Dial Tones

August 4th, 1948

It wasn’t long before Margret entered the room asking me for the newspaper. I handed it to her as she sat down next to me on the living room couch. I wondered why she looked so distraught frisking through the paper like a mad woman on the hunt for details. Soon she stopped her eyes popped open as if she saw a ghost.

What is dear? I asked puzzled and curious.

“Well darn, it is true.” Margret looked at the newspaper gazing at its printed words in amazement.

“And what is that my dear? What is true?”

“Old Jerry’s placed burned down last night.”

“What!” Snatching the newspaper from my informative wife I looked in desperation until I could land my eyes on the story.

There is was in large bold print. Jerry’s Caster’s Real Time Pub Burnt to the Ground After Vicious Fire Destroys Building.

Immediately, I jumped to my feet off the couch and began to pace around. I couldn’t help but vent out my devastation after learning my good old pal Jerry’s place had been burnt to smithereens last night.

“My gosh! Thankfully no one was hurt in that fire but poor Old Jerry he put his heart in soul into running that pub for decades. That pub has so much sentimental value to us. For heaven sakes, we met each other there. Well, if it wasn’t for Old Jerry’s Pub I don’t think we would, of crossed paths that fateful nite. Jerry’s pub was our turf for the boys and me, for you and the gals. We shared tons of memories there. Such a shame.”

“I know Clark. I know poor old Jerry. He must be devasted. That pub was the only thing he had left after his wife and kids died in that tragic car crash years ago.”

“Yes, and sadly now…it’s all burnt to the ground. Smh. I just wish there was something I could do.” 

“Hey! Clark. You still have old Jerry’s number? Maybe you could just give him a call see how he is panning out.”

“I suppose you’re right maybe a call from a good old friend might do him a little bit of good.”

“I believe so Clark.”

Walking over to a desk drawer I pulled our address book and searched for Old Jerry’s number.

“Here it is…” 

I quickly walked over to the phone that was erected stationary on our wooden letter writing desk. I slipped my finger into each circular open spot on the phone to dial Jerry’s number as it spun and clicked in order to connect our call. I paused briefly to wait for the ringing tones as I smiled slightly at my wife staring at me with concern on the couch.

Ring… Ring…Ring…

“Ahh…(coughs) Hello…”A seemly tired withered voice answered back to me.

Hello.Jerry? 

Yes, this is He.

Hey, there Jerry. This here is Clark Rabinport…I’m calling to see how you’re doing my wife and I just read in today’s paper about your pub. We are terribly sorry for you Jerry…

Aaa..Clark Rabinport so good to hear from you old pal. Yes, my baby is just gone…She’s been burnt to ashes now. Must have been that damn old stove must have started the blaze. I don’t know what I’ll do now. Time to call it quits I suppose retirement awaits for an old man like me.

An old man now are ya’? Jerry, it’s never too late to get that dear lady back up on her glory pillar again Jerry. Well, I’d say with…

Oh.. no.. no.. Clark, I’m done for sure, that I do know. I got no more gas for it old pal. This old man will enjoy his late night sleeps from now on, dear boy.

I understand Jerry. It is a lot to run. Hey! you had a good run with her lots of great memories there. Thanks for all the years of dedication in running the place.Why your Pub became our Traditionalspot to celebrate this and that. My wife and I were just recalling memorable moments we’ve shared there with each other and with friends.

O sure! Jerry begins laughing uncontrollably.

Yes..yes, I remember that beautiful wife of yours pouring a freshly brewed drink all over your head when you first met. 

Of course, you’d remember that Jerry. I couldn’t help but laugh at remembering my failed attempt to charm my wife upon meeting her.

Yet, she came around eventually. You told me to be persistent Jerry. 

That I did dear boy. That I did. Well, Thanks for the call, Clark. Really means a lot you calling to check up on me. I’m going to get some rest now its been a long night and a troublesome one at that. 

Your very welcome Jerry my wife and I send our regards. And if you need anything anything at all Jerry please give us call. Maybe my wife can cook you up her famous shepherds’ pie for you that you enjoy so much. 

That’ll be swell Clark, really Swell. Now you know I won’t turn down an offer for a meal of your wife’s famous Shepard’s pie. 

It’s done then…bye, for now, old pal. 

(Click) I hung up the phone unable to hold back wearing a bittersweet smile.

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