As Rudy Wells stepped into his office the phone was ringing. He picked up
"Hello" He spoke into the mouthpiece.
"Rudy? It's Steve" Rudy looked at the clock on the wall, it was 8:00 in the
Rudy knew Steve was in California; it was only 5:00 out there.
"What's wrong Steve?"
"Rudy, it's my legs and my eye. I don't know what's wrong. You need to come
Pick me up at the ranch. I'll be waiting.
"We'll be there as soon as we can."
"Well I hope you can make it, it's pouring rain here. It's not supposed to
let up till tonight."
"Don't worry Steve We'll get there." Rudy reassured.
At that moment Oscar Goldman was just opening up his office down the hall.
He was surprised to see Rudy running down the hall toward him.
"Rudy? What's up?
"Oscar, we've got to get to Ojai, right away.
"Why what's wrong?"
"Steve is in . Call for a plane to get us there.
Twenty minutes later they were in the air.
"What did Steve say to you?
"Just that he was having trouble with his legs and his eye."
The plane rolled to a stop at the Ojai airport. Only two hours had passed
since Steve called. Rudy was very concerned, 'what' he thought 'could be
Slowly they made their way to the car rental counter. The car the OSI was
supposed to send had not arrived yet, and they had no time to wait for it.
They wanted to get to the ranch as quickly a possible.
They arrived at the car rental counter, "We want the newest car you have"
"Yes sir." The car rental agent replied. She wore a name tag that said Tina.
She handed him a set of keys. "That will be 14 dollars of the week, or 2
dollars a day."
Oscar and Rudy looked at one another, then back at the car rental agent.
"I know it seems high, but you requested the newest car we had. It's the
Buick parked in stall 15 right outside the door."
They headed for the door.
"This is really strange," Rudy commented.
"What's strange?" Oscar questioned.
"The weather. Steve said it was pouring rain. Said it was supposed to last
all day. The ground outside isn't even wet. I mean not even damp for raining
all morning even if it did let up right before we got here.
"Maybe, Steve was wrong. Or maybe.
They were now in front of stall 15, they were shocked to see parked in the
stall a 1951 Buick, "this is the newest they have? Oscar questioned.
"Oscar. It looks brand new. Rudy got behind the wheel. He looked at the
mileage, "Only 6,000 miles.
"Probably 106,000," Oscar mumbled.
"I don't think so, Oscar. I have a very strange feeling about this. Let's
drive out to the ranch.
As they drove they noticed that all the cars they either met, or passed were
as old as the one they were driving if not older.
"Wait a minute Rudy, What's going on? The road we always take to Helen's is
not there. I don't get it."
"I think I do," Rudy answered. "Let's go down town, I want to by a paper."
"A paper? I thought we needed to get to Steve as soon as possible."
"Well if what I suspect is true, Steve won't need our help. Haven't you
noticed that all the cars we have seen are at least as old as the one we are
driving, if not older?"
"I guess I haven't really been paying attention." He started looking at the
cars they were passing. They do look old and yet at the same time brand new.
They passed a car lot
"O.K. Rudy it's official, I'm very confused. " All the cars that were for
sale in the lot were older model cars. And on the windshield of most of the
cars in front the signs said brand new for 1952.
"Let's get that paper Oscar."
Oscar nodded. They parked the car on the street and walked into a small
store. Rudy picked up the top paper: November 24, 1951. He threw the money
down on the counter, "By the way could you tell us how to get to the Elgin
place." The friendly bald headed man behind the counter was more than happy
to give them the directions without asking any questions.
The drove out to the ranch in silence, they watched the cars go by as they
rode. They were both wondering how to get back to their own time. 'surely
there is a reason for us being here,' Rudy thought to himself.
Within a few minutes they arrived at the ranch. They were not surprised to
see the 1947 Ford parked in the driveway.
They walked up the porch steps and Rudy was just getting ready to ring the
bell when the front door burst open and out ran a brown haired blue-eyed
little boy. He looked to be about nine years old.
"Steven Austin!! You get back in this house this instant!!" A very young
Helen passed them. She was very young but you could tell it was Helen.
"Rudy did you hear what she called him? If that is Helen, that means that
little boy must be Steve."
Helen was now walking back to the house, she held tight to the boy's right
arm. "You get in that house right now and clean up your room. It looks like
a pigsty. With that she turned to the two men who stood on her doorstep
"What a day. If you gentlemen are selling something, I have no time.
