AND...IT'S THE SAME WITH CONGRESS. ORIGINALLY, WE--THE TAXPAPERS--WERE THE BOSSES; WE PAID THE WAGES OF EVERYONE IN GOVERNMENT---INCLUDING CONGRESS. WE--THE TAXPAYERS--WERE THE "BOSSES" AND THOSE IN CONGRESS WORKED FOR US. THEY WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR PUTTING AMERICA AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE--FIRST.
CONGRESS HAS HANDLED "OUR" MONEY FOR TOO LONG. SOMEWHERE-ALONG-THE-WAY THEY BEGAN THINKING OF TAXPAYER MONEY AS "THEIR MONEY". AT SOME POINT, THOSE ON CAPITAL HILL LOST THEIR "CIVIL SERVANTS" TITLE. NOW, THEY ARE "THE BOSSES" AND WE-- THE AMERICAN PEOPLE-- ARE THEIR SERVANTS. TODAY...CONGRESS IS COMPLETELY IN CONTROL.
NOT ONLY DO THOSE IN CONGRESS THROW MONEY AROUND LIKE MONOPOLY MONEY....THEY SHARE IT WITH EACH OTHER, WITH OUR ENEMIES IN OTHER COUNTRIES, AND....THEY REWARD THEMSELVES, ANNUALLY, WITH PAY RAISES, COST OF LIVING EXPENSES, TRAVEL EXPENSES, EVEN LEGAL EXPENSES.
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME THOSE ON SOCIAL SECURITY RECEIVED ONGOING COST-OF-LIVING INCREASES FROM CONGRESS?!?!? AFTER ALL....WE ALL WORKED THROUGH THE YEARS AND REGULARLY CONTRIBUTED TO SOCIAL SECURITY; IT'S OUR MONEY!!! NEVER FORGET: CONGRESS AWARDS THEMSELVES REGULARLY WITH PAY INCREASES AND COST-OF-LIVING INCREASES. FOR YEARS...CONGRESS 'BORROWED' FROM SOCIAL SECURITY REGULARLY... AND...NEVER PAID IT BACK!
AND, CONGRESSIONAL CUSTOMER SERVICE IS DEPLORABLE!!! I'M SURE THAT ANY SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS OWNER WOULD HAVE FIRED SUCH ARROGANT EMPLOYEES, LONG AGO. WHEN ANY BUSINESS ELIMINATES CUSTOMER SERVICE---IT MEANS THAT BUSINESS "KILLED THE GOOSE THAT LAID THE GOLDEN EGG".
I DON"T LIKE BEING A GOOSE AND MY "LAYING" DAYS ARE OVER SO, WITH GREATER FREQUENCY....I WILL SPEAK-UP AND SPEAK-OUT ABOUT AMERICA'S MOST ELITIST ENEMY...CONGRESS.
SECOND INSTALLMENT/CONCLUSION FROM MY STORY ABOUT HARRIET'S HOUSE.
Sensing the urgency, Bea joined us early that evening. She arrived quietly and alone, looking like a classic grandmother. She had white hair, rimless glasses, a tightly-girdled body and an air of serious purpose. Probably in her seventies, Bea came from a tough Northern- New Jersey town called Jersey City.
Bea walked in my house, handed me her business card, and went to work. She requested Dolly and I remain absolutely quiet as she attempted to pick-up on the home’s energy. She announced that when her arms dropped and her eyes opened, her work be finished; only then would she be ready to talk.
Sitting on my sofa, Bea closed her eyes and stretched both hands, palms up, above her head. At different times, her head would twist or move from side to side like she was listening, but her arms stayed outstretched, both palms facing the ceiling. She refrained from touring the house; not one time did she ask what had happened in the house.
Bea stayed for approximately one hour. As soon as she dropped her arms and opened her eyes, I asked “Please tell me what you’ve learned about my house and how can I fix the problem.” Bea responded “You don’t “fix” spirits. I can only make suggestions so they no longer frightened you. Most spirits are kind and mean you no harm.” With those words, Bea began talking about the house, what to look for, and how to respond when Harriet activated her presence.
Bea told me Harriet had died from being pushed down the front staircase. Everything she’d felt while communicating with the house indicated Harriet’s husband had caused her death. Bea explained that, when such a traumatic and sudden death occurs, the body dies but the spirit lives, desperately trying to reunite with its body. Harriet’s spirit stayed in the house, confused. Harriet didn’t understand what was happening. She only knew nothing was the same, everything looked and felt unfamiliar and now, strangers were living in her house.
