So, here he was, in a rented car on the way to the Cecils’ car, or at least to the meeting spot. Cecil Junior told Rob that their place was hard to find. He would meet them in another spot and he and Cecil Senior would take him to the car.
“But I always get a Neverlost in my rentals. I’ll just plug in your address and it will take me there,” said Rob when he phoned to set up the sale.
“Nope,” said Cecil Junior. “Won’t work.”
“Won’t work?” thought Rob. Why not?
But rather than push the point, he agreed to meet him at the Rock Bottom Brewery. Simple enough, Rob thought. He would just plug in the Rock Bottom from the list of restaurants on Neverlost and would be guided there. So he paid little attention to the directions Cecil Junior offered.
After reaching the Rock Bottom, he went in, and askied for Cecil Smith, and got only blank stares from the staff. He wondered what was up.
“Uh,” said the hostess. “I don’t think we have anyone here by that name.”
Since Rob knew what the Cecils looked like from the magazine photos, he could see they were not there.
“They are named Cecil Smith,” Rob said to the hostess.
“Who is?” replied the Hostess.
“They are.” said Rob.
“They all are?”
“They both are, father and son, junior and senior.”
“Let me call,” said Rob reaching for his cell phone.
Rob called the number Cecil Junior gave him. There were two rings, then a “pronto.” Odd response, thought Rob.
“Uh, Cecil Smith?”
“Speaking. Is this you, Robert?”
“Uh, Rob, Rob. Yes, it is.”
“Where are you?”
“At the Rock Bottom Brewery. Where are you?”
“Robert,” said Cecil Smith, as to a child. “Did you follow my directions or use that Neverlost thing?”
“Uh,” said Rob, a bit the scolded child. “The Neverlost thing. I mean Neverlost, but it took me here. I am standing in the Rock Bottom.”
“Which one?” asked Cecil Junior.
“What do you mean? There was only one listed.”
“Robert, there are two; and, it appears that you are not in the right one.”
“Oh,” said Rob.
“At this moment, are you standing near a cute little hostess girl?” asked Cecil Junior.
“Just ask that young lady where the other Rock Bottom is. She will tell you. See you in half an hour.”
The phone clicked off.
This is getting off to a great start, Rob thought.
Rob did as he was told and asked the young lady where the other Rock Bottom was located. She smiled and gave directions as though this had been done before. At least Rob read into her response that it had been done before. He did not want to be the only idiot who had ever made this mistake.
After a half-hour of driving, Rob arrived at the other Rock Bottom. He walked in and spotted the Cecils. He could not mistake them. They looked just like their picture in the magazine. The men were obviously father and son with Cecil Junior a genetic, younger copy of his father. Both were rotund squat men. As Rob walked toward them, each Cecil stood.
“Finally made it,” said Rob as he shook each man’s hand. The hands were wide and hard, just as Rob expected from men who welded car parts all day.
“So you did,” said the older man, obviously Cecil Senior. “How do you like Phoenix?”
“I ’ve been here before and I like it,” answered Rob. “But being from the east coast, it’s hard to get used to the lack of trees and water. Guess I would like to think that I could get by living off the land with shelter and something to drink nearby.”
“Ever live off the land?” asked Cecil Senior.
“Uh, no,” said Rob. “Guess I would just like to think that.”
“You know,” said Cecil Junior, “the first settlers to these parts were Indians from a tribe in what is now the Juneau, Alaska, area.”
“Is that right?” asked Rob.
“Yep,” Cecil Senior said completing Cecil Junior’s thought. “Guess you could say they were like someone from the east coast. They had fish, trees, water. Moved here.”
“What was it, an early Del Web development,” joked Rob.
“Guess you could say so,” smiled Cecil Junior, snickering slightly at Rob’s humor. “Best we can tell nowadays, it was for trade. This was the middle of a major trade route between Indian nations up north and the Aztecs down south. Sort of the west’s version of the silk route.”
Rob was impressed by Cecil Junior’s grasp of history.
“Best of all was their use of air conditioning,” said Cecil Senior.
“Excuse me?” said Rob. Now he knew they were putting him on.
“Yep,” returned Cecil Junior. “You see, they built their village near a blow hole.”
“A blow hole?” asked Rob. “You mean like from a whale?”
“Like from a large cavern,” answered Cecil Senior.
“Well,” continued Cecil Junior, “under their village was a huge cavern. Air in underground places tends to hover around sixty-five degrees. During the day, the cool air expanded into the hot air outside through a crack in the surface about the size of a manhole. It did so with a good deal of force. A lot of cool air escaped each and every day through this hole. The Indians cooled their village with it.”
“And then,” tag teamed Cecil Senior, “at night, the desert air cools way down. The process is reversed and the cavern sucks the cool night air back down into the cavern where it releases again the next day.”
“Amazing,” said Rob.
“You can still see it to this day,” said Cecil Junior. “Plan to do a little touring?”
“Well, yes, I do.”
“Where to?” asked Cecil Senior. Rob was beginning to get use to the Cecils taking turns in the conversation.
“Well, I thought that I would go up to Sedona.”
“Good choice. Real pretty up there.”
“So, how about the car?” asked Rob.
“Ah, yes, the car, said Cecil Senior.
“Uh yes, the car,” said Rob, trying to get the conversation back to the order of business that brought them all here. “The Mustang.”
Watch for new episodes in MUSTANG.
Subscribe below to receive a weekly notice of postings.
You can influence the direction of this story!
Drop me a message in Contact with suggestions.