You Do What?




Cecil Rodgers and his new fiancee Penelope (when they first met she made it VERY clear she was Penelope, NOT Penny) Parsons burst into her parents large house laughing and hugging as they went. As soon as the door slammed open Penelope yelled, “Mother, Father, where are you?”

They heard a female voice say, “In the family room, Dear.”

Penelope quickly pulled Cecil along behind her as she burst into the family room where she heard the TV blaring. Her parents were sitting in their chairs sipping brandy while they listened to the late news. She almost ran to her mother and held her left hand out to show her the nice sized diamond engagement ring she’d accepted earlier that evening. She caroled, “Look Mother. I’m getting married.”

Her mother held her hand steady while she glanced at the ring. It was obvious she didn’t know just what to say and before she managed to say anything Jordan Parsons, her father, jerked his head around and almost glared at the young couple. He said, “What did you say sweetheart?”

Penelope pulled her hand away from her mother and headed for her father, holding it out toward him so he could see her ring. He glanced at it, then glared at Cecil before he said, “Are you sure that’s a good idea pumpkin? We hardly know anything at all about this young man.”

“Oh, Daddy. He’s kind and sweet and I love him. That’s enough. Besides, he’ll receive two degrees in May when he graduates from college.”

“Humpf, well, we’ll see,” Jordan said before he turned his attention back to the news.

Cecil and Penelope chatted a moment longer with her mother before they went into the living room so they could be alone longer. It was after midnight before Cecil grudgingly left for his small student apartment. He had tried mightily to get Penelope to come spend the night with him like she had many nights in the past but she refused. She said, “I know I’ve spent the night with you before but I just can’t tonight. What would Mother and Father think? I can’t just leave now that I’m home and not come back. I’ll come back to school early Sunday and we’ll spend Sunday night together honey.”

“Ok. I’ll miss you.”

Sunday morning the Parson’s family took brunch at the country club. During the meal Jordan asked question after question about Cecil. Finally, in exasperation, Penelope said, “Daddy, why are you getting so upset about Cecil all at once? You’ve seen him occasionally for over a year now.”

“Yes, but I had no idea you were going to go off the deep end and marry him. I thought you would just run around with him like you have so many of the other boys and eventually you’d find someone appropriate to marry. I know nothing about him or his family. How is he going to support you? What are his prospects?”

For the first time, her mother entered the conversation, saying, “Is he even suitable for you? Who is his family? How do we know he isn’t just interested in you for our money?”

Tears were beginning to leak from Penelope’s eyes by this time. She said, “I’ve only met his parents once but they seemed to be nice people. His father owns his own insurance business and has five offices. I know that. I think his mother teaches English in one of the high schools.”

DeDe, her mother, said, “Oh, dear. His father’s a salesman? And his mother teaches in a public school? Oh, dear. I suppose he’s saddled with all kinds of debt paying for his college. You’ll have to help pay it off I suppose.”

“No Mother. We were talking about finances a while back and he told me he doesn’t have any student loans. He always seems to have more than enough money.”

“Oh, dear. He doesn’t sell drugs or something does he? Or maybe he has a rich family member he’s getting help from?”

“MOTHER! NO, he isn’t selling OR using drugs. I don’t know about a rich relative though. maybe.”

Jordan spoke up then saying, “Well, we have to get to the bottom of this. I’ll have some people look into things for you pumpkin. You can’t be too careful you know.”

A very subdued Penelope left the country club just after 1:30 in the afternoon. She drove slowly back to the college on the other side of town and, instead of going to Cecil’s small apartment, she went to hers where she sat drinking wine and thinking about the conversation she’d had with her parents during brunch. ‘What did she know about Cecil? Sure, he seemed to be nice and he always had money but she’d never seen him work or heard him mention a job. He had mentioned royalties a time or two. Maybe he had something to do with oil?”

Later that evening Cecil called her. After their greeting he said, “Where are you honey? I thought you would be here by now.”

“I’m sorry honey. I’m not feeling well so I just went back to my place. I was going to call you but I hadn’t got around to it yet. Forgive me?”