Bea sensed my skepticism; I’d never experienced the spirit world. She advised me to make friends with Harriet and experience a world beyond anything I’d imagined. By being Harriet’s friend, I could bond with the ultimate friendship.
Then Bea got down to details—she shared what she’d learned from the house. She said “After I leave tonight, I want you to look at the Butler Pantry, especially the window. Look at all the notches in the window sill; look at the deep groves etched in the window’s wooden frame; even look around each wooden pane in the window. Search behind the pantry door; feel the gashes in the wood from bottom to top.
Mr. Smith hired a painter to cover the deep groves and heavy marks left by Harriet’s large dog but, when you look closely, you will see them. Mr. Smith hated Harriet’s dogs and, whenever possible, abused the animals. Before Harriet’s death, Mr. Smith closed her large dog in the Butler’s Pantry. The dog tried using his teeth, his claws, everything possible to free himself, to protect Harriet, but his efforts were in vain.
The dog wasn’t discovered until two days later. Unable to escape the locked room, Harriet’s dog had barked, fought the elements, relentlessly, until he worked himself into such a state, he died from a heart attack.”
As Bea revealed more I listened, mesmerized. “Tomorrow, when it’s daylight, I want you to find the well. It’s in the middle of Harriet’s rose garden, hidden under layers of ground cover but you must be careful, the well doesn’t have a cover. Remember, the well is dangerous. Years ago, Mr. Smith dropped Harriet’s new puppy down that well and never replaced the cover.
Harriet suspected her husband was responsible for the puppy’s disappearance but was too scared to confront him. Mr. Smith left the cover off the well so any animal or person that dared stray into the yard, could suffer the same fate.”
I thanked Dolly and Bea for their help and said goodnight. What an evening! Hours after they’d left, I replayed Bea’s words in my head. I wasn’t sure if I believed everything she’d told me. Bea had never been in the house and had refused to take a house tour. Instead, she walked from the front door to the living room sofa and no farther. Bea didn’t know the Smiths and, before that night, had never been to Shrewsbury.
Earlier that evening, rather than meet Bea, my daughters had chosen to stay several blocks away with a school friend. A clairvoyant, talking about spirits, was more than they wanted to hear. I had to be careful; my daughters were frightened of the house. Several times, my daughters mentioned moving back to Pine Bluff, going to Pine Bluff Schools, and living with their daddy. If that happened I’d be alone in the house, except for Harriet. I waited until the next day to start my investigation.
Once my daughters left for school, I visited the Butler’s Pantry. Next to the kitchen, the Pantry had one window but, regardless of the time of day, the room needed artificial light. Outside, the day was bright; everything seemed bathed in sunshine. Alone in the house, knowing what needed to be done, I felt void of all brightness and bravery. For the first time since moving in the house, I pulled back the pantry curtains to examine the window.
The window appeared clean and, at first glance, its glass panes simply reflected the brightness of a cloudless sky. But, on closer examination, the window’s panes were projecting sunlight, much like a spotlight, on each one of its parts. Reaching out to touch, to feel the wooden window—I discovered the truth. Claw marks, gashes, and deep slashes, were visible—and, everywhere I put my hand, I felt them. My pulse pounding wildly in my temples, I wasn’t sure I would live past this moment.
The window smelled of fresh paint but paint-alone was unable to conceal the window’s serious injuries; they were too deep to overlook. I dropped the curtain to begin searching the back of the pantry door. Like the window, deep grooves and marks had permanently scarred the door, from top to bottom. Overwhelmed with emotion, I leaned against the pantry’s counter. A loving and faithful animal had died needlessly in this very room. My heart broke for the poor dog and for his helpless owner. Both had suffered cruel deaths at the hand of a monster.
With cautious anticipation, I walked to the backyard. It was time to find the other piece to this unimaginable puzzle. Although the vines had almost succeeded in covering the rose garden, I was on a mission. Slowly shuffling my feet, one in front of the other, I moved in a straight line. Reaching the end of the garden, I took one step over, turned, and reversed my course. After several laps, my left foot hit something hard and immovable. Carefully raking and lifting endless vines away from the area, I stared at the now-exposed concrete edge of an open well, almost three feet in diameter.
Shaking and crying, barely able to stand yet-- I recklessly stripped and removed more vines from the overgrown spot, desperate to find the well’s cover. After struggling for several minutes, I was—at last-- able to find the well’s heavy wooden cover—lift it--- and seal the well, forever. The well could hide its dark secrets from the past but now, with its strong cover locked- in- place, it could no-longer ensnare new victims.
