Fifty Shades of Illegal....

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Cardboard Box Part II Chapter 13 "Frenchman?" Julianna Rowe (Property of Diane Ogden)

Chapter  13   “Frenchman?”

                Miles Reed returned home later that evening with more food and a continuing frown on that oh so handsome face of his.  We shared our hamburger and fries at his grey top marble looking table with shiny silver legs, matching chairs with glossy red leather seats, the latest in high fashion kitchen sets along with all the necessary kitchen gadgets.  One would think him a nancy boy by looking at is well dressed home.   I was thinking maybe there had been a Mrs. Reed but decided not to inquire.  We sat quietly for what seemed way too long when he asked me if everything was alright.  I told him it was, but asked how long I would be quarantined here?   He put his burger down in a slight form of disgust if that is possible and told me this was nothing to mess around with.  These people were high dollar dangerous drug dealers who would stop at nothing including murder.  They have left a trail across our state that must be stopped Julianna. 

                I asked Miles if he thought old Tom was still alive. And why they felt any need to take an old hound dog? 

                Miles responded, “They were in the wrong place at the wrong time is all.”  And if the pushers can use them they will keep them alive, but at this point in our investigation I have my concerns.”

                Of course I freaked out and almost had a cow again at his pretty kitchen table when he interrupted me by telling me they were getting close to catching at least the local dealers and not to get all stressed out yet.  That he shouldn’t be sharing even that much with me therefore we had to drop the subject.

                “Drop the subject?  Drop the subject?   I should be traveling Route 66 headed for Sante Fe right this minute but instead, my beautiful pink Cadillac has been impounded, my dog is missing and presumed dead…..”       

                “Now wait a minute Miss Rowe, I didn’t say he was dead!”  During which time his face turned a very bright shade of crimson and his eyes changed from a stunning blue to a pale green.  Sort of like in the movie, “Children of the Corn.” 

                “You might as well have said it Mr. Reed!” I exclaimed in distress.

                I recall thinking in the midst of the small fit I had going on that he must not have had too many deep emotional discussions with women in his life because he did not seem to well adept at handling it, or me I should have said.  Actually he excused himself without finishing our conversation and retired for the evening.

                I had never felt so alone and frightened.  I should have felt safe in the home of Amarillo’s finest FBI Agent Miles Reed, but I didn’t feel safe, and I was frightened for Tom and Duke and Shamika.  Maybe it was time to call Granddaddy, or Billy, or Harper Rutherford.  Nawh, what am I thinking?  I got myself into this mess and I can only hope I can get myself out of it.  I was in such deep thought I almost didn’t notice a cracking sound that came from the West window.  Then again.  At first I panicked still in shock from the gunfire outside the Federal Building but then I realized it was something hitting my window pane.  I immediately shut out the bedroom light and near crawled around the bed and over to the window where I slowly began to rise from the floor when I heard it again.  Something was hitting my window.   I carefully pulled back the curtain a mere hair to see if I could see anyone or anything.   And sure enough I saw it, I mean her.  Danged if it wasn’t Pam Hawkinson outside and under my window.   Jeez, wasn’t the best FBI Agents house under any sort of surveillance?  Dang, should I holler for Miles, should I hide, should I open the window and maybe get shot?  Then my mind went to Duke.  I bet she knows where my dog is.  Little did I think about what good it would do me if I were shot dead and so I opened the window.  

                What are you doing Pam?  Where have you been and where are Tom and Duke?  All I have to do is scream and you are in jail forever Pam! And how did you know I was here?  Start talking!

                She responded with five words……”I know where Duke is.”

                Hot tears filled my eyes and flooded the gates to my brain.  I opened the window, but not before grabbing my baby browning and pulling on my pink boots.  It was then I climbed out the window and ran across the yard with Pam Hawkinson toward a black and silver truck waiting for us.  I couldn’t stop now even though the brain gates had begun to open and stupid was running behind me.  This was a sure enough trap and I ran like a dang fool directly into it even though I knew full good and well the United States Federal Government had tried to protect me.  As I was running the old saying I always joked about came rushing back at me. There she goes, the lady that can’t see anything until its passed cause her eyes are in the back of her ass.

                Pam swung open the door of the silver and black truck and as the dome lite came on no one appeared inside.   I stopped in my tracks as Pam circled the truck to get into the driver’s side.   I did not get in and after she noticed I was not complying, rather standing outside that truck she hollered at me to get in if I ever wanted to see Tom and Duke again.  I checked my pocket for my browning and got in.  Had I looked back I would have seen Miles Reed standing in my bedroom window watching me take off with a suspected drug dealer, unable to stop me.

                Pam hit the accelerator and we fishtailed out of the neighborhood….  I was on my own now which meant I had to take over and so I reluctantly decided to take over.  I grabbed her arm and demanded she start talking.   But she didn’t she instead just drove.  I demanded again and again.  Then I pulled out my baby browning and pointed it at her head.   She told me to put my gun away that she didn’t aim to hurt me, rather she needed my help.  Well anyone that ever told me they needed my help always got it considering I was one of those people that fell in the well to help someone vs throwing them a rope.  And so I jumped in with Pam.  She told me she had been held captive by Jake, who disappeared yesterday with a friend and hadn’t returned but had left the truck and the keys on the key rack. 

                I didn’t believe a word of it.  I told her, “Sure Pam, so how did you know where to come and throw pebbles on my window?” 

                She replied that Jake had told her I had been picked up by the FBI for questioning and he had called her to say his people had followed me to the Agents house.  

                I told her she was a liar.  That she had stated he left yesterday and she hadn’t heard from him since.  She had heard from him.

                I shouted at her that we had been shot at as we left the Federal Building and I suspected her lover was a part of it of which she denied emphatically and so we argued continually for at least the next eight miles at which time she pulled over, turned off the ignition and stared at me intently.

                I said, “What? Now what are you doing?  I suppose you’re going to put me out in the dark in the middle of nowhere, right?  God you’re a skag!  How did you ever get a job at a nice place like the Rice Motel I will never understand!  You irresponsible uncaring retarded ratfink skank!  You better take me to Tom and my dog Duke or I swear I will shoot you.”

                While I was ranting Pam calmly stared out the window past me until I was finished at which time she asked me if I were finished and I replied probably not, but yes for now.   She informed me she could not take me to where I asked because she did not know where they had been taken.  All she knew for sure is she was in love with Jake Haines and he asked her to bring me to the ranch.  This woman seemed to have been separated from her senses.

