Mother S. Sayer: The ARC of Time
Episode Nine: Time Trials
(‘It has been eventful’ she thinks this is what her father would say if he were here. There have been some successes in the form of a new shower assist caddie (sac). The line of ethnic oriented greeting cards is coming along slowly. Many listeners appreciate my weekly radio broadcast (on A.M. Radio of course) that chronicles all the energy and time demands to raise a family while expanding a business. Let’s see how Mother Sayer was able to get out of this all important and highly critical phase of making her ‘creation dreams’ a reality.)
(It has a been a long two weeks. Deciding on office space, furniture, phone service to fit and bond with my plans were important. The location relative to downtown Louisville would assist in keeping startup costs in check. I need the exercise and besides, being able to drop in on the halls of civic leadership has its’ merits. “Keep knocking those tasks off the ‘to do list’ one by one”, she says. Be mindful of the fact that there are children watching my every move as well. It is critical I get it right she thinks.)
Mother Sayer: (The children are registered in Barrett Traditional Middle School for the school year beginning in Fall 2010. I will let them chill a little while longer, but when the calendar turns to August; I will require more of them than a brief report on each chapter of the book I assigned to them.)
Justus. Doyenne. Breakfast is ready. Come and eat while it’s hot. (The clock says 7 am, but more importantly it is not so late in the day that the children can get spoiled.)
Justus: When does school start Mother?
Mother Sayer: It starts on August 16. That is when you all will get the chance to increase your abilities for survival in this country.
Doyenne: Survival Mother?
Mother Sayer: (She scopes the puzzled look on her daughter. She sees the same out of the corner of her right eye on Justus. Good.)
Children, why is there a table here in the kitchen?
Justus: So we can set our plates on it? (His statement is formed as a question to shield himself if his answer is wrong.)
Mother Sayer: And you Doyenne? Why do you think there is a table here in the kitchen?
Doyenne: I don’t know Mother.
Mother Sayer: I need you to give me an answer Doyenne, now.
Doyenne: To put our chairs up under it so we can reach our food? (Also, formed as a question to shield her mind from being wrong.)
Mother Sayer: (This is what I expected from my children as I’ve established the lines of authority here, but I’ve not enabled my children to question their surroundings. I relish the responsibility of this duty. It was performed by my Father with the zeal of a lion feeding his pride. I will do no less.)
Children, there is a table here to keep you from having to sit on the floor to eat. It prevents you from having to set your plate on the ground. Your cup, your spoon and silverware. Now this is an evolution from the days when humankind ate and shared what they caught in groups on the ground.
This is not to say that the practice is wrong or beneath you to do. I’ve eaten many times my food while sitting on the ground with my fellow soldiers in the Army.
(Mother pauses to look intensely in the eyes of her children for any sign this little talk is resonating. Well, we have many more lessons to fill the vastness of time.)
Very good then, let’s eat because I must get to work and figure out a few more things to start off this week. Okay.
Justus: Yes Mother.
Doyenne: I understand Mother.
(Mother needed very little swaying in the importance of raising her children properly as she pursues the massive breath of her dreams for her life and her business. What was said to her made sense, and Mother is not one to need a whole lot of time to figure out if the words ring with truth.
“It is not required of you to make a choice between your children or how you must take care for them. Working is a given. What you cannot dismiss is this fact. Only the foolish and unlearned when they are faced with demands on their time; choose to pick one (themselves) over the other (children) and not understand that everybody in the family must win.
Children need their fair share of ‘time’ which is crucial to their proper rearing. It is these unwise people who refuse to parent that have caused each established ‘system’ to be overburdened with unassigned duties. If you don’t know how to parent, ask somebody that is doing it right to teach you.
Mother knew when she looked at her children that she couldn’t let them ‘flap in the wind’ because she had a mission. No. That is why there were rules she had to follow in her father’s house, and it is because of those rules she is who she is today. Her father brought her with him ‘in the way that she should go’ and she will not depart from it. Ever!)
