Chapter 15 Big Plans and Good Fortune
One March afternoon Jimmy Day returned from school to a topsy-turvy household. No one noticed as he slipped through the back door. The kitchen was full of excited grown-ups. Something wonderful was afoot but he couldn't get the gist of what it was from the snatches of conversation he overheard. He was trying to concentrate on his father's conversation with Mr. Killman when he realized that Harry was at his elbow whispering in his ear.
“Jimmy, Jimmy - what's going on? There was nobody at my house so I came over here and I see my Mom and Dad are here.” Harry kept pulling at Jimmy's sleeve and his voice kept getting louder until he shouted, “SO WHAT'S GOING ON!”
At this exclamation the adults stopped their chatter and seemed to see the two boys for the first time. The boys' fathers looked at each the other and laughed.
Harry's father danced a little jig and said, “Big plans and good fortune! Big plans and good fortune!” Upon which the general hubbub continued.
Jimmy's mother said, “Boys come over to the table and sit down. You can have some cookies and milk and we'll explain everything.” She and Mrs. Killman then did a little waltz to the icebox. The boys grinned at each other. They had never seen their parents in such a mood.
Mrs. Killman gave them the details. “It seems that Mr. Day had a very important visitor at the bank today. A Mr. Randolph. He represents a man who owns a chain of Motion Picture Theatres. They are building a big movie theatre right here in downtown Jacksonville to be called The Floridian Theatre. He opened several huge accounts at Mr. Day's bank today and has given all of his considerable insurance business to Mr. Killman!”
Mrs. Day continued; “Moreover, the man has offered an investment opportunity to Jimmy's Uncle Marcus and both your fathers. This means that, if we invest money in the business, we would be part owners of the theatre company, and if the company makes money, we could become very wealthy indeed!”
Mrs. Day paused with a dreamy look in her eyes. Jimmy tugged at her sleeve, Great, Mom! Is there more?”
She sang, “Yes, yes, yes!” She continued, all smiles, “The Floridian Theatre is to open next Labor Day weekend. There is a screen play for a big picture called `The Sword and The Diamond' being filmed in Hollywood, California right this minute. It is going to premiere right here in Jacksonville on the opening day of the theatre with national news attention. Not only that but the famous stars of this big motion picture will be here in person.”
Jimmy and Harry looked at each other wide-eyed.
Harry thought for a moment and said, “Hey! If it's gonna be such a big deal why is it happenin' here in dinky ol' Jacksonville?”
Harry's mother, eyes shining, answered, “It's because of the stars of the picture! Tell them Martha!” Martha Day seemed to be gazing at something far, far way.
Jimmy prompted; “So Mom, tell us who the movie stars are!”
“They are” she said breathlessly, “none other than that dashing Mr. Bainbridge Politaire and a rising new star -- the glamorous Miss Etta EauKlaire better known to us as YOUR AUNT ETHEL!”