"Twenty percent of any given group of salesmen will always produce 80 percent of the sales."
Rose nodded her approval at my offer.
"Can you start next Monday?"
"I think so; I'll arrange for the two younger boys to stay with my cousin. Paul will be working here so I'll be bringing him to work."
As far as I was concerned, Rose Boyer could've started that very day. Everything about her gave every indication she'd be a great addition to our lives, providing not only great meals, but a warm, welcoming, and accepting presence for our boys. I was very rapidly viewing our nephews as "our boys" rather than "our nephews living with us."
I did have other logistics problems to resolve; the most predominate concerned balancing family and work. Before the boys arrived, I was accustomed to making two or three trips per week, during the fruit and vegetable season in the summer, to the various produce auctions to keep our stands and the rest of our markets, including the farmer's markets we sent people to, well supplied with fresh fruit and vegetables which didn't either grow on our farm or were available until our crops matured or produced in sufficient quantity to meet customer needs.
I made no pretenses concerning the produce purchased at auction or their origin. For example, the blueberries I wanted to purchase on Thursday were from Michigan and the tomatoes were from somewhere farther south, in this case, I think, southern Indiana. About the only crops I didn't supplement with outside purchases were asparagus, sweet corn, strawberries, pumpkins, and potatoes; all produced in abundance on our farm and were our real "bread and butter." Those crops, along with sale of excess field corn, hay, beef cattle, and hogs, made up the bulk of our very substantial gross income. Not that the outside purchases didn't contribute highly as well since they did, but we relied on the basic crops and sales to "carry" us from year to year.
My dilemma was simply while Andy was working, during the summer especially, when the boys were alone and I had to leave for an auction before they woke up, who'd be here at home for them? The fall trips, fewer in occurrence, wouldn't be so bad since I'd travel shorter distances, leave after they left for school and be home generally by the time they got home. Robbie would be old enough to keep an eye on his brothers until I arrived home, something he was quite capable of doing since he'd been doing it for as long as he did already.
I contemplated all of this as Mattie, gripping my left hand, skipped and hopped along side of me as we made our way to the house.
Inside I gave him a gentle swat on the butt, prompting a giggle and a wiggle of his pert little ass, told him to relieve his brothers and send Scottie to the kitchen to give me a hand. I realized not only did I have to prepare a lunch for Robbie and send out to him, but also figure out something for lunch and dinner for the rest of us. I rummaged around in the freezer, located some packages of minute steaks, took one package out, pried a couple loose from the package, popped them in the microwave to thaw, and returned the package to the freezer. I also spotted a couple of pork roasts, took them out and to the kitchen. Pork roasts, potatoes, and mixed veggies with fruit for dessert would take care of dinner and perhaps sandwich material for Robbie for another day. Meantime, he was going to get a couple of minute steak sandwiches, chips, mandarin oranges from the small can I retrieved from the pantry, and a cold soda (from the office) and a bottle of water.
Scottie arrived to help so I put him to work broiling the steaks while I found a small picnic cooler I often took with me traveling to carry snacks and water. A quick peek into the fridge revealed we'd need more milk, so Andy would have to pick some up before coming home, along with bread, butter, another cooler, and something for Sunday dinner, preferably chicken.
The steaks done, made into sandwiches dressed with sliced tomatoes, thin onion slice, and lettuce, slipped into sandwich bags, placed into the cooler along with a bag of ice, the oranges, a bottle of water, and chips. I called to Eddie and Jamie to come help his brother deliver Robbie's lunch ("don't forget a spoon, Uncle Jacob," Scottie reminded me). I gave Scottie money to purchase a soda from the office machine since he had to go there and seek Robbie's whereabouts from Mrs. Jensen (Mrs. "J." as all six seemed determined to call her).
I sent the three of them out of the house and headed them toward the office, with the admonition, "You three stick together. You're not familiar with the farm yet and I don't want to send out search party to find you."
That's all I'd need!
Janet, hearing all of the hustle and bustle coming from the kitchen, walked, albeit slowly, to the kitchen with Mattie assisting her, then settled down in a chair. She laughed at me in my scurrying about in the kitchen, my harried look at the boys as I warned them on their way out the door, and my sigh of resignation and concern.
"Keeps you busy doesn't it, Brother?" she laughed.
I merely nodded, wondering how she'd been able to cope and adjust through the years as yet another son was added to her life.
