Once in a while something happens in someone’s life that after it has occurred things will never be the same ever again. If a person is really lucky that something will be a good thing and the things that happen subsequently are amazingly good, but unfortunately the other possibility is that something truly evil occurs and the things that follow that will never be the same again as a result of the initial action are incredibly terrible. The following is a story about one of those latter types of occurrences that couldn’t ever be undone and the chain of events that unfolded as a consequence of it and the truth of it might take a lifetime for the truth of it to never be fully discovered.


Scene I  A copper colored Pontiac Firebird car is traveling down a heavily forested back road, it is the 40 mile scenic side trip from Glendale to Riddle that is right off of I-5 freeway south from Cottage Grove, and north of where they had started the morning drive from Ashland, Oregon. About halfway from the start of this side trip the car slows down at a wide spot just off the road, it doesn’t pull over but speeds back up and goes another few miles farther and pulls over at the next wide spot right off of the main road and comes to a stop.  An older man gets out of the car first and he looks around and then looks back to the car and motions for the rest of the occupants of the car to come and join him. An older woman and a younger woman get out of the car. They start walking over to where the man is standing.

Man:                           I am pretty sure that this is the place.

Young woman:          What do you mean you think that this is the place?

Man:                           I think this is where I lived when I was a kid.

Young Woman:         What do you mean that this is where you lived as kid? There isn’t anything here.

Man:                           Over there is where the box car was and over there is where we had our garden.

Young Woman:         How do you know that?

Man:                           Because the box car was right under these power lines, we had a line hooked up to the pole so we had electricity.

Young Woman:         Are you serious?

Older Woman:           Dave grew up in a boxcar along the side of the railroad tracks, it isn’t here anymore. You didn’t really think that there was anything here did you?

Young Woman:         Yeah, just call me stupid but of course I did, why else would we be coming here. Dad said he lived in a box car next to the railroad tracks, I don’t see any box car here.

Man:                           They hauled the old boxcar off twenty years ago.

Young Woman:         I am confused. I thought we were coming here to see where you lived. You never told me that there wasn’t anything here anymore. What exactly are we supposed to be looking at?

The man walks over to where the railroad tracks are just beyond the wide spot in the road they had pulled the car onto.

Man:                           Right here is where the boxcar was and over here was our garden. Right here are the rocks around where we had the fence around the garden to keep the deer out of it.

The young woman walks over to where the man is standing and looks at where he is pointing.

Young Woman:         Do you mean to tell me that these scattered rocks are supposed to be the border around the invisible garden?

Man:                           It was right here and over there on the other side of the tracks was where the boxcar was.

Older Woman:           Right here is where Dave lived for the first 5 or 6 years of his life, I have been here before and it looks just the same as it did before. (She is laughing)

Younger Woman:      I am sure it does since there is nothing here. Why did we come here this time if you already knew there was nothing here? I sort of understand why we spent an hour in the cemetery in Glendale looking at the family graves, at least we were really looking at something, but this… this makes no sense to me.

Older Woman:           This place has great sentimental value for Dave, he has been really wanting to visit here again since his father died last year, we went to the cemetery in Glendale last year like we did today when his father died, but we came with his brother Cliff and Dave didn’t get to come and visit this place and he really wanted to.

The old man walks away from where the two women are standing and continues looking around the site.

Man:                           Back here is where we had the little shack we hung the venison in and stored the vegetable out of the garden.

The younger woman walks over there with an incredulous look on her face.

Younger Woman:      How can you tell, I don’t even see even a small amount of evidence like “ten little rocks” that supposedly formed the garden here?

Man:                           I know where it was located from where the garden was.

The young woman is having a little trouble containing her frustration at having gone on what seems like a wild goose chase to her. She couldn’t believe that he was looking for something that was only there in his imagination.

Young Woman:         I really assumed that we were at least looking for a real live rotting boxcar, you didn’t tell me that there was absolutely nothing here anymore! Unbelievable!

The old man seemed to be very happy while wandering around the area next to the railroad tracks that no one else was following him around to look at anymore.

Young Woman:         I have always had the impression that he thought his father was a real asshole, so why was it so important that he came here?

Older Woman:           I don’t really think it has anything to do with how he feels about his father, it is just sentimental feelings about growing up, sometimes you don’t remember how bad things were and you just want to see the things you remember from your childhood. It is kind of like when Dave and I went to Wapato to visit where I lived from when my mother died when I was six until I got married at 19 and moved back to Oregon where I was born. I just wanted to see the places I had memories from when I was a kid, whether they were good memories or bad ones. That is the same thing that Dave is doing.

Young Woman:         Well it is too late to change having come here but I am never going to let him forget he took me to the middle of nowhere to see nothing!

Fade Out

Scene II

The young man walked down the path that had formed along next to the river through the trees and as he walked along he kicked the little rocks that had rolled onto the trail back towards the steep rock wall that lined the side of the trail on the opposite side from the river. The river meandered its way through a fairly dense forest on its eventual way out to the ocean but it had a long way to go before it would arrive there.

