Castle Roland

The Oberlin Five

by Sequoyah


Chapter 19

Published: 8 Apr 14

ASP--The Oberlin Five--Chapter Nineteen--Eugene

The combo had not taken any gigs after Thanksgiving, since we were all super-busy getting ready for finals and making sure all assignments were in on time. Matt was practicing every minute he could squeeze in, and would have been sleeping little except Luke would not permit that. Luke stayed up and studied while Matt practiced at night, but at the stroke of midnight practice was over. Matt only tried to argue with him once, and I think only then because Paula and I were using the computers and Matt thought he could get away with not closing the shop, but that didn't stop Luke. Luke also insisted that Matt run every morning unless it was pouring rain.

Truly, after the "Saturday of Freedom" Paula ordered, things in the house were on a much more even keel. Actually we were generally happy and relaxed afterward, even with the pressure that finals were placing on all of us and, even with his recital ahead of him, Matt was pretty relaxed. Paula debated asking her chorus teacher to attend a choir practice at St. Anne's for her directing grade. "With the old organist it won't be as good as it would have been with Matt," she said, "but it would take some pressure off."

She finally talked to Matt and then Fr. Manville. Both thought it was not a good idea to push the organist aside, even for one practice. Paula saw the logic of their position and went ahead and asked her teacher to attend a regular choir practice, and she agreed. After Paula refused to be cowed by her earlier, the choral teacher and Paula had actually came to appreciate each other. Since Paula knew the choir inside out and had picked music that was both good and within the choir's capabilities, it went well.

I decided to try the same tack, and asked my instruments teacher about attending a practice session of the combo--we still practiced each week, in spite of agreeing not to do any gigs--and she agreed. Afterward she asked me to come by her office.

When I got to Professor Grace's office, she asked me to sit down and relax, "You're not here because you are a naughty boy," she laughed. I didn't realize I was uptight until she said that. I laughed and relaxed. "Eugene, you mentioned liking jazz and considering switching to a jazz program. There will be little problem with you doing that. I have looked over your program carefully and can tell you many of your classes would be essentially the same. The focus of some would shift and a few would be different, but you have neither wasted this semester nor would you be behind if you switched now. You can still get in all the courses you need, so you could get a teacher's certificate if you desire."

"I thought about you and your combo when I got an inquiry about a combo to play for a summer place on the lake, east of Cleveland. They are looking for a group that can do some jazz, but mostly oldies, nothing really difficult. I didn't have anyone in mind, but when I heard your combo practice I thought that might be a possibility. Are you interested?"

"I would be, but I know that Luke won't be available as he is touring with an exhibition of his works, and I'm sure Paula is planning to go back to the camp where she worked last year. I don't know about the others. Larry is going to India and Nepal--he hasn't been officially notified yet, but his mentor knows that he will be with a film crew there this summer--so I am definitely looking for something, since we will be separated."

"Larry is ... ?"

"I guess I thought everyone knew. Larry, Larry Watley, and I are partners. I'll need something to take my mind off him being way this summer. This sounds like a good way to spend the summer. I'll check and see what we can come up with. Also, I need to talk with my advisor about courses for next semester, since we register before the holidays. Thanks for thinking of me."

At dinner Thursday evening, I told the household what Professor Grace had said. "Paula, Kent, what do you think about the summer?"

"Don't think so," Kent said. "I have taken on the garden down the beach. I sure don't want to mess up being the landscape designer and gardener for that house."

"Yea, I can see that. But if you could commute."

"It's not very realistic, Eugene," Kent said. "I'd have to be here five days a week and would be pretty bushed, then have a seventy-mile commute. That kind of commute looks out of the question as I would not get back here until the wee hours of the morning. I doubt the gig would pay my transportation."

"You're right, of course," I said, "but it sounds like a golden opportunity."

"It would be if I was a music major," Kent replied. "My garden is my golden opportunity."

"Maybe Rachel would be interested," Matt said. "I think you'll agree she is capable of being drummer."

"That's true," Kent said. "Yea, Eugene, ask her. What have you got to lose?"

"How about you, Paula? I asked.

"I planned to go back to the camp and do music therapy this summer. Thinking about the job I had last year, I really couldn't even if the summer place was next door. Sorry."

"Look, it seems to me you need to get a group together who can handle the job this summer and work with them. I don't see the present combo taking the job," Luke said. I had to agree with him, but everyone encouraged me to get a group together and I thought I'd see what could be done.

We all had appointments with our advisors Friday before finals, and got pre-registered for the second semester. Because of the AP courses we had taken in high school, and the class load we had all carried the first semester, Paula, Matt and Luke were sophomores second semester and Larry, Kent and I were ahead of the game, but not quite sophomores. We all got the classes we wanted. Matt even managed to keep two days free for Holtkamp, but they would be Monday and Wednesday. Paula would start courses at CWRU and be going in with Kent Tuesday and Thursday for morning classes, since Kent was able to get his Tuesday and Thursday classes in the morning as well. Luke and Larry would also be going in to CRWU Monday and Wednesday.

The weekend was a quiet one, since we were all preparing for final examinations which started Monday.