"No.Mrs. Elgin. To be real honest I don't know why we are here. It was then
that Oscar saw the sign in the window. He then remembered that in the early
50s Steve had told him that his mother had rented rooms to help out with the
family income. He thought very quickly. "We would like to rent a room for a
couple of days, if that would be possible? I see your sign and someone in
town mentioned you rented rooms."
"That's right, please come in. I'm Helen, my husband isn't here right now
he's at work. And the little fellow that just ran past you is my son Steven.
He turned nine yesterday. I guess he had a bit too much birthday cake. He's a
bit hyper. Anyway about that room. I'll show you where it is, is one room OK
or would you like two?
"I'm Oscar Goldman, and this is my friend Rudy Wells. And I guess two would
"Great I have two that are right across from one another."
"That sounds good"
"I serve breakfast and dinner, youre on your own for lunch. I just decided
it wasn't worth it. Most borders aren't here during the day. Breakfast is at
8:00. I have to get Steve to school by 8:30. Dinner is at 6:00. This room is
Steven's. I dont allow guests in his room. He in turn is not allowed in your
room. It started out that he was not allowed in the guests rooms, it was his
idea to not allow the guests in his room.
They passed by the closed door that had a sign that read: Steven's room, do
Helen took two keys out of her apron pocket "I allow you to keep you rooms
locked. I feel my guests need their privacy. Plus it helps keep my son out.
She turned the key it the first door and it swung open. She handed the key
to Rudy. They opened the other door and gave the key to Oscar. "Do you need
help with your bags?"
"No that's fine. We'll take care of it. Maybe after lunch, we will. Do you
know where we can find a good place to eat?" Rudy responded.
"Yes, Millies Diner. She sends me a lot of business. It's on main-street. You
can't miss it. Tell her you are staying here she will give you a good deal
on the house special.
"Thanks. We'll do that." Rudy continued.
They walked out on the porch. Steve sat there playing with some toy cars.
"See you later Steven." Oscar said as they walked down the steps.
"Are you staying here?
"Yes we are" Rudy answered.
"Well stay out of my room!!"
"Steven!!" Helen shouted "By the way, did you finish cleaning your room?
"Aw Ma" Steven scuffed his two hands against the boards of the porch.
"In that house right now young man. I want that room cleaned before dinner.
Oscar and Rudy watched as their best friend slumped his shoulders and
shuffled into the house to clean his bedroom. They almost felt sorry for
As they drove back down town Oscar asked Rudy "Why did you say we would
bring our bags in after lunch. We don't have any bags."
"I know. We will buy some clothes and a couple of cheap suitcases."
After buying some more or less casual clothes and a couple of suitcases they
grabbed a bite at Millie's Diner. Helen had been right. They mentioned Helen
and got the royal treatment.
"You gentlemen come on back here as long as you stay at Helen's. Also let us
know when you leave so we can send her more business.
"We'll do that" Rudy replied as he opened the door.
They drove back out to the ranch. This time Steven was playing catch in the
yard with Jim. "Hi I'm Jim Elgin, I'm Helen's husband. And you met my
"Yes, we met earlier."
Oscar opened the trunk. "Do you need any help?
"No. That's ok we got it. Oscar said.
"Nonsense!" Jim continued. He grabbed the bags and carried them in to the
house and put them outside the two rooms. "I didn't know whose was whose. "
"That's fine" Rudy interjected. We can take it from here.
Rudy was just settling in putting his clothes into the closet when there was
a knock at his door. "Come in" he called.
Oscar entered the room. "Rudy. What is going on around here?"
"Oscar, I don't know. Ive heard of situations like these.
I have heard of it happening, just never really believed it. There is a
reason for us being here. Although what that is I don't know right now.
"What about Steve? What's going to happen to him while we are trapped in
"Well another instance that I have scoffed in the past is that our own time
stands still till we get back. We could be here a week and still land in
Ojai right when we were expected.
They sat and talked and surmised for a few hours.
It was 5:55 when the knock came to the door. "I don't mean to interrupt but
dinner is in five minutes."
"We'll be right there." Rudy called back.
Five minutes later they sat at the dinner table. Jim sat at one end, Helen at
the other, Steve sat on one side and Oscar and Rudy sat across from him.
"Steven sit up and eat your dinner." Jim snapped his fingers.
"OK. Can I ride my new bike after dinner?" He looked at Rudy and Oscar. "I
got a new bike for my Birthday yesterday.
"We'll see. Finish you dinner." Jim stated firmly.
Just as Steven finished up his dinner there was a knock at the back door.
