The Morrow Family Saga, Book Three: Laughing, Chapter Two

Michael took Natalia to each stall and let her play the games. He knew that some of the games were rigged, but he didn’t want to ruin her fun. He just enjoyed watching her have fun. After all, that was the reason they always went to the fair.

Nattie loved the games and rides. Shasta loved the exhibits. The two girls were as different as night and day. Michael mused over those differences. Shasta loved to learn. Reading, studying, experimenting–these were Shasta’s passions. Nattie loved to have fun and look fashionable. She loved movies and music and wanted to become a star. She seemed to feel as if an education was not really important to reach her goals.

But he knew that education was important to every path a child could dream of taking. very few successful people had ever been uneducated. Many held degrees. Even the politicians who decided upon all these silly unneeded witch hunts had law degrees or had some sort of university degree under their belts. Not that it did many of them any good. Most seemed to lose their minds once they went to DC or Into the State House.

But no mater what he did, he just couldn’t get through to her that she needed every ounce of education offered to her. She seemed set on self-destruction…or self-disappointment, at the very least. He had to shake his head and hope that at some point, she would wake up from her little dream world and begin learning.

It wasn’t that she didn’t get good grades. No, she got passing grades. But she didn’t rise to her full potential. Still, he did not push too hard. He didn’t want her to think that he wanted more out of her than she was capable of doing.

He did push, a little, but not enough to push her away. He couldn’t risk losing his daughter. He didn’t want her to be another Shasta, just to do a little better. But she refused to listen. Her blindness saddened him.

Shasta, on the other hand, was always on the honor roll. She never thought of anything more than learning as much as she could. It was both her blessing and her curse. Her drive kept her from enjoying being a child. Yet, she also seemed to understand that life was a cross between sacrifice and higher education.

***

Jim Wallace hated being party to the secrets in Washington. He hated the fact that he knew more about which rumors about certain players in government were actually true, but it had been his job since he served under Eisenhower before the storming of Normandy. Of course, no one would have known he was there since he had not signed his real name. Perhaps that had been because he was only seventeen at the time and an orphan, or maybe more because he had been there for reasons other than the war. Sure, he had fought his fair share, if not more. But he’d been taken in by Ike as a part of his inner circle.

Now, as then, he was the secret-keeper. He knew more about Hoover than Hoover knew about most of America. Hell. He even knew McCarthy and McCarran’s dirtiest secrets.  And the secrets that the rest wanted to hide.

He kept their affairs hidden, along with their sexual preferences. Perhaps that was why he detested McCarthy and McCarran more than the rest. They were so smug in their hypocrisy. To hide their true souls, they waged an unholy war on imaginary communists and homosexuals. And Hoover’s obsession hid his own shortcomings.

Even though Hoover was a genius, he was less what he portrayed himself to be than he wished america to know. Cross dressing. Admiring himself in women’s panties. Wearing wigs. His own homosexual desires, hidden from prying eyes. Poor wretch.

But McCarthy’s time was almost up. So was that of McCarran. He only wished that Hoover’s time was also about up. It would end the poor guy’s misery.

Hoover had forced out almost all who’d opposed him.Even McGrath had been forced out through a mishap with his assistant Attorney General’s demands for personal information from the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It was all Hoover needed for leverage. James McGranary  had taken everything over, but remained very much Hoover’s enemy.

Wallace liked McGranary, though. The man was amazing. He kept up the relentless prosecution of a man named Toffer French. And French Industries was not unknown in DC. The company had lobbied for its share of government contracts and the result had been less than stellar. Complaints had been filed by every job site. In the end, Morrow Mill  Works had to be given the job of fixing the mistake.

The investigation should have started then, but it didn’t. It took seven years, and even then, it had been only because the list of witnesses and evidence against the person and his company was so long that neither could be ignored. Sad. Seemed the government was so slow at catching the real culprit, but so quick to hunt down harmless and often nonexistent enemies of the state.

So many of those accused were no more “red” than he was. He knew it. Congress knew it. The only difference was that Congress seemed to want to stick their heads in the sand and play make believe. They really wanted to believe that there was a real threat even when there wasn’t. The USSR and China were the only Communist countries he knew of. Unrest had begun to take over Cuba, but that was not his problem.

French Indo-China was in turmoil and the French were quickly losing ground.  Korea was a hot spot where so many young Americans had fought and died for a people that they knew so little about. But war was war. And the next one seemed destined to be fought in a country that had no actual resources to feed the greed of the oil barons or the coal magnates.It was just a large jungle that hid secrets. Vietnam.

 

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