Porsche 911 up to the security gate and gave the guard their names. The guard said, “Ms. Butterfly said you two were coming here for lunch. Please proceed to her mansion’s front door.”
The security gate opened. Mason and Charlotte looked with amazement at the lush grounds surrounding the opulent estate. Two gardeners were picking a few weeds from a colorful flowerbed. Mason stopped the Porsche at the edge of the circular driveway and they got out. Both walked up to the massive front door. Mason rang the doorbell. A uniformed maid answered the chiming bell and showed them in. She walked Mason and Charlotte through the living room and outside onto the patio near a butterfly- shaped swimming pool.
Ms. Butterfly was sitting at a table and rose to greet them both with a hug. She said, “Welcome. Welcome. I’m glad you two found my home. Any difficulty finding the location with the directions I gave you?”
“We had a GPS that led us directly here from Hollywood,” Mason told the pop star.
“Good,” she said.
All three sat down at the table and the maid served them a Chinese lunch and lemonade.
“Sorry, but I don’t drink alcohol,” Ms. Butterfly told her guests with a smile.
“Either do I. Lemonade sounds better anyway,” said Charlotte who didn’t consume alcohol because she abused Quaaludes instead. She feared being adversely affected and overdosing on the narcotic drug.
The maid returned and served lunch. They ate shrimp with lobster sauce and wild rice. “I love Chinese food and this is one of my favorite recipes, with extra lobster sauce.”
“It tastes great,” praised Mason while they ate lunch and drank ice-cold lemonade.
Ms. Butterfly said, “Tomorrow I fly in my private jet to Denver and will start my Cocoon Tour across the United States. I’ll be gone the rest of the summer, which is fine with me. I love to tour and perform live entertainment for my fans.”
“That’s cool,” said Charlotte, as she ate the shrimp entrée with extra lobster sauce.
“Mason. how’s the movie coming along. Is it on schedule to be released soon?” asked Ms. Butterfly.
“Yes, it’s on schedule to be hitting the silver screen in six months,” said Mason.
“My friend Michael Peters said Charlotte might win an Academy Award for Best Actress,” said Ms. Butterfly.
Mason and Charlotte recognized Michael’s name from work at Welling’s studio.
“He also told me you might be able to score some cocaine for me to use on my Cocoon Tour.”
Mason reached into the inner side pocket of his sportscoat. He took out a half an ounce of pure cocaine and a coke spoon.
“As a matter of fact, I do have some cocaine for you if you want it,” he said to Ms. Butterfly, handing her the baggie and small spoon across the table.
“I’ll try some,” she said after finishing her Chinese lunch.
Ms. Butterfly opened the baggie and used the coke spoon to take some of the drug out of it. Then she snorted the cocaine up one nostril. She said, “That’s good coke.”
“It’s pure uncut cocaine,” said Mason.
“How much do I owe you?” she asked after she snorted some more coke up her other nostril and let it flow down inside her nasal cavity.
“I’m giving this half an ounce to you for free,” offered Mason.
“Well thank you. You’re generous Mason. I appreciate it,” Ms. Butterfly said, feeling pleasantly euphoric.
“No problem,” said Mason to the pop star.
“When I return from my Cocoon Tour, I’ll buy some coke from you. I’ll insist on paying for a half an ounce next time,” she told him.
“Okay, if you want it that way,” said Mason who had been willing to give the narcotic to Ms. Butterfly for free.
After lunch and more chit-chat, they said good-bye and left Ms. Butterfly’s mansion for home.
“She was nice and seemed to value our friendship,” said Charlotte as Mason drove back home.
“I can’t believe she had us over for lunch,” he said. “We were lucky.”
Once back in their mansion Mason did more lines of cocaine than usual as Charlotte took some Quaaludes.
The shocking news that Ms. Butterfly’s private jet had crashed into the Rocky Mountains the next day spread through the Hollywood and the entertainment world like wildfire. No one survived the deadly accident. Ms. Butterfly’s remains were found burnt beyond recognition inside the jet. Mason and Charlotte watched the TV news report that was broadcast on most channels in disbelief. They were both saddened by the horrible accident.