Mother Sayer: (The children caught the bus and waved to their Mother as they rode on their way to school.). Okay, let’s get this day started.
(The drive to work seems a bit accelerated today. Maybe the list of things I must do is becoming jumbled in my head causing these feelings of disconcertion. I knew this was coming and I know the countermeasures I must employ to dissipate the tendency to let my efforts wander ‘off the road’ per se. To put it simply I just need to follow the plan and keep stepping off. I will stop by the Sayer Trucking Repair Station and see how things are going first though.)
Mother Sayer: Calvin, Son Skyy, Blinner, how are things going? (She says it in a folksy tone that is important and implying that they run the shop while I keep them out trouble.)
Calvin: Mrs. Sayer, it is good to see you. All is fine here. What’s up?
Son Skyy: The shop is running well. How are you Major?
Blinner: We are all okay. How are you doing Mother? There is something I want to run by you if you have time right now.
Mother Sayer: Very good then, you are looking good Calvin. Skyy, Blinner, the day agrees with you both. (Calvin is a holdover from the days when her father ran the business. A fine young black man in his late twenties now who’s benefited from the right tutorship.
Son Skyy I met in the Army. My Humvee needed repairs and I went down to the motor pool to help my soldiers finish the work. I saw the love of mechanical work in his eyes which flowed down through his body to make his hands do superior work. This Korean could elevate a team of professionals beyond just a repair job. I knew I had to have him work with me someday.
Blinner was from Louisville. She grew up in PRP, Pleasure Ridge Park, the neighborhood where mixing of the races was a work in progress. It had to work for her because she was the child of a Black woman and a Japanese man.)
Mother Sayer: Blinner. (She motions for her to walk with her and she tours the shop like she is ‘trooping’ the line).
Mother Sayer: What’s up? You need anything? Any new license or zoning certifications for the shop?
Blinner: No Mother, all that’s good. I do want to update you on the locations of the other two shops and when you can meet with the landowners.
Mother Sayer: Please, tell me.
Blinner: The two sites that fit the specifications are Eastern Parkway/Bardstown Road and Cane Run Road/Algonquin Parkway. The lots are both empty now with the surrounding land on each plenty for expansion. The zoning and licenses will be hefty along with the construction and work it will take to secure environmental approval.
I trust you’re cultivating relationships now with City Hall? You will need them.
Mother Sayer: Good. Please get with the ARC’s lawyers and draft an offer sheet for both properties. Meet with the owners and present it to them. If at any time a part of this process you feel you cannot handle, let me know and I’ll get someone else to do it. Understand?
Blinner: You want me to complete this process for you?
Mother Sayer: (Good she was listening. An important trait to possess in this business.). That sounds like someone thinking they were just a surveyor only there to hand their findings over to the contractor for final disposition to close and start building. Are you just a surveyor?
Blinner: No no Mother. I thought you were just testing my ‘around the town ability’ to envision something for what it could be. I…
Mother Sayer: (Mother waves her hand to stop Blinner from proceeding). Blinner, I don’t have time, money or resources for repetitive orders to several people to eventually grow my company.
Can you do the job or not?
Blinner: Yes yes Mother. I can.
Mother Sayer: Keep me in the loop. (As she says her goodbyes she rubs the right shoulder of Blinner with her left hand and squeezes as if to dissipate some of the shock).
(Mother arrives at her modest office in the middle of downtown Louisville. She parks her car in her designated spot and immediately adds parking to her planning.)
Mother Sayer: Good morning Sarah. How’s the morning going for you.
Sarah W. Certainty: It is brisk. I have the revenue for the past three months and the figures you asked for regarding expansion of the mechanical shops. Time to build which includes breaking ground and acquiring all zoning and legal documents are in the package.
Ms. Blinner called asking if you were in the office earlier. I told her you hadn’t made it in yet.
Mother Sayer: How did she sound? Was she anxious?