All of a sudden he stopped and looked around, he heard sounds coming from farther on up the trail, it was the sound of someone walking on it and he quietly slipped behind a tree growing on the bank of the river and he waited to see who was approaching. The sound of the other person’s feet walking on the dirt trail was very faint as if whoever was on the trail was not very heavy. As he peered through the brush from where he was standing the young girl he had been looking for appeared where the trail ahead rounded the corner and he quietly stayed hidden behind the tree and waited for her to walk by where he was hiding. It was a fairly large tree with a cluster of bushes growing at the base of it so that he was completely hidden from the girl that was approaching.

After the girl walked by where the young man was hiding he picked up a large rock from the ground by the river and slipped up behind her and hit her over the head with the rock. She immediately fell face forward on the trail and he didn’t stay to check and see what the condition of the girl was he just took off frantically running away from the scene of the crime and crossed the shallow river up ahead a little ways and one of his shoes got caught in between some rocks in the river and when his foot slipped out of the shoe he just kept on running as fast as he could to get away from the scene of the crime.

Just as the young man disappears from view we see the shadow of a man across the path where the girl is lying on the ground and then the scene fades out.

Scene III


A brown railroad car sits in the background of the scene we are watching. A young boy of about 5 years old is playing with a midsized black and brown dog and a ball in front of the railroad car in what sort of appears to be a yard, of sorts. The dog looks like it might have some German Shepard in it as well as a smaller breed. The boy is laughing and having a great time playing with the dog.

We pan around on the woods surrounding the boxcar and zoom in on a rock lined area than looks like it might be a garden.

We pan out and see a train approaching this site and as the train coming down the tracks it slows down and a smallish man about 35 years old jumps off of the train and walks towards where the young boy is playing with the dog.

Man:                           What the hell is that dog doing here?

Boy:                            He is the dog that I found last week.

Man:                           We can’t afford to have a dog for you to play with.

Boy:                            He eats the leftover food that we don’t eat. He doesn’t cost us any money.

Man:                           Those leftovers are our leftovers, the dog can’t have them. Do you understand that David?

Boy:                            But it was food that mom was throwing away.

Man:                           We don’t throw any food away here. Lillian, where the hell are you? Did you tell this boy that he could feed this dog our food?

Lillian:                        (She appears from somewhere outside of the house, she is a simple looking woman and talks as is appropriate to how she appears to be) It was food that was going bad. I told David he could give it to the dog.

Man:                           Why are you throwing any food away you stupid woman? David can eat that food. You shouldn’t ever let him give it to a dog. What the hell is wrong with you?

Lillian:                        I’m sorry. I thought it was bad.

Man:                           You are an idiot. Don’t ever feed our food to a dog! Feed it to David.

Lillian:                        I won’t ever give him food for the dog again.

Man:                           You’re damned right you won’t! I am going to take that dog out and shoot it right now.

David:                         Please Dad, don’t kill the dog. He can eat the scraps off of the deer you bring home.

Man:                           Those are our scraps and no dog is going to get them. Go back in the house.

David and Lillian go back in the house as is commanded of them and then they hear the sound of the gun and a yelp from the dog and then they hear nothing.

Fade out

Fade in to a heavily wooded path running along a river.

Scene IV

A young man walks down the path that had formed along next to the river through the trees many years ago and as he walks along he kicks the little rocks that have rolled onto the trail back towards the steep rock wall that line the sides of the trail on the opposite side from the river. The river meanders its way through a fairly dense forest on its eventual way out to the ocean but it has a long way to go before it will arrive there.

All of a sudden the young man stops and he looks around. He hears sounds coming from farther up along up the trail, they are the sounds of someone walking along the trail and he quietly slips behind a tree growing on the bank of the river and he waits to see who is approaching. The sound of the other person’s feet walking on the dirt trail is a very faint sound, as if whoever is on the trail is not very heavy. As he peers through the brush from where he is standing the young girl he has been looking for appears where the trail ahead rounds the corner and he quietly stays hidden behind the tree and waits for her to walk by where he is hiding. It is a fairly large tree with a cluster of bushes growing at the base of it so that he is completely hidden from the girl that is approaching.

After the girl walks by where the young man is hiding he picks up a large rock from the ground by the river and slips up behind her and hits her over the head with the rock. She immediately falls face forward on the trail and he doesn’t stay to check and see what the condition of the girl is, he just takes off frantically running away from the scene of the crime. He crosses the shallow river up ahead a little ways and one of his shoes gets caught in between some rocks in the river and when his foot slips out of the shoe he just keeps on running as fast as he can to get away from the scene of the crime.

Just as the young man disappears from view we see the shadow of a man cross the path where the girl is lying on the ground.

Fade Out

Scene V

Fade in

We are now looking at a jury in a trial for the murder of the 16 year old mentally challenged girl.

The prosecutor is giving testimony in evidence against the 16 year old boy that is charged with the murder. He is also mentally challenged but that is never brought into light.

The boy is convicted of the murder and sentenced to 10 years in Jail. The sentence was light due to his being only 16 years old.

Fade Out

Scene VI

Fade In

The now 26 year old man is released from prison, the year in 1964. He returns to his home town of Cottage Grove and meets a young woman that he falls in love with and and marries a couple of years later. They eventually have two children together, first a boy and then a girl.

This man who spent 10 years in prison for a crime that no one knows whether or not he committed, and one that no one will know that he did or did not commit, was released from prison at the age of 26 and married a woman he met not long after he was released from prison. They married and had two children, a boy and a girl, and they stayed together until he died from complications from having Parkinson’s disease at the age of 76.

The following is “the rest of the story”!

Unbeknownst to the young man there was someone else observing what had occurred from another hiding place behind another tree. The significance of this would not be known to anyone for many years or the fact that it even happened as would be thirty years before anyone knew there had been an eye witness to this crime or what part the eye witness played but it is only one of the many extenuating circumstances of this particularly heinous crime.

The young man ran home as fast as he could and never stopped to look back. When he got home he realized he had lost one of his shoes so he took the other one off and took it out to the trash pile outside the old house that he lived in with his mother, father and four of his five brothers and tried to bury it under the trash that was waiting there to be burned. His oldest brother, David, had joined the navy when he had turned 18 five years before so as to escape the depressing family that they lived with and after he spent. Their father was a loveless cruel man who had never given his sons any help mentally or physically for all of their lives and their mother had been brain damaged at birth and had the mental capacity of a 13 year old child and if they hadn’t lived in a very small town with no real parental guidance their mother would never have been allowed to get married and have children given her extreme metal disabilities. Their father was of a little below average intelligence and he had only married Lillian for two reasons, one was to have sex and the other one was to have someone who would be willing to wait on him and do everything he asked her to do like she ended up doing when he married her. He wasn’t looking for any kind of intellectual relationship so the fact that his wife had such limited mental capabilities wasn’t a problem for him, it only was for the children who needed at least one parent who would be there for them since it wasn’t a role their father aspired to, his only need for his sons is that they do all of the physical labor that needed to be done around the house and yard.  It was the beginning of another dysfunctional family just like the one both Harley and Lillian had come from.

Besides Harley being a selfish, loveless man he was also cruel to his sons and even though they were dirt poor and lived in a box car ­alongside the railroad they lived off of the venison their dad would bring home from work that got hit by the train that he worked on. Since the train ran right past the boxcar that they were allowed to live in for free since it was one that the railroad no longer had any use for and Harley worked for them and the train would stop and pick him up for work every day and drop him off on its way back to the town it operated out of that was about twenty miles before the side of the tracks that the boxcar was located on. David was the oldest child and there was one daughter born during the six years of living in a boxcar and she died when she was three. The rest of the kids weren’t born until Harley had managed to make enough money to move into a small house located in the town that the train operated out of. David would later tell his wife and kids many years later that a dog had shown up at the boxcar and after he had been feeding it some of the venison and playing with it for several months it had become his best friend since he wasn’t in school yet and he had no friends to play with because the boxcar they lived in was twenty miles away from the nearest house and they had no car to go anywhere in. Just before Harley moved Lillian and David into the house he bought in town he took David’s dog out to the woods and shot it telling David they couldn’t afford to feed it. David never forgot that and after he turned 18 and joined the Navy he had very little contact with his cruel father, he would go visit his mother and bring her to stay with his wife and kids for a night when he wanted to see her, even though she wasn’t a very good mother he recognized it wasn’t her fault that she had been born brain damaged. She had extremely irrational phobias, she was convinced that cats were plotting against her and anytime she went and visited her children after they moved away she would freak out when the cats that were pets would come in the room, she insisted they were plotting against her.

They were very poor and after they moved to the small town of Glendale they had five more children, four boys and one more girl that died at birth. Elmer was born when David was seven and he was bordering on being mentally retarded, not the extreme mental deficiency his mother had but not able to deal very well with school and other children who would make fun of him. Two years after Elmer a third son, Clayton was born, a year later Cliff was born. After Cliff was born the family moved to a little larger town about thirty miles north called Gold Hill, it was where the last son, Kenneth, was born three years later. Kenneth would turn out to be the most popular, and the least affected by his dysfunctional parents of the five boys and he did the best in school. David went to high school in Gold Hill and then left to join the Navy when his baby brother was only five years old. Right after David had joined the navy Harley moved the family to a town that was quite a bit bigger than any town they had lived in before though it would still be considered a small town but in comparison to the previous towns it was very large. Since David left home at 18 and joined the Navy to make a better life for himself than he saw himself ever being able to have if he stayed in the small towns where he grew up and didn’t see any opportunity for him to make a living as he sure didn’t want to work for the railroad like his father.

Elmer had trouble keeping up with the class in school, they didn’t have any kind of special education in the small town for a child with special needs and he had just turned 16 and was made fun of much of the time. He did find a friend in school though, the friend was a girl that also was mentally handicapped like Elmer was and they became friends. She was talked into having sex with the local boys and doing what the boys wanted made her get more attention so she was eager to please them. Elmer also started to explore having sex with her. Then the girl turned up pregnant and the kids in the class took advantage of his lesser intelligence and started to incessantly tease him about getting the girl pregnant and he didn’t understand that she could have been pregnant by any one of the other boys she was having sex with so he got really scared and freaked about his being accused of getting the girl pregnant.  The only way he knew how to solve the problem was the way he attempted to do with a rock.

