James J Farquahar was an entrepreneur. He'd started right out of college, using ideas that, at least to him, were obvious and should be profitable. He'd used the little pile of money that he'd gotten from his dad, also a James, and his Uncle Rolf.
He spent his money carefully and after a while, it seemed that money made money, and James, Jamie always to the family, though most of those grand people were gone now, his Mom and Dad and his wonderful Uncle Rolf, proceeded carefully, as the years went on.
Heeding his Uncle Rolf's advice, he put some of his money into real estate. It was one of the ways that he'd done so well. He bought and sold houses and properties. He had a knack for it and did well at it.
In addition to the properties that he was dealing with in his business, he invested in two apartment buildings, both of them multi storied and well appointed.
He rented all of the one building and, since he'd been able to buy the properties out of his capital, the income was purely profit for him.
James J was eternally grateful to his Dad and his Uncle Rolf for the way that the'd brought him up, educated him and made sure that he understood the principles that were behind the kind of real estate dealing that he was introduced to.
It certainly was working out well for him, and now, at the age of 37, he had his own company and spent his time managing.
The one 'one hands' project that he had these days was the two apartment buildings.
He also lived in one of those two buildings. It was a gorgeous building with six floors of apartments. He took for himself, and his cat Angus, the top floor apartment. It was large and took up the entire sixth floor of the building. The view was great, looking out over the city and there was a roof garden that was Angus' delight.
The building was 'u' shaped and had an atrium garden area between the arms of the 'u', with a large wrought iron fence and gate that restricted entrance to the atrium garden area. It was made private and peaceful for the tenants.
James made sure that the apartments lacked for nothing. He also made it a rule for himself to rent the apartments at a reasonable rent, so that he might attract people of all backgrounds.
In his building, the other one was simply full and rented top to bottom, he kept one of the garden apartments in the 'u' shaped building for himself.
It was his special area, where he indulged a special hobby, really a passion, of his. In that room, in the lowest floor of the building, where he and Angus also lived, he had a practice room.
The garden apartments on the lowest floor of the building, the least expensive of the group, were set off by the laundry room and by some storage rooms that were for all the tenants. Each tenant had his/her or their own storage area in that part of the building. And after that had been done, there was room left over to put in two, one on each leg of the 'u' of the building, nice garden apartments.
James had one rented and kept the other for himself, his 'practice room'.
But James' 'passion'? It was one that he was introduced to especially by his Uncle Rolf, who'd been a teacher for James and encouraged him in pursuit of his 'passion'.
James J Farquahar was a bag pipe player. He used the garden apartment for his playing. He reasoned that it was more set off and more private. He would cause less fuss for the other tenants, if he were to play the pipes in the garden apartment.
He'd begun his love for piping as a lad of 10. He was visiting his Uncle Rolf and Aunt Ida and during that visit, Rolf took James aside to talk to him.
"Jamie, lad," Rolf had said, "I want to talk to you about a kind of tradition in our family."
"Yes, sir!" James had said, giving his Uncle strict attention.
"I am the chief one who follows the tradition in this generation, because your Dad, early in his life, had a lung ailment and was unable to. But our father and uncles too followed this tradition."
"Do you know what I'm talking about, Jamie?" the Uncle asked.
"Do you mean playing the pipes?" James asked, a secret joy already beginning to grow inside of him.
"Yes, lad," Rolf said, "I mean playing the pipes."
He took Jamie by the hand then and went to his own basement studio kind of room. While there he introduced Jamie to 'the Great Highland Pipes'. Jamie was entranced!
Rolf explained the way that the pipes were played, pointing out the bag, and the blow pipe to put air into the bag. He showed Jamie the drones and took them out to show the reeds that make the drones sing.
Then he went on to explain about the pipe chanter with it's reed that makes the lovely music.
Jamie was fascinated.
Rolf went on to talk about the practice chanter, with it's much more quiet plastic reed, and told Jamie that, if he were interested, it would be on the practice chanter that he'd begin his learning.