Sarah W. Certainty: She did sound a little annoyed. Now whether her thoughts started to materialize through the phone line I would have to say yes. She was anxious to talk to you and get things approved I would say.
Mother Sayer: Good. (The tone I wanted to set is blooming. Time is the key and as far as I’m concerned, I don’t have eternity to make things happen.)
Sarah W. Certainty: I’m beginning to understand how things are getting done around here. Although not with a degree of certainty that brings me comfort, but I’m sure I will get there.
2nd Interlude: Se’May’s Trouble
(It was a time I felt invincible. The business of fixing trucks was solid. My father’s loan was long which opened a lot of doors and pressed a lot of flesh. Maybe this should have turned on a ‘slow beep that would intensify as I got closer and closer to hitting a wall’. Nevertheless, I charged forward to danger just like the military trained me. All the while I knew to consider each aspect of the task ahead of me; I chose to ignore every warning if success would be the outcome.
That’s how it happened. I made inroads in the business of products and had contracts set up to make them and I had shelf space in local stores. This new supplier came highly recommended and he checked out. I didn’t know he had connections to the local crime boss. Don Se’Stone he called himself. My supplier was Laine Goone. Yeah, don’t give me crap for that. I know now it chimes the tone of cowbells.
He seemed like an upstanding Italian businessman to me, but what do I know about dealings of the criminal underworld. My father never took me below the surface and I never asked about anything else sordid after he told me his FBI deal. I know when this is over to spend the time to get up to speed on that part of life.
Mr. Goone said he could get me the raw material at a reduced cost. I needed the savings to make the ‘surface buckle’ floor cleaning system cost effective for the consumer market. Man, was I wrong. After I gave him a third of the cost to acquire the raw materials, he immediately said he needed more money. His explanation sounded suspicious and I told him no. That refusal caused him to suspend my contract and I forfeited all the money I gave him up front.
I hit the roof. I called Mr. Goone and threatened to sue him and he just laughed and hung up the phone in my face. I paid a visit to him in his office with my lawyer. He had his lawyer and what looked like a couple of ‘goons’ with him. This tactic didn’t work either. Unbeknownst to me my father was monitoring the whole situation.
Mr. Sayer, my father, had called Don Se’Stone and agreed to a meeting with Mr. Goone two days after I had my ‘I mean business’ meeting with Goone. I didn’t know who would be showing up when I got the message from Mr. Goone’s office that he wanted to meet with me again. I said yes.
I got the call on Tuesday. The meeting was Thursday at noon. I will now recollect the dialogue from the actual participants at that meeting.).
Mother Sayer: Can you tell Mr. Goone I am here?
Secretary: Sure, Mrs. Sayer, right?
Mother Sayer: Yes, it is.
(The secretary leaves for a moment and when she returns she escorts Mrs. Sayer into Mr. Goone’s office.).
Mr. Goone: Come in Mrs. Sayer, I didn’t expect to have this meeting with you, but when I heard that you wanted to give me the rest of the money I asked for I just felt I had to arrange the meeting.
Mrs. Sayer: Money? I didn’t come here to give you any more of my money. There must be some mistake because I was told you would be returning the money I gave to you?
(Don Se’Stone and Father Ableman Sayer were watching when Mother Sayer entered the building. They waited five minutes and walked into the building.).
Secretary: Mr. Don, I didn’t know you were coming. (Her words spoken with pausing through every other word.). Go right in.
(Suddenly the door clicks open. Don Se’Stone and Mr. Sayer walks into Goone’s office.).
Mr. Goone: Don Se’Stone, I didn’t know you were here. My secretary didn’t tell me we were meeting today?
Don Se’Stone: Shut up Goone. I hear you let on to this young lady that you had contacts and contracts even I didn’t know you had. Is that true?
Mr. Goone: It’s nothing Don. I mean its’ nothing because I don’t have anything, I mean.
Don Se’Stone: So you don’t have contacts in South America that could export raw materials so this lady can manufacture her product?