ASP--The Oberlin Five--Chapter Nineteen--Luke

Eugene had been asked about having the combo play at a kind of adult summer camp on the lake, but east of Cleveland, a good seventy miles away, it turned out. It would involve playing during dinner each evening and for a Saturday night dance. Easy enough, and the pay wasn't too bad, but when the combo got together and discussed it, there was no way it was going to happen--because of commitments already made or hoped for. Sheila and Marshall, the bassist and the keyboard player, were interested. "If Rachel is interested, and can get permission to come, we'd have a nice set-up," Eugene said.

"Think she might be a vocalist as well," Matt said. "She was singing very nicely when she was here."

When Eugene called Rachel, she was very excited and asked Jacob's dad if she could do it. After she assured him she would be protected by Paula he agreed. "Just a little fib," she had said. She did say she had done vocal work with a group she had played for before her parents split. "How about a sax player?" she asked. "Jack's not bad at all and I'd sure like to have him around. He's such a teddy bear."

"We'll have to figure out when we can get together and be realistic about doing the job," Marshall said, and Eugene agreed, but they decided to let everything ride until after finals. "We'll all be here through Thursday evening, so we can discuss it further then," Marshall said.

There was one development which surprised us. Although he had never offered before, Marshall said he could do some vocals.

Wednesday evening, Kent said the combo had a gig Saturday night if they were interested. Some of his CWRU buddies had heard the combo play in a club, and asked about them playing for a fifties-sixties after-finals party in one of the frat houses. "Don't see why not," I said. "We'll all be finished with finals, so we can practice Friday and even Saturday morning if necessary. Everyone in the house will just be rattling loose, since we'll be waiting for Matt's recital before we all leave. Sure, why not?"

We all got home in mid-afternoon or earlier during the examination period. As soon as we got home, we hit the kitchen for snacks, to rehash the exams and relax for a while before preparing for the next day's ordeal. We were all finished with exams by Wednesday so, while Matt continued to prepare for his recital, the rest of us gave the house a good cleaning. It wasn't really bad, but things had been allowed to slip during the semester. "Since we're all leaving before the holidays, I guess we're saved from the Christmas tree/Chanukah bush conflict," Kent laughed.

Thursday we all turned in our end-of-semester projects. Fortunately, each of our teachers was available to sit down and discuss them. At dinner we talked about those. Of course, Paula and Eugene had already gotten a favorable report on theirs, and Matt still had his to do. Kent's landscape design professor had asked if he'd be interested in taking on another landscaping project, after seeing his final plan for the beach-front garden he had planned.

"It's a great deal smaller than the one on the beach but more demanding, since the space is small and the owner wants a design that will be striking all year 'round. That's important since it is outside a wall of glass in the master bedroom. He wants it to appear as though one wall of the bedroom is open to the outside. Money is no object and I can tell you he will change his mind a few dozen times, from what the designer who did the major landscaping tells me. If tearing something out and starting over is a problem for you, don't do it. He'll not place the blame on you as though you had done something wrong. If he does, remind him he approved the design and he will back off. Also, he will pay to have it redone until he's satisfied. You'll surely learn how to deal with people who do change their mind, and will never make the mistake of changing something without being paid," Kent had been told.

Larry had gotten a call about the India-Nepal project. The pay was good and he was told where to go in Cleveland to purchase clothes, supplies, everything he would need. "Be sure to take your school photo ID," Mr. Hampton told him. "Just show that and they will know what you need and see that you have it, and in the right size. You'll need very little besides what you'll pick up there. Go ahead and pick it all up and start wearing anything that you can. You'll want everything broken in, and if there is a problem with anything, it can be solved here. The cold weather stuff for the high elevations in Nepal you can wear here now, but I guess the lightweight clothing will have to wait until spring. Other than what you pick up in Cleveland, all you'll need to pack are your toiletries and a casual dress outfit, nothing else. Oh, do you have a decent 35 mm camera of your own? If so, take it. If not, spring for a really good one, but without a lot of extras to lug around. Don't worry about film, we'll have plenty of that!"

He was also told that arrangements for getting shots, and anything else he needed so far as health was concerned, had been made at Cleveland Clinic's travel clinic. "Probably will cause no problem but, just in case you have a reaction to something, I'd wait until after the holidays--but start as soon as you can. Give the clinic a call to set up specific appointments."

I had an appointment with Ms. Jamison, my art teacher at Oberlin, on Thursday afternoon to discuss my paintings. She had raved about everything I had done, so I was not surprised when she did the same for my semester project work. She was actually frustrating me because she raved about everything, so I wasn't sure whether my work was improving or not. When I went in, she had the painting of Paula and Kent with the apples and asters on display in the student gallery, along with one I had done of Matt from sketches I made at the river on the afternoon we had spent with the van Hooks.

"Luke," she said, "you are frankly out of my league. I'm a good, solid, drawing and painting teacher for students who aren't too advanced, and who never intend to make studio art their major life project. I know that, even though you may doubt it." She looked at me and I didn't know what to say. I would have had to agree with her and I wasn't sure I wanted to do that. "You don't have to respond to that, Luke. I know it's true and have been around you enough to know that you are a southern gentleman and would lie through your teeth rather than even appear to show disrespect to a teacher. You have a tremendous talent. I understand you will be traveling this summer with some of your work."

