The organizers of “Get Your Slice!” set things up so that in the center of the hall – the old Minos Plantation, of Slocum family fame – there were tables of pie samples all referencing the bakers who had their tables on the perimeter of the hall. People who liked a particular sample could go meet the bakers, buy whole pies, make orders for upcoming events, and receive a business plan if they were interested in investing. The event was basically dessert for angel investors interested in startup food companies.
Mrs. Selene Slocum-Lofton was not the average “angel”: she had resources such that she swam in both mezzanine and venture capital waters. However, she enjoyed herself immensely at “Get Your Slice!” because she loved dessert in small portions, investing, and being with someone who enjoyed both!
Captain Lee was not much of an eater of sweets, but tried a small forkful of everything she picked up and then offered him a bite of, and then offered his detailed opinion. His grandmother was shocked to find him to have exquisite taste, and more shocked to find out he could analyze and assess a business plan as shrewdly as she could. This was all the more startling given what she knew he had done to spite her: then-Cadet Lee had signed over his entire trust fund to the family of his wife, the Black Mortons. All that Slocum-Lofton money he had inherited? It had built Morton Technologies up. Then-Cadet Lee had essentially paid out his mother's family's “reparations” to Black people, and started over, with his Army checks. He had paid for the tickets to the event without fuss: apparently, he was doing well!
This gave Grandmother Selene a chill even before she hit the cold night air; Captain Lee noticed her pulling her green-and-gold shawl around her well before they neared the door.
“Are you cold, Grandmother? Wait here, and I will bring the car and a coat for you.”
But then he did not move, because she was really shivering, struck with the thought that 43 years earlier, she had on her side of the matter destroyed all chance of working with, and profiting beside, her natural heir. She had despised him from baby days, and it had come to a head in 1992 … she had torn down her legacy with her own hands … .
… And then to feel the gentle hand of her grandson, miraculously returned to her although she had done nothing to deserve it, on her forehead.
“I'm fine, Henry,” she said, pulling her shawl around her again. “I just had a thought cascade. Go get the car. I'll be all right.”
Captain Lee waited a few more moments, walked his grandmother to a warm, quiet corner to sit down, and then put his suit coat around her.
“I'll be right back,” he said, and then flew off.
Mrs. Slocum-Lofton put her shawl over her face, bawled for two good minutes, wiped her face, went into her purse, got out her compact, adjusted her makeup, and then was poised again by the time her grandson returned with the coat he had brought for her.
“Keep my suit coat on – this will fit over it,” he said, and wrapped her up before putting his arm around her and taking her right out front to the car, using his body to shield her from the icy wind.
Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash