The Power Is In Your Hands…


Sitting,  well actually more of a leaning over the edge of the garage, in the shade of the neighboring large Oak  tree while painting the trim, I thought of my daughter’s troubles a couple years earlier.  I recalled the speech I gave on her behalf and hoped those words played a part in the charges being dropped.   Allow me to tell you what happened in that courtroom… “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury,” was how my speech began…  “Before y’all come to a conclusion on what this girl has done I ask you to consider this”:

In the mood, but for how long and at what price?
In the mood, but for how long and at what price?

“The person sitting at that table,” I said while pointing, “has been determined to be a social outcast, a member of the world’s oldest profession.  Look at her, her eyes reflect the nightlife and are puffy with sorrowful and sorry, sadness. Her face is red and swollen with pain.  The disgrace she has brought on herself would be more than most could bear, and yet, she was once a fine and true woman. Without getting into the past I would like to say that we all played a part in what happened to this girl; I mean she is barely twenty-five.   We, some knowingly but most unknowingly, introduced her to the underside of life. She drinks, but you know who the teacher was, it was you and I; she smokes and we showed her how.  Do you really think it’s right, to condemn her now? I knew her mother and her mom’s tragic story was told to me at the Lifeway Center for unwed mother’s years

Dear Mom...
Dear Mom…

ago. Why, her mother was a lady of the evening also.  The apple didn’t fall far from the tree. I don’t know if her mom ever quit that profession, but this girl was raised in a home with much love and understanding.  I know because I am the one who raised her. While making a decision I ask you to remember that for every fallen woman there’s a hundred, no, a thousand fallen men. I ask you, members of the jury, before delivering the verdict on her faults just remember who could be to blame, and he may even be your son.  

This girl is my daughter and so my testimony stands.  You have control over what happens to her so won’t you please drop all charges, thank you. ”  

Well those were my thoughts as I busily passed the time until her arrival later this afternoon.  This is the first time to see her since her day in court.  She moved to a northern county and had been married since the trial ;and even had a child.  She applies herself as secretary (I guess a secretary is now called, administrative assistant.) but seems both happy and satisfied, hallelujah and welcome home!

Steve Richie

Hi folks, Two lives in one lifetime. The first me, lived to age thirty-four. That Steve was overly confident and oozing with pride. Then, on a record heat-setting day (107º) here in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota and western Wisconsin, a one car near-fatal wreck left me in a two-month long coma. I emerged much as I was before minus certain physical capabilities, but my mind seemed mostly in tact. The crash and its effects did not change me (I emerged a happy individual) but the deeds perpetrated against me in the ensuing months from my wife of sixteen years scared and humbled me as I was dragged down with nothing left by my wife who now had guardianship over all of our accounts. And neither would she allow me to see our kids. She took everything out of, "Our" names and changed them to her name only; then would not allow me to our home and divorced me. I was angry, but no more. I spent half of 1988 and more than half of 1989 in hospitals, nursing homes and a three month stint at a head-injury rehab center where I was being taught how to re-enter society as this different person, that I didn't know. I was not able to return to my previous line of work, a self-employed decorator, you know, painting and paperhanging. It was a physical job which required much dexterity, finesse, and a good grasp of numbers. I returned to the beginning, school, but on a community college level. One of the instructor's liked my writing and I began focusing my attention on that. I attended classes at, "The Loft," A Place for Writers in Minneapolis. While there, a classmate of mine was having her friend from New York, a CBS executive, to her home for the holidays and asked me if she could do a critique on a couple chapters of a book I was writing, "A Day I'll Never Remember" and I obliged. When she returned to class the following Monday she told me that the exec wanted a ten-page synopsis of the book for a possible movie; I was excited. After obliging for that also, I never saw or heard from her or the guy from CBS. Next thing I knew I was watching a movie called, "Regarding Henry" starring Harrison Ford and the scenes of therapy were exactly like what I went through and had written about. Regarding Henry - could've been my story except that, "Henry" got his head injury from a gunshot and his wife stayed with him throughout the ordeal. Coincidence I'm sure, though, the therapy scenes entailed what I described in the book so I always wondered..... My hope, my dream is to bolster our income for my daughter and for myself. I am and have been raising this beautiful, talented little girl who was diagnosed with autism at age two, since 2006 singlehandedly. I divorced her mother the same year following complaints that I spent too much time with our daughter. However, Stephanie began school with no need for special education. She has been reading since age four and understanding what she'd read. Stephanie maintains straight "A's" on her report card, has published two books (through school) and has been selected as an, "Honors" student for seventh grade English. My ex moved to New York to be closer to her sister and has been remarried now for a number of years. Well, that's only a snippet of my sixty-one years and I would like to thank you for reading, thank you.

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