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"After all, how hard would it be to fake some important stationery and use my own greed against me to lure me in? I certainly didn’t want a repeat of the ‘perfume’ incident, though it might be interesting to see who would rescue me this time."

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06 – Trust

Mom and Hoyt were already long gone for work one morning.  It was mid-July and I was still sleeping in late in the mornings—part of the novelty of nowhere to be while school was out for the summer.  There was bright, annoying light flooding all around the edges of my “room darkening” shades (a misnomer if ever there was one) making me feel awake, when all I really wanted was to keep dreaming.

So now I was just lying there with a pillow over my head.  Adding to my annoyance with the present alignment of the solar system, my own body was rebelling. My back was starting to ache the way it does when I’ve been in bed for too long; a similar phenomenon was occurring with my bladder.

As I continued to lay there, laziness still winning out over annoyance and discomfort, I heard the familiar sound of the mail truck working its way up the street.  My mind was drifting and it reminded me of a conversation I’d once had with my mom about Postal Service vehicles. 

“For one thing,” I began “you’d think they would buy American.” 

Her expression remained politely attentive, though she stared slightly through me.

“You know, right side steering wheels?  British, obviously,” I continued. 

Her eyebrow raised a fraction.

“And then they aren’t equipped with standard mufflers, the kind that muffle sound,” I added with a smile, amusing myself.


Her reply was a little uncertain, as though she was just now tuning in.

“Think about it…the sound, I mean.  You can always hear the mail truck coming.  Nothing else sounds like that, right?” I ventured.

She was looking at me but seeing something far away now as I waited for acknowledgement of my important findings.  Refocusing her eyes on my face she offered, “I gueeessss.”

 Her tone added the “Whatever sweetheart.  I wish for your sake that you weren’t so strange.”

That conversation had taken place before Grandpa died.  I chuckled to myself imagining how different her response would have been if I had brought it up more recently.  She’d be totally zoned in, and ridiculously enthusiastic.  She’d probably even throw me in the car and run me to the post office to arrange a tour and a ride-with. 

I snapped back to the present.  

Was that the doorbell?  

As if in answer to my question, there was a quiet knock downstairs.  I jumped out of bed, fully dressed—from yesterday.  I didn’t go anywhere or sweat, so what’s the difference?

He must have known I was in there.  I thought for sure he’d be heading back to his truck on the street.  But he was still patiently waiting for me on the porch when I got to the door after what seemed like a long time to me.

“Good mornin’,” he began.  “I have a certified letter for uh…” he looked down to read it, “Eee…lary Mayne?”

He seemed to question his pronunciation, rightly so.

“Um, yes.  That’s me,” I replied.

“All righty then.”

He secured the envelope to a clipboard and handed it to me.  There was a pen with a dirty looking string duct taped to its top that secured it to the board.

“I just need your signature right here,” he said as he pointed to the line on the green form that was affixed to the front of the letter. 

I made a mental note to be sure to wash my hands first thing; no telling how many germs were on that pen.

Once I signed, he tore the form off along the perforations.  Then he handed me my letter and slipped the green form with my proof of delivery signature into an envelope taped to the clipboard.

“You have a good day now,” he offered cheerfully and headed to his truck. 

He got back in and though my door was closed now, I could tell when he stepped on the gas.

My eyes turned to the upper left corner of the envelope. 

“The Bank of Louisville?”

I checked the address line.  Sure enough, it was addressed to “Ms. Ellery S. Mayne, 2300 Epton Lane, Louisville…


I went to the kitchen to open it.  First I washed up.  Then I opened the knife drawer.  It was one of my many and oddball pet peeves to see people (well, primarily my mother) rip open and destroy perfectly good envelopes when it was so much neater to just use a letter opener.  We didn’t have a letter opener, however, so I guess I could understand my mom’s method, to an extent.  But we did have knives, and they worked remarkably well for this purpose.

Inside this intriguing envelope was a single sheet, more Bank of Louisville letterhead.  It notified me of a trust that had been established in my name and that now I was of legal age I needed to meet with the trust administrator to discuss my rights and obligations. 


It was signed by Dwight Matthews, Legal Counsel, Trust Administration Department.


I picked up the phone and started dialing.  The number connected me with his pleasantly efficient sounding assistant.  I told her my name and she put me through directly.

“Hello Ms. Mayne.  Thank you for calling so promptly.  I’d like to meet with you as soon as possible to discuss your trust.  And I’m sure you have a number of questions for me.”

He had a very friendly and relaxed manner, which put me at ease.

