The Supreme Court of the United States. Chief Clerk for the Chief Justice of the United States. Wow, couldn't that go to your head easily? One year out of law school and I was headed for the top. The first graduate from any law school in the Dakotas to clerk for a Justice of the Supreme Court. I walked home from my first day on the job and Tim greeted me at the door with a telegram signed by Prexy and Hamilton:
THE ENTIRE UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY IS PROUD OF YOU STOP DONT FORGET WHERE YOU CAME FROM AND COME BACK SOON STOP PREXY AND HAMILTON
I asked Tim, "Who the Hell is Hamilton?"
"I'm pretty sure that's Dean Hamilton Fry. If I had that name I'd rather be 'Dean Fry' any day, but it appears that he's inviting you to be on a first name basis with him."
"How did they know today was my first day?"
"Charlie, everyone - well, every lawyer - knows that clerkships begin on the first day of the October term. October first is the first day. Duh."
"Tim, my ego is bursting, knock me down a peg or two."
"Now you know how I feel at gymnastics meets. It's an occupational hazzard. Live with it. Work hard at not changing."
"You've worked hard on that through the years, haven't you?"
"Yes. And, Charlie, you've been a big help. You've always accepted me for who I am; never inflated my ego, never torn me down. God, I love you."
The kiss lasted a while!
The weekend was strange. Tim seemed distracted. He made a number of strange phone calls and avoided telling me what they were about. Monday was the first sitting day for the Court in the October term. There was a lot of excitement around the building, especially for us new guys. But by 2:30 things had calmed down. Justice Clark called me into his office and said, "We're quitting early today. The Court's having a picnic at the Red Pavilion in Rock Creek Park. Be there by four."
How could the Court have planned a picnic and I not known about it? Well, I'd just been on board for three days; it'd obviously been planned ahead. I wondered if every new clerk was as surprised as I was. There didn't seem to be anybody around to ask, so I headed home. I took a taxi, because I needed to hurry if I was going to get changed and make it to the park on time. Then I wondered how I was going to contact Tim. Surely he'd want to join the picnic.
Tim was home ahead of me, dressed for a picnic - shorts, UND T-shirt, and a Senators baseball cap. "How the Hell did you know to dress for a picnic?"
"I'm psychic." I should've tumbled right then that something unusual was in the air, but I just assumed that either Justice Clark or Sherm had tipped him off. It never occurred to me that it was the other way around.
We headed for the park, and finally found the Red Pavilion. It was empty except for Ricky Steele. He grinned and said, "The picnic got moved over there, the other side of that hill."
"What're you doing here?" I asked.
"Giving you directions. Now let's get going." Tim took one hand and Ricky the other and I was pulled very quickly up the hill to the next, larger, pavilion, where there was also a bandstand. The pavilion was full of people. First I saw all nine supreme court justices and their clerks. Then I saw Franklin and Phil and realized the Gang was here. My parents - I was beginning to think of Mom and Fred as parents; Norman and Betsy. Susan Wilfield. Mike. I quickly gave up looking. I turned to Tim and said, "What the Hell?" Then it hit me. It was October 5. My birthday. October 5, 1970, my thirtieth birthday. All of a sudden the whole gang was singing "Happy Birthday to Charlie." I was in tears.
Then I was in the center of a huge crowd, hugging me, patting me on the back, squeezing my dick (I'm convinced that was Franklin but he maintains his innocence), congratulating me. Several reminded me that no one over thirty can be trusted! Then Tim was hoisted up on a table, and the Chief Justice of the United States, dressed in jeans and a polo shirt, got out a gavel and demanded order and silence for Tim. Only he could've gotten it in that crowd, but he did get silence. Tim spoke:
"Happy Birthday, Charlie!
"Friends, just over nine years ago Charlie walked into my life. My world turned upside down, starting with being flat out head over heels in love with the guy. I didn't just meet Charlie. On the same day I met Tom, Jim, Andy, Ronnie, Hal and Franklin. Nine years later that Gang of eight has expanded to twenty, and all twenty are here today to celebrate Charlie's magical thirtieth birthday. Everything about Charlie is superlative: The best camp counselor in the world; Olympic gold medalist and archery Olympic record holder; author; respected Lincoln archivist; summa cum laude law graduate and editor of the Law Review; Chief Clerk to the Chief Justice of the United States; and most important of all, my partner, lover, companion, inspiration, and best friend. I love you, Charlie. We all love you, Charlie. And now my brother Carl has a couple of words to say."
