Lola Hale's Journal

Bike Week
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Bike Week


It was days after Lee had returned from Bike Week in Daytona Beach , and I had never been more nervous. I mean, maybe Admiral Nelson was more like a father to Lee than our boss, but still, he was ‘THE ADMIRAL’, and I was just a communications specialist and awfully low on the corporate ladder.

But this wasn’t an employee matter. This was personal. It was difficult to stay composed in his outer officer as Angie kept casting sideways glances at me from her desk.

 “You may go in now, Miss Hale,” Angie said.  Oh no, not her too!

It didn’t matter that Nelson must have used the Instant Message between their computers, and he hated computers, aside from the one taking up half of the Control Room aboard Seaview that is.

I brushed a stray strand of hair back and felt almost like a lamb to the slaughter.  Even though I’d asked to see him.  So what was I so afraid of?


“Miss Hale,” he stood up as I entered. While ever the gentleman toward his female employees, he rarely extended that particular courtesy to any of us. In fact, it really was more in character  for him to wait for one of us to open the door for him! I guess all those years in the Navy had conditioned him to expect us to jump and that, like in the Navy from which he was supposed to be retired, that his rank still had its privileges.  In any case, here I was and took the sofa where he’d indicated I sit.  Leaning back in his chair he came right to the point. “What can I do for you?”

He reminded me so much of my high school principle that I was having a hard time composing myself to speak. “Um…” was about all I managed.

“Is there something wrong?”

“Uh, well, you see…uh, yes, sort of, I mean….”

“Anything you say to me will be held in strictest confidence. Unless,” he stressed, “it concerns  your NIMR contractual agreement you’re bound to abide by.”

“Oh shi…I mean…it’s just that…”

“Let’s start at the beginning shall we?” he offered me a dish of candy and took one himself,“I find these peppermints just the thing to break the ice.” But I knew and he knew they had been strategically placed by Angie to help combat his smoker’s breath.

“Thank you…well, you see Admiral. It’s just that ever since Lee and I got engaged, everyone’s been treating me differently. I mean…when I sit down at a table in the cafeteria or the employee’s lounge, the girls suddenly decide they’re not hungry or have something they forgot, or they stop talking altogether. They group together in corners and I know they’re talking about me. Some of them even shake their heads. I guess I should be used to it by now. Ever since Lee and I started to live together, they were a bit…I guess you’d say less friendly than they used to be. I thought they were just a bit jealous and they grow out of it. But seems  they all try to avoid me. Like I’m some kind of  plague!

“I’m a bit surprised. I thought all you girls got you want to file a harassment complaint? Perhaps an HR representative can help,”he reached for the intercom.

“No…no sir. Please don’t,” I managed to hop up and place my hand against his, “the HR staff is mostly female too . It’s just…I’ve been thinking. If there are such hard feelings against me marrying Lee , I think, well, maybe I should turn in my two weeks notice…”

For a moment he looked at me in stunned silence, then he erupted, “Balderdash! No, my dear, I’m sorry. I simply can’t accept your resignation. Not for this,” he rose and opened the door to the outer office, “ Angie get in here!” Before I could say anything, she appeared, steno pad in hand.

“Can you shed any light on why most of my female staff has been harassing Miss Hale?” he demanded.


“Well it sure as hell sounds like it to me, ” Nelson said.

“’ve all been avoiding me,” I tried to explain, “I could probably have put up with the jealousy, the less than friendly conversations, but now, when I’ve stolen your fantasies of marrying him yourselves and everybody calls me Miss Hale with such derision and...”

“Now wait a minute!” Lola stood firm, “I’ll be the first to  admit we were a bit jealous at first that Captain Crane had a thing about you. He’s quite a catch. But we’re not avoiding you! if you must know, we were simply trying you to keep you from finding out about the Bridal Shower we’ve been planning! And well, since you’re going to be the Captain’s wife, well, 'Miss Hale's just out of respect for your new position as the soon to be Mrs. Crane. "

“Bridal Shower?” I asked.

“Bridal shower. You know how rumors fly around here…or you should be. Even though it’s only been a couple of days, I’d have thought you’d have figured it out by now.”

