The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

November 1, 2010

Chapter 9, As the Small Town Turns

Cynthia Boris, guest writer
CNHI

— This wasn’t the first time that Raquel’s Mom and Dad had their sleep interrupted by “The Rock.”

Little Rock, Jr. –– “RJ” –– had come into the living room, dragging his blankey behind him. “Mommy, Mommy, there’s a boogie man at the window.”

Usually, RJ fell asleep on the couch in the living room, watching the Weather Channel with his mom, and not on the mattress in the bedroom he shared with his little sister, Roxy. Tonight, once again, it seemed like his over-active imagination had kicked in.

Raquel tried to calm him, telling him “Be quiet, honey, the grown-ups are talking now. There’s no such thing as a boogieman. Go lie down on the couch.”

After Raquel’s parents calmed down and left, Buck pulled out the recliner so it faced the front door. “I believe I’ll keep watch a little while longer in case Mr. Hunka-Hunka makes a return visit.”

Raquel agreed and curled up on the couch beside R.J., pulling a throw over them. It felt good to have a man in the house again, she thought, as she drifted off into a peaceful sleep. Vaguely, she felt a fresh breeze blowing across her face and wondered where it was coming from.

Buck whispered, “I could get used to this,” and picked up a magazine and started flipping through it. He tried to be very quiet so he wouldn’t wake the little guy. After awhile, he dozed.

Meanwhile, Rock was headed towards Branson with his bundle of joy, little Roxanne Marie, tossing fretfully in the sleeper cab. He had heard somewhere that young kids liked cherry Vodka in their sippy cups to help them sleep, but unfortunately, he didn’t have any in the cab. He’d have to pull over at the next liquor store.

Normally, Rock would stop in Memphis instead of just passing through, to pay his respects at Graceland and to “channel the King,” but today he was on a mission. His lifetime dream of being inducted into the Worldwide Elvis Performer’s Hall of Fame was about to become a reality. He could just feel it in his bones.