Eat we did. The old saying that the tables groaned could only have described this feast. There was Warren carving the beef. Mr. Halversham was serving roast lamb. Felix presided over Cornish game hens. I recognized several others from Halversham's in chef's hats, and Alice's two cooks were serving salad. As I accepted a serving of roast lamb in an exotic (and probably secret) sauce, I asked "Who's minding the store, or restaurant?"
"Closed for the day. Special occasion. My favorite customer only has one thirtieth birthday, and I sure wasn't going to miss it."
Tim told me later that it hadn't even occurred to him to invite Mr. Halversham, but he had asked Halversham's advice about catering. In a matter of seconds the food responsibility had passed from Tim to Halversham, and no further discussion was permitted. Tim had no idea what kind of a bill we might get, but Halversham was Halversham. We never got a bill.
Halversham had recruited Warren to help, and Alice had contributed her staff. When Felix got his invitation he insisted on being part of the dinner, and Halversham fitted him into the plan, making one of Felix' specialities.
Both Lyndon and Lady Bird were present, and that meant that the Secret Service were all over the place. They weren't checking IDs, but they had requested that Tim provide pictures of everyone in advance. Lyndon came up and patted me on the back and said, "Guts and balls; that's what you've got. When I said, 'I owe you one,' I never expected to be called on it. God am I glad I was. Your success brightens my tarnished image, boy. I love it. What a shindig. We never had this big a splash down at the ranch. I haven't been to a thing like this since that Goddamn Nixon tossed me out of the White House. Feels good. Tell Tim thanks for the invite."
Alice was, of course, working the crowd like a politician. She enjoyed being a guest at a party where she was, just a little bit, a hostess. I tried to count senators and got to eleven, but I think I missed one or two. Goldwater was there, enjoying himself immensely. At one point he and Johnson were observed talking to each other. It may have been the first such occasion since Lyndon left the presidency. They both seemed willing to let old animosities rest. Sherm commented, "In a theater you don't shout, 'Fire!' and in this setting you don't even think the words Viet Nam.
Politicians like to run and jog. I think it's because they're seen by the press as they cruise down city streets, and their hard work in a gym or home would be missed. A couple of the serious runners discovered Hal in the crowd, and he created a sensation. It was soon planned that he would lead a several mile run, starting on the National Mall about 6:30 the next morning. It wasn't long before someone figured out that Jim was, in fact, a fourth Olympic medalist in the crowd. It was fun to see judges, senators, staffers, and other high muckity mucks struggling to get key autographs. Of course, they were all being sought for their sons, daughters, nephews, grandchildren, etc. Never for themselves!
There was a bandstand, and who else was center stage but Chubby Checker? Alice's party a year ago had led the way, and now a lot of Washington was doing the twist. Chubby had a microphone, so was able to silence the crowd fairly easily. He invited Tim and me up to the small dance floor that had been laid out in front of the bandstand. The he announced, "A year ago Tim and Charlie told me that they had a special love of the twist because the moves for men and women were exactly the same. Folks, let's watch Tim and Charlie, and 'Let's Do the Twist'."
We did, with enthusiasm. We'd long since given up worrying about possible reaction to gay lovers dancing. Besides, everyone here knew us and were our friends. Mike's picture didn't make the cover, but it made Time's 'Law' section, along with a pretty good article, written by Susan. She did not, however, get a by-line. It would be a few years before Time started using by-lines.
I looked up and workmen were stringing Japanese lanterns. Evidently the party was going to go into the night. It seems that the necessary National Park Service permit to use lights and go into the evening wasn't much of a problem for Tim: he'd simply asked Chief Justice Clark to sign the application. Not only was it approved, it took exactly three hours and twelve minutes to get the approval telephone call from the Director of the National Park Service, who was intensely curious about how Tim had gotten the Chief Justice involved. Tim told him the whole story and invited him and his wife to the party; they came.
Tim had bargained with the Secret Service. When they'd asked for pictures, he had, of course, agreed. But he asked them for pictures of some of the people - like the Park Service Director, and quite a few wives - he didn't know. They were happy to supply him, and as a result he was able to walk up to people and call them by name even though he hadn't met them before. No wonder everybody loved him. Alice told him later that that kind of effort probably did more for his popularity in Washington than anything else he did. She added, "But I never thought of using the Secret Service as the source of pictures. What a great idea!"
All good things must come to an end, and this ended with Chubby Checker and the band playing Auld Lang Syne to a twist beat. Tim and I danced till the last note.
As we shook hands with the more than 150 persons present, I asked Tim, "Where's everybody staying?"
