Chapter 11 December 4, 1953 - Three Kings of the East

Henry arrived at the hospital early the next day to see Juliette and I. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary today, other than the fact that twenty-four hours ago, he was not yet a father. Henry thought about how their lives would change now that their family had a new member.

Henry looked at Juliette and I as he entered. The two were asleep, with I laying atop her. He gently picked him up and put him in the bassinet, then returned and gave Juliette a kiss to wake his Sleeping Beauty.

As she awoke, she smiled and quickly glanced around to see where the baby had gone.

“It’s OK,” Henry said. “I just put him down to keep sleeping. He had a big day yesterday. Today should be a lot quieter.”

No sooner had the words left his mouth, than the sound of beating drums came from out in the street.

Henry peered out the window. “Is there a parade today?”

“I don't know what on earth for,” Juliette replied. “Thanksgiving was a week ago, and Christmas is still three weeks away. I read in the newspaper that there's a parade due on the twenty-second.”

“If it is a parade, it's only a small one,” Henry observed. “Just three men. They're coming this way.”

“Anyone we know?” Juliette inquired.

“Let me take a closer look” as he peered out the window. “By George, it's the President!”

Juliette asked “Of the Chicken Breeder's Association?”

“Of the United States!” Henry replied excitedly. “They're coming up the steps! I wonder who that is with him?”

Juliette pulled herself out of the bed and looked out the window. “Looks like Albert Einstein, the famous genius.”

“I didn't recognize him. I'm not much on brains,” Henry confided.

“You can say that again,” she joked. “And that other one's Charles Ives, the composer.”

“Charles who?”

Juliette ignored him, and the three men came into the building, up the hallway and right into their room. The couple was amazed that three men of such stature would be together here at this place.

“Ah, there he is,” said Ike, indicating I, who had come awake at the noise.

“Our baby, what do you want with our baby?” cried Juliette.

“Please don’t be concerned, ma’am,” indicated Ike. “We’ve just come because of the call of the child.”

“Yes,” agreed Bert. “We’ve heard about your son and his miraculous feats. His legend is already growing.”

Henry and Juliette looked at each other, clearly confused. Henry spoke up. “What feats?”

Ike replied, “Why this young boy will change everything. A great movement rests upon his shoulders.”

“And it’s all tied to his music,” continued Chuck, seemingly frail, but with a sparkle in his eye that belied his physical condition.

“I believe that young I here has the makings of a great leader, perhaps he’ll be President, or counsel Presidents and other leaders,” suggested Ike.

“And I believe that he is highly intelligent, perhaps he will be a great scientist, or perhaps an inventor, creating fantastic machines for the benefit of all mankind,” offered Bert.

“And I believe that he will be a great musician, so renowned that he will be known the world over!” concluded Chuck. “I have been one of the foremost American composers for the last fifty years, but now it’s time for me to step aside and allow him to reign.”

“We all see a great future for him, and we are here to celebrate him,” Ike said.

Bert dug though his briefcase and pulled out a set of documents, “His music is so mathematically complex, I could not help but to begin to develop new and alter my own older theories of the Universe to account for it. In addition, I have been authorized by the highest authorities to confer upon this young man his first honorary doctorate degree. He is officially the youngest ever to receive such an honor.” He provided the documentation to Henry.

“And I am here to present him my last piece of music. It was unfinished until I received the inspiration from him to complete it. It has never been performed, and it is my gift. But I ask you, please, to do nothing with it for at least ten years.” Chuck turned to I, “One day you'll hear the bells from the steeples, and rock will shout from the mountains!”

Ike stepped forward. “And I have brought two gifts. First, I have authorized the Post Office to print a commemorative stamp to honor this day, and secondly…” He paused for effect and the others waited with bated breath.

“Yes, secondly,” he continued, “I have declared that from this point forward, December Third, the day of his birth, shall be a national holiday called ‘I Day.’ We have needed a day like this to celebrate for a long time, and now is the right time to begin observing it.”

A shocked look of disbelief was all the reaction that Henry and Juliette could muster. How much had changed in their lives in such a short time!