"Yes ma'am, I will be."

"Great! I'll expect to see it assembled and on display here before it goes on exhibition elsewhere. As I said, I'm a good, average, studio art teacher, but you are ready for more, you need more. I have talked to your advisor and the two of us pulled some strings and called in some IOUs. It is going to cost you a bit more than Oberlin--because we couldn't get you a full scholarship--but as of the end of this semester you will no longer be a student at Oberlin. You have been accepted at the Cleveland Art Institute. We did wrangle a remission of tuition scholarship, so you'll only be responsible for your fees and supplies. Your advisor assured me you could handle that."

I didn't know what to say. I had hoped to transfer the following year, maybe, but it had happened already. I realized I was just staring at my teacher with my mouth open. She finally laughed and said, "You can close your mouth, and a simple thank you will suffice."

I did close my mouth, grabbed my teacher and hugged her as I said, "Thank you, Ms. Jamison, thank you, thank you!"

"I take it you are pleased," she laughed. "If there are courses outside your art you need, and they are offered here, you may take them here. But I suspect you'll find being on campus at the Art Institute will work out better."

As soon as I heard that, my heart sank. "On campus", that was the reason I was at Oberlin in the first place. The Art Institute required first-year students to live on campus. "Ms. Jamison, I thank you very much, but I can't take the transfer."

"Why not? I thought that's what you wanted."

I explained that my partner and I lived together and the reason I was at Oberlin was so we could live together. "Next year I will jump at the chance to transfer, but I can't live on campus with Matt living in our house here."

"Luke, I know all that. I understand the two of you actually had a kind of marriage ceremony."

"That's right. No-one would expect a husband and wife to live apart and, so far as we are concerned, we are married even though no-one recognizes it."

"Luke, you are thinking in terms of a nine-month school year. The Art Institute thinks in terms of semesters. So far as Oberlin and the Institute are concerned, your next semester is next year. You will be a sophomore. You just did a year in one semester because of the credits you brought with you from high school."

"Then I am ready for a transfer. Yes! Again, thanks."

I was on cloud nine as I drove home. The household was still in the kitchen when I got home, devouring snacks and telling horror stories about their exams. When I walked in I said, "You all are sitting there celebrating when I just got told I am no longer a student at Oberlin." Five faces stared at me in disbelief.

"You're kidding!" Eugene exclaimed. "There has to have been a mistake. Tell us about it and we'll get together and decide what to do. Who has Lem Aldridge's phone number? Let's retain him right away!" Yes, Millie had definitely rubbed off on Eugene.

It was all I could do to keep the pitiful look on my face. Finally Matt looked at me and started laughing. "Luke Larsen, I don't know what's going on, but you sure aren't upset. I can see that tell-tale glint in your eyes."

"It's true. I am no longer a student at Oberlin. I am now a student at the Cleveland Art Institute!" There were shouts and high-fives all around. Matt just kept hugging me.

"Wow! Good news!" Kent said.

"Don't have my schedule yet, but Ms. Jamison is taking care of registration for me. We'll have to redo transportation when I do get my schedule."

"Small problem compared with the opportunity, Luke," Paula said.

Thursday evening we had the combo over for dinner. Larry and Matt finished preparing dinner while the combo practiced. It was quite a festive affair, since we all had done well on our projects and grades had been posted for everyone except Matt--and Professor Larkin had told him he had an A unless he really messed up his recital. We all had As with a B sprinkled here and there--Kent made a B in his humanities class and the rest of us had Bs in our math classes, otherwise it was all As.

After dinner the combo took a break while Eugene, Paul, Richard and Sheila talked about the possibility of playing at the lake resort. Eugene had talked with Rachel and she was up to joining the group. Jack was uncertain. They planned to get together after Christmas and practice in NC.

Saturday morning Matt was as jumpy as a cat. About nine, I suggested we go for a drive and he was all for it. We drove out into the country and when he suggested we visit the van Hooks, I asked him to call and see if it was convenient for them. He called our house and got their number. When he called the van Hooks, they were delighted and asked that we come.

We had a great visit. We didn't have snow to shovel because there had not been snow since Kent and Larry had gone out to clear the van Hook's walks a few days before, so we just visited. Matt had already called them and let them know he had gotten one of the summer series. Both said they hoped to get to hear him play one day, and that was one reason I wanted to see them that day. "Matt's playing a recital Sunday afternoon at 2:00. If you two would like, I'll arrange for someone to pick you up and bring you back after the recital." Both were excited about hearing Matt play.

That afternoon, Matt and I went for a walk on the beach. It was very cold outside but there was no wind, so we were comfortable enough bundled up as we were. We said very little because Matt was getting more and more uptight, and I knew that what was best was just to be with him. Any attempt to talk him out of his concern would backfire.

When we got back to the house, the combo was packing up, getting ready to go to Case Western Reserve for their gig. Eugene has asked Larry to go with him since there was no reason he could not go and enjoy the party. Matt was left alone when we left at five. After a long, deep kiss, I made him promise not to work too hard or get frustrated. I knew he was getting up-tight about the recital and thought about asking him to go with me but knew that, even though he might, he would resent it.