"Don't worry," she said with amusement, "it just gets more hectic. Wait until they quit fucking each other and decide to 'spread the wealth,' so to speak, among the boys and girls they become acquainted with."
I merely groaned at the thought. Mattie just grinned, rolled his eyes, twinkling at the sound of his mother's words and the thoughts they engendered.
Janet certainly didn't couch her words any more now than she did when we were growing up; even in the presence of her sons.
"I'll worry about that in the future. Now, I have to decide what to fix for lunch."
"Got any more of those minute steaks? If so, fix the same for the rest of us, Jacob."
I brought out the steaks from the freezer, put them on the counter to thaw, and called Andy asking him to pick up milk, sandwich materials, another couple of picnic coolers since we'd be packing lunches for more than one in the future I thought, and something for Sunday dinner. I was about to hang up when Andy informed me he had the beds but no mattresses, sheets, or blankets for them.
"Put them on our personal charge cards," I advised.
It was a fortunate thing Andy had a good paying job and the profits from the farm were good to excellent. Raising six boys, with all of the additional help it'd take, would take some financial as well as personal resources. Andy and I, luckily, had the financial resources to provide well for our "new sons." We weren't wealthy, but we weren't average in economic resources either; in fact, well above average. Our savings accounts and investments were well endowed and doing well. Andy's salary provided a regular income, while the income from the farm was sporadic, but substantial.
"How did you manage, Sis?" I asked
"I planned my menus, checked for sales, and worked hard."
During her younger and healthier years, she could earn up to four or five hundred dollars or more in a night's work. By watching her expenses she'd be able to set aside enough for them to survive when business was slow.
"It takes a bunch," she recalled, "but the boys are real good about not over spending or asking for more than we could afford."
I could well imagine what their lives were like before coming to our home; love in abundance, but learning to sacrifice as well. They appeared to be relatively well adjusted and quite understanding not to ask for more than one could afford or if money was short to make certain the younger ones were taken care of first. Suppressing a sob, hearing Janet tell how she supported her family and now realizing how little time I had left with my twin sister, I merely nodded my understanding and acceptance of her way of life. Everyone has to do whatever it takes to survive and provide for themselves and the ones they love. Janet did it on her back or in any position her tits, twat, and tongue would earn her a buck or two! I regretted she waited so long to come home so I could help her and tried to assuage my guilty feelings for not trying harder to find her.
Janet was quick to pick up on my suppressed feelings. "Jacob, don't fret about the past; I could've come home anytime and you know it. My own pride kept me away until my strength started to fade and I knew I needed help. I've no one to blame but myself."
Glancing at my watch, I wondered where my three delivery boys were, hoping they didn't become lost or head toward the lake without anyone chaperoning them.
I needed not to have worried- much!
Scottie, Eddie, and Jamie delighted Mrs. Jensen when they appeared at the office seeking the whereabouts of their older brother. She just happened to have some bite-sized candy bars in her desk which she insisted the boys' sample. Not wanting to disappoint her or hurt her feelings, they obliged, thanking her profusely.
Scottie was intrigued with her computer and the data she was entering and downloading from external devices.
"Your Uncle Jacob," she explained as he questioned what she was doing, "insists on keeping meticulous records so he can determine what crops to plant, where, and when; the size of each crop planted and harvested, the costs of production, and gross and net profits."
Additional records were kept and stored on those crops started by seed, transplanted, when harvested, weather conditions on a daily basis recorded from a small weather station outside sending the data to our main server, amount of rain or irrigation of each crop, and diseases or insects encountered. Those fruits and vegetables purchased for re-sale were recorded by the quantities, place of origin, auction or wholesaler names, amount paid, quantity purchased, gross sales in dollars, and margin of profit on the net sales. The sale and production of other non-produce items such as beef cattle, hogs, field corn, and hay were kept in the same meticulous manner. In addition, the Farm's personnel records including hourly wage, names of those hired, and other data was included. The Farm's accounting firm handled the payroll, after submission of information from Mrs. Jensen, and taxes. Mrs. Jensen was an extremely capable bookkeeper so the Farm's financial books were always up to date and accurate. I believed good books made good, profitable business sense and put money in our pockets.
Crops I found unprofitable two years running, I discontinued or offered in only small amounts, unless I used them as a "loss leader." All in all, the records we kept helped me make those decisions necessary to keep the business viable and competitive.