All of the kids knew she was pregnant and when she was found dead the police went to visit Elmer and they had the one shoe that was found near her body to tie him to the murder and they found the other shoe where Elmer had failed to hide it very well. He was arrested and was put on trial and sentenced to ten years in jail. There were rumors that Harley had also had sex with the girl as well as the girls own uncle, but the police had a good suspect who couldn’t defend himself and they never questioned anyone else in the crime. There are those in his family that still wonder to this day if maybe Harley followed Elmer and finished killing her after Elmer had hit her with a rock, as he only remembered hitting her once and she was hit many more times than that but with Elmer being unable to defend himself and the police not bothering to follow any other leads the case will never be changed. Elmer led a very low key and uneventful life after being released from prison, he found a woman that he married and they had a daughter and never got in trouble and he died at the age of 76. Harley and Lillian separated not long after that and she became a live in housekeeper for an older handicapped man. Elmer stayed close to his mother and none of the boys saw their father very often and Harley died at the age of 84 and if there was another truth in this story it died with those who were there. David is my stepfather.


Suicide By Alcohol!

I have lived in the same general area for all of my life so I have several friends that I have known for a lot of years. One of my oldest friends just died yesterday at the age of 57, he would have turned 58 on August 2. The official cause of death is organ failure by alcoholism, but to me it was suicide by alcohol. I have known him for 40 years and when I met him he was a big strong young man who worked for his father as a saw filer. He was a lifelong buddy of my boyfriend when I was 16 and we became very good friends over the next 15 years and then we began to see less and less of him until about 5 years ago we never saw him at all. Last July I was going through some old diaries and was reading about all of the fun times I had with Robin and his classic late 1960’s muscle cars that he started collecting and working on from the time I first met him. He had some really cool cars and I had a lot of fun when he used to let me drive them, because of him I bought a 1969 AMX and I really enjoyed that muscle car and Robing used to help keep it running and I still have fond memories of that car and of helping Robin work on it, he taught a lot of what I know about cars and I really enjoyed learning how they ran and how not to get ripped off by car mechanics. To this day I am know a lot more about how cars work than the average person and I can attribute a lot of that from having fun with Robin and his muscle cars!. He was very passionate about his hotrod cars and spent a lot time restoring one, driving it for a while and selling them to buy another one to fix up. I am saying he made any money at it but he certainly enjoyed driving and working on a lot of cooo cars. He owned a Mach 1 Mustang, a Torino, a 442, a really cool convertible GTO and a whole bunch more. In about 1992 he fathered a child by a professional welfare lady, she had 2 children with 2 different men before she met Robin, she had never worked and was getting welfare payments for the two children she had before she met him He had just intended her to be pretty much a one night stand but since he didn’t use protection he did pay the price and he did quit seeing her romantically (if you can really call it that) but he did do the right thing and pay child support for his kid and he would pick the boy up on the weekends him up on the weekends to spend time with him. I lost touch with him during that time in his life and so I started trying to find him last summer and I was successful. I got a hold of him after tracking down the name of the person who was renting the last place that I knew he lived at and then got Robin’s phone number. He was really glad to hear from me and told me to stop by and see him because he was always home. When I went over to visit him I found out he was always home because he had become a serious alcoholic who couldn’t hardly walk because he weighed about 350 pounds. He couldn’t even hardly walk anywhere in his house and it was very depressing to see someone who had been a hardworking and active guy all of the time I used to hang out with him. He did always drink but it was after working as a self-employed saw filer after he learned how to do the job from his dad and started his own business. He probably is an alcoholic by heredity and environment, unfortunately his father was an alcoholic and he died a year and a half ago at the age of 78 so he did a lot better job of taking care of himself than his son did. Ever since I can remember Robin always drank, but so did I and a lot of my friends but we didn’t drink as much as Robin did, even when he was 18 and couldn’t legally buy beer he always seemed to be able to get it. He didn’t have the horrible tragic life that all of my other friends who killed themselves did, some of them killed themselves by plain out suicide and a couple of friends died from drug overdose. I do remember that he got in trouble with the law for drinking and driving pretty often but back in his early twenties but the police were much more lenient when it came to drunk driving in those days, Robin used to get pulled over and told to leave the car but I hardly ever remember him getting taken to jail until 15 years later when he got arrested for drunk driving several times and eventually did a little time in jail and lost his license. During the period he lost his license he started doing one of things that helped him start on his road to total demise that he is now on. He was a skilled saw filer and made a lot of money and he had his own business so he started hiring flunky’s to drive him around and to pick up and deliver the saws he worked on for a living. In fact now in retrospect I remember spending about half of a year when I was 22 where he loaned me his 1969 GTO to drive to and from work because my car was old and unreliable (but now that I think back I think he probably loaned it to me because he had lost his license and by loaning me his car he was enticing me to come and visit him a lot and go and do things together with him). We got close to being romantically involved at that time but I got turned off by all of the drinking and partying that he did and also I was young and had a lot more ambition than to hang around and drink beer. This started a pattern of him paying people to do things for him because he couldn’t drive or because he just didn’t want to do whatever it was he hired flunkies to do, and I still saw him doing that by paying his son and his son’s mother to go to the store, liquor store and do his housework because he was so fat from drinking all the time that he could hardly walk. When he was 18 through his thirties he was well built and in good shape but that was gone forever when I revisited him last year. When we had become good friends from our teens and thorough our twenties I was going to college and working part time but when I turned 30 I started working at some really good jobs and I was very responsible and didn’t have any room in my life for Robin and I saw no future in our relationship so we slowly quit hanging out together. I didn’t quit caring about him as a friend but my life took a different direction after I got my first good job. In retrospect after he had a kid with the welfare expert, I am now pretty sure from what I have seen go on since I started to go over and visit him a year ago, when I stupidly thought I could help save his life, and he did lose about 75 pounds over nine months but he never ate right, quit drinking or started exercising. He had his worthless 22 year old son living with him, who has never worked a day in his life and is also an alcoholic. Robin told me wanted to get better and I stupidly believed him, he kicked his son out of the house while he lost some the weight, he did continue having the boy’s mother take care of him and the house, but at least she didn’t drink but I found out after he was admitted to the hospital for beginning liver failure that she would buy him alcohol and he would pay her bills. So with everyone enabling him I was fighting a losing battle trying to help him and bottom line was only he could help himself. I realize now that he probably sat around and got drunk when his son was young when he took him on the weekends and hence the boy is following in his father’s footsteps only worse because he never learned a trade like Robin did from his father. I feel Robin is at fault because he could have taught him to be a saw filer like his father taught him but I think he was already too much of an alcoholic and so therefore that is what he taught his son and that is terrible disservice to do to his son but what is done is done but it makes me sad for the innocent children in this lineage of alcoholism. My guess is the the bottom line will be the same, death by alcohol. I find it so depressing in a world where most of us are struggling to live, and want to, to see someone who should have been able to make himself healthy choose death by alcohol poisoning. Since he died today I guess I need to let my anger go and just be sad that my friend has left this world, it seems like such a senseless tragedy to drink yourself to death. And even worse I found out from Robin’s sister after he died that Robin’s son’s girlfriend is pregnant, and with his son already an alcoholic at age 22 the future for his poor son is not looking to be very bright. What a senseless string of tragedies.


