Jul. 16, 2021

ANOTHER "EVENT" FROM MY TOO-CLOSE-FOR-COMFORT--LIFE.

After leaving a dead-end job near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, I had no trouble finding a teaching job with a Virginia High School.  Even better, I was able to rent a small townhouse just blocks from my daughter’s home in Alexandria, Virginia. Located on an active street corner near the main route to Washington, DC, my townhouse was one of twelve townhouses in a small association-complex.

Yes, it was expensive but….everything in or near Washington DC is expensive and considered the "high rent" district. My only requirement was a secure parking garage and this particular townhouse provided that amenity. I only saw my neighbors when we were driving in and out of the garage. The ONLY neighbor who was friendly when our paths crossed-- was the woman in the assigned parking space next to mine. On several occasions, getting in or out of our cars, we exchanged a greeting and a few remarks.

She was attractive and dependably-pleasant. I got the feeling most Town House Tenants  considered themselves as “important” professionals whose personal lives were....private. It didn’t matter to me; I was seldom around.  I was a full-time Special Education Teacher and any “free” time was spent with my grandchildren.

In addition to teaching five days each week, I was also a full-time college student, working on my Masters. Between classes on campus and classes online—plus regular homework-- I carried a heavy load. I kept reminding myself, “Sally, you work better under pressure.”

That particular Sunday night, a little after nine o’clock, I was sitting at the computer, finishing a class assignment, when the computer died. Within minutes, my alarm system made a continuously high-pitched, buzzing sound. The security dispatcher said the signal was a warning and would stop after ten minutes but....the security system would be useless until phone service was restored. I didn’t close my eyes all night. Living on a busy pedestrian corner—without security----less than one block from government housing----- made me feel like a sitting duck.

The next day I called in sick, knowing I had to get my life in order. I contacted my home phone service to make an appointment. Not only did I need my phone, but the computer and security system depended on phone service too.

Several hours later, the telephone repair man knocked to say he needed access to the garage because all residents’ phone lines were located inside the garage.  Thirty minutes later, the repairman knocked again.  The young man had a concerned expression when he said “Ms. Miller, your phone lines were intentionally cut.   I will need to report this to my supervisor but, before we can reconnect your service, you are required--by law-- to file a police report. 

When the police arrived, I joined them in the garage to see the evidence. I found out all the townhouses phone lines were located against the garage’s longest wall. I witnessed just-how each line was hidden in a pipe-like shaft and how each townhouse’s phone line had a separate shaft....except for mine. The telephone repairman pointed out that, for some unknown reason, I shared a shaft with the townhouse directly behind me. The police believed, at one time, the two townhouses were owned by the same person. Both telephone wires in the shared shaft had been cut at the same time, apparently with wire cutters, and the cut ends tucked back in the shaft.

There were only two ways to enter the parking garage. One entry was a single door for pedestrians and the other was the main garage door for cars. Neither could be accessed without the Town House Owners’ magnetically-coded cards.

Now, the mystery deepened: Since both telephone lines had been cut-- my line and my neighbor’s line---The next question was seriously-alarming: Were the severed telephone lines intended for ME or for MY NEIGHBOR?!?!?!?

The police knocked on the townhouse door belonging to my neighbor and--when no one answered-- left their card in the door. I followed-up with a brief note which included my cell phone number. If the neighbor wanted to hear more details about the incident, that person could contact me. Several hours later, I received a phone call from the neighbor in response to my note. She introduced herself as Janet, the person who parked next to me in the garage.

After hearing what I knew about the phone lines, she mentioned speaking with the police but said she wouldn’t be seeking any action because---she was moving. In fact--- the moving company was moving her—within the hour! Before hanging up she said “It was a pleasure sharing the parking garage with you. I wish you well.”   Since I’d moved countless times...I was surprised to hear of Janet's quick move.  For me, moving was a major project that involved weeks of planning and hard work. I'd never been able to treat moving like a “spur-of-the-moment” decision.

Something didn’t sound right. Ninety minutes later, returning from grocery shopping, I saw them.  There were five identical trucks—all white—lined up-- one behind the other-- in front of Janet’s townhouse. More than five hours later, the white trucks drove past my townhouse like a convoy. After that day, I never saw Janet or her car again.

I’d met the man who owned the townhouse I lived in during a house tour. At the time, his townhouse was for sale. Several weeks later, the owner contacted me about renting his place. He engaged a property manager to handle the details and my monthly checks were sent to her office.

Shortly after the phone line incident, the property manager contacted me with questions. I answered what I could but mostly, she seemed concerned about my safety. Before long, the manager was telling me much-more than I needed to know.

It seems my neighbor, Janet, was the “head” of President George W. Bush’s secret service detail. When the phone lines were cut, it was only days before Bush was leaving on a very-important tour of the Middle East. Janet and everything in her townhouse were immediately moved to an undisclosed location. Her security was breached the instant the phone lines were cut. It didn’t matter if the incident had been meant for her or for me....Janet’s “life” at that particular location—ended--that day.

 I learned the property manager had once-managed every townhouse in the association and knew everyone who lived there--past and present. I also learned--the man who owned my townhouse-- had been and might-still be with the Secret Service. Janet’s townhouse and the one next to her had--at some point-- been combined as one large townhouse although they continued to look-like separate residences. Both townhouses were owned by the Federal Government. Apparently, important files, documents, and classified information were kept in the townhouse next to Janet’s residence.

 The property manager wasn’t sure if the owner of my townhouse bought it from the government, or the government still owned it--- and simply-listed it in the agent’s name for security reasons. That info. dramatically-changed the "why-when-how"  of me being a current occupant of this particular Town House....based on my Clinton Connection. For the first time...I realized, more than likely, I'd been observed--recorded--documented-- from inside my rental townhouse from the first day I'd moved-in. Another example of--- no coincidences in my life.

When I mentioned the all-white trucks, the property manager said they were Federal Government trucks operated by high-level employees-- trained in combat. Apparently, everything transported in those white trucks was considered top-secret. Before ending our conversation, the property manager shared a valuable piece of information. Janet’s father had also been a secret service agent. He was the lead agent for President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963--- the day The President of the United States was assassinated.