The next day Mason received a phone call from the owner of Angelus Funeral Home on Crenshaw Boulevard in Hollywood. He said, “Hello. Is this Mason Rossman?”
“Yes, how can I help you?”
“Hello. I’m the owner of the Angelus Funerial Home. You and Charlotte Martin are invited to Ms. Butterfly’s funeral service on Saturday morning at eleven o’clock,” the older man said to Mason.
“Are you sure that’s right? We barely knew Ms. Butterfly.”
“I’m reading from her will and you two are listed in her handwriting at the bottom of the funeral invitation page. I think she must have added your names recently,” the owner said.
“Okay, we’ll be there on time,” assured Mason.
They hung up and he told Michelle about the invitation for both of them to attend Ms. Butterfly’s celebration of life ceremony. On Saturday morning Mason drove his Porsche 911 with Michelle in the passenger’s seat to the funeral home. The well attended service by Hollywood’s elite was remarkable to witness. After the hour-long service, the attendees went outside the funeral home and were approached by the paparazzi. The independent photographers wanted pictures of the celebrities as they left the service.
One of the guests, a black rapper named Diamond Jack, protested having his picture taken so shortly after Ms. Butterfly’s funeral. When one of the paparazzi photographers wouldn’t back off, the well-known rapper hit him in the jaw. The other guests including Mason and Michelle applauded Diamond Jack’s actions. The police were called to calm things down but did not arrest anyone.
The two of them went to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery on Santa Monica Boulevard to pay their respects during Ms. Butterfly’s internment. After the burial service Mason and Charlotte went home depressed about the pop singer’s death. Both mourners did more drugs around the mansion’s swimming pool grieving badly for Ms. Butterfly. They were both sad about Ms. Butterfly’s untimely death at such a young age.
After the meeting at Munson on Wednesday night, Albert and Samantha sat at the bar in the Beacon Club high atop the Park Place Hotel. They were discussing the warm summer weather, sipping on Kahlua and cream cocktails. The conversation moved forward when Albert said, “Samantha, I have a good friend who owns a charter fishing boat. How about going on a Saturday morning fishing trip with me?”
“Wow. I haven’t been fishing since I was a young kid with my dad. Even then I never caught a fish. That sounds like a good idea to me,” said Samantha.
“Okay, I’ll pick you at five-thirty in the morning for a half-day fishing trip,” Albert told his girlfriend.
“Five-thirty? That’s awful early to go fishing,” complained Samantha. “I’ll be barely awake so soon after the sun has barely risen.”
“I know but that’s the time the charter fishing boat leaves for Power Island,” he said. “We don’t have any choice. Bring a warm jacket and a hat. I’ll bring a thermos of hot coffee. I’ll also pack an ice cooler with water and pop. We can buy a one-day fishing license from Captain Jimmy on the boat for ten dollars. He will give me a break on the cost of the trip because we are close friends,” explained Albert.
“Okay, I’ll see you bright and early Saturday morning,” said Samantha, eager to go on a fishing trip with her boyfriend.
On Saturday morning at five-thirty Albert picked up Samantha at her mansion before daybreak. She wore a bright red coat, blue jeans and a floppy white hat. They went to the Up North Fishing Charter that was located on the Boardman River in front of River Front Plaza. The charter boat was kept in downtown Traverse City near the corner of US-31 and Park Street.
When they arrived, Captain Jimmy assisted them as they boarded the twenty-seven-foot Tiara boat named Windsong. His first mate, Sonny, was in the wheelhouse and started the large inboard engine. They introduced each other, shaking hands. Jimmy threw off the line, getting underway on the Boardman River to West Bay.
The captain of the charter fishing boat explained, “This craft is up to date on inspections with the United States Coast Guard. The boat is equipped with the best electronics equipment money can buy including a Lowrance fish finder, Fish Hawk temperature probe, Big Jon downriggers, and sixteen-foot outriggers. With over twenty-five tournament wins across the Great Lakes that included seven Big Jon Salmon Classics, it was no secret that the Windsong team had been seen across the United States on ABC, CBS, and Fox fishing programs.”
