SIMPLY, SALLY.

May. 13, 2022

On several occasions,  I’ve made impulsive decisions that placed me in unbelievable situations and unimaginable places. If life is pre-planned or pre-destined (which I’m convinced is the case), then I consider every "episode"-- a destination—not an accident or a coincidence.

I was Women’s Director at Educational Television, when the Little Rock Chamber of Commerce contacted me about taping an interview with the President and Owner of New York City’s oldest public relations firm, Dudley-Anderson-Yutsy (D-A-Y).  The Chamber had recently hired the firm to promote Little Rock-- globally. During my television career,  I interviewed many nervous people but no one as visibly-shaken as Barbara Hunter. The PR President’s teeth were actually clicking together and her body wouldn’t stop shaking. If I couldn’t find a way to put this woman at ease, I’d have no choice but cancel our interview.

Sitting at the counter in the break-room, nibbling on chips and drinking a coke, the two of us engaged in girl-talk. I purposely focused on fun times—believing my guest would lose her stage fright if she focused on the past rather than the present. It didn’t take long for Barbara’s body to stop jerking and for her to regain her composure.Soon, we returned to the studio for our scheduled "talk." 

 After our successful interview ended, Barbara Hunter surprised me with a job offer. She raved about my “calming influence” and my ability to ask her “ ALL the right questions.” She believed I would be the perfect spokesperson for one of her major PR accounts-- The National Confectioners Association.

I never made a career decision without talking with my children. We talked and both daughters agreed it was time to move away from Arkansas. They liked the idea of New York City with all its opportunities. I called Barbara Hunter to see if her offer was still open. Several phone conversations later, she invited me to fly to New York City to meet her staff and discuss my role as a spokesperson.

 I made arrangements to fly to New York City and, as expected, my mother “pitched a nasty tantrum.” She used every negative and ugly word imaginable to describe me. In the end, when she learned I’d hired a sitter for my New York City Trip, she demanded my daughters stay with her. Hoping for a little peace, yet still frighteningly-fearful of her, I gave-in to her demands. I under-estimated her determination in seeking revenge.

My plane was met by D-A-Y’s uniformed driver who chauffeured me to The Plaza Hotel, my temporary “home away from home.” After spending the next day with Barbara and her staff, I felt encouraged about future plans. Rushing back to my hotel room, I began completing the multiple pages of paperwork—for the hiring process. My application needed to be finished by the following day, when Barbara planned to introduce me to officials at the National Confectioners Association.

My hotel phone rang and-- I assumed it was a call from Barbara or her staff. Imagine my surprise when the hotel manager asked if I would pay for a collect call from my daughter?!?! A frightened and very-emotional Myra, my oldest daughter, said she and her sister were alone in the parking lot of a motel in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Unknown to me, my mother and father had driven my daughters from Pine Bluff to Cape Girardeau, Missouri, to visit relatives. They’d checked into a motel, did some visiting, and somehow—over lunch the next day—my mother started a fight with my daughters. Controlling everyone with another tantrum, my mother drove back to the motel and checked out of their room. She told my daughters not to put anything in the car because she was leaving them behind.  She made it clear she was driving back to Pine Bluff without them!

Apparently my father tried to reason with her but—true to form—my Mother made “a big scene”— screaming, threatening, and attracting attention. My father couldn’t control her so, hoping to change her mind once they were on the highway, he agreed to get in the car. After standing in the parking lot for several hours--- hoping my mother would return to get them-- Myra made the collect call to my hotel.

I asked Myra for the Motel’s payphone number and told her to stay close. I was thousands of miles away, but I was determined to find help. This was a horrible emergency and I must act quickly. I had one relative in Cape Girardeau but we hadn’t seen or talked with each other in years. Placing a phone call to his office, I prayed Joe Buerkle-- my distant cousin-- was still alive and still practicing law in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

Not surprised to hear about my mother’s disruptive behavior, Joe promised to drop everything and rescue the girls. After retrieving my daughters, Joe called me back to discuss a plan. The only possible solution was for Joe to drive my daughters to the St. Louis Airport—100 miles from Cape Girardeau—and put them on a direct flight to Little Rock—where I would meet them. In order to make that happen, I must grab the next flight from New York City--- back to Little Rock—but first-- cancel the next day’s meeting with Barbara and the Confectioners Association.   

