MOUNT LAUREL, NEW JERSEY, 2014.
Today a body was found under a motel bed. Police say it had been there for 5 years.
Stunning news out of New Jersey. Reports that police discovered the body of a young woman under a motel bed--- have been confirmed. The owners of the motel asked that their name and location be omitted from news reports... to protect their business.
The body, which has yet to be identified, was found by a person staying in the room.
“I dropped the television remote, and when I went to check under the bed I found her. It was like something out of a Horror Movie,” said Aaron Silver, the man staying in the room.
According to initial reports by the medical examiner on-scene, it appears as though the body lay undisturbed in the room for about 5 years. There was a normal amount of rot and decay on the body to suggest that it had not been moved or touched over the course of that time.
The motel has not made a comment about the issue but have told police…”We are constantly cleaning our rooms and have no idea how this could have slipped beneath the cracks!”
“I clean rooms every day. When I kept noticing a strong smell, I told my manager,” said Anita Rodriguez, a housekeeper at the motel. “He told me to just use extra Febreeze in the room with the strong smell and it would go away, eventually. I always hated cleaning that particular room.”
Motel representatives say all their rooms are cleaned daily, but that it is not the policy of the company to make their housekeepers check under the beds.
“They do a heavy cleaning of the rooms to sanitize for guests, but when it comes to under the beds, they just run the vacuum around the edges. Who really looks under the bed, anyway? No reason to waste anyone’s time,” said Charles Dyson, a representative of the motel chain.
“It’s the most bizarre thing I’ve ever seen,” said Police Chief Joe Goldsmith. “I’ve seen a lot of strange things in my time on the force, but to think about all the people who’ve stayed in this room, with a dead body beneath them, and they didn’t know about it? It gives me the heebie-jeebies.”
Police have seized room and occupant records for the last several years, and are trying to trace the person or persons who may have stayed in the room around the time of death.
“Funny thing is--- the records also show there have been more than 1,000 complaints from people who stayed in the room over the years. Complaints included everything from a bad smell to an ‘eerie feeling.’
Several people even asked to switch rooms in the middle of the night,” said Goldsmith. “The motel really should have checked out that room a little-more closely.”
The body of the young woman—still unidentified and clearly-- long-dead--is set for autopsy at the end of the week.
I've never been much on numbers; math classes scared me. But, I do remember numbers, significant numbers, when they relate to special dates on the calendar. Even when I try to forget some of them...the numbers insist on taking-me-back to a particular time and place.
Like today, September 25. Sixty-two years ago, today-- a really-long time ago--- was my wedding day. I have photos of that day....with bridesmaids, a well-decorated First Christian Church, the reception in my parents' home, and the big honeymoon "exit".
That day was my biggest lifetime test. Looking back, it should have been my "screen test" and, maybe, Hollywood would have altered my life....forever. Too bad I was the only one who knew I was playing a part that day---publically- pretending to be happy. Even at the young age of 20...almost 21 years....I was forced to be a convincing actress.
I was well-practiced in the art of pretend. It didn't matter if I was happy--or sad. It was only important that I please my Mother. My Mother demanded that I get married, act like a happy bride--and marry the person she'd chosen to be my husband.
1959 was way-back-when. There's very-little left of that Sally--- the young girl who pretended to be a happy bride that September day. It took a divorce, a lot of time, a complicated career, the death of my mother and the loss of my daughters but—eventually---I stopped pretending. Somewhere along the way, I discovered happiness and---found it in the strangest place. I'm happy now because I know that True Happiness doesn't come from others. Happiness comes from me.
PS--From childhood, through adulthood, and beyond the grave---there's only one person who knows me best and loves me most. I have never needed to pretend with him. The only photo in my Wedding Book that shows me genuinely happy---is the photo of me on the arm of my Father. Today-- like every day-- I remember him.
My Father will always be my Happiness. I love you, Daddy.
A young college student--- who worked as a classroom assistant when I was a Special Ed Teacher--- asked if she could interview me for her classroom project. It seems her college professor wanted his students to interview an "Old Person"---someone who might have had more-than-a-few-Life Experiences.
Knowing the interview questions had been prepared by the professor---I agreed. Later, I learned the college student received an "A" for her oral presentation which was based on our interview. It was her HIGHEST GRADE--EVER.