ASP--The Oberlin Five--Chapter Nineteen--Matt

I had very mixed feelings about Luke playing a gig Saturday night. I selfishly wanted him to stay with me, but knew he was needed by the combo. I was afraid he'd ask me to go with him and I knew I wouldn't feel comfortable going, or not going if he asked. I think we both knew I needed to stay and do little or nothing Saturday night and not be out until one or two in the morning.

After everyone left at five, I dressed warmly and went down to the beach and sat watching the waves on the lake. Even dressed as I was, I started getting cold and knew that would not be good for the fingers and legs which I needed to be in excellent shape the following day. I got up and walked up the steep path to the house.

When I got back inside, I made a mug of hot chocolate and went into the family room, lit the logs and sat reflecting on the past months, my first semester at Oberlin. It was hard to believe so much had happened in what had been, really, a short time. It sounded foolish, but I missed Luke. He had been gone less than two hours and I was missing him.

We'd had a few rough spots, but I thought very few for newly weds. After the fantastic night we'd had the Saturday before, we both knew that we had been skating on thin ice in allowing ourselves to get too busy to spend time with each other. Sex Saturday had been absolutely perfect because we took our time and we also had gotten very playful. As I thought about it, I remembered how Luke and I had kinda envied Michael and Mary Kathryn--who seemed to have being playful built in, while Luke and I had to--what?--to relax enough to be playful.

I decided I'd fix myself something for supper, eat, and then play through the music as if I was actually performing the recital. After I had a sandwich and some fruit, I sat down at the organ, turned on the recorder and closed my eyes, imagining I was in Finney Chapel, and then started playing my opening piece, "Fanfare for the New Year" by Calvin Hampton. As I finished each piece, I paused briefly then started the next one. I wanted to have the recital come very close to an hour, and certainly not over an hour and fifteen minutes--and that included encores if those were warranted. When I finished playing the program proper, I found it had taken sixty-nine minutes. I could keep the whole thing under seventy-five minutes with my encores, an organ reduction of Sousa's "Stars and Strips Forever" and a second one if needed, Robert Elmore's "Donkey Dance". Of course I had timed it before but I just wanted to make sure, and each time I came out with almost exactly the same time.

I then listened to the tape and found that there were small mistakes. "You are still human," I told myself, "but you are damn good." I was surprised when I looked at my watch and saw it was not nine yet. After having been at the books getting ready for finals, I couldn't relax. Each time I did, I started feeling guilty and anxious, thinking I needed to be doing something. I paced the floor awhile and finally decided to call Mom and Dad. They had talked about coming up for the recital and I thanked them for asking about it but suggested they not. "You can hear it at St. Mary's," I told them.

"We saw an announcement in St. Mary's newsletter," Dad said. "It just said you'd present a program Sunday afternoon, Christmas Eve."

"Millie asked that I play my recital there and, since St. Mary's has been good to me, I was delighted to do it. I'll play at two and then the altar guild and helpers will decorate the church for the midnight Christmas Mass," I said. We talked for half an hour about nothing in particular. Before we hung up, Mom said, "I hope you feel more relaxed now," and laughed.

"Can't fool Mother Greywolf, can I?" I responded, and said goodnight.

I put on a favorite CD and picked up a book to read--a McCaffrey fantasy--and got absorbed in it. I was so absorbed, I was surprised when the phone rang and saw it was 10:30. When I answered it, Luke asked, "How you doin' Dark Angel mine?"

"Missing you."

"Missing me? I haven't been gone long enough to be missed."

"Don't care, Luke, I miss you. I guess I have started winding down a bit and... anyway I do miss you. Had a long talk with Mom and Dad--nothing important. I'm just kinda at a loss here by myself."

We talked for a few more minutes then Luke said, "Got to run and charm the ladies with this wonderful voice of mine".

"Charm all the ladies you like, but no guys. You belong to me."

"Sounds like a song there somewhere," Luke laughed then added, "Not to worry, Babe, there's no-one but you, now and forever. Call you at the next break."

I started reading again, then put my book down to watch the late news. The weather forecast was for more snow. I didn't know what was meant until I looked outside and saw the ground was covered with fresh snow. Lake effect snow was expected to pile up several inches in the next couple hours. Luke called again at midnight and said the snow was really coming down and the crew had made arrangements to spend the night in Cleveland. "The roads will be cleared in the morning so I don't think we'll try to come home tonight."

"Miss you, but rather have you later and in one piece," I said. "I'll dream about you, light of my life."

'And I of you, Sarang Hanun Pomul. Goodnight. God, I love you."

"Goodnight, and I love you."

Well I would have the bed all to myself and I didn't like the thought, but I went upstairs, got undressed, put on my robe and flopped down on the couch to read. I dozed off to sleep sometime and woke up at three in the morning, slipped off my robe and crawled into bed.