"They all made their own arrangements, but tonight all twenty of the Gang are going to be at our house. I haven't the slightest idea how we're going to decide who sleeps with whom or in what bed, but we'll make them fit."
My family came up, led by Mom and Fred, with both brothers and their wives in their wake. It was nice to see Gill and Anita. Irma said later that after the reports of their previous visit Anita wasn't about to be left out. Mom said, "My goodness, half of Washington is out here to wish my boy Happy Birthday. What a memory. I called both the News and the Star and said that I was going to be at a pretty special party for one of Indianapolis' own, wouldn't they like to cover it? The News wasn't interested, but the Star said they had a stringer in Washington; who should he contact? I sent him to Tim.
Tim said, "He called. And he's here. He didn't bring a photographer, but I've seen him talking with Mike. He'll get pictures. The Washington Post is here too. This'll get good coverage."
Mom said, "Tim and Charlie, I'm still getting used to this. No, I'll never get used to this. Fred, keep me from floating away on the clouds."
Fred came up to me and said, "I'm learning, Charlie. Happy Birthday." That was followed by a most enthusiastic kiss, right on the lips, tongue wiggling inside, and not a bit of embarrassment."
"I love ya, Fred," was my response, "You got it right."
Chubby Checker came up and wished me Happy Birthday. Tim rushed up to thank him for playing. He responded, "I wouldn't have missed it for the world. Fabulous PR for me, and for the twist. You guys are two of my best salesmen."
Chief Justice Clark came up and said, "No work tomorrow, Charlie. Spend some time with that Gang of yours. I'll see you Wednesday."
Senator Goldwater came over and said, "Happy Birthday. You two guys really know how to throw a party. You're the best thing that's hit Washington in years. Are you two going to run with your friend Hal in the morning?"
I said, "We almost have to. In the crowd I expect in the morning, even I'll be able to keep up."
"I think I'll leave that to the young kids. Charlie, that may not include you anymore."
"Don't remind me."
"If I don't, Tim will."
"Good night, Charlie. Tell Tim thanks for the invitation."
Tim had given the Gang good instructions for getting to our house, and some ideas of where they could park - never easy in Georgetown. With the crowd thinned out, we headed to our car and home. En route I asked Tim how he'd managed to get the entire Gang to Washington. He responded, "Who did you think might stay away? If this party had been in China they'd all have made it."
"What about Tom? He's in the Air Force; he can't just pick up and leave."
"He's stationed at Edwards Air Force Base in California; he's a budget officer there. He gets leave like you get vacation. He didn't have any trouble getting away. He would've flown on a military jet, but Nancy would've had too low a priority to be sure that they'd make the party. So they flew commercial."
"Tina and Merle? I thought they were in Paris."
"When they heard about this party they delayed their departure. They gave up their apartment in New York just two days ago, came here, and are flying to Paris from Washington."
"This is all so unreal."
"Charlie, you don't really understand how much this Gang loves you, and how much they feel you are responsible for so much that is good in their lives."
"Tina? She was your girlfriend."
"She's never gotten over the fact that you were willing to share me with her. She loves you Charlie."
"OK. Well, I sure appreciate them all. And you."
When we got to Winston House most of the Gang were on the doorstep or standing around on the sidewalk. They'd saved a good parking space for Tim and me, so we easily parked and headed for the front door. The original eight and some of the rest had been there before; for others it was new. A tour commenced immediately, led by Felix.
It's not that big a house to tour, so soon everyone was back in the living room. Felix reported, "I told them to figure out where they wanted to sleep tonight, and they almost all opted for your king size bed. Tina and Merle are taking the double on the top floor, and I'm sleeping on the floor in your study; good luck getting 17 into your king. Good night." He headed upstairs. I was pretty sure that he'd drift back down to the master bedroom to watch the goings-on. I was right!
Franklin stood up and said, "OK. It's really pretty simple. Here are the rules. Leave your clothes somewhere outside the master bedroom, they'll take up too much room. No clothes, no sleeping with partners, no hogging the bed, except for Charlie. He gets to claim the middle of the bed. And no hogging Charlie."
Andy said, "You forgot something: no sleeping."
"That's up to each individual."
"Who's kidding whom?"
It was quite a night. There were always two, three, or four people in bed, fondling or sucking me. They traded off quite amicably. After almost an hour I had to shout, "OK, somebody has to finish the job!"
Phil said, "Who would you like?"
"That's not a fair question. I'd like all of you. I don't want to pick one."
