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Finding Tim

A Fourth Alternate Reality

by Charlie
With editorial assistance from Dix and John


In our second week back in North Dakota both Tim and I headed in to see our bosses and talk about the coming school year. Neither one of us was quite sure what would be expected of us - especially me, as there'd been no prior discussion of my having an administrative role in the Law School this year.

Tim was pretty sure that Prexy arrived on campus pretty early, and Monday morning he knocked on the outer door to the presidential offices before Prexy's secretary arrived. Prexy was there and let him in. "Goodness, Tim, you're early."

"It's not early for me. I just spent an hour in the gym, but I did cut practice short so that I could get in here earlier than usual."

"What's on your mind?"

"You have to ask? What do you have in mind for me this year? I see I have a teaching appointment in Education, what will be expected there?"

"Let's go over to the coffee shop, find a corner table, and have an informal chat. My office isn't very conducive to informality, and the conference room is worse."

Tim ordered a large Coke; Prexy turned up his nose and said, "This early in the morning?"

"It's not much different from coffee. I'll have to admit that Charlie and I are both addicted to this stuff. It's not the best thing for an athlete, but I seem to make do. I do pretty well on the rest of my eating habits, but Coke may yet be my downfall."

"I'm glad it's your problem, not mine. OK, let's talk about this year."

"I think at this point it's my role to listen."

"Fair enough. First, regarding teaching. We like all administrators to have faculty appointments, it leads to tenure, which is a protection we can't give you as an administrator. From time to time you may elect to teach a course, and the department chair might actually screw up his nerve to ask you now and then. But it's your decision, and I strongly recommend you don't even think about it this first year."

"OK. What do you want me doing this year?"

"Raising money."

"Anything in particular on your mind?"

"Buckets and buckets of money. The more it's unrestricted, the better."

"A stack of one dollar bills will fill buckets, but I get the idea. Still, you aren't providing much guidance."

"I've talked to several trustees, the key fundraiser at the University of Minnesota, President Rogers at Michigan, and the two current campus administrators that have 'development' as part of their job description. The unanimous recommendation is get out of your way and give you lots of freedom. You need to be bringing new ideas, not reworking old ideas. You know, Tim, by the end of your freshman year you were the most successful fundraiser this campus had ever seen. And nobody gave you any guidance at all. In fact, I'm pretty sure that if you were being honest you'd said that I, and other administrators and faculty, were more hindrance than help. We learned our lesson. You may earn your salary for the next few months by just sitting in your office and dreaming; thinking of ideas for raising money. To be honest, I'm thinking that a three year horizon is appropriate for measuring results. So for three years, at least, we're going to stay out of your way and see what you can do."

"Prexy, you have a way of saying exactly what a fellow wants to hear. But I expect results to be obvious before three years."

"I know you do. But not every campaign is going to work like your previous ones, if only because you've been to the well once."

"OK, a Development Office needs more than a Vice-President. I need a staff. What kind of money is there for that?"


"I'm off to a good start."

"The secretaries in the President's Office will support you. Nobody has been thinking in terms of a staff."

"Nobody has been raising a lot of money, either."

"What kind of a staff are you thinking of?"

"I'm not sure your heart's ready for this."

"I take it that you've been thinking some."

"Of course."

"I'll listen. If my heart survives it, we talk about what might be practical."

"OK. Here goes. I need to speak to every group in North Dakota, and every alumni group in the world. I expect to be giving speech after speech after speech. I'll need speech writers. My guess is a staff of three. I'll need an appointments secretary, not so much to keep track of appointments, but to spend the day finding and calling every group in North Dakota that might be enticed to listen. I'll need at least two, and eventually four, financial counselors that can sit down and talk to donors and help them with a wide variety of planned giving. I'll need a staff attorney to support those counselors. It'll take an office administrator, secretary, and legal secretary to support all of that."

"My God, you can't be serious. An office like that would cost almost a half million dollars a year."

"I'm thinking in terms of a million a year. To keep administrative costs under 10% we have to raise money at the rate of $10 million per year. So that's the minimum goal."

