Monday, December 23, 2013

Any Beaver Cleaver Roots?

Since my mother’s accident over Thanksgiving weekend, I have reflected a lot on the love, security, and comfort that defined home to me.  I was in my 30’s before I realized that ours was not a “Beaver Cleaver” home…but what we had was probably a lot more normal.  Yesterday was my parent’s 66th Wedding Anniversary and today is Roots Day.  I did not remind Mother of their anniversary, as it would have made her increasingly sad, as it seems these last 16 years she has missed Daddy more than the year before and she so yearns to be with him once again.  With Mother now in rehab, our Christmas will be different this year.  My sister and youngest nephew came in to see Mother and bring their gifts for our exchange.  My sister gifted Mother and I with prints of old family photographs.  When I opened them, I cried, but we have been crying a lot since Mother’s accident.  Dwight and I were talking about being thankful that Cindy and Matt got to see Mother on Friday, for it was a good day for her and unfortunately her difficult days are becoming more frequent.

Family gatherings, old photographs, sharing childhood stories and those of our ancestors all help us discover our roots and learn of the things that have made us who we are today.  I believe that finding our roots gives us a sense of belonging that we may not even realize we were missing.  In 1982, my parents vacationed in Colorado for the first time.  As a young boy, my dad had lived in Colorado and during that vacation, he had gone in search of his childhood home.  Upon returning home to Texas, they showed us incredible photos of Colorado tourist spots where they had captured the Lord’s glory in its finest.  There were also pictures of Daddy’s childhood home against the backdrop of a distant range of mountains and they were captivating as well.  These pictures that seized my attention revealed a small and very plain little house that no longer had a roof, was void of its windows and one wall laid in ruins.  This was the home that MY grandfather had built for his family—my grandmother and his three little boys. 

Soon after seeing these pictures of their 1982 trip, I came up with a plan to move Daddy’s home from Colorado to our family farm in Texas and presented my plan to him.  Being realistic, Daddy told me of all the cons to offset all the pros of my plan.  Of course, it was his money that I was using in “the plan” estimates and it just did not seem as enticing and practical to him as it did to me.  I certainly did not have the $100,000 plus dollars it would have cost to buy the home from the current owners, and for the cost of dismantling, moving and rebuilding the house, so the idea was quashed.

My husband grew up vacationing in Colorado during the summers, as his mother too had lived in Colorado as a young girl.  In 2001, she wanted to take another trip and asked us to go along. As the trip began, I was very excited with the prospect of finding my dad’s home which was what I wanted more than anything on the trip.  The first night we stopped in Raton, New Mexico where Dwight’s parents stayed in an RV park and we stayed at the Best Western.  Early the next morning we checked out and went to the RV Park to start the journey to Colorado Springs.  They had decided they wanted to stay and rest a while longer and urged us to go and to find my dad’s home.  Our trip was to be a three week vacation, and I had thought we would search for Daddy’s home at the end of the trip instead of the beginning, but instead we headed out that morning looking for the little house.  I began praying as soon as we left, knowing that I was going to be terribly disappointed IF we did not find the little house, as that had become the main focus of planning for me…to find Daddy’s home.  The longer we drove, the more I prayed as it was not long into that journey that I realized, it was going to be like “looking for a needle in a haystack”.  And the more I talked to the Lord, the more I talked of concession, realizing that I just did not have enough information (just a few pictures from the 1982 trip) for anyone to direct us to Daddy’s home in the vast wilderness of His Colorado Plains.  My dad had died in 1997 and Mom could only tell me what she remembered of their search 19 years before “if you can find the school house, you can find your Daddy’s house which is a mile or more from the schoolhouse”.   As I viewed the Plains I kept thinking that I certainly never recalled seeing pictures or of studying THIS Colorado in school.  What I saw of the Colorado Plains made west Texas look heavily populated. It was definitely going to take the Lord’s intervention and guidance to find Daddy’s little home in the vast and barren lands we were traveling.  .   

Two hours into our drive, we came to a fork in the road and the first little town called Walt’s Crossing.  As I remember, we had not seen any cars, houses, or cattle since leaving Trinidad, Colorado.  I had believed we had to be going the wrong way, not believing that anyone could have lived and survived in the wilderness of this land.  Walt’s Crossing had a home which was also an art gallery.  When we went inside, the folks were as excited to see us as we were to see them.  We asked if we were on the right road that would take us to Pritchett, Colorado.  They were puzzled why we were looking for Pritchett.  I showed them my pictures and they knew nothing of the home or schoolhouse, but said to stay on the same road for the next 70 miles and once we got into town to stop at the Post Office or General Store for assistance. 

