My wife Vanessa Malone and myself, Jake Curtis, were driving through northern central Pennsylvania on our way back to our home in Washington, D.C. from visiting family in Altoona. We celebrated the arrival of our first nephew. My brother Bob and his wife Jan brought young Bob, Jr. into the family. I tried to get them to name him Jake, but…
The crisp, clear fall day featured a high, blue sky with with large white cottony clouds. A beautiful day full of fresh mountain air. A beautiful day for a leisurely drive through the color foliage as the trees in the Central Mountains of Pennsylvania were in the process of loosing their green chlorophyl and their natural colors of, reds, oranges, and golds, come brilliantly forth. Summer was definitely over, at least here in the mountains of Central Pennsylvania.
My wife is a smart, beautiful woman five feet ten with rust colored hair, green eyes and a figure that’s too good to be true. She’s a former Assistant District Attorney in the District of Columbia DA’s office and now is an associate in the firm of Barrows and Rose, D.C.’s third largest law firm. She’s on the fast track to becoming a partner because she makes it rain at B&R and also because she’s a damn good lawyer.
I am an inactive U.S. Marine. There is no such thing as a retired Marine, just inactive Marines. I served in Gulf War I. I am proud to be a Marine but I got tired of the regimentation of the Corps and became inactive. The Marines offered me a second Lieutenant’s commission if I’d reup. After about a moment’s thought, I decided thanks – but no thanks. I’m now a licensed private investigator and operate a single practitioner PI firm in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.
The story began with a news item on a local radio station we picked up while driving near the town of Mossville, PA The story told about the old Primrose Hotel in town, built around nineteen twenty, and was to be demolished starting next Monday morning. The owners of the property were offering one last tour of the historic old hotel before it met its date with the wrecking ball. My wife Vanessa and I thought a tour of the old hotel would be interesting and we had the time to spare. We decided the tour would be interesting so headed for Mossville and the Primrose Hotel. We didn’t know just how interesting the tour would be until Vanessa stumbled upon the one last secret buried in the unknown sub-basement that once served as a speakeasy during Prohibition.