Ch. 13 — General George Washington in 1776

A few days after the fascinating trips to meet up with George Washington, the telephone rings. On the second ring, the ever-ready Dianne responds.

“Hey, Dianne, it’s Ethan,” the now-familiar voice announces.

“It’s OK, Ethan, I recognize your voice,” she responds. “What’s up?”

“After our show the other night, Dianne, we received a rather interesting call from a man named Alexander Allca who lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He watched the program and liked what he saw. He was thrilled by the DVDs we showed that you had recorded, but what really got his attention was the way that your family spoke during the videos. He wants to meet you personally, and I wondered if that would be OK with you. If so, we can be there at about 8:00 AM tomorrow.

“I don’t know if his name means anything to you, but this guy is a multi-billionaire and could be looking for somewhere to place some of his wealth. I should tell you that he is a very fussy spender. He only plonks down his money where he has absolute trust in the honesty of the people running an organization in which he expresses interest. This could be fantastic news for you.”

“Shall we let him take a plane down here or would he like to be picked up, just after I pick you up?” Dianne laughs.

“Listen, that would be a great treat for him. It would really help him to realize that you’re taking his visit seriously. I’ll let you know if he’s agreeable.” Ethan assures.

Dianne: “Thanks, ET.”

“OK, then. I’ll confirm him to you at 07:45 in the morning.”

“Done, but I’ll need his address too. Don’t forget that part of it.” Dianne closes.


Dinner over, Dianne springs the news on the family. “We’re getting a visitor at 8:00 o’clock tomorrow morning. Ethan is bringing a rich man from Philadelphia to see the System. Apparently he’s a multi-millionaire and ET thinks he might want to invest in it somehow. Any thoughts, anyone?”

Russell: “Well, Di, we’re not really looking for investors. We may as well hear what he has to say, though.”

“Lynz and I will be leaving for school at that time, so we’ll miss all the excitement,” DJ moaned.


Ethan Thomas and his producer, Ron Pfeffer, and a third man, a stranger, climb aboard.

Both Ron and the other newcomer embark with much hesitation, although ET has briefed them extensively about the capabilities of the System.

All three receive the usual warm welcome from the family.

Ethan makes the necessary introduction for the unknown man who has arrived with him and his producer.

“Folks, I’d like you to meet a personal friend of mine; this is Alexander Allca, but you can call him Alex.”

The correspondent introduces him individually to each of the eight members of the family group.

After all eleven present enjoy a warming breakfast together, enjoying each other’s company, Ethan continues with his introduction of Alex Allca.

“Alex is a rather interesting personality, although you may not be familiar with his name.

“He’s the founder and chief executive officer of the Alexander Allca Foundation.

“There was a reason why I invited him to meet you all this morning.

“I spent quite a while talking with Alex last night, explaining the portal that has turned up in your home and, to say the least, he was absolutely spellbound.

“You had related to me yesterday that you would like to find some way to franchise this technology, but you do not have the financial backing to be able to set up such an arrangement.

“Well, Alex expressed an interest in seeing the System for himself.

“Frankly, he could easily be in a position to offer some ideas as to how you might go about marketing this through a non profit organization, just like his own foundation.

“So, show the three of us exactly what it is you have got here, and then we’ll let him make up his mind what suggestions he wants to make.”

Russell stands up to speak briefly, “Well, DJ is the one we have voted into taking the lead at the moment.

“Actually, the phenomenon turned up while he was watching the TV, so all in the family are happy to let him represent us.


“Thanks for coming, everyone,” James greets, becoming the host for the morning.

“We appreciate you joining us for this session this morning.

“From our own personal experience so far, we know you will not be disappointed.

“For our demonstration outing we are heading off up north to a little spot called McConkey’s Ferry Inn, in Pennsylvania.

“We’re going to make this a low-tech trip to show you how we had to go about our time travels in our early days using the System.

“Lynz, would you ‘drive’ for us?”

“Grandma Ladybuck, could you be the GPS navigator? I’ve written the address for a location in Penn State on this piece of paper.