ASP--The Oberlin Five--Chapter Nineteen--Larry

I helped the combo get set up, then found a comfortable chair in a dark corner and collapsed. I had done really well--much better than I had expected or even dreamed--my first semester in college. I had to admit I had worked hard and Eugene wouldn't let me whine about being too dumb to do the work. I had proven I could, so I guess I was stuck with doing well from now on. Being selected for the filming trip to India and Nepal was a real surprise. Eugene and I had talked about that. We had planned to have the summer together but, as he said, if I turned down this offer there might well not be others. If this one turned out as well as he and Mr. Greentree thought it would, it could open a lot of doors for me. We both agreed we had to spend time with Matt and Luke talking about avoiding what had happened to them the summer before. It was going to be hard being separated after living together--sleeping together--for nine months, but we had four more months before we were separated.

When the combo took its first break, Eugene found me and brought two Cokes. He sat on the arm of the overstuffed chair in which I was sitting, and we were just chatting when Paula and Kent came over with another guy. "Eugene, Larry, this is Nathan Shapiro. We worked together in camp last summer," Paula said. We shook hands and I could see Kent was not exactly pleased with having Paula being around this fellow. I had never thought about Kent being jealous, but if he wasn't jealous, there was something going on.

We were engaged in idle, meaningless chit-chat when Luke walked up. "What you been up to, as if I didn't know?" Paula asked. "How is Matt doing?"

"He misses me and, more than that, he can't get over feeling he is supposed to be doing something. I was surprised. He said he had played the recital through and that was it. He's reading a Pern tale and then going to bed."

Some fellow walked in and said, "Man is it snowing outside".

Luke called Matt again about midnight and told him we would be staying in town. "Told Matt I was sure the streets would be clear in the morning, but we'd stay safe tonight. I talked with the frat president and he said he'd make arrangements for us here."

We played a short set--our last--and, as we got ready to start packing our equipment, Nathan handed Paula a Coke. She took a long drink and he said, "If you guys don't need Paula, I'll show her where she can sleep. She can show Sheila later."

"Thanks," Richard said.

As the two left, Kent picked up the Coke Paula left and downed most of it. Not five minutes later, he collapsed on the floor, barely breathing.

"Someone call 911," Sheila shouted as Eugene, Richard and I started working on Kent. Everyone was running hither and yon, no-one sure what anyone was doing. Eugene whipped out his cell phone and dialed 911 and gave the operator instructions. When he closed the phone, Sheila asked, "Where's Paula?".

"She left with Nathan," I said, then the world collapsed. "My God, Kent drank the rest of her Coke, but she has downed a good bit of it. We have to find her NOW!". James, the frat president, was standing over Kent when I spoke. "James, where could Shapiro have taken her? That Coke was intended for her."

James spoke to several guys and they rushed out of the room looking for Paula. The EMS team from Cleveland Clinic arrived minutes later and, when they reached Kent, James said, "Fellows, I suspect this is a date-rape drug case. If you can treat him right here and give us a few minutes, I suspect we will have a young woman as well."

"James, the library was locked so we broke the door down. The young woman was inside--alone--passed out," one of the guys yelled.

"I hate to be this way, but I suspect you will need your rape kit," James said, as two members of the EMS team rushed to the library.

Five minutes later, Paula and Kent were on their way to Cleveland Clinic and we were all in shock.

"I'm really sorry this happened," James said. "I hope you don't think we condone what was done to Paula and Kent. We don't. I have had my eye on Shapiro for some time, because a couple times he seemed to go a little far with women, but nothing I could really put my finger on. You have your equipment together, just leave it here and I'll see that it is safe. I suspect you'll want to go to the hospital. As soon as I have your equipment safe, I'll join you there."

"Don't we need to call the police?" Richard asked.

"No, the EMS team did that before they left."

We had Eugene's car and Luke's truck, so we drove both to the hospital. When we got there, a policewoman wanted to talk to us immediately. We told her what we knew and what we suspected. "I hope you kept the Coke can the two drank from," she said.

"I don't know that anyone did. We were too upset to think straight," Sheila said, then asked, "Paula was raped, wasn't she."

"I'm probably not supposed to tell you but, yes, she was. She'll get the best possible care because there is a rape crisis center here. But she's going to need a lot, a whole lot, of support for heaven only knows how long. Does she had any support here?"

Luke told her about our living arrangements and that Kent was her boyfriend.

"I hope he won't push for sex for a while. It's going to take time for her to feel free to have sex again."

"Think you are making an invalid assumption," I said. "I don't think Kent and Paula were having sex. In fact, I think you will find she was a virgin."

"That usually makes the trauma worse, because she may well feel she is soiled and dirty and is cheating her boyfriend because she was saving herself for him. Response to being raped is always bad, very bad. It's great she has a group of supportive friends. And you think this Nathan Shapiro is to blame?" We all nodded.

We were still talking to Officer McDonald when James arrived. He was carrying a Coke can very carefully, a Coke can he had placed in a plastic bag. "Officer, this is the Coke which Paula and Kent drank. I have very carefully not touched it and managed to get here without spilling the small amount of drink left."

"Great! I was afraid someone had make the can disappear," she responded.

A doctor came out and talked with us. He told us the two were out of danger. He talked about the date-rape drug and the fact that it can be fatal, cause real mental problems, loss of memory, and was difficult to detect. "I think we got to your friends before any medical damage was done. I doubt that the young man will have any emotional problems caused by the drug. Well that's not true. I was told he is the young woman's boyfriend. Correct?"

