Within Your Crowd - Cover

Within Your Crowd

Copyright© 2010 by Jake Rivers

Chapter 1

She was Madison Townsend and I'm Billy Ray Lamar.

She lived in the best part of town. I lived ... to hell and gone way west of town—so far out that even bothering to give it an RFD address was optimistic. The town was Austin but to be honest she didn't actually live there. Madison lived in a mansion on Lake Travis out a way west of Austin. Her dad, Bradford, had a number of patents for computer processor chips and the chips put him in the chips ... so to speak.

Now let's be clear about this: Bradford was in no way some cultured descendant of antebellum Georgia whose ancestors lived in some white mansions surrounded by moss draped Live oak trees. And maybe those non-existent, cultured southern gentlemen had non-paid workers (think slaves) to keep the cotton coming so the south could have fancy carriages and debutante balls.

Well, to be honest (I could be nothing less!) he did come from a cotton background. However, his antecedents as far back as anyone could tell were sharecroppers making a hand-to-mouth existence in the Pine Barrens of East Texas. Now ole Bradford's dad did one smart thing—he just hated fightin' off those damn boll weevils to get a cotton crop in that could new shoes for the winter. Therefore, when Uncle Sam said he needed some help for a little Police Action in Korea, he joined right up. Somehow he kept his ass from being shot off during the retreat from "Frozen Chosin" and got out to an updated GI Bill that gave him twenty-six dollars of unemployment payment for twenty-six weeks.

That plus a nice hundred and ten bucks a month for college did him right fine to get a degree at the college nearby in Beaumont that led to a scholarship at University of Texas in Austin where he eventually wound up as a professor in their Electrical Engineering department. As the electronic industry eventually got started Bradford very kindly (for small sums and founder's stock options) helped fledgling companies get started. Now I really do have to Mr. Townsend dad his due, he is one smart SOB. He helped design a processor chip called the 4004 for Texas Instruments which Intel very reluctantly picked up and turned it into the 8008 which led to the x86 processor series and made a whole bunch of people filthy rich. One of those nouveau rich was a sassy kid named Bill Gates, who eventually redefined the term rich.

Bradford's dad invested well, and when he up and left to meet his maker, good ole Bradford inherited a bundle of money he had done absolutely nothing to earn. And that lead him to feel certain that he was one important SOB. It didn't hurt his ego to have married an oil heiress from Dallas with her inherited millions.

Well, you get the idea. When a sharecropper (or his get) becomes rich you would swear that in an alternate universe, he would have been knighted by the queen. Since that didn't happen, he just acts like it and expects his daughter to marry a Prince. The Prince in this case was Thomas Martin Kendall whose lucky father was an early sales manager for Ross Perot's EDS. He was never Tom, or Tommy or even Thomas but always Thomas Martin. Thomas Martin lived in Dallas in his family's mansion. I always thought he was a pretentious jerk (I'm being kind) but then that's just me.

The source of this story is Finestories

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