There was no time to lose. The next Flight--back to Little Rock-- was scheduled to leave La Guardia Airport-- in one hour. I phoned Barbara with a brief summary of the situation, threw everything in my suitcase, and—within fifteen minutes—was headed to the airport. Like an experienced travel agent, my cousin, Joe managed to coordinate airline flights so-- I arrived at Little Rock’s airport a few minutes ahead of my daughters’ flight!

All because of my devious and heartless mother, I spent nearly three thousand dollars in twenty-four hours on plane tickets, taxicabs, and long distance phone calls. Flying back to Little Rock, I could only think about my mother’s success--- in ruining my lifetime of opportunities. 

FOLLOW-UP:  Both my mother and my ex-husband were my most-hated enemies. They were ruthless in their determination to destroy me---any way they could.  For years after losing the Mayor’s Race in Pine Bluff, AR, I remembered how my ex and his family had "ganged-up" against me---using their money to place nasty newspaper ads;  hiring people to destroy and desecrate my billboards and yard signs; attacking me on every radio talk shows; and---even formulating a plan to "expose" me as a Lesbian!

Not long ago---quite by accident-- I discovered the sickest of all information. As a Mayoral Candidate, I received an anonymous note in the mail that said:  “if you don’t drop-out of the race, the opposition is going to name the “jailbird” in your family.” Two weeks ago--- I learned that the despicable note had--more than likely--been written by my own mother. Of course, the note was intended to shock me so-much--I would quit the race. I'd never known that---long before my father became--my father-- he had helped several of his small-town friends rob a service station.  Actually, my father drove the “get away” car and was sentenced to one year in the Missouri State Penitentiary. For the rest of his life, my father was ashamed and---deeply-regretted his teenage mistake .

It was much-more than I needed to hear, especially after learning from my mother, soon after my divorce,  that--she'd decided to have sex with my ex.  Then, to learn---- they'd  worked together--- to keep me from winning the Mayor’s Race---was about as "sick" as it gets.  Yes, they enjoyed quite a long--- winning streak. Because of their "joint" efforts, I lost the Mayor's Race and much later---thanks to my mother and my ex---I lost my daughters. 

All These Years later---- I suggest: 

"It’s not the “after-life” we should fear.  It's when our Life becomes a “living hell”--- we should be the most--fearful."

Simply, Sally.

May. 12, 2022

This is a collection of funny one-liners--- exactly as they were typed by medical secretaries:

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Patient has left her white blood cells at another hospital.

 

Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side for over a year.

 

On the second day the knee was better and on the third day it disappeared.

 

The patient has been depressed since she began seeing me in 1993.

 

Discharge status: Alive, but without my permission.

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Patient had waffles for breakfast and anorexia for lunch.

 

While in the ER, Eva was examined, x-rated,  and sent home.

 

Skin: Somewhat pale, but present.

 

Patient has two teenage children, but no other abnormalities.

 

The patient was in his usual state of good health until his airplane ran out of fuel and crashed.

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Mrs. Evans slipped on the ice and apparently her legs went in separate directions in early December.

 

Patient was seen in consultation by Dr. Jones, who felt we should sit on the abdomen and I agree.

 

The patient refused autopsy.

 

The patient has no previous history of suicides.

 

She is numb from her toes down.

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She stated that she had been constipated for most of her life until she got a divorce.

 

Both breasts are equal and reactive to light and accommodation.

 

Examination of genitalia has revealed that he is circus-sized.

 

Patient was found in bed with her power mower.

 

She has no rigors or shaking chills, but her husband states she was hot in bed last night.

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SALLY MILLER

 

 

May. 11, 2022

After being fired by West Chester Friends School for my past relationship with Bill Clinton, I remained in West Chester, Pennsylvania, working as a substitute teacher and staying in touch with my Pennsylvania attorneys. I was suing the Friends School for violating my rights. Trust me—“The Friends” were never---my friend. Eventually, I won 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 liked 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---from nine years as the youngest-- the next youngest being thirty-five and----seventy years of age serving as the oldest victim. The extreme savagery used in all three cases caused the most-seasoned officers to speak-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 proved trouble-free.

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 all 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 as they entered the classroom,  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 a designated prison to begin serving their sentences.

I was a little surprised to see 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 to the class 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 male model, the young man looked straight through me.  I saw, as well as felt, his cold-dead eyes mesmerizing me with such intensity, I shuddered. 