Jamie was fairly beside himself with his enthusiasm for the idea.
Rolf had already talked to Jamie's dad about his plan to introduce Jamie to the pipes and his father and mother were squarely behind the idea.
It was shortly after that, that Jamie's Dad and his Uncle Rolf presented him with his own practice chanter. It was then that Jamie Farquahar entered the exotic world of the bag pipes, the Great Highland Pipes.
Jamie had lessons each week from his Uncle Rolf. Soon enough his world became the world of the pipes: nine notes, low 'g' to high 'a', no sharps, no flats and long, necessary lessons about breath control and blowing.
With his enthusiasm and his Uncle Rolf's kind guidance, Jamie soon did very well with is practice chanter. He took lessons on the practice chanter for fully three quarters of a year and was probably the happiest kid in town on the day, his birthday, when he was presented with his own pipes, nestled in their lovely padded case.
On that birthday, with that gift, James' joy knew no bounds.
His start actually playing and practicing on the pipes began that very week. It was a significant change, a difference. Playing the pipes was a radically different experience, with other types of necessities to be paid attention to. But James persevered.
He said to his Uncle Rolf and his Mom and Dad on one occasion: "It's always a good day, when you can play the pipes." It was his motto from that time on.
James J Farquahar was a bag pipe player.
SARAH AND AMY:
There were new tenants in the other garden apartment in James' building. They were only moving in that week.
Sarah MacBride Woods was tickled at having found this lovely, new garden apartment for her and her pretty Amy. It was not only the nicest of the small apartments that they'd looked at but was also the least expensive.
She was really impressed with the landlord, Mr. Farquahar, whose kindness, not only to her but to her Amy had been outstanding.
Sarah, at 26, was on her own. Her husband, Lester, had made it plain to her that he couldn't deal with being the father of a cripple.
Sarah had resented the very word that Lester had used, and was happy to see the back of him. He'd pretty much fallen off the grid quickly after that but Sarah was independent minded and determined that she and her Amy would make it by themselves.
Amy, age 8, had developed a problem with her legs bones early in her infancy. She didn't develop the ability to walk very quickly and had to use leg braces and, often, a wheel chair. Sarah was aware that, as Amy grew more therapies and possibly surgery would be available and saving money for those possibilities was one of her cherished goals.
Sarah was short, only about 5'3" but had fiery red hair and complementing green eyes. She kept her hair short and manageable. She tended to be petit but was lovely. Not many people except that fool Lester knew what a treat Sarah was physically and, after her experience with Lester, Sarah wrote men off of her agenda for a good while.
Her life, these days, was Amy and the goal of getting Amy the kind of help that she'd need to turn her disability around.
Sarah was fiercely proud and independent, and was determined to do the best for Amy.
As Amy grew, she and Sarah developed an excellent relationship. They were totally devoted to each other.
Sarah made sure that Amy got some exercise but knew of the kind of operations and special types of exercises that were needed. She'd also been told that the optimal time for Amy to have such medical attention was as she was between the ages of 5 and 10 So there were still time.
Sarah and Amy didn't have family to turn to and moving to the city had been a kind of leap of faith for them. It was here in the city that Sarah knew Amy'd get the kind of care that she needed, and she figured that she had a some time to get the resources together to make that happen for Amy.
She had goals and plans, that the two of them shared and it was with that in mind that Sarah, who did data work for a large company and was paid fairly well, looked for housing for them that would be both practical and not too expensive. in those categories, the garden apartment in James Farquahar's building was exactly what they were looking for.
That week they'd settled into the sparsely but tastefully appointed apartment and were getting themselves acclimated.
That evening they'd had a light dinner and Sarah heard Amy talk about her school work. She was picked up daily by a school bus and taken to a school for 'special' students. In Amy's case, it was because of her physical needs that she went there.
Dinner was over and, as Sarah did the washing up, Amy sat and talked with her.
.... There is more of this story ...