The 3:57: REMEMBERING, Episode Five – Terms and Conditions

Teaser – Nearly two years ago, Chris Rowe went looking for a better life and found one. Since leaving Hunterdon County in New Jersey, the teenager has worked in a restaurant and begun meeting friends. But Chris will receive information that forces a choice between staying in the new life or giving it up.

Full Transcript –

Remembering, Episode #5: Terms and Conditions

Original Date: 13 May 2020

Hello. This is . . . The Three Fifty-seven.

[The 3:57 Theme plays]

My name is William Spear and I am the Host of The Three Fifty-seven. The current series is titled REMEMBERING.

And this episode is called TERMS AND CONDITIONS. Nearly two years ago, Chris Rowe went looking for a better life . . . and found one. But the teenage will receive information that forces a choice between staying in the new life or giving it up.

And now Episode Five of REMEMBERING.

[Remembering Theme plays]

For nearly two years, Chris worked at the diner. When people heard where the teenager was from, gifts and greetings were offered for friends and relatives back home.

One day, in early December, after Chris and the Odyssey had finished driving, the car said, “We must talk.”

But Chris was heading off to meet friends for a holiday lunch and did not have time.

When the teenager returned, the car started again, “You know, we left almost two years ago.”

Chris interrupted, “And it’s been two pretty good years.”

The car agreed, “Yes. You’ve done well. But there were terms and conditions.”

The teenager said, “And I lived up to my part of the bargain. I play music for you.”

“Well, yes,” said the car. “But-“

“-And don’t forget everything piling up in the trunk and back seat.” The car reminded Chris the gifts and the greetings were for people back home.

Then the teenager added: “I left to find a better life and I have one.”

The Odyssey pushed back hard: “You agreed to visit as many towns as possible.”

Chris began to have an uneasy feeling about the conversation: “What are you saying?”

The car replied, “It’s time to move on.”

The teenager roared, “I am not leaving and there is nothing you can say to change my mind!” Chris left for work and walked through the snow.

The car mumbled to itself, “Kids.”

The teenager’s work was fueled by a fury to forget the Odyssey’s words. Chris worked without stopping until the diner closed, then slept in a cushioned booth, got up, and worked another full day and evening. The teenager staggered home exhausted and fatigued.

But the Odyssey was waiting to continue the conversation. “It’s time,” said the car. “To leave.”

“What could be so important?” Chris begged to know.

“You are leaving to help someone,” said the car. “Everybody I know is here,” replied the teenager.

“THE PERSON KNOWS YOU,” roared the car. “You can save her.”

“Oh come on. You are talking about me. I am on the Mount Rushmore of Nobodies,” said the teenager. “There’s nothing I can do.”

The car spoke softly, “She’s dying.”

[Remembering Theme plays]

You’ve just listened to Episode Five of REMEMBERING. The series music, What A Way – The Prelude, is through the courtesy of Semaphore.

The Three Fifty-seven is an anthology of comedy, drama, and supernatural stories. Theme music is Not On The Bus . . .

[The 3:57 Theme plays]

. . . by U. S. Army Blues.

The Three Fifty-seven is Written and Produced by William Spear.

Thank you for listening.

Beyond Reach – “How do balconies inspire us?”

Vittoria Traverso’s article titled “Why do balconies inspire us?” (BBC Travel; 10 April 2020; link is below) tells about musicians in Italy performing concerts attended by residents watching from their balconies.

One of the musicians is quoted as saying, “A lot of people thanked us for making them feel less lonely.”

Another quote from the article was “Balconies are reminding people of the importance to look outside and connect with something bigger than themselves.”

Two powerful statements at any time; more so during the pandemic.

Rather than stopping with Traverso’s question of “Why do balconies inspire us?” it seemed a fair question to ask “How do balconies inspire us?” That gentle shifting of the focus seemed to suggest a setting and two characters.

The setting was immediate: Two balconies during a pandemic. Characters followed soon after: One for each balcony. But what could their stories be?

Romance! Forbidden, not by families, but stay-at-home ordinances. Describe the suitors. Modern versions of Romeo and Juliet? That was okay, but better characters were waiting to be discovered. How about a pair of seventy-five-year-olds each with a backstory. That worked.

Add artwork, a title, and summary and . . .

