The Jackson Herald
October 17, 2001
(The Fourth Week)
The chief looked at all of us, finally fixing his eyes on the
"Godomski, how do you know Doc's dead? Sure he isn't just
passed out again?"
"He ain't drunk, Chief. Or at least he wasn't when I was
over there around..." Kramer stopped short, as if he suddenly
realized he was about to tell a secret.
"Darn you, Kramer, did I ask you to say anything?"
"Then keep your mouth shut! No, wait a minute. When were
you over there to see Doc?"
"Around 1:30," Kramer mumbled.
"Okay. Now, Godomski-that is, if you are through, Mr. Kramer-tell
us how you know Doc is dead."
"I'm sure he's dead, Chief. When I got up to his room a
while ago, the door was open. I stood outside and called two
or three times. When he didn't answer I went in the room and
called louder. I got to wondering about that time. I got real
still and pinned my eyes on the blanket over him. I didn't see
it move so I figured he wasn't breathing. His right hand was
up on his chest. I tried to feel his pulse, but there ain't no
pulse to feel, Chief. He's dead!"
"You almost convinced me, Godomski, but not quite,"
the chief said. "I'm going over there and take a look. And
if I were you guys, I wouldn't open my mouth about this. How
do you know the guy standing next to you will be your pal when
they launch an investigation and start questioning us?"
The chief crossed the street, stopped, and yelled back, "Don't
any of you leave that tent. That's an order!"
He looked worried.
I was sure now that Sully, too, believed Doc was murdered. Why
else would he advise us to keep quiet and stay in the tent. And
he had mentioned investigation.
We followed Sully's advice, staying in the tent and not saying
a word. But there was no ban on thinking. I was thinking-and
wishing-that we hadn't mouthed off to everybody how we hated
Doc. In a homicide investigation, I guess all seven of us would
be considered suspects.
I looked at Kramer, and he turned his head toward me, but as
soon as our eyes met we quickly glanced at someone else. Saur,
Minsky, Godomski and Weaver acted the same way. We were like
a man who owes another something and doesn't want to pay-always
running away. These usually congenial, friendly, joke-cracking
pill pushers, although in one tent, were miles apart. And we
were frightened and worried.
I was thinking about my own predicament, and I was sure the others
were thinking about theirs.
If Doc was murdered-and I had no doubt-I was far from safe. There
were three or four hours last night that were blanks as far as
I was concerned. What if they asked me where I was and what I
was doing at 3 a.m.? What could I say? I'd just have to tell
the truth and say I didn't know. You know how long that would
My God! Maybe I did do it! I could have done it while I was out.
You read about such things happening. Maybe I was sleepwalking.
But I was very sick last night. I couldn't have walked up those
stairs to the second floor of the sick bay where Doc was sleeping.
I needed to put these crazy thoughts out of my mind.
Anyway, Kramer had been with me while I was passed out. He couldn't
have been far away when I fainted, and he was standing over me
when I came to. The other guys were there, too. They'd swear
I'd been in the sack all night. Kramer waked them as soon as
I went blank. Or did he? I didn't know that for sure. I didn't
know how long they'd been in my tent when I came to this morning.
But I could rely on Kramer.
The next time I looked at him, I wasn't so sure. He was standing
on pretty shaky ground himself. Up until he blurted out that
Doc wasn't drunk when he was over there at 1:30, I was the only
one who knew he had seen the man. Now everyone knew, and I'm
sure Kramer was sorry he's said anything. He couldn't prove by
me that he was in the tent from two to five. And how do I know
he didn't knock Doc off when he was over there at 1:30? I remembered
how scared he seemed when he gave me those aspirin. And let's
see: he left the tent right after he gave them to me. And there
was that door slam earlier. Could that have been something else?
Godomski was extremely nervous, taking a drag off one cigarette,
throwing it away, lighting another immediately. Apparently he
realized his uncomfortable position. He went to the sick bay
just after daylight this morning to ask Doc to come over and
take a look at me. Why couldn't he have done it then?
And there was Weaver. He had liberty last night. I saw him, with
his dress blues on, catch the 4 o'clock liberty boat for Ferryville.
I wondered why he wanted to pitch liberty in that little burg.
There's nothing over there except that big Army hospital-and
Weaver bragged about how he was going to take Lt. Hendrickson
away from Doc. He said he dated the Army nurse before Dr. Jacobs
arrived on the scene in February, but none of us believed him.
Weaver was always boasting about his way with the women.
But I was wondering what time Weaver got back to the sick bay
last night, and was trying to figure out some reason why he couldn't
have paid Doc a visit and killed him before hitting the sack.
Maybe Doc did steal his girl. There's your motive, right there.
I guess more men have been killed over women than anything else.
(To be continued)
Virgil Adams is a former owner and editor of The Jackson Herald.
The Jackson Herald
October 17, 2001
Fall is the time to head to the beach
Miles and miles of white sand with very few people in sight.
Waves crashing against the shore with plenty of room to stretch
out and enjoy the beach. Forget June, July and August. Fall is
the perfect time to go to Florida. The beaches are not crowded
at all and the weather is still in the 80s and 90s. You can get
plenty of sun and even get in the water and you don't have to
worry about fighting the crowd.
The people you do find on the beach are laid-back and tranquil.
The noisy teenagers and wild college kids are back in school.
What you do find are young families and older couples. It's the
perfect time to get plenty of rest and relaxation.
I recently traveled to Florida for a long weekend and found empty
beaches and little traffic. All you need to do to find paradise
is head toward Panama City, Fla., and keep going. The Beaches
of South Walton, which includes Sandestin, and the beaches at
Destin and Fort Walton Beach are wonderful and now is the time
to go. Destin and Fort Walton Beach have plenty of attractions,
restaurants and shopping. The Beaches of South Walton are less
commercial and more relaxing. I don't think you can go wrong
wherever you choose to stay along this strip of Florida's Panhandle.
We stayed in Sandestin, but had no problem going to attractions
and restaurants in Destin and Fort Walton Beach. As I said, the
traffic is not bad at all this time of year and it's easy to
The beaches have sand so brilliant white that you can't believe
it's real. I even have some of the snow-white sand in a glass
ball on my desk to remind me that it is real and it's not that
far away. You really do want to take a bit of the beach with
you when you leave. The sand is so white because it is composed
mainly of pure quartz crystal, unlike anywhere else in the world.
There is also miles and miles of blue-green ocean that stretches
as far as the eye can see. And, best of all, you won't find all
of the commercialism you find at Panama City and other beaches
The resort we stayed at in Sandestin is known worldwide for its
tennis facilities, but I didn't have the energy (or the ability)
to try them out. It was the perfect spot for us. I was able to
splash in the waves only a short walk from our room and relax
in one of the three pools located within view of the beach. And,
best of all, there were no crowds or worries about finding a
spot along the beach or in any of the pools.
A few tips on things to try on a trip to this area of Florida
·take a dolphin cruise. I didn't expect to see many dolphins
as we headed out one afternoon on the Southern Star, but I was
pleasantly surprised. They were jumping all around the boat as
we cruised along. It's also great to be on the water to see one
of the beautiful fall sunsets.
·try some of the wonderful seafood.
·go to Howl at the Moon, a piano club in Destin. Two large,
white grand pianos are located on the stage and the two performers
alternate playing everything from oldies to modern music.
Angela Gary is editor of The Banks County News and associate
editor of The Jackson Herald. She can be reached by email at