“You’ll have to go to this place first, and then Lyndsey will need to travel backward in time for 7.5 seconds.

“That will put you outside a newspaper office back in the seventeen hundreds.

”Then one of us can check the date on a copy of the paper’s front page that they will put in the window each morning.

“Once we’re sure we have the correct date, we’ll be able to go on to our final destination.”

“Where are we off to, DJ?” Ethan asks.

“See if you can figure that out when we get to our first checkpoint,” the teen challenges. “I’ll supply the date and the personalities. See if you can figure out the event.”

“The first stop is the Philadelphia Mercury, one of the oldest American newspapers, dating back to the late seventeenth century.

“Our interest today lies in activities that took place on December 25, 1776, reported the following day, and concern the activities of a certain American general.”

“By the way, it’s a good idea to avoid saying ‘Christmas,’ because back in the 1770s many American colonists shunned the celebration, considering it to be an ‘English’ custom.

“‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens is considered by many to be the catalyst that brought the once ‘pagan’ holiday into favor with Americans.

Lyndsey pulls up outside the Philly journal’s offices and, while DJ calls the numbers aloud, using his own wristwatch as a timer, she backs up in time for just over seven seconds.

She pauses at his command and no one could miss the fact that the building housing the newspaper has drastically changed its configuration.

Before their eyes, the towering skyscraper melts down to a small storefront with a modest sign proclaiming the paper’s name.

Buckminster volunteers to head out to check the date on the newspaper in the window. James agrees and, as soon as pedestrian traffic quiets down, Buck carries out the extra vehicular activity.

“February 18, 1777,” the teenagers’ paternal grandfather calls out.

He returns to the System and takes his seat once more.

“That thing in the window is the front and back of a four-page newspaper. I thought there would be more of it.”

“Lyndsey, could you move us backward again. This time it will be just about eight weeks?”

“Deej, could you please straighten the old watch on the rack for me? It’s much easier than counting days and nights.”

With the adjustment duly made; the chronometer in place, Lyndsey slowly ‘cruises’ into the past, and the group watches with fascination as the days repeatedly turn into nights.

“We used to have to count the light and dark periods to calculate how far we had gone backward.

“OK, hold it there, Lynz!”

“Grandpa Buck, could you do the honors?” the teen asks.

After the customary check to make sure the coast is clear, the call comes back, “December 27, 1776.”

Again, Buckminster returns to the house.

“Thanks, Gramps. That agrees precisely with the watch.”

“OK, Lynz. We need to go two more days to about noon on December 24 of that same year.”

Lyndsey backpedals until the watch indicates is the right date and time. Then, with DJ’s agreement, she stops.

Ethan calls out to James, “Deej, before you move on, can I try something out on the street in Philly?”

“Sure, go ahead,” the master of ceremonies replies.

“Can I come with you,” Alex Allca asks. “This is my hometown, after all.”

“Be my guest,” the news anchor responds.

ET is already on his feet and steps into the rustic urban scene. Lynz pans the System so that all can see what he is doing.

Allca joins him and together they coolly walk into the newspaper’s office, and Thomas introduces himself.

“Good day, sir, my name is Ethan Thomas. I’m with a news-gathering organization called the National News Network in the city of New York.

“My friend is Alexander Allca. Mr. Allca is an investment counselor here in Pennsylvania. We just arrived back in town.”

He asks the publisher the date and local time, to which the early-American executive replies, “December 24, 1776, and the hour is 10:30 o’clock.”

At those latter words, James chuckles to himself as he sees the corporate watch is displaying exactly that time.

Despite the fact that this will come close to giving the newspaperman an apoplectic fit, the NNN anchor shows the man his twelve-megapixel digital camera.

He explains that this is a device that helps him to draw portraits.

He asks permission of the publisher to permit the small, shiny box to draw his picture, to which the man agrees.

Getting him to smile is not too difficult, and switching the camera to its video mode, he takes about five seconds of footage.