                My eyes got big as Texas in light of the fact the only thought coming to my mind when I heard the word ranch was Joseph B. Justice Cattle and Oil Ranch outside Tulsa Oklahoma where I was held while recovering from a concussion.   I put my hands in the air and said to Pam, “Oh no, what ranch, where, and why?” 

                She responded she was not sure why.  All she knew was Jake’s Attorney Brother Timothy had prepared them a way out of the country if I delivered you to the ranch.   

                I was in shock.  How dumb was she which I proceeded to ask her.  “Do you have any idea what you have gotten yourself into Pam Hawkinson?  The Federal Bureau of Investigation is in on this, did you hear me Pam, FEDERAL!!”  I shouted at her as I continued, “They will extradite you from whatever country you end up in.  And why?  What did Jake do that he needs to flee from his homeland country, America?  You will possibly spend the rest of your life in prison.  Are you that blonde? “  Of course I meant dumb but I decided beating her up with insults may not be the best path or in my best interest.

                She did not respond for some time.  I was in great hopes a vehicle would come upon us whereas I would jump out to retrieve some help.   And then she said.  “But he loves me Julianna.  No body ever loved me like that before.  Not since my parents were killed.  I only had a couple of boyfriends in school and the girls made fun of me.  Jake is the light of my life. He is my soul mate. He said he would take care of me.  

                Suddenly a bell rang off in my head.  The bell said, wait a minute, she told me he was a Frenchman.  She told me Jake was a Frenchman.  I remember now.  Why was she lying to me.  His brother certainly had no accent.  How could that have slipped my mind?  I stayed silent.  Sometimes circumstances called for listening skills to enter the building or the vehicle whichever the case and this was one of those times. 

         Pam started the engine and I held my breath.  I hadn’t gotten through to her and God only knew where she was taking me.  I still had my browning and my knife and I would use it if I had to.  And that is when I realized I was out in the middle of nowhere with a nutcase just as I was back in Austin with Billy Connally.   I was sitting in this passenger seat thinking the unthinkable might happen to me.  I recall how angry I became after that realization.  In fact I was so angry I pulled out my baby browning, pointed it dead at her head and told her to tell me where the hell Tom and my dog where or I would kill her sorry stupid skanky ass right here and now.  I will never forget her saying, “No you won’t kill me Julianna!”   God I wanted to kill someone! Something!  I put the gun down and started to pretend I was crying.  And after a bit I really did begin crying.  I needed help where there was none.  As I look back I believe my mind was so confused with fear that the crying helped clear my head.  It also appeared the tears had had brought out Pam’s nurturing side where as she came to my aid.  Imagine that, we are both in the well with no rope.  Problem was she had no idea she was in a deep well with no rope.  That is when she nonchalantly began talking to me about Jake like I was her best friend forever……  Like I had not just pointed a gun at her head, or had a seriously loud meltdown.   Didn’t she know her lover was going to kill me because I was the only witness from the Palo Duro movie night.  I was the only one who could identify the drug dealer who had hidden himself within the group of young men who came to my motel room with Pam.   She was nursing a serious case of the dumb ass and I was an integral part of a serious drug ring gone bad. 

          I have always been amazed how women lose their God given intelligence when they fall in love.  And in this case her love would get me murdered unless I could think much faster than I was.  And then before I could whistle Jack Robinson I saw the lights of “the ranch” dead ahead.  Dead being the word I should not have entertained at that moment in time.  I had to jump out and now!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Cardboard Box Part II Chapter 12 Interrogation Julianna Rowe (property of Diane Ogden)

The Cardboard Box  Part II
Chapter Twelve   Interrogation Continues:

                 Reed and I were practically to the elevator when he acknowledged he had not finished his addressing me in regards to what information I may have on Pam Hawkinson.  

                I informed him I did not think I could handle anymore questioning that day.  He stopped abruptly, turned toward me and in a firm voice expressed that the sooner I complied the sooner I just might find my dog and my friend.   I responded, “In that case Miles let us begin.”   We walked slowly back down the dingy hallway with the missing paint chipped off the walls some of which still remained on the unclean unwaxed floors.  I recall thinking how much cleaner the grocery store bathrooms were than this place and it was a government facility for gosh sakes.   I began to wonder if I could really put my trust not to mention my life in their hands.   But then I had not been doing such a bang up job myself.

                I could tell Reed was pretty much drained as I was however we proceeded anyway. We both had a genuine purpose behind not giving into our physical needs of any sort. Be it hunger, tired, or some sexual desire hidden behind the unspoken laws of office etiquette.  Or possibly I was not the “Fox” I thought I was and Reed really had no interest in a Yankee girl with a bag of troubles, not to mention the Governor of Texas in her back pocket for some reason.  All of which signaled Reed a big red X. 

                And so it began.   Miss Rowe, please tell me everything you can recall about Pam Hawkinson, manager of the Rice Motel Restaurant.  Conversations, people she introduced you to, her job, where she lives, and so on.  We have all night Miss Rowe. 

                Oh Lord I thought.  Because he was right, it took near half the night after all.  And so I began telling him about Pam and not in any chronological order from when I met her, rather whatever came to my mind, as he continued typing. 

                I recalled Pam telling me she had found herself falling in love with the Attorney Haine's Brother Jake.  He had come to her totally out of the blue one day at a red light downtown.  Yes a red light.  She was acting up as usual with her comedic rubber Halloween bloody leg hanging out the side of her car with a magnetic sign next to it saying, "My Last X Husband,” which of course was not true but it gave her attention and produced Jake to jump out of his truck, run around to her side and hand her his brother’s business card.  He said, "Call me Babe!"  You see Pam’s exuberant way of facing life since her parents had died in a horrific car accident was to pretend she was okay.   She advertised herself that way even though she was not okay therefore in my opinion Reed she unknowingly walked into one of Amarillo’s worst snakes nest.

Pam had recounted to me some of her story just after we initially met however never said who or what sort of vehicle this Jack drove. In fact she was overly secretive about that and actually about him also.    Reed, you recall the evening she invited those boys to my motel room after the Palo Duro night out?  I wondered why she had done that but then that was Pam, sort of flaky.  So it was probably about drugs right Reed?  He didn’t answer so I continued.  I recall her telling me how several days had passed with no call from her handsome Frenchman Jake.  Once more, I pondered what a nice looking Frenchman was doing in Amarillo, Texas unless he was buying into an oil rig or a cattle ranch, which didn't bode well so I simply dropped it on the grounds that I truly couldn't have cared less at the time. At times Reed would stop typing and just listen.  I came to understand it was when I added my opinions and comments he did not need in his report.

