A Collector Series Story
Charles W. Bird
Charles W. Bird
Copyright © 2014
Copyright © 2014
This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, events or locales is entirely accidental. This story is protected by copyright and may not be reproduced by any means without the express, written permission of the author.
Dexter Tremaine leaned back against the cushions of the seat, exhausted after travelling across half the time zones on the planet without stopping except for refueling the company plane. The emergency telephone call the afternoon before nearly tore his heart out. Jenkins, his Grandfather's butler/friend/confident for as long as Dexter could remember, told him in a hushed and quavering voice that his Grandfather was dying and for him to come home immediately. Tears began falling from his eyes, Grandpa, the only Father he had ever known, the man he loved more than life itself was dying. Dexter's parents had been killed by an intruder shortly after he had been born, Grandpa had rescued him from the Child Protective Services and raised him, loved him and made him everything that he was or would ever be. Dr. Dexter Alexander Tremaine, President and Principal Stockholder of Tremaine Industries, Inventor, Scientist and Financier was dying and Dexter Robert Tremaine was rushing to see him before he was gone! He had told the Company Pilot to stop ONLY to refuel, London to New York to San Francisco to Honolulu and finally to Hilo!
TREMAINE CHILDREN'S REFUGE (cont'd)
Gene was sitting on a chair holding a small boy as he ate baked chicken and mashed potatoes and a huge green salad. He looked up at Dex and said, "Dex, I have decided, when do I start?"
Dex laughed, "How about now?" The next day, Gene Ahuna resigned from the Police Department and showed up at Tremaine House in time to help Dex ferry boys to the J C Penny's store in Hilo for new clothes and a lunch at Kim's.
Mary told Dex they were running out of bedroom space and she was going to open up the old guest cottage for more rooms. She also wanted permission to hire two women to assist in cooking and cleaning.
"Dex said, "Mary, you run this place, you hire whomever and however you think best. You cannot do it all by yourself!"
Dex then got on the phone and called Dillingsworth/Tremaine Construction Company and spoke with Bob Gilman, the new General Manager, asking him to put a rush on the Boy's Home project. He then called the local High School and spoke to the Principal, Mr. John Bates. He asked if he could recommend a tutor, that he had some boys who had been out of school for a while and needed catching up.
Mr. Bates asked, "Are you the man who has been rounding up the wild boys?"
Dex laughed, "I don't know how wild they are but, yeah, I have 20 of them right now living with me!"
John Bates replied, "Yea Gods, man, you are braver than I am! I think maybe you ought to have two tutors, men would be best as the boys would relate to them better. How about I send two of our college interns to see you, this is part of the school system responsibility and also good training for students who want to be school teachers." He laughed, "A kind of trial by fire!"
Dex chuckled, "Sure, send them by any time." After he got off the phone, Allie was standing there, he had been listening as Dex spoke to the Principal. Allie started crying and Dex picked him up and carried him over to the couch. He sat Allie on his lap and asked, "Allie, what's the problem, why are you upset?"
The boy looked at Dex, tears running down his face, "Mr. Dex, you really did mean that you were going to help us, didn't you! You bought us clothes, you have been feeding us and now you are getting teachers for us!" He hugged Dex and soaked his shirt before Dex could get him calmed down.
They sat there for a long while, Dex just holding Allie, making sure the boy knew that he was loved. After Allie had cried himself out and dried his tears, he said, "Mr. Dex, there are a lot more boys who need your help, are you gonna help them too?"
Dex replied, "Allie, I want to help every boy who needs our assistance. If we run out of room, I will build more rooms." He pointed to the open fields outside the window, "Allie, that is where a New Boy's Home is going to be built and a Girl's Home too, if we need it."
Allie replied, "Do you need more boys now, I know where they are?"
Dex looked at Allie, "You do? How about we go get then right now?"
Dex shouted for Gene and headed for the jeep, leading Allie by the hand.
Gene told Dex to remain at the house and he hopped in the driver's side of the jeep and looked at Allie, "Where too, Boss?" Allie puffed out his thin chest and said, "Drive up through the Gap and I will show you where to go."
They took off, the Gap was quite a ways away. About an hour later, they were driving down a dirt road.
Gene remarked, "I didn't even know this road was here!" Allie giggled, "You're not a kid, either!"
They arrived at a cliff, overlooking the coast.