Jim excused himself from the table and went to the door. "Steve, Danny is
Steven stood up then on second thought, sat back down and looked at his mother,
"May I please be excused?"
"Finish your milk." Steven gulped down the rest of his milk. Picked up his
glass and plate from the table and placed them in the sink.
He went outside. "Hi Danny, what's up?"
"Hey Steven." Danny said as he tapped his asthma inhaler against his thigh.
"Do you want to go to the lot and play army men?
"Yea, let me go inside and get my guys."
"Ok sure." Danny took his inhaler, put one end in his mouth and pumped the
Then put it back in his pocket.
Steven almost ran into Oscar and Rudy as he ran back into the house. "Whoa
there pal" Oscar said. "Where's the fire?
"I have to get my toys.
He raced back to his room. "Mom is it ok if I go to the lot with Danny?"
"Yes but be back in half an hour. And put your coat on. It's getting cold.
"Ok see you in a bit." Steven threw his jacket on, and raced for the back
Even though they lived in California it was still a bit chilly especially
for a November
Oscar and Rudy were still standing on the porch when Steven stepped out.
"Come on Dan, I only have a half hour." The boys jumped on their bikes and
sped off up the road.
They hadn't been gone more than 10 minutes when Danny came tearing up the
driveway on his bike. He was wheezing so bad he couldn't answer Helen when
she asked where Steven was.
Rudy recognized the symptoms of Danny's asthma attack and tried to calm him
down. Danny reached into his hack pocket and pulled out his inhaler. After
he took a puff from it and calmed down he was able to tell what had
"We hadn't even gotten to the lot yet, he started. "Steven hit something in
the road and fell head first off his bike. I didn't want to leave him, but I
didn't have a choice." He took another puff from is inhaler. "He wasn't
moving at all."
Oscar and Rudy exchanged glances. "Show us where he is son. Jim you drive,
Helen call an ambulance "
They jumped in the car with Jim. Rudy and Oscar in the back Jim and Danny in
the front. Danny told them exactly where to go.
When they got to the spot where Danny had left Steven, nothing had changed.
He lay motionless on the side of the road. A small stream of blood trickled
from his mouth.
Rudy jumped out of the car fearing the worse. He knew that this was the
biggest sign that there was internal damage and more than likely the brain
was involved. The fact that he was still unconscious was also a bad sign.
Oscar was now standing over the motionless form of the boy that would one
day be Col.
Steve Austin, or would he?
Rudy started to examine him. He started to gently lift the boy's head to see
if his neck had been injured. "Do you think that is a good idea? Jim
questioned, sounding concerned.
"It's ok, I'm a Doctor. I just happen to specialize in this particular area.
Head injuries I mean. I don't think his neck was injured. That's good.
"Where are they?" Rudy stopped himself. It
was 1951 there were no paramedics. He was glad to see Helen pull up in their
rented car. He jumped up and opened the trunk. He grabbed out his bag, and
rushed back to Steven. How long had it been now? 15, 20 minutes? He was still
The ambulance arrived. After seeing the doctor's bag, the ambulance attendant gave a sigh of relief. A
doctor was on the scene. The boy just might make it after all.
Rudy looked into the boy's eyes, they remained fixed. His pulse was very
weak and his pressure was dropping. "Let's get him to the hospital NOW! Rudy
ordered. Oscar you drive Helen back to the house. Jim, you take the other
car, then Oscar will drive you both to the hospital. "I'll ride with Steve."
"I want to ride with my baby," Helen balked.
"I understand that Helen, but there is not enough room, and he needs a doctor
to ride with him."
After much persuading Helen reluctantly climbed into the passenger seat and
Oscar drove back to the ranch.
In the ambulance Rudy was doing everything to prepare Steven for the surgery
he would need when they got to the hospital. His only question now was would
they allow him to perform the surgery?
Steven was still unconscious when they arrived at the hospital.
"Dr. Wells, I'm Dr. Harrison, David Harrison. I have been Steven's
pediatrician since he
was one month old. Helen called me from the house. What happened?"
"I don't really know. His friend should be here soon.
"Danny is already here. I have been treating his asthma attack. He hasn't
said much yet, but then I haven't asked him. I'll see if he can shed some
"Look Dr. Harrison,"
"Please, it's David."
"David, I know you have been Steven's doctor for quite some time, but I feel
this falls under my line of expertise. I do this type of surgery everyday. I'm sure you're qualified
"No that's where you are wrong. I have no idea how to handle a case such as
this. As a matter of fact I have been trying to line somebody up."