“What kind of fish are we potentially going to catch?” asked Samantha, sipping hot coffee.
“King Salmon, Coho Salmon, Lake Trout, and Brown Trout are in West Bay. The area around Power Island has a lot of structure that attracts bait fish, who bring in the bigger predator fish. This morning’s fish report indicates that recently Power Island has seen some good action. Power Island is only accessible by boat so we won’t see many people there. Let’s start there and if we don’t catch any fish in an hour we will move on to somewhere else,” said Captain Jimmy.
First mate Sonny gunned the boat’s engine and they made their way to Power Island, the largest island in West Bay. Once there, Captain Jimmy located some fish on the radar. He prepared the ten-pound test lines with brightly colored lures and threw them out of the boat. Using the downriggers, he set the lures at fifty feet under the water.
They trolled alongside the island waiting for fish to strike the lures. After a half an hour Samantha was becoming bored. Then a strike occurred.
“Ladies first,” said Captain Jimmy, handing the rod and reel with a fish on the end of the line to Samantha. She could feel the tug on the fishing pole, which bended to an arc.
Sonny put the charter boat into neutral and it slowed down to a crawl. Captain Jimmy said, “Okay, reel the fish in carefully and be patient. Don’t rush the fish until it’s done fighting.”
Samantha said, “The fishing pole is heavy. I don’t know if I can hang on to it.”
“Sure, you can,” said Captain Jimmy. “It looks like your fish is a big one.”
Suddenly the fish jumped out of the water and startled Samantha.
“It’s a big Coho Salmon,” said Captain Jimmy. “Bring it on in near the edge of the boat.”
Samantha reeled the fish up to the edge of the Windsong. Captain Jimmy grabbed a long metal pole with a net on its end. He scooped up the fish out of the water. Then he unhooked the lure and held the fish up in the air for everyone to see.
“I caught a big fish!” exclaimed Samantha, delighted. “It’s my first fish ever.”
Sonny took the pole and reel from the young woman. Captain Jimmy put the fish on the end of a scale and weighted it.
“Twenty-one pounds. That’s a good size Coho,” he said, handing it over to Samantha. She held the fish in the air. Albert took a picture of the young woman and the big fish with his cell phone.
“Congratulations, Samantha,” said Albert, taking another picture.
“Let’s do catch and release this morning,” said Captain Jimmy.
“What does catch and release mean?” asked Samantha.
“We won’t keep the fish to eat. You can throw it back into the water,” said Captain Jimmy.
Samantha said, “Okay, good-bye fish,” and threw it overboard into the bay.
That morning Albert and Samantha caught ten fish including Coho, Lake Trout, and Brown Trout. All the fish were released after being weighed. Samantha’s first fish was the biggest one that morning. At eleven o’clock Sonny turned the Windsong around and cruised back to the Boardman River. Once there, Captain Jimmy jumped out to land and hook a rope to a metal post.
“Thank you, Captain Jimmy and Sonny for the successful fishing trip,” said Albert.
“Yes, thank you. I had a good time fishing this morning and didn’t get seasick,” said Samantha, pleased with herself.
“Hopefully you two will come back and fish again this soon,” said Captain Jimmy. “Good-bye for now.”
“Good-bye,” they said to the captain and Sonny.
Samantha and Albert walked back to the Buick and took off to the Old Mission Peninsula. He said, “Let’s go have lunch at the Old Mission Tavern.”
“Good idea,” said Samantha, “I’m hungry after being on the Windsong all morning without breakfast.”
“I am too,” agreed Albert as they drove up Center Road to the restaurant.
They passed vineyards, cherry trees, and rolling hills with views of both East and West Bay. They made their way to the historic tavern. Albert parked his Buick behind the old building. Being Saturday during the summer the tavern looked busy, based on the number of cars in the parking lot.
“Let’s go have lunch,” said Albert.
“Sounds great,” Samantha told her boyfriend.
Albert and Samantha walked into the tavern holding hands. They found a table and sat down. Even when busy, the tavern’s atmosphere was quiet and quaint. A waitress promptly came by with menus and a wine list.