"Well, just so you know where you stand, we have budgeted $75,000 per year for your salary and support. I have no idea where you're going to get the rest of the money you're talking about. But as I think back on your approach to the development of a gymnastics program here, I just have to realize that I need to stay out of the way and provide support when asked and needed."

"And that'll make you the best boss a guy could ever want."

"You realize that I've put a lot of personal prestige on the line to get the Trustees to fund your position. These guys're pretty conservative fiscally. If you fall on your butt, I'll be right behind."

"Think positively. I'll draw no salary until we have funds in the development account to pay me. We'll use the $75,000 to start searching for staff and hiring the ones needed soonest. Those funds will be paid back. The development office will pay its own way. It'll take me a year to locate a staff of twelve, which means the first year costs of the office will be about a half million. I'll start by looking for donors that'll provide unrestricted funds, knowing that they will eventually go into endowment, but will be used as seed money to start the office. I don't see a problem. But, the hiring is going to require that we have approved positions, and that means, I presume, that the Trustees are going to have to bless this plan, even if they aren't asked to fund it. Right?"

"Absolutely right. But I've seen you work these Trustees before. They meet in September, be ready to make your presentation."

"I think that my goals should be to raise half of the first half million within the Trustees. Care to take bets?"

"Last time your goal for the Trustees was a million dollars. This time you're letting them off with a quarter of that. What gives?"

"It isn't sexy to give to fund a Development Office. That's a hard sell. I'll be very happy with a quarter. I'll get the rest, don't worry."

As they walked back to Prexy's office Tim asked, "Where've you got office space for a staff of twelve?"

"I don't."

"Well, I guess that means I have to fund a building on top of everything else. Where shall we put it?"

By this time Prexy had almost lost it. He knew, or at least thought he knew, that Tim was pulling his chain. On the other hand, he really didn't have any idea where he would house a staff of twelve. Nor where to put a new building - most of the spaces available were already earmarked in the master plan for specific uses. He replied to Tim, "You fund them and hire them, I'll house them. Somewhere. I know not where at this point."

"I know you to be a man of your word, Prexy. If you don't want them all in your conference room, you have to solve the problem. This year."

Prexy said, "Let's change the subject. If we don't ,you'll have me evicted from my office and contributing my whole salary to support the Development Office."

"OK, tell me about your Alumni Office. Is it any good? Does it's staff have a good handle on alumni addresses? How well supported is the Alumni Fund? How many functioning alumni chapters do we have? Who does the Alumni Relations Director report to? Is he, or she, any good?"

"She is Mary Robbins. Yes, she's good. And, to be honest, I don't know the answers to the rest of your questions, except that Mary reports to our Vice-President for Administration. I suppose that you think the Alumni Office should be part of Development."

"Those are your words, not mine. I think you may have a good idea there."

"Talk to Mary, but for God's sake don't talk about moving her office."

"Wouldn't dream of it. Maybe she'll come up with that idea."

"Don't hold your breath."

They talked on for half the morning. It continued to be a mutual admiration society. Tim was clearly going to have carte blanche to either accomplish spectacular things, or fall flat on his ass. Only time would tell.

I had no particular thoughts or plans as I approached Hamilton Fry that afternoon. My being an Assistant Dean was a surprise, and I had no real idea of what anyone had in mind. Hamilton was in a good mood, and we sat in two easy chairs in his office and chatted for much of the afternoon. He wanted to know about all of my experiences since I'd headed for Washington. He was particularly interested in the workings of the DC Court of Appeals. While most people were more interested in the Supreme Court, Hamilton was very knowledgeable about that Court. On the other hand, not much had been written about the workings of the Courts of Appeals, especially the powerful DC court. We talked most of the afternoon. I had a hard time pinning Hamilton down on my duties as Assistant Dean. I think that the fact of the matter was that he really didn't know how he intended to use me. He did tell me that I should plan, at least in the beginning, to teach one course per semester, and I should think about what I'd like to teach. I responded to that by suggesting that I teach the Supreme Court course that I'd taught at Michigan. It would take less time, and that would give me more time to explore what was going to be expected of me as Assistant Dean. Hamilton thought that would be a good idea, and that was agreed.