Allie said, "You guys wait here." And he took off through the bushes. Before long they heard Allie calling, "Mr. Gene, we need some help!"
The man went charging through the bushes in the direction he had seen Allie disappear, they came to a clearing that had obviously been used as a camp for some time. Allie was holding his arms around some boys and there was one boy laying on a dirty blanket spread out on the ground.
Allie said, "Ray has a broken leg, I think, and these boys need help like I did!" Allie turned to the boys he was holding, "Guys, this is Mr. Gene, just like I told ya', they won't hurt ya' and they will take care of all of you! We will take ya' all down to meet Mr. Dex."
Gene looked at the boys, "I am just Gene, will you let me look at the boy who is hurt?"
The boy on the ground said, "Please Mister, will you help me, it hurts so bad!"
Gene dropped to his knees and held the boy's hands, "Son, will you come home with us, we can help you and all these other boys, food, a bath, a clean bed to sleep in and new clothes."
The boy replied, "What do we have to do in return for all these things?"
Gene stood and looked at all the boys, "You don't have to do anything, we want you all just to come and live with me and be safe, there is no payment, well except, well maybe you will have to let Miss Mary stuff your tummies with food!"
Gen suddenly had 6 boys hugging him and he was gently picking up the hurt boy from his blanket. They led the boys back to the jeep, Gene was thanking Dex's Grandfather that it was a station wagon model! After they got everyone loaded, they headed back to Tremaine House. As they drove up to the house, the boys were goggle-eyed.
They looked at Allie, "You mean you live HERE?" Allie laughed, "Yup and wait 'till you see what Miss Mary puts on your plates!"
Mary stood at the door pointing to the upstairs bathroom, "Clean first THEN eat!"
Dex asked Peter to call Dr. Phillips and tell him he has a patient at Tremaine House. Then it struck him, they needed a First Aid room to be part of the New Boy's Home!
Kelly started ferrying clean towels to the bathroom, Gene and Dex cleaned the hurt boy, they learned his name was Ray, as best they could without hurting him further.
When all the newest boys had gotten cleaned up and were sitting at the table, Mary began serving up her beef stew! Some of the boys ate three bowls before they quit!
Dr. Phillips took Ray over to the Clinic for an x-ray, sure enough, they had another broken leg. Dr. Phillips said, "Maybe I need to set up an office here if you are going to bring me all this business."
Dex replied, "Yes, I was just thinking about that, I will have the designers talk with you for a First Aid and Emergency Medical Room!"
The Doctor sighed, "And here I thought I was going to retire!"
Gene said, "Dex, I'm going to give Judge Akai a call, we need to get him onboard all this!" He went over to the telephone and gave the Judge a call, what he didn't know was that several boys were eavesdropping! "Your Honor, Gene Ahuna here, yes, I am working with Dexter Tremaine and the boys now. Look, your Honor, we have a bunch of new boys that we have rescued, could you come over and see to it we are all up to date on our paperwork? Thanks, Sir, I'll tell Miss Mary to have some of your lemon pie out, just for you."
Within a few minutes all the boys knew that Dex and Gene were making them all legal and that nobody could ever take them away. Gene had sat down for a few minutes, suddenly he was covered with boys, all wanting to hug and kiss him.
Judge Akai knocked on the door and let himself in, he could see Dex was unable to get up, being covered by about 20 boys, all hugging some part of him!
The elderly Judge chuckled and said, "Dexter Tremaine, didn't your Granddaddy ever tell you not to roughhouse in the living room?" Judge Akai and Gene got all the paperwork signed, making the boys all legal with the CPS.
Judge Akai asked Dex, "How soon is the new Boy's Home going to be built?" Dex replied, "They will start grading the land next week and as soon as the Building Commission approves the drawings, construction will start. Bob Gilman, down at Dillingsworth/Tremaine says the building can be up in about 6 weeks!"
The Judge laughed, "Yeah, I heard about THAT, too! Now, where is that lemon pie that Gene the Pirate promised me?"
The next day, Gene and Dex ferried 10 boys to town for a clothes expedition. The Manager at Penny's suggested that they buy a selection of clothes in various sizes and stock them at Tremaine House so they could bring Boys down to the store without embarrassing them!
Dex thought was a good idea so he told the Manager to make a selection and include them with the clothes they just bought and deliver them all to Tremaine House.
