Chapter 5 1952 - Greta

Henry and Juliette were excited to see that Governor Warren was a possible presidential candidate in this year’s elections, but when he dropped out of the race to support General Eisenhower, Henry and Juliette followed suit and supported the new candidate as well. Although Juliette wasn’t old enough to vote, Henry was looking forward to casting his first presidential vote.

Juliette proudly wore her “I Like Ike” button at the grocery store, and drew some criticism from those customers that supported Governor Stevenson. Both Juliette and Henry liked to watch the TV ads for the campaigns, and felt like they were part of the process, even though most of the action was on the East Coast.

Hardy Rochester was at his peak in the reporting of the campaign, and was nominated for several broadcasting awards, increasing his own stature as a newsman to watch. When Hardy announced the nomination of Eisenhower to be the party’s candidate, it was one of his highest rated airings.

But outside of the presidential race, both Henry’s and Juliette’s families were pressuring them to start a family. They were still not ready, but to appease the family, they capitulated and adopted Greta. Greta was beautiful, had blonde hair and brought a touch of magic into the Mall household. Juliette would cradle her, and Henry enjoyed feeding her from a bottle, and before long she was eating solid food.

In the late summer, the three of them began taking long walks in the park, and Greta grew quickly. Before long, Henry and Greta would run in the park, and Greta would love to fetch the stick. She would come back, drop it at Henry’s feet, and then jump up in his lap and lick him on the face.

Henry and Juliette loved Greta, and Greta loved to spend time with Henry at the hatchery. Greta would lie at his feet as he manned the conveyor belt, and occasionally chased after the brave rat that did not pay heed to the Rat Deflector and tried to enter the building.

Sometimes Greta would sit and listen to the chickens cluck. It was as if they were having a conversation, and Greta was their silent confidante. One particular pair seemed to catch her fancy, and sometimes she would sit by their cage for hours on end.

The crisp autumn nights were a real treat for the trio. Henry would set fire to the week’s trash pile, and he and Juliette would sit in the swing, watching the flames flicker until the entire pile burnt down to a few embers. Greta would run excitedly around the fire while the flames were licking at the sky, so fierce, yet so beautiful. Eventually, she would calm down, move into a position by Henry and Juliette and enjoy the ember glow together.

The November elections came and Henry proudly cast his vote for Eisenhower. By the next morning, the results were coming in, and it looked like a sure victory for their candidate.