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 going to 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 other students stood up, waiting to assist their self-appointed Leader.  Glancing at the faces of students still seated, I saw a mixture of fear and curiosity as everyone waited for 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 who were now-- in shock--frozen in place.

Yes…. I caught the entire classroom off-guard with my unexpected outburst of song and dance-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 many-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 deadly violence.

Follow-Up:

The incident traumatized me enough that I never returned to teach at the Center for Sex Offenders. Confrontations, near-death experiences, and 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.

Sally Miller

 

May. 10, 2022

  I’ve spent a difficult weekend--with no idea how to handle my complicated medical situation.  Under stress, I easily return to the root of my lifelong dilemma---to the suffocating EVIL I endured for too-much of my life. 

I've decided to share a VERY-EMOTIONAL excerpt from My Book--an unresolved excerpt that will haunt me-- until I die. This incident took place shortly after I returned home from The 1958 Miss America Pageant:

"I picked up an already-opened envelope postmarked New York and removed a two-page telegram. One week before the Miss America Pageant, I’d appeared as a guest on several television shows in New York City-- including the Ed Sullivan Show and the Today Show.

Television and I were old friends. As a senior in high school I had been chosen by the local ABC affiliate, KATV, to host a weekly television show called Coca Cola’s Search for Talent. Not only did I host the show every Saturday night but served as the show’s featured performer.

Slowly I read the telegram aloud. The Director of the Today Show congratulated me on being a pageant finalist and praised my recent Today Show interview/appearance.  And then---it was time for the surprise: “NBC invites you to audition for the Today Show’s First Female Hostess Position. NBC-New York City will cover your travel expenses including a round trip airline ticket, limousine and driver,  and all hotel accommodations.” When I finished reading the telegram my father jumped up--to  hug me. “Baby, I’m so happy for you; it’s the opportunity of a lifetime! You can work in television while you study music.”

My mother interrupted. “She most certainly can’t! Only whores and prostitutes accept offers from strangers in a place like New York City. You both are stupid, there is no audition! It’s just some ‘big shot’ dangling a phony offer in front of a small-town ‘wannabe’ to get her in bed! I have the last word in this house and she’s not going anywhere!”

 I begged and pleaded, “Please, let me go; this is my big chance!  Please, Mother-- if I don’t try, I’ll never know if I could have made it.” I looked at my father. His eyes were focused on the floor-- his strong shoulders drooped in defeat. As usual, our side lost.

One year or more after the telegram incident, The Today Show interrupted its regular programming to make a landmark announcement. I watched a smiling Dave Garroway--The Today's Show's Top Host-- - introduce the show’s First Female Television Hostess-- Barbara Walters.

Decades later, sifting through a very old box of personal papers and photos, I pulled out a tissue-thin telegram. Carefully unfolding the yellowed paper, I re- read the long-ago invitation from the Today Show.

A few seconds later I heard the scream.  One scream followed another as the little girl in me yelled, screamed, and cursed my mother. As the last scream faded, I placed the telegram in the waste basket.

Unfortunately--I have more-than-enough reminders of what might have been--THANKS to my "Mother."

May. 9, 2022


These days, with greater frequency, loneliness stops by to stay awhile. More and more often, seeking relief from the overwhelming sadness, I climb the attic stairs to find companionship among familiar boxes. I know which box contains the treasured sheet music or which box is packed with personal letters, and, I have no trouble finding the emotional-filled box holding piles of photographs.

I suppose my favorite boxes are those filled with the fragile, never-aging, beauty queen memorabilia…..the southern belle gowns, rhinestone crowns, trophies, articles, black and white photographs and, recordings. For a brief time, sitting among the memories, I am linked to voiceless friends and playmates, instant replays of happier times. The beauty queen photos are true, the memories are real, and, for a few minutes, I re-live the excitement, the thrill of it all. Once again, I am the little girl playing dress-up, play-acting with the image in the mirror.

The day after winning the title of Miss Arkansas, my father spoke to me, alone. "Its times like these you want to freeze the moment...stay young forever, let time stand still, and never move beyond the good feelings." I only wanted to be Miss Arkansas for one year, but I wanted the good feelings---and my father---to last forever.

Each time I re-visit the beauty queen memories, I am confronted with the same question: “If you could do it all over again, would you? Knowing all you know today, would you still have said “yes” to that first beauty pageant? "

Some questions don't have answers.

Sally Miller