As we entered town, we found the Post Office with ease.  Pritchett was as much a ghost town as those seen in the old Westerns shown on television.  I certainly was not surprised after our three hour drive through the Plains.  The woman working at the Post Office had only been in the area for a couple of years and knew nothing about the home or the schoolhouse.  She sent us to the General Store—the only other business open in town.  The General Store served as a bar and diner as well.  The lone woman working took our hamburger orders as I viewed the meager grocery supplies.  It was obvious that Pritchett was not home to many folks or they were definitely due a big delivery to stock the bare shelves.  When she brought our burgers, she asked what we were doing in town.  I pulled out my pictures feeling a little foolish in asking as I believed it was pointless to ask anyone else if the Postmaster did not know where the old schoolhouse could be found.  Once our multi talented friend at the General Store looked at the pictures, she told us something like “I not only sell, sack and shelve groceries, tend bar, cook, serve and bottle wash, I ALSO mow for the county and know exactly where this home is!”  She then went on to tell us that there were only two such structures remaining in the Colorado Plains and this was one of them.  Once we finished lunch, she directed us to the Co-Op to get gas and gave directions to Daddy’s home.  I was too excited to take time to get gas first, so we proceeded in search of Daddy’s home.  No luck.  We headed back to the Co-Op and as we were gassing up, we talked to the man running the Co-op.  He was a local and actually remembered the family name and thought he remembered my dad and his older brother.  He went inside and called the owners of the ranch and told Joyce that I was searching for my dad’s home.  She invited us out, gave us directions and we were soon on the road in my quest to find our family roots and incredible blessings from the Lord. 

Joyce met us as we pulled into their drive.  She took us out to the barn to meet Eddie, her husband.  I showed them the pictures and they explained when they bought the property, they built their own house literally around the old schoolhouse.  Through the back barn doors, Eddie pointed to Daddy’s house---way in the distance.  He gave us a crow bar to use in turning over rocks as the Plains are a prolific rattlesnake habitat.  They told us that we could take our time and have anything from the house that we wanted.  I was glad we were in Dwight’s pickup as I definitely wanted rock from the house. 

For three hours, we walked around the house and the land.  I can not explain the incredible and overpowering feelings I experienced at the home site.  The home stood near a cliff above the deep canyons and I SAW the beauty amid the barrenness.  My grandfather had quarried the rock from the stone canyons below and had hauled the rocks up out of those deep canyons.  Many of the rocks actually had the signs of the pick he had used in cutting the stone.  I could count the numerous strikes just by the pick marks on the many rocks as I intently gazed at the stone walls of the home…the fruit of his hard labor.  The house was a small one room home with a dirt floor, yet he had to have labored very hard to build the home for his young family.  To load and haul the large rocks from the canyons would have been a difficult feat as well.  As we went through every inch of the house, Dwight pointed out that what made the difference in Granddaddy’s house was that he had made mortar and used it instead of mud that would wash away.  And he had taken barbed wire and used it like modern day rebar is used in strengthening structures to withstand the elements and storms.  He had to have been as wise as my dad as the small home had at that time withstood almost 80 years of the harsh elements of the Colorado Plains.  We later realized that the same was true of the schoolhouse which was probably the second “remaining structure” we had been told about.  Inside the house, Granddaddy had taken strips of wood and embedded them into the rocks creating pegboards.  I imagined the boys using them to hang their little clothes and other items such as Grandmother’s pots and pans.  As I peered out each of the openings where the windows and doors had been, I wanted to capture what they saw as they looked at the vistas outside their little home.  When we walked outside, I picked handfuls of the native flowers that looked like yellow baby’s breath growing wild across the land.  I was seeing this all at summer’s end, but I also tried to imagine what it was like for them in the fall, winter and spring and a wellspring of love flowed within me as I imagined the hard daily life of my dear family in the barrenness of the Colorado Plains.  It was a life that eventually brought them to Texas in 1934 when my dad was ten years old.   

Wanting to thank Eddie and Joyce when we left Daddy’s home, we headed back to their house.  As we pulled up in front of their home, we saw their dog, a Rin Tin Tin look alike and she was nursing a litter of kittens.  What a surprising yet delightful and sweet sight to see!  They wanted us to come in to meet Eddie’s mother as he had called her and  she had come to share her own memories of those times during the 1920’s and 1930’s.  They gave us a tour of the home and we actually sat in the old schoolhouse which was the large den area of their home.  I was shown the area of the room where there was an elevated floor which served as a “stage” for the school.  They used it for plays, choir practice and other school programs.  After acquainting me with the school, Joyce presented me with a packet and explained with the purchase of the ranch, the school was included as well as all the records going back to the beginning of the school.  She had been appointed the County Historian and therefore had all the records dating back to when my family lived there.  She had spent her time searching the records while we were out at the home site.  She made copies of pictures of the students, of which my father and his older brother had not been identified and she was now able to “name” them.  She gave me copies of the teacher's contracts, my dad’s report cards and other miscellaneous data that she thought would be of interest to me.  I was so incredibly overwhelmed and thankful to have received all that she found and was so kind to share with me.  I could not have been happier if I had found a treasure chest of gold. 