Alcohol Is The Most Dangerous Drug!

I come from a dysfunctional family in which alcohol played a part in the dysfunctionality of it. But I have always felt that my family members that were, and are alcoholics, is that they used alcohol as a crutch to able to live with how screwed up they were as human beings. They weren’t screwed up because they were alcoholics they were alcoholics because they couldn’t live with how screwed  up they were as human beings. But something that i am having a hard time dealing with is a friend of mine that I have known for almost 40 years that is solely screwed up because he is an alcoholic and it seems like such a stupid thing to allow yourself to let it ruin your life, yet he just got out of the hospital for near liver and kidney failure because of drinking excessively for most of his adult life. He didn’t drink like my mom and stepfather which they did because my step father molested his blood daughter and two stepdaughters as young teenagers and my mother who allowed him to do it until I went to her and demanded that she stop it, my friend just drank because he had inherited the disease of alcoholism. It seems amazing to me that you could throw your life away like that but obviously it is something that true genetic alcoholics don’t have any control over. Having never been an addict I don’t understand the disease, when I was a teen aged kid I tried cigarettes and all they made me do was cough and feel dizzy so I never smoked enough to form a habit, though my younger sister did. I have an inherited neuropathic disease that has made me disabled for my whole life so I have a  very hard time understanding people choosing to be disabled when I would do anything to have normal bodily functions so it is very hard to understand how someone who has a normal body can choose to let themselves be disabled by something they can choose not to do. But I guess that is the rub, they apparently cannot choose not to drink! From the experiences I have had through the years of growing up in the era of marijuana, cocaine, and other illegal drugs I have seen far more people disabled by alcohol than all of the illegal drugs combined. That seems like a sad state of affairs that the only legal drug is more dangerous than all of the illegal ones!

Both of my parent’s were alcoholics and my family is dysfunctional!

My parents drank alcohol for all of my life, I even remember them allowing my sister and I to drink small amounts when we were kids which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing as we were given a tiny amount and to me it seemed like by their allowing me to try small amounts it took the mystique away from my drinking a lot once I was not around them. We were never allowed to get drunk just to have a tiny little aperitif glass with dinner and a lot of the alcohol I didn’t like. I remember the first time I really got drunk as a teenager at a party I didn’t like the feeling of not being shy because I was drunk and never ended up having a drinking problem. But my sister did and she is now an alcoholic and I suppose there is no way to say whether or not my parents allowing us to drink a little had anything to do with it since I did not become an alcoholic even though she did, but we both had plenty of bad things happen to us to need to forget about them but I guess I chose to deal with them as opposed to trying to drink them away. I also know as the older sister I saw a lot of things my parents did under the influence of alcohol that turned me off that I don’t think my sister noticed or cared about as much as I did since I took on the role of the family peacemaker at a very young age. The reasons my parents drank were because they were messed up people trying to escape their being messed up and the messed up part had nothing to do with alcohol, they didn’t have to be drunk to do screwed up things, they only had to be drunk to live with themselves for having done them. So I guess I have mixed feelings on blaming the alcohol entirely but it does seem like really screwed up people do seem to use it to escape dealing with their problems. It is sad for them but most of all it is sad for the children they bring into the world to screw up when maybe if they had been sober and forced to look at how screwed up they were they wouldn’t have children. Obviously I will never have an answer to this but it does make me wonder what could have been. Sometimes causes and effects can be very hard to separate. It is kind of like the question which came first, the chicken or the egg?

THE LITTLE CHILD WITHIN US SUFFERS STILL – Chapter 3-Unfortunately the bad things never ended!