I informed Reed that later that same day back in my motel room I received a telephone call only to pick up and hear the very raspy voice of Tilton Boyer.  He gave me the address of the small church that may be for sale as well as may need a preacher in the near future as we had discussed the previous day at his office.  He told me he would be unable to accompany me to the viewing.  Reed, I was thrilled that man would not be meeting me for “the viewing” because, ewe, it sounded like a funeral anyway and I really didn’t want to go “view” it, alone or otherwise.  Then suddenly I stopped talking to Reed and found myself in a trance staring at the grey filing cabinet but all the while in my tranced mind I continued driving the country roads in the area Tom and I last saw the black and silver truck we presumed had stolen Duke.  I was so tired I guess I was in a trance for what seemed like minutes where my mind also took me away from the uncomfortable. You know those trances that have sliver threads that connect us to a star in the never-ending universe when someone tries to call you back to earth and you want to stay right where you were for as long as humanly possible.  That place of total peace and tranquility when people wave their hands in front of your face to wake you back up to reality when you don’t want to come back. But it didn’t matter what I wanted because there were Reed’s hands waving vigorously as they tore my beautiful shimmering silver threads connecting me to the peace of the universe into shreds of nothingness.  Gone.   

Reed asked me what the heck was wrong with me.  And why was I looking at Churches for sale in Amarillo anyway?  That is when I filled him in on Tom Baird and his family and his dreams at which time he once again stopped typing.  Guess the FBI doesn’t need to know what people’s dreams in life are. 

I responded just as harshly with, “What? Nothing is wrong with me Reed, what is wrong with you?  I am tired and I wondered off momentarily.  So what? And anyway you ruined my trance!”  And then we continued with the interrogation of the “what do you know about Pam Hawkinson book.”   I told Reed she relayed to me the fact that she and the Frenchman Jake had become very close as well as intimate.  She said he was the most romantic lover she had experienced in all her life.  I recalled giving her an inquisitory look as if to say, “Well how many men have you been intimate with Pam?”  I guess that was more information than the detective truly needed but as a woman I tell it all and with some gusto added.  And then I added some more unnecessary information.   Reed, she replied to my personal question with whiny voice stating, “Not really Julianna!  He loves me from somewhere deep inside his soul along with every other part of his being.   She added she was not used to a man that gave of himself so deeply and with such intent.  I was silent for I could actually understand that part of her story from my own experience.   Reed had stopped typing and was staring at me with a blank look simply waiting for me to finish my little mental movie of words.  I stopped, looked back at him and said, “What?” 

He informed me he did not need to know how many men Pam had been with nor did he need to know what my individual involvement with men had been and to stick to the facts please.  That is when he turned back to his typewriter and waited for me to begin again.

            I wondered if I should continue telling Reed the rest of the story.  That was after I backed up and shared how she had given Tom a job at the restaurant, stolen my gun, and never discussed where she lived and or anything about her family.  And then I dropped the big bomb on Reed how I had informed Pam that I leaned toward hearing from the beyond at which point I stopped and just stared at Reed not being sure I should continue.  He did not move but remained sitting tall facing his metal clicking best friend of a machine waiting for me to carry on.  And so I did. 

I blurted out, “You know what Reed?  After I told her that she sat up tall, eyes big as saucers talking way too fast firing question after question at me.  She had assumed I was a fortune teller where as I immediately put both my hands in the air as a sign of STOP!  I informed her I was not a fortune teller, that I merely  sensed  if something was good or evil, as well as whether the outcome would be beneficial or not.  She looked at me, slanted her head with anticipation of me telling her he would lavish her with gold and silver jewels, fancy cars, big houses, and diamonds while he loved her passionately the rest of her born days.  Instead, I rather blatantly told her not to see that man anymore as my spirit told me he was known for using women to his benefit and then telling them he had to leave the country for various reasons.    You know Reed, I don’t know why I bothered because she just argued with me, saying no no, he loves me as she flipped her long blond curly hair away from me and curtly walked out of my motel room saying, "You will see Missy!"    I stopped talking and scanned the room from left to right and back.  Reed had stopped typing and was coarsely staring at me again.  I guessed I had gotten off the track of necessary facts again. 

I said, “What? I can’t help it, I am giving you all the information I have in my head from the past week.  So some extra girl stuff gets in there, ssoo-rryy!   Do you have enough Reed?  I am so gone tired.” Anyways you are the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Don't you already know all of this?  I recall now the look on his face when I so overspoke his masculine authority.  It was a look I shall savor in my little mental book of Texas women and how and what to not say to Texas men.  Especially ones who think they are in charge.

Miles Reed finally turned away from his gray metal friend and faced me squarely saying it was time for us to go downstairs and get my temporary vehicle.  On our way to the vehicle room Reed gave me explicit instructions not to leave my motel without talking to him first and there would be an undercover agent following me to “the viewing” the following day.   I asked him if I had given him the address and he affirmed although I didn’t recall doing so.  

Reed picked me out a light blue VW bug to drive until this case was closed.  Of course I asked if they didn’t have any pink ones and of course he laughed in return.  I told him if I found Duke he wouldn’t even fit in this car.  Reed said he figured that dog and I would find a way but I was not to go searching for my dog.  It was too dangerous as I was being watched by both sides.   This time it was the real mafia and the real FBI.   Suddenly I was afraid.  Before Reed handed me the keys and as he held them in the air dangling between his handsome thumb and middle finger, he said, “Might I ask how you know the Governor of Texas Miss Rowe? “  And then he added, “Nevermind, I think I don’t have time for the answer.”  And he walked away after opening the large garage door to let me drive out into the Amarillo madness of mafia drug lords. 