Mr. Goone: No Don, no I don’t.
Don Se’Stone: So give her her money back. What was it ma’am, $45,000 dollars?
Mother Sayer: Yes it was.
Mr. Goone: I don’t have it on me now.
Don Se’Stone: You need to give it to her now. (He says it with the assurance of consequence if it is not done.).
Mr. Goone: I promise I will give her money back to her.
Don Se’Stone: Don’t bother, you’re sure you don’t have it in this shitty office do you?
Mr. Goone: No I don’t have it.
Don Se’Stone: Don’t worry, I have it right here. Mrs. Sayer, here’s your money. I hope you decide to never do business with this man again.
Mrs. Sayer: Father?
Ableman Sayer: We will talk later, take it and go. Give it to me.
Mother Sayer: Give you what Father?
Father Sayer: Give it to me right now!
Mother Sayer: (Mother thinks, how did he know I had a gun on me?). I’m sorry Father.
Father Sayer: It’s okay Se’May. Take your money, leave this office and never return.
Mother Sayer: Father. (Se’May starts to cry.).
Father Sayer: No no Se’May, we all will make mistakes in our life. I know your choice to deal with this man was borne out of doing some good in this world. (Ableman sees Se’May’s tears running down her cheeks and he says to her.).
“At least one of us should go before the Father & Mother of lights and not be a disappointment”
Mother Sayer: Father.
Father Sayer: Go on, I love you, we’ll receive the ‘blot’ for this one.
Don Se’Stone: Mr. Goone, I now have the contract. You’ve just borrowed $45,000 dollars from me at 50 percent a week. Next Friday is your first payment. Don’t be late.
End: 2nd Interlude
Mother Sayer: Sarah, I was taken aback by the sudden and abrupt way we came to meet. When I walked out of Goone’s office I saw your Mother wave to me. I didn’t know who she was at the time, but I knew it must have something to do with what just happened in that office.
Sarah W. Certainty: I remember. I was there in the limo. You came in and sat down. My Mother offered you a Courvoisier and she made her pitch to you.
(This conversation took place right outside Mr. Goone’s office on that same day.).
Sparklett Stone: Mrs. Sayer, how are you? While we’re waiting for my husband to come back and take us shopping. I wanted to talk to you and see if you could do me a favor.
Mother Sayer: Mrs. Stone, I just met you. I don’t know what I could do for you?
Sparklett Stone: Oh, it’s about my daughter. We feel she needs to be in the presence of a woman, like yourself. Do you know how my husband and your father met?
Mother Sayer: No.
Sparklett Stone: They met during the Korean War.
Mother Sayer: Oh.
Sparklett Stone: Don’t allow the time period to formulate any impressions on who those two men are. They were probably made by the Gods to drive the likes of everyone they would meet crazy. I’ve never seen two men accept their realities and flourish beyond their given origins.
Trust me sister, Italians may not have had it as bad as Negroes, but we weren’t that far behind in discrimination and utter manmade evil put upon us. That is why I believe they bonded so quickly and always sought each other out on whatever missions they had in the Army.
Mother Sayer: (Smiles at this information because her father didn’t speak much about his time in uniform or his tour in Korea.). I understand Mrs. Stone. What would you like me to do?
Sparklett Stone: I want you to hire my daughter. Sarah, this is Mrs. Sayer.
Mother Sayer: Hello Sarah.
Sarah: Hello Mrs. Sayer.
Sparklett Stone: What time does she need to be there Monday?
Mother Sayer: (Sighs to herself.). 8:00 am would be fine. Do you know where my company offices are? (Immediately when she said this she knows it was a stupid question.).
Sparklett Sayer: It was nice to meet you Mrs. Sayer.
(That is how that conversation went. It was not a bad meeting by any measurement, but it was payment for getting me out of a jam of my own making.).
Mother Sayer: Yes, I remember your Mother. A strikingly beautiful and intoxicatingly intelligent woman of formidable presence.