"You have to, and we promise there'll be no hurt feelings. By the way Tim's off limits tonight."
I thought for a few minutes. I realized that it had to come down to one, and that either I was going to have to pick or we'd have to cast lots, or some such. I decided that that'd be the chicken's way out. So I thought a little more and said, "I'm not sure why, but tonight I'd like Ronnie. I remember the kiss he gave me our first time together. Wow!"
Ronnie said, "I remember that too. I'll never forget it. I completely lost control."
"Lose control again tonight, Ronnie. I loved it then, and I will now."
It wasn't a kiss, it was a suck. Ronnie fastened on to me like a leech. I was more than ready, and I came fairly quickly. Ronnie held on. We lay there in the bed, his arms wrapped around my buns. From time to time his hand would massage my ass, and sometimes his right hand came around and tickled my balls. My hands couldn't do anything but hold his head, and that just pushed him tighter into me. Going soft didn't change anything. Eventually, he slowly let go, to a room full of cheers, and started licking my balls. That gave me the freedom I needed to move my head down to him, and I sucked him in return. He came as quickly as I had, but pulled out and kissed me. I wondered if that was going to be the passionate event of long before, but it wasn't. We shared his cum and broke apart. More cheers. Then I said, "Thank you, Ronnie. Thank you, everyone. Tonight I'd like to sleep with my first love, Phil, behind me, and my true love, Tim, in front of me. The rest of you can sleep anywhere in the house you feel inclined."
Neither Phil nor Tim had yet had an orgasm, so my tongue took care of each, in turn. Then we all spooned together and slept like babies. Between the two of them has to be one of the most comforting places to sleep you can find.
The next morning Tim opened the conversation with, "It's just not fair. Charlie, you're just the right size. You can wrap around me, and Phil can wrap around you. But the only boys I could wrap around like that would be completely off limits, morally and legally."
Phil said, "And just where do you think I might find someone to wrap around me?"
I said, "Sorry guys. I'll admit that in this regard, I'm lucky. Tough shit. I'll take my few advantages wherever I can find them, but I'll keep my eyes open for sexy midgets and giants."
Phil said, "It's 5 a.m. Do you guys always wake up this early?"
I said, "Usually. You get used to it with Tim. Wherever Hal's sleeping, we need to get him moving. He promised some pretty influential politicians a morning run starting on the mall at 6:30."
Hal was found sleeping on the floor in the living room, between Sue and Franklin. From the contented looks on their faces I concluded that they hadn't gone to sleep frustrated! I woke Hal, he groaned loud enough to wake everybody, and the day began. Most of us joined Hal on his run at the mall.
Hal asked how far it was to the Smithsonian Castle, where he'd suggested that they all meet. I told him it was just under three miles, and he decided to run there. So off we all, well about a dozen of the twenty, went, headed for the mall. We made an interesting contrast when we met the group gathered at the Castle. We were all in T-shirts and shorts, and given that this was 1970, we were all in very short shorts. The politicians we met, either elected or staffers, weren't about to be photographed in short shorts. They were all in fancy running suits, more fitted to jogging than running. Hal made it clear that he was leading a run, not a jog. He hated to jog, and maintained that it was unhealthy for your knees. He'd set a slow running pace, and would do about twelve miles in three four-mile loops. He warned the group that the last loop would be the fastest - it was for the serious runners.
An incredible number of people were on hand. Senators, representatives, judges, staffers, the word had spread quickly overnight. The news media was present, and DC and National Park Police were on hand to block streets. Hal had no idea what he'd set in motion with his off-hand invitation to join him for a run in the morning. A park policeman came up to Hal and me and asked, "Would you mind if I ran along with you and pointed out a good route? We have more than a hundred people here, and we're going to have to block some streets off. If we start off up the mall, and I know where we're going, the other officers can keep ahead of us."
Hal said, "I think I should be apologizing for getting this started. I envisioned about 8 to 10 of us running, mostly on the mall or sidewalks."
The cop said, "Yeah, but you said it to Senator Cox, who's a pretty serious runner and has a lot of friends. The idea of running with an Olympic gold medalist and Boston Marathon winner was more than they could resist. You want to be sure to give them a run for their money. Cox and his friend are good runners. Unless you really pour it on, they'll keep up for your twelve miles; I've watched them run. About a half mile up the mall we'll turn north; we'll have the streets blocked. At that point I'm going to suggest to the crowd that joggers can continue on as a separate group, staying on the mall. So move it pretty fast up the mall, so those that can't keep up will figure it out before we leave the mall."
