Archive for West Virginia

Post #105 – About that Pink Elephant and a dance down memory lane…

Posted in college, friends, humor, memoir, nonfiction, relationships, true stories, Uncategorized, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 25, 2013 by tenaciousbitch

As promised, the continuation of my previous post: http://tenaciousbitch.com/2013/07/20/the-story-of-the-pink-elephant-and-my-high-school-reunion/ about my high school reunion…
HEHS HUGGIE  Photo stolen from Jennifer Sowards Parsons 🙂

that almost wasn’t. I’m happy to say it was a lot of fun. We actually had 40-50 people show up, which was a nice surprise (i.e. the photos below)! However, there were so many cameras flashing, we didn’t know where or WHEN to look, so they caught me sans smile a couple of times…I’m in the back row with the gray/white dress.
GROUP PHOTO 5 FROM STEVE rev Photo above stolen from Laura Stapleton….
GROUP PHOTO OF EVERYONEPhoto above stolen from Karen Wigglesworth.

Though there was a good crowd, sadly, I learned one of our classmates has such acute anxiety about driving that she didn’t attend, and she only lives a couple of hours away!

While dining on Tascali’s delicious Italian grub, we caught up on our families and our careers, etc. Additionally, the fact that one of our distinguished alumni who didn’t attend is now the Chief of Police was interesting. And another classmate who is a police officer actually pulled a guy over the Friday before the reunion just to tell him that he was going to the reunion! LOL… I thought that only happened in the movies! The cop was also a no-show as well, and I was all set to make jokes about Barney Fife and such!

Anywho…the next day, I decided to troll around town revisiting scenes from my past. The first place my SUV landed, almost as if on auto-pilot was:

HUNTINGTON EAST HIGHThe original site of HEHS (photo stolen from Brenda Runyon :)), which isn’t a crackhouse after all. It’s home to several board of education offices and an alternative school. Wonder if the back hallway still fills up with smoke when the incinerator is grinding away? And does the 2nd floor hallway still exude the odor of pinto beans as it seemed to do 24-7 back in the 80s?

Next, I drove down 10-12 blocks from the old HEHS building…to the institution of higher learning where I earned my BA in English in 1988…

MARSHALL SIGN ON FOURTH 2And, yes, ’tis the same Marshall that is the subject of the movie…

we are marshallWe are Marshall, starring Matthew McConaughey and Matt Fox. I attended the premier with my mother (photo of us below at my parents’ house before the debut of WE ARE MARSHALL).

MOM AND I GOING TO THE PREMIERSadly, we lost Mom to cancer six months later. God rest her soul.

I also noticed some changes around the student union. For example, this lovely brick walkway depicted in this photo below didn’t exist when I went to MU.

STUDENT UNION revThe  summer before graduation, we had a drought. Not one single drop of rain from May through October. I remember walking across campus along the dusty trail running through the grass where this walkway is now – toward the student union to grab lunch, and I don’t think the sands flanking the Nile were any hotter.

After that, I got misty-eyed looking at this icon not far from the union…

ALPHA XI HOUSE 2You can’t see the Greek Letters for the thick clump of trees, but this is the Alpha Xi Delta House, my mother’s sorority where Mom lived for 2 years. And my cousin Shauna (mentioned in  http://tenaciousbitch.com/2011/08/29/blog-30-%E2%80%93-an-ode-to-barboursville-and-the-days-of-yore/  – a tale about my unfortunate incarceration) and my cousin Jillian are also alumni.

And I had to stand on the corner of 16th and 4th and sigh while GLARING at this atrocity. While I’m sure their pizza is good, I can’t believe the food is anywhere near …

HUSSONS - HULIOSas good as its predecessor – HULIO’S, mentioned in this post: http://tenaciousbitch.com/2011/09/28/blog-34-the-date-from-hell-and-then-some/.

After grumbling at Husson’s for a moment, I decided to head home to Ohio, but first…I started LAUGHING a few blocks away at a memory spawned by something so innocuous…

SPEEDWAYrev

I know. Speedway? Back in the late 80s it was a SuperAmerica that got robbed several times, but it wasn’t your usual B & E or something.

When I was a senior at Marshall, I met my now ex-husband, Ashe, who is the subject of this post:  http://tenaciousbitch.com/2012/09/07/post-75-about-ashes-logic/ … I waited tables, and Ashe worked the door (or bartended) at a bar called The Rock n Roll Cafe, not far from Marshall. I gave him a ride home one night, and we stopped at this location, i.e. SuperAmerica/now Speedway.

While standing in line to pay for a six-pack of Rolling Rock and an 8-pack of Pepsi in the bottle (yes, the 16 oz. bottles made with REAL SUGAR), I saw Ashe lumbering by with a 12-pack of Bud-Light on his shoulder. Then, he waved with a beguiling smile at Robby, the clerk, saying, “Thanks, Robby. Have a good one.” And he walked out WITHOUT paying.

Robby glared at him and mumbled, “Asshole,” and let out an exasperated SIGH, but he didn’t try to stop him. He didn’t call the police or anything. Keep in mind that Ashe was 6′ 5″ tall and weighed about 300 pounds, so maybe Robby was afraid to do anything. I don’t know. I was shocked.

Then, I watched in shock as Ashe swaggered outside and over to my beat-up Nissan. He set the beer on the hood, cracked one open, leaned against my car and took a big slurp as if nothing had happened.

No one else in the store seemed to notice. I gawked at an obviously annoyed Robby for a second, handed him a 20-dollar bill, got my change and left.

Ashe acted like it was a big joke. “It’s okay. I know the manager,” he said laughing.

“Ashe, that beer might only cost like $6 with tax, but you could still go to jail,” I said.

Ashe just shrugged.

“You need to go back in there and pay for that!”

Ashe shook his head. We argued bitterly, but he didn’t budge. All I had left was $40 in tips that I HAD TO USE for my electric bill, or I would’ve paid it. I steered clear of Ashe for awhile after that not.

Apparently, Ashe did this frequently, according to my brother, Ben. Only most of the time, Ashe would merely saunter across the street to the brick house pictured below where Ben lived in the first floor apartment at the time.

16th and 6th 2Ashe crashed on Ben’s couch one night in April of 1987 and kind of just never left until they both moved to Orlando in August of ’88.

About four months after I witnessed Ashe pinching that Bud Light, Robby got fired. And I would imagine Ashe was clearly visible on the video from inside the store that ended Robby’s tenure at SuperA, but the cops never showed up at the Rock n Roll Cafe or Ben’s door looking for Ashe. And no one ever called either.  Ashe wasn’t dumb enough to steal anything else after Robby was terminated, thank God. And to my knowledge, Ashe never did anything like that again.

And as a side note, 5 years earlier, a Corvette ran a red light just as I entered that intersection and hit me, and I wrecked into the porch of the white house next to Ben’s apartment (photo above) and totaled my mother’s Buick. Fortunately, no one was injured, and, thankfully, her insurance paid for a new car. Even still, I always thought, perhaps, that intersection had some bad mojo going on.

And, last but not least, as promised, a photo of the pink elephant from Post #103:

PINK ELEPHANT 2I called the Locksmith located in the shadow of the pachyderm. The employee who answered didn’t know why the pink elephant had been erected there. But I wonder since people constantly FORGET their keys and lock themselves out, that the elephant, who allegedly never forgets…will be there for you. I left a message for the owner of the Locksmith’s shop and the dry cleaner next door, but as yet, no one has called back.

Over and out from f*cked central…

TenaciousBitch and her band of truth-spouting hippies…

© Tenacious Bitch 2013

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Post #103 – The story of the PINK elephant and a high school reunion that almost wasn’t…

Posted in Family, humor, nonfiction, relationships, Travel, true stories, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 20, 2013 by tenaciousbitch

When I was in high school, at the beginning of my senior year, our class voted for: DEATH IS THE ULTIMATE BUZZ as our motto. I know what an AWFUL saying, but we were teenagers, after all. Luckily, the Principal shot down what we thought would be the most hysterical credo ever devised in the history of Huntington East High School. I was very depressed in high school, and I’m thinking there were quite a few others, considering our morbid motto.

I have no clue what its replacement was, but as I recall the word DREAMS was hiding somewhere in the contents of our alleged 8-word philosophy. And I’m betting that no one in my class of 303 individuals remembers the motto either.

Do we sound a tad EMO? Maudlin and apathetic, perhaps? Well, as a matter of fact, we were, and, apparently, still are. Our 30th reunion is this weekend. Originally, a dinner at Guyan Country Club was scheduled.

However, less then 30% of the class was slated to attend, so it was cancelled. Then another a week or so later, I received an email that it was still on, but plans had changed, and people were meeting at Tascali’s Italian restaurant.

There was a gathering at a bar last night, the name of which I don’t remember because I opted to stay home and watch THE EVIL DEAD with my son, Max, and my husband, Charlie. Actually, I was supposed to have a dinner meeting with a client at 6PM last night, but she cancelled at the last minute, which was fine.

There’s a picnic today at a local park, which I’m also skipping because I’m way too lazy to get up at 6 AM on a Saturday in order to make the 3-hour trip to my hometown by 11 AM or so to sit in the miserable heat, which will be cresting around 97 F (37 Celsius thereabouts) in the shade. And fighting off flies and bats and whatever else might fall out of the sky on a hot summer day in West Virginia during one’s midday meal isn’t really my thing.

That said, don’t get me wrong. Though I hated most everything about high school, I’m looking forward to seeing the 15-20 folks who are going to be at Tascalis this evening. And I’ll elaborate in a future post as to why I hated most of the three years of my adolescent subsistence at HEHS.

I’ve never been to Tascali’s, so I decided to look up the address because I don’t recall exactly where it is in Barboursville, which is about 7 or 8 miles from where the high school had been.

The high school itself has now become either an abandoned crackhouse – or possibly houses some offices for the Board of Education, can’t remember which. I haven’t spent much time in WV since Dad died in 2009, so I’m not privy to the specifics of my former alma mater at present.

They built a new high school that I could almost eyeball from my parents’ house sometime in 2000 that consolidated HEHS with Huntington High School, so the building where I acquired my high school diploma is no longer the actual high school.

ANYWHO…when I went cyber-traveling to determine Tascali’s proximity from my hotel, I stumbled upon this AWESOME graphic:

DIRECTIONS TO TASCALIS - PINK ELEPHANT

ONLY in West Virginia would you find a PINK elephant as a landmark to look for in relation to a particular address!  And, YES, there is a pink elephant on Route 60 East in Barboursville. I remember it vividly and always pondered as to its odd existence.

If there were an Indian restaurant or, perhaps Ethiopian restaurant or something, it might make sense to have a statue of a pink elephant as a beacon calling all those who like that sort of cuisine, sort of like the fat boy associated with Shoney’s or Frisch’s restaurant.

However, this is WV. The only ethnic restaurants are Chinese and Mexican. I can’t remember what businesses are in/around said PINK elephant, but I shall make certain to photograph said pachyderm for all my wonderful followers to feast their eyes upon.

That said, TIME TO GO…

Tenacious BITCH and her band of truth-spouting hippies…:)

Post #68 – The attempted CON of Ms. Cranky Pants…

Posted in Family, memoir, nonfiction, relationships, true stories, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 11, 2012 by tenaciousbitch

As most of you know, my 95-year-old Grandmother/ aka Ms. Cranky Pants (aka Nana Maude), moved in with me, my husband, Charlie, and my son, Max, 18 very LONG months ago. For the 411 on Nana, go to Post #1 – https://tenaciousbitch.wordpress.com/2011/03/10/as-my-mother-lay-dying/ regarding her migration from Georgia to living with us (in Ohio) after my brother, Danny, fleeced her for approximately $50K.

Otherwise…read on. This week Charlie and I are on vacation…i.e. the photo below of my feet and I soaking up some sunny respite yesterday…

The joy of lounging at our timeshare in Vegas…or are we at the resort in Aruba? Sorry, Merlot-muddled brain isn’t functioning at top capacity… :)..have to ask the husband later…

A couple of weeks prior to our joyous departure, Nana asked me to withdraw some money from her bank account EVERY single time I left the house. First, to buy a few lottery tickets, so I retrieved $20, but she only bought $10 worth.

And the 2nd time, she said, “I want some money to go shopping at the cheap store. Forty dollars, I guess.”

The “cheap store” refers to our favorite thrift store, about a mile from my house. “But they take debit cards,” I reminded her, hoping to save myself another trip to the ATM. I already had a pretty full slate that day, i.e.:  mailing a manuscript back to a client, returning a book to the library, getting a prescription for Nana, and buying a long list of groceries.

“I know, but…” she said, followed by a pregnant pause, as if she were struggling for words. “Cash is just easier.”

I sighed in annoyance. Even though she does have arthritis, Nana has NO TROUBLE whipping out her bank card at Kmart or Walmart.  Why the hell is it suddenly so difficult to pay via debit card at the Thrift Store?

I did as she asked, so she’d quit bugging me, and, big surprise! She bought NOTHING at the “cheap store” during our next visit.

As I was leaving for a doctor’s appointment a few days later…she asked:

“Would you get $20 out for me-?”

“Nana, you’ve got $50. Why do you need more than that?” I asked, once again feeling my blood pressure rising to crimson levels in my face.  I really didn’t want to make another stop since going to the doctor was going to consume half my day as it was, nor did I get this sudden need for greenbacks!

“I wanna take Sarah to lunch at Bob Evans.,” Nana answered.

Sarah is my saint of a mother-in-law who always takes care of Nana in my absence.

“You could buy lunch there for you, Sarah and half the neighborhood for $50. Use your debit card.”

She just looked at me, her eyebrows furrowed. “But I wanna go to the Cheap Store too, while Sarah’s here.”

I groaned. Too fatigued to squabble anymore, I groaned and said, “Okay.”

Her guilt must’ve sprung a leak because she said, “Well, if you have time. I know it’s a long drive to the doctor’s office.”

YES, you demanding old bat, it’s a 50-minute drive round-trip that I have to make because of YOU. I had a huge patch of psoriasis festering on my shin from Nana-induced stress, hence the trip to the dermatologist…

However, it suddenly occurred to me that maybe she wanted to do some Christmas shopping while I was gone. Last year, she complained about having trouble buying anything for me because I always took her shopping, so she gave me a check for $50, which is FINE by me. I’d prefer she save her money for emergencies like long-term medical care, but I wasn’t going to bring that up NOW.

You’d THINK after obtaining $30 more, that’d be the end of Nana’s cash obsession, but you’d be SO wrong. The next day, I didn’t wanna deal with the nightmare of cooking her midday cuisine*, so I decided to go get KFC for her. After I hollered good-bye, Nana called out, “Don’t forget to get some cash out for me. I wanna take Sara to Bob Evans.”

For fuck’s sake? SERIOUSLY? “Nana, you’ve got $80 already.”

“No, I don’t.”

“Yes, you do,” I snapped. My temper was definitely ready to detonate. Aside from packing, I had a lot of cleaning and such before vacation. Arguing with Ms. Cranky Pants was NOT on my list of action items (and if you don’t know what “action items” are, for Chrissakes, go watch FIGHT CLUB already :)).

I marched into Nana’s room, snatched her purse and handed it to her. “See for yourself.”

She opened up her wallet, which contained ONLY $20. YES TWENTY DOLLARS!

“Nana, where’s rest of that money?” I inquired, somewhat panicked.

“What money?” She asked, flat-eyed, and seemingly unconcerned.

“You had EIGHTY dollars yesterday. Remember? I went to the ATM after I saw Dr. Spender. What’d you do with it?”

“Oh, that’s right. I forgot. I don’t know . It’s in a drawer in there somewhere,” she replied with a shrug.

I trotted back into her room, rifled through every drawer and the closet, to no avail. Nothing under the bed and in her hamper either.

“Well, don’t worry about it. I’ll find it later,” she replied, smiling, as if losing $60 was no big deal.

WTF? Last Christmas, she misplaced a $50 gift from her friend, Margaret. She kept saying she’d given me the check to cash for her, but I knew she hadn’t because I couldn’t have cashed it since my name wasn’t on it, which I explained NUMEROUS times.

She fretted about that check for weeks. She finally found it buried in her dresser somewhere in March. But THIS TIME she’d misplaced $60, and she wasn’t upset, AT ALL.

Her attitude completely invalidated my Christmas shopping theory. I assumed that Nana had finally succumbed to the treacherous wasteland of Alzheimer’s, or there was a rat squirming around that ancient brain of hers…

Turns out, it’s the latter. She told Sarah yesterday that she didn’t lose that $60. No, no, no Nana’s been HOARDING money to give to Cousin Cathy, who lives in West Virginia.

Cathy is my 2nd or 3rd cousin, whom I’ve only met once. She doesn’t work, and she milks some mysterious and seemingly nonexistent medical issues as a means to convince everyone, including her shrink, that she can’t work.

However, when I’ve asked about Cathy’s health, her answer is always the same, “Oh, I’ve got all kinds of things wrong with me.”

She’s NEVER more specific than that. The only medical maladies she’s actually talked about is being constipated or having insomnia. And last I checked, neither of those prevent full-time or part-time employment.

Additionally, during a brief period of sobriety, when my brother Danny, lived with Nana, he mentioned Nana giving Cathy a lot of money, including $600 for dental bills, then another $400 while I just happened to be visiting in March of 2010 also supposedly for dental work.

When Cathy called the day before I left Nana’s, I asked, “Are you feeling okay? Nana said you’d been to the dentist?”

“Yeah, I, uh, had a filling replaced.”

EXCUSE ME? “Why would that cost $400?”

“Oh, and I fell on the ice a few weeks ago too and broke a tooth.”

“Good Lord, Cathy, I’d change dentists.That’s way too much for that-”

“Well, um, that’s what he charged.” And it was quite obvious by her tone that she was LYING.

“If your co-pay was over $1000, why bother with dental insurance, which Nana said you have, right?”

“Um, well, can I talk to Maude? I don’t have much time before church.”

But she told Nana she doesn’t go to church, that she hasn’t found a minister that she really likes…

Aside from that, Cathy and her husband, Bobby, are always on the verge of starvation though Bobby has a decent job repairing bulldozers and such for a construction company.

However, one day last fall Cathy told Nana about having only $200 for groceries for an entire month. A week later, a round of violent thunderstorms took out electric service for 50,000 homes, including theirs. Too dumb to put their food in coolers or merely move a lot of it into the freezer, covered in ice, they allegedly lost everything after 36 hours. We lost power for two days once and only lost a couple frozen pizzas…After a lengthy call to Cathy after these storms last October, Nana said, “Oh, my God, I’m so worried about Cathy, I don’t know what to do.”

“Why is that, Nana?”

“She hasn’t eaten in two weeks. I have to send her some money.”

I almost laughed. “No, you don’t. She told you last week she’d spent $200 at Kroger, so she just voluntarily stopped eating PRIOR to the power outage? And if she hadn’t eaten in two weeks, she’d be dead or in the hospital.”

“Well, I don’t know about the dates, but they lost everything.”

“Nana, she just wants you to send her some money.”

“She’s never asked me for any money.”

“Yet, you sent her more than $2,000 last year.”

“No, I didn’t.”

“I went through all your bank statements, remember? So, I could figure out how much Danny had stolen from you. I added up the checks to Cathy. I’ll be glad to show you-”

“Well, that may be, but they’re always hard up. Bobby doesn’t make that much money, and they don’t have a thing to eat until he gets paid next week.”

“And that’s their problem that would be solved if Cathy would get a job.”

“Oh, she can’t work.” And Nana says this with SUCH conviction!

“If she can spend for two hours making you peanut butter fudge like that batch she sent last month, and vacuum and mop and all that, cleaning her house top-to bottom like she’s always telling you. Then, she can work as a nurse again, or SOMETHING.”

“Well, I don’t know about that. I don’t know what her doctors have told her.”

“It’s all bullshit, Nana. She just doesn’t wanna work. And you cannot afford to give ANYONE any money. Your Social Security check is only $875 a month, which barely covers your expenses, not to mention all those bills Danny never paid when he was managing your finances, like that $300 phone bill.”

Nana stopped asking to send Cathy money until my mother-in-law assumed the helm. Nana thought she could covertly send Cathy some cash for more food allegedly spoiled during a power outage from the thunderstorms 2-3 weeks ago in Ohio and West Virginia.

But Sarah is privy to the scourge of Cathy’s half truths and imaginary hardships. And Nana actually told Sarah that poor Cousin Cathy hadn’t eaten in MONTHS!  GOOD GOD almighty! I can’t believe that my Grandmother who was the Credit Manager for a HOSPITAL in the 80s – is actually believing this load of CA CA.

Thankfully, Nana doesn’t have any stamps, and there’s no way Sarah will mail anything to Cathy.  Nana will likely assume Cathy’s windfall was lost in the mail…

Does it make me EVIL to smile about the END of the cons, both Nana’s and Cathy’s? 🙂 At least for now.

Charlie said it best. “Your Grandmother didn’t learn a thing from her experience with Danny.”

SO, THERE YOU HAVE IT! Not only did Ms. Cranky pants lie about the allegedly lost $60, but she also lied about the need for cash.

I might bad mouth the old curmudgeon, but I ALWAYS pay her bills. I don’t con her into giving me money, and she eats like a Queen, no matter how much she HATES our healthy food with our brown rice and broiled fish and the occasional meal of STEAK and POTATOES… 🙂

TA for now!

Tenacious BITCH and…………………….                                                         her band of soothsaying bullshit QUASHERS!

* To read all about how delightful it is to cook for Nana, see post #66, BALONEY PORN or is it Bologna Porn, or Post #18 – The Oatmeal Incident… 🙂

Post #64 – In honor of Mr. and Mrs. Smith…

Posted in Family, memoir, nonfiction, relationships, true stories with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 13, 2012 by tenaciousbitch

Mr. and Mrs. Smith in their front yard, circa 1992 after she had back surgery. This photo depicts her first walk outside…

The Mr. and Mrs. Smith in question are my parents, and, yes, that’s their real names :). They were very special people*, who tied the knot 55 years ago this month. They met sometime in 1954 while they were both attending Marshall University. Dad was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. Mom was an Alpha Xi, and she had been a cheerleader in high school in Man, West Virginia, and she was a cheerleader at Marshall as well.

But Dad’s only claim to fame in high school in Euclid, a suburb of Cleveland, was a short stint on the wrestling team. He weighed 117 pounds when he graduated, so he wrestled in what they called “the spider weight”…I don’t know if he was a champion wrestler, or just another guy on the team. Dad was not much for bragging…unless he was talking about Mom :).

The photo below was taken at an Alpha Xi dance in ’56 or ’57. Those who know me well have probably already seen this pic on my Facebook page.

An unlikely pair since Mom was a typical Southern belle who was very outgoing and chatty, and Dad was rather serious and often quiet, but somehow they made it work. And apparently, Mom slain quite a few hearts when she accepted Dad’s fraternity pin her second year of college and pledged to date no one else.

One particular ex-beau good-naturedly joked that Dad stole Mom from him at every single reunion of Dad’s fraternity (though in truth, he and Mom only had 2 dates). Mom organized all the PiKA reunions from the late 80s until 2006.

I think all dad’s fraternity brothers were a little in love with Mom as evidenced by the fact they named her Pi Kappa Alpha Dream Girl for life during the reunion of 2005 (i.e. the photo below was taken that night). Looking back, I can see the cancer in her eyes in this picture when even though in her heart, she didn’t accept it until the diagnosis was thrust upon her by an oncologist 23 days before she died in May of 2007.

Mom at the Pi Kappa Alpha Reunion 2005.

While it may appear that my parents lived a storybook life, it wasn’t. There were a lot of arguments, a lot of grumbling, and I don’t think Mom was happy that Dad insisted she stay home with Ben, Danny and me, especially after we started school because Mom loved teaching. She taught science and biology at my junior high for two years before Ben was born and never worked after that.

Dad made enough money as an engineer at a large oil company to pay all the bills, so that was that. In the end, when she found out she was terminal, she told me she’d had a good life, that she had no regrets. Either way, Mom was always there when we needed her, that’s for sure, whether I got sick at school, or I was embroiled in a spat with a girlfriend, she made herself available.

She was also heavily involved in the PTA, church charities, and such. When I was eight, she accepted the position as the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee for the PTA, which was a huge job. I was very proud of her during one meeting when she had to speak in front of the entire PTA, consisting of about 100 parents, teachers, etc. She summarized some sort of report, as I recall.

She and I had always had severe stage fright when it came to large groups, but she didn’t stutter or stumble throughout her entire 10-minute presentation. Though she came across so confident and unfazed by this daunting task, she told me later her knees were knocking so loud, she thought for certain the audience could hear it…but we were none the wiser.

Together for 49 years when she passed away, Mom and Dad remained steadfast through bitterness and light, members of an elite group who never once uttered the word divorce no matter how ugly things got at times. I remember a lot of screaming when Ben was in high school, when he skipped school or came home drunk.

Then, after Ben graduated from high school, Dad got very upset when Ben moved in with his girlfriend, whom we all adored. Dad was a devout Catholic, and cohabitation was definitely not condoned. However, through the years, living in sin became a sin Dad could live with as he didn’t say much about my co-habitation with Joe or Charlie before we wed. But back in ’79, Dad’s feelings on the matter were quite different…

When Danny was in high school, he fell in love with drugs, which led to more family turmoil and his quitting high school after failing the 10th grade. Mom and Dad rallied against Danny quitting until the bitter end, but he was 16. There was nothing they could do. That’s one decision, I’m sure that Danny wishes he could take back. He got his G.E.D., but that isn’t quite the same.