TREMAINE BOY'S HOME
The next week, tractors and bulldozers from Dillingsworth/Tremaine showed up and started grading the land for Tremaine Boy's Home. All the boys stood around watching the machinery work, like small boys everywhere, they were fascinated by all the tractors and earthmoving machinery.
Aunt Mary called everyone in for supper, she stood at the door and pointed to the washroom. She inspected hands before any boy sat at HER TABLE!
Dex had just started eating when there was a knock on the back door. Thinking it was one of the contractor employees, he got up and answered the door. Standing there was a teen, about 15 or 16 holding a tiny baby.
The boy said, "Are you Mr. Dex?" Dexter said he was and asked the boy in. The boy said, "Sir, do you have a place here for Junior?" He held the baby out to Dex.
Dex said, "Yes we do, for both you and your brother we have a place."
The boy replied, "Oh no Sir, Junior is my son, I will go to work to pay for his keep."
Tears started gathering in Dex's eyes, "Son, there is a place for BOTH you and your baby son, come in and have some supper with us." He reached out and held both the boy and his son, "You don't have to work for your OR your son's keep, what are your names?"
The boy said, "Carl, sir, Carl Bayliss and this is my son, Carl, Jr. I got a girl in trouble and she was going to give my baby boy away to somebody else. I couldn't let that happen, so I ran away from the group home and got my baby away from her."
He held out some papers, "See, where says FATHER, that is me! THIS IS MY SON!" The teen broke down in tears, Mary took the child from him and Dex picked the boy up and carried him into the living room. He cuddled the man/boy on his lap and said, "Carl, we have a place here for both of you, will you please stay with us?"
Carl replied, "I don't want us to be a burden, Sir."
Dex laughed, "Carl, look around you, do you think that you and a tiny baby would be a burden?" He picked Carl up and took him back to the kitchen, "Look, do you think you have a chance in getting Carl, Jr. away from Miss Mary?"
Mary looked up and bared her teeth and growled! She then smiled and tickled the baby under his chin as he cooed at her.
Two more boys were added to the "herd"! Baby Carl soon became a favorite of all the boys, even to arguments over who was going to babysit! Ray became a favorite of the baby, he would coo and wave his tiny hands whenever he saw Ray. It was a protectorship that Ray would carry into adulthood, protecting Carl, Jr.!
The days grew into weeks and soon lumber started to be nailed up into the air. Dex had a few arguments with the Building Commission and the State CPS, but Tremaine was the biggest employer in the state and Dex carried a lot of weight with the state legislators. For his boys, he was not afraid to use that influence. The architects had revised the drawings several times, just to insure there would be enough rooms available on opening day.
It was a steady stream, 2 or 3 boys a day arriving at Tremaine House looking for Mr. Dex! One boy had even stowed away on an interisland air flight trying to get to Mr. Dex.
Dex went down to the Hilo Office of both Aloha Airlines and Hawaiian Air and made arrangement to pay any charges for boys that inventive!
Gene had to go down to the port at Hilo to rescue several boys who had stowed away on the tanker bringing fuel to the island from the refinery on Oahu!
On opening day, Tremaine Home for Boys had 193 residents! The ribbon was cut by the youngest boy, Carl Jr., with help from his Dad! Classrooms had been added to the design as well and an infirmary, complete with a surgical suite and a 6 bed recovery ward! Dr. Phillips had retired from his regular practice and now spent all his time caring for knocked fingers and scraped knees on boys.
Dex was in a quandary about the Girl's Home, he hadn't seen a great need for it. A couple of days after the Home for Boy's opened, Dex was in the kitchen with Peter and Gene discussing the matter of boys stowing away on the fuel tanker when a light knock came on the back door. Dex went to the door, expecting to see one of the boys, he looked down and there was a teen girl, about 15 years old, holding the hands of two little girls who looked like twins.
Dex knelt down and asked, "Are you girls lost, do you need something?" The teen said, "Are you Mr. Dex?"
Dex replied that he was and the girl began to cry, "Oh, it is true, Sir, do you have room for me and my baby sisters?"
He gathered the girls in his arms and, calling for Mary, he brought them in the kitchen. He sat the twin girls on his lap and asked the teen, "What are your names and how did you come here?"
She told him that they had met some boys living in the forest on the other side of Hilo and they had told her if she could get to Mr. Dex, they would be safe. She said, "Our Daddy wanted to do nasty things to me, so I grabbed my sisters and ran!"