He releases the shutter button and reverses the camera, displaying to his subject the footage he has just taken. The man’s jaw hangs down, as, for just this one time in his life, he sees himself in anything other than a mirror, a window, or a lake.

“Thank you, sir. May I inquire as to your name?”

“Benjamin Fraser.”

“My grateful thanks to you, Mr. Fraser,” he says.

Before Ben can ask him how to arrange the purchase of such a magic box, Ethan ushers Alex quickly to the door and back to the System.

Thanks to a perceptive ‘chauffeur,’ the portal is patiently waiting outside the office.

First verifying the lack of eyewitnesses to their movements, the two men return to the rec room.

“Wow, wasn’t the look on his face something precious?” he laughs.

“OK, is everyone ready for the final leg of our trip?” DJ questions, but it is rhetorical.

“Where to now, Deej?” Lyndsey asks. “You said you wanted me to zero in on another location.”

“That’s OK! What you can do now is take us northeast for a distance of just about 25 miles.

“When we figure you’re close to our destination, you can slow down, and we’ll all keep an eye out for a river that’s about two hundred and fifty yards wide.

“We’ll use the waterway as a landmark to find the spot we’re after.” James has spent the night researching this information, so he is confident of the success of this project.

After Lynz has been ‘cruising’ fairly slowly for a short while, and everyone else is beginning to get the impression that the twenty-five miles are about up, the first call comes from Lynz’s maternal grandmother, Jackie Grover.

“Is that the river you’re looking for, James? … Look, off in the distance, behind those trees, about one quarter of the way across the screen from the left side.”

“That has to be it, JG! Thanks, that’s good spotting,” James commends.

“What we’re looking for is a small town on the far side of the watercourse. It’s actually in the state of New Jersey. Today, it’s a city called Trenton, but, in 1776, it’s a part of small-town America.

“Now, we have to follow the river to the north for about ten miles.

“It doesn’t have bridges for us to count to guide us as to how far. So we have to guess again as to how far ten miles is.”

Once more, Lyndsey wheels around to the new vector, and follows the river below, at a height of only around thirty feet.

Onshore, the precipitation can be observed quickly forming drifts.

On the water, however, ice crystals are rapidly becoming solid ice, thick enough to cause problems for the American general the group is traveling all this way to see.

The present time outside is just shortly after that given by the publisher of The Philadelphia Mercury, namely, 10:35 a.m. The date has not changed and remains at December 24, 1776.

So, they are some forty hours short of the event to which James has invited everyone.

Lyndsey continues to conduct the group in a northerly direction, still dutifully following the course of the waterway.

“DJ, are we there yet,” the girl asks. This sounds very familiar to most of the adults present, but they collectively keep their thoughts to themselves and let the opportunity go by.

“About one more mile, and you’ll come into sight of our objective, Lynz,” her brother replies.

One half-minute later, with the river still in the center of the view, DJ calls attention to a multitude of men encamped on the west bank of the Delaware River.

His sibling slows to a crawl, then stops and rotates to have the crowd in the middle of the screen.

“Who are these men, James?” his grandfather Buckminster queries.

“You’ll have to guess, Gramps. Think about it, though. You’re at the Delaware River, just north of Trenton, New Jersey, in the year 1776. What part of this information might give you a clue?”

“I can see this is your idea of an American history morning.

“Great question, DJ!” Alex says. He adds, “This is an awesome event in our country’s history.

“These troops are with the Continental Army, just before it is led across the Delaware River, back on the morning of December 26, 1776.

“The general is none other than George Washington, who will later become America’s first president.”

“James, will we be able to watch the actual event? This is exciting?” says his mother, Dianne.

“We all know the outcome, but it’s fascinating to think that we’ll be watching the occasion live.”

“For sure, Mom! We’ll watch the crossing in a little while, but first we have to get Lynz to do a bit more time shifting first.”

As Dianne answers James, and while the boy responds to his mother, Lyndsey propels the System forward slowly in time.