Tim and I compared notes that evening, and decided that it was going to be a fun year, even if I didn't know what I was going to be doing, and Tim didn't have any idea where he was going to be doing, whatever it was he was going to be doing.

We talked about our daily schedules. Tim planned to keep up regular practice in both diving and gymnastics. He'd dive three mornings a week, and exercise the other three, from 6:30 until 8:30. That'd allow him to get to his office by 9:00. From 3:30 to 5:30 he'd practice the sport that he hadn't practiced that morning. I decided to join him in the pool the three mornings a week he dove, provided he'd try to get out of the house quietly and let me sleep the other three mornings. I'd join him when possible during his afternoon diving. While I was at the pool I planned to swim laps, which would be my main exercise to stay in shape. I figured that swimming somewhere between 6 and 12 hours a week would stand me in good stead. Both Tim and I were determined to maintain our weight and fitness.

We'd try to continue to protect our dinner hour, but we realized that that might be a losing battle. Clearly Tim's job, or at least his approach to it, was going to require him to be away for many dinners, perhaps most. We decided that we'd protect, to the maximum extent possible, our Sunday mornings. We made a date for a leisurely Sunday breakfast at 8:30 a.m. (a toughly negotiated compromise), and agreed that we'd take turns getting up to fix it. As time went on, that custom became a fixture in our lives; one that we came to both enjoy and thrive upon. After a while we realized that both of us were too often involved in travel that kept us away from Grand Forks Saturday night, and thus messed up Sunday mornings. On those weekends, when we were able to get back on Sunday, we cancelled practice Monday morning and had our breakfast together then, but at 7:00 a.m.

Tuesday morning we were in the pool at 6:30 and out promptly at 8:30, even though we didn't have further obligations for the day. We stood together in the shower, just absorbing the warmth of the water and enjoying each other's presence. Tim asked me, "Charlie, where do I get speech writers?"

"Although your speeches have to convey a message, they're essentially entertainment. People at a Rotary dinner want to be entertained, not lectured. If you want entertaining speeches, Hollywood is the place to go. The good entertainment writers are writing for movies and TV. You're going to have to steal some good ones."

"How the Hell do I get good writers to move from Southern California to North Dakota?"


"The problem is, how do I pay higher than the local university scale? Because paying at scale isn't going to tempt anybody to make that move."

"Get Fred to set up a consulting firm that can hire the writers and peddle their services to the Development Office by contract, speech by speech. There isn't a scale for speech scripts, and since you're going to be raising your own money, nobody's going to be in a position to complain about your costs. And your writers can make the kind of money that it's going to take to get them to brave the North Dakota winds."

"Well, Charlie, I've known all along that my plans would eventually require Fred's support. And I think he'd be truly hurt if I didn't arrive with a request pretty early on. I guess I'll go talk to him this afternoon."

"No, let's go to dinner with him. I'd say, 'Let's take him to dinner,' but he wouldn't let us. He'll take us to Jerry's, I'll bet, and he'll be all ears for your plans."

"I'm sure Marty will come along. It'll be fun to get caught up on his adventures here in the north country."

Fred insisted on a more upscale restaurant than Jerry's, and we were right that he wouldn't consider letting us take him. He chuckled when Tim told of his conversation with Prexy. He said, "If Prexy handled that without apoplexy he's a pretty good man. Listen, let me just say this. You go right ahead with your plans, they sound good to me. I think it's very likely that you can get through the year in the manner you laid out, without the office being in debt more than the $ 75,000 which they've already budgeted. You can pay that back anytime. Now, if during the year the cash on hand won't cover the bills on hand, talk to Fred. He'll cover you. Whatever you do, don't slow down without talking to Fred first. Right Fred?"

He answered his own question for himself, "Right."

Tim said, "I love you, Fred. And I was counting on you."

"I knew you would be. I'd have been disappointed if you hadn't been counting on me."

I said, "Now, he wants to talk to you about a new business he'd like you to set up."

"What's that?"

I said, "Development consulting/speech writing."

