MY FAMILY LOST EVERYTHING: FROM RICHES TO RAGS
My paternal grandmother and grandfather worked all through their lives and established enough wealth for all of their children to have financially comfortable lives. There were a restaurant/bar, a dairy farm, over 50 cottages, boats and a beach, a snack bar, half-ownership of the Lake and the falls, and approximately 250 acres with houses that my grandfather held the mortgages on.
All their children did was to fight for years. While all this fighting was going on, no one was paying taxes on the property. Aunt Jennie would go to the bungalow every summer and rent out the cottages and the snack bar, so that the people could still rent their cottages and swim every day. These people were more like family than just tenants; they had been coming for over 20 years.
I was old enough, with my son, to watch the insanity happening. Our family ended up selling everything to a group from New York City, who proceeded to burn down the barn, level every cottage, burn down the big house, all while never paying a dime to anyone. The property was auctioned off for taxes for nearly $75,000. The farmer who owned the farm next door bought everything. He had to wait seven years before he could sell any property. Our family had gone from riches to rags.
I went out to where the big house once stood, and I dug up some of my grandmother’s flowers, which I care for and enjoy every spring and summer. When I drive out there now, there are multi-million-dollar houses all along the shore of the Lake. One lot was sold for more than the price what the farmer paid at auction. Our family received nothing. It makes me sick!
Apparently, stupidity runs in my family.
MY MALE FRIENDS
I have always had much better friendships with men than with women.
I remember speaking to a man who was going through a bad divorce. We were at the Sunday church service. I was telling him that he should make some friends, men or women, to talk to and to do things with, such as movies, dinners, and so on. A woman who was listening to our conversation said that men and women cannot be friends. I told her that I had many male friends, more male friends than female friends. She insisted that it was not possible for men and women to be just friends.
She said to me, “You must be a better person than me, because I could not simply be a friend with a man.” I guess I am different from her, as I have had many male friends in my lifetime. They felt comfortable with me, and I with them. For those who are thinking, “Oh, sure!”– let me tell you that there was never anything more than friendship!
Two of my male friendships were made while I was on the police force. One man is married with children, and whenever we do see each other, we very easily start our conversations just where we left off when we saw each other last. My other policeman friend, whom I think of often, has passed away. He had gotten married and had a son. He was stricken with skin cancer, which later traveled to his brain. I think of him often. I have just written twice that I think of him often, which shows how true it is.
My sister-in-law is a New York City police officer. I worry about her a lot, knowing that her job is dangerous. It is not a nine-to-five desk job. I had a few scares when I was on the police force, and this was in a fairly rural location approximately an hour-and-a-half drive from New York City.
I had a few good laughs while on the force. One was when I was on patrol one night, and we were following a car that was weaving all over the road. We pulled the car over. He was a very prominent man locally, and he was definitely intoxicated. I gave him a ticket for driving while intoxicated, DWI, and I called his friend to come get him and take him home.
On the night of his court appearance, his attorney was telling the police officers who were walking by him and his client that he wanted to talk to me. Attorneys always want to get their clients’ tickets reduced in severity. I was a hard-head then– and I still am– about drinking and driving.
Finally, I walked out of the police office to deal with the attorney. He looked at me very strangely. He turned to his client and said, “You s.o.b., you were drunk!” It turned out that his client had told him that a tall, blond guy had given him the ticket. My hair was blonde and long, but I could not have passed for a man! All the cops in the hallway thought this was very funny. They talked about it for a long time. I was not amused!
After our shifts were over and the single guys would go out for coffee or a drink, they would ask me to go with them. I always felt like one of the guys, and they treated me as such.
We are serializing here the memoir Kidnapped Twice: Then Betrayed and Abused, by Mary E. Seaman and Douglas Winslow Cooper, available in paperback and ebook formats from its publisher Outskirts Press, as well as amazon.com and other on-line booksellers.
This is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and this story is quite appropriate.
My writing-coaching-editing site is http://writeyourbookwithme.com.