It was shortly after seven and Perry had just started playing a few minutes before. He played his Guitar at the Oasis Bar every Friday night, he got no pay. He just wanted to play his Guitar. Bob played mostly instrumental selections, quiet rhythms and some Spanish Guitar. When he saw her come in he sang the old Eric Clapton song 'Hey Girl'. She was with two other girls and a guy. She looked at Perry and knew he was singing to her. When he was finished Jan threw Perry a kiss and got a bright smile in return. She had never been in the Oasis before and heard Perry play and sing. One of her friends said that Perry had begun showing up on Friday nights about a month before. She said that Perry got a few free drinks but she thought that was all he got paid. She said Perry played until ten thirty and then put his instrument up and left.
Jan wanted to get to know that tall slender entertainer, she decided to ask him if he did requests. That might be a way to open a conversation. Perry was playing a sad Spanish number and watching her as Jan excused herself at the table. She promised her companions that she would be back soon.
Jan took her beer and walked toward Perry. She felt Perry's eyes examining her moves and her body as she approached him. She had nothing to be embarrassed about, her body was good and she had been told hundreds of times she was beautiful. Jan asked Perry if he liked what he saw. Perry said he did but would like to see more. Jan said "Not here". Perry asked if she would like to go to his place. Jan told Perry she might but would need to get to know him first. Perry told Jan it was time he took a break; there were a lot of empty tables toward the front of the place. Perry suggested they talk there. Jan knew her friends were watching her, she was the least wild of the lot. Jan sat facing those she had come in with. Perry said he owned his own business, he had a Security Service. Jan asked if Perry furnished night watchmen and guards. Perry said he did that and a lot of other things. Perry told Jan he owned his own home on four acres near the center of the city. He asked her to let him show it to her soon. He told Jan it was unusual but nice. Jan promised to see his home over the weekend. Perry and Jan talked for about ten more minutes. Perry excused himself to play again. Jan said she sang a bit and would do a number with him. She followed Perry to the small stage and sang sad country western songs with him for thirty more minutes. She was a hit!
Perry asked her if she would join him again the next night, the regular band was not going to be there and he had promised to play instead. Jan said she would love to. Perry put his Guitar in its case and left at ten thirty. Jan rejoined her friends and sipped one more beer and left. None of Jan's friends knew she could sing, Jan said " Hey I was singing all four years while in college and getting paid for it". Jan told them she had been a professional at one time. Jan told her friends she had to work the next day and was going home.
Jan owned a large Travel Agency and was well off. She had a pent house apartment in a high rise near the center of the city. She was the owner of the building.
After putting on a flannel night gown Jan went out on the landscaped terrace of her apartment and looked over the city. She wondered where Perry could own a house on four acres in the center of the city. To her east was a dense commercial section merging into sub grade housing. To her west was the commercial part of the city and merging into a large college, beyond that was moderate homes. To the north was a wasteland of old abandoned buildings, most dating back to before the depression of 1929. Most had caved in and none had roofs. The titles to that more than thirty square blocks of real-estate probably could never be straightened out. In 1912 the property had been granted a tax free status to encourage development and could not even be sold for non payment of advalorem taxes.
Jan could not imagine that Perry lived there, from her view there were not even street lights there. It was a huge blacked out section of the city. Most of the streets leading into the area were blocked off permantly.
At ten AM Jan got a call from Perry, he asked her to have lunch with him. Jan had eaten only toast and a glass of O.J. for breakfast and was feeling empty. Jan asked if they could meet at the City Club at noon.
Perry was being seated as Jan came in.
Jan spoke to several people she knew as she made her way to Perry's table. Jan gave a bright smile and joined Perry. The waiter offered her a menu, Jan asked if lamb was on the menu and when she was told it was she declined the bill of fare. Perry asked if lamb was good here and when Jan assured him it was the best in the city he asked her to order for them both.
Three men came in and were seated near them. Perry asked Jan to excuse him for a minute.
Jan heard the conversation, Perry walked over to the table and said " Mr. DeLoach you are, as of today, two months behind in your payment for my services". I expect to pick up a check at your office at no later than two thirty or you will be in danger. One of the men at the table stood up and asked DeLoach if he should usher the man out. Perry said " Your name is Baker is it not"? "Stand down I am your boss". The giant sat down. Perry asked if two thirty was understood. DeLoach nodded and Perry returned to the table with Jan.
Jan had overheard the conversation but did not say a word about it. She was suddenly aware that the musician was a tough individual and could be less than nice some times. During lunch they exchanged last names and addresses. Janet Richardson was having lunch with Perry Morgan.
Perry said the name Jan Richardson rang a bell. He asked if she was the Jan Richardson that owned Richardson Foundries and Richardson Steel Products. Jan said she was. Perry asked if her home address and apartment number were not of the pent house in the most exclusive apartments in the city. Jan smiled and replied " Guess so". Perry said " That must set you back a bundle". Jan replied " Not if you own the building". Perry laughed. Jan asked where his home was, she was not familiar with the address he had given her. Perry asked if she had time to see his home. He said he would have to be back in this area by two thirty. Jan told Perry she was having a Friday with little to do and could take time to see where he lived.
When the check for their meals came Perry signed his name and membership number. Jan knew from that he was a member, she did not tell him she was also. Perry's Ford Expedition was parked nearby.
Perry took a one way street headed to the north. Where it looked as if they must turn either left or right Perry dodged by a garbage dumpster and continued on through several blocks of abandoned buildings. None were even usable as shelter for the homeless. Perry was watching Jan's face, she had never been in that part of the city before. She had known that it existed and why the property was empty but had never seen the actual place. Perry made several turns and was before what had been a large three story building. Through the second and third story windows she could see the sky, there was no roof anymore. Perry drove through an electric operated gate into a large parking lot and pushed another button on a controller. A large roll up door raised and Perry drove them into a beautifully landscaped area and up to a house. The house was built against the massive brick wall opposite the entrance. On one side was a large swimming pool and on the other was six garage doors. The house looked like a space station, it was only one story high but the solar panels on the roof and the thermal glass windows gave that impression. Perry had Jan stay in the car while he collared two huge Rotweiler dogs. When he had them sitting he asked Jan to get out and meet his security system. As Jan let the dogs smell her hands Perry was assuring them that she was a friend. When he let the dogs go they each smelled of her body and Perry promised Jan they would remember her from then on. Perry led the way to the front door. The dogs rushed inside before Perry, Perry laughed and said the dogs were checking the place for danger.
The house was large but had only a kitchen, dining area, and a massive living space all in one room. There were two bed rooms both with baths at the end of the living area. The impression Jan got was that she was in a place of plush luxury.
Perry told Jan he lived there without electrical power or city water. He said the solar panels generated enough to operate the electrical appliances. The water was rain collected to a cistern in what had once been the basement of the building. Perry explained that the water was filtered then put through an ionizer before coming to the house. Perry told Jan he did not like the taste of the water in the cities lines. Jan asked for a glass to taste it. She had never had better tasting water before.
Perry told Jan the house had a capped gas well on the property. It had been drilled as a water well in nineteen twelve and had produced only gas. It had been capped all those years until he began taking gas from it for his house. Perry looked at his watch and told Jan they would need to go or he was going to be late for his two thirty appointment.
While touring the house one or the other of the dogs had been at Jan's side with her hand on it's head. As they were leaving both dogs wanted to go with her.
.... There is more of this story ...