This page is a story-text data dump from Surfing with the Alien 3: Can I Drive Your Magic Bus to Surf City?, and needs some major cleanup.
You can help FenWiki by expanding this page.
|Residence||Marsbase Sara, Mars|
|Occupation||Accounting Department Head / Chief Gardener, Gnarlycurl|
|Relatives||Irving Rosenberg, Myrtle Rosenberg (grandparents)|
Myrtle Goldstein and Irving Rosenberg both fled Hitler's Germany in 1938. They were each seventeen years old, Irving's birthday coming just a few days before Myrtle's, and the eldest children of their families, Myrtle traveling with her uncle wile Irving was alone. The two of them met on the ship that brought them to America and were married by the captain shortly before it came in sight of the coast. Though they threw everything they had into working and saving in hopes of bringing their families away as well, none of their relatives remaining in Germany survived.
When the war was over, the two of them settled in a small Vermont town called Waitsfield to start a hotel, catering to the fledgeling ski tourism industry as young men home from the battlefield sought to spend their Army pay and find new ways to get the adrenaline flowing. Neither of them thought they'd ever relocate again - or want to.
By early 2008, their small bed & breakfast was doing as well as it ever had, but their children and grandchildren had all gone into different careers and a big chain had offered to buy them out and build on the property, rather than compete. They'd managed to keep their health, but... at sixty nine, they were tired. The friends they'd made had mostly predeceased them or gone into nursing homes, and the familiar mountains seemed somehow closer together than they'd been when the couple was twenty five. They took the chain's deal, and bought an old Greyhound coach to refit and travel around in. After close to fifty years running a hotel, both were quite handy at interior remodeling. It was their youngest grandson, Herschel, who brought a bucket of thick, pinkish jelly up one weekend, explaining what Handwavium was, and what it seemed to do.
Why not? Irving had given her the moon for their first anniversary, when both had been madly saving every penny they could pinch, perhaps it was time to look it over from a little closer. They could always come back, after all, and if their bus could fly that would surely save expenses for longer trips. They went for it.
In September 2008 their grandson went back to college, and they took off from a cow field just outside town. Around the time President Bush was signing the draconian anti-handwavium bill that had been rammed through Congress in an unprecedented eight days into law, they were passing Jupiter's orbit on a course for Saturn to look at the rings - Jupiter wasn't on the path, but they'd see it and its moons on the return trip. Perhaps the grandkids would enjoy the vacation photos instead of just putting up with looking if Oma and Opa where grinning and waving like loons in front of a window that looked out on the Great Red Spot, eh? Eh?
Getting back to Earth orbit to find that if they landed to show them off they'd be felons was something of a nasty surprise, even if they had been discussing possibly extending the trip to tour the inner system as well now that those sailor girls were talking about a giant airship-city on Venus.
Cut off again from their roots, they could only thank God that this time their families wouldn't be in danger, and fall back on what they knew - catering to the tourist trade. Rosenberg Star Tours ran from a beachside parking lot in the Bahamas, specializing in day trips to the Moon for flybys of the Apollo lander and a stopover for lunch and shopping at Stellvia and Kandor, with week-long round trips once a month to The Island and Mars. Even so, by 2010 they were running the ragged edge of depression, and when their drive crapped out during orbital insertion around Luna in late March, it was just too much.
The Rosenbergs' tour bus was actually our very first tow and repair aboard the Gnarlycurl, and our "crew quarters" were still just plywood lashed to scaffolding set up on C-Deck at the time.
The elderly couple came back up with their ship, of course - they had some investments, enough that they'd planned to retire on them, but the bus itself represented the majority of their assets. Fixing it took longer than I had expected it to - Shuko is a damn good engineer and working with Rockhounds got her the field experience to hack hardware into shape with the best of them, but she'd never worked on an actual gas turbine like the bus engine before, and getting parts for it took a while on its own. Long before it was ready, Myrtle and Irving had fallen into a bit of a funk, and the only times they really came out of it was helping Micheal get the quarters more into shape, and in the kitchen.
Overall, though, it was a good time, and we returned to the Gnarlycurl with good spirit and refreshed determination to turn it into a place worthy to host the next get together. It was something of a surprise, then, when the next day after that the Rosenbergs showed up with Herschel, asking to join the crew. Aside from being cut off from their family, it hadn't been dealing with vacationers again that was getting to them, they'd realised, but not having a base to operate in - helping us fix up the living spaces aboard had been like old times, setting up their hotel, and there was plenty of room to stack two or three floors of rooms in C-Deck, where people could stay while their ship/homes were in the shop, or just to get out of the tight spaces of a carmod and stretch, or use a proper shower or bathtub. Herschel had graduated with a Business Management and Accounting degree, the only one of the family who'd had any interest at all in following a similar career as the senior Rosenbergs, but he'd also wanted to do it up here, rather than groundside. He was also fond of gardening, and it was his idea to have the park section of D-Deck grow food crops as well as ornamental flowers and trees.
Herschel Rosenberg appears in the following stories:
- Surfing with the Alien 3: Can I Drive Your Magic Bus to Surf City?