Tim went on to explain the need for speech writers and the need to be able to pay them higher than university scale. Fred thought a minute and said, "You may have that problem with a lot of your positions. And you'll piss off the rest of your staff if they know your speech writers are paid so much more."

I said, "But he can't have a whole office paid at a higher scale; it would create all kinds of problems on campus."

Tim said, "I think people will accept Hollywood experienced writers as needing exceptional pay. And since they won't be on a payroll at the university it'll be none of anyone's business what they're paid. They aren't going to run around bragging."

I said, "When do you head for California?"

"Soon. That's going to be my toughest recruiting job and the most important. And I need them up front."

Marty had been listening to all of this quietly, but now he said, "You need two extra people to support those writers."

"What for?" asked Tim.

"If you go out to Minot to give a speech, it has to be filled with local color. You have to know the local jokes, the recent headlines in the newspaper. Your speech should be filled with all kinds of references that make you seem like a home boy. That requires two things: First, a person on the ground, asking the right questions, getting a haircut at the local barber's and asking 'What's up?' and just generally fishing for local issues and color. The person has to be single and be prepared to be moving around the state most of the time.

"Second, you need to get every local paper in North Dakota, read them all, and clip out everything of possible local interest. You need to assemble a notebook for every town in the state large enough to have a newspaper, or be a regular feature in the newspaper that serves the area from a neighboring town. Reading and clipping that many papers will be a full time job. Get somebody right out of college. And that's a job that should start now."

Fred said, "I agree. I'll bet there's a June '74 grad looking for a job that'll let him stay in Grand Forks."

Marty said, "Or her."

Fred said, "Eventually I'll learn. Keep correcting me Marty."

I said, "Many women today are very conscious of sexist male language, but seldom do I see men correcting each other."

Marty said, "There's nothing like working out with a coed gymnastics group to be sensitized to language. Fred and I are learning. The women have a valid point."

"I'll get my attorney to establish Development Consulting first thing tomorrow. Tim, you and I should start looking for a secretary and a clipper. What're we going to title that position."

"Newspaper researcher." That was Marty.

Sid's mother, April, saw the ad in the paper and applied. The ad had just said Development Consulting without a name, so she was completely surprised when Fred was there to conduct the interview. He was equally surprised to see her.

"I thought you were happy with your university job."

"I am. But typing's a strain for me, having learned pretty late in life. It's hard to keep my errors down. I'm a better reader than writer or typist, and that seems to be what you're looking for."

They talked for quite a while; Fred finding it difficult to stay on subject and actually conduct an interview with April. In the end he thanked her for coming and told her that he'd be in touch. He did have two other persons interested in the job, and he'd be interviewing them.

After the interview Fred was really torn. He hated not to give the job to April, but wasn't sure that she had a broad enough background to do the job well. Furthermore, the job involved reading mostly small town newspapers, the kind that were completely outside the experience of anyone who was used to the newspapers of Washington, D.C. However, he dreaded calling April and telling her she didn't get the job. Nor was he willing to hand that job off to someone else. He knew that the word would have to come from him personally.

However, the other two persons that he interviewed settled the matter for him fairly easily. One was, in Fred's words, a cocky little son-of-a-bitch that nobody would want to work with. The other, after a long discussion of what the job would entail, simply couldn't portray any understanding of the demands of the job at all. She didn't seem to have any comprehension of how material that she clipped out would be used, and thus no real idea of what she'd be clipping. She seemed to have the idea that other people would be telling her what to clip out. Fred decided that she'd be useless. Since Tim wanted to move quickly, that left April. Though uncertain how it would work out, Fred was relieved not to have to make a negative phone call to April.

Fred hadn't told April that even though Fred, really Development Consulting, would be her employer, she would, essentially be working for Tim. In fact, Tim hadn't been mentioned in the interview. Fred hadn't wanted to dig his hole any deeper in case she wasn't hired. He invited April back for another interview, and this time Tim was present. Tim hadn't seen her since the previous summer when Fred had arranged for her and the children to attend graduation and see Tim and Charlie speak. We had only had time for a brief conversation at that meeting. Now they were delighted to see each other, hugging tightly. Tim said, "Hi, April. I hear you have a new job. Think you can work with me?"