It had been a stressful morning of discovery. Overwhelmed, I fought the urge to run away….and just keep running.
Determined to distance myself and my children from Arkansas and from my mother, I accepted an offer from New York City’s oldest Public Relations Agency-- Dudley, Anderson, and Yutsy-- to be a spokesperson for its largest client, The Chocolate Industry.
Unable to afford housing in New York City, I began searching possibilities in nearby New Jersey. The bookkeeper at D-A-Y sent me a Realtors’ page describing an historic captain’s cottage for sale in Red Bank, New Jersey. I immediately contacted a Realtor to see the property. Unfortunately, the cottage needed serious renovation which meant more money and time and—I had neither. The Realtor drove me past other available properties in the nearby areas of Red Bank, Rumson, Shrewsbury, and Little Silver. We were on a street called Sycamore Avenue in Shrewsbury, when I spotted “my house.” I learned the house had been for sale for more than two years and Mr. Forrest Smith-- the attorney who owned it--was anxious to sell.
The minute I walked through the front door, I seemed destined to live in the house. Words can’t explain why I felt a connection with the house. Elegant and traditional furniture dominated each room giving the impression the house was presently occupied but I soon learned otherwise. The Realtor explained that a caretaker visited daily, keeping the house in pristine condition. It seems the owner never went inside the house after losing his wife.
Built in the twenties, the impressive home sat on three acres of formal gardens and beautiful trees. On one side of the property, retired race horses ran, galloped, and played in a spacious pasture with peaceful solitude. Although older, the house’s classic design included a heated garage. Above the garage and off the kitchen, an enclosed staircase led to the maid’s quarters with a spacious bedroom/ bath. Heavy French doors on either side of a traditional fireplace connected an elaborate screened-in porch with the home’s formal living room. The second floor had four large bedrooms and two baths. But, most impressive was the home’s wiring system. Every closet, bathroom, and cabinet door was wired so, when opened, the opened door automatically turned on an inside light. The attic of the house was fully-floored while the home’s basement was tastefully finished. The stately home was located in an historic neighborhood known for its century-old homes. It was more house than I’d ever seen; it was more house than I needed or could afford yet—something kept telling me: “This is your house.”
The asking price for the house was well-beyond my budget. On impulse, I made an offer. The Realtor, accustomed to selling properties worth millions, forced a smile and said “Perhaps Mr. Smith will consider your price as a starting point. Being an attorney, he will know how to negotiate without insulting your offer.” I quickly jumped in and said “There’s no room for negotiations. Explain to Mr. Smith—this is a take it or leave it offer.” The next day, the Realtor called to say Mr. Smith had accepted my offer. I now owned a beautiful, historic home at 451 Sycamore Avenue in Shrewsbury, New Jersey.
After purchasing the house, I made arrangements for the big move from Arkansas to New Jersey. Opening the door of my new home for the first time, I marveled at the clean and empty spaces. There was absolutely nothing left from the previous owner; even the toilet paper had been removed from every roll in every bathroom. The house was bare, wiped clean, except....for one very small item left in the kitchen. The movers and cleaners had apparently overlooked the item or—had they?
On the counter next to the sink, I found a small strip of brass, maybe two inches by four inches, engraved with the name “Harriet”. Days earlier at the house closing, I remembered seeing the name Harriet on the home’s original deed; Harriet was the name of Mr. Smith’s deceased wife. Even today, writing about the experience, I feel chills running through my body, just like before. At the time, it seemed odd that a completely-bare house with thousands and thousands of square feet—had been swept clean—except for one insignificant piece of brass, bearing the name: Harriet.
Our first night in the house, I woke shortly after midnight to the sound of wind chimes. The outside air was still, not a branch moving. There were no wind chimes hanging anywhere—outside or inside—the house yet, each time I tried to sleep, I heard wind chimes. One by one, my daughters came out of their rooms complaining about wind chimes.
The next morning, I went downstairs to fix breakfast. The closet door under the staircase was standing open. The inside light revealed everything in the closet and there, lying on top of sealed boxes, was a set of wind chimes. I’d never seen them—they didn’t belong to me—I’d never owned wind chimes. When I showed the wind chimes to my daughters, they looked faint. Neither of them knew anything about the wind chimes. The surprising discovery left us all—speechless.