“All the menu items are good. You can’t go wrong with any of them,” said Albert.
He ordered a New Zealand wine named Sauvignon Blanc while they looked over the available food offerings. When the waitress returned with the wine, he requested a smoked whitefish appetizer. For an entrée Samantha requested the gyro with seasoned lamb, lettuce, tomato, onion, feta, and tzatziki sauce on a warm pita. Alberta thought the spring fresh pasta looked good as a lunch meal. The pasta came with fresh spinach, garlic, tomatoes, kalamata olives, shallots, feta cheese, and a dazzle of olive oil. They enjoyed their lunch, talking about the fishing trip that morning.
After the meal Albert and Samantha looked at the Bella Galleria art gallery attached to the tavern. With over seventy-five local and regional artists the fine art gallery has many one of a kind original pieces. The collection offered a wide range of media including: bronze, oil, watercolor, pastels, batik, fiber art, blown and fused glass, metal, photography, wood sculpture, and acrylic art pieces.
Next door to the gallery was Verna Bartnick’s sculpture studio. Verna was the owner of the tavern and the art gallery. She was one of the area’s most respected artists.
When Samantha and Albert left the tavern and art gallery, he took her back to the mansion. After ice-cold lemonade by the swimming pool and a discussion of the day’s events Albert said good-bye to Samantha with a kiss.
One morning after their walk along Lake Michigan’s sandy shoreline Samantha put Prince into his pen and left for the Horizon Bookstore. At noon she drove over to her mom’s house and had a light lunch. After that Samantha went back her mansion and went to let Prince inside. The dog pen appeared empty. She saw that a hole had been dug out under the fence. Prince was gone. Disturbed, Samantha knew she had to find her puppy somewhere in the neighborhood quickly before he got totally lost and would not able to find his way home.
Riding around in her Cadillac she rolled down the window and shouted, “Prince! Prince! Come here puppy,” several times to no avail. Samantha searched the neighborhood for over two hours but there was no sign of her dog anywhere. Finally, she returned home and took a nap. She slept restlessly, worried about Prince and wondering what had happened to her puppy.
Then Samantha heard scratching at the back door leading to the dog pen, waking her up. She got out of bed and rushed through the kitchen, opening the door. Prince came walking inside the mansion, wagging his tail rapidly and looking happy to be home.
“Oh Prince, good puppy you came back home. I feared you were lost forever,” she told the dog, leaning down on her knees and petting the animal.
That’s when Samantha noticed the puppy’s right ear was a bloody mess. His white fur looked red at the site of his wound. She said to the dog, “What happened to you? Did you get in a fight with a bigger dog?”
Of course, Prince didn’t answer Samantha’s questions. She decided to take him to Bay Area Pet Hospital on Veterans Drive to have his wound treated by a veterinarian. Before she left to go to the pet hospital, she called Concrete Service and asked them to put in a four-inch concrete pad on the dog pen’s dirt floor. Samantha told the owner she would pay a bonus if the project was completed that day. The owner complied with her request for the pad’s quick turn-around time.
Then Samantha put Prince on a short leather leash and placed him in the backseat of her Cadillac. Driving into Traverse City she feared the dog bite would get infected. Once Samantha arrived at the pet hospital, she took the leash into her hand and guided Prince inside the clinic. A friendly vet greeted them and put Prince up on an examination table. He inspected the red matted blood wound on Prince’s right ear.
“My guess is that your puppy was mauled by a bigger dog. He could have gotten killed,” the vet said to Samantha. “Did he run away for a while?”
“Yes, he did. I was worried to death he won’t come back home,” she said, looking concerned.
“I’ll clean the dog bite with hot soapy water and spray a disinfectant on his ear,” explained the vet. “It will take two weeks or more for the wound to completely heal. There will probably be a scar on his ear.”
“Okay,” said Samantha feeling sorry for Prince.
The vet went to a stainless-steel sink and ran hot water on a towel and added soap. He carefully washed the bloody matted fur on Prince’s ear clean. Then he sprayed some disinfectant on the wound, causing the puppy to bark in pain.
“That’s all I can do,” said the vet after Prince’s yapping stopped.