"I sure can. Oh, I can't wait to get home and tell Sid."

"How's he doing? Charlie and I are eager to see him, and the whole family. We've only been in town a short while and haven't had any extra time. I think things will be slowing down by next week."

"You and Charlie come to dinner next week. What night?"

"How about Wednesday?"


"What time?"

"What time suits you?"

"How about seven?"

"See you then. Do you know where we live?"

Fred said, "Tim doesn't, but I do. I'll see that they get there."

"You come, too."

"No, I'll let this just be Charlie and Tim."

We were looking forward to seeing Sid again, and catching up with his adventures in North Dakota. We'd seen them on most of our visits to Grand Forks since we'd arranged for them to move, but had never really had a chance to have a good conversation. Fred had kept us posted on their progress in job and school, and we knew they were doing pretty well. Now we'd have a chance to really hear their stories.

Sid summed it up real quickly, "Dull and boring. And you can't imagine how wonderful that is. No gunshots. No worrying about whether we can pay the rent. Decent food. I walk Tish and Mona to school in the morning and Mom and I don't have to worry about their safety. Dull and boring. And I'm having a ball."

I said, "Sid, you're a junior now, aren't you?"

"Tenth grade. When I got here I was in 7th grade, but they gave me a whole bunch of tests and told me that they thought I'd do better in 6th grade."

April cut in with, "At first I thought they were just assuming that because he was Black he was dumb. But they were real nice. They showed us all of his test scores. They said it was our decision, but if he went into 6th grade he'd have a good chance to do well. In 7th grade he'd start behind, and probably fall further behind. I told Sid it was up to him."

"I thought, 'What the Hell? One more year of school won't hurt me.' Also, I wanted to do well. I knew you wanted me to do well, Tim, and I wanted to do well for you. You trusted these people, I decided to."

I said, "Sid, that's wonderful. How has it worked out?"

"Great. I'm in tenth grade. I get good grades, and I'm in a really good special art program. My teacher thinks I'm pretty special as an artist."

"Let's see some of your work," said Tim.

April pointed to the walls, on which there were several quite good framed oil paintings. He painted everything on these walls. These are his best. What do you think?"

I was floored. To my untrained eye the paintings could've been right out of a museum. One was a landscape showing the Red River. It was totally realistic and almost looked like it could've been taken with a camera. Sid said it was drawn from sketches he did sitting on a hill overlooking the river one Saturday afternoon. No camera at all. The other pictures were more stylized, but showed a mastery of the human form that seemed, at least to me, far beyond what I would expect of a high school student. My first thought was to get some of his work off to Merle's old gallery in New York. Sid's age and background would make his work even more intriguing. I didn't say that out loud to Sid at this point; he didn't need a build up to a big fall. But I had hopes.

Tim answered the question. "I think they're great, and I'll bet your art teacher thinks so too."

"He does," said April.

I turned to Tish and Mona and asked, "How do you two like living in North Dakota?"

Mona said, "It's cold."

Tish said, "I like my school."

Reflecting his worry about sending Black kids to North Dakota, Tim asked, "Do you have a lot of friends?"

Tish, now an 8th grader, and obviously a very perceptive one, said, "Oh, yes. It's quite the 'in' thing to have a Negro for a good friend. That's made it easy to make friends, and most of them have turned out to be very nice."

Tim and I both laughed. I said, "We've made some friends the same way. It's also 'in' to have a gay friend."

Mona looked puzzled. "Gay is happy. Doesn't everyone have happy friends?"

Tish looked disgusted at her little sister. "Mona, don't you know what gay means?"

"I guess I don't."

"Do you know what homosexual means?"

"They talked about it in health, but I really didn't know what they were talking about."

April said, "So much for sex education in North Dakota. If we'd stayed in Anacostia she sure as the dickens would know what gay meant. Mona, you know that I loved your daddy; we got married, and we had Sid, Tish, and you. Then your daddy got killed in an automobile accident. But I really loved your daddy, and that's how we had children."

"Mom, I know what you're saying."