"Correct," I said.

"I am sure there will be emotional problems because of what has happened to her, but nothing directly related to the drug. Since Miss Wright was still unconscious when she arrived here, she had done nothing to destroy the evidence of a rape. If this Shapiro is guilty of having done it, there should be an airtight case against him. Since there's nothing you can do here, I suggest you go home and get some rest."

"You said the drug would be difficult to detect?" James asked.

"It is if the test is not done quickly as this one will be. No, there's no question about detecting it if it was used."

"I doubt that any of us will want to budge. If we want to stay?" Luke asked.

"Make yourselves at home, as nearly as you can. We'll see that you are kept posted."

When the doctor left, we had a family meeting. "Look, all of you know we can't go home and keep this a secret from Matt, and he will be a wreck when he needs to be as worry-free as possible," Luke said.

"But how do we explain not going home?" Eugene asked.

"I told him we would be spending the night in Cleveland. I don't know which would be worse: me going home in the morning and risk him finding out, or not being at his recital."

"Look, why don't you go in the morning, Luke--only a few hours away I just realized--and tell Matt that there was bad food or drink at the party and Kent and Paula ate or drank something which made them sick," I suggested. "Or you can say Paula, Kent and Eugene got sick and I was staying with them and you came home for the recital. Then you can tell him after the recital."

"Sounds like a good plan to me," Luke said. He stayed until the doctor told us both Paula and Kent were out of the woods, then went home, leaving Cleveland about nine Sunday morning.

ASP--Chapter Nineteen--Luke

By the time I got home, Matt was worried half-sick. He calmed down when I told him the bad drink story and, since it was true, I guess he suspected nothing. "Kent and Paula will be ok, but it seemed best for Larry and Eugene to stay with them to make sure they were out of the woods. Eugene said he'd rather hear you at St. Mary's anyway. 'It's home,' he said and Larry agreed."

For one time I was glad Matt was thinking about Matt and his recital. Nothing I said was a lie, but if Matt had not been so absorbed with thinking about his recital, he would have spotted something amiss I was sure.

I told Matt I had to call Fr. Manville and managed to get away from him, so I told Father what had happened and asked prayers for all of us. "Especially for Kent and Paula, but for all of us as well because of what happened to them, for Matt's recital and our trip home. Oh, I just thought of something. I was supposed to pick up our friends, the van Hooks, for the recital."

"The elderly couple who live out in the country?"

"Yes, you know them?"

"I do indeed. I met them several years ago. I'll see that they get in. They have friends at St. Anne's."

Fr. Manville was pretty sharp. He mentioned Kent and Paula in prayers for the sick, Matt in general intercessions and all of us for those who travel.

After the Eucharist, Matt was practically attacked by the choir asking about Paula. I was glad they saw him as the obvious person to ask, because a couple times during the celebration I felt tears ready to betray my "everything's ok" attitude. Fr. Manville helped me slip away to his office so I could call the hospital.

I called the waiting room and got Eugene. Kent was doing ok and would be released. A rape counselor had just gone in to see Paula. "It took major efforts to control Kent when he was told," Eugene said. "The doctor came out to get us because Kent was tearing up jack. We finally got him calmed down, but I'm glad Shapiro is not around. The police had an officer, Officer Kaye, come by this morning to talk with Kent. She told us they haven't found Shapiro yet. Larry is talking to her now across the room. I'm having a hell of a time with him as well. He is reacting to Kent's reaction. I have a call in to our counselor. He just kept saying, 'Shapiro did to Paula what I did to you,' and crying as soon as Kent was calm. Hate to say this, but Larry getting upset wasn't all bad, because Kent turned the tables and helped get Larry calm. He actually asked me to leave so he could talk to Larry. We sure got a winner in that guy. We've yet to see Paula. The rape counselor wants to talk with us before we do, especially Kent."

"Has anyone called Sandra?"

"Not directly. I called the Greywolfs just after you left, after I was assured again that, physically, the two were ok. They were going to call the rabbi and the three of them tell her. They called back a few minutes ago and said Marc would bring Sandra and the Greywolfs up as soon as they are ready. He's also planning on taking them back. Kent plans on calling his parents after he has seen Paula. He wants Paula and Sandra to stay here until they are ready to go back, and he is definitely going back with Paula."

"I convinced Matt to go out to Sunday dinner, and Fr. Manville told me of an elegant place where we could be semi-private and it would be quiet. By the time dinner is over it will be time for him to go to the chapel. Fr. Manville will be at the recital, of course, and offered to be with us when I finally tell Matt. I suspect Matt will want to hightail it to Cleveland." As I spoke, Fr. Manville knocked on the office door, and I said goodbye and walked out to see Matt headed toward me.

"I made reservations for dinner for you two," Fr. Manville said, "so you have a cover for being in the office." To be honest, he was sharper than I would have given him credit for. "It's also on me," he added. When Matt walked up, Fr. Manville said, "Matt, I just had Luke checking on your housemates and making reservations at Erie House for Sunday dinner. On me."