As I have already written I know my stepfather had a terribly dysfunctional family and as I was growing up it came out that my best friend’s father, she lived two houses away from my house from three years old until our family moved out of town when I was 15, had served on a jury many years before I was born for the trial of my stepfather’s youngest brother, who was on trial for the murder of a 16 year old retarded girl and his youngest brother was also 16 and fairly close to being retarded as well (which I didn’t know until he was released from prison at the age of 40 after having spent 24 years in jail and I actually met him and he was definitely mentally deficient which is probably why he was released from prison as he was convicted of a lesser murder charge because of his mental state), though my girlfriend’s father told us there had been rumors that the girl had been having sex with my stepfather’s father as well as his brother. When I was a teenager my mother and my girlfriend’s mother took us to a cabin at the coast for a spring vacation from school one time and my girlfriend and I found an article in a “True Crime” or “True Detective” magazine about the murder of the girl that my stepfather’s brother went to jail for and it also speculated that his father could have possibly murdered the girl who was found to have been pregnant and her murder was speculated to be to get rid of the evidence of the pregnancy and it would have been in more of my stepfather’s best interest to get rid of this “problem” than it would have been for his son who was convicted of the murder. In any event the whole event shows more of what a screwed up family my step father came from.

Back to my mother, she died of cancer several years ago and while she was dying she apologized to my sister for being a terrible mother. She had asked me if I believed that she loved me after she had failed to help me five years ago for the first and only time I asked for her help in my entire life and I told her that I believed she loved me as much as she knew how but it wasn’t love the way I believe real love is supposed to be. That was an honest answer and as far as I am concerned it is the truth. I found a paper she wrote for a philosophy class she took from a teacher I had taken the course from, that I recommend to her to take because she had gone back to college as an adult and was looking for good classes to take, in some papers of hers she had saved and that my stepfather gave me after she died and it did nothing to uncover the mystery of why she was so screwed up only to enforce that she was. Here is what she wrote:

Truth is stranger than fiction. So it’s said, and in this case, may be more enlightening. I have already raised my children, so my opportunity to help them become psychology healthy has already occurred. One of my children did have serious problems to deal with and it seems appropriate to this paper to explore what I did that was right or wrong and what the effects seemed to be. Related to this will be some of my own psychological problems and the insights I have gained about their causes. When my daughter was three years old, I discovered that she had a rare form of muscular dystrophy, which was not life threatening but crippling. How much crippling would occur was not then known. Two attitudes I held made dealing with my child’s handicap particularly difficult. Because my own childhood had been so miserable, I wanted the opportunity to be a super parent and make a child truly happy and I harbored a lot of guilt feelings toward my child because I was the one who wanted children so bad, not my husband. He had been killed in an accident, so I had to deal with this for a while by myself. I believe these guilt feelings led me to put up a front for my emotions of stoicism which I did not feel, while compelling me to feel more anxious concern about my child than was good for her I did not express these feelings, for obvious reasons. You can’t tell a young child, “I feel so terribly sorry for you because you are crippled.”
When Michele was six she had to have operations on her feet. I obviously did not prepare her for these operations as well as I should have. She is 27 now and the other day she said “when I overheard you talking to someone about that first operation, I became so frightened I nearly died!” I think that I should have taken her to visit the hospital before the operation, but even more importantly, I should have talked to her about her feelings, even though she didn’t ask any questions I could have said, “I know you are very frightened about this operation and I know it will be unpleasant and you will have some pain, but you will be able to walk better and I will be there with you to help you.”
When she returned to first grade on crutches, as we approached the classroom she didn’t want to go in. Her teacher suggested that I leave her and gently restrained her from going with me. I did leave her because I felt she could handle it, thought was difficult for me. I was right and within a week her classmates were competing for turns on her crutches and her adjustment to school has always been good. Her stepfather and I tried to bolster her self-image by encouraging her to do the things we knew she would be able to do well, despite her handicap. She learned to play the piano, she rode a horse well, did good art work and was always a good student. When she was in high school, despite a tendency to stumble easily, she played the flute in the marching band and never missed a step

Well the truth is stranger than fiction and I did miss many steps and fell down but I had pride and never told anyone and since no one who knew my mother was there when I fell down she apparently fooled herself into believing that I was alright when I wasn’t. She needed to believe I was alright in order to deal with her not being alright. The real tragedy here is the lack of my mother’s ability to confront reality. I don’t know what the cure for that is and since she is now dead I guess I will never know what it could have been in her case. Unfortunately she passed on her incredibly bad feelings about her parenting abilities to my sister, who if I thought read my blog I wouldn’t write this but I know she doesn’t so I can explore the question of what went wrong without hurting anyone although I still would love to save the family I have left from the total state of dysfunction it now stands in.