"OK. Well, Tim and Charlie love each other, just like I loved your daddy. When two boys or men love each other, or two girls, we say they're gay. Your daddy and I were straight. Some people are prejudiced against Black people. Some people are prejudiced against gay people. We have something in common with Tim and Charlie."

Mona thought about this for a while, very seriously. Then she got up and came over to me and hugged me; then she hugged Tim. "If you're not prejudiced against me, I'm not prejudiced against you."

Oh, if life could only be that simple!

After much discussion with their family, which had left the decision up to the girls, Tish had held back a grade when she came to Grand Forks, but the younger Mona had not. They were now in 8th and 7th grade and, according to April, doing very well.

Tim asked, "What do you miss from Washington?"

Tish said, "My friend, Tabeetha. But I have a lot of new friends now."

Mona said, "Aunt June."

Sid said, "My museums."

April said, "Not one damn thing. We love it here."

That night, at spooning time, Tim said, "Charlie, we got it right for Sid and his family. I was worried that sending them here, completely out of their element, might be a mistake. But they're thriving."

I said, "It makes me really feel good. You make me feel good, too. I'll bet your tongue would really make me feel good as well. Roll over."

He did. It did. And I did more or less the same thing for him.

A few nights later as Tim and I talked on our way to the never-never land of sleep, he said, "Charlie. You know we have a date to keep now that we're here in North Dakota."

"What're you talking about?'

"Don't you remember?"

"I wouldn't have asked if I remembered."

"OK. Think of Bill and Martha."

"God, yes. They were going to welcome us back to North Dakota by sleeping with us. I do remember. I wonder if they do."

"I think we ought to invite them up for dinner some evening pretty soon. Let's let them bring up the subject of sleeping or sex. I'll bet they will."

Tim was right. We invited them up for dinner the next week. Martha responded with, "Oh, Tim, it's so good to have you back in North Dakota. We'd love to come. Shall we bring our suitcases?"

"No. All you'll need is cosmetics and a change of underwear. It'll fit in a pretty small overnight bag."

"We'll see you Thursday about 7:00. It'll be hard to get there before that."

"That time's good for us. How will Bill get to work on Friday?"

"He'll work from the Grand Forks office that the firm opened when we were driving Billy, remember? He doesn't get there as often now, but he should."

The next Thursday they rang the doorbell promptly at seven. I opened the door and invited Bill and Martha in. Bill had on very tight jeans and a windbreaker jacket, which certainly wasn't needed this warm June evening. Martha had on a rather full wrap-around skirt and a bulky top that tied in the front instead of having buttons or other fasteners. As soon as I shut the door and Tim came out from the kitchen, Bill slipped off his jacket to reveal a fishnet shirt just like the one Billy had worn years before. In fact, I think it may have been the one Billy wore years before. With the jacket off, we could see that the jeans were really, really tight. Martha untied her top and slipped it off revealing a very tight top that showed a lot of midriff. The skirt also came off revealing a pair of short shorts that would've exposed almost any pair of panties she might've worn under it, but obviously wasn't. Not a whole lot was left to the imagination.

Tim said, "I'm not sure that Charlie and I are property dressed for this occasion. You should've warned us."

"And spoiled the fun of watching your faces the last five minutes?" asked Martha.

Tim continued, "Perhaps we should change?"

Bill said, "No, you're both sexy enough just as you are. I'm not at all sure that I'm going to get through dinner."

I said, "And we have a slide show of our trip around the world to show you after dinner." I hoped that I'd kept a straight face through that.

Martha said, "The first slide that doesn't have a naked person in it ends the show."

We all laughed, and Tim and I realized that Bill and Martha had been anticipating this evening for a long time. In our minds we separately resolved to make sure that the evening was everything that Bill and Martha had dreamed it would be. My thoughts continued, "We have to figure out just what Bill and Martha's dreams for this evening are."

It was very difficult to concentrate on anything but the two very sexy bodies at the table with us at dinner. Martha, at 47, was incredibly well preserved, and very shapely. When we'd first met him, Bill had had a little paunch, and he'd still had it when we spent time with them at the Olympics in 1972 - two years before. Now it was gone. Martha noticed me staring at Bill's midsection and said, "The belly's gone. He's been working on it since we made this date with you."