Hal was impressed with the guy. "You can't have had more than a couple of hours notice of this, and you seem to have everything worked out. I'm impressed."
"Senator Cox called us around midnight. They called me in around 3:00 a.m. I got the call, because I'm the best runner in the Park Police. By 6:00 a.m. we were ready for you. You're lucky, we have perfect weather."
I said, "Hal would've run in the rain; he does that all the time."
"Hal might have, but you can bet that that gang of politicos wouldn't have. Are you ready?"
"I am. Let me talk to the group for a minute, and we'll start."
The policeman blew his whistle and got relative silence. He said, "I just met Hal Bruder, the reigning Olympic marathon champion. I think we're all eager to run with him. He'd like to greet you before we set off."
Hal said, "First, I want to thank Officer Logan here, who has, on three hours notice and I'm sure even less sleep, made arrangements for us to have a successful run. As I said earlier, we're going to do three four mile loops. Officer Logan's going to show us the route; they're even blocking streets for us. We won't be doing much talking as we run, but I'll hang around the mall a while after the run so that I can have a chance to meet some of you. Jim and Tim and Charlie, will be around as well."
Officer Logan came up and whispered something to Hal who nodded. Officer Logan said, "Hal and the others will sign autographs after the run. But please, they can't sign while they run, please respect that, even if this is Washington!"
That got a laugh. Hal shouted, "We're off!" and we were. If anybody thought they were in for a leisurely run, they were quickly set straight. Hal, Officer Logan, and Senator Cox took the lead, and they moved up the mall quickly. This was clearly going to be a run. As planned, in a half-mile a park policeman invited the joggers to follow him, and more than half the group, most either struggling to keep up or already falling behind, did turn left for a big loop around the mall. Hal and the running group headed north up Third Street, wound their way toward the Tidal Basin and Lincoln Memorial, came past the Washington Monument and were back at the Castle, having covered four miles. There was no stop as they headed up around the Capitol, by the Supreme Court and Library of Congress, back to the mall and by the Castle a second time, having covered eight miles. As Hal had warned everybody - at least those that'd been listening - the last loop was the fastest, as they took the first loop in reverse. They dropped out like flies on the last loop, as Hal gave everyone a run for their money. Most of the gang kept up, including Jim, Tim, and me, along with Senator Cox and his little running group, and a few others. Officer Logan was doing amazingly well; clearly they'd picked the right man for this morning's assignment. When we made it back to the Castle after the third loop Hal stopped briefly and said, "I'm going to make a quick run up to the Capitol and back, and then we'll have a chance to talk." He was off like a shot. The three or four eager souls that thought they'd "run up to the Capitol" with him soon quit. Hal had turned on full speed and was setting an Olympic pace. After twelve miles that pace was nothing to Hal, but beyond anybody else presen t. It was really only then that they realized that they were running with a truly exceptional runner. I think Hal's pace almost doubled as he ran up to the Capitol and back (about a mile and a half) in about seven and a half minutes. Then to really get the goat of the folks who imagined themselves as "real runners" Hal came back, struck up a conversation with Senator Cox, and looked like he had, at most, run out to the street to pick up the morning paper. He wasn't even short of breath after about half a minute.
A newsboy selling the Washington Post came up, a real entrepreneur. He called out, "Buy a Post and get it autographed. There are pictures of Hal, Tim, Charlie, and Jim in the second section. Buy a Post and get it autographed." I think that everyone did. The boy sold out, but quickly reappeared with a second stack of papers. He was collecting pretty big tips as well as being paid for the papers.
Hal came over to him, bought a paper, signed, "Thanks, Hal" in huge letters across the front, and gave it back to the boy, who was grinning from ear to ear. He said, "Smart thinking, kid. You're going places."
A few minutes later Tim came up to the boy and said, "We're heading out of here to eat breakfast pretty soon. Please join us."
The boy said, "You've gotta be kidding."
Tim said, "I never kid like that. I really wish you'd join us."
"Where're you going?"
"Back to my house. An old friend's cooking a big breakfast as we speak. Plenty for you."
It was pure Tim. Senators could come and go. But a nice kid, doing a good job and being polite about it, could get to Tim's soft spot really easily. It was one of the things I loved about him.
