Achromatic: Chapter 1 Scene 4

The technology aspect will finally begin its weave into the story.  Does it help explain the end of scene symbol?

– Î –

AM November 4, 1962

Park County Courthouse, Cody, Wyoming

Surrounding the imposing sandstone-brick courthouse, amongst a scattering of lightly frosted trees, was a subdued adult audience, each encased in a cocoon of warm garments.  The young ones of the town had seen fit to either remain in bed, or somewhere warmer than outside, where the feeling-out punches the winter onslaught were being thrown.

Each side of the courthouse’s varnished wooden doors of the courthouse was a sturdy pillar standing guard, while supporting a banner emblazoned with ‘The Ohio Oil Company’.  A second roll of fabric hovered above it, with no clue offered to its contents.  In front stood an equally varnished podium, where a well-groomed middle-aged man in a suit stood proudly.  Flanking him was a pair of the local police, who everyone recognised as Frank and Emily Steele.   The policeman was a solid man with close-cut greying hair, who seemed to not feel the cold, with strands of the police woman’s light brown hair escaping a ponytail.

The suited man tapped the microphone, clearing his throat as he began his address.

“Citizens of Cody, I thank you for this opportunity to address you.  For those who do not know me, my name is James C. Donnell the Second.  As you will likely have realised,” raising his hand to the banner above, “I represent the Ohio Oil Company.  I have been its president since 1948, succeeding my father Otto D.  Donnell.  My father had succeeded my namesake upon his death in 1927.  However, I am grateful that my grandfather witnessed a monumental moment before his passing.

“This town holds a special place in Ohio Oil’s history.  We began to test Wyoming for oil reserves in 1912, though admittedly our first years were not successful.  Our first well ended up dry, despite a large investment.  Despite the setback, and inspired by the perseverance and tenacity of the people we met, we continued our search.  For a decade and a half we found reserves, but not ones that blazed with promise.  Then, in 1927, barely ten miles from where we stand this very moment, that promise was realised.  The Oregon Basin oil reserve proved to be everything we hoped to find.

“Since that time, the Ohio Oil Company has been committed to the state of Wyoming.  My father, Otto Donnell, ensured that the fine people working for us had better homes, better schooling, and a more lenient work week to ensure family life did not suffer.  My father believed in doing our utmost for the communities that built around our sites, and saw to it that it was ingrained in our company’s culture to reward and support the good people working for us.”

The crowd gave a large round of applause to James’ words, lasting half a minute before he was able to continue.

“I have come here today to celebrate two anniversaries.   This year marks the fiftieth year that Ohio Oil has been a part of Wyoming, as well as the seventy-fifth anniversary of the company itself.  On behalf of the Ohio Oil Company, I thank you for the hard work and support the town has given over those five decades.”

The applause was accompanied by a cheer, bringing a smile to the Ohio native’s face.

“Such historic anniversaries necessitate historic events.  In this changing world, the operations of many companies are expanding in reach.  The expertise we learn from places such as Cody is equally valuable in far-away places such as Canada, Mexico and even Guatemala in South America.  As such, the Ohio Oil Company can no longer associate itself with just one state of our fine country; we must associate ourselves with every field we have, no matter its location worldwide.”

James stepped back from the podium and walked towards one of the pillars, where a length of cord descended from the banners above.  Pulling down of the rope, the rolled up fabric unfurled to reveal the words ‘Marathon Oil Company’.  The task completed, he returned to the podium.

“The Marathon brand name was bought by Ohio Oil when we bought the Transcontinental Oil Company in 1930.  Since then, the brand name has become synonymous with quality product, and our largest selling one.  Looking forward to the next seventy-five years, my company remains committed to the state of Wyoming, the town of Cody.  We are running a marathon alongside this state, and we are here for the long haul.”

The grounds erupted in cheering and clapping, scattering birds hiding in the tree branches.  The reception continued for over a minute, before the Marathon Oil president gestured for quiet.

“Further to this, I have been thinking about how it was possible to reward Wyoming properly.  As our largest initial reserve was found here in Cody, we thought it appropriate that we bring new technology to the town.  I have negotiated directly with Robert Kintner, the president of NBC, to ensure this happens.”

The townsfolk looked around, not sure of where this was headed.

“The east coast of the United States has been appreciating the benefits of colour television for almost a decade now, though the change is taking its time to spread west.  As my present to the city of Cody, a new television station will be set up right here.  The station will gradually replace the regular broadcasting from Billings in Montana, and we hope it will grow to become the station of choice for the north of Wyoming, to rival that of Laramie in the south.”

The crowd murmured to each other, shocked by the announcement.  That the town would become such an important piece in the fabric of the state was beyond their belief.

“The new television tower, complete with colour transmission technology, will be assembled and raised sightly south-west of the town, at the highest point.  The new station and studios will be constructed near the site, and will be functional sometime in Spring.”

The crowd cheered and applauded as loud as they could, hoping it could go some way to thanking him for such a generous gesture.

– Î –

Feedback is always appreciated.  Don’t be shy =)


2 responses

  1. I, like your fictional audience, am wondering where this is headed, but I still feel like applauding…

  2. Anneque G. Malchien | Reply

    Tokyo Tower appears! The Sailor Scouts will be pleased.

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