"If you don't mind, I would like to perform the operation myself. I need to
get started right away. Time right now is against us. I'm going to go scrub."
"You'll get no argument from me. My nurse will show you exactly where to go.
"Thanks. I appreciate you trusting me. I won't let you down."
Rudy followed the nurse down the hall while Dr. Harrison had a talk with
Helen and Jim.
"Helen, Jim. I won't lie to you this type of surgery is very dangerous. But
for some reason I feel he is in the best possible hands he could be in right
"Dr. Harrison, you said a mouthful?" Oscar mumbled more to himself than to
anyone else. "Is there any chance I can speak to Dr. Wells before he goes
"No, I don't think so. If I'm not mistaken the operation has already begun.
"Thanks anyway. Helen is there anything I can do for you right now? Can I
get you something to eat or drink?"
"No, not right now Mr. Goldman. She turned to Dr. Harrison. Where can I
"Helen Ill be very honest with you, this type surgery can take hours. The best
thing for you to do is go home. We will call you when the operation is over.
"No I want to be here."
"Ok I'll take you to a private area outside the operating room. You
can wait there. There is a coffee and soft drink machine there.
"Thank you" She followed the doctor down the same hall Rudy had walked down
only moments before. Moments? It seemed like forever.
When they arrived Oscar helped Jim gently lead Helen to a comfortable chair.
He went to the coffee machine, plugged in the correct change and handed Helen
and Jim each a cup of black coffee.
"I wonder what's going on in there?" he thought more to himself In fact he
hadn't even realized he had spoken out loud until Helen answered.
"I wish I knew."
In the operating room Rudy was getting down to business. Steven still lay
motionless on the table. "Come on son, you have to wake up." It was at that
moment that Steve started to stir slightly on the table. Rudy acted quickly
and gave him an injection that would have him sleep through the surgery.
Once Steven settled back down, he began the long operation.
Jim had gone to get some sandwiches, and Helen had fallen asleep.
Oscar jumped to his feet when Rudy entered the little room. "Rudy, how is
"He's going to be fine. Physically anyway. He was out for a long time. I don't know if there will be any brain damage or not. He started to come around
right before the operation. I had to put him under. He should be coming
around in a couple of hours.
Just then Helen woke up. She was happy to see the doctor standing there.
"Dr. Wells, how is my baby?"
"He came through the surgery well, Helen. We will have to wait and see if there
is any brain damage.
"Brain damage? What do you mean?"
Jim walked through the door just then. "Jim, hi. I was just telling Helen
that Steve came through the surgery but my concern now is the possibility of
brain damage. He was out for quite a long time. There is always a very
strong possibility of brain damage. Don't be surprised if he doesn't
recognize you or anything else unusual."
An hour later they were all standing around Steven's bed. His eyes slowly
started opening "What happened? Where am I?" he asked. "I'm hungry."
After a day or two and several tests Rudy said that Steven was ready to go
home. He walked with them as they left the hospital. Oscar looked down at
him. "Well Steven I'll see you around."
"Well Oscar I think it's time for us to go home. I say we fly back to
Washington and try this again.
They climbed into the car and started driving to the airport. As they were
driving Oscar noticed something. Rudy, this is 1951 right?
"Then why did I just see a 1961 Ford pass us?"
"What are you saying?" Just then Rudy saw a 1965 Chevy pass by. "Oscar, I
think everything is going to be alright.
By the time they got to the airport it was 1974. The car was there waiting
for them. They jumped out of the 1951 Buick and headed for the limousine.
"Sorry to have kept you waiting," Oscar stated as he slid into the back
"Excuse me sir, your plane just arrived. It was right on time, we just got
"I told you Oscar. Now let's get out to the ranch and see about Steve.
When they arrived at the ranch Steve was sitting on the sofa waiting for
Oscar and Rudy helped him out to the car and they sped off to the hospital.
Once again Rudy rushed Steve straight up to surgery and Oscar this time was
able to observe the entire procedure.
He met Rudy as he was coming out of the operating room. "It looked like it
went just fine."
"It did, it went great. He just needed a slight adjustment. He should be
When Steve woke up Oscar and Rudy told him what had happened to them.
"You know, I think I remember something like that happening. It was so long
ago though. I just don't know if it was real or not.
"I think it was."
"Well then I'm glad you were there.
"I'll see you in Washington next week pal. You just take it easy.
Oscar and Rudy boarded the plane and headed back to D.C.