I was no angel either, illustrated by several earlier posts:  #46, My Bad Influence and Posts 30 and 31- An Ode To Barboursville Parts 1 and 2 that details my unfortunate, but thankfully brief incarceration at the Barboursville “jail” above the Volunteer Fire Department when I was 17… 🙂

In the late 80s, after Ben moved to Florida, I to New York and Danny to South Carolina, Mom and Dad enjoyed being empty nesters and snow birds, going South every winter and living in WV in the spring and summer. They also loved going out of town for Marshall football games and such as well.

But for Mom and Dad, the words, “Til Death Do Us Part”…were just that, words. When we lost Mom in 2007, there was no other for Dad, and he lived as though Mom were just on sabbatical. He sat in his favorite chair in the den at their house, drinking beer as depicted in the image below…

Dad on Thanksgiving day 2008.

He ate the same food, rode his easy chair through every football season. Whether Marshall or the Browns won or lost didn’t matter, he simply lived for the game.

He listened to Nana gripe and grind all day long about this, that, and everything in between and never said a word.

Just as before, he and Nana wintered in the South and spent their summers in West Virginia. But in 2009, cancer took Dad too, and I have no doubt that he’s still sitting in a recliner somewhere, drinking beer and counting the days until the first Marshall game, like always. I’m certain that Mom is at his side, wishing Chad Pennington still played for MU (her favorite player)…because as I said, til death do us part did not/does not apply to THIS Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

Over and out from Memory Lane~

TenaciousB/Kennedy Smith/Chairman of the Mr. and Mrs. Smith Fan Club

* See Post #  43 – The Kindest Man Who Ever Lived for an awesome story about Dad’s childhood, and Mom is mentioned in various posts throughout my blog.

** Danny is my younger brother who stole Nana’s life savings and then some, which is the subject of many posts, starting with Post #1 – As My Mother Lay Dying…

Post #52 – The RED ROOF incident…

Posted in Family, family battles, memoir, nonfiction, relationships, true crime, true stories, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 8, 2012 by tenaciousbitch

In the fall of 2005, way before Danny pilfered* ALL Nana’s cash, he left his wife, Belinda, and moved back home to West Virginia with Mom, Dad and Nana. But Nana wouldn’t allow him to stay with them at her house in Georgia, thank God.

Then, a year after Mom died, in the spring of 2008, Nana called me all upset because none of their mail was being forwarded to WV. And her friend, Margaret, told her that her mailbox in Georgia was always empty. Initially, Nana and Dad thought their bills had been getting lost from going back and forth between WV and Georgia. And the Post Office was no help.

It really stressed Nana out worrying about her utilities being shut off since neither of them knew how to pay their bills online on Mom’s computer. Dad had always HATED computers.

Then, about two months later, Nana told me, “Danny literally RUNS out to the mailbox every day, and he says there’s nothing but junk mail and mail for him,”. Hearing that, I knew the Post Office had nothing to do with the missing mail.

“Why would he take the electric bill, Kennedy? That doesn’t make any sense,” Dad said on the phone a couple days later.

“Maybe, he’s taking ALL the mail to make you think your mail isn’t being forwarded, but what he’s really after are the credit card bills.”

“I paid off all my credit cards except for Penney’s, and I just pay them at the store when I take your Grandmother to the mall. And if he’s run up a bunch of charges, no one’s called about any delinquent payments.”

“That you know of. What if he opened new accounts in your name and gave his cell phone number?”

“I hadn’t thought of that.”

“And you know Danny, as long as you don’t know about it, he’ll keep on until all your cards are maxed out. You need to cancel all your credit cards.”

“Yeah, I guess, I should.” But it was too late – as evidenced by the mysterious BOX…

“When your Dad and I got back from Georgia, I noticed a HUGE cardboard box from a widescreen TV on the back porch. Danny said JACK  had bought a new TV, and the garbage men wouldn’t take the box because it wouldn’t fit in his trashcan, so he brought it over to your Dad’s house to throw away. But I think he bought a TV on your dad’s Visa and sold it to buy dope,” Nana surmised on the phone one night, and I assumed the same thing.

Interestingly, Jack**, a longtime friend of Danny’s, lives about a mile from Dad’s on Route 1. Therefore, the same garbage truck that picks up Dad’s trash also services Route 1. Said factoid places Danny’s explanation in the very lame category.

However, it was worse than Nana and I suspected. Long about the beginning of October, Danny started working during the day as Christmas help at Radio Shack at the mall. A couple weeks later, Dad called me –  absolutely livid.

“Finally got my credit card bills. And Danny bought, not ONE, but THREE TVs on my credit card! They were over $1500 each, and now the total bill is over $6,000. My limit is only $3000. God knows what else he bought. And I’ve got all kinds of over-the-limit fees and late fees because the bill hasn’t been paid in months. The minimum payment is $380!”

“Dad, I’ll be glad to lend you some money-”

“No, I can make the payment. I was hoping you could get a credit report for me, so I can figure out exactly how much I owe to whom. I can’t have one mailed because Danny quit that job at the mall, so he’s home during the day now.”

“Why?”

“Who knows. He got into it with the manager over something. Point is, he’s snatching the mail again, and he’ll just take my report if it’s mailed to me. But I’ve seen that ad on TV about how you can check your credit online? Can you do that?”

“Sure, Dad, I’ll get a report for you, and I’ll bring it with me when I come home Thanksgiving weekend.”

Assuming Danny was, most likely, living on beer and crack and knowing he’d be FURIOUS when he found out I’d gotten the goods on him, I decided to stay at the Red Roof Inn.  I hated telling Dad I didn’t feel comfortable staying in the very house where I grew up.

“I understand, Kennedy. It’s okay,” Dad said when I called him from the road. “It’ll be good to see you anyway, and you’re still driving my car down to Georgia, right?”

“Of course, I will. I don’t want you and Nana to make that long trip, but Dad, you need to press charges against Danny-”

“I can’t do that to my own son.”

“Yes, you can,” I said angrily, wishing I could drop kick Danny straight into county myself. “Just because he’s your son doesn’t mean he’s immune to the law, and, maybe, some time in jail would straighten him out,” I replied.

But no matter what I said, Dad wouldn’t file charges against Danny.

I arrived around noon the day after Thanksgiving, and Dad and Nana were both very happy to see me. We had a nice visit while Danny was passed out in the basement. But in my haste to leave Ohio, I’d forgotten to bring Dad’s credit report.

“That’s okay,” Dad said, but I felt REALLY shitty about it.