BeyondReach-v1

 

BEYOND REACH – A romance between two strangers quarantined in separate apartments during a pandemic.
(Photo credit: Anastasia Shuraeva)

Fast forward from the article’s date of publication through today and a production script is finished.

 

At written, this is a five-eight episode series for The 3:57 podcast to be produced and hosted by William E. Spear. Recording is scheduled to begin within a week. Further details will be forthcoming.

Be safe! Be healthy!  Look look outside and connect with something bigger!

Article links:

BBC Travel: Why do balconies inspire us?

The 3:57 by William E. Spear

 

 

The 3:57: REMEMBERING, Episode Four – Fitting In

Remembering
Teaser – Chris has run out of luck and is leaving the diner when the manager says, “I have an idea.”

Full Transcript –

Remembering, Episode #4: Fitting In

Original Date: 22 April 2020

Hello. This is . . . The Three Fifty-seven.

[The 3:57 Theme plays]

My name is William Spear and I am the Host of The Three Fifty-seven. The current series is titled REMEMBERING.

And this episode is called FITTING IN. Chris has run out of gas, has no money, and is inside a diner.

And now Episode Four of REMEMBERING.

[Remembering Theme plays]

The manager refused to lend money for gasoline and Chris turned to leave.

“However,” continued the manager, “I have an idea. Our dishwasher is out sick. If you work for us tonight, we will pay you, fill your car with gasoline, and give you dinner.”

Chris replied: “How about if I do that, wash the floors, help open the restaurant in the morning and you let me sleep here tonight.”

“All that?” asked the manager.

“All that,” said Chris.

“Agreed,” said the manager. They shook hands.

Chris went to work and the dishes and floors were cleaned by midnight. Dinner was a few plates of hamburgers and a mountain of french fries; ordinary food for most people.

But for the teenager it was the first meal in months not picked from a garbage can.

A gourmet delight.

Bed was a cushioned booth in the diner. With heat! For the orphaned and homeless teenager used to sleeping rough, a five‑star hotel would not have been more comfortable.

As promised, Chris got up early the next morning and helped open the restaurant. Floors were mopped and dishes were washed from the breakfast customers.

The manager was impressed with the teenager’s work. When Chris finished, a job was offered, with meals, and new clothes.

And a place to sleep!

Chris agreed, took the gasoline to the car, and they talked about the job. The Odyssey was pleased and scratchy music poured from its radio.

The teenager worked hard at the diner. Wages were earned and meals were regular.

Chris met many people in and out of the diner. Some knew of the teenager’s home town and asked to pass along a “Hello” or “Hope you are well” to relatives and friends. A few even gave gifts to take back.

The teenager wrote down notes and packed everything into the car.

One day when they were out driving, the Odyssey said, “We must talk.”

[Remembering Theme plays]

You’ve just listened to Episode Four of REMEMBERING. The series music, What A Way – The Prelude, is through the courtesy of Semaphore.

The Three Fifty-seven is an anthology of comedy, drama, and supernatural stories. Theme music is Not On The Bus . . .

[The 3:57 Theme plays]

. . . by U. S. Army Blues.

The Three Fifty-seven is Written and Produced by William Spear.

Thank you for listening.

The 3:57: REMEMBERING, Episode Three – No Money


Remembering
Teaser – Chris argues with the talking Odyssey which pulls over and tells the teenager to get gasoline. But without any money, prospects are bleak for Chris.

Full Transcript –

Remembering, Episode #3: No Money

Original Date: 8 April 2020

Hello. This is . . . The Three Fifty-seven.

[The 3:57 Theme plays]

My name is William Spear and I am the Host of The Three Fifty-seven. The current series is titled REMEMBERING.

This episode is called NO MONEY. After surviving a near collision when the Odyssey refused to move, Chris has run out of gas. But without any money, the teenager’s journey for a better life seems to be coming quickly to an end.

And now Episode Three of REMEMBERING.

[Remembering Theme plays]

The Odyssey sat in the middle of the busy intersection. Traffic was racing by on both sides. Even a truck bearing down with its brakes whining and smoke billowing from its tires could not budge the car. It insisted music be played on its radio.

At the last second, the car’s driver, Chris, found a station and scratchy notes played out. The Odyssey bolted westward.

