“What can I get ya?” Marge asked pulling a pencil from somewhere deep in her beehive hairdo.
Tom Behren, Jr, Dennis T. Hernandez and Bob Lee Colwell met for breakfast at Frank’s Diner located on the main drag of Shawnee Ferry, Delaware. They took their usual seats at the counter.
“I’ll take a cup of fresh decaf,” Behren said.
“It’s left from last night,” Marge replied pouring a cup.
“That’s fine. I don’t plan to drink it until tomorrow.”
Wendell Blasingame ambled in and sat next to Colwell.
“Howdy, mayor,” Colwell said. “How are things going?”
“Fantastic! I was endorsed last night for reelection by the Survivors of the Civil War local chapter. Are we having a meeting? Since I’m here, I might as well stay.”
“This isn’t an official meeting. We’re here to discuss our choice for the 1931 Winter Games. I feel Central Iowa would be the perfect choice. Hernandez is campaigning for somewhere in the middle of Nebraska, and Behren insists the desert in New Mexico would be an excellent location.”
Blasingame listened as Marge filled his cup with freshly brewed coffee.
Colwell could smell the fresh brew, stared at Marge and asked, “Why does he get a cup of the fresh stuff?”
Marge shrugged, stashed her pencil deep in her beehive and answered, “He’s not an official member of the Society.”
Blasingame added enough sugar to corner the market on dopamine, stirred it several times and took a sip. “Aren’t the Winter Games all about skiing and ice skating? Stuff you do in the winter where there are mountains. The areas you mentioned are flatlands.”
“Says who?” Behren asked. “I once drove through southern New Mexico in the summer. Perfect place for the games. There is plenty of open land and more than enough sand and dirt to build the necessary mountains.”
Colwell waved a hand. “I suggest Central Iowa. There is enough corn to build a dozen mountains the size of Mount Everest.”
“Nebraska is the obvious choice,” Hernandez insisted.
“I may only be the mayor of Shawnee Ferry, but I do believe you gentlemen are missing the point. The Winter Games are normally held during the cold winter months. Duh! That’s why they are called the Winter Games.” He pointed out the windows behind them. “If you think about it, our fine city would be the best possible choice. We already have mountains. We have a river that freezes solid. We have three hotels that are seldom filled to capacity. We should place a bid for the games.”
Marge put her elbows on the counter, blew a bubble then tossed her week-old gum in the waste basket and said, “Did it ever occur to you guys that you might be a tad late choosing a location? This is the 70s.”
The men looked up at the calendar next to the phone hanging on the wall. The calendar, from 1937, had not been moved from February in years.
“Marge, I hate to be a know-it-all, but this is 2021,” Mayor Blasingame said. “We are watching the Summer Games from Tokyo. They are late because of the pandemic…”
“I knew there was a reason for our sudden interest in sports,” Behren said. “We should ask the organizing committee to come to our next meeting, and we could give them our recommendation.”
Hernandez laughed and replied, “We promised Mark Spitzalot he could be the featured guest at our next meeting.”
“Why?” Colwell asked. “What does he know about winter games?”
“Didn’t he win a dozen medals back in the 50s for swimming in the Arctic Circle?” Art, the cook, asked with his cigarette dangling from his lip. He removed his greasy apron and added, “The dinner specials from last night are in the oven. They should be ready by tomorrow.”
The men discussed the merits of their personal choices for several minutes. Several customers, who were lined up to pay their checks, listened to the conversation.
“How can we invite the organizing committee to a meeting if we can’t come up with a unified choice?” Hernandez asked.
“I suggest a compromise,” Behren said with a nod.
“Where?” Colwell asked.
“There’s a town in Illinois that would be perfect. Thawville Hills.”
“You’re making that up,” Hernandez said. “Besides, how can you have snow in a place called Thawville?”
“What about Springfield, Illinois?” Blasingame suggested. “It’s a decent sized town, and it wouldn’t be too difficult to build the necessary mountains.”
“No way!” everyone in the diner shouted.
“Why do you say that?” Marge asked. “What would Springfield have to offer?”
“You need mountains, right?” Blasingame asked.
“They already know how to pile up debt…”