I promised to read it to him over the phone when I got home. And that evening, I went out with some friends and my cousin, Shauna***, who were also in town for the holiday.  We were having a great time until we walked out of Davis’s Tavern around midnight, and Shauna glanced across the street and said, “Hey, isn’t that Danny’s car over there?”

I looked over, and sure enough, there was Danny, parked at the closed dry cleaners, watching me. “Quit following me, asshole, or I’ll call the cops!” I hollered.

Five seconds later, he whipped out of the parking lot in his beat-up Chevy Malibu, gave me a contemptuous SCOWL and flipped me off.

“Fuck you, dickhead!”  I screamed after him, watching him disappear around the next corner in a squeal of brakes.

“You want me to follow you?” Shauna asked.

“No, Danny is ALL talk.”

“Are you sure?”

“I’ll be fine.” And off I went. While sitting at the stoplight at Baskin Robbins on 16th Street waiting to turn onto I-64, I looked in my rearview mirror, and I saw Danny AGAIN right behind me.

I tried to tell myself that he was just driving home and just happened to end up directly behind my car- especially when I turned onto I-64 and he drove straight onto Washington Blvd., past Meadows Elementary.

However, when I arrived at the Red Roof Inn, someone called out behind me, “Hey, bitch!”

I was two steps away from the office at the motel when I turned around and spotted Danny in the Malibu, his eyes smoldering like a black panther, lying in wait.

“What the fuck’re you doing here?”

“You don’t know what the hell you’re doing,” he said in a voice that was bubbling with anger.

“What’re you talking about?”

“You know what I mean. All that bullshit you told Dad about me using his credit cards. That’s a load of horseshit, and you KNOW it.  I’ve been paying on Dad’s credit cards, you stupid bitch! He’s been really hard up since Mom died. Why do you think I’m working TWO jobs?”

“Really? I heard you were down to one.”

“You need to stop running your fucking mouth, or you’ll be sorry, cuz you don’t know what’s REALLY going on!”

“Is that right? Well, we’ll see about that after Dad reads the credit report I ran for him,” I said bitterly.

Danny’s face tightened in fear, an obvious sign he knew he’d finally screwed himself, and this time – there was no way out…I couldn’t help but enjoy watching Danny turn so pale, he could easily have given Casper a run for his money in the SPOOKY department.

“And good luck finding out WHERE I sent it, you know, to which one of Dad’s FRIENDS since he knows he can’t send it to the house.”

“I have NOT been stealing his mail!”

“Funny, I didn’t say ANYTHING about stealing the mail. What gave you that idea, Danny?”

“You fucking bitch! You better watch your goddamned step if you wanna live to see your next birthday!”

“Whatever,” I said, flatly, knowing I had Danny by the short hairs.

“I’m gonna kill you, you fucking cunt!”

I fielded that nasty moniker with a flat-eyed glare and turned away. He kept screaming insults, but I didn’t bother to listen at that point. Even still, the altercation with Danny made me go a little noodle-kneed, and I hung onto the door handle of the Red Roof Inn’s office door a little too tightly for a second.

“Hi, I’m Kennedy Smith, and I have a little problem,” I said, half dragging myself into the office.

My red suitcase trailing behind me, I shuffled into the lobby of the Red Roof Inn and slumped over to the counter where the manager, an overweight but pleasant-looking woman in her 50s, stood smiling. “Can I help you?”

“Yes, you can,” I said, “That man in the Chevy who just drove off?” I asked gesturing to the direction where Danny’s car had been.

The manager nodded.

“That’s my brother, and he threatened to kill me just now,” I said, noticing her name tag, which read: Glady’s Akins.

“Oh, dear,” Gladys said, picking up the phone, “Should I call the police?”

“There’s really not enough to charge him with anything, but, maybe, I’ll call them after I get settled.” I briefly explained that Danny is/was a crazy drug addict, and…

Gladys nodded. A few minutes later, Gladys, and her son, Jeff, who worked maintenance, both walked me to my room on the second floor.  Jeff set my bag inside the door and refused to take my $5-dollar bill.

“No tip is required for damsels in distress,” Jeff said, smiling. “Now, you let us know if you need anything or if your brother shows up again.”

“Thanks,” I replied. “I really appreciate it.”  After they left, I moved the dresser in front of the door, slipped into my pajamas and collapsed onto the bed.

At 4:12 a.m, I was awakened by what sounded like gunfire. I bolted upright, reaching for the phone when I realized the loud THUMPS were from someone banging on the door.

“Open this goddamned door, Kennedy, I know you’re in there!” Danny yelled in a slurry voice while hammering on my door with his fists.

And THUS, it began anew…

….to be continued…

STAY TUNED, ladies and gentleman…the conclusion will arrive here, same time, same channel…NEXT WEEK… 🙂

TenaciousB/KS

*For more info about my brother, Danny, taking all of Nana’s money, check out the first post, As My Mother Lay Dying through post #25 or so.

** For more info on Jack, check out Post #29 – The PRICK, the Proctologist and PIGIN English…..and Post #41 Run, Jack, Run…

*** For the 411 on Shauna, check out the infamous post:  #30 An Ode To Barboursville.

BLOG #31…Ode to Barboursville and the days of yore…PART II

Posted in Family, family battles, siblings, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 9, 2011 by tenaciousbitch

“You know, you can go to Ona for this,” Officer Jones said as he parked in the lot beside the Barboursville Volunteer Fire Department on that fateful night that Danny and I got arrested for my underage PURCHASE of alcoholic beverages.

I noticed more cop cars parked on the opposite side of the building and the other DEPUTY FIFES heading our way.

“On the first offense?” I asked Jones, knowing he was referring to Ona Correctional Facility for Wayward Youth…yeah, JUVY with a capital “J”, which, of course, was intended to FRIGHTEN me. But Jonathan F. Smith (my Dad) posed a much bigger threat…in that HE could force a confession to the scary-assed Father Lombardo, or some other UNSPEAKABLE penance for my newest set of sins.

I took a deep breath, stepping out of Jones’s cruiser into the darkness enveloping the dead end street. A rather bulky, Bull-Dog looking cop got out of the front seat, and whirled round to me…“And judges LOVE to make examples of brats like you.”…

“Excuse me, but I didn’t see YOU at Judge Vincent’s barbecue last summer, there STUMP NECK, or Gary Cruickshank’s wedding neither!” Danny squawked.

“What’d you call me?” Bull Dog asked, his chest plumping up like a swollen gland.

“Gary? You mean Mayor Cruickshank?” laughed a deputy, whose badge said OFFICER MELTON…

At which point, I noticed two headlights puncturing the darkness. Mom’s Monte Carlo and my allies had arrived. “So, ya’ll know Marvin Ulysses Cruickshank, as well?” Shauna said sashaying toward us. God LOVE Shauna and her impeccable timing.

