Mr Bill Tuttle had a strange feeling about his day. He was enjoying the weather and he remembered having a good breakfast at the boarding house. He felt that he should be happy about that. But while his workday at the factory was normal, he felt that he should be somewhere else. He knew he had no appointments with anyone today and his health was fine. He felt that he was maybe forgetting something. Bill Tuttle shrugged these feelings off as maybe too much coffee or not enough sleep.
Bill Tuttle was a mild–mannered man of few words. He worked at an aircraft plant installing panels on new aircraft. His co–workers knew him as being quiet and quick to laugh at a joke or two. He always sat by himself during the factory lunch breaks and read his newspaper while eating his tuna sandwich. Sometimes a new hire would sit with him and talk to him. But most times he would be by himself.
He lived at a boarding house just blocks from the factory. He lived alone. Bill Tuttle would come home from his job and settle into a quiet night. After he ate his dinner, he would sit and listen to his radio before going to bed at 9 p.m.
On this particular night, Bill Tuttle would eat his dinner listen to his radio and then go to bed at his usual time, 9 p.m. This would be his last night at the boarding house.
Bill Tuttle awoke from his sleep, still tired from the day before. He knew it was a Saturday, so he decided to stay in bed for a few minutes longer. He rubbed the sleepers from his eyes and yawned. After his wide yawn, he felt alert enough to start his day. But immediately he knew something wasn’t quite right.
The bed that he was in was surely not his. He jumped up and looked around the room. He saw an old wood-framed bed and an old wooden dresser with an oil lamp on top. Looking around, he did not see his radio where it should have been. All he saw was a wash basin on top of a dusty table. He saw his reflection in a large mirror on the door. What he saw shocked him.
He was wearing a dingy cotton shirt with pockets on each side. A pair of flat front jeans slightly worn. A pair of dirty cotton socks. The big shocker was his beard. He knew he must be dreaming because he never had a beard. He would soon learn that he has had a beard for years.
Bill Tuttle was confused. Near his bed was a pair of leather boots, which he put on. Leaving the room saw him in another room with a small table and chair and a wood stove next to a basin with a metal plate sitting in it.
When Bill opened the front door, what he saw took his breath away. He saw a few buildings that looked like they should be in an old west movie. A few men on horseback here and there. A woman wearing a bonnet walking across the dirt street to a grocer.
A man on horseback rode by, and as he tipped his hat he looked at Bill. “Morning Mr Tuttle,” he said and then continued on his way.
A small child was running by carrying a large steel hoop. “Hi, Mr Tuttle!” was what he said.
People seem to know me, but I have no idea who they are! thought Bill. He was more confused than ever.
Bill walked down the street and stopped in front of a telegraph office and saw a notice posted on the office window. It read, ‘Notice To All Men Of Age. President Andrew Johnson has requested that all men over the age of fifteen help with the Reconstruction of our United States.’
Bill Tuttle gasped. It can’t be! he thought. He was President in 1866! What is going on?
As he spoke to himself an arm wrapped around his right arm. When he looked he saw a young lady standing next to him.
“Well, darling, I’m glad you’re better,” she said. “You have been sick for two days too long. How about you letting me rustle up some breakfast for you?”
He let the young lady lead him to a small house at the end of the street. There as she made him breakfast she told him of his snake bite and how she was glad that Doc Wilburn was in town and took the venom out of his leg.
Very slowly, Bill’s memory kicked in. “Your name is Lacy! I remember now!”
“My goodness, Billy that snake really got you,” she replied.
“You have no idea. You want to hear something crazy?” asked Bill.
“I’m afraid to answer that Billy.”
Bill began to tell Lacy where he thought he was and that he was living in the future of the year 1966. How he was working at a place that made flying machines and how people were driving around in carriages called ‘Oldsmobiles and Fords’. And that there were boxes that you sat in front of and could hear music and other boxes that had moving pictures of people and places and wars and news. How it was a wild world where young people smoked strange things that made them crazy.
As Lacy listened to his story, she began to love this man with the wild dreams.
“I think we should not go around telling folks that you saw the future, Bill,” she said.
Bill Tuttle agreed and ended up being one of the most prosperous men in America with his knowledge of the future.
And Bill and Lacy Tuttle remained married for 75 years.