That really surprised me. Clearly, this was something that the Carsons had been thinking about for some time. I was also worried. When you have such high expectations for something that's going to go by so quickly, it's easy to set yourself up for a fall. But then I remembered Tim's expectations for the Olympic Opening Ceremony. It was equally short, and he could've been disappointed, but he wasn't. It'd been exactly what he was hoping for, and remains one of the highlights of his life. I could only hope that this evening worked out that well for Bill and Martha.

Tim jumped out of his chair and walked around to Bill, wrapped his arms around him and kissed him. He gave him the full banana, and Bill seemed to accept it gratefully. I moved to Martha and did the same thing. She responded eagerly. It was quickly clear that we were going to have a most exceptional evening.

Somehow we managed to conduct a fairly interesting conversation at dinner. We learned that Billy was now in a Ph.D. program in Physical Education at IU. Instead of a teaching assistantship or fellowship, he'd been hired as Assistant Coach of the diving team, working for Ralph Billings. He was happy as a clam. Sara had completed a masters in social work, and was working for the Department of Social Services in Bloomington. Martha made it very clear that she and Bill thought that it was about time for a grandchild, and they thought that Billy and Sara were working on it, or at least thinking pretty hard about it.

I wanted to shift the conversation, so I asked, "Obviously you two have been thinking about this evening, right down to the clothes you wore. How about giving us some idea of your dreams for the rest of the evening?"

Martha said, "You know, I have often daydreamed about tonight, sometimes as I drifted off to sleep, sometimes as Bill and I had sex, and at some unexpected times as well. I could see the arrival scene in your front hall very clearly. Dinner this evening pretty much followed the script. But it gets hazy, and varies a lot as it moves on. If I'm daydreaming as Bill and I are having sex, I'm likely to have an orgasm just about as dessert comes on the table and the dream ends. I'm not sure just how it ends up. But it sure has been wonderful anticipating it."

Bill said, "You know, I have never had a homosexual experience in my life, but clearly that's going to be part of whatever happens this evening. I guess I've thought of a lot of possibilities in my imagination, but I'm really not too clear about what to expect. Billy's told me that you won't have anal sex with me, and that doesn't bother me at all. But I don't know where this is heading."

Tim said, "You know, Charlie, I think that tonight might be a good evening to break one of our rules." I wasn't sure where Tim was going, but I certainly didn't think that this was the night to break our one big rule, regardless of how much the evening had been anticipated by Bill and Martha. Tim continued, "We have always said that you ought to talk before you act. But Bill and Martha have pretty much made it clear that they're ready for anything, and I don't think that talking about it will enhance it at all."

Martha said, "I agree. I'm all for action. But I really think that you two are going to be the leaders. I think that's what Bill and I are hoping for."

We cleared the table and dished bowls of ice cream in the kitchen. I carried in two, putting one in front of Bill and then one in front of me as I sat down. Tim put a bowl at his place and then walked around behind Martha and started to put the last bowl in front of her. Instead, he reached around her, grabbed her top just above her breasts and stretched it out, dumping the ice cream in the cleavage between her tits. She wasn't wearing a bra, so it must've come as a real shock. He calmly said, "Let the games begin."

Martha pulled off her top so that she could get free of the ice cream, and Tim picked her up, balancing her so that the ice cream remained resting at the top of her cleavage. "Leave it there," he ordered, as he headed up the stairs with her. Bill and I followed, leaving the rest of the ice cream to melt at the table. Tim headed straight for the master bed, set her down on it carefully, and said to me, "Dessert time."

We both nibbled away at both the scoop of ice cream and her nipples. The ice cream was soon gone, either down our throats or melted on her breasts. That got licked up very thoroughly. Tim said, "How's that for openers."

Martha responded, "Wow. You certainly are full of surprises."

"I try to be." He turned to Bill, "Why do you have clothes on?"

Bill said, "You still do."

"I'm not as horny as you. Do you want help getting those jeans off?"

I said, "Wait, do you want to bet on whether he has anything on under those jeans?"

"I'm betting he doesn't. Any takers?"

"Certainly not," I said.