Dex was stunned, Gene was behind him and snarled, "I'm on it Boss!"
Dex told the girls to sit to the table and he would get them something to eat. Just then Mary rushed into the room, Gene had told her the story. She took over caring for the girls. After she had gotten some food in the girls as they had not eaten for several days, she asked Peter to drive them into Hilo, she was going to get clothes for them at Penny's. Hilo was a small town and Penny's was the only store to stock quantities of children's clothing in all sizes.
Dex handed her his Black American Express card and told her to get everything the girls would need. He then called Bill Gilman at Dillingswood/Tremaine and told him to start work on the Home for Girls. His next call was to Judge Akai to get case numbers and Temporary Custody Orders for the three girls.
Dex had decided that he needed some office help, so he cornered Mamie Ahuna, Gene's wife, and convinced her she would be a great Administrator! That was her first day, a trial by fire!
By the time they got the Home for Girls constructed, they were "storing" 21 girls in the house!
The boys had been complaining that "someone" was snooping around the building at night. Dex had hired House Mentors for each group of 20 rooms. They were mostly Young Men taking Sociology Courses at the University Hilo Campus. They were all fit young men, but they were never able to catch anyone when they played with the kids living at the Tremaine Home for Boys or the girls either, for that matter.
One morning they noticed that Kenny was not at breakfast, so his Mentor called the house to see if the boy was there. They searched the grounds, still no Kenny.
Gary came to Dex, "I think maybe our Daddy stole Kenny. He sold him to a gang man in Hilo and he drank up the money."
Dex was cursing under his breath, he called Gene and told him the story. Gene called the State CID and all his ex buddies that he used to work with at the Police Department.
Gene had some cousins who were somewhat less than sterling citizens, he called them and asked. One cousin said, "Yeah, there is one guy who would be into that sort of thing."
Gene demanded, "WHO" The cousin reluctantly gave Gene a name, "Alonzo Freheida"
Gene called in every favor he had garnered after 20 years as a Policeman, he rounded up friends, relatives, and anyone else he could and headed into Hilo, ready to do major hurt on Alonzo Freheida!
They surrounded the man's home. Gene didn't even slow down at the front door, he had already heard Kenny screaming in the house! He kicked the door in and started swinging, he drove through the gangster's bullies like wind through chaff. Gene was a big Hawaiian Man, 300 pounds and 6'6" tall, all muscle. He came to a door where he could hear Kenny screaming, he kicked it in, sending it flying off its hinges and across the room!
Without slowing down, he leaped across the room and grabbed Alonzo by the neck, snarling, 'Where's the boy?" Alonzo was hanging in Gene's hands, his feet dangling off the floor.
Gene shook the man like a cat shaking a rat, Gene heard, "Uncle Gene, Uncle Gene, in here!" Gene tossed the man aside like so much garbage and lunged through the door into a second bedroom.
He found Kenny tied to a bed, naked and bleeding. Gene snatched the bindings off the boy and cuddled him in his arms.
Kenny was crying, "He raped me, he raped me"
Holding Kenney in his arms, he stomped Alonzo Freheida until Gene's friends pulled the huge man off, he would have killed the gangster and they all wanted their turn at the monster!
Gene ran out to his car and drove the boy to Hilo General Hospital. The look on the Gene's face was enough to dispense with filling out forms! As they were checking Kenny, Dex ran in and authorized unlimited treatment for the boy.
Gene then went to the Hilo Police Station and turned himself in. The Hilo Police claimed they had never heard of Alonzo Feheida and, unless Gene could produce him, there was no way they could charge Gene with any crime.
Alonzo Freheida was never seen again.
It took several weeks for Kenny's body to heal and much longer for his mind, Kenny would never again feel safe. He spent the remainder of his life working with abused boys at Tremaine Home for Boys.
The population in both The Home for Boys and The Home for Girls continued to increase and, after the tragic episode with Kenny, Dex was determined to protect his kids even better.
After talking with Gene, he proposed the hiring of security guards. They began recruiting retired police officers, military MPs, and, finally, he discovered The Navy/Marine Reserve Center. He gave them a call to see if there were any Marine Reservists who were looking for a job.
The young Navy Yeoman who answered the telephone said to him, "Mr. Tremaine, you are a Godsend! We have Marines and Sailors back from active duty and there is just no work available for them!" He promised to send 10 men out that day for interviews.