Sarah W. Certainty: I know. How would you like to grow up trying to be like her and failing at every recreation of her mannerisms?
Mother Sayer: I will keep that in mind with my daughter and son. Now in the year and a half you’ve been under my employment; I’ve seen your growth. Assertiveness doesn’t appear naturally just because we speak it. It has to be pulled by the limbs to make the roots come up far enough to entangle themselves around your flesh.
Sarah W. Certainty: I didn’t mean I wasn’t happy she turned me over to you. Mother, I was in conflict for most of my formative years having a Mother who was so extraordinary. My processing of my environment was taxing to say it mildly, but I’m so glad that I got a few of her genes that kept my sanity intact long enough to fight through to some light.
I was starting to come into my own when she told me what she had planned. I felt apprehensive about it at first because human beings have a healthy dislike of change, but I knew I was getting somewhere and I didn’t want to regress.
I agreed and put my best optimistic face on and went with my Father and Mother.
Mother Sayer: (Even more linkage to time. These trials have an extreme association with time. Can they not be untangled? Is it part of the fabric of reality itself? Of space itself that our time trials must occur?). Have I been a good example for you to follow?
Sarah W. Certainty: You have been a guidance that without it I could not have steadied my footing. The encounter could not be more evident. What I precisely needed at that nexus point in my war to be the woman I am today was to meet you. More proof that my Mother could take the measure of everyone and know what is right for them.
Mother Sayer: Yes Sarah, even I felt her aura as I sat briefly in that limo. Your Mother’s love knew she needed to give you to another teacher that could change the dynamics of your training. In other words, relieving the duality of thinking about pleasing your Mother and gaining the mental skills you needed to become who you wanted to be.
Good parenting can do that to their children. Better parenting can see the struggle to emulate them in their children’s eyes and do something about it. My reading of your Mother’s actions is helping me even though we spoke only about you while you were sitting there. What an impressive woman!
Sarah W. Certainty: Mother Sayer. I can say with a certainty something very clearly. My Mother was right to place me in your care. She took me as far as she could. I understood she had a lot to contend with being married to my Father. She needed space to keep everything under control, and dealing with a grown daughter that needed to learn a few more things was diluting her strength.
Mother Sayer: More gracious words have never landed on my ears. I’ve come to love you Sarah, probably more than I will ever love my own daughter. You bring respect and honor to your family name.
Sarah W. Certainty: Well, I think I’ve taken up enough of your time this morning. Ms. Blinner, you must have taken care of her before you arrived?
Mother Sayer: You will be just fine Sarah. Let me freshen up a bit and I’ll be back to start going over the planner for today.
(The day went as well as expected. The late afternoon and evening with Doy and Justus was slanted heavily to conversation and expansion of thinking. Doy was asking what she should do when she sees someone being picked on because they sit by themselves. Justus was asking could he try out for the basketball team.
Doy’s question was answered with a question. I asked her if she was stranded at the train station in a foreign country would she want some assistance. She said Mother, of course, if I don’t speak the language I want someone to help me.
Justus question was a question of whether his education would suffer should he start playing sports. I helped him analyze the time requirements and could he meet each obligation with the same zeal of purpose. He of course said yes after some brief thought. I, as his Mother said to him, if at any time your education is in doubt. Do you understand?
Justus said yes. These waypoints on the path to adulthood are familiar to me because my Father spared nothing in his rearing technique. He paid attention to me and to all his children. None of us could say he didn’t give us his love and his time, but he didn’t choose one over the other. He thought that was trifling to even flirt with such foolishness.
Father Sayer would say, “If I didn’t need to work, God would not have written it as such. If I didn’t want the responsibility of children, I understood I had to keep my pants zipped up and on. I needed to work and I needed to teach, and I knew they were flip sides of the same coin.”
I didn’t see him complain about his ‘time trials’, so I’m definitely not going to complain about my own.