Write a very short story (500-1000 words, no more) depicting a scene in which you like to imagine Jack would have appeared. Note: This should reflect Jack, NOT one of the characters he portrayed.
Encounter with Jack
It’s going on five hours now and my husband is still in surgery. With no family close by, I am alone in the waiting room of the surgical suite. Our pastor stopped by earlier for a prayer, but couldn’t stay as she had other parishioners to visit. My current vehicle of distraction is the New York Times crossword puzzle but challenging as it is, it doesn’t seem to have its usual power to shield me from reality. I’m afraid but trying not to show it.
Someone has noticed that I am more and more frequently staring off into space. Sensing another presence, I look up and lock eyes with…is that who I think it is?
“Excuse me, Miss, but I noticed that no one is waiting with you. Are you all right? Can I do anything to help?”
It takes me a few minutes to locate my voice and form actual words. “Are you Jack Lord?”
“Yes, I am,” he answered quietly, almost shyly. “May I sit with you?”
“Please do,” I replied. Now this is an entirely different level of distraction!
Jack sat next to me and I introduced myself. Soon we were engaged in a sincere and comforting conversation. Jack said that he had been visiting war veterans at the hospital as he often did. I explained that my husband was having spinal surgery that was complicated and took many hours.
“Isn’t there anyone to wait with you?”
“No, but being alone doesn’t bother me. Sometimes I prefer being alone when I’m feeling this vulnerable.”
“You know, I understand that. I’m the same way. Would you like some coffee?”
“I sure would, thank you.”
Jack left the room and in a few minutes returned with two steaming cups of coffee. We found a table and sat together, sipping our coffee and working together on my puzzle.
Another hour passed before Dr. Wolff approached our table. His surgical mask still hung from his neck and his blue scrubs bore sweat stains.
“Your husband came through the surgery just fine,” were his first words, to my relief.
“Let’s go to a private room so I can discuss the details.”
I rose to follow the surgeon. “Would you like me to come with you?” Jack asked.
“I’d love that, but are you sure you have the time?”
“It’s fine, don’t worry about me,” he said. “And it’s better to have another set of ears for these medical discussions.”
The doctor explained the mechanics of the surgery in detail along with what to expect during the recovery and rehab period and the length of time it would take until my husband’s life returned to normal. Then he said that I’d be able to see him in another half hour or so.
Jack and I returned to our table in the waiting room and sat long enough to finish our second cups coffee. He could tell that I was feeling much better.
“I should get going,” Jack said after checking his watch. “Are you going to be okay by yourself?”
“I’ll be fine now,” I said. “I can’t thank you enough for staying with me. You didn’t have to do that.”
“It was my pleasure,” Jack said. We both stood, and he hugged me warmly. “Please give my best to your husband.”
He started to leave and I sat back down to my puzzle. After a few seconds, I called out, “Hey Jack!”
Jack turned around with a curious look on his face.
“What’s a seven letter word for ‘Hawaiian cowboy’ starting with ‘P’?”
“Paniolo,” he replied with a grin.
A Once-in-My-Life Experience
by Steve's Girl
It was a cold, grey, cloudy, and very windy September afternoon on one of the North Frisian Islands in the North Sea. I was standing at the beach, listening to the waves crashing on the sand and watching the sea becoming more and more turbulent due to the increasing wind, which, according to the weather forecast, would grow into a solid storm after night had fallen.
I had brought my camera and two rolls of film, which were used up, now, but I was unable to turn away from the view of the stormy seas, which maritime painters like Johannes Holst (1880-1965) and David James (1853-1904), had so beautifully captured on canvas.
I felt cold and turned around to go home to a warm hotel room and a cup of hot chocolate. About four meters away, I saw a man standing, staring at the waves, like I had done. He wore sneakers, jeans, and a thick off-white pullover with the famous Irish Aran pattern, his dark hair ruffled by the wind. Although I could see his face only in profile, there was something very familiar about him.
At last, he turned to face me, which is only natural when you are stared at as intensely as he had been. I was right: If there wasn't a doppelganger, that man was Jack Lord, leading man of the world famous TV series, Hawaii Five-0. What, by all means, was Jack Lord doing, on an afternoon like this, on a beach like this, instead of on a sun-flooded, warm-sand beach in Hawai'i?
"I must apologize for staring at you so impolitely," I began, "but I didn't expect anyone being at the beach in a weather like this, let alone Jack Lord."
"So you know who I am," he remarked.
"Yes, I do. Hawaii Five-0 has been my favorite cop show since it first aired in Germany, fifteen years ago." I hesitated, then asked, "May I be so bold as to ask why you are here?"
