I don’t know how we got here but the last episode is here.
So there we were sitting in a roadside diner about twenty minutes from Woodstock, not just the place where the concert happened, the actual concert. We’d borrowed a motorcycle from one of the camps set up on the outskirts of the concert grounds, well fields that had been taken over by crowds, and fled the scene. It cost Téa twenty dollars but the bike was on it’s way back to where we’d borrowed it from, we were sitting in the diner and Téa had just ordered us both something to eat.
I asked Téa what was going on as soon as the waitress left and we were alone. I wanted answers, how we got to Woodstock was but one of them. Obviously it had something to do with the strange dial she sent to me in mail and something to do with the way I turned the arm on the dial but what was it?
“It’s so good to see you! It’s been way too long buddy.” Téa said with a smile from across the table.
“Yeah you look great, your age is starting to show, but you still look great.”
“And I see you haven’t lost any of you cheekiness.”
“Cheekiness? I was offering you a compliment!”
I don’t know if Téa was nervous and talking her way around the situation at hand like I was or I f she were just having some friendly banter, but the thing was I did want answers so I knew the fun games had to stop.
“Since when has telling a lady she’s old been considered a compliment?” Téa asked with a grin.
“Lady? But I’ve only talked to you!” I kept talking quickly to stop Téa reacting. “And besides, did you miss the bit where I said you looked great? I actually said it twice!”
“So I’m a great looking old lady? You haven’t lost any of your Aussie charm!”
Maybe there was a bit more to the fun and games that I might have suggested.
“I didn’t call you old! I said you’re starting to show your age. Maybe I think you look twenty five!”
“Good save buddy but I wasn’t born yesterday!” Téa said.
“I know, it was actually a lot longer ago!” I responded quietly. “Hey, speaking of things younger than you how about you tell me what we are doing at Woodstock and how we got here?”
Téa laughed, despite the age difference between us, which wasn’t much, and her occasional insistence that she was older that religion, then in the same breath younger than my underwear, she did have a good sense of humour.
“I think I should have sent that parcel to someone else, maybe someone who respects their elders!”
“Come on Gramma, you know there is only a few years between us, quit with the stalling and tell me what the hell is going on or I’m outta here!” I said not quite thinking about what I was saying.
“Well off ya go Mick!” She was of course referring to Mick Dundee from the movie Crocodile Dundee, it was her little put down for me since I was an Aussie. “Just jump on your kangaroo and ride on into the sunset!” Sometimes I actually wondered if Téa did think we all rode kangaroos to work and chased water buffalo on the weekends for fun.
Just as I was about to make another silly comment, hoping t nudge Téa closer to telling the story, the waitress brought two plates and two drinks toward us. There was a burger and some chips on each plate and a brown liquid which was no doubt Coke in the glasses. The waitress placed the meals on the table then turned around and headed off towards another customer.
“Didn’t think you drank Coke? Wasn’t it you that said it was some sort of evil nectar that was invented by the government to reprogram people’s minds?” I said with a smirk on my face.
“Oh, so not only am I old, but I’m a fruitcake too?”
“One without the nuts!” Despite trying to eat I decided to try again for the story of what we were doing in 1969 America. “So what are we doing in 1969 America?”
Finally, between mouthfuls Téa decided it was time to tell me what was going on.
She’d been researching the strange clock, I really had to stop referring to it as that, no one still thinks it’s a clock. Anyway, she’d been researching it for several years, her great grandmother entrusted her with the story on her death bed. At first Téa didn’t believe the story, thought they were the ramblings of a dear old lady happy to have someone listen to her. It wasn’t until she was going through her great grand mothers things after her death that Téa found a picture of the dial and some instructions on where to find it.
“Of course I didn’t automatically assume her story was right.” Téa said before continuing.
It had taken her several weeks before the information and the picture finally burrowed far enough into Téa’s thinking, but soon enough it got there and then she had a hard time ignoring what the dear old lady had told her.
The notes she’d been left were well detailed and very easy to understand the problem was that by the time Téa had gotten around to working everything out, getting the time off work and gotten on the trail of the prize it was gone.
“I was initially upset that I didn’t find it but was not overly concerned and I returned home thinking that the chase had been good while it lasted but despite it not ending perfectly, it was over.”
But as you know the story wasn’t. Several weeks after the unsuccessful efforts to find the strange dial Téa found another note from her great grandmother, this one had been hidden in a book, a novel, her great grandmother’s favourite, Little Women. The note was a long one, explaining where she’d found the strange dial, what it did and how to track it down if it came into the position of someone else.
It was the instructions in that letter than led Téa directly to the yard sale where she found the strange dial for sale. Thankfully the old lady selling it knew nothing about it and was happy to sell it cheaply
“The scariest part of the letter was the way Grammy described the old gypsy like woman that would also be looking for the clock.” Téa said after drinking the last of her drink.
“The old lady back at Woodstock?” I asked totally shocked.
“Yeah, I couldn’t believe it when I saw her. All I could think of was to get the hell out of there but when she followed me I had no idea what to do until I saw the post office. That’s when I decided to send it to you.”
“Why me? Why not any of your other friends? You knew it wasn’t a clock so you didn’t send it to me for that reason.”
“Of course not, it was partly because of the distance, partly because I knew the old lady would have trouble tracing you, but mostly because you’re fun. I figured who better to join me on this ride than someone who is fun and you fit that bill Mick!”