A shimmer of surprise in Bull Dog’s eyes reflected my suspicion that the newspapers had never printed the Mayor’s MIDDLE name.

“Is that so -?” Bull Dog stumbled, obviously unsure how to finish that sentence.

“Okay, THAT’S enough. This way,” Jones said grabbing Danny by the elbow and heading for a black sidewalk winding toward the front of the firehouse. “We can all discuss our alleged social calendars INSIDE.”

Danny’s dark eyes were trained on Bull Dog’s bug-eyed stare. Neither one moved or spoke.

“All right?” Jones balked, tugging on Danny’s arm. “Did you hear me, Smith?”

“Yep, crystal clear,” Danny replied through tethered teeth, his gaze never veering from Bull Dog’s hot glare.

“Blankenship?”

“Yes, sir,” Bull Dog snarled.

When…I suddenly felt a twinge of anxiety. It was windowless room kind of dark out here among the endless woods surrounding the firehouse. Perfect place to murder someone and boil their bones or some shit. The HOOT of an owl startled Prissy who was finally toddling along with Shauna. Jones smiled at her, “They won’t bite, you know, the owls.”

Prissy fired an annoyed look at him, then said, “Excuse me, Officer, but what’re we doing HERE?”

“This way,” Jones replied.

Uh, THANKS, but that didn’t ANSWER her question, there EINSTEIN…

A moment later, I relaxed a bit when I saw several FAT firemen through the front window of the firehouse playing cards, drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes beside a huge stone fireplace. Another fireman stoking a red hot blaze.

And then, I saw the TINY wooden sign haphazardly hanging above a black door indicating: BARBOURSVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT followed by an arrow POINTING UP. Can you say HILLJACK? The sign rocked hard against the winter breeze, while emitting an extremely high-pitched SQUEAK.

We followed Jones up the narrow stairs to what was basically a large garage apartment over the ambulance bays. “Have a seat,” Jones said, gesturing toward a threadbare sofa across from a row of empty desks.

Danny, Shauna, Prissy and I collapsed into the couch, and Jones sat down and started typing on a manual typewriter. The clacking of the metal keys immediately conjured up the memory of Mrs. Moonfield, my typing teacher from ninth grade. Her horrendously nasal voice spouting, “F, F, F, F, F,” while we typed the same damned letter for an hour.  Just throw me in the HOLE, will ya?

I glanced around the less than pristine precinct.  The decor was akin to a frat house. Dusty/sagging hardwood floors, overflowing ashtrays, and every wall devoted to posters of girls in bikinis and the like. Yes, including the signature FARRAH in her red one-piece was also in attendance, her now-deceased smile, frozen in time. No wanted posters here…WTF? All that was missing was OTIS and BARNEY… 🙂

The other coppers settled into metal chairs at the far end of the room. I felt the exhaustion bludgeoning me, an adrenaline crash, so to speak. And I was almost asleep when I heard Prissy say, “Oh, my fucking God,” followed by her customary GASP. My head snapped up, and I looked at Prissy expectantly.

She pointed to Bull Dog and three other cops DRINKING our ROLLING ROCK while jabbering on about the Superbowl. CAN YOU SAY FUCKING PRICKS? How could this be LEGAL? They’re drinking the goddamned evidence!!!

I could see Danny’s jaw tightening, the rage surfacing, “Danny don’t-” I said in a CURT voice.

“You MEAT-HEADS enjoying that fucking beer WE paid for?” Danny sputtered angrily.

“Yeah, matter of fact, I am,” chirped a tall skinny cop wearing a turtleneck under his uniform (I know, right?)…

Jones glanced up from the typewriter and turned to his brothers in blue – hollering, “Hey, don’t touch that other six pack. We need it for court.”

Bull Dog slurped down the rest of HIS beer, grabbed another one from MY SAVE MART BAG, and said, “Don’t worry, boss. It’s in the fridge. We won’t touch it, right boys?” That comment evoked a bawdy round of laughter from the sporto rent-a-cops…

“Blankenship!” Jones barked.

“Okay, okay. We won’t drink it, I swear.” And, then they settled down to sucking down the last of the touchable cerveza.

I slung my arm across Danny’s chest again to keep him from rocketing off the couch and getting in Bull Dog’s face. Then, I leaned over and whispered, “Remember, Danny, he has a gun.”

“Like I fucking care,” Danny blathered loudly, but the cops ignored him. Typical Danny, fearing no one and NOTHING except maybe having to WORK for a living….however, he did something I would NEVER have foreseen. He SHOT up off the couch and rushed toward Jones. I went after him, ready to tackle him if I had to.

“Danny, don’t,” I said as the conversation in the beer galley suddenly halted to a deadly silence.

“Sit your ass down, Smith,” Jones ordered.

Danny held out both his wrists toward Jones. “Ya better cuff me to a goddamned chair, or I’m gonna fuck them up, and get m’beer back, understand? And it ain’t gonna be pretty,” Danny bellowed.

No laughter from the quartet of brawn in blue. Instead, their eyes went uniformly WIDE in anticipation of Danny’s next move. By the suspicious glint in Bull Dog’s eyes, I could tell, he was expecting TROUBLE.

Jones calmly stared at Danny. Man, JONES was TOTALLY becoming a candidate for the seat next to me in my lifeboat. His composure was straight out of John Wayne’s bible…

Finally, Jones took a pair of handcuffs out of his desk, and he latched Danny’s right hand to the arm of a wooden chair next to his desk. Danny sat down without a word.

At that moment, I totally understood the corruption of rural municipalities. I never thought about the logistics of misplaced EVIDENCE until I saw it disappearing into Bull Dog Cop’s gullet that night.

No boring fare in a history book. This was real time sleaze in ALL its glory in one of many shitty, one stoplight villages …and I’ll bet these fine, upstanding regulators would’ve been the FIRST to stand in line to collect their hooch before casting their votes on ELECTION DAY back in the days of yore…

And there you have it….once upon a time in a place where the BOYS never become MEN, and the SHEEP sleep with ONE eye open…

So, what happened AFTER our arrest? How did my parents react? Well, it was like this…

wait for it…..

wait for it….