NAME YOUR MOST- PRICELESS MOMENT:
“It was a priceless moment when I successful secured-money from American Corporations-- with offices in China-- to purchase artificial legs for a legless Chinese man. Ironically, this very deserving man earned his living by sitting on the bare ground every day, repairing people’s shoes. I experienced endless joy, watching---this very deserving gentle man as he stood tall for the first time in thirty years---on his new legs. Thirty years earlier, at the age of fifteen, he'd been riding his bike--and a large bus hit him, crushing his legs. Regaining his stature and independence meant the world to him and--- his grateful tears merged with mine-- as we hugged. (I never forgot the childhood saying: “I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.) For me, every day is a “Priceless Moment”.
NAME A FAMOUS POLITICAL LEADER YOU’VE MET:
“While a student at Lindenwood College, I visited the town of Independence, Missouri—the home of Harry Truman-- the former President of the United States. Accompanied by Secret Service, the President was out for his daily walk when the two of us almost collided--- as we rounded the same corner. He shook my hand and asked me to join him. We walked together for approximately six blocks, talking about the weather, his hometown, and how much we both enjoyed walking.”
Decades later, something very- similar happened in Houston, Texas. Out for my morning run, I saw a crowd of male runners jogging toward me. As they came closer, I realized the person running toward me, surrounded by Media and Secret Service—and also running-- was President George Herbert Walker Bush. As we passed each other, President Bush waved and shouted “Good Morning, pretty lady”. I blew him a kiss then shouted-back, “Love you, Mr. President.” At the time, I remember thinking he had great-looking Legs for an older man.
“And, there was the time I lived in Alexandria, Virginia, and was invited to attend an honorary funeral service at Andrews Air force Base for former President Ronald Reagan. Air Force One flew President Reagan’s Casket from California to Andrews Air Force Base for a brief-but formal ceremony--- before the casket was ceremoniously-transferred to The Capital in DC---for public viewing.”
NAME ANY ARKANSAS GOVERNORS YOU HAVE MET:
“I’ve met many Arkansas Governors and can easily-say I’ve known most of them—personally. I knew Orval Faubus, Dale Bumpers, David Pryor, Sid McMath, Bill Clinton, Frank White, Winthrop Rockefeller, and Mike Huckabee. Some I knew before they became Governors and some who were Governors then became US Senators. I knew one before and after he became Arkansas's Governor and-- U.S. President.”
NAME ANY INTERNATIONAL EVENTS YOU HAVE ATTENDED:
“While living in China, I was honored to attend China’s World Leaders Summit. It was held in conjunction with the Asian Games in Beijing (interesting to note: America was not invited). China provided me with an English-Speaking translator/escort, a car, and a driver. Leaders attending this Summit were from Russia, N. Korea, Cuba, Iran, Pakistan, Iraq, Japan, while many smaller countries, including The Philippines, were also in attendance. The Summit was hosted by The Peoples’ Republic of China. I was formally introduced as China’s honored guest: The First Woman to travel the length of China’s GREAT WALL.”
NAME THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON YOU LEARNED DURING YOUR LIFETIME:
“Growing older, I’ve learned to be more-cautious in everything I do and say. These days, words and deeds can easily- return to haunt us. I strongly-suggest everyone choose their friends, husbands, business associates, and lovers---very-carefully and with much-thought. My life lessons were taught by Life's cruelest and harshest of teachers: Personal Experience.
Great Wall remembrances are never far away----they find me when I’m sitting in traffic, walking by the fast-moving river, or watching smoke-trails from a high-flying jet. The Wall is with me when I smell wetness on mossy rocks, or climb frost-covered trails.
My memories often consume me and---like stepping into cold rain on a sweltering day---my body trembles with anticipation.
I barely-close my eyes and, in an instant, I'm back on The Wall. Those are the times I can touch the wind, hear the silence, and share aloneness....all under a brilliant blue-parasol sky--that speaks only Chinese.
I share those moments with tears filling my eyes, running down my face, dripping from my chin---and I don’t stop them. Tears are my evidence, my emotional reminders. Yes, I was really there.
The incomparable magic comes from knowing, my-- "Once upon a time"--- began with a nine year old girl, a dedicated teacher, a classroom geography book---and a First-Ever Dream.