At the same time, she also changes direction so as to rotate in ever-increasing circles, so that each tour of the area encompasses a larger circle than the receding turn.

This gives them the opportunity to oversee the entire site of the crossing, as well as the encampment of the small expedition from the Continental Army.

She concentrates on the encampment, looking out for the general in his gilt-edged uniform. The group has to watch for a person who looks somewhat younger than the George Washington on the present $1.00 bill.

As time progresses, she ‘drives’ to lower and lower altitudes, so that, unseen by the soldiers below them, they are able to scan for the heroic figure, without needing to break out Russell’s binoculars.

One tent, which appears to receive visits from junior officers on numerous occasions, is given extra attention by the group.

It takes an ex-military person in the rec room to say, “That guy’s a colonel, you can see his insignia. Next step up the promotion ladder for him is ‘general.’”

“See if you can get close enough so that we can have a word with him,” Ethan Thomas asks.

Lynz quickly drops the screen down to ground level, moves over toward the officer in question, and brings the System to a halt. ET is the self-appointed interrogator of this officer.

He eases himself out of the screen for his extra-vehicular activity and approaches the colonel.

“Good morning, colonel!” he begins. “My name is Ethan Thomas, and I’m a news correspondent, most recently at the Mercury in Philadelphia.

“What information are you able to share with our readers about your upcoming crossing of the Delaware River over to New Jersey?”

Inside the Richardson house, the family with its two remaining guests is intently watching the action, straining to catch every word.

“That, sir, is supposed to be a closely guarded secret,” the colonel retorts.

He calls to two nearby soldiers, who come running at his command, and orders that the NNN correspondent be taken into custody, and marched to the tent of the commanding general.

The colonel storms off, leading the way to a third tent a short distance away, with ET and his captors following behind him.

Unknown to all but Ethan Thomas they are also followed by the System.

Opening the flap of the tent, the officer wordlessly signals to his three followers to wait for further directions.

He lowers the flap behind himself; then moments later he reappears, and  beckons the guards to bring the correspondent into the general’s tent.

Ethan Thomas of National News Network is ushered into the presence of the great man himself, George Washington.

Close on the heels of ET is Lyndsey, ‘intruding’ the System right into the tent, continuing the family’s coverage of the event.

Resplendent in his dress uniform, and looking nothing like his currency portrait, the general orders Thomas to be searched for weapons.

Naturally, of course, nothing is found. His digital camera, the little metal box, is ignored, as no one knows what it is and it remains in Ethan’s pocket.

“You asked Colonel Sewell for a statement concerning a crossing of the Delaware River.

“Tell me,” he asks politely, yet with authority in his voice, “how do you know about our intention to cross the river?”

Ethan licks his lips to relieve his nervousness, and then takes the bull by the horns. “I saw a newspaper article about it, sir,” he murmurs.

“What! No one is supposed to know about this operation,” he asserts.

“How can we carry on a campaign against the British if newspapers are being given information and publishing it in advance of my actions?” he rails bitterly.

“Who are you, sir? What is your name?”

“I am Ethan Thomas, of the National News Network. I’m gathering news concerning the Continental Army’s strategy against British forces in New Jersey.

“I was given a great deal of helpful information by the publisher of the Philadelphia Mercury, Mr. Benjamin Fraser.”

“I know Ben Fraser. He wouldn’t have given you any information about my movements. He’s a supporter of our cause.

“How dare you use my friend’s name in an endeavor to trick me?” the general demands.

“I’m not trying to trick you, General Washington. Look! I have a special drawing of Mr. Fraser that I made just yesterday,” the journalist said, slipping out his camera.

Colonel Sewell edges a hand toward his flintlock pistol, as Ethan dips into his right-hand pocket.

As the camera surfaces, he relaxes his grip, as the digital device does not have the appearance of a firearm.

Thomas flips the electronic device over and shows the general the screen on the back.

He powers it up and selects replay and the image that appears on the screen is Washington’s friend, Benjamin Fraser, newspaperman, of Philadelphia fame.