“Sure. I was just worried. I’ll see you tomorrow then.”

Penelope’s parents comments made her think about Cecil and her relationship with him. Now she was worried about him. She spent that kaçak iddaa first night back in her apartment and the next week after the engagement thinking about past conversations with him and her parents. She didn’t spend nearly as much time with Cecil and he began to worry about their relationship.

Many times Penelope wondered what, exactly she actually knew about Cecil? She was sitting in her apartment alone, trying to study, when her father opened the door and walked in. She jumped when she heard the door open and turned to see who came in. She relaxed when she saw her father and said, “Daddy. You scared me. What’re you doing here in the middle of the day?”

“Honey I received the Investigator’s report on Cecil today and wanted to talk to you about it as soon as I could. Pumpkin, you’ve made a big mistake with that boy.”

“What? What’s wrong? He’s not a criminal is he?”

“No, but it’s almost as bad. He writes smut, pornography.”


“He uses two pen names we’ve found so far. Under the name C C Rod he writes adult stories, mostly westerns and under the name Ceece Love he writes romance novels. He has 37 books published. Can you imagine what our friends would say if they found out something like that? On top of his parent’s occupations, did you know his Uncle operates a junk yard and he spends a lot of his free time there helping him? You couldn’t have found a much more unsuitable boy if you’d tried.”

Penelope was crying by that time. She sniffled and asked through her sobs, “Oh, Daddy. What’ll I do?”

“All you can do sweetheart is distance yourself from him as quickly as you can and hope no one finds out. I’m sorry I had to be the one to tell you this but better now than later.”

Through her sniffles she said, “Yes, you’re right Daddy. Will you stay while I talk to him?”

Jordan nodded his head and watched Penelope call Cecil. When he answered she said, “Cecil. I’ve just received some devastating news. Is it true you write pornography and romance novels and your uncle operates a junk yard?”

Cecil sighed and said, “Yes, I write. I told you I received royalties. And yes, Uncle Randy operates a junkyard. What does that have to do with anything?”

“You know very well what that has to do with things. How could you hide something like that from me? What would people think if they found out I was marrying a pornographer, or marrying into a family like yours? I’d never live it down. My family and I would be the laughingstock of the country club. Your parents occupations were bad enough but your uncle’s and your occupations are just too much. I’m breaking our engagement. I’ll put your things outside my door. Please bring anything of mine you find in your apartment over when you come get your belongings. I just can’t marry someone who does what you do and has a family like yours.”

“You’re fucking kidding me! You’re breaking our engagement because of the honest work my family and I do? FUCK! I’m glad this came up now instead of after the marriage. I knew you were high maintenance, but I didn’t have any idea you and your family were such snobs or looked down on honest working people. You know your father is just a working stiff too don’t you? Do you look down on him also?”

“How DARE you! Daddy is President of his bank and majority stockholder. He’s a highly regarded executive, not some working stiff as you put it.” Almost before she finished her last statement Penelope broke the connection and turned to her father in tears. She cuddled into his chest as he enveloped her in his arms to comfort her.

Jordan cradled the back of Penelope’s head as he softly said, “There, there, sweetheart. I knew there was just something unwholesome about Cecil and his family. Relax now. You’ll find someone more suitable soon.”

Cecil put his phone back into his pocket after Penelope disconnected and sat in shock. Soon the feeling in the pit of his stomach began changing from sickness to boiling anger. How dare that bitch! He and his family worked hard, supported themselves and were productive members of society. Sure, his ‘dirty westerns’ weren’t fine prose and would never be classics, but he liked to think they weren’t pure smut either. None of his characters were rabid killers, rapists or monsters, they were just free with their sexual favors as were the characters in his ‘bodice rippers’ (romance novels).

He rose from his seat, grabbed a large trash bag and went from room to room in his apartment searching for and bagging everything of Penelope’s as well as the items she’d given him over the course of their relationship. He really didn’t want anything left to remind him of her. While searching for her belongings Cecil wondered how he’d misjudged Penelope so badly. Was he that enamored by her looks? He knew she desired the better things in life and admired flash but, somehow, he’d failed to see how shallow she was. He decided he was definitely better off without her and hoped the hurt of losing her would disappear quickly.