“Oh lordy. Angie I’m soooo sorry...I was so wrong. But my feelings were hurt so  bad that everybody hated me...I know I haven’t been that well liked in any case. But can you get everyone to just call me Lola, even after we’re married? Oh damn,” I sat back down,  “when Lee finds out how I jumped to conclusions...”

“I’m sure Captain Crane will understand,” Nelson said, ”then “That will be all Angie.”

“Oh, there is something else sir,” I said. “No, wait, Angie, please stay before I get cold feed. Admiral, I , uh, well, you see, since my father died, I, well, I was kind of hoping…er…maybe, and I understand if you won’t want to, it must seem like a bit of silly fluff to you…but, um,” I took a breath. Damn, this was harder than I thought it would be. “Would you walk me down the aisle, sir?”

“You want me to ‘give you away’?” he gulped. For a moment he actually looked scared.

“That’s the general idea, sir…”

 “I’ve never been so honored, but....”

“It’s okay, sir. No hard feelings,” I tried hard not to show my disappointment.

“It’s not that, my dear, It’s just that I’ve agreed to be Lee’s best man.”

“There’s no law that says you can’t do both,” Angie said. “Have you set a date yet?” she asked me.

“We don’t know yet. We kind of disagreed on the kind of ceremony at first. He wanted something traditional, you know, church, under an arch of Navy swords, reception, two week honeymoon. I’d  suggested that we just avoid the hassle and just elope. Still I couldn’t help but like the idea of being decked out like a princess walking down the aisle, with my father, or in this case, Lee’s ‘father’, bringing me to him.”

“I’m sure you’ll be a beautiful bride, Miss Hale...and you’ll stay Miss Hale until you become Mrs. Crane. Then I’ll take the liberty of calling you Lola. Unless you have a nickname you prefer. Good Lord, what is that racket?”

“Sorry,” I apologized, “It’s probably Lee’s bike...”

“Damn nuisance.”

“Yes sir,” I agreed, “only, um, he...well, he had so much fun riding during Bike Week, that he signed me up for lessons. But I um, I kind, got hemorrhoids...I didn’t want him to loose any money, they’re non, um..well, you see, Admiral, I sort of indicated that um, well, that you might like to be his riding buddy.... It’ll make him happy, sir,” I pleaded.

“Lola?” Lee appeared at the door as if he’d been running. Probably did up the stairs since he got in so quick, “you talk him into it? Admiral?

For a moment Nelson and Angie just stared at him. Lee was dressed  in his faded jeans augmented by  biker’s leathers, black leather jacket, and steel tipped boots. He even had a few days worth of face stubble to complete the picture.  “Did she tell you? I got us signed up for some riding lessons, well, mine are some advanced racing techniques I’ve been meaning to try out, beginner lessons for Lola, only she, er...well, she’s indisposed for riding right now...maybe you’d like to join me?”

Oh my beloved, my sweet dear beloved looked just like a little boy pleading for an ice cream cone. I think Nelson saw it too, ‘cause he agreed.

After Angie and I had accompanied the ‘boy’s downstairs, and watched Nelson get astride behind Lee on the bike as they roared off, Angie raised an eyebrow. “You don’t have hemorrhoids, do you.”

“Nope. I just don’t have the heart to tell Lee that I can’t stand bikes. Besides, it’ll be an opportunity for them bond.”

“They’re  already bonded.”

“Not as the ‘father of the bride and bridegroom’, I laughed. “Angie? I really am sorry about what I thought...and acted.”

“It’s okay. We’ll just call it pre wedding jitters...any idea where you want to go on your honeymoon?”

“Not a clue...”

“Come along with me. We have some serious planning to do...”


Later that night, as I shared some travel brochures that the girls and I had picked up at the travel agency, Lee kept going back to one...and showed it to me... it was so hard to look excited. But at least he had more things on his mind right then than planning our honeymoon.

As he picked me up and carried me to the bedroom, I happened to glance back at the brochure and decided I’d just ‘happen’ to  misplace it someplace, hoping Lee would soon forget all about ‘California Bike Tours’.

Bike Week In order:

1: Chip Morton’s Blog

2. Doc’s Blog

3. Kowalski’s Blog

4.Nelson’s Blog

5. Crane’s Blog

6. Lola’s Blog