Over a period of months, many unexplained happenings took place at the house on Sycamore Avenue. To list them all, I’d need to write another book. I recall being alone in the house, late one night, and seeing a blurred spot of light moving up, down, around and across the dining room windows. On closer inspection, the light appeared to be traveling inside each pane of glass—not on the inside or outside of each pane—but inside the glass itself. It was beyond frightening.
Another night, unable to rest, I moved to the bright and happy atmosphere of the spare bedroom. Because each night seemed more and suspenseful, I decided to create my own little world of security by closing the bedroom door. Feeling myself slip from reality to a timeless realm of sleep, it was, at that moment, when I both heard and felt the voice whispering deep inside my ear, “Help me, Help me, please help me....I need you to help me!” It was a woman’s voice and—I heard it as well as felt it. The voice seemed to travel down an unseen wire which was being pushed deeper and deeper into my ear and it hurt. The wire felt hot, my ear and neck ached; the panic in the woman’s voice sounded frighteningly real. Her message, playing over and over inside my head, wouldn’t stop; it gripped me with both pain and fear. I felt death and darkness surround me. Like watching a large TV screen, I saw and heard the woman’s voice reaching out, begging me from a deep grave. I pictured the woman buried alive, frantic for me to free her.
I had to get away. Jumping up, I ran to the bedroom door and grabbed the doorknob. Nothing moved—the door’s handle refused to turn either way. Everything around me appeared locked, frozen; the moment was a nightmare but I wasn’t dreaming—I was completely awake and the woman’s voice kept begging me to help her. I struggled with the door. Then suddenly, like magic, the door popped open and everything seemed back to normal. The voice ended and I stepped into the lighted upstairs hallway.
The final straw came when, feeling ill, I decided to stay home from work. Almost asleep, the home phone rang beside my bed and, the only one home, I answered it. There seemed to be no one on the line except—I heard someone talking on the downstairs hall phone. Concerned, I raced down the stairs to discover the downstairs phone was off the hook. When I picked up the phone the line was dead. I hung-up the phone and immediately heard a woman’s voice talking on the upstairs phone!
Crazy-scared, I ran out the front door and across the street to the only neighbor I’d met on Sycamore Avenue, a woman named Dolly. Luckily, my neighbor was home. She agreed to follow me to examine the problem. When we returned to the house, every phone receiver—upstairs and downstairs—was off the hook. Completely unnerved, I stood near the front door while Dolly placed every receiver back on the hook. Speaking very matter of-factly, Dolly asked if she could contact an acquaintance-- a clairvoyant friend named Bea from upper New Jersey. Ready to try anything, I quickly said “Yes! Please see if she can come today!”
(After 1pm today... read about Bea, the clairvoyant, and...the end to this story).
After being fired by West Chester Friends School for my past relationship with Bill Clinton, I remained in West Chester, Pennsylvania, working part-time as a substitute teacher while staying in touch with my Pennsylvania attorneys. I was suing the Friends School for violating my rights. Eventually, I succeeded in winning my lawsuit against them.
Almost daily, I received calls from nearby school districts in need of a substitute teacher. Interestingly, the local Detention Centers kept me booked at least two weeks in advance. They seemed to like me because I was available. Most of the licensed teachers in the area were afraid to teach in the Detention Centers, especially the Center that housed sex offenders. For me, safety had never been an issue. Each time I taught at the Centers, there were always two or more guards in my classroom.
That Friday morning, arriving to teach at the Center for sex offenders, there was more activity than usual. The center’s director stopped briefly to say hello and mention that one of the Center’s more illustrious “clients’ would be leaving the next day. His staff was preparing for a large crowd of media and additional law enforcement for tomorrow’s Press Conference. The client was being transported to New York State to serve an eighty year sentence.
The young man, who recently turned eighteen, had committed violent acts of rape, dismemberment, and murder, involving three different women. His three victims ranged-widely in age---with the youngest being nine years of age, the next youngest being thirty-five, and the oldest was seventy years old. The extreme savagery used in all three cases caused even the most seasoned officers investigating the killings, to cry-out in rage. Due to the killer’s violent background, Pennsylvania’s Governor was sending extra teams of law enforcement to make sure the transfer from Pennsylvania to New York went smoothly.
Locating my room assignment for the day, I decided to get an early start by posting reading assignments on the board then placing a textbook on each student’s desk. The roster indicated there would be seventeen students in today’s history class. The classroom was new to me. I’d never taught in that particular area of the building. I noted my desk faced five rows of student desks and the only door was located behind the students, at the back of the room. It crossed my mind that the students were between me and the door but, with two security posts guarding the exit--one on either side of the door-- I felt safe.
