Chapter 22 1962 - Greta

Henry was true to his word, and devoted his spare time to Juliette and I. He stopped frequenting the Stomping Grounds, and even broke the word to Buddy that he could no longer continue as the Scrappers manager.

Although Henry had been inattentive for so long, one thing he had not been was a spendthrift. The Scrappers success was his success, and he made a lot of money working with them. He was savvy investor; his secretive ways in the years before the near failure of his marriage allowed him to build up a substantial sum.

His total assets were in the neighborhood of 250,000. When he revealed the sum to Juliette, she nearly fainted. They were rich! He was not yet 35 years old, and able to retire.

But Henry was also humble, and did not let on to his friends of his success. Juliette allowed him time for one vice, and that was his love for tinkering in the workshop. When asked how he supported his family, he would point to one of his many inventions and claim that he’d been lucky.

True, several of his inventions had been patented and they did bring in some additional investment income. But the fact was this: many of the inventions were pure junk. Henry didn’t care, because for him, it was the tinkering, the craft. The actual outcome was not important. If it was a success, then the rest was gravy.

Greta, the faithful dog, was getting old. She spent much of her time lying down in the workshop when Henry was working. Her glory days as the heroic savior of chickens was long gone, and even the last several years of playing in the yard with I were no longer a priority for her.

Henry had noticed her lethargy and mistook it for lack of exercise. He got to tinkering and using some of the scraps leftover from the hatchery fire many years earlier and constructed a motorized running pad for her. Greta watched quizzically as the machine took shape.

Within two weeks, it was completed and Henry turned it on. It worked flawlessly, and Henry urged Greta to step onto it. While she at first resisted, her curiosity got to her and she stepped on and began walking. Henry turned up the power a bit and she started to run, she barked happily and kept running until suddenly, she seemed to stumble, and fell off. Henry rushed to her side, but it was too late. The run had proven too much for her old heart. Greta was dead.