“Okay, so Mrs. Mendoza can you tell me everthing that happened that day?”
“Si, I mean, what?”
“Yes, Mrs. Mendoza if I’m to help you in court and properly represent you then I have to know all the facts.”
The old and deeply sun tanned woman named Mrs. Mendoza had been distracted looking around the room. So when she brought her tired head up to the man sitting across the desk from her, she felt shy and intimidated. Why not, he was tall even sitting down and his full head of coarse dark hair needed to be trimmed. He was lean but not skinny and had the kind of completion that made it hard to guess where his ancestors came from. Yet all of that did not matter to her as long as she could look into this man’s eyes, the window to the soul. She looked into the green eyes of this one and it made her nod her head. He was special, she just knew it.
Now she looked at him as a señorita would; no ring or ghost of a ring meant he wasn’t married. She also knew he was not the kind of man who would bow down his head to anyone. But, what was most interesting to her was the big smile that seemed to wrap itself around his face and shine down on her.
“Mrs. Mendoza, are you with me?”
“Si”, the woman answered, “I am.”
According to your statement, you worked for two weeks at the Meyer Farm and Mr. Meyer said you destroyed property. That is the reason why he didn’t pay you for your work.”
“No, it is not true. All I did was step between the flower beds. That is all. How was I going to plant the flowers? I am small, but not that small.”
“Well, I’m going to talk to Mr. Meyer first before we take him to court. Sometimes the honey method works with the right persuasion behind it. I’ll see what I have to do first.”
“Okay, she answered and went back to looking at the framed diplomas on the wall. “What is this one for?”
He looked up from his notebook, drew in a sigh and said, “It says I graduated from a school not too far from here. It’s called Burr and Burton, my high school.”
“And this one?”
“It’s my one and only first you could say. I had a convincing way of debating that took first place. It seems that is my strong suit.”
“What of this one?”
“It’s just my law degree.”
She nodded her head and looked for more wall paper.
“Is this suit a strong one too?” She pointed to a framed certificate next to the door.
“Let’s just say I wasn’t at the top of my class,” he looked the framed degree over, “that piece of paper reminds me, I didn’t give up.”
When she pointed to two men shaking hands, one still a boy and the other seemed to be looking rather sadly down at him. Behind them was a large house with beautifully manicured grounds and a rolling hill side.
He answered before she asked, “Well, the boy on the left is my grandfather, his name is Joshua Robert Jackson. He was born, lived and worked on the Hildene Estate.”
Who is the other man, he has sadness in his eyes. Maybe he has seen too much, no?”
“I don’t really know about that. The photo is very old. I never met the man, but he is Robert Todd Lincoln. My grandfather eventually became the head caretaker at his estate.”
“Yeah, me too. I worked and lived there until I went to law school.”
“Okay,” Mrs. Mendoza said, nodded her head got up and turned to leave the room.
“You mean you’re not going to ask me about this one?” He pointed to a green and yellow ribbon with a small copper medal hanging from it. The emblem on it was a winged shoe. “This is my second in a running event.”
“Oh I am so sorry Senior.”
“It’s okay. That medal reminds me everyday that if I don’t believe in what I’m doing then I will always be in second place.”
She left the tiny one room law office with her head held high and a smile on her face. She truly felt her problems were in the hands of a man who could change the world if he wanted. She just knew it.
The thirty-three year old lawyer with the big smile finished the last of his notes and closed the door of his law practice. He looked at the hand painted shingle on the door and wondered why his father had given him his name? The playground taunts and snickering that went with it hurt, but he grew a tough hide and refused to show it all through his school years. If that were not enough, the higher expectations from his law professors at college were always a sore spot with him. Yet all this disappeared when he came home. It dropped off at the door when he saw his “Papa Link”. Papa Link was never to tired to listen to him, never too tired to help him with school work or how to deal with bullies. Even the other workers there felt like his family and that made him strong. But, friendships at school seemed to be made by breeding, stature, and the money that made it happen. All of this came down to one thing, he was just another hand working on a rich man’s estate.
He read the sign aloud,” A. Jackson attorney at law”.
He stepped off the porch and fired up his trusty scooter. It wasn’t much but got great gas mileage and was fair enough payment from a client who couldn’t afford to pay in cash.