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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

My Fiends Call Me George

When Bunny got back to the office there was a gentleman waiting for her - a gentleman dressed in a full confederate military outfit, complete with sash and sword. Several things went through her mind, but being polite she just smiled. She turned to Della as the gentleman stood up.

"Bunny, this Col. Wadsworth Washington Walker III."

Bunny held out her hand, "Nice to meet you Col. Walker. And what can we do for you?"

"Oh, please call me George, all my friends do."

"OK, George, what can we do for you."

"I have just taken the job as curator of the Museum of Confederate Uniforms, Hats, and Paraphernalia in town. Now that me and the wife are moving here, we need a place to live. I understand that you are the one I need to speak to."

"I will be more than happy to help. Why don't you step into my office so I can get an idea of what you are looking for."

As George walked into her office Bunny looked at Della and mouthed, "Is he mad?"

Della muffled a laugh and started typing on her computer. Luckily the ringing of the phone covered any sound the Col. may have heard from her. 

"So George, what are you looking for? a house, an apartment?"

"Well, the little lady and I would like a small house. Something in town, if possible, so we can get to know the towns people. I think it is important to the community to be involved in their history. Not every place has such a gem as your Museum of Confederate Uniforms, Hats, and Paraphernalia."

"Yes, that is true," Bunny said as she looked through her listings. After some discussion he selected 3 properties he wanted to look at. "Do you want to set a time for you and your wife to look at these?"

"What about 9 tomorrow morning? We can meet you here."

"That will be great," Bunny said. Then she had another thought. "George, just curious, with a name like Wadsworth Washington Walker, why do your friends call you George?"

"Oh, that's short for George Pickett, of 'Pickett's Charge' fame, at Gettysburg. I'm sure you are familiar with his bravery. That man was sumpen' else."

Almost speechless, Bunny managed to say,"Yes, George, yes he was."

With that, George left Bunny's office, tipped his hat, and said, "Good day ladies", as he walked out the door.

Bunny watched him walk down the street before she started laughing. "Certainly, he is dressed that way for some event at the museum, some reenactment or something. Come to think of it, I wasn't even sure that museum was still open."

Della stopped laughing long enough to say,"Apparently it still is."

Bunny told Della which properties the Walkers would be looking at so Della could get the paperwork ready in case the Walkers made a decision tomorrow.

Della asked,"Did you ask him if he needed carriage house?"

Bunny replied, "Della. that is not funny. No, they not need a carriage house."

The following morning George and his wife, Winfred, were at the office on time. She was shorter than he was and a little heavy with a round face and rosy cheeks. Bunny could not tell what color hair she had because it was covered by the bonnet she was wearing. Yes, she too, was in costume. Her dress was a long cotton one, fairly simple, like the day dresses of that period. George, of course, was in his complete regalia. 

Knowing she was going to have to carry them around, Bunny brought the Range Rover. She was thankful that she did, because it would take a vehicle that large to accommodate their attire alone.

As they drove around town, Bunny showed them the landmarks and the different local merchants. Winfred asked,"Where is the Baptist church? I would thought it would be on Main Street?"

"Oh I can show you that. It is just several blocks away on Bull street. The Episcopal church, the Church of the Seven Wells and Three Stones, is on Main. It is quite beautiful and historical, if you would like to see it."

"No, that will not be necessary." Winfred paused, "However does the town have a chapter of the American Temperance Union, or perhaps its predecessor, the Women's Christian Temperance Union? It is a passion of mine."

Bunny thought for minute. No one had asked her that and she wasn't sure what Mrs. Walker was asking but she was smart enough not to show her ignorance. "Mrs. Walker, I am not sure but I will check as soon as I can and get you an answer. Is there anything else I can find out for you?"

Mrs. Walker indicated not. She was not a pleasant woman. One would think her corset was too tight the way she sat and how uncomfortable she acted. Finally they settled on a little house two blocks off Main Street. Bunny took them back to the office to get the paperwork done.

Della sat down with the Walkers and went over all the necessary forms and gave them information about utilities and such. She also made sure they had Bunny's cell number in case they needed her after hours and Larry's number, should they need emergency maintenance. Della asked them if they had any questions and handed them the keys. Bunny came out of her office and thanked them for letting her show them around. "Now don't forget, if we can do anything for you, please call. And Mrs. Walker, I'll get that information for you." They thanked her and left.

As soon as they walked out of the office Della laughed, "Where do these characters come from? I thought it was odd to have an elderly pair of identical twin sisters who still dress alike and collect gnomes. But an honest to God, a Confederate Colonel, who dresses the part? I don't think you can top that?"

"Della don't say that. Lord, I would not be surprised at what walked in the door tomorrow. Oh, and by the way, what is the American Temperance Union, or the Women's Christian Temperance Union?"

"Groups of women who wanted to rid the world of drinking any alcoholic beverages."

Bunny just looked at her.

"That's the group of women concerned about the ills of drinking who got together in the 1800's and formed these 'temperance' groups. They would have meetings, go preach about the evils of drinking, and make men and children sign pledges that they would never drink the evil alcohol." Della laughed, "At least I remember something from Mrs. Robinson's 7th grade American History class."

"Oh."

"Why did you ask?"

"Well it seems Mrs. Walker is very involved in that movement and wanted to see if there was an active union here in Gallagher?"

"Bunny, this is the town that has their Baptist Church 2 blocks off Main Street. I can assure you the majority of this population would not be in favor of any type of temperance. I'm afraid Mrs. Walker may have to take up knitting or something else."

"Well, I'll let her know tomorrow. Right now I need to call 'Miss' Imogene and give her a heads up before she pays a visit to the Walkers to welcome them to town. I think that is fair."

The door opened and Buzz walked in, "Howdy!"

"We haven't seen you in ages?" Bunny said. "Been keeping yourself out of trouble?"

"Yes, and that is no fun. I need some help."

"We got a call at the store from a Col. Wadsworth Washington Walker. He ordered some building supplies and said to call you to find out where to deliver them. Do you know where?"

Della and Bunny just laughed. Della gave Buzz the address and said they most likely would not be moved in until tomorrow, so he probably wanted to wait.

Buzz looked at them,"What is so funny?"

"Well," Bunny said,"let's just say out of all our clients, they are some of the most interesting." And she left it at that. 

"Do they have gnomes?"

"No. But the Col. goes by George."

"Well, they cannot be that strange." With that he thanked them and walked out.

Bunny finished her work and had to run to the Post Office. It was just around the block so she decided to walk. She was about half way there when the Col. drove up next to her and rolled down his window. "Miss Bunny, I do have one more question, if you do not mind?"

"Certainly, what can I do for you?"

"Is there a place in town where a man can go for a tipple, you know good drink?"

"Like a bar?"

"Yes, like a bar."

Bunny recommended Dot's and gave him directions. He thanked her.

"You strike me as a young lady of high standards. I'll appreciate it if you don't mention this to Mrs. Walker. It upsets her dearly. There are just some things she doesn't need to know about." And he winked at Bunny.

"Col. your secret is safe with me."

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