“How much do I owe you?”
“Nothing. Just consider us if you need any further help with your dog.”
“Thank you,” she said, pleased with the results of the vet’s efforts to clean up Prince’s ear and disinfect it with a spray.
Samantha then took her puppy back home. By then the workers were pouring the four-inch thick concrete pad in the dog pen. Prince wouldn’t be able to dig another hole under the fence after they were through their work. She left the mansion with her puppy inside and drove over to her mother’s home. Samantha told her mom what had happened to the puppy.
“You’re lucky Prince returned home after escaping from his dog pen,” pointed out her mother.
“I know. I’ve come to love him. I feared he wouldn’t ever come back to the mansion,” said Samantha. “He is a good companion, especially when I get lonely at night.”
That ended the saga of the lost puppy dog in Traverse City, Michigan.
Always eager to please his stars like Charlotte, and wannabe movie producers like Mason, Paul Finch went to the Rossman mansion. He dropped off tickets to The Laugh Factory comedy club. Jerry Collins was the headliner comedian to a sold-out performance. The next Friday evening at nine o’clock Mason and Charlotte went to the club on Hollywood Boulevard. They had front row seats for the show and drank some white wine before Jerry started his act.
At ten o’clock Jerry Collins came onstage to a round of applause and whistles from the large audience. He began his act by telling funny stories about the characters on the hit TV show Collins. The cast was Cathy, Gomer, Felix, and Jerry’s nemesis, Boner. Everyone laughed at his descriptions of the TV stars. He went on with his stand-up comedy act, telling jokes.
“What are a woman’s four favorite animals?”
No one knew the answer.
He said, “A woman’s four favorite animals are a mink in the closet, a jaguar in the garage, a tiger in the bedroom, and an ass to pay for it all.”
The people in the audience laughed hard.
He joked around about politics saying, “What do you get when you cross a crooked politician with a jackass?” He paused and then said, “The answer is Chelsea Clinton.”
Everyone laughed again even harder.
“I’m sorry, Chelsea, but I couldn’t resist.” All the audience chuckled.
He went on joking, “I sent my money in for a penis enlargement. They sent me a magnifying glass.”
Applause and laughter came out from the audience loudly.
Collins told several hilarious jokes about national politicians and well-known celebrities. Everyone had a good time listening to his stand-up comedy act. He was well received by the audience who couldn’t stop laughing at his jokes.
The comedian went on, saying, “A man goes to a ten-dollar hooker and contracts crabs. When he goes back to complain, the hooker laughs and says, “What do you want for ten dollars—lobster?”
The audience laughed again and clapped with approval.
Jerry went on with another joke, asking, “What did one strawberry say to the other strawberry?” Pausing only a second, he answered his own question with, “If you weren’t so fresh, we wouldn’t be in this jam.”
Everyone laughed at the joke and Jerry went on, saying, “The next joke is about a blonde but if you are one please don’t take it personally. Why was the blonde afraid of phone sex?” Then came the punch line: “Because the condom wouldn’t fit over the telephone.”
Everyone laughed, including Charlotte, even though she was a blonde. Jerry told several more jokes for another hour about marriage, money, pop culture, and coping with new technology. Mason and Charlotte laughed so hard tears came to their eyes. When Jerry finished his comedy act people gave him a standing ovation. He thanked the audience and slipped backstage, vanishing.
“He’s so funny,” said Charlotte, happy she had come to see Jerry’s performance.
“You’re right about that, Charlotte. He’s quite a comedian. Let’s go home and space out,” suggested Mason, looking forward to snorting more cocaine that night at home.
They traveled back through heavy
traffic to the mansion and hung out by the swimming pool, getting high until
two o’clock in the morning. It had been a fun time at The Laugh Factory comedy
club with Jerry Collins; a night to remember. After doing some more drugs they
went to bed. Both of them slept in the next morning because Charlotte didn’t have
to work at Welling’s studio on Sundays.
“Later the next day, Samantha telephoned Mason again. This time she got though and told him, “Come home to Traverse City or I’ll file for a divorce and you will never get a cent out of me.”