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Theodore Bogart, AKA Roland Hopkins





            Theodore Bogart


Theodore Bogart, also known as Roland (Rolly) Hopkins, is a successful newspaper publisher whose background (way back) included Lay preaching, and he came very close to becoming a fulltime minister. Instead, he spent five years as a radio disc jockey, successfully feeding and clothing a wife and three children. Fun, fun, fun. Much more fun than publishing a deadlined weekly newspaper. He also dabbled in professional horse racing, winning (as an owner) over 300 races and having a horse nominated for the Kentucky Derby (the dream of every owner, breeder and trainer). More fun, fun, fun, but no profit. profit, profit. Rolly’s real passion was and is writing fiction, and this book is his latest attempt at new fun.

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/Rollyhopkins
https://www.facebook.com/roland.hopkins.1


New Title(s) from Theodore Bogart

Altruism Costs a Life or More by Theodore Bogart
Order the Print Book of Altruism (Coming Soon!)

 

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Altruism Costs a Life or More by Theodore Bogart

The 7 deadly sins count against you at death—does altruism change anything?

A man drowns saving a little girl from the same fate on a freezing wintry day. He returns to earth after his death for a big lesson. Will he be able to step into someone else's life and achieve redemption?

                                                                          Excerpt
Word Count: 29232
Pages to Print: 96
File Format: PDF
Price: $3.99
         

   
   
Altruism Costs a Life or More by Theodore Bogart Order Altruism Costs a Life or More in Print (COMING SOON!) ISBN: 978-1-61950-296-3
   

Excerpts

Altruism Costs a Life or More
 
Chapter One

FADE IN ON A SUNNY WINTER DAY—CAPE COD, MASSACHUSETTS—DOWN A BUSY HIGHWAY AIMING FOR A LARGE AUTO BRIDGE HEADED ACROSS THE CAPE COD CANAL INTO SANDWICH—THE FIRST CAPE TOWN SITTING NEXT TO THE ATLANTIC OCEAN ON THE LEFT, AND TO ALL NATIVES AND VISITORS PATTI PAGE IS SINGING HER FAMOUS FOREVER POPULAR VERSION OF OLD CAPE COD.

“If you’re fond of sand dunes and salty air, quaint little villages here and there, you’re sure to fall in love with old Cape Cod.”

THE 1985 WINTERTIME SUN BEATS DOWN on a frigid Cape Cod Sunday morning—the ocean white-capped and frigid looking. Patches of snow sparsely paint the flat region’s canvas. An inexpensive, small, two-story Ranch House sits next to and across the street from duplicate constructions built and sold forty years ago right after World War 2.

This particular backyard contains an old broken swing and slide set, a stone cookout fireplace, a small doghouse, and a net-less basketball hoop hanging crookedly from a branchless tree. A wide, curtained picture window hides a modestly furnished living room where a heavyset man in his mid-fifties sits on a frayed divan eating his breakfast and drinking a Pepsi. He’s wearing an LL Bean woolen lumber jacket and a backward Red Sox baseball cap. He’s watching on his sixteen-inch, black and white TV screen, his favorite show—The Three Stooges—Larry, Moe, and Jerome Lester Horowitz, better known as just Curly. Our Moe is chuckling as the three crazies sock, yuk, and fling pies at each other.

Entering the room carrying a tray of two helpings of eggs and bacon, along with several muffins, is a much overweight woman wearing an unattractive Mu-Mu. She sits beside her mate of many years, Moses Archer, local carpenter, and lifetime resident of Sandwich, Massachusetts.

“We could go to church,” she says in sort of a pleading soft voice. “You could still see the Pats play this afternoon.”

Moses Archer looks away from the TV screen, snuffs out a half smoked Lucky Strike in a cluttered coffee-table ashtray, and plants a light kiss on his wife’s sagging cheek. “You go,” he says. “I’ll go with you next week. I promise.”

Out of her view he has his fingers crossed.

“You promised last week,” she grumbles at him. “I miss going with you. The first ten years of our marriage you used to go at least once a month. Now. Never.”

“We’ve been married over thirty years, dear,” Moses says. “The reason I went was to make you happy, and now I don’t think I even remember the Lord’s Prayer. In 1962, the stupid Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional to start the school day with the Lord’s Prayer. And, I hate to admit it, but this country has been going down the drain ever since.”

A built-in wall bookcase containing several framed photos dominates the decor.