As soon as her possessions were collected kaçak bahis and bagged Cecil threw them, none too gently, into his car and drove, somewhat recklessly, to Penelope’s apartment, parked and carried the two bags of belongings into the building. He quickly made his way to her apartment and carelessly dropped the bags directly in front of her door, then picked up the bag he assumed contained his belongings and made his way back to his car without even trying to talk to her.

Cecil returned to classes when they resumed. It was obvious to any who saw him that something happened during the break to depress him. It was quickly noted Penelope was no longer ‘hanging around’ with him and the knowledge spread through both groups of friends–his and hers–that she broke the engagement. Rumors abounded about the reason but none of them even came close to the real reason.

Cecil struggled to keep his attention on his course work and, truthfully, his grades did slip somewhat in his final semester. Finally, the end of his last semester came and with it graduation. Cecil received a BA in English and a BS in Business Management. After a short ‘vacation’, he split his time between writing and helping his uncle in the salvage yard. Cecil had worked with Uncle Randy almost ever since he was strong enough to be useful and loved the cars and listening to customers and drivers talking. When he obtained his degree, Uncle Randy hired him as his assistant and began training him to take over the business.

Many of Cecil’s stories had situations in them he gleaned from the ‘man talk’ overheard in the junk yard. Of course, he didn’t use modern settings in his westerns but some of the situations did make it into the books, both western and romance. In addition to pulling parts, keeping inventory and helping with sales, Cecil did some repairs and work on vehicles. The classic 1967 Chevelle Super Sport he drove part time was rebuilt from one of the junk cars. He did the majority of the work on it himself.

This junk yard was somewhat unique. They not only salvaged vehicles but they had a garage to repair mechanical problems and a body shop for body work as well. Sometimes they rebuilt a wrecked vehicle using parts from other wrecks and sold it on the lot with a salvage title. These side businesses made the salvage yard highly profitable.

The next 18 months of Cecil’s life were, if not idyllic, close to it. He enjoyed shooting the breeze with the men, and occasional woman, who came to the business or who worked there and he especially enjoyed his interaction with Randy’s two step daughters, a set of twins named Jeri and Cari. They were 18 years old now, just out of high school and constant fixtures at the business, helping wherever they could. Their mother died when they were 16 and since they had no other relatives Randy kept them, never even considering sending them away.

Over the months after he graduated the girls began spending more and more time with Cecil, helping him do anything he was involved in with the exception of his writing which he did mostly in the evenings. He made enough he really didn’t need to write but he not only enjoyed it, he really liked receiving the royalties!

One day the girls were joking and talking with Cecil while they worked and Cecil said, “Girls, what are you going to do with your lives? Are you just going to hang around here doing scut work or are you going to go to college and get training to do more with your lives?”

Jeri said, “What more can we do? We didn’t do well enough in school to get a scholarship and Randy can’t afford to send us to school. We like working here and it helps Randy so why not?”

“Because you’re too smart to just be gofers or grease monkeys. If you don’t want to go to college, you at least need to go to trade school so you can do more with your lives than you are now.”

The girls looked at each other before Cari said, “All that sounds good but like Jeri said, we can’t pay for it. Besides, we want to do this.”

Cecil said, “Tell you what. You decide exactly what you want to do and I’ll help you do it. College, trade school or whatever.”

Jeri said, “You’d do that for us? Why?”

“Because I have the money. I like you and you’re family.”

Before he could blink, Cecil had both his arms full of crying girl. After the tears dried, they each hugged him and Jeri said, “You won’t be sorry CC (many friends and especially family called him CC). Thank you, and we like you too, a lot.”

After some discussion the girls decided they wanted to do vocational courses. Jeri wanted auto mechanics and Cari wanted body work. True to his word, CC paid the fees for the schooling. He never told the girls Randy had enough and then some to send them had they asked.