My sister and I in 2005


So back to why I know my stepfather is dysfunctional. Besides his father being a selfish, loveless bastard my stepfather told my mother and I that he had a pet dog while they were living in the boxcar alongside the rail road tracks in West Fork and his father took his pet dog out and shot and killed it telling his son they couldn’t afford to feed it, they weren’t paying for food anyway, they were living on venison his father poached or that the train would hit and he would bring the dead deer home for the family to eat. My stepfather believed that his father only got rid of the dog to show him that he had the power to do so and to be cruel and I am inclined to believe this as all his father really needed to do since they lived in the woods in the middle of nowhere is not feed the dog instead of killing it and seeing if it could make its own way by killing rodents or whatever it could. Not only were they very poor but they didn’t practice birth control and there were five sons born to the asshole and his mentally deficient wife, not to mention a couple of children that didn’t make it according to my stepfather and I know it was the truth as this account was backed up by his oldest younger brother. My stepfather told me his mother used to spank his brothers and him until one day he realized that he was bigger and stronger than she was and he said he took the belt from her she was attempting to spank him with as a teenager and told her if she ever tried to spank him again he would use the belt on her. I don’t blame him and I have also wondered if there was any sexual abuse involved, though I never asked him since he had already sexually abused me and my sister by that time. It may explain his sexual issues and it may not and since I don’t ever plan on asking I don’t care if I know the reasons he did what he did to my sister and I, it was wrong and all I have to cling to for my sanity is to believe that he was so screwed p it was the only way he knew how to seek the attention he needed since apparently my emotionally frigid mother was also sexually frigid as well. I am not giving my stepfather any “get out of jail free” card for his actions but after having spent my childhood with a woman who didn’t know how to love anyone she was not a good mate for a man who was also emotionally stunted. I do not release either of them from the parts they played in creating the emotionally dysfunctional family they created but I am sure that that it played a part. But unlike my stepfather my mother was not raised in an abusive household which makes her dysfunction much more of a mystery to me than his. Her mother died of TB when she was six and her father went to live with his mother and work to support them so that she had a female influence in her life. According to my mother she felt very gipped by not having a mother to raise her and told my sister and I that her grandmother didn’t love her. I have no evidence to back this up either way as her grandmother was dead before I was born. I do know that my grandfather, her father, was the kindest and gentlest man you could ever meet. One of the few times my mother discussed sexual molestation by a parent, after I made her confront the fact that my stepfather was sexually molesting my sister and I, she told me that she used to want to sleep with her father and when she was a young teenager he told her that she couldn’t sleep in his bed with him anymore. Either she lied to me that he told her not to sleep with him anymore so that he wasn’t tempted to do something wrong or she was disappointed that he didn’t want her. I don’t know if it matters what the truth is but from the 30 years he was a part of my life he never did anything untoward to me, my sister or my mother and spent all of his money trying to make sure our family had everything they needed. Either I was really stupid, or blind, and I don’t think so because my stepfather molested us for all the years he did before my grandfather died and I never had my grandfather show me anything but kindness and support, just like he had always shown his daughter and my stepfather by helping them monetarily and physically by mowing the lawn and doing the gardening for his whole life. So I absolutely know that my stepfather had an incredibly screwed up life but my mother was well loved as far as I know and it leads me to wonder “what the hell happened to her to let her allow her children to be abused?”



When I started writing stories about my childhood and incidents that continue on in my family to this day due to the terrible things that were inflicted on my sister and I by our parents I was just trying to understand why it seemed like there were so many of these incidents and also wondered how normal or abnormal what happened to my family was from what other families have gone through. It has been my experience in life, when sharing these amazingly strange and messed up events I have been through with my family that a lot of my friends and acquaintances have gone through many similar things but it doesn’t seem like they had such an ongoing and never ending string of them like I have experienced. It may just be that people haven’t admitted that their family was as screwed up and never quit being screwed up or maybe I just haven’t talked to the right people whose lives have been a non-ever ending string of incredibly bizarre events.

They only started with my stepfather molesting my sister and I as young teens and they never stopped, a lot of these incidents were alcohol fueled but I will not blame alcohol for the failings of my parents, it was their excuse to use it and not the reason the sinister things happened to us young girls.

I do know that it goes back to the childhood experiences of my parents as their dysfunction was what caused them to behave in the dysfunctional ways they did in raising their children. I can only blame my mother and my stepfather as my real father died in a plane crash before I was three and while my mother was six months pregnant with my sister and since it would have been impossible for my real father to have had an influence on my sister her issues and mine cannot be blamed on him since he never really raised us. My mother remarried when I was five and my sister was two so for all intents and purposes our stepfather was our father. I am not as mystified about what caused my stepfather to be such a horrendous parent as I am my mother because my stepfather had a cruel and unloving father and his mother was brain damaged at birth and had the mental capacity of a child and in no way should she ever have been a mother, but no one but someone with diminished brain capacity would have married the evil bastard that was my stepfather’s father. They were dirt poor when he was growing up, and I do literally mean dirt poor.

When I was about 28 years old I took my mother and stepfather on three hour trip to see a play in a small southern Oregon town that I had pleasant memories of having attended plays at their internationally renowned outdoor Shakespearian Theatre when I was a child when we would caravan down there with several of our neighbors whose kids were friends of mine and whose parents had neighborhood barbeques. The 1960’s were a far more innocent era for neighborhood activities than goes on these days, as It seems to me for the most part people try to avoid being friendly to their neighbors these days instead of having the “block” parties we would have at each of the neighbor’s houses for occasions like the fourth of July or just get together and have potluck barbeques. During the summers in the mid to late 1960’s several of the neighbors would get together and make reservations at a hotel in the small town and coordinate getting tickets to the same play on the same night and sometimes we drove down together in a small caravan of four or five families and sometimes everyone left on their own schedule but they all met up at the same hotel and went to the play together. For us kids it was a fun time of swimming in the pool and getting to go see the “grown-up” play together and then the next day we would usually have a neighborhood picnic at beautiful park that surrounded the outdoor theatre that had two ponds with swans and ducks that would beg for food and we had a really great time.