I turned the key, put it in Drive and headed out the big doors of the government building when I heard several loud popping sounds.  I hit the accelerator and headed for the Rice Motel.  I could see in my rear view mirror I was not without armed guards.   I had just been hit with a barrage of gunfire.  Several unmarked cars, one with Reed present followed me to the Motel where I was told to gather my belongings, as I would now be under protective custody.   I put up such a fuss none of those FBI Agents had a clue how to handle me.  Reed excused us to my motel room while the others waited outside.  He informed me I could stay with him at his residence but it had to be top secret.  He knew I would never go back to the pokey again without a nasty struggle.  We walked together to the Motel office where I paid my bill and checked out.  We rode in a dark blue sedan back to the FBI headquarters where we changed vehicles and drove to Reeds home not far from his office.  He informed me the gunshots weren’t intended to kill anyone rather to let us know they knew what was going on meaning we had to have a new plan.  I was not to leave his house for any reason.  Not even for “the viewing.”  Before he left the room to fix us some dinner, he laid the "Baby Browning" on my dresser.

I did not argue about anything this time because I was basically drained and in need of a bubble bath and my dog, but I can’t say wanting to see Reed without his suit or actually anything on hadn’t crossed my mind. 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Cardboard Box Part 11 Chapter 11 "Double Dealing" Julianna Rowe Property of Diane Ogden

Chapter 11


After an exceptionally fretful night I arose in a somewhat confused state. I can still recall the first thought that came to me because it was as strong as a train wreck at a crossing gate.  Who was Pam with in that black and silver truck Tom and I followed the night before? I was going to get up, shower quickly and go see her at the restaurant to find out.  While showering I began I wonder if she would be expecting me?  Whether she even knew it was me following them and lest I forget, shooting at them?   I also wondered if it might not be time to “drop a dime” and talk to Granddaddy about this fine mess I had once again drove right into. 

I put on my best pink rhinestone studded western shirt, along with my white shorts, pink boots and headed for the restaurant.   I nervously arrived to find someone other than Pam seating people.  I asked where I could find her and the reply shocked me.  She had taken a leave of absence and the person replacing her was not aware when she would be returning.  I simply remained there with my mouth so totally open for so long a bug could have found itself a home for sure. The new manager shook my arm vigorously while asking me if I were alright.  I snapped out of it laughing as though I had not looked like I had seen a ghost or was having one of those silent seizures I had heard people can have.  And then I told her I needed to see Tom for a minute.   I shall never forget that moment in all my life as the woman informed me Tom just never showed up or gave a proper notice.  Once again I almost fainted on the spot. 

“Lady, are you okay??” she said as I sank into one of the red shiny leather booths with a blank stare on my face.  “Can I call someone to come and get you?” she added.

Duke was gone, Pam was gone, and now Tom.  Where was Tom?  I had to get to his house and find out what happened.   I had to get some help now and I knew it.  Things were getting seriously out of any realm of normalcy.  But then that had started the night before with gunfire. I recall the intense feeling of fear running through my entire being. 

When I arrived at Tom’s, Shamika came running out of the house to meet me.  She asked me if I had seen Tom.   I told her no I hadn’t and that was why I was there.  The motel said he just never showed up for his job this morning with no proper notice. 

Shamika broke out in tears telling me someone came to the house that morning and after some brief discussion, Tom told her he had to leave but not to worry he would be back.  I asked her what kind of vehicle he had left in.   She said it was a black and silver pick-up truck.   That is when I sank onto the cement curb with my head in my hands.  Shamika sat next to me demanding to know what was going on.  What had I gotten her father into?   I responded with an apology and that I wasn’t sure but I was going to the sheriff’s office as soon as I collected myself.  It was then I asked her if she could describe the man Tom left with.  To think real hard because it was so important as well as I figured the sheriff would also be questioning her as the day progressed, I was sure of it.  We hugged and I drove off toward the County Sheriff’s offices.   But before I did I stopped at the motel and hid the ‘baby browning.”  I wasn’t even sure it was safe anymore considering Pam probably had a master key to all the rooms.  Upon arrival at the sheriff’s office and not long after, I was informed this was a city matter not a county and I was to go to the Police Station downtown.   Now don’t you know I was excited about that considering the way my luck had been going Mr. Fuzz chrome dome Intimidation jailer would be on duty.  And then again maybe not as this would probably be a detective’s concern and not Mr. Jailer man’s duty. Nope this one went above his chrome dome all show and no go bald fat self.

I walked into that station proud considering my last entrance was through the back door in handcuffs.  Danged if I was going to be intimidated by these men even one more time.   I asked to speak to the person in charge.   The Johnny Law at the desk looked up at me and simply said, “What is the reason you need to see someone here young lady?”

I looked directly into his seedy little brown eyes and said, “This is regarding a missing dog and a missing person.” 

He laughed and asked me how long the person had been missing?  I told him my dog had been gone now for several days and Tom since this morning.  He snickered while telling me they didn’t handle dog catching services as well as a person isn’t considered missing for at least 24 hours.  He was sure my guy would be coming back with the dog when we were over our fussing. 

I put my fist on his desk which was taller than me while I told him this could be a matter of life and death and to get me someone to tell my story to.

Again, he asked me if I felt I was in any danger from the missing dog or my boyfriend. 

I was getting seriously hacked off.  I did my best to remain calm considering not doing so always got me in a world of trouble.   So I took a deep breath and said, “Sir, I drove into your town as a guest passing through.  I accidentally met an old man and his family down on their luck so my dog Duke and I stayed to help them out. I got a motel room, met the restaurant manager Pam whose friends stole from my car, and stole my dog, and then planted drugs in my car, I went to jail, got out, and now my friend is missing as well as my dog and the restaurant manager is also gone missing and I am scared of the black and silver truck and I am…..I am….

The fuzz man at the big desk stood up, came around the front of the desk and took me by the arm over to a chair where he gently sat me down and said,   “You the lady the governor called about?”  

I sat me up big and tall after he said that and I responded with, “Yes sir I am Julianna Rowe.”

He told me to stay right there, he would be right back.   As I sat there waiting for God only knew what, I remember all I wanted to do was to stop all the noises in my head.   Then I realized I hadn’t eaten since the day before.  I had gone to the restaurant to find Pam and Tom that morning but when I received the shocking news they were both gone I forgot to eat.  