What a lifesaver. Reacting in the same way as had Ben Fraser, Washington’s jaw hangs down in shock at the sight on the screen.

“That is an excellent likeness, Mr. Thomas. Ben looks so real, it’s as if he’s moving!”

“This is a special box that helps me to make accurate drawings very quickly.”

“General, may I have it make a drawing of you, sir?”

Washington’s chest suddenly gets bigger, as he draws his stomach in tight: “Of course, sir.”

ET aims the camera, triggers about five seconds of footage, then quickly switches the camera back to its replay mode, and shows Commanding General George Washington the results.

The future president of the United States of America looks with fascination at the screen, and then invites Colonel Sewell to view it.

Just like the general when he first saw the video of Benjamin Fraser, down went his jaw.

“Can you tell me where I could get such a device for my own use?” the general enquires.

“It’s a new invention that is not yet ready for sale,” Thomas states. “Could I write you, and let you know when, where, and how you could obtain one?”

“Yes, please do,” George W. responds. “I’ll give you some details of the action, Mr. Thomas, but you must promise not to publish it until after the operation is completed.

“Will you agree to keep this information to yourself for now, Mr. Thomas?”

The general’s 6’ 2” height gives him a statuesque appearance beside the news anchor’s 5’ 10”.

“My lips are sealed, sir. I appreciate your confidence.” ET is happy that it looks as if he isn’t going to be in any further hot water.

“My plan is to use the boats presently on the river to cross over the Delaware at midnight tomorrow.

“Following that, we’ll march down to Trenton to take on the Hessians, German mercenaries, hired by the British to keep us out of New Jersey.

“You must forgive me, but I have much to do to prepare for the action tomorrow. Colonel Sewell will return you to the place where he found you.”

“Thank you, General Washington. You’ve been most kind,” ET says as he shakes hands with the real George Washington and bids him a “good day.”

“Colonel Sewell,” Ethan says, as they leave the tent. “Could I get a drawing of you too, just so that I don’t forget your face?”

Stomach in, chest out; same old story. Ethan makes about five seconds of video of the colonel, too, and then displays him the on-screen results.

Sewell is amazed. Never again in his lifetime will this man ever see video of himself, in the middle of the Revolutionary War, or any other time or place for that matter.

The correspondent accesses the house once more by way of the time portal.

He very graciously accepts the congratulations of all those in the family room for his diplomacy and skill in worming his way around the general.

“OK, Lynz. Now we have to do a little bit of time shifting. Could you move us ahead in time about 30 hours?” DJ asks.

Now, Lyndsey moves forward in time until one entire night passes, and then gently eases her way through the morning of December 25, and most of the afternoon of the same day.

The watch continues to confirm that the date and time are correct.

In the meantime, the movement of the encamped Continental Army is in the general direction of the river, at the location known as McConkey’s Ferry Inn.


During the daylight period, some 25 to 30 flat-bottomed industrial boats, for use in the crossing of the river, are brought to the site.

The boats are normally used for the transportation of pig iron.

General Washington and his council of war are reported to be meeting at homes in Newtown, PA, during the strategic planning for the crossing, which is viewed by many historians and military strategists to be a stroke of genius.

Historically, the group knows that things are not going well in the war with the Brits, and, even on this date in 1776, the situation continues to look very grave for the Continental Army.

Unfortunately, the weather continues to deteriorate as midnight approaches.

Rain, hail, sleet and snow ceaselessly plague the troops. The seemingly endless precipitation is going to make the crossing not only difficult, but also very discouraging.

General Washington has singled out a section of his American soldiers from Massachusetts, with a background in the boating and fishing industries.

These men have been selected to care for the job of poling the boats across the river.

Strategically, in waiting for darkness, Washington will be enabled to manage the maximum surprise.

His next problem is that he has to get across the river.

Some time later, about 2:00 a.m., the army collects at river’s edge and boards the boats in squads of six to eight men, approximately forty men per boat, not including four men to power each vessel.