"You better get Robbie's lunch to him," she advised the intrepid trio, "it's close to lunch time for those working the fields. They quit earlier than some of the others, especially on hot days such as today, so they'll be taking an early lunch break. They should be about ready to move the cattle to new pasture by now, so check out behind the barn; following the lane until you come to a small grove of trees. The boys will be sitting somewhere in the shade."
"Gotcha' Mrs. J.," Scottie acknowledged starting for the door.
"Don't forget a soda for him," she reminded.
Robbie and the others just finished moving the irrigation pipes and were taking their lunch break before moving the beef cattle to another pasture area. He was settled beneath a maple tree with another lad, about his age Scottie thought, although not knowing for certain or the boy's name, when they delivered his lunch to him. The other boy introduced himself as Paul Boyer, but offered no more.
Walking away from Robbie and Paul, Scottie snickered softly to Eddie and Jamie, "He'll be fucking Paul within a week!"
"More like in a couple of days," Eddie contemplated aloud engendering agreement from the other two.
The three of them also agreed Robbie picked a "looker" to become his "special" friend; a friend who, if not initiated before, would soon find out what a cock the size of Robbie's felt like stuffed up his butt-hole. All three agreed if Mattie were older, he probably would widen Paul Boyer enough for three other shafts to take up residence in his butt with room for more. The very thought brought howls of laughter from all three as they decided to find one of the strawberry fields people picked in.
Jamie's suggestion to find the field didn't include any directions where to go, but by more luck than sense, they were headed in the right direction. In a small copes' of tall grass and small trees, they spotted a high school boy, shorts down around his ankles and his cock buried deep in the high school girl beneath him, engaged in a very pleasurable copulation, if the whimpering, moaning sound escaping with each thrust and rise of hips.
"Why, I do believe they're fucking," Scottie whispered softly so as not to disturb the copulating couple.
"As Mr. Sickles, the old man who used to live down the street would say," Jamie responded, emphasizing and exaggerating his soft southern drawl to imitate Mr. Sickles, "Well, boys, I do believe the young gentleman in question is not 'fuckin' as you would crudely say it, but is mashin' his taters."
"That might be so, sonny," Eddie mocked using the same imitation of Mr. Sickles, "but the way his arse cheeks are a clenchin', he's done mashing and is a pourin' on the gravy."
Soft laughter giggled forth as they walked away heading toward what they hoped would be the strawberry fields. Again, with more luck than sense, they happened to wander into the field the employees just closed for public picking and were in the process of cleaning up and readying the portable sales booth for moving to the field next to the one they were in, where picking would be open to the public the next day.
"Kind of explains the two fucking in the grass," Jamie allowed, "Nothing like taking time to relax after a hard day's work," and laughed. "Get it guys; a hard day's work? You know, got it hard and now working to soften it?"
He thought it was absolutely hilarious, although his brothers were not nearly amused.
"Lame!" snorted Eddie.
One of the workers, evidently the one in charge, stopped the boys, told them the field was closed to picking, and then, thinking a moment, asked who they were.
Scottie introduced himself and his brothers. The entire assemblage of workers immediately recognized the names of the nephews of their boss, Jake Westcott, and now residents of the Farm. Before any of them could respond to their names, Scottie asked the directions to the roadside stand his Uncle Jacob mentioned.
"Just down the county road," offered the crew chief, at least that's what the boys figured she was since she had the cash box in her hands. "Walkout out through the gate, hook a left, and it's about a block or two away. Be right next to the lane leading to the office and house. Watch for traffic."
"Duh!" muttered Eddie, "we drove right by it on the way to Uncle Jacob's," remembering the trip down the lane a few days before heading toward the house. "With Robbie driving, it took all of us, awake anyway, to watch the road for him."
"This Robbie, your brother, and perhaps not the best driver?" the crew chief asked.
"Nah, he's pretty good actually," Scottie answered.
"But he has to sit on a cushion to see out the windshield," Jamie chimed, "so, sometimes in traffic, while he's swiveling his head one way to look, someone else has to swivel the other way to help. Coming through Atlanta, Georgia was a real treat!"
"Hairy was it?"
"About as hairy as a fat ape's ass!" Jamie said emphatically, rolling his eyes.
The crew didn't know whether to laugh or just ignore his remarks, but since they were a combined crew of high school and college students, decided, collectively to laugh.
Mistake; it only fueled Jamie's imagination and spiel.