The Ode to Barboursville and the days of yore…

(to be continued)…

PEACE OUT, Tenacious Bitch and the chain gang, not to be confused with four sober and pissed off teenagers…

~KS

#5 – The DREADED call at midnight…

Posted in Family, nonfiction, relationships, true stories, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 27, 2011 by tenaciousbitch

After visiting Nana, I tossed the Red Lobster leftovers in the fridge at the Marriott and gratefully crashed onto my queen-sized bed. I sipped my Merlot and laid on the bed reading The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. I really have no love for Larsen’s writing style, which I thought was bargain basement shitty, but I had to finish the series, so I could go on with my life… 🙂

Around midnight, the phone rang. It was Nancy, Nana’s best friend who would ordinarily NEVER call this late, so I was a tad vexed when I answered the phone, worrying it was the call about Nana that ends with –my condolences…but it wasn’t…

“The police and EMS are at Maude’s house. Danny tried to kill himself.”

“Oh, my God! Is he okay?”

“I don’t know.  They said he was unconscious.”

“Is he at Memorial Hospital?”

“I don’t know.”

“Well, thanks for letting me know.”

Perhaps, this is incredibly selfish, but at that moment in time, I was really PISSED at Danny. It was bad enough that he pilfered ALL of Nana’s money, but now this. And this is the third time he’s tried to end it all (more on the other attempts in future posts).

I called Memorial, and because of HIPPA, they wouldn’t confirm or deny that Danny had been admitted, which actually was kind of a relief.

Maybe, I was being unkind, but without knowing if he was there or not gave me an excuse NOT to go over there. It would’ve been illogical to take him to St. Ann’s. It was 20 miles away…and they probably wouldn’t let me see him anyway, not that I wanted to. WHAT the hell would I have said? I’m glad you didn’t off yourself, but I still can’t stand the sight of you??

I took a DEEP breath and explained to the receptionist at Memorial, that “Danny has MRSA. The staff need to know if he’s there.”

The receptionist assured me she’d pass the info along, “If he’s here,” she said, but she didn’t. The next day, I called back and just asked for Danny, without mentioning the suicide attempt, and, luckily, I was transferred to ICU.

I informed the nurse named Winona that Danny had MRSA.

“Thanks,” Winona replied. “It’s not on his chart. We test for MRSA, but we haven’t gotten the results back yet.”

“How is he?”

“He’s awake and stable.”

I nodded, not sure what else to say. “What did he do exactly?”

“I’m not at liberty to say.” I knew that…doesn’t hurt to ask.

The nurse explained that Danny was on a 72-hour hold and that I could see him after that.

“Okay, thanks.”

I hung up. The anger soured in my mouth, knowing this turn of events annihilated any chance that Danny could move back in with Nana. And for those who wonder why, check out this post:

https://tenaciousbitch.wordpress.com/2011/03/10/as-my-mother-lay-dying/

Yes, I knew I was being a selfish bitch, but I’m okay with that. I know I should cry, feel badly that my brother almost died, but I think he’s just bullied it out of me over the years.

However, every suicidal incident has occurred immediately after committing another royal fuck-up. Only this time, Nana and I are the ones in his bear trap and not Mom or Dad. And if Nana won’t go to an assisted living facility or a nursing home, and she does move in with me, our finances will be a disaster. And I don’t need anyone or anything tossing more chores on my plate.

My contract with the production company in the U.K. had dwindled to around 10-15 hours/week because of the downturn in the economy, so I’d been looking for a “regular” job. But there’s no way I could possibly work outside the house if Nana moves in with us. We couldn’t afford to hire someone to take care of her all day. DAMMIT!

Plus, as it is, I’m already struggling to equalize my time between my freelance work, my writing and my family obligations while trying to keep my house at least sanitary.

A couple of days later, I went to the hospital, with the intent of seeing Danny. I sat in my car wondering what to say, especially after speaking with Nana’s mortgage company confirming that he’d liquidated and spent ALL of the equity in Nana’s house (around $50,000). Her checking account was overdrawn, and her savings was nonexistent, not to mention he’d spent her January Social Security check as well. So, she was penniless until February 3rd, 26 days away!

Without looking at her bank statements, I knew he’d spent all her money on booze, drugs, new clothes and strippers.  There were pages of charges to Macy’s, the Liquor Barn (a mile from Nana’s) and a place called The Cheetah Lounge, which probably wasn’t associated with the local zoo 🙂 – as well as numerous ATM withdrawals for $300 each time, the limit for her account.

I’d also found cut-off notices for her utilities and her phone bill. So, not only did he STEAL all of her money, he hadn’t even bothered to pay her bills either. I had to put about $900 on my credit card just to keep the lights on, etc.

Aside from spending Nana’s life savings, Danny had run up Dad’s credit cards, (without permission) and fraudulently opened credit cards in Dad’s name and forged Dad’s name on a double-wide trailer that Danny and his ex-wife bought sometime around 2003. How is that, you ask? Well, Danny was a mortgage broker at the time, so it was pretty easy for him to close the loan without Dad’ presence.

The double-wide trailer and a single-wide that Dad had co-signed for – both got foreclosed on, so Dad received a bill for more than $60,000 in storage fees, back lot rent, etc. on Danny’s trailers sometime around 2005. And though Dad had paid off our childhood home in West Virginia in ’96, he had to take out TWO mortgages to pay all of Danny’s debts, and Danny just strutted away into the sunset – just another day in HIS universe where the rules of God and Man don’t apply to Daniel P Smith.

When Dad died, Ben, Danny and I decided to sell Mom and Dad’s house. Emptying the house required 3 estate sales, half a dozen grueling weekends driving 300 miles round trip to Dad’s in WV over five months, and hauling furniture home that didn’t sell and donating the highest volume of knick knacks this side of Martha Stewart’s basement – to Goodwill.

Then, TWO days before the closing, Ben had to cancel the sale. With Danny’s fraudulent credit card debt in Dad’s name, the two mortgages and $3,000 of Mom’s credit card debt, Dad owed over $100K, and the house appraised at $60,000. So, thanks, Danny…we just lost $20K a piece. AWESOME…

So, what did I say to Danny after he’d used our dad like an ATM machine for around 15 years? Not much.

Sitting in my car in Memorial Hospital’s parking lot, I wrote him a note telling him to STAY AWAY from ME and Nana Maude, or I would convince Ben to press charges against him for identity theft and forgery.

Sadly, since Nana had given Danny Power of Attorney, no prosecutor would go after him for THEFT… but Ben could file charges as the executor of Dad’s Will for all the debt Danny took out in Dad’s name…

I didn’t hear from Danny for a couple of days after leaving the note with one of the nurses on his floor… little did I know he never got it.

More later… about the TSUNAMI left in Danny’s wake…

PEACE OUT from FUCKED UP Central…

~Tenacious Bitch and Company…