It was only about 9:30 and we set off for our house. The newsboy, who turned out to have a name, Sid, was the only addition to our group of twelve as we headed back home. Sid wasn't too sure about the idea of running three miles to our house, but he came along. As we headed up into exclusive Georgetown, he became even more uncertain. But everyone was so friendly to him that he was carried along with the crowd. When he came inside, we introduced him to the other eight, including Felix, who was standing with a bacon fork in his hand. "Sid, you look hungry. The food's upstairs in this crazy house, and you and I are going to lead the way." With that he took Sid's hand and half pulled half shoved him upstairs to the dining room. Sid was hungry, and he looked a little wide-eyed at the piles of food. Felix helped him fill a plate and found a place for him to sit and eat. The rest of us took food and spread around the house. It was clear that Sid had found the right person to take care of him.
In a little while Felix found Tim and me and told us that he'd been talking to Sid. He'd given up school that day when he saw an opportunity to sell a bunch of papers. He'd asked a policeman who the crowd was, and then had found the story about the birthday party the night before in the society section of the paper. He'd found his manager and gotten extra bundles of papers and was ready for us. He'd sold out one bundle and almost a second. With tips he had almost $200, more than he usually made in a month. And he had his own special copy signed by Hal, and now by Tim, Jim, and me as well. Not only that, he now had a Polaroid picture of the four of us handing him the paper.
But he needed to get to school. Tim offered to drive him, but he said that he couldn't go to school with all that money. "What're you going to do with the money?" asked Tim.
"Give it to my mom. We'll be able to eat well this month."
"How many in your family?"
"Me, Mom, and my two sisters."
"Where do you live?"
"You go to school there?"
"Kramer Middle School. I'm in seventh grade."
Is your mom home now to give her the money?"
"No, she's working. But I can hide the money in the house. But I don't need to go to school."
"Oh, yes, you do," said Tim. I knew immediately from the tone of his voice that we might very well have a new project for the family. I wondered what Tim was getting himself into.
Soon Tim, Sid and I were in our car, headed to Anacostia. Anacostia was the sight of pretty serious rioting about two years before. Sid and his family had moved in shortly thereafter, renting one of three apartments that had been carved out of a townhouse. After the riots there was significant white flight from Anacostia, but rents hadn't fallen, because the pressure for decent Black housing was so great that rents were sustained or even increased. Sid's mother was a secretary working somewhere in the DC government. It was a tough go trying to support three kids on her salary, but she worked hard at it. From what Sid told us, she was a pretty admirable woman. Regrettably the quality of the schools available to her made it difficult to raise children to their full potential - that wasn't Sid's comment, but reflected our view of the situation.
Sid buried the money somewhere in his apartment, and off we went to Kramer Middle. Sid said, "You know, I'll get in trouble for coming late. But if I just go in tomorrow, nobody will pay any attention."
Tim looked at me and said, "Sound's like a typical school. Better to miss a whole day than a couple of hours. But they can ignore his skipping a day, but have to do something when he comes in late."
I said, "They could welcome him, and be glad he came."
"You simply don't understand the bureaucracy."
"Yes, I do. Remember I work in it."
Tim turned to Sid, "I think we can work things out for you."
We arrived at the school, found a place to park, and the three of us walked up to the front door. Sid had warned us that it'd be locked. We rang the bell and were let in by a secretary who didn't seem enthusiastic to have two white guys bringing in one of their pupils. She asked, "What did he do?"
Both Tim and I had to bite our tongues hard on that one, but we kept the obvious responses to ourselves. I said, "Nothing. He's been helping out a group down at the mall. We fed him breakfast and thought we'd better get him to school. We're sorry we kept him so long."
Tim said, "I think we'd like to talk to the principal."
"He's pretty busy."
I said, "We're bringing greetings from Senator Cox, and his personal thanks to Sid here for helping with the big run on the mall this morning."
"Cox. From Wyoming."
"I think Mr. Johnson will want to see you."
By this point Sid was wide-eyed. Somebody was actually putting the overbearing secretary in her place. He said, "Senator Cox? Was he there?"
"Indeed he was. He and Hal were leading the run."
"Listen, help me here. Who's Hal? I just saw his name in the paper and figured it'd sell papers."
"You're a smart kid. Well, Hal's the best long distance runner in the world. He's won the Boston Marathon, and got the gold medal in the Marathon in the last Olympics in Mexico City. He's a good friend of ours and is visiting us here in Washington."
"So who're you?"
I decided to help Tim out. "Sid, this's Tim."
"I know the name from the paper. But don't you have a last name?"
"No, he doesn't. He's just Tim. He's a diver and a gymnast. He won Olympic gold medals in both. Right now he's a graduate student at the University of Maryland."
"I'm Charlie. I work for the Supreme Court."
"You two guys live together in that house we were at this morning?"
