Thursday, August 25, 2005

Zimerman Virus Ch. 2 (alternate history)

(This is the first version of the second chapter of my experiment in alternate history and collaboratively nudged writing. I've decided to sketch out rough ideas with each chapter then a second more finished version will appear a few days later.:

He had been a baseball player too, good enough to get a scholarship to the University of Connecticut, not good enough to make it out of the low minors. A few breaks, maybe knowing the right people, having an influential father instead of a convicted war criminal for a father, George Walker’s life might have been very different. No war criminal father, he might have at least gone to Yale instead of UCONN. Who knows, just a few differences, and he, George Walker, might have been president himself one of these days. If the son of an Arab grocer in Detroit could be president....
Walker had to laugh at his own daydream. Maybe if baseball hadn’t integrated racially in 1940 , he might have had a better chance. Walker shook his head at how, “Separate but equal may have ruined his life.”

In 1934 the Homestead Grays, a negro barnstorming team had sued for the right to enter the National League on the basis of Plessy v. Ferguson. The team would be all negro. They would have their own dressing quarters, their own transportation. Branch Rickey, an executive for the longtime losing Pittsburgh Pirates, had seen the gate possibilities of an all negro team playing in the league. The Grays would have no home town. They would live out of a bus most of the season and play their “home games” at a mix of Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, Griffith Stadium in DC, and Comiskey Park in Chicago. With the retirement of Babe Ruth the Sultan of the Strikeout and the unexpected knee injury to the Streakin Sheik, the sport had lost its two biggest gate attractions. Rickey talked the owners of the National league into the “great experiment.”

Much to everyone’ surprise, the Grays won consecutive world series in 1937 and 1938. Negroes filled the stands at Grays games. Every young negro ballplayer wanted to play for the Grays. Josh Gibson, Buck Leonard, Satchel Paige, Willie Wells, Ray Dandgridge and even an aging Joe Rogan gave the Grays more talent than any team in baseball. In order to compete, the rest of baseball began signing their own negro players least they go to the Grays. In need of a pitcher in 1940, the Cardinals traded for Satchel Paige who was in the midst of arguing with Gray’s management for a bigger contract.

Once that happened, a good fielding first baseman who happened to be a marginal hitter from New England just didn’t have quite enough even to attract the attention of the Yankees much less the perennial pennant winners, the Red Sox. With baseball closed off as a future career, George Walker went into the family business, selling guns and armaments on the black market. As he liked to tell his fraternity brothers at UConn, well it might be a crime family, but it’s my family.

George Walker inspected a crate of Johnson rifles due to go out on the next tramp steamer to Lisbon. Even after his father’s conviction, the family had kept its connection to the Harriman lines. For forty years Geroge Walker had gotten rifles, handguns, and a huge variety of bomb making devices into Europe from the western hemisphere. For ten years his father had all but financed the last German army.

Two men in black approached and bowed their heads. “Poppo, it is done.”

“Including box number 13?”

The men nodded.

“Certainly, number 13 will be ready for pickup in Lisbon.”

“You’re sure.”

Getting state of the art sniper rifles to Lisbon was the easy part.

The men nodded again. George Walker sighed. He was, to be honest, tired of smuggling arms. With the twenty two years war long over, business might never recover. He needed to diversify, to take the family legitimate once again.

If things went to plan with the snipers in Damascus on November 22, 1963, the assassination of President Bin Laden would be George Walker’s last venture in the arms trade.

If everything went according to plan, the family would be the first American family of the oil business, a perfectly legal enterprise that promised revenues well beyond anything the sale of a few thousand cases of rifles and machine guns could generate.

A generation in the oil business and the Walker family might even be able to begin using the family’s original name, George Walker could once again be George Walker Bush and the shame of Prescott Bush’s trading arms to Germany might well be forgotten.

If only he didn’t have to depend on Christian radicals to get the job done. They were certainly loyal, but half the time it hardly seemed like they operated in the real world.


At 8/26/2005 06:57:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ye owls, makes my skin crawl. Another creep that stupid baseball failed us with? (Castro; not making GBush fils commissioner -- a factette that you're probably holding in reserve for later);

Would like a phrase at least, but a Satchelism or two woven in; also need a phrase if possible so I know who Shriekin Streak is;

Aha!! therefore I think maybe Zim Virus should have Chapter Notes so you could put some of these tidbits in if they don't fit your text; There HAS to be a satchel paigeism -- like How old would you be if you didn't know how old you was?

Pulease & this is as close to a demand as someone who ain't wielding the quill can make, we need to have a parallel or occasionally interwoven (however fanciful) track of the development of the ancestry of who will become either directly or indirectly the Karl-Rove figure -- the really evil son-of-a-bitch. I may have to write a Karl Rove piece that you quote wholesale because I think you're constitutionally incapable of being viciously mean enough to do Karlsputin justice;

I'd like maybe with one kharacter, maybe a grandfather or much better, a blood-chilled-pre-Rosemary's Baby grandmother pre-cursor flash-forwarding to Reba(Karl's mother saw what she had done and took her life -- wouldn't you have taken yours if you had borne Karl? See I knew you wouldn't go dark enough on this Karl Kharacter!) But if one strand just went along in history & you unfolded it and the other strand had some flash-forwards, I'd like the dysjunction in time and I think it would give us dread.

In the Notes (or also an Appendix is good too!), I would like a sense of whether the skeletal facts of the George Walker pre-history with the guns & stuff are pretty accurate?

I love this Ch 2. Very strong.

How about a nephew of Satchel Paige who George Walker meets in the minors and who becomes a family retainer & who or who's radical kid ends up saving Us All from the coming (perhaps)President's son or the Karl Rove character in 2006 by giving him poisoned bubblegum (watermelon flavor)or something? Avenging a lifetime of craven white people's disdain.

How about a tortured affair with a Christian radical woman down the line with George Walker who with that fact(picts; video; mild enough for blogland but very embarrassing kink -- vicars & maids type-UK stuff --) holds the christian sway over the family for Ever?

Also the guy who wrote Eye of the Needle said on the radio 30 years ago, 'Never flinch on the horrible parts' -- as a writer the tendency is to get the gore over with, but you mayn't.


At 8/27/2005 02:19:00 AM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

Mr. Pogblog, thanks for the kind comments. I'm a little worried that you think that the George Walker character is based on some historical or real figure.

There is a pretty good stand in for a karl Rove character in the Harry Potter series. Voldemort's family history and personal history aren't that different from Rove's,

At 8/29/2005 06:22:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tho I am not hip to the Potter books (only, shamedly, the movies) -- even the Villains in something faintly medieval have a je ne sais quoi, a whiff of the romantic, how ever satisfyingly awful. Karlsputin Rove is merely a creep. A brilliant creep.


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