Just then a man in a brown suit came walking out of the back room with the Johnny Law front desk man and invited me to his office.   I informed him I hadn’t eaten and was feeling quite dizzy and faint.   He instructed the front desk man to get me some juice and a Twinkie from the office fridge.  I apologized and thanked him as we walked down a dingy dark painted hallway to his small office where he pulled out a brown leather chair for me.  He then sat behind his grey metal desk and introduced himself.   Miles Reed  Miss Rowe, now what can I do for you today?  I told the detective everything that had happened since the day I drove into town.   He leaned forward placing his elbows on his desk and looked at me with sincere consideration as tears streamed down my rosy pink cheeks and onto my pretty pink Amarillo western studded shirt all the while I was trying to eat the Twinkie and not choke from sheer upset.  Detective Reed was a very gentle man who calmed me down rather quickly with his kind words.  He informed me the force had been watching the Rice Motel as it had come to their attention there was probable drug trafficking going on.   I sat up in my seat and with another mouth full of Twinkie and said that is what I had deduced was the culprit in all this mess.  And did he believe me when I said I didn’t have anything to do with any of it. That someone had planted those drugs in my car.  Detective Reed informed me the Amarillo Police force and Sheriff’s office were aware of that fact as well as they had been watching me since shortly after  I went to the Palo Duro Drive in with Pamela Hawkinson.   I recall sitting there eating that Twinkie feeling so young and stupid.  I didn’t even know the last name of the person that had gotten me into all this box of misfortune as well as I had brought Tom and Duke into it also.  Then suddenly I realized “the force” had put me in jail as bait.  I sat up even taller, looked at the detective and spewed out that fact and called him out on it.   Also raised my voice as to how awful that was to have done to me.  The detective reminded me how lucky I was to have been watched over even though I had to go through a difficult stint in the pokey.  They had to make it look real so the dealers wouldn’t kill me or anyone else involved. 

“Kill me!  Kill me?” I said.

“Yes maam Miss Julianna.  We are not dealing with any small time local boys.  This is a large drug bust we are working on.  The Fed’s are also involved in this.”   Now that I have told you some of the confidential FBI and local information regarding this case I must also inform you that we may have to put you in custody again for your own protection. 

“Oh no!  Not going to the pokey for any reason whatsoever Mr. Reed!  No No No.  I will take my chances on the outside thank you.  I do have rights and you have already misused my freedom once sir.  I am officially leaving now.” He pushed a button on his phone and when I opened the door to leave there was another Johnny Law waiting for just little ole’ me.  I recalled backing up, turning around to face Detective Reed and saying, “Okay I give.  What do you need from me?” He smiled as he revealed the master FBI plan to use me to catch the big drug dealers.  Not the hokey boys at the drive in, but the dealers who had been pulling young kids into their trade.   He also mentioned, again while grinning that I might want to hand in my browning for safe keeping.  I went browning ballistic, talking a mile a second as to why that was not going to happen.  I had to have some sort of safety mechanism close to me, not a cop car hiding a mile back.   So after my ranting and raving for over a minute or so Detective Reed gave in to my keeping my gun in my car.  Then I showed him the knife in my bobbie sock.  We actually laughed together at that one.  

I wasn’t allowed to leave for most of the day.  The FBI had taken my hot rental car and hidden it away in an underground parking area specifically for this sort of situation.  I really hoped after all the interrogating I would be given a different car to exit the premises.  Danged if I would put up with that old chrome dome fat fuzz down in the jail area again. 

Detective Reed was typing faster than I had ever seen any man type.  As he re -questioned me, I answered and he typed.   He had also ordered us an amazing dinner from the Big Texan Steakhouse down the street.  That was the best part of the day so far because I can’t go without food very long or I get cranky and sad and every other emotion.  I read somewhere it has something to do with the glucose in your blood going up and down depending on what you eat and the time of day.   I always figured that is why the Mexican’s have siesta time at three p.m. every day.  Their glucose has to be sinking so they set a time to sink with it.  While I was daydreaming about the Mexican nationalities way of life and eating steak and fried potatoes, Detective Reed asked me to tell him everything I knew about Pam Hawkinson.  I was so tired I couldn’t think for a minute or so.   Reed could see the blank look on my face and he understood the reason why.  He stood up, stretched and invited me to take a walk with him.  I gave him the untrusting look as if to say, “I am not walking anywhere near that cell with you, no way hose!”  He laughed and assured me we were simply taking a walk to get our energy back in check because we had been sitting way too long.  I agreed.  We did not talk business for fifteen or twenty minutes.  We walked the building hallways, took the elevator to the top floor and walked out onto the roof where the sun was actually still shining brilliantly onto the black tar paper under our feet.  Detective Reed had removed his jacket and tie earlier during the investigative discussion.  As we stood atop the roof the sun fell on his auburn hair like glistening drops of heaven dancing all around him.  He wasn’t a tall man but everything else about him was darn near perfect.  He had been talking all day yet I never noticed his full lips and deep sincere bright green eyes.  He was looking at me the same way I was looking at him.  We were actually both drawn to one another in a moment in time having nothing to do with any investigation.  I ventured toward him slowly like something out of the movies where the two people run in slow motion on the beach to a magnificent end all wrapped around one another.  Is that what I thought would happen here?  Yes that is what I wanted to have happen here.  He was saving me from all the bad that had put me in the box.  But as I drew closer to him, the motion picture going on inside my head was a slow motion James Dean, Rock Hudson scene. That was precisely when Mr. Miles Reed turned and motioned for me to follow him back to the interrogation room.  I knew he wanted the same thing I wanted but he took the high road and I as usual took the low road that always brought me trouble. 

Back in the dingy handsome detectives office the questioning resumed.   Once again he asked me to tell him everything I could recall about Pam Hawkinson.  But somehow we got sidetracked and I never finished telling him what I knew until later.  My mind was now centered on Duke and Tom. 

I asked Miles if he thought I would ever find my dog Duke and my friend Tom and if he thought they were safe or maybe they knew too much and had been disposed of.   And then the tears came like a storm from within that had been building for too long.  Miles did not come around and comfort me by holding me, nor did he kiss me while my hot tears burned as they flowed past our locked lips.  No he rather informed me of the safety measures taken to protect me.  There would be an undercover FBI agent near me at all times.  I was given a vehicle, and a special phone I was to keep on me at all times for communication and safety.  It was some fancy Government Issue walkie talkie system.  It did help me feel safer, but not safe.  God this was a nightmare out of hell.  I should have married Harper Rutherford back in Wisconsin and just been satisfied.  Or I should have married Billy Connally, the Governor’s Grandson and lived with what was expected of me.  I should have kept driving out of Amarillo and left old Tom…….