Back to what this has to do with my stepfather’s childhood. He grew up down near the area we went to see those plays with our neighbors and on the trip I took them on about 13 years after we had moved away from the neighborhood I grew up in, and have recently come to believe that some of my stepfather’s nefarious activities may have been a part of the reason we moved from the town I grew up in to a much more isolated location 20 miles away on 63 acres so we no longer were “friends” with the people I grew up with, but that is not the point of this narrative.

I had a pretty good job in 1986 when I decided I wanted to go and see a play in the town I had such fond memories of visiting with my best girlfriend, her parents and family and several other of our neighbors, and I had just bought a brand new car in 1985 so I wanted to treat my parents to my trip down nostalgia lane, though the extreme dysfunction in my family of my stepfather molesting sister and I as young teenagers had already occurred I played a large role as the family “peacemaker” in having our family start functioning as a somewhat normal (and I do mean somewhat only) family and doing things together as a family. It seemed to me that this was the only way to get past the evil that had been done and to help us heal, it turns out I may have been wrong but my intentions were good even if the evil that had been done now seems to be undoable!

My parents drove to my house which was near the town I grew up in and that they “high tailed” it out of when I was 15 years old, my sister speculates that it may have been because she found many years after we moved that my stepfather had also molested at least one of our girlfriends before we moved and that maybe we moved to avoid a “firestorm”, we don’t know that it was the reason they moved to the country but it certainly would make sense if any sense can ever be made of what happened when we were children.  We had a pleasant non eventful drive to our destination and the first incident that occurred which made my mother and I decide to never bring my stepfather on a trip again was that this town has a wonderful eclectic selection of restaurants to eat at and my stepfather wanted a steak and potatoes place of which they had none so the only other kind of food he was willing to eat was Mexican and he probably picked the only bad restaurant in the whole town but we ate there so we didn’t have to hear him complain. The play was good and the next morning we had no problem finding a good restaurant he could eat breakfast at, lucky us! He asked me if we could take a couple of side roads on the way back so he could visit the town he went to school in as well as the place he lived in until he was six years old.  He said he wanted to visit Gold Hill where he went to school at and West Fork where he lived until he went to school. It seemed like a reasonable request since I didn’t have any particular agenda for the day so first we took the one mile trip off of the highway to visit the town he attended school in. It was a pretty small community located fairly close to the town that was our destination. We drove around it for a little while as he reminisced about seeing the schools he attended and then we stopped at a small bar and restaurant and had lunch.

Our next turn off was a twenty mile side road that would take us about 30 minutes longer than without taking it, without any stops, which didn’t seem like a big deal. Of course silly me, there would be stops. The first one was about five minutes into the detour where my stepfather wanted to visit the cemetery that several of his relatives were buried at in the small town we entered into. We spent about 15 or 20 minutes while my stepfather searched for the graves of grandparent’s and cousins of his that had died, most of them before he married my mother.  After that boring stop for me, but apparently sentimental and necessary for him, we continued on down the road. After about 10 or 15 minutes he said “this kind of looks like the place” and I am looking at the side of the road next to railroad tracks and getting a little confused. We continued on and he said “this is it, right here.” I pulled my car off the main –non main- road and said  “what do you mean this is it, there is nothing here?” At this point my mother started laughing and said “did you think we were going to an actual place?” I said “of course I did. What do you mean?” In the meantime my stepfather had gotten out of the car and was walking around looking at the ground on the other side of the railroad tracks. My mother said “Dave grew up in a boxcar along the side of the railroad tracks, it isn’t here anymore.” I said “Well then what is he looking for?” She said “he is looking for the spot the boxcar was located at off of the side of the railroad tracks.” I was sort of dumbfounded, he was looking for something that was only there in his imagination, wonderful! So I got out and mom and I walked over to where my stepfather was walking around. He pointed at a wide spot next to the tracks and said “this is where the boxcar was and over here was our garden.” Well you would definitely have to know this as all there was were a few possibly strategically placed rocks and some old pieces of wood. He then said “yes, this is it.” He seemed pleased and I was amazed that we had come in search of a wide spot on the road that only he could possibly have any desire to see and not only that he could he could barely even find it. I looked at my mother and said “why didn’t you tell me we were looking for nothing?” She said “I thought you knew he grew up in a boxcar next to the railroad tracks. I said “Yeah but I assumed we were at least looking for the boxcar, you didn’t tell me that there was nothing here anymore!” You could probably make a comedy about this trip called “Looking For West Fork” as that is the title I gave this dramedy! He seemed very pleased to have found the wide spot in the road that he called “West Fork” and this trip lived in infamy in my memories for many years and he was never allowed to come with us again, though it was more for the fact that he was such an uncultured traveler and didn’t want to partake of the wonderful food in a town known for its wonderful food as well as he wanted everything to center around what he wanted and was only willing for everyone else to sacrifice their happiness for his, and that has never changed for the whole rest of my life so far.

This is only one story in the many I have to tell of my dysfunctional family!

This is the description of West Fork, OREGON

Near milepost 19 lies the old town site of West Fork. The town was established in 1882 as a service and supply site to serve the residents of the nearby Rogue River Canyon. Interpretive panels depict life in West Fork and along Cow Creek during the latter part of the 19th century.

Welcome to West Fork, OR

Welcome to West Fork, OR