That Poor Jazz Summer (Umbrellas Part I)
Six-year old introverted prodigy,
Richard "Kingfish" Hawkes, one of four children of a struggling Jazz pianist loved books, radio programs, dogs and
trains. His solitary world changed as the 1948 Chicago neighborhood transitioned with burgeoning southern migration, hobos,
transient World War II veterans, urban decay, emerging machine politics and organized crime. Supporting him through this epiphany
were the venal local political organizer, his mystic Native American paternal grandmother and his two new best friends ----
7 year-old mischievous German private school honor student neighbor Rabbit and 8 year-old affable hypersensitive Italian classmate
Joey, the son of a mid-level mob boss.
Patriarch Papa Hawkes would lament, "It's like a losing game of Monopoly, you build up
your empire and think you are going to bust the game wide open. Then the dice turn cold and you lose on every turn until all
you have left is a mortgaged house on the cheapest street on the board".
The Hawkes family Native American and military historical heritage is chronicled
in back story vignettes of Custer’s Last Stand, the Spanish-American War and the racially charged Brownsville
The Library . . . . Epiphany (Umbrellas Part II)
In this sequel to “That Poor Jazz Summer” the six year
old prodigy is now a 25 years old Army elite Special Operations unit International operative
returning home for the funeral of a friend who was murdered. Although under investigation for improper conduct
and facing possible legal charges himself ---he is relentless in
the pursuit of the murderer and resolute to expunge any and all accusations. Friends and foes from the “old neighborhood”
assist and hinder the quests traversing through exotic locales, slums, and une garçonnière Assisting
are a former baseball teammate who is now an organized crime boss and an affable street hustler.
There are reunions with lovers including the wealthy socialite former librarian/mentor
as old scores are settled and smoldering flames rekindled. Richard Hawkes has an epiphany realizing that
he can no longer pursue this adventurous precarious lifestyle and vows to change.