Dex and Gene interviewed them and hired all 10 on the spot.
One of the young Marines, Joey Allen, spoke to Dex, "Sir, I grew up in an orphanage, not near as nice as your place. Could I rent a room here and live, I would love to be of some help to these boys and the girls too, if you will let me."
Dex replied, "Joey, first thing, it is Dex or Dexter, definitely NOT Sir!" He continued, "We have some old cottages up behind the Boy's Home that were used for workers during the plantation days. If we fix one of those up, would you like to live there rent free?"
Joey replied, "You also interviewed, eer, ahhh, my best friend from the Service, Ed Mailer, could we both live in that cottage? We would be willing to do the work ourselves on it!" Dex understood immediately what the young man was trying to tell him.
Dex agreed to supply all the materials and the two men worked during their time off refurbishing the cottage.
Two other new security employees, Jeff Costas and Orin Kaloha also jumped at the chance and began work refurbishing a cottage for themselves.
Dex bought uniforms for the Security Department, since all the applicants had been Marines, he felt justified in fitting them out in Marine Tropical Cammies! Very soon, they became known unofficially as the Tremaine Marine Corps!
Dex got to thinking, they were putting a terrible load on Dr. Phillips, maybe that Reserve Center has some Navy Medics who needed a job? He gave that same Yeoman a call and was told that they had three, including a Chief Petty Officer! Dex hired all three and they went to work immediately.
Two of the medics, actually former Navy Hospital Corpsmen, were close friends and they, also, asked if they could refurbish a cottage and live on the grounds!
Soon, all the boys AND the girls were up to date on their annual physicals, shots and medical histories!
Dex had been have difficulty in hiring women to be mentors for The Home for Girls, so he took a chance and again called the Reserve Center Yeoman. The Yeoman told him they had several female Corpsmen and Yeomen who would love a chance, then he said, "Mr. Tremaine, I get off active duty in 30 days, I have an AA Degree in Office Management, is there anything I could do at your place?"
Dex replied, "Wow, is there ever, when they release you, you head up here to Puna right away!"
Dex hired the two Female Corpsmen and one Female Yeoman to work as Mentors for the Girl's Home. They now had over 280 boys and 65 girls in residence, it took 4 busses each morning to take the school kids to classes.
The Lead Tremaine Marine, Reserve Gunnery Sergeant Cal Mathis, came to talk with Dex, "Dex, it doesn't make sense to ship our kids all the way to Hilo and back to go to school and I know about what happened to Kenny. If that happens to another of our kids, it would kill a lot of us, me included! Why can't we build our own school and keep our kids safe right here on the property?"
Dex thought that over and replied, "Darn, Gunney, why not?" Before the day was out, Dillingsworth/Tremaine had a contract to design two schools, Grade School and High School.
Dex scheduled a meeting with the School Board and they were in favor of the project and would supply teachers for all grades. With the backing of the School Board assured, the Building Commission readily approved the plans and construction was begun.
Navy Yeoman First Class Joshua Peters came out to interview for the position of Office Manager as he had asked Dex a month earlier.
They were sitting in Dex's office and Joshua said, "Sir, I have to tell you that I am gay, will that affect me being hired?" Dex asked, "Are you a child predator?"
Joshua replied, "Absolutely not! I had to hide it while I was on Active Duty, but I am in a long term relationship with another man and have no interest in children except to see them safe!"
He continued, "We have a home right here in Puna, Cale is a Policeman, Cale Johnston."
Dex replied, "Then it is nobody's business, when do you want to start?" Later, Dex asked Gene if he knew Cale Johnston, Gene said, "Good Grief, that man is even bigger than me! He must be nearly 6'9"! He is HUGE"
Dex just smiled and said no more about it.
About a month later, Dex and Gene were at a School Board meeting, the board was having financial problems, a sign of the times. Dex told them that Tremaine would pay the salaries of the Principal and the Athletic Department at the new schools in Puna.
That was agreeable to the board and the meeting was adjourned at 10:30 at night. They had brought the Lincoln because Gene's car had a flat tire, they were looking forward to getting home, it had been a very long day.
The two men had stopped at fast food restaurant for a cup of coffee before heading up Puna Highway. As they returned to the car, Gene was sure he heard someone crying. He waved at Dex to follow him and they went around the side of the building to investigate. Next to the garbage dumpster they spotted two little boys huddled together.