“And I like eating Sunday breakfast here,” Moses says, pointing at the wall. “It brings back all our good memories. Look at that one.” He points to an eight by ten black and white showing him as a teenager with wavy black hair, a muscled body, wearing a football uniform, and a big smile. A caption under the photo reads:

DIVISION III HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL CHAMPIONS 1948
MOSES ARCHER QUARTERBACK, CAPTAIN

A second frame depicts several high school cheerleaders forming a pyramid. The attractive girl on top resembles Moses’s dowdy wife, but is well formed, thin, bright and pretty. The caption reads:

1948 SANDWICH HIGH SCHOOL CHEERLEADERS SQUAD

“Remember when you looked like that, dear? A movie star.”
The third photo is a typical wedding shot—Moses in a white tux, and his young wife beaming. Upon closer examination, her waist appears quite thick in relation to the cheerleading picture. The caption reads:

MOSES AND SUSAN TIE THE KNOT, SEPT. 23,1949

Another photo shows a heavier Susan holding a smiling baby on her lap. Then one shows an even larger Susan holding another baby. A thick wooden frame depicts a Little League baseball team with two young boys and Moses as coach.

SANDWICH LITTLE LEAGUE CHAMPS, 1961

A clock gongs ten times. The Stooges show ends and a film noir movie is announced. Susan switches the channel to a religious show—the preacher asking for donations.

Moses takes a final bite of a muffin, buttons up his jacket, pockets his cigarettes, plants a kiss on top of Susan’s head, and walks to the front door.

“Can’t you kiss any better than that?” his wife asks. “And do you have go to the Legion every Sunday? It is the Lord’s Day, you know.”

Moses turns. “I work my ass off all week so you can live in this luxury, so this is the one day I can let loose and enjoy my friends. Nothing personal, dear. Nothing personal.”

“And when’s the last time we made love?” she leans forward and asks. “I forget what it feels like. Some of my friends still do it—ya know?”

Moses forces a cough. “When I get home, dear. We’ll talk about it when I get home.”
His wife frowns and waves her hands—one holding a Bible, and the other giving her husband the finger.

Moses slams the door behind himself, walks across a frozen lawn, and climbs into his old two-door pick-up truck, starts it up, and pulls out of the driveway. A sign of the side door of the truck reads:

MOSES ARCHER EXPERT CARPENTER

Moses cracks open a can of Budweiser and switches on the radio to the sound of the Sunday football station. Every Sunday during football season Moses spends the day at the Legion with his buddies—drinks beer, plays cards, watches the game, and gambles—nickel/dime stuff. Harmless fun.

He turns up the radio station to hear the announcer. “So Steve Grogan will be leading the Pats against the Stealers in today’s game. Starting time is an hour away. Still a few choice seats remain.”

Moses lights up another cigarette, takes a deep drag, blows a ring, and then tries to blow a smaller one through it. Great trick if I can ever learn it, he thinks to himself. I caught that new waitress at the Hamburg Shop eyeing me. A cool trick like this would get her attention. But I don’t think I could ever cheat on Susan. Never have yet. Wish she’d lose some of that damn weight. Then we could have some fun like in the old days.

Moses travels down a small highway road dotted with an occasional cottage. The ocean and the wide beach is on his right, and the town up ahead is still a few miles away featuring the local Catholic Church, high school, legion, and stores surrounding a gazebo-centered park. His truck swings around several cranberry bogs, and then a large pond—in the Winter always bustling with skating activity. Some people wave at Moses as he slows down and drives by. He opens his window and waves back, recognizing several faces. A few are jumping up and down, and another few seem to be calling to him. He stops, and backs up. He cranks open his window all the way.

The hands waving at him appear frantic, rather than recognizing hellos, how’re doin? Several point to the ice, yelling for help.

Moses swerves off the road toward the pond, and stops next to the sand that leads to the frozen water. He hops out of his truck facing a bunch of frightened, out of control neighbors.

“Linda Cross, Linda Cross,” one elderly woman cries out. “She fell through the ice. She’s drowning.”

“Where? Where?” Moses asks, his breath coming out as cold steam.

Several people point to a large hole in the ice, maybe twenty yards off the cold, sandy beach. “There. There. She just disappeared a few minutes ago.”

Moses throws off his LL Bean jacket and kicks off his shoes. “Little kids can’t drown in this town,” he says, almost breathless. “Things like that don’t happen here. Only on TV.”

He runs across the sand, and then across the ice, slipping and sliding on his butt a few times about twenty yards out onto the frozen pond. He stops in front of a cracked ice hole—maybe six feet in diameter. He leans over, lays flat on his stomach, and reaches as deep as his arms will allow, hoping to feel the little girl’s body.

“Ouch. Damn.” Unfortunately, the frozen water, better known as ice, is surprisingly as sharp as glass, and carves a deep slit into his hand. He yells another ouch and damn, but continues, and reaches nothing.

Now he stands straight up, looks at his bloody hand, feeling the blood starting to freeze, takes a deep breath, and dives straight down—mentally praying that it isn’t too deep. He furiously feels around, reaching at least seven feet to the muddy bottom. He can’t see anything—only feel. He stretches out his arms, furiously groping—gropes more, kicks, and grabs.

He finds nothing solid.
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