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.
New Title(s) from Theodore Bogart
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|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
Word Count: 29232
Pages to Print: 96
File Format: PDF
||Order Altruism Costs a Life or More in Print
(COMING SOON!) ISBN: 978-1-61950-296-3
Altruism Costs a Life or
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
“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
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
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
“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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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.
Altruism Costs a Life or More