Just before the girls classes were to end, CC received a panic stricken phone call from them early in the morning. It was all he could do to make out what they were saying through the tears. He finally understood Randy had a heart attack and died during the night. They’d discovered illegal bahis him dead when Cari went into his bedroom to wake him because he didn’t come out for breakfast. Upon hearing the news, CC jumped from bed, dressed, and was out of the house in a flash heading for his uncle’s old house and the crying girls.

It fell to CC to make all the arrangements and support the girls while they grieved. His father could have done it and, indeed, he helped and gave advice but the girls seemed to turn to him for the help. Since he worked for Randy and was self employed as a writer he had more time to do those unpleasant tasks as well.

Several days after the services the family gathered in Randy’s attorney’s office for the reading of the will. CC’s father, Randy’s brother, received a substantial cash bequest but the shocker was the disposition of the remainder of the estate. The entire estate not bequeathed to CC’s father, was in a trust fund set up for the girls and Cecil. The girls received 20% each and Cecil received the remainder. Cecil was the supervising trustee. Each would receive their pro rata share at age 25.

During the proceedings, each girl and Cecil was given a letter from Randy. The letters were very similar. Randy did write, in a letter read to everyone, “I love each of you three kids (I know, at your age you really aren’t kids but that’s how I still think of you so sue me) as if you were my own children. You’ve been much better to me than many men’s own progeny. Girls, I know you love CC and I believe he loves you. It is my wish you girls continue to live in my old house, occupying your rooms until you see fit to move or you manage to catch CC and talked him into more than friendship. The house is to be under CC’s control and his primary residence, however, should he decide to move into it. I know he’s always liked the old place and, since he’s the manager of the business now, it’s only fitting he have primary residence there.

“Girls, CC and the Trust Company have control of your share of the trust until such time as you graduate college or turn 25 years of age. You may withdraw no more than the monthly income of your share of the trust each month, subject to approval of the trustees AND after your approved monthly expenses are met, including education expenses. Upon obtaining a Bachelors degree from an accredited 4 year institution or attaining age 25, you may continue receiving the pro rata share of the trust income and pay your own living expenses, or you may withdraw your entire remaining share of the trust, never to be due anything further from the fund.”

After reading the letter to everyone, he gave each of the parties a copy of it and their personal letter from Randy. He then leaned back in his chair and said, “I’m not sure any of you know the extent of Mr. Rodgers holdings. Cecil, since you are now primary trustee and manager of the business, you’ll become very familiar with them quickly. In brief, the trust owns the Salvage yard, house, interests in two small businesses nearby–Sonny’s Fuel Stop and Terry’s Auto Parts. Additionally, the largest holding is the Riverside Country Club.”

CC and the girls gasped at that revelation. Cari said, “You’re kidding! Daddy always made fun of them and complained about the waste of land, time and money that went into that place.”

“No, I’m not kidding. You’re right, Mr. Rodgers did dislike the club and had limited respect for many of the members. He always laughed at the amount ‘those idiots’ as he called them, paid him every month for the privilege of playing silly games and telling each other how much better than the peons they were. He always demanded everything he could every time the lease on the land came up for renewal and cackled when he saw the bank deposits.”

CC and the girls returned to the business after the meeting and sat in Randy’s (now CC’s) office. There were occasional tears and periods of silence while they discussed the future. CC did ask, at one point, “Well, you each probably have enough income to go to college now instead of work here in the businesses. I know its too soon to make a decision but think about what you want for your future. I need to spend a lot of time going through the books and records. I had no idea just how much property and how many businesses Randy owned. I thought the salvage yard was his only income and always wondered how he lived so well on it.

“I also want to do a major renovation of the old house it that’s ok with you two. That could be a beautiful house again even considering its proximity to the salvage yard here. I think there’s enough vegetation between them the yard won’t detract from what I would like to do to it.”

CC spent many hours going through the books, paperwork and meeting with various people involved in business ventures Randy (now the trust) was involved in. He took great delight in studying the documents on the country club. He found the lease on the club was a very substantial amount each year, installments payable monthly. Additionally, should the club default on the payments, the entire set up including the buildings paid for by the club would revert ownership back to the trust. Any beneficiary of the trust had a complimentary full membership to the club as well.

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