Hairy Situation Pt1

“A source at the Pentagon tells me they brought several scientists who worked for Hitler over to the states.”

“Yes, we that is common knowledge. Other investigative reporters have seen them working on projects under the tightest supervision.”

“But I have learned and verified that at least one of those scientists has gone missing.”

“Are you telling my listeners we have a Nazi scientist roaming around our beloved United States with no supervision?”

“Jason, why do you listen to that radio program? He sensationalizes every conspiracy theory that he thinks will attract people to listen to his program and buy the stuff he sells.”

I looked over the top of my coffee cup at Alice Doyle. We met years ago in Vietnam. Today, we have grown to be working partners and friends. Sitting across the breakfast table in Alice’s beautiful home. I had to defend my reason for listening to the radio program. “You have a network where anything of concern gets brought to your attention. I’m just a lonely photographer who responds to intel you and Mister Beck.”

“We have developed and cultivated our sources over years of work. Even after Congress shut us down officially. The photography business makes for a successful cover and face it, it brings in more than half of our income.”

“Now tell me this missing Nazi scientist won’t be mentioned when we meet with the rest of the team, Mister Beck with bring up the subject about that Nazi scientist.”

“He may, but I highly doubt that. Whenever we have our monthly potlucks, Mister Beck usually sits back and listens.”

“It has been almost a year since he sent us out on any recon. This might be one for us.”

“Jason Roberts, I thought you enjoyed being a studio photographer?”

“I do like some change from time to time.” Those words left my lips. I realized how much I missed the work Mister Beck brought us. I used the studio photography work as downtime.

We finished our bowls of fruit and yogurt without saying another word. After rising our dishes and putting them in the drying rack, I turned to Alice and said, “I’m going down to the Studio and set up for the potluck.” Then headed out the door.




On the first Sunday of the month, my friends and would meet to see each other’s face. As a team, we accomplished a lot more than expected. Frank Church and Congress forced us to disband as a covert recon team. That didn’t keep us from meeting and making a difference. My Photographic Studio made for a perfect meeting place.

When I first arrived in Berkeley, Mister Beck, our handler, had arranged for me to work as an apprentice for Saul Cohen. In exchange, I could use his studio. At the end of my first year of college, Saul announced he would be taking an extended vacation to Israel. He signed the business over to me with no targeted date of his return.

Alice Doyle by my side made getting through college and everything else possible. I first met her in Vietnam. Officially, Lieutenant Alice Doyle was an Army nurse. In reality, she provided supplies and information my team needed to get the job done and stay alive. Now states side, she posed as a freelance journalist under the pen name of Sunshine. She brought a lot of sunshine into my life and other members of our little group.

This one morning, I drove from Alice’s house in San Francisco to the Studio in downtown Oakland. Members of our little party lived in throughout parts of the San Francisco Bay Area. Each one of them monitored social political groups in their area.

Tension remained around the People’s Park protest. Extremist groups still looked for ways to carry out their agenda. Over time, our little group identified and rendered harmless several of the more violent ones.

I had finished setting up the tables and chairs when Alice Doyle walked through the restroom door. A second door in the restroom led to the back parking lot. I keep telling myself one of these days I will redo the layout of that back wall.

Every time, Alice would walk into a room. I had to stop and take a quick breath at her 5’5” petite frame. She seemed to always take my breath away by walking into the room where I was. Seeing her short black hair and facial features reminded me of her mother’s Japanese ancestry. I can understand when her father met her mother in Japan, he married her and brought her to the United States.

That particular Sunday, Alice wore a long blue denim skirt, white blouse, over a flowery vest. Birkenstock sandals were her footwear of choice.

“Jason, when are you going to remodel the back entrance?” I heard that question more than a hundred times.

I would reply with the same answer. “The back entrance is not for customers. I see no reason to make a back entrance to impress people.”

“What about your friends? Don’t you want to impress them?”

“If they are truly my friends, I don’t need to impress them.” After a moment of silence, I asked. “What is kind salad and dressing do you have for us?”

“Organic grown chard, sprouts, mini tomatoes with tofu. I also brought my special blend of peanut oil dressing.”

A short time later, in walked a six foot tall African America male. Dressed in all black carrying a large four-inch-deep stainless pan. After being discharged from the Army, Leroy joined the Black Panthers. During the day, he landed a job cooking at a soul food restaurant just a few blocks away.

Alice eyed the pan as Leroy set the pan on the table. “Okay, Leroy, what do you have for our main course?”

“This month’s specialist is barbecue beef in my special barbecue sauce. I brought sandwich fix ins. For a side dish I brought collide greens and black-eyed peas. Don’t worry, Alice, I brought your favorite, my sweet cornbread.”

Leroy removed the aluminum foil covering. The aroma filled the Studio. Alice and I had to force ourselves to wait for the others.

“Smells great.” I said. “Leroy, you have outdone yourself again.”

Next to walk out of the restroom, a stocky 5’11” Dave. He carried a large cardboard box. Dave had gone from being an Army medic in Nam to running a free clinic in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco.

“What’s in the box?” I asked.

“Chocolate cake.”

“Did you make it?” Alice asked.

“No, the bakery down the block from the clinic made it. The owner is constantly bringing me some of her pastry delight. It’s her way of thanking me for helping her son.”

“What was wrong with her son?” Leroy questioned.

“Her son tried to break up a knife fight. He got stabbed. They didn’t want the police involved. I patched him up. No questions asked.”

“I hope we don’t get sick from eating all that chocolate cake.” Leroy joked.

“If you do, I brought a big bottle of Pepto-Bismol.” Dave replied.

Everyone smiled and chuckled.

“Let’s eat, food is getting cold,” Announced Alice. “Take a paper plate and help yourselves. Jason has a fresh pot of coffee on the workbench. The smaller pot has some of my Chai tea in it.”

“Isn’t Mister Beck coming?” Leroy asked.

“He’ll here get before all the food is gone. That’s for sure.” Alice said.