Monday, February 23, 2015

The Cardboard Box Part II Chapter 10 "Baby Browning" Julianna Rowe (Property of Diane Ogden)

Chapter 10

“Baby Browning”

            Attorney Timothy Haines decided to represent me in court on November 22, 1966 in the matter of felony charges #0936420.  I wasn’t so sure the old boy believed I was innocent by the way he questioned every darn thing I said.  In my mind I wagered if I had let him know I had a million dollars he would have accepted every word I said, because that is the way the cards fall in business.  Money talks but I had decided I didn’t know this man well enough to share such a secret.  No need for the whole town of Amarillo to know and it clearly would if the wrong individual got ahold of that mystery tale of mine.   It certainly appeared as though I was on my own to discover who framed me for their criminal acts.  Me and Old Tom Baird that is.   The situation wasn’t looking good from where I was sitting that dim rainy day in a stranger’s office a long way from home.  Be that as it may  I didn't have a home any more so that was it for that time.

            Tom worked full shifts the next few days making him unable to do any detective work for me.  I was still driving at least a hundred miles a day searching for Duke.  I had to stop and get my mind on something else or I recall feeling I would have lost it.    I was in the heart of the panhandle and all I could think about was Duke and prison life.   I flipped on the radio and wouldn’t you know, the song “Reach Out and I’ll Be There,” by the Four Tops was playing just for me.   I was wailing that tune out loud and clear knowing each and every word by heart. Funny how we all think we can sing like a rock star when we are alone in the car.

Now if you feel that you can't go on

 Because all of your hope is gone

 And your life is filled with much confusion

 Until happiness is just an illusion

 And your world around is crumbling down, darlin'

(Reach out) Come on girl reach on out for me

 Reach out for me

 Hah, I'll be there with a love that will shelter you

 I'll be there with a love that will see you through

When you feel lost and about to give up

 'Cause your best just ain't good enough  

And your feel the world has grown cold

And your drifting out all on your own  

And you need a hand to hold, darlin'

 (I'll be there to always see you through)

 (I'll be there to love and comfort you)

 I can tell the way you hang your head

 You're not in love now, now you're afraid

 And through your tears you look around

 But there's no peace of mind to be found

 I know what your thinking

 You're a loner, no love of your own, but darling…

            My smile had returned even though I didn’t have a lover.  I felt I had another promise.  I figured somewhere in the Gideon was a promise sent to me through the radio that very day.  I never cried again for Duke or for fear of prison.  I aimed to find some answers that would open that wooden box and set me free.  I could handle being in a cardboard box on occasion but that was a skuzz bucket coffin full of secrets.

            I decided to make a pit stop at the Real Estate Office Tom had followed Pam to the night of my arrest.   Why in the world would she go to a Real Estate Office after work? *  I planned to find out.  I opened the door to find a young woman receptionist.  I inquired as to whether the owner was in and she cheerfully responded no but she would be happy to take a message and let him know I stopped in.  Poor kid sounded like a chirping bird all giddy and just too sappy happy.  Perhaps it was me being excessively critical which was unusual for me but then so were my circumstances at present.   I graciously gave miss teeny bopper my name but no number.  I told her I would stop back in about an hour and to tell the agent I would be inquiring about any small churches for sale in the area.    She chirped some more sappy happy and was still grinning ear to ear when I stepped out the door giving one more look back glance *just to see if she had let down any, but she had not.   I continued walking back to my rental car but not without some serious “what did I just see” back there going on in my head.  A cutsie patoosie is what I had just experienced.  God Amarillo was full of Texas Ranger and Marilyn Monroe wannabee’s.  I wondered what I might run into next.

            I stopped at the drugstore fountain and had a chocolate malted shake topped with real whipping crème.  Then I frequented The Hub Clothiers Store near 6th and Polk where I purchased a few more things for Shamika and her little girl.  And of course I found the prettiest pink western shirt with silver studs and rhinestones above the front right and left pocket sections as well as a couple of the latest crop tops that exposed the midriff section of my almost prefect body that could use some serious tanning time.  For my new friend Tom, some new threads like a stunning beige three piece suit with a matching shirt and a dark brown on pink pokadot silk tie to die for with matching silk pocket kerchief.  Oh, and a gleaming new gold watch.  The store assured me they would tailor the suit for Mr. Baird as well as fix him up with a pair of rust colored patent leather shoes to match when he came in for his fitting.  Now all I had to do was get old Tom to accept my gifts.  I figured if I told him he would look like Dr. Martin Luther King that would get the job done.  That was the second time I had spent that much money in one day and it felt darn good. 

            I made it back to the Real Estate office just as the male agent was rising from his desk to leave.  Not wanting him to leave out the back door before I could have a chance to talk with him, I walked quickly past cutsie patoosie into his office and introduced myself to which he did not reciprocate.  I assured him his secretary had put forth her best Marilyn Monroe bit but that I felt I had a more serious businesslike reason for stopping in as well as I noticed he was about to leave.   I was trying to play the Mr. Intimidation card on the realtor man that the jailor fuzz used on me.  Not sure it worked so I skipped past it, shook his hand, sat down while telling him I had a serious interest in finding a small church for sale in the area.  He inquired as to why I wanted to purchase a church of all things.  I wondered if that were normal procedure for a relator to inquire about considering when I have gone to purchase a car no one ever asked me why.  I looked him square in the eye and said, “Mr? Uhm.”    You see, since he had not utilized due graciousness when I presented myself previously, I had not known his name.

He reluctantly answered with, “Tilton, Tilton Boyer.  Pleased to make your acquaintance Miss Rowe.

            Well that was better!  I wasn’t sure what had tilted his all show and no go attitude but possibly we were on the same or similar page now.  He let me know he was not mindful of any empty churches available in the area yet he did have one with a dwindling congregation that the townsfolk gossip said was headed towards a down and out end.  I informed Mr. Boyer I was interested.  He set up a time for us to look at the property the following day to which I agreed.   We shook hands and as I was leaving I turned to him and asked if he had any children.  He gave me a quick harsh glance resembling the psycho killer of the eight nurses, Richard Speck.  Ice cold chills ran up and down my back as well as the hair on my arms stood at direct attention.   I was petrified worse than driving across any bridge over water which had been my biggest fear in life before that day.   I was standing up close and personal next to a guy who I could see and sense was heavy duty trouble. I backed away a few steps, smiled like cutsie patoosie teeny bopper saying I was just trying to be friendly as I did an about face and exited the building.  God I didn’t want to go see that church alone with that man the following day but I had no one to go with me except my baby browning small blowback-operated single-automatic six round pistol.  And if I were caught with it while awaiting trial my attire would have changed back to red and white stripes. 

