Harry Shively was a self proclaimed political expert and had retired from the Eddy Paper Mill a few years earlier. Harry had a pickup truck, and he and Walter did odd jobs around the Lake, but never very far away from the Tavern. I use the phrase loosely when I say that they did odd jobs, around the Lake. It would be more accurate to say that Walter did odd jobs around the lake.
Harry, being the owner of the major piece of equipment automatically became the principal stock holder, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board. This allowed him to drive the truck and give orders to Walter, who was well past retirement age, if there had been anything for him to have retired from.
For a period of time their principal function was the picking up of trash from the residents around the lake. That appeared to be quite a lucrative endeavor at first, but in as much as it necessitated a fairly strict schedule of pick-ups, it was soon discovered that this trash business was interfering with their duties, at the Tavern. As a result the Trash part of the conglomerate was discontinued, and more emphasis was placed on the odd jobs.
The enterprise was aptly named by Maxine , and became quite widely known as the Rover Boys. The protocol, as established by Harry, appeared to be agreeable to Walter, because surely, at some point in his early life, he must have discovered that he did not posses the qualities that are required to be a leader of the multitudes. Now that is where Walter’s and Harry’s makeup differed. Walter knew that he did not have what it took to be a leader, and Harry didn’t know that he also lacked that quality. The problem was that they both thought that Harry was a leader so he went right ahead with the leading.
Harry might not have been a great leader, but he was, in most cases, able to “con” Walter into doing most of the dirty jobs. There was, however, one occasion that, I heard of, that Walter rebelled.
It seems that Harry had taken on a job of tree removal from near the home of a lake resident. In order to do the job, it was going to be necessary to attach a rope from the pickup, to the tree, in order to assure that it would fall where they wanted it to, and not on the customer’s house. Harry made the necessary connections to the truck and got the extension ladder properly placed so that Walter could do the more simple part of the operation. Then he said, “there you are Walter, all you need to do is tie the rope just as far above the top of the ladder as you can reach”.
The report that came back to the Headquarters, in the Tavern, was that Walter looked everything over and replied, “Harry I can’t do that, I am too young to die”. It was said that Harry lowered the ladder several feet and made the connection himself.