“Uh…yes sir…I suppose I do.” 

He didn’t know it, but I was still cruising in shy mode.

“Well that’s completely understandable.  Now how soon can you meet with me?” he asked.

“Um…I’m available today, but I don’t drive,” I informed on myself.

He chuckled a little, no doubt at my greedy enthusiasm and said, “Oh, that’s not a problem.  I can send a car for you if you’d like.”

Although this had the feel of legitimacy, I decided to use common sense and some caution.  After all, how hard would it be to fake some important stationery and use my own greed against me to lure me in?  I certainly didn’t want a repeat of the ‘perfume’ incident, though it might be interesting to see who would rescue me this time.

“No, that’s okay.  I can get a ride.  What time should I meet you?”  I countered.

“I’ve got an opening from noon to two o’clock today.  I was going to order in some lunch for my staff today.  You can join us, if you’d like, then we can talk after that,” he offered, putting me at ease again. 

He had a really nice sounding voice.  If he looked anything like he sounded he would be very handsome.

I agreed and he gave me detailed directions to his downtown office on Broadway, and his direct line in case I got lost.  I thought about calling Hoyt and asking him to drive me down there, and then maybe we could stop over and see Mom at the library afterwards.  Hoyt could come and go from work as he pleased unless he had a specific meeting on his schedule.  He was always pleasantly willing to help me out on spur of the moment chauffeuring requests.  And that was even before I became so mental.  Now he and Mom both practically tripped over each other to comply whenever I asked to be taken somewhere, which admittedly, was rare these days.

But then my thoughts took a different tack.  This business about me being of legal age must have started a mental ball rolling up there.  It seemed like this was something I should go and see to all by myself. 

There was only about an hour and a half until noon. 

A game plan began to take shape in my mind.  I hopped in for a quick shower.  Then I blew dry and fussed with my hair until it was perfectly smooth and twisted into a braid down my back.  I decided that this occasion called for better clothes than what was available in my closet.  So I picked out an ensemble of my mom’s that had looked great on her.  Once I had that all in place I decided that I was going to have to put on some makeup, too.  Since I didn’t have any of my own, I picked through her cosmetics drawer until I had made the amateurish improvements I thought I required.  Then I did something very grown up—something I’d never done before—I called a taxi.

I felt absolutely ridiculous wearing a hat, but at the same time I didn’t think I could pull off the outfit without it.  It looked best with the hat, I assured myself, and I purposely turned the volume down on the internal critical commentary that was beginning to sound alarmingly like an episode of “What Not To Wear.”

Besides, a hat helped to obscure and offset my extremely youthful face and hairstyle—in fact that had been the point of the whole ensemble and the motive for raiding Mom’s closet in the first place.

I pulled out five twenties from the stash in my dresser, not certain what it cost to be driven back and forth downtown, and wished that I would have gotten my license two years ago like a normal teenager—I even had a perfectly good Jeep waiting for me in the garage!  Well, it was too late to lament my stunted development today.

It was unusually mild, probably after so much rain this week, so I spent the last few moments anticipating the arrival of the taxi on our front porch, stepping out into the sun to warm up a little.  As I lifted my face to the warm rays of sun, I had to smile when I thought about what my mom’s face would look like if she saw me at this moment, especially dressed in her outfit and then riding away in a cab. 

Just then the taxi pulled in and I moved off the porch and out to the drive, hopping in the back, only to face more uncertainty.

“You headin’ to Churchill Downs?” asked the cab driver, an older gentleman, who apparently was retired from his stint in the band ZZ Top. 

If I could have chosen my own cab in which to ride, based on the appearance of the chauffeur, this one would not have made the cut.  It was a clear case of pognophobia (fear of beards).

“No.  Downtown.  Five hundred Broadway, please.” 

He shrugged, as if disappointed, and backed the car out of the driveway.  I smiled to myself when, as we were getting on the highway, he turned his music back up and sure enough, ‘Legs’ was vibrating out of the speakers.

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The ride downtown went fast.  I wondered what my watchers were making of this. It was completely off the charts as far as activity went for me.  I’d purposely stayed out of sight in the beginning, self-conscious about being observed, and certain my awkward embarrassment would tip them off that I knew I was being surveilled.  Unfortunately, they didn’t give up because I was boring, and cabin fever finally won out over stage fright.  It occurred to me that since they had saved my life, I probably owed it to them to be a little more interesting.  That being the case, I enjoyed a bit of satisfaction thinking that today’s adventure would have multiple benefits.

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