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Heather Gates, Ep. HG 15, Heather Experienced a Visit From Her Mother

Updated on June 19, 2018
Homeplace Series profile image

Dr. Bill's first passion is family history. His second is a passion for creating family saga, historical fiction stories that share it.

They met at the stable with their mother

The iconic "The Homeplace Saga" image
The iconic "The Homeplace Saga" image

Beverly Visited with Heather and Scott at the Stable

As they had expected, their mother, Beverly, had called and arranged to meet with both Heather and Scott at the group ride reception area at the stable after their classes were finished for the day, on Wednesday, September 25, 1996. It was a convenient place for both of them, and they knew Beverly would not stay very long after chatting with each of them about their current activities. They were both waiting when she arrived. Genuine hugs were appreciated. Beverly said the right things of how mature each of her children were. They said she looked happy which made them happy.


Beverly concurred that her life was good. She further promised to visit more regularly, starting today and going forward. She asked Heather to talk to her about her school and work activities.

Heather was very happy to talk about her work at the Stable, and the Mill, and especially about her FFA Project with Sunshine. Beverly expressed pleasant surprise at the level of responsibility Heather had taken on. Heather enjoyed talking with her mother about her interests. Scott sat quietly listening to them talk.


Scott became much more animated as he replied to his mother when she asked about his activities. He was happy to share both talk of school work and especially about his future working on the Bevins farms. He talked about how Bart had told him how much he appreciated Scott making suggestions based on his schooling. Some of them had been applied to his work already. Scott also talked some about Rachel. Rachel would be at the reception on Thursday, so they could talk more at that time. After a bit, as expected, Beverly said she needed to get back up the Big Thunder Lodge, to participate with her husband, in his evening activities. They said they each looked forward to talking more on Thursday.

It was raining hard as the arrived at the Homeplace Inn

A very rainy day
A very rainy day

Paul and Heather Went to the Thursday Afternoon Reception

Heather left early from the stable to return to the cottage to get ready to go to the afternoon reception for Winnie and Beverly. She rode with her father in his car, in the rain, so they could go home together. On the way, Paul had shared a number of things of concern before their arrival. He said that while everything had gone routinely at the Bevins Trust meeting on Tuesday, there had been two more recent developments in the community and family of concern. Carter Ogden was in the hospital, presumably to get his medications adjusted. He would likely be there through the weekend. Earlier in the day, the more concerning event was that Bart Bevins had gone in for a regular exam and had also ended up in the hospital. He apparently had had a mild heart attack, and they needed to do minor repairs immediately. He would also remain in the hospital for a few days.


It was still raining heavily when Paul and Heather arrived at the Homeplace Inn. They were not the first but among the early arrivals, each needing their umbrellas to get from the parking lot to avoid being drenched. They went past the front desk, past the Gift Shop, and down the short hallway into Heritage Hall. Heather went straight to the kitchen to see if she could assist in any way. Paul looked back toward the entrance to see who had just arrived. He first heard the voice of Beverly arriving, before he could see her, being first greeted by Virginia. Karen joined them shortly as they got to Heritage Hall. Winnie was an imposing gentleman, probably 65, a full six-foot tall, stocky build with an expensive taste in casual attire, topped off with a shock of white hair. His manner was that of the southern gentleman that he was, with deep roots in manners to charm whomever he encountered, male or female. Beverly stayed close to him, at first, in her role as the southern gentleman’s wife. Soon, however, in that role, as Winnie entered into conversation with Lyle Cunningham, she slid away into conversation with some of the other women.


Paul went over and introduced himself to Winnie. “So we finally meet. I’m Paul Gates.”


“My pleasure. Just call me Winnie. I’ve seen your picture at a younger age. You have aged well, I might add.”


“Well, I’ve aged, that is for sure.” Paul responded. “I am very happy to finally get to meet you. Your meetings have gone well, I assume?”


With that, they fell back into the conversation Winnie and Lyle were in when Paul joined them. At one point, Winnie shared with Lyle and Paul that one of the reasons for his getting involved with Big Thunder Lodge, and bidding on the motel construction, was to have an excuse to get Beverly up here near her family more often. He talked of his own strong feeling of family, based in his family plantation that dated to the ante-bellum period. Beverly had enjoyed becoming a part of their regular gatherings, he knew. Winnie felt it was time to try to involve her back up here, again. And, he really wanted to meet her family, himself. He was very pleased to be here.


A little later, Winnie mentioned to Paul, “By the way, Paul, I did meet the new Activities Director at Big Thunder. She made a presentation to one of our committees. One exciting and very attractive lady, I might add. She just started, but was talking about wanting to spend time with ‘the folks in Oak Springs, especially at the Mill down there,’ she had said. So, be expecting a call or visit, real soon.”


Paul replied, “I’ll certainly keep my eyes and ears open for her. We do all need to work together here in our small community.”

Heather talked about her FFA Horse Project

A Palomino Mare with Foal
A Palomino Mare with Foal

The Reception Continued

Scott and Rachel arrived a little later. Scott introduced Rachel to his mother and they chatted for a bit. Shortly after Heather joined them, Beverly led the way across the room to introduce each of them to Winnie. “Winnie, this is my daughter, Heather, my son, Scott, and his girlfriend, Rachel Nixon.”


“Very nice to meet you. Heather, your mother mentioned your FFA Horse Project. I’m impressed.”


“I’m working hard to make it a success,” Heather beamed in reply.


“And Scott is bringing Ag Education to the family farm. Good luck with that, Scott.”


“Yes sir. Bart said it would be a challenge, but I do want to make a contribution, right away.”


Winnie turned to Rachel, “Nixon, hum. Where have I heard that name around here?”


“Probably by Dad, Dick Nixon. He is the Editor and Publisher of the local newspaper… not the former President!” Rachel was ready with that reply.


“Yes, that is it,” Winnie said. “I always like to know who the news media folks are where ever I visit.”


Rachel added, “I’m a part-time reporter, but I’m off-duty today, so you are safe.”

[Continued in Episode HG 16]

Author’s Note

This series of stories in the life of Heather Gates, a fictional character in The Homeplace Saga series of family saga, historical fiction stories (home blog found at thehomeplaceseries dot blogspot dot com), is being created as a way to use a minor character in the early writings to expand those stories and share details omitted in those earlier writings within the original overarching themes. These newly included details may have been left out of the earlier stories through editing or they may have seemed unrelated to central themes at the time. With the expansion of the entire Saga, over the years, it has become obvious that filling in some of the gaps in the story for overall better understanding of the individuals, their families, and their interactions would be useful to The Homeplace Saga body of work in total. These episodes parallel the timeline of “The Homeplace Revisited” novel in this series.

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    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      3 months ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you for your visit and comment, Bill.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      3 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Heather seems to be in a very good place in her life....very cool!

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