Milly and her band of brothers – part IV
Milly’s plan was taken by a sweeping majority. Meaning that everyone loved it. Including her mother, who actually came up with an idea of how she could be helpful, too.
The plan was this: Roy, Max, Cassidy, Sam, Ollie, Milly and Julian will travel all the way to the White House Military Office on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C. together and set up a meeting with President Nixon. During the trip, the group will be stopping in various towns, counties and cities and will be performing a play, which Milly was to co-write with Roy. That’s how they will make money, enough to take them from town to town, until they reach the White House Military Office on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C. and set up a meeting with President Nixon.
The necessary vehicle for the whole trip was, of course, going to be Julian’s Volkswagen van (what other type, it’s the 70s!).
The van had to be turned into a traveling caravan with enough room for a bed or two, at least for the females. It had to be stocked up with food and extra clothing enough for the whole trip and they were good to go.
Surprisingly, Julian, Milly’s mother, also came up with an idea, as already mentioned above. An idea, which everyone applauded with great enthusiasm.
“If Sam can transform the van somehow into a little kiosk, we can put my little gas oven in the van and I can bake giant medal-looking cookies for the audiences. We’ll supply with some soft drink or water, no buggy, you know, people love munching on something while watching stuff.” Julian paused to see the reactions.
“Mama, this is an absolutely delicious idea”, Milly reacted first.
“Yeah, this is awesome, absolutely awesome, Julian! I’ve got a design concept already. There’s room for your oven. I’ll fix something for the van to look like an ice-cream kiosk, rest assured”, said Sam.
“That’s great, and the medals idea, well done Mrs. Juls!”, added Max.
Roy and Ollie smiled approvingly, too.
“Let’s get going with the costumes, guys, we have to be ready in a week with all that, and me, having to dress up like a woman, will take a while”, Cassidy suggested. He was with the bushy hair, so he knew he’ll be the one to play Jo Collins (what???)
“Yeah, let’s get to work. We have lots to do. I’ll plan the trip with my dad’s old maps. Roy, you and I will be the strategists”, Milly went towards the kitchen cabinet and began to search for something.
“Ok guys, let’s transform that fun-van of yours Mrs. Rivers, this will be one heck of a trip!” Roy added after everybody began to move around in the kitchen.
“I don’t think anyone will ever forget it”, Julian said and followed Sam, Ollie, Max and Cassidy who were already getting onto what was discussed.
So, everyone began serious preparations.
In the evenings, they rehearsed the play which Milly co-wrote with Roy.
In the mornings, they worked around the garden and the farm. In the afternoons, they either worked around the van and the luggage for the trip, or rehearsed some more on the play with costumes and prop.
The whole ‘troupe’ was meant to stop in 34 towns and cities, Roy and Milly had finally estimated.
That meant, nearly 34 performances which would have earned them enough money to get going and reach The White House Military Office on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C. where they were going to set up a meeting with President Nixon.
By the time everything was set up and ready to go the van was completely transformed, like, in a science fiction movie. The back seats were removed and instead of them, four compact beds were placed. These were foldable, so there was still enough room in the van for everyone to feel comfortable.
Milly, Ollie and Cassidy painted the van with flowers and medals, and skulls, and whatever crossed their minds, so it became one big colourful blob. They even painted curtains and human heads on the side window shields, although, that eventually turned out to be a terrible idea because Roy, the driver, could hardly see a thing from the paint. After the first mile the paint had to be washed off.
A trunk full of food supplies, pots and pans was installed a day before the trip. That also served as a mini table whenever they wanted to pull over for a quick bite or a coffee break. One of the van’s side panels was cut out and then reattached with a couple of rails, so it could slide down and turn into a counter from where Julian was going to sell her giant medal-looking cookies, while the others were performing on stage.
Summer was buzzing, hot, and musical. It smelled of flowers, cherries, and freedom. Everyone was happy, humming, and dancing.
Milly was ecstatic because this not only turned out to be a special summer for her, but she also finally found the best friends one could possibly ever find.
Roy was like a father to her.
Max and Cassidy were like her equal siblings.
Cassidy, actually, trained her how to run and how to endure the long distances (which was a good quality, not only in athletics, but in every personal endeavour in life).
She learned so much from Ollie’s knowledge in and love for sciences. From Sam, the greatest architect she had ever met, she took the vision and understanding of aesthetics and how so much more can be done about things with as little waste as possible.
Milly learned so much from all her new friends – her band of brothers.
She learned about the world around her and she learned what world she wanted to make for herself when she grows up.
She never imagined that any of the stuff she learned from Roy, Max, Cassidy, Sam, and Ollie could ever be taught in school – in that closed, superficial environment. And Milly was a free bird who didn’t like closed, superficial environments.
As a matter of fact, now, she couldn’t imagine any environment without her band of brothers.
Almost everything was set for the trip. The last remaining couple of evenings before they took off, went to rehearsals but mainly into hysterical laughter, what with the play’s jokes and the funny costumes and make-up.
Finally, the day arrived. Yo, Dog was the last one to get on board the van. Mr. and Mrs. Achmonek – Julian’s sweet neighbours – waved goodbye and wished everyone good luck. The cows and the chickens and the farming was now in the Achmonek’s hands, Julian’s sweet neighbours.
“Ok fellas”, Roy stepped on the gas pedal.
“First stop, Smallwood”, he checked the itinerary.
The music was on, the fun was just about to begin.