"Yes." That wasn't computing for Sid. But we were saved from that explanation by the arrival of Mr. Johnson, the Principal.
"I'm Fred Johnson. How can I help you?"
"I'm Tim. This's Charlie. And this's Sid. One of your students. He was down at the mall early this morning selling newspapers. He's a smart kid and realized that the crowd of people there with Senator Cox were going to want newspapers, so he arranged to get a couple of extra bundles for us. He was a big help, and earned a good bundle of money at the same time. But he did have to miss some school. We thought we'd bring him and help him explain his tardiness."
"My name's Tim. You probably know me from the sports pages. I'm a diver and a gymnast."
"I think I'm the one you have in mind. This is my partner, Charlie. He was at the Mexico Olympics with me. I'm now a graduate student at Maryland and Charlie is Chief Justice Clark's clerk."
"My God. And you're driving Sid to school?"
"Sid's a most charming young man. We were delighted to bring him. He was a little afraid that he'd get in trouble for being late. We'd like to assure you that he was doing a good deed for both us and Senator Cox this morning."
Mr. Johnson turned to the secretary and said, "Give Sid an excuse. Then, Sid, you head off to your class. Please come by the office right after school. I'd like to hear more of this story."
He turned back to us, "We don't get big name visitors at Kramer very often. I wish I could show you off a little."
Tim said, "Not today. We have a house full of guests at home. But we'd be glad to come by some day and be helpful any way we can." Tim and I both handed him our cards.
He looked at mine rather strangely, and I realized that it was my old one. "That was my job last year. I've been on the job with Justice Clark exactly two days. New cards are coming. The home number on that card will reach me. Or call the Supreme Court and ask for extension 43542."
"Thank you for bringing Sid. I'm sure that he'd have missed the whole day if you hadn't brought him."
"Don't sell that boy short. He's got some real smarts. Well, we have to be off. Please call us."
On the way home I said to Tim, "You're going to follow up on Sid and Kramer Middle aren't you?"
"Of course. And don't tell me you wouldn't if I weren't around. We both know each other too well."
Back at our house conversations were buzzing. A central topic of conversation was Grand Forks. When would various people get there; what would they do when they got there; and just how cold did it get in the winter. Jim, Andy, Kara and Amy had been there one winter, and they admitted that it was considerably colder than lower Michigan, and a Hell of a lot windier. Carl and Carol confirmed that, based on their two winters in Bismarck. Since most of the Gang hailed from fairly northern climes, nobody seemed too worried. Phil, however, was a Kansan. He said, "I'm used to the wind, but it's not supposed to be such a cold wind."
I said, "Look, I'm from Indianapolis. Pretty warm, mild winters, little wind. If I can hack Grand Forks you all can. And I've made it through four winters."
"Yeah, but you have Tim to keep you warm."
Someone added, "And to drag you out on a cold day. I'll bet he hasn't figured out that it's colder in Grand Forks than it is in Minneapolis."
I defended Tim: "Look, even Tim dresses warm in Grand Forks. Why, he even bought some long sleeved shirts to wear there. He was happy in Tees in Minneapolis."
Tim said, "Look, I'll admit that the first winter was a little colder than I'd been expecting. I hadn't taken the warnings about the wind seriously enough. But it's a nice town, with nice people, a good University, and, believe it or not, it's now home for Charlie and me. I hope that you all will want to call it home before too long."
The phone rang and Tim picked it up. He listened in silence for a while and then said, "You can't be serious." Then, "All twenty?" Then, "At seven. We'll be there. And, thanks. Thanks a lot."
He turned to me and said, "You won't believe that. It was Mr. Halversham. He said that since we'd forgotten to make a reservation for tonight that he'd gone ahead and made one for us. For twenty. At seven."
My God, would Bill Pederson have turned green with the thought that Halversham had called on the phone and invited us to the restaurant! Alice told us later that, except for Presidents, such an invitation was unprecedented.
Tim said, "The seven o'clock invitation was for the eight o'clock sitting. We shouldn't arrive before 7:05. We should start walking about ten of - this group will move pretty quickly once its gets out the door. We warned everybody that Halversham's was definitely a coat and tie kind of place.
The house had only two showers, ours on the third floor and the guest bathroom on the fourth. The house had a pretty big hot water heater, but twenty showers were going to be a strain. Franklin took charge and outlined the procedure: "We'll all use the master shower; running two at once won't work well. Tim and Tom are the littlest. They'll go first and wash each other. Then Tim'll man the soap and washcloth and Tom the hose spray. It'll be an assembly line. Into the shower, get soaped by Tim, rinsed by Tom, out and dried by those who've gone before."