The Massachusetts’ men are able stand inside what the local populace would call a Durham boat, with the rim of the boat at above waist level, and push the boat with long poles.

The remaining two boatmen can use longer poles pushed into the riverbed and propel the boat forward by walking along the boat’s rim, wide enough to provide space on each side of the vessel for such operations.

All the while they must maintain a bi-directional pressure (both downward and aft), on the poles.

Some boats are bigger and some smaller, and can take more, or less men. None is fitted with seats, so all have to stand, including General Washington himself, in the first boat.

Contrary to what is indicated in the famous painting of the event, the stars and stripes of the American flag are unable to fly over any of the boats.

History has told the family and its guests that the design and manufacture of Old Glory are still more than a month in the future.

The Durham boats ply the river, roughly two hundred and fifty yards wide, back and forth, to and fro, until most of the 2,400 men are standing on the east bank of the Delaware.

Despite the adverse effects of the ice, rain, sleet, and snow, the crossing is successful, thanks to the courage and persistence of the men.

Once the soldiers are transported, a regular ferryboat is used for the transfer of the artillery, horses, and supplies, from the Pennsylvania side over to New Jersey’s shore.

With the men safely ensconced on the eastern side of the river, they receive no welcome from the British Colony of New Jersey.

This organization remains totally unaware of the arrival of two thousand, four hundred soldiers of the Continental Army, who now face a ten-mile hike to Trenton.

The soon-to-be hero, George Washington, will elect to have his men regroup, then march down two parallel roads.

Half of the men will travel down Pennington Road, the remainder down River Road, to the outskirts of the Town of Trenton.

Awaiting the Continental Army there is a British garrison of 1,400 Hessian mercenaries, positioned by the British Army to repel attacks by General Washington’s troops.

Amazed, the family and its guests watch in awe.

The march is over somewhat after 6:00 a.m., and, starting within about two hours, on December 26, 1776, the Colonials open fire on, and rout the Hessians.

The entire affair lasts but forty-five minutes, and Washington’s men are able to take nine hundred Hessians as prisoners from the garrison.

The tired, hungry Americans are delighted to find food, supplies, and especially, ammunition.

Without pursuing the General any further on this occasion, history records that, building on his Trenton success, the Americans march onward toward Princeton, where they again defeat the British a few days later.

Victories at the two New Jersey locations are sufficient to drive the British out of New Jersey.

Together, they give the fledgling Continental Army, and the people of the American colonies, a huge sense of achievement, and a great deal of impetus, as they continue in their fight against the tyranny of the British throne.

Ultimately, in 1783, the fighting is over and a peace agreement becomes a reality, resulting in the total disbandment of the Continental Army.

As always, the entire operation has been captured on DVD.

“What did you think of that trip, Ron?” Ethan asks his producer.

“Wow! That’s hard to believe! … How do you handle the questions people raise about your traveling back in time to their day? … What else have you folks seen?” Pfeffer asks.

“Well, to be honest, nobody has ever asked where we are from. Ethan has seen video of most of the locations we’ve been able to visit.

“Iwo Jima back in 1945; Ie Shima off Okinawa, that same year.

“The kids crossed the Atlantic Ocean and found Christopher Columbus sailing the wrong way on his ‘voyage of discovery’ back in 1492.

“On that same occasion a trip was made over to the Tower of London to find someone who would have an accurate idea of the date in 1492, because most folks back then didn’t bother with calendars.

“Ethan found us because he took the initiative to follow up on some loose-lipped comments. That was while we were solving a problem some people had in a mine in Paw Paw, West Virginia.

“We made the same mistake at a high-rise fire in Boston a couple of weeks ago.”

Ron nods his agreement. “Yes,” he says, “ET mentioned those two events to me, as well as some of your World War II exploits. How limited are you in where you can go?” he asks.

Russell redirects the question to James. “DJ, would you like to answer that one?”

“Well, Ron,” James takes over, “that’s an excellent question. Truthfully, we don’t know of any limitations on the extent to which we can use the System.