            Later that night after Tom’s shift ended he and I followed Pam again.  She stopped at a club on the strip for about an hour and then left with a man driving a black and silver truck.  I almost jumped out of my shorts and crop top when I saw the truck that stole my dog.  We were going to follow that truck if it took all night.  Tom was extremely apprehensive about us going anywhere these drug dealers were without the baby browning.  I told him I brought it along jail time or no jail time.  He sort of laughed but was so darned nervous it came out a slight grunt which made up both laugh.  We followed the truck a few blocks when we realized it was stopping at the Psycho’s Real Estate Office.   When Pam got out the black and silver truck it did not leave, rather it waited for her until she came back out with a satchel and climbed up into the cab and they sped off.  We directly pulled out in pursuit of Duke and evidence to clear my name.   We went unnoticed until we hit the country roads where headlights are hard to hide at one in the morning.  The truck slowed to a crawl and so did we.  They had seen us and wanted us to pass so they could get a good look at us which of course we couldn’t do. There we were out in the middle of nowhere going so slow it was the next thing to parking. I could have made a Y turn and headed back home, but I didn’t want to lose them even though I realized I already had.  That is when we heard shots.  Danged if they weren’t shooting at us.   I told Tom to lie down but instead he popped the magazine into baby browning, pointed and striker-fired at the truck tires. 

“By God Tom you hit one! “

            “Yes ‘em, I am a perdy good shot, but now what ‘n tarnation we gonna do Miss Julie, they are speeding off with a flat tire?”

            I instructed old Tom to hit them again in the other back tire and so he did but this time his hand was shaking so bad he missed and when they fired back I knew it was time to stop before I got the old man killed.  Then I’d have no friend and no help not to mention he hadn’t even seen his new suit yet.  Heck if I wanted to be burying him in his sharp new threads he hadn’t even seen.  No I wanted him preachin’ in them instead, so I backed off tailing the black and silver truck with Pam in it.  They drove out of site a little off balance due to a shot out tire, but out of site regardless.

            We sat on the side of the road feeling helpless like we were alone and adrift at sea.    We wondered if Pam had seen who we were.  Surely she saw the car and she knows what the car I rented looks like.

She could have turned me in on the sly for having the gun which would have gotten me out of the way for sure.  Then all they would have had to deal with would be an old Negro man and that wouldn’t be hard to do in these parts I learned.  When we got back to the motel I threw Tom’s bike in the trunk and I took him home.  He wanted me to leave the baby browning with him for hiding but I was too frightened to be without some sort of protection. Can’t say I wasn’t scared to death to be alone from that day on.  Just me and an old Negro man had messed with a pack of panhandle drug dealers.  We had gotten in way over our heads.  




Saturday, February 21, 2015

The Cardboard Box Chapter 9 -Courtroom Julianna Rowe (Property of Diane Ogden)

Chapter 8

Courtroom Follies

There I was, sitting in the pokey still feeling sorry for myself.  I had read a couple chapters in Psalms when I decided to stop and sit very quietly with all good expectations of being freed from the serious case of ”me-i-tis “ I had experienced.   I wasn’t sure whether to expect some sort of God shiver to hit my body, or whether I might fall to the floor in a fit of what some called being slain in the spirit.  Either way neither happened.  So, I read another chapter, nothing happened.   I closed the Gideon and went back to sleep on the hard steel flatbed attached to the grey cement block wall.  I hadn’t totally given up on God so after a few minutes of deep graveling of the mind I came up with plan B which was to use the Gideon as a pillow.   If God had an answer for me inside that book I figured I would get as close to it as I could to help God get his message through to me.   I recall sleeping the best I had in months that night. 

Breakfast came early along with a guard I hadn’t seen before.  I supposed there had been a shift change Gideon and I slept through.  His badge read, Phillip Conway, 1st Sargent, Amarillo Police Dept.   Yes indeed he had been that close to me for me to read the small print on his badgarooni.    He just stared at me for what seemed too long.  It wasn’t like I could ask him if there was anything I could do for him, so I stared back.   I never did like that dang staring game because I would usually lose by looking away as I did this time even though I knew he was trying to intimidate the young druggie girl. 

He stepped further toward my cell which meant any further and he would have snubbed his nose on the bars.  He told me to get dressed it was time to see the judge. 

I about had another one of those cows I have when I get shocked by someone or something.  I had no idea I would be seeing any judge for a very long time if ever.  I figured open and shut case on Julianna Rowe and wait a minute; I didn’t have any clothes to change into which I openly professed to the fuzz man with the overgrown attitude problem. 

Mr. Attitude did an about face, unlocked my cell and said, “Fine then, I guess this will be a come as you are party for you.   Judge Hawthorn won’t like it though.  He is one of the toughest judges in our circuit.”

 Mr. Intimidation had returned.  Like I wanted to hear that statement about the judge right before I stand before his majesty.  Mr. Intimidation must have lived a very unhappy life to be so mean and nasty to such a lovely young woman as myself.   I recall my thoughts at the time were to tell him, “Why don’t you go get some more donuts, it might make you sweeter, not to mention fatter.”  God he was fat.   Maybe that was the basis for his serious need for an attitude adjustment.   I remember wishing Duke were there to piss on donut man’s leg. 

I got to ride in the back of the fuzz cruiser again all the way to the courthouse without a jacket, in the cold.  One would think if I were under the custody of the State of Texas I would be issued a jacket.  But then I wasn’t issued a pillow either.   We arrived at the courthouse, reporters and television cameras surrounding me as I was escorted inside.  I was utterly amazed at the fuss over me until I noticed there was another prisoner who was bigger news than me who summoned all the media.  

The prisoners, me being one of those, were single filed into what appeared to be used church pews which I thought that to be rather humorous if anything could be humorous in that situation.   The bailiff would call a prisoners name and that prisoner would step up to the front of the courtroom facing the honorable Judgeman.    My respect for the law and such had lost its way somewhere back in Oklahoma more than once. 

