Saturday, March 10, 2012
SMALL TOWN SATURDAY
Retired school teacher and Mayor of Halo, Audrey Chambers is determined to recreate an Old West mining town to help provide jobs so Halo's young people--like her son--will stay in town. In spite of her political and entrepreneurial ambitions, Audrey is very much a mom. She and her husband, Bill, have been surrogate parents to Dawson since he was fifteen.
He turned toward the sound of the urgent voice, seeing Audrey Chambers, mayor of Halo and his surrogate mother since he was a teenager, hurrying down the sidewalk toward him. The woman had the energy of a teenager packaged in a grandmother's body.
She walked into his outstretched arms for a hug and patted his belly. "Have you eaten supper yet? You're looking a bit thin."
He didn't bother to tell her his supper had probably been eaten by Bigsy before he and Charlie let themselves out of jail. "Beth brought over something. Did Reid send patrols through while I was on the drug case?"
A snort conveyed Audrey's opinion of the sheriff. "I should have rapped that boy's knuckles more when he was in grade school. Only saw a patrol car once a day and didn't even stop to talk to anyone. Bill took care of things."
Audrey's husband, Bill, was as quiet as Audrey was energetic. Like her, he had lived his entire life in the area. When he retired after thirty-three years working in the national forest lands blanketing the surrounding mountains, he didn't even consider living anywhere else.
"I need you for a meeting at the barbershop." Audrey tugged at Dawson's arm.
"Meeting about what?"
Audrey lifted a finger to her lips. "It's a secret."
"Not for long in this town." Dawson followed her, ignoring the rumble of his stomach. "I thought you were on the outs with Stanley Alvord."
Another snort from Audrey bounced the corkscrew gray curls framing her face. "You can't be mayor and conduct a decent feud. All this negotiation mumbo-jumbo. Sometimes I'd rather be a steamroller."
"Well, we can start now since we have the downtown property owners assembled." Audrey's introduction gave the reason for Alvord's inclusion.
Audrey and Bill owned most of the buildings in town, except Beth's café and Alvord's barbershop. If this meeting concerned her favorite topic of making Halo more than a dot on the map, she would need the cooperation of both Beth and Alvord. Dawson settled into one of the red vinyl chairs to see what tactics Audrey would use to bring Alvord around to her way of thinking. **
**Excerpt from PICTURE PERFECT LEGACY, copyright Genie Gabriel.