Dex knelt down to speak to them and they both screamed in fright, "No mister, please don't hit us again, we didn't take nothing, just an old sandwich."
Fighting back his own tears, Dex put his arms around the tiny boys, they couldn't have been more that 5 or 6 years old, "Boys, will you come with me, I can get you food. You can't stay here in this awful place!"
One boy cried and said, "We can't go back in town, he will find us!"
Dex just picked the two up and took them to his car. Gene sat on the back seat of the big car and Dex placed the two little boys on his lap. They smelled to high heaven but Gene wasn't about to let either boy go.
Gene said soothingly to them, "Mr. Dex will take us to his house, you will be safe there, I promise!"
One little boy said, "If our Daddy finds us, he will give us to that bad man." The two boys scrunched down to hide under Gene's arms. Gene said to Dex, "Make tracks for home, we gotta help these boys!"
Dex created a new speed record back to Tremaine House and they carried the two little boys in the front door. Mary and Peter were in the kitchen and heard the two men enter the front door. When Mary saw the two little tykes, she sent Peter upstairs to start the bath water. She then cut off two slabs of fresh bread, spread butter and strawberry jam on it, then gave each boy a piece, along with a glass of cold milk.
She said, "Ok boys, that will hold you for a few minutes, Mr. Dex and Mr. Gene with get you cleaned up while I fix you a real meal, ok?"
The two boys said shyly, "Yes M'am."
Their clothing was so dirty, Dex decided that they weren't worth saving. He had a supply of clothing like the Manager down at Penny's had suggested, so he could find something that wouldn't be too big on them.
As they were undressing the little boys, Dex spotted fresh blood in both boy's dirty underwear, he whispered to Gene, "Call the Duty Corpsman, we have problems here!" Gene called Corpsman Henry Fallsworth and asked him to come over to Tremaine House right away.
Within minutes the Corpsman was knocking at the kitchen door, Mary let him in and pointed to the stairs. He took the stairs at a run, and came into the bathroom where the boys were getting cleaned up. Dex told the Corpsman what he suspected in a low voice.
The Corpsman knelt down next to the bathtub and hugged both boys, "Guys, I'm the Medic, can I look you over, make sure you got no cooties or anything?" The little boys giggled and said, "What are cooties?"
Henry tickled their ribs and said, "Little Tickle Buggies" He picked each boy up and pretended to inspect their feet, under their arms and their backs before he sat them back down in the warm bath water. He turned to Dex and whispered, "Both those boys have been raped!" Henry's eyes were blazing and he could hardly contain his anger! He went and called Dr. Phillips and told him what they had discovered.
The elderly Doctor rushed out to Tremaine House to examine the boys. He decided that surgery was not needed, but he prescribed ointments and soothing creams to be applied every 4 hours.
He said to Dex, "You find out who those boys are and who did this, I have to report it to the State!" Dex and Gene took the two boys back down to the kitchen where Mary had laid out a feast for them, baked chicken, rice, green beans and strawberry pie with whipped cream! The boys attacked the food like an army going to war!
They learned they were Casper and Dean Baxter and their stepfather was Andrew Meacham. Gene contacted the Police and gave them all the details, a Patrolman came out with a warrant that Gene signed for the arrest of Andrew Meacham on charges of child abuse, sexual misconduct with minors and child abandonment.
The little boys, Casper and Dean, soon became favorites of just about everyone. They were as inquisitive as a pair of little monkeys, no one could bring themselves to scold them, no matter what they did. They were placed in Kindergarten at school, but soon were changed to the First Grade, they were smart, too!
The new schools were opened with much fanfare because local children around Puna were also invited to attend their classes there.
Many of the new teachers had begun their careers as Mentors in The Boy's or The Girl's Homes.
The Hilo Campus of the University of Hawaii was now offering a course in its School Of Social Sciences that included on-site training at either The Boy's Home of The Girl's Home for credit.
That gave Gunny Cale Mathis and idea and he came to Dex, "Let's offer Marine JRTOC in the High School?"
Dex thought about the Gunnery Sergeant's suggestion and decided to talk with the new Principal at the High School, Preston Jarvis.
Preston liked the idea so Dex went down to the Marine-Navy Reserve Center and spoke with the Commanding Officer, Commander Jim Wilson. He explained to Dex what had to be done and gave him an armload of paperwork to fill out.