"How are the guys?" Matt asked. "Apparently Kent and Paula got the worst of it," I said. "Kent is being released this afternoon and he, along with the others, will be home as soon as they can. Well, Kent may not be, since they are keeping Paula a little longer. But they will all be ok. Of course it will take time to recover after a bout, but not to worry. I am relieved. Guess for one time I was lucky for not wanting to drink anything except water when I sing."

Erie House was a turn-of-the-century place, very much like ours, but not on the lake. It was in the middle of a section of Oberlin which looked like New England transplanted. It was a bed and breakfast, but also an elegant restaurant serving dinner only during the week, but famous for its Sunday brunch. When we arrived and said Fr. Manville had made reservations for us, we were shown in to what had been the ladies' parlor, a small room with floor-to-ceiling windows and two tables. The other table was occupied by an elderly woman and a couple in their forties or early fifties. The man was facing the door and, when we walked in, got an expression on his face which clearly said, "How dare they put two teenagers here with us!". I was surprised when the elderly lady spoke to us.

"Good afternoon," she said. "Nice to see young men dressed for Sunday brunch."

"Nice to have such elegant company," Matt replied as he bowed slightly in her direction. As we were seated, Matt whispered, "I'm glad I am not in her son's or son-in-law's shoes!" and smiled.

We had a magnificent meal and Matt proved, once again, food is the second thing on a teenager's mind. I think the recital was completely forgotten as we ate. Fortunately, although there were several courses, the portions were properly small so he didn't eat too much.

The trio sharing our room finished before we did and, as they prepared to leave, the elderly lady walked over to our table--using an ebony cane with a silver head, I noticed. She really did remind me of Millie. "Gentlemen," she said, "I am Sylvia Barrington and this is my son, Rudolf, and his wife, Eugenia. He was sure we were being invaded by noisy teenagers when you came in, and was greatly disappointed. It is obvious you have been taught manners."

"Thank you, Mrs. Barrington," I said as we stood. "I am Luke Larsen and this is my partner, Matthew Greywolf." Mrs. Barrington didn't bat an eye when I introduced Matt as my partner. Her son couldn't hide his--negative--reaction.

"If you have the afternoon free, there is to be an organ recital in Finney Chapel at Oberlin you might enjoy," Mrs. Barrington said.

"Thank you. It sounds like something we might attend," I smiled.

"If you do, you might better get a move on. It starts in forty-five minutes."

"I'll bet they'll wait until we get there," I said, smiled, and then looked at Matt who was about to lose it.

"Don't depend on it," Mrs. Barrington laughed.

As the three walked out, her son said, making sure it was loud enough for us to hear, "Arrogant snot," and his mother slapped him one upside the head.

We did have to get a move on. As soon as Mrs. Barrington mentioned the time, Matt started getting antsy. I had planned to get him to the chapel as late as possible, but we had to get moving.

It was 1:30 when we got to the chapel. I expected maybe a dozen people, as recitals are a dime a dozen at Oberlin. I guess Professors Larkin and Moler had worked to get out the troops, because there were people all over the place as we walked in. Professors Larkin and Moler were waiting for Matt, in what served as a green room, when we arrived. They told him how sorry they were about the rest of the crew. "Larry and Eugene told us what happened. We met them as we came in a few minutes ago," Professor Larkin said. She and Professor Moler assured Matt that he would do great and they were looking forward to the recital. They seemed to hang around longer than they should--I guess because I wanted to be with my babe. "Luke, come with us. We have a place reserved for you."

Remembering what Professor Moler had told Matt about kissing, and the fact that I didn't care, I took Matt in my arms, looked into his black almond eyes then kissed him slowly, passionately, broke the kiss, gave him a soft tiger growl and said, "Go get 'em, Silver Wolf".

Matt returned my kiss and said, "Think I'll have to add a name, Tony Tiger".

ASP--The Oberlin Five--Chapter Nineteen--Matt [Author's note: Matt's program in text will be found below.aand is posted as Chapter 19A in HTML.]

I waited in the green room for the signal to start. I really didn't have time to get overly nervous and concerned. Luke had kept me occupied very well, so there was little time to get upset. I did wonder a few times if something was going on, because he seemed distracted, but I guess it was just concern about the rest of the crew. Since Larry and Eugene were out front, things must be ok.

I got the signal to start, crossed myself, and said, "Matthew, make it good". I walked to the front of the audience, bowed and headed for the organ, then did a double-take. Seated in the middle of the front section were Mom, Dad, Millie, Woody, Eugene, Larry, Marc and Keith. The Barringtons were sitting with them, as were Professors Larkin and Moler, Luke and the van Hooks. When I did the double-take, Mrs. Barrington raised her cane and saluted me. As she did, I saw Fr. Manville come into the back of the chapel. I was on top of the world.

I seated myself at the organ, re-checked the registration and started Calvin Hampton's "Fanfare for the New Year". I am sure there were tons of mistakes in my playing that Sunday afternoon, but it seemed flawless to me. Not only was I playing well, but I was enjoying myself tremendously. I played the two pieces I had prepared for an encore, to thunderous applause, and took a couple bows afterward. Finally I stepped in front of the audience and, in a little-boy voice, said, "Please, Professor Larkin, Professor Moler, can I go home now?". I could hear the roar of Professor Moler's laugh above all the others. There was another scattering of applause and people starting moving, some toward me and some toward the exits.