I did pay heed when the sheriff by and by showed up on the premises and strolled specifically up to the Judges throne ceasing all due procedure, to hand the judge a note which was an alternate postponement creating time to not  move at all to support me. Then the Sheriff turned and walked out of the building. Names continued to be called and I continued to remain uncalled.   The recess had been called leaving me the only prisoner left in the old long church pew.  What the heck?  I figured he was going to lunch while leaving me sit there alone, cold, and hungry?  I wanted to pounce on someone real bad but I figured I was already in enough trouble so I sat quietly trying to recall anything I read in the Gideon. 

Not much time had passed before Judge Hawthorn returned to the throne bench and called my name.  He certainly had not been gone long a enough time for him to have taken lunch.  I wanted to shout out a yee haw but of course I did not.  He asked me if I knew what the charges against me were and I said I did not.   He proceeded to read a list of several felony charges of drug trafficking to possession….. and more.  I decided not to listen like when you were a kid and someone was telling you something awful so you covered your ears and with your mouth you loudly voiced LA LA LA LA LA LA.  I was making noise inside my head.   LA LA  LA LA LA LA LA LA LA.

That is until I heard the words, “You are free to go but you may not leave the city.  Your trial is set for November 22, 1966.  I suggest you get an attorney as soon as possible Miss Rowe.   And believe me if I hadn’t received a call from the esteemed Governor of Texas you would be marching right back to your cell until your trial date, do you hear me?”

“Yes sir, I can hear you.” 

Judge Throne almighty’s face turned a very deep shade of reddish purple meaning his blood pressure just hit the bell at the fare.   He said, “Don’t be smart with me young lady, because if the Governor hadn’t seen you on TV this morning you would be marching right back to your cell for the duration of your life if I had anything to say about it.  Get her outta here!”

            I walked out of that courtroom in a Texas prison striped jumpsuit to a squad car and back to the jail where I was issued my clothes and other personal affects.  Amid the ride back where I was at any rate not cuffed my brain was racing to beat the band.

  The Governor of Texas got me sprung out of jail.   Of course he did, he owed me!   But I can’t tell you I didn’t get a little puffed up over it.  Even a few chuckles came forth and then I remembered Gideon.  Danged if Gideon hadn’t known this all along and told me to hang in there the troops were coming or something like that.   And then suddenly the thought came, I wondered if the Gov. had told his Grandson, my x fiancé Billy.   And then I immediately knew he hadn’t.

I had to find Tom, a lawyer, and Duke.  There had been such terrible happenings to me the past twenty four hours I had off and on forgotten about finding my best friend Duke.  

 I tried to get my beautiful Pink Cadillac out of jail also, but was told it was evidence in an upcoming trial, therefore sorry lady.   I rented a brand new 1966 Red Shelby Mustang.  The only problem was Duke wouldn’t recognize it or me in it. I needed to attempt to think distinctively like Gideon so I could stay rational vs insanity. 

I drove to Tom’s house where we sat outside on the porch for several hours discussing the situation.  Old Tom let me know he figured Pam was the offender behind everything except he couldn't prove it yet.  We agreed we needed some help, some big help and if I had any ideas it was time to call them in.  When I told him I didn’t have any he hung his head while saying, “Miss Julie youse better think harder on dis one or youse could go to da big house fo most youse life.  Last night after dem policemen took youse away I done followed Pam to a real estate office down on 8th Street.  She went in Miss Julie but she never come out.  After a few hours I was fallin asleep in da alley which weren’t no good place for me to be.  I figured she musta left out the back door unless she sleeps in dat office.” 

Advising Tom not to help me in view of my concern toward his security would have done no good and I knew it so I didn’t.  I did tell reiterate how his children need him and to be extra cautious.   We both agreed that Duke was probably taken when the drugs were being hidden in the Cadi and that Pam most likely played a big part in all of the coverup.  Proving it was the hard part.  I asked Tom where my “Baby Browning” was.  

I think that might have been one of the few times I saw that old man laugh.   He told me to follow him which of course I did.  We strolled around to the back of the house where Tom instructed me to have a seat on an enormous old tree stump.   He told me he wouldn’t be able to show me this hiding place ifin it wasn’t almost dark time.  Old Tom showed me a small steel pin sticking out of the stump and when he gave a little tug on it a large square was gently pulled forward and out to expose my little “baby browning” all tucked in nice and safe. Tom told me he didn’t feel safe hiding it in the house where his Granddaughter might find it and of course I agreed.   He told me he took it with him when he followed Pam the previous evening but now that I was out on bail he believed I should keep baby browning with me.  And then he said.

“By’s da way, howd you git outta dat jail wit dose charges girl?  

I laughed and told him Gideon got me out!   And then I told him the true story of Billy Connally and his Granddaddy, the Governor of Texas.  Why I thought old Tom was going to have a seizure for sure right there sitting on the enormous dead tree stump with me.  Have you ever seen a Negro when his eyes get big as saucers?  Old Tom looked like he had stuck his finger in an electrical socket.  I laughed so hard tears were falling and when Tom realized the scene he was involved in he began laughing til tears fell like refreshing raindrops for both of us.  I think Gideon calls that the Holy Spirit laughter because it brings healing, and it did.  Shamika opened the front door, stood there with her hands on her hips watching us laugh until the bug got her too.  There we were, the three of us laughing till our bellies hurt, and refreshed so we could begin the fight for my life. 

Interesting the people God/the Universe, brings into our lives.  I also recalled reading in Gideon that we human beings should beware of Angels unaware meaning there are beings here  on earth who are Angels sent to help us.  They may not be what we would expect for instance a Negro family down on their luck meeting up with a millionaire who was engaged to the Governor’s Grandson.   No wonder old Tom had a near spiritual seizure.  

I said my prayers of thanks that night, for being jailed and finding the Gideon book and for meeting an old negro man at an Oklahoma rest stop, trusting him and giving him a ride to Amarillo, for knowing Billy Connally and his Granddaddy the Governor, and even for knowing Ratfink Roger and his Daddy J B Justice the rich cattle and oilman where I got Duke.   Now all I needed was a good lawyer and some proof who planted those drugs in my car, and most of all finding my Duke because as soon as I found Duke and got the charges dropped, I was long gone from the fine city of Amarillo, Texas bound to Route 66 for Sante Fe and no more troubles. 

The cardboard box that had turned to wood with me nailed inside now appeared to have an opening at one corner.  Not enough to pry open the top but it enough for some life giving oxygen to circulate.