A few minutes later, with Chris still in shock, the car spoke. “From now on,” said the Odyssey, quite casually despite the near collision, “I will allow you to ride only if you give me presents.”

“Presents?!” roared Chris. “You nearly got me hit by a truck!”

The car continued, “You will play the music I ask for and then you will give me gifts.”

“What do you want for nearly flattening me?!” asked the teenager.

“Let’s start with gratitude for getting you toward your better life,” said the car.

The teenager got quiet and asked, “How did you know that? And how can you talk?” The car did not speak.

For several hours, the only sounds were scratchy music and tires rolling on the pavement. At length, the car pulled over and said, “I will now let you fill my tank. There is a gas station up ahead.”

“I don’t have any money,” said the teenager. Once again the car was quiet.

The teenager started walking and found the gas station. It was next to an all-night diner.

No one was pumping gas so Chris went to the diner. There were

hamburgers and hot dogs, pasta and salads, and the biggest dessert

table in the world.

Desperately trying to ignore the food, Chris spoke with the manager and wondered if a small amount of money might be borrowed to fill the car’s tank. The response was: “I’m sorry but we can’t do that.” The teenager turned to leave.

“However,” continued the manager, “I have an idea.”

[Remembering Theme plays]

You’ve just listened to Episode Three of REMEMBERING. The series music, What A Way – The Prelude, is through the courtesy of Semaphore.

The Three Fifty-seven is an anthology of stories. Theme music for the anthology is Not On The Bus . . .

[The 3:57 Theme plays]

. . . by U. S. Army Blues.

The Three Fifty-seven is Written and Produced by William Spear.

Thank you for listening.

#30#

The 3:57: REMEMBERING, Episode Two – Intersection


Remembering
Teaser – Orphaned and homeless teenager, Chris Rowe, has received a car while looking for a better life. Everything seems great until the car stops in a busy intersection.

 

Full Transcript –

Remembering, Episode #2: Intersection

Original Date: 25 March 2020

Hello. This is . . . The Three Fifty-seven.

[The 3:57 Theme plays]

My name is William Spear and I am the Host of The Three Fifty-seven. The current series is titled REMEMBERING.

This episode, the second, is called INTERSECTION. In it, orphaned and homeless teenager Chris Rowe has received a car while looking for a better life. Everything seems great until the car stops in a busy intersection and refuses to move.

And now Episode Two of REMEMBERING.

[Remembering Theme plays]

Chris Rowe, an orphaned and homeless teenager looking for a better life, sat in the driver’s seat of an ancient Odyssey. The teenager could drive the car for the next twenty years as long as they went to as many towns as possible during that time.

By the way, the car talks.

The key was slowly turned with great anticipation and . . . Nothing happened. A second attempt was made and still nothing happened. The car spoke: “Sometimes it takes three tries.”

Chris asked, “How do you-?”

“-Sometimes three tries,” said the car.

The teenager turned the key again. The engine coughed, sputtered, protested, and roared to life. The rusty automobile idled forward and onto the road.

They drove for a few miles. Chris got used to driving and the Odyssey got used to the teenager. They came to a busy intersection. The car started to cross and stopped! The engine was running but the car was not moving.

Chris turned it off and back on but nothing changed. A second attempt was made and still it didn’t move. Recalling “Sometimes it takes three tries”, a third effort was made with no results. A truck was getting closer.

The car spoke, “I like music. It helps pass the time.” The driver noted the truck was bearing down on them and asked for ‘A little help.’ The car said to try the radio.

Buttons were pressed and knobs were turned but no music. The truck’s horn screamed at a fevered pitch but the car sat patiently in the intersection. Time was running out.

The brakes of the truck whined and smoke billowed from its tires.

Chris begged the car to move and made a last‑ditch effort to find music when suddenly . . .

[extended silence]

. . . You’ve just listened to Episode Two of REMEMBERING. The series music, What A Way – The Prelude, is through the courtesy of Semaphore.

The Three Fifty-seven is an anthology of stories. Theme music for the anthology is Not On The Bus . . .

[The 3:57 Theme plays]

. . . by U. S. Army Blues.

The Three Fifty-seven is Written and Produced by William Spear.

Thank you for listening.

#30#