"Show us, Bill."

It doesn't seem to matter how much you prepare for a first sexual experience, taking off your clothes is harder than you expect. Tim and I had experienced it, and seen it many times. Bill now was hesitating. The reality of his first homosexual experience was closing in very fast. Tim didn't hesitate, "Charlie, he needs help."

We both walked over to Bill. Tim stood in front, unbuttoned his jeans, and said, "Now, Charlie." I stood behind and pulled his pants down very slowly. Soon a very hard dick emerged from his jeans. We'd been right; no underwear. Tim grabbed the dick and squeezed - pretty hard. "Ready, Bill?"

Bill didn't have the slightest clue what he was ready for, but he was game and said, "Yes."

Tim said, "Good, let's see you fuck Martha, she's ready." As he said this he slipped Bill's fishnet off and then bent over and untied his shoes and helped him out of shoes, socks, and the pants that were now down at his ankles. In the meantime I went over to Martha and very gently removed her shorts. She'd already pulled her shoes off her bare feet.

Bill started to mount Martha in a missionary position, but Tim said, "Not that way. Let her be a cowgirl. On your back."

Martha moved out of the way; Bill lay down on his back, and Tim and I helped Martha climb aboard. Clearly this was the first time they'd tried the cowgirl position, and it took a moment for them to get the idea. Soon she was riding him pretty well. Tim let that continue a minute or so, until they seemed to really be getting into it, and he said, very softly, "Stop."

They didn't stop. He shouted, "Stop," and they did. Get off him, he said, he belongs to Charlie tonight. Martha, you get me later. Now we watch." He pulled our easy chair up close, put Martha on his lap with his dick hard in her butt crack, and said, "OK, you two. On with the show."

It was my turn to take charge, and I was ready. I was quickly on Bill, alternating between sucking him and kissing him. I kept him well aroused, but didn't take any chance that he'd come prematurely. Then as I kissed him I rolled us over, putting him to top. Tim got the idea and said, "OK, Bill, use your mouth all over him."

Bill did, and didn't seem to hesitate as he approached my balls and penis. I was about to come when Tim said, "Stop for now. Work on his ass."

I wasn't sure how Bill was going to deal with the idea of his mouth down at my asshole. But again he didn't hesitate. He licked me all over, but didn't try to push in with his tongue. Tim came up, rubbed some KY on the hole and said, "Use one, then two, fingers." Bill got the idea, and my prostate got quite a ride.

I said, "Are you ready, Bill."

"Oh, God, yes."

Tim pushed him down and we both went after him. I took his dick in my mouth while Tim licked his balls. It took less than a minute. Then we were kissing and he had cum in his mouth for the first time. He lay limp, exhausted, and satisfied.

Martha said, "I want to do the same thing to both of you that Bill just did. But I'd like to end by riding both of you."

Tim said, "Not at once, I hope."

She delivered on her promise, using her mouth all over Tim and then riding him till he climaxed. I got the same treatment. Then she said, "Bill, use your tongue, I've saved my orgasm for you."

He was good, and clearly knew what she liked. Her orgasm was explosive, and she almost pushed Bill off the bed. Then the two of them collapsed on the bed, and Tim and I fell in beside them. We had some fun and games the next morning, but it couldn't hold a candle to the night before. Then Martha said, "Billy tells us that you two have the most wonderful shower, and that it'll hold four."

I said, "Right this way, and led them into the bathroom. We all got into the shower, delighting in the hot water and the view of the other three. We washed each other, and then Tim and I each took one of the shower heads on the end of a hose. They can be, and were that morning, very effective sex toys, and we used them to the fullest, on each other, and on Bill and Martha. Tim ended the fun and games with, "OK, that's enough. We want them to be horny all day."

Bill said, "Boys - at age 49 I think I can still call you boys - boys, last night was absolutely everything that I imagined it would be. It was wonderful."

Martha said, "I couldn't agree more. Thank you. Being part of the Gang is the third best thing that's happened to me in my life."

She clearly wanted the question, so I asked, "What were the first two?"

"That's easy. Bill and Billy."

There's not much they could've said that would've pleased us more.

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