As Dex was walking out, the Commander laughed and said, "Give all that stuff to Josh Peters, he is a WizBang at that paperwork!"
Dex returned to Puna and walked in the Business Office carrying the armload of papers. Joshua looked at him and groaned, "Commander Wilson?
Dex said, "Yep, we are gonna start a JROTC Unit!" Joshua said, "I think I hear my Mother calling me, maybe I had better go?"
Dex laughed and told him to hire some help if he needed to.
Joshua put a notice up on the Bulletin Board in The Boy's Home announcing sign-ups for Marine JROTC.
Within minutes there was a delegation of angry girls demanding they get a chance to sign up too! By the time the dust had settled, 130 boys and 22 girls had signed up for the JROTC!
Dex had to quick find an Instructor, he had no idea it would be that popular! Gunny Mathis was assigned as Assistant Instructor and several Tremaine Marines signed up to help.
A squad of girls challenged the boys to Drill Team Competition and for the next 2 months the "HOO-HAWS from the basketball court began at 6 AM!
Some of the kids even put up their weekly allowance as bets on who was going to win! The competition was fierce, almost WARFARE!
Dex made himself a promise that he would be down in Hilo when the competition was to be judged!
Some of the boys had spotted the old stables up on the hill above the house and they met with Dex, asking if there "maybe" could be some horses bought? They even volunteered to clean the stalls and feed the animals.
Dex thought about it and, well, why not? A week later six horse trailers showed up, each carrying 3 horses! When they started unloading the horses, the Principal just gave up and let school out 3 hours early!
Dex did hire a stable manager and 2 helpers, but the stalls were kept clean by volunteer labor!
A riding club was started, with a waiting list several yards long. They would take day long group rides on the trails in the surrounding hills.
Gordon Tully, one of the Tremaine Marines, was leading a group of boy and girl riders up through the hills one Saturday when they smelled smoke. Afraid it might be a fire, he fanned his riders out to try and find the source before it became a serious problem.
Each rider had been issued a whistle just for such occurrences, about 20 minutes into the search, he heard the frantic blowing of several whistles. He called the riders nearest him and rushed in the direction of the sounds.
As he broke into a clearing, he found his riders dismounted and comforting a group of young boys. One girl was holding a small boy to her as she rocked him back and forth, rubbing his back gently. There was a group of 10 boys camped there.
Gordon jumped off is horse to investigate, an older boy, about 16 years old came forward and explained that all the boys were hiding out there from abuse or just abandoned! Gordon said, "What about yourself?" The boy hung his head and said, "Yeah, me too."
The boys were dirty and looked in need of food, he asked them if they had ever heard of Mr. Dex and the older boy said, "Yeah, but not how to find him."
One of the girls shouted, "We know where he is, we live with him! Come on, we'll show you!" The boy began to cry, "Is this true, you guys are living with Mr. Dex?"
They all shouted, "YES" Gordon got all the boys onto horses, behind other riders and they headed for home. It would be the last time a group of Tremaine Riders rode without a radio!
They got back and Gordon told one of the girls to run in and get Mr. Dex, pronto! He began helping boys off the horses and the Home Kids started comforting the newcomers.
Dex and Gene came running up, some of the new boys cringed and started to back away. The Home Kids held onto their hands and led them up to Dex and Gene, "This is Mr. Dex and Mr. Gene" they said.
One little boy ran up to Dex and hugged him crying, "I didn't know how to find you" he wailed. Dex picked up the little guy and held him, suddenly he and Gene were mobbed by crying and wailing boys. They took the new boys into the dining hall, where Mary was showing the new cooks how to fix some of her special dishes.
She said, "Come on, I'll show you how to serve them!" as she started filling bowls with stew. She lined up 10 bowls of stew and put her hands on her hips, "Well, are you hungry or not?"
The 10 boys stampeded the table and wolfed down the stew, asking if they could have more! One of the new cooks said, "They are like vacuum cleaners!"
Mary merely said, "GOOD!"
The Corpsman, Henry Fallsworth was manning the Medical Room again that afternoon, he called in the other 2 Corpsmen and they started processing all the boys. None of the new boys had anything serious wrong with them, a variety of bug bites, scratches and skinned knees was all.