"Well, yes,” he replied. “I was stranded in Hamburg, because my flight was canceled, and there was a tourist brochure about the North Frisian Islands and their beautiful mile-long beaches. So, I decided to prolong my stay in Hamburg and hop over. It's only 50 minutes by plane, as you probably know."
"Is that so? Well, I always take the ferry from the mainland."
"So you took photos?" Jack asked, pointing at my camera.
"Yes, I did. The different hues of white and grey of the waves, sometimes touched by light, if the sun manages to get a beam through, is something I can't seem to get enough of. Johannes Holst and David James have painted that so beautifully."
"That's true. It's not often that the Pacific looks that way. If it does, a severe storm usually is brewing. Then, you'd better not stand at the beach and lose yourself in the view. You aren't allowed to; the law says beaches have to be closed, then."
Some moments passed, then Jack continued. "I would very much like to paint a sea like this. Say! You wouldn't care to send me some of the photos you have taken – or would you?"
Before I could answer, all of a sudden, there was loud music with Tom Jones singing a line of his famous song, Green, Green Grass of Home... “and I realized, yeah I was only dreaming."
I awoke and realized I had only been dreaming. But what a wonderful dream it had been! A dream about a once-in-my-life experience. For the rest of the day, I wondered where Jack might have spent the night, because there certainly hadn't been a flight back to Hamburg that stormy night.
In the Liliuokalani Gardens
By H50 1.0 FOREVER
My husband and I had been visiting on O‘ahu for about a week when we left to fly over to the Big Island to spend a few days before we had to fly home.
We were making our way along the Lunalilo Freeway at a nice clip when what should sail around us but a white 1969 Cadillac Sedan DeVille. Even as my husband remarked on the vintage of the car, I saw the license plate: FIVE-0. Instantly, I knew who was driving the car: Jack Lord! Sure enough, as traffic slowed for a construction zone, I caught a closer glimpse of him in one of his white lauhala hats. Marie was wearing one of her wide-brimmed sun hats – green!
Traffic eased, and we began moving forward once more. Before we reached the airport, however, Jack and Marie turned off. Oh, well. It had been a nice encounter while it lasted.
But, wait! That wasn’t the end of it.
As our flight parked before the main terminal in Hilo, who would I see stepping from a handsome twin-engine private plane at the general aviation terminal but Jack and Marie! Of course! Then, I remembered that I had read that he had a pilot’s license and flew his own plane. Jack saw Marie to the ground, then ducked back into the aircraft for their luggage. I’d like to have seen more, but a commercial aircraft pulled into the next ramp and blocked my view.
But, wait! That wasn’t the end of it.
Later that afternoon, as my husband and I strolled through Liliuokalani Gardens, taking pictures, a hand came to rest over the lens of my camera. I looked up to see none other than Jack.
“No, I’m not here to take your picture, although I might have taken one of your hand,” I told him.
He grinned and said, “I wonder if you would pose for me on the Japanese bridge.”
“Me? Surely, you can find someone younger, prettier, and shapelier to photograph. I’m a grandmother!”
“If I wanted younger, prettier, and shapelier, I could look in any fashion magazine in Marie’s sewing room. I want to photograph someone with a seasoned face, who appreciates the beauty that is this park.”
“How about a pretty Hawaiian lady dressed in a pretty mu‘u mu‘u. Really, I’m not very photogenic. The best picture ever taken of me was on my government ID.”
Jack began to laugh. I came to realize that the sound I was hearing was a camera snapping and advancing.
In the same instant, I heard a voice say, “That’s it. That’s the look.” Again, the camera snapped.
There was Marie, taking pictures of me, while Jack quite stealthily aroused the reactions that would cause me to strike the poses he wanted.
“Forget acting. You should direct,” I told him.
“I do,” he retorted.
I looked around for my husband, hoping he would spring to my defense, but, as usual, he was off, taking pictures of his own.
“Are you two having fun?” I asked the couple.
“Great fun!” Jack replied.
“More fun than I’ve had in a month of Sundays,” Marie added through a sly smile.
“Don’t tell me: You have a contract with Grannies in Hawai‘i magazine – or some other such publication.”
“No contract. No magazine,” Jack insisted. “Now, how about that pose on the bridge?”
I pinched myself to see if I was dreaming. I wasn’t. This really was happening! Yes, I gave them a few poses on the bridge. To my surprise, as they put away their cameras, they struck a pose on the bridge and let me take a few pictures of them. And, then, they invited my husband and me to have dinner with them the following evening. We spent several thoroughly enjoyable hours at their beach house, while Jack regaled us with bits of Hawaiian history, tales from his younger years, and, of course, the real story of how he met Marie.
No, I’m not going to share it here. He asked me not to breathe a word of it.