Hal said, "What a deal for Tim."
I said, "And I'm sure that he'll take maximum advantage of it. After Tim and Tom, I'll go first. I think the drying will be fun."
Franklin said, "Clothes off. Tina and Merle you're in this, too. In fact, Tina you can be in line right after Charlie."
Very quickly there were twenty naked people in our master bedroom, clearly not making any attempt to keep their hands to themselves. Tim and Tom were pushed into the shower and the assembly line got underway. Franklin timed people: a minute and a half each, 45 seconds to be washed and 45 seconds to rinse. As Tim started to wash Tina, someone shouted that more than her pubic hair had to be washed. Soon she was rinsed and passed to me and I rubbed her dry thoroughly. Then she joined the drying line and Phil came through. I think Tina got a real charge out of drying his huge dick. Merle was in the middle of the line, looking a little uncomfortable. I rubbed his back while Tina dried his nipples. She whispered in his ear, "Buck up, Merle. It's fun. You were warned."
He said, "I'm game. But it's pushing my comfort zone."
Next he passed by Phil who'd heard the exchange with Tina. Phil grabbed his dick, held it up and took a towel to dry his balls and crotch. Phil said, "If that doesn't get you hard, we'll have Tina suck it."
Tina said, "I don't think that'll be necessary. His libido works."
It did. Also his blushing mechanism. But he was a good sport and passed down the drying line, everyone taking a swipe as his groin.
Felix was the end of the line. He was looking forward to whatever the drying line had in store, and was hard before he got to me. He got well dried by the end of the line, and was delighted. It was as far as he felt he could push the line that he and Sam'l had agreed to. He had a ball.
Then Tim and Tom came out and both worked hard to out-tease the other. They not only got dried, but squeezed every nipple and dick they could find as they went down the line. A truly vulgar display that delighted everyone!
Then we got dressed, just in time to set off for Halversham's. He was ready for us, but pulled us aside as we came in and suggested, "Look, what I had in mind this evening was to have you divide up as couples, and each sit with one of my other guests. They were carefully chosen, I think you and your guests will like them." We weren't sure we wanted to be split up. Then Senator and Peggy Goldwater walked in, and we knew that Halversham's arrangements would work. We told him, "Fine."
Justice Clark, Sherm, several other Senators, including Senator Cox, and their wives arrived, along with four other couples, one of which was Alice and Senator Margaret Chase Smith. Every member of the Gang was going to have a fairly intimate dinner with a Washington celebrity. It would be a great ending to a magnificent trip. Couples matched up randomly in the bar, and by eight o'clock everybody seemed to have settled into an eating arrangement. I had suggested to Kyle that he pair with Felix in order to get the Gang into pairs. Then I introduced them to Chief Justice and Sally Clark and their evening was made. Tim and I ended up with the Goldwaters, and that suited us fine. Barry Goldwater was a lot of fun, and we'd gotten to know him well enough to kid him about his conservatism. Funny thing was, he wasn't that conservative. The fact is, compared to Reagan and what followed, he didn't even deserve the label conservative, much less being called "Mr. Conservative." But back then he'd only begun his drift toward the center, and the national political life was just showing hints of where it might go in a decade.
All things come to an end, as did Halversham's dinner, which ended promptly at 8:55, as he had the nine o'clock seating to accommodate. When we got home Franklin informed us that the sleeping arrangements would be the same tonight as the previous night, except that Kyle would be the man in the middle of the bed. Kyle looked completely surprised, but Franklin simply said, "We want to get to know you better. We think Ronnie and Sharon can spare you for the night. And if you're comfortable with the two of them, you'll be fine with the lot of us."
In fact, Kyle was. He got the same treatment as I had, but when he was ready for the job to be completed he asked for Kara and Amy. Together they licked his dick rather than sucking it, and he came as quickly as I had. Then they snuggled up one on each side and they went to sleep. Tim and Tom climbed on the bed with them, and the rest of us spread on the floor around the house. I ended up paired with Sharon, who assured me that she was on the pill and wanted very much to be fucked. She was.
Tim had arranged for a bus to pick up everybody the next morning and take them to National Airport. It dropped me off at the Supreme Court. Tim had left in our car for the University at the same time the bus left. We were back to school and work, and the gang was headed home. The other birthday guests had headed home the day before. A great weekend had come to a close.
At the Court Justice Clark was ready for work. So was I. I was set for a new adventure! I was ready.
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