Luke was obviously frustrated, since he was having a hard time getting through the traffic to reach me. When he did, he grabbed me, lifted me off the floor and, in front of God an everybody, gave me a Luke-special kiss. By the time he released me, Dad grabbed me in a bear hug. I got passed from one to the other until I was sure I would be sore the next day! Even Professor Moler hugged me, as did Mrs. Barrington. "I guess we would have waited for you to arrive, Mr. Greywolf," she laughed. "We were honored to be invited to sit with your friends. You are some organist, young man!" She turned to Luke and said, "And you are the good man behind the good man, obviously". She turned to Mom and Dad and said, "You have a delightful treasure in your son". Which caused a general outburst of laughter.

Millie took Mrs. Barrington's arm and said, "I'll explain."

There was a reception following the recital. As we entered the room, Professor Moler said, "Matt, you better start developing a taste for punch," and laughed.

Luke stood with me in the receiving line, holding my hand. He really had decided he didn't care what people thought. I wasn't quite to that point yet but, here at Oberlin where people knew us, I didn't care, and loved the feel of his hand in mine. As soon as we could leave the receiving line we did, but I still hadn't had a chance to talk with my family and special friends, as everyone wanted to talk with me. Half an hour after the reception started, most people has paid their regards and gotten on with their business. Luke and I were finally able to walk over to where our friends and family were standing. As we approached, Mrs. Barrington said, "You two are two kewl dudes," and laughed, which broke me up, releasing a lot of tension I didn't realize I had.

"How did you happen to get up with the family?" I asked.

"My son was helping me up the steps when I spied another cane and waved mine in that direction. As I did, Millie shouted, 'Sylvia, you old lady!'. I didn't recognize her until she spoke, and I'd recognize that voice anywhere after a hundred years. Millie and I were classmates here, but hadn't seen each other since. She went back south and I went to Europe with my new husband. Our paths hadn't crossed again until today."

"And just how did you happen to be here, Mrs. Millie Willingham?" I asked.

"I flew up to spend time with Woody and we decided we could postpone love-making for an event as important as this one," Millie laughed, and Woody blushed. "Actually, since you were playing today, and Woody and I had some things to talk over, it seemed worth a trip instead of a phone call. Matt, you do know how to make an old lady--not too old though--proud," Millie said as she hugged me again. "And I'm glad to see the two lovers are still together," she said as she hugged Luke.

"Stinky wanted to come, Matt," Woody said, "but he came down with a terrible case of the flu last week and is still in the hospital. He may be discharged tomorrow. You gotta send him a tape. He will be pleased."

I finally got to Eugene and Larry and asked, "How are Paula and Kent?".

"Kent's been released, but he stayed because of Paula. She should be released later today," Eugene said.

"They need to get home so we can celebrate," I said. When I did, Larry and Eugene both got a strange look on their faces, I thought.

"Marc, Keith, why are you two here?"

The two guys blushed and Marc said, "Hey, any excuse to get with hot-pants Bad Man Lewis," and kissed Keith on the cheek.

"Mom, Dad, I thought you were going to wait until I played at St. Mary's."

"With seats on Marc's luxury liner? No way."

"Well, let's get back to the house. I'm ready to celebrate."

"Sure," Luke said, then asked, "Father, can you join us?". Fr. Manville nodded.

"Woody and I will be along later, I'd like a visit with Sylvia," Millie declared. Then, turning to Mrs. Barrington, she said, "Remember when we managed to sneak out of the dorm and join Willingham and Barrington for a trip to a speak-easy?" Millie laughed. Mrs. Barrington nodded, and the two old college mates walked off, laughing and waving their canes.

An Organ Recital by Matthew Sarang Hanun Pomul Greywolf

Fanfare for the New Year Calvin Hampton

Yankee Doodle with Variations Edward Little White

Concert Variations on "The Star Spangled Banner" Dudley Buck

Variations on "America" Charles Ives

Jerusalem, My Happy Home Arr. Charles Shearing

Wonderous Love: Variations on a Shaped-Note Hymn Samuel Barber

Prelude and Fughetta on "St. Kevin" Seth Bingham

Suite for Organ: III. Air with Variations Leo Sowerby

Go Tell It on the Mountain Arr. Charles Callahan

Prelude on "Greensleeves" Richard Purvis

Meditation on "Silent Night" David Conte

The Composer Comments on Sweat Lodge

As a person of mixed heritage--my father is Lakota and my mother Korean--I have shaman in both ancestries.

Within the last year, I have studied under a Lakota medicine man (shaman) and his medicine-man son. Important to my studies and personal health and development is the sweat lodge.

My mentor, Professor Isodore Moler, has encouraged me to continue a work I started as a result of looking at my Lakota heritage. The result is a four-movement work-in-progress based on the chants, prayers and symbolism of the sweat.

The first movement corresponds with the First Endurance of the sweat lodge, Wiyopeyate, the endurance of the west. In this endurance, participants beseech the spirits to join them in the lodge and be their spirit guides. The movement arises out of a chant beseeching the spirit guides.

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