"But we made it through slicker than a bald man's head, a hen's egg, or a baby's butt after a wiping and clean diaper. Otherwise, it could've been rather messy, sort of a sticky situation, with some clinging and cringing on the part of my brothers and mom."
"Enough!" Scottie admonished. "We're heading for the stand," and gave his brothers a wave of his hand.
"Follow me," the crew leader advised, "I'm heading for the office and will go right by."
The parking lot in front of the stand held several cars and the display tables full of strawberries, some vegetables, and various varieties of fruit, in front of the stand and inside, being inspected by customers. Since the main crop was strawberries, there were many available for sale either in quart containers, by the pound, or by full "flats."
The three Westcott boys, too cute to imagine, clad in baseball caps, tee-shirts, shorts, and tennis shoes, looking (mistakenly) as innocent as a babes in the manger, wandered into the stand and watched the people trying to decide what to buy or how much. With a tip of his head, Jamie motioned his brothers to follow him and headed toward three older, grandmotherly type ladies, contemplating a table full of quarts of strawberries, marked down to half price since the day was heading rapidly toward the noon hour and heat.
The boys overheard one lady comment, "Coming this time of day or later always presents the best bargains since the Westcott's don't want their produce to be overripe or on the way to spoilage."
Jamie, as precocious and outgoing as he is, stepped up closely to the lady who was speaking, tapped her gently on the arm such like a grandchild might do preparing to ask something and as she turned, he smiled his most beguiling smile. Her reaction, looking down at the cute, impish, smiling young man trying to attract her attention was not one of dismissal but of pure joy and acceptance!
"Yes?" she questioned.
"Mam," he began, drawling, exaggerating his southern drawl in a voice dripping with magnolia and mint julip, imitating Mr. Sickles, "I say there, Mam, would you be contemplating the purchase of some of these red, ripe, juicy, purely heavenly, luscious strawberries, begging for a wedding with cold, thick cream or an encounter with a large dish of vanilla ice cream?"
Finding it almost impossible to ignore or not respond to the huggable young lad standing next to her, she smiled, "Why, yes, I am young man."
"Well, Mam," crooned Jamie, his voice laced with pure southern hospitality and manners, "I certainly want to give caution to you should you purchase such a delightful addition to your meals," gently waving a cautionary, but respectful, finger in her direction.
"Just a taken' them berries home, putting them in the ice box, in anticipation of a dessert of berries as sweet as a momma's love, ripe as a young lad ready for lovin', and as delicious as manna from heaven or ambrosia from the gods, will put roses in your cheeks, add to your already stunning beauty, and well, I must remind you, put a quickness to your step should you overindulge."
"Why, for ever more would it put a quickness in my step as you say it? At my age, my young friend, it might not be so easy to do?"
Jamie looked about furtively, as if concerned someone might overhear his remarks to the lady, although by now the collected group of customers, as well as the two sales clerks, a young college man and woman, were gathered around listening carefully to the hilarious exchange. He motioned her to lean over a bit so he could speak softly in her ear, which he did, somewhat, but still loud enough for others to hear.
"Well," he explained dropping his exaggerated southern drawl, "Momma says if I eat too many of these ripe, red berries, I'll poop my pants and I wouldn't want that to happen to such a nice lady like you."
"Oh, dear, neither would I," she giggled.
Rolling his eyes upward, giving her a pleading look, "You could surely save me from embarrassment if you and your lady friends would buy some of these berries and remove them from my temptation."
"My word," she exclaimed with a laugh, "You are quite the little con, aren't you?"
"No, Mam, I'm a Westcott not a Con; James Westcott. In fact, I'm the youngest of the six fabulously handsome and extremely bright and talented Westcott boys now living here at Westcott Farms and at your service."
He hesitated, gave her a wink and a grin. "I'm also last at the berry bowl and first in the necessary; I do love strawberries. The fastest runner of the bunch."
"I suppose you'd like me to buy a box of these berries and remove them from your sight, wouldn't you?"
"Actually, Mam, I was hoping you'd buy at least two or three. Just pay the folks at the cash register," he said and turning to the others gathered, "My brothers are holding up boxes of berries; all shouting, not my brothers understand, but the berries, 'take me home, take me home."
Who could resist such a sales pitch? Rather than chase the trio away, since sales jumped, the two employees in the stand, hustled to the counter and began ringing up the sales.
It may've stopped there, with this one visit, had not someone been taking pictures and videos with their cell-phones.
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