“We’ve been back to 1492, both in the western Atlantic and to London.

“We just got home from a successful trip back to 1776 without any difficulty.

“Travel-wise in the real-time mode, we’ve been to Australia; Boston; West Virginia; Oceana Naval Air Station in Virginia, as well as all over the Tampa Bay area.

“In many of those places, and even back in 1492, we were able to interact with people without any apparent hitch.

“Several times in the Okinawa area, we were able to take walks outside the System.

“It looks as if we can go to pretty much any point in time without any difficulty, as long as that time is behind us.

“Ethan asked us yesterday what we had done about time-travel into the future, and my dad told him that we haven’t done anything about it.

“As a family, we’re very concerned about the possibility of making a change to something over which we have no control and that might jeopardize history.”

Pfeffer, “George Washington crossing the Delaware was a great choice for us all, because we all learned about that in grade school, but what other destinations have you thought about?

“I’m just thinking about some hot spots that would interest our NNN audiences for Ethan’s programs in the days ahead.”

“Well,” James continues, “we’ve got our eye on the California ‘49ers.’ No, not the football team, but the prospectors of the 1848 gold rush.

“They came to be called ‘49ers,’ because the thousands who came from other parts of the world only arrived in California in 1849. Even I’m looking forward to that one.

“Too, other suggestions we’ve had are, visit Windsor Castle in England to see the doll’s house that the people of Britain gave to Queen Mary.

“It was given as a tribute to the royal family after World War I. Mary was the wife of King George V.

“The doll’s house was presented to her in 1925. The ladies here all have expressed a great interest in seeing that.

“Someone else suggested Tombstone, Arizona, to see Wyatt Earp and his brothers, and Doc Holliday, take on the Clanton brothers and the McLowery boys, in the gunfight at the OK Corral.

“Maybe we could get some good footage the nineteenth century guys weren’t able to get from their old cameras.”

“What thoughts have you had, Ethan?” the teen asks.

“Well, now that you come to mention it,” Ethan raises the question, “what would be the possibility of getting into that White House conference back in 1972?

“We might be able to record video of President Nixon giving instructions to hire the Watergate burglars.

“Maybe we could get some genuine footage of Lyndon Johnson receiving recommendations from his advisers about the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964, which got the United States so heavily committed to the Vietnam War.”

“I think we can all see where your interests lie, ET. How about you, Ron?”

“Well, I always like to look for stories that appeal to a wider audience, and some of your ideas certainly would do that.

“Myself, I’d be likely to go for a trip over to see the Battle of the Little Bighorn, Custer’s last stand.

“Or, perhaps, because the movie about Pearl Harbor was so successful fifteen or so years ago, it might make an appealing show for Ethan if we took a trip back to December 7th, 1941, to see what really happened.

“Maybe even another visit to the White House, to find out what President Roosevelt really knew in advance of the Japanese attack.

“Some of these have been extremely contentious questions that have been bothering journalists for decades. They would be a real coup for Ethan.”

“Can I get a suggestion in here?” Jackie Grover asks.

“Sure, Grandma Jay, go right ahead!”

“Rosa Parks died ten years ago, and I thought it would be nice to make a live trip back to the mid-1950s incident on the bus that brought her to national prominence.

“Also, at least two of us ladies here have an interest in getting some accurate information about Susan B. Anthony.”

There was no need for Jackie to enlarge on either of those two famous women. Their names are still household words throughout the United States.

“If you’re taking other suggestions,” Pop Grover added from beside his wife, “I would like to add a trip to two American pioneers from the nineteenth century.

“One is Thomas Edison, and the other is Alexander Graham Bell; they would be very educational trips.

“On top of that, I have always wondered what life would have been like under Roman rule. I’d love to go back in time and see that.

“Too, how could we not go back to the Alamo and see another great moment in American history?” to which Alex Allca responded, “Any time you’re planning a trip like that, please count me in; I’d love to be on any operation like that. American history is so fascinating.”



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