Some of the older boys came down and helped the new kids get showered and cleaned up, Joshua Peters opened up the clothing locker and got new clothing and shoes for all the boys, one little boy was walking around holding his new shoes, he said they were too shiny to wear!
Josh got all their names and particulars so they could get Custody Orders from Judge Akai. Dex got to counting vacant rooms and decided he needed to call Gil at Dillingsworth/Tremaine and get started on another new building for the boys.
For a while, every Saturday when there was a horse riding group out, they would bring back at least 2 or 3, sometimes even more, boys and an occasional girl needing a home.
Tremaine Schools were gaining a reputation of excellence that parents were enrolling their children from as far away as Hilo and driving them to Puna every school day!
The criminal element of the state had other opinions of Tremaine Home for Boys and Home for Girls, it was drying up the stock for a lucrative part of their business, CHILD SEX!
Warning of an attack came nearly too late, the gang members were trying to get in the doors before they were discovered. JROTC Cadet Lieutenant Jeremy Collins spotted them first and gave the alarm. He rushed for the ROTC room. Since he was the Armory Officer, he had the keys to the training weapons. He started passing out rifles and ammunition. The cadets waited in the lobby, just inside the main doors.
The weapons were only .22 caliber target rifles, but the boys let off a barrage of 20 rifles, then, just as they had studied in JROTC class. They dropped back to the next branch corridor and waited. They let off another barrage of bullets, twice more they did this before the gangsters caught on.
As the gang members turned around to get back to the main staircase where they could grab children, the Stable Master and his two assistants, armed with 20 gauge shotguns, that they used for killing rats, let loose with a blast of shot pellets.
That was more the criminals could take and they began to run outside to get in their cars and leave, only to be met with a solid line of armed and very angry Police Officers, each hoping that a gangster would move!
Not a single boy was hurt, but 15 criminals required medical attention! Jeremy was the HERO of the DAY! He was an outstanding student, JROTC Cadet and a leader among the boys.
The staff had been considering several cadets as Cadet Officer, Commanding. Needless to say, Cadet Lt. Colonel Jeremy Collins was selected!
When he was notified of his promotion and selection as Commanding Officer he began to shake and said, "But, I, I,I ,I, I am not worthy, I am just a thrown away kid!" Dex said, "Jeremy, most Great Men feel they are not worthy, that is one of the things that make them great! Believe me, you ARE VERY WORTHY!"
The criminal gangs tried other things against the Homes, but never again did they attempt an outright frontal assault!
When Jeremy graduated from High School, he won, by competitive examination, an appointment to West Point Military Academy. Graduating the Academy as number one in his class, he went on to an illustrious military career and would retire as Lt. General, United States Army!
Graduates of Tremaine Homes were entering all walks of life, several took positions within Tremaine Industries and when Dex decided to retire as President of Tremaine Industries, it was a Graduate of Tremaine Home for Boys, Tremaine High School and the University of Hawaii who replaced him, none other than Dr. Kelly Masters Tremaine, Ph.D.!
When Dex retired, Alex Mc Laughlin, Jr. moved in with him and they spent the rest of their days watching the boys and girl flower into well balanced, productive and happy adults. Everyone knew they were a couple and the only thing anyone said was, "It's about time!"
Jerry and Garth Masters entered politics and Garth would become the Governor of the State of Hawaii. Jerry would serve 9 terms in the United States Senate.
Carl Bayliss would be succeeded by his son, Carl Bayliss, Jr. as the editor of the largest newspaper in the state.
Dr. Mary Gorman, MD would become the Medical Director of the United States Public Health Service and Dr. Helena May, RN, Ph.D. would become Director of Nursing at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Allie Phelps would retire as Associate Director, United States Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Kent Broadman would be killed in a plane accident as Chief Test Pilot, United States Air Force.
There are so many others that Mr. Dex set upon the road of life, that otherwise would have ended as road trash.
At his funeral, Kelly gave his Dad's Eulogy, in it he said, "If not for Mr. Dex, how many of us would have survived to be adults, how many of us would have survived at all. In all our lives, one man stands out above all others, Dexter Robert Tremaine is THAT man. Each day I thank God that he was born and each night I thank God again for having put him in my life. He is gone from us now, but his spirit, his work and his goals remain with us. Let each and every one of us resolve to help a child today and tomorrow and the next until it becomes habit that our children are worth our care, our love and our work."