The students filed in, each found his assigned desk, and I proceeded to take attendance. Talking was not permitted while students changed classrooms and they weren’t allowed to talk during class yet… today’s silence seemed almost premeditated. Looking at the students filing in, no one looked familiar. I wasn’t surprised since the Detention Center functioned like a revolving door. There were exceptions but, overall, sex offenders stayed in the Center until their eighteenth birthday. At that time, they were transferred to an assigned prison to begin serving their sentences.
I was a little surprised to see that the two guards located on either side of the door were small in stature and appeared quite nervous. In the past, my room guards had been large, strong-looking men with an air of no-nonsense. These young guards looked bewildered, weak, and vulnerable. But-- trusting the Center-- I dismissed my apprehension
I introduced myself and began the day’s lesson. Looking around, I observed the usual expressions of boredom, a few students who were overly-medicated and hoping to sleep, and the usual blank stares from reluctant learners. But, when I looked into the eyes of the student on the third row, four desks from where I stood, there was no doubt that evil stared back at me. Well-built, light-skinned, and with the handsome, poised look of a professional model, the young man looked straight through me. I saw, as well as felt, his dead-cold eyes mesmerizing me with such intensity, I shuddered. I sensed death.
Forcing my eyes away from the compelling student, I began reading the first sentences of the textbook assignment out-loud, hoping to break the room’s doomsday atmosphere. I stopped when I heard the sound of a desk scooting across the floor… and looked up. The student with all the trappings of a male model now stood behind his desk.
“Hey, Bitch-Lady, we don’t want to hear you read, we want to watch you perform. In fact, I’m going to spread you out on that big desk behind you and fuck you ‘til you bleed like a stuck pig. I’m going to strip you buck-naked and, when I’m through…everyone in this room’s gonna have a piece of your ass.” Looking to his left, he said “Come on Jonah, you hold her legs and if she tries to fight, cut the bitch’s throat.” As soon as the model look-alike began speaking….I watched the two guards run out the door. Now Jonah and my declared rapist were walking toward me. Several others stood also, waiting to assist their self-appointed Leader. Quickly glancing at the faces of students still seated, I saw a mixture of fear and curiosity as everyone watched the action.
I had no time. I needed one tiny second to swing past my offenders…and reach the door behind them. Who knows why I did what I did next but…using that one tiny second…I launched, full-volume, into the aria, Caro Nome….the aria I sang in The Miss America Competition. My lyric soprano voice hit the high notes with every ounce of passion and strength I could muster and…. as I sang……my body twirled, moved in circles, and danced. I danced with my entire body…leaping, twirling, singing…moving past my offenders, now in shock--- frozen in place. Yes…. I caught the entire classroom off-guard with my unexpected outburst of song and dancer-moves, giving me just enough time to twirl out the door and…. into the arms of the Center’s Director. Armed guards ran past me with more guards behind them, ready to barricade the area.
Only then did I learn the student who could have passed for a male model, whose mesmerizing eyes spoke Pure Evil, and who planned to attack me…. was the notorious “client” who was leaving the next day to begin serving an eighty year sentence. The confident and deadly young man figured he had nothing to lose by committing one more vicious act of violence.
The incident traumatized me enough thatI never returned to teach at the Center for Sex Offenders. Confrontations, near-death experiences, and constantly living on the edge, were not on my wish list. I’ve often wondered what prompted me to use “Song and Dance” as my weapon of escape but…. who cares… it worked! Under the same circumstances, I’d do it again.
The frightful incident became my turning point. I decided it was time to be the Prima Donna I was meant to be. I vowed….from that day forward….to stop giving free performances. Also, because I was professionally-trained in opera, I would never-again perform without a full orchestra and at least one dress rehearsal!
"Fame....if you win it...comes and goes in a minute. Where's the real stuff in life to cling to? "
I'll soon have another birthday. Some People say that, because of my numbers, I should be wise and all-knowing by now. But, deep-inside, I'm still just a little girl who's never stopped looking Over The Rainbow and wondering "If happy little bluebirds fly beyond the Rainbow Why---Oh Why--Can't I"?
I've lived my life in step with the music.....every kind of music, including church music, dancing music, singing music, classical music, and memorable music that connects me with good times, sad times, and, wonderful times.
Everything remarkable during my lifetime reminds me of a melody or the lyrics to a song. Even if ----everything around me is silenced, I'll keep hearing the music playing and singing in my heart... and oh- so-deep-in my soul.
"Oh, Life's not all easy, but the music keeps spinning and won't let the world get me down."