That magical day has been one of the most memorable days I have spent with my family, even though I was the only one there, I felt they were ALL with me in spirit and the love I have for them was felt as strongly that day as if they were all right there with me.  As we drove away from the ranch, I gazed back upon Daddy’s little home in the distance until it was merely a dot on the Colorado horizon.  I felt a mixture of emotions, a sadness as I knew that I had seen Daddy’s childhood home for the first and last time, yet at the same time I felt so incredibly happy because I had found such treasures and would carry those memories in my heart for the rest of my life.   

The rest of our vacation was incredible too and so full of the Lord’s surprises and blessings.  That very night we checked in to the Garden of the Gods Motel in Colorado Springs.  We had gotten ready for bed and were both deep in some good reads.  As I was ready to go to sleep, I got up to look out the window to see if we could see Dwight's truck from the room and was absolutely shocked to see it was SNOWING!  It had been warm that day in Raton and Pritchett too.  The next morning we awoke to view the most incredible winter wonderland!  We got dressed and immediately started driving through the mountain passes taking tons of pictures and enjoyed sights I had never seen!  After days of glorious snow, it warmed up and the snow melted, leaving a variety of hues that only the Lord can paint.  I told Dwight over and over that I knew “the Lord did this just for me since I have so wanted to see the beauty of Colorado”.  In less than three weeks, it looked like we were there for three seasons---summer, fall, and winter.  God is good and all the time!

Several weeks later on our return from Colorado, we were several hours away from home when I had a memory of the year my grandmother gave all the grandkids quilts for  Christmas.  She made Sunbonnet Sue quilts for the girls and a Fisher Boy quilt for my brother.  She had finished all the quilts except for mine.  Instead she gave me a quilt from her collection.  I was disappointed, yet would have never let it show, not wanting to hurt or upset my Grandmother.  Since it was an old quilt, I carefully wrapped and stored it away.  It had been stored for years, as I had never used it as it was fragile and I was afraid I would ruin it.  As we were driving, I suddenly thought of the long forgotten quilt and believed it to be a friendship quilt.  I got so excited as I told Dwight that was the only place the family had ever moved away from and I believed it was a Friendship Quilt and IF I  remembered correctly, it had to be from Pritchett when they moved to Texas.  When we got home, the first thing I did was search and find that quilt and YES!  It was from 1934 and women from Pritchett embroidered their names on the various flower blocks.  Once I got the school records out, I had the student’s names and their mother’s names.  I realized then that my Grandmother knew me better than I knew myself.  She could not have given me a gift that I would treasure more—a piece of our family heritage that the Lord Himself has written.  Thank you to my Dad and his family and thank you always to the Lord in all things and in all ways, for He is in it all!

I would like to urge you to discover your own vistas and the undiscovered roots of your heritage as it will be an incredible life changing experience and probably full of many blessings such as these have been for me.  Moments such as these are so good and to be cherished for the love of our awesome families.                               



Monday, December 9, 2013

Sir Henry Cole and Little Pepita

My posts of late have been of lighter content than the continuing City of Wylie drama.  The reason for this hiatus has been my need to focus on uplifting happenings.  Right after Thanksgiving, we had a family emergency with my mother and have since been spending my time with her in the hospital and rehab.  Because of this, I am going to continue more posts relating to the season before continuing the City of Wylie posts, as I have barely scratched the surface of that saga and for the sake of others and our little town, it has to be told, but not today.

Now this week, there are two days that have been officially named and associated with Christmas.  December 9th is Christmas Card Day and December 12th is National Poinsettia Day.  I am definitely behind on the first, but still can get our poinsettias before the 12th. 

I did not even know there was an official Christmas Card Day.  What I read indicates that this day is in honor of Sir Henry Cole of England.  In 1843, Sir Henry engaged J. C. Horsley a painter/illustrator to create what is recognized as the first official Christmas greeting card for his family and friends.  I am definitely late in getting my cards ready this year for my family and friends and must get them ready to mail this week for sure!  I love this tradition that Sir Henry started for us back in 1843.

The poinsettia not only has a national day of recognition, it too has become the official flower of Christmas, known also as the Star of Bethlehem flower and Holy Night flower.  Its use to celebrate Christmas in Mexico dates back to the 17th century.  There are several legends about the glorious red poinsettias.  One of the folk stories tells of Pepita, a poor young Mexican girl that did not have the money to buy Baby Jesus a gift.  She was heartbroken and crying when an angel appeared telling her to gather weeds growing along the roadside.  As she cried with her tears falling upon the weeds, they turned into brilliant red blooms.  The red blooms of the poinsettias represent the blood of Jesus shed on the cross.  The poinsettia is just one of the many traditional symbols of Christmas that I love to see surrounding us during this time as we celebrate the birth of Jesus. 

I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and may you behold all the glory and blessings that come from Him—the reason for this beautiful season!  Let these days bring you angels, the tinkling of melodic bells, birthday cake, bows and ribbons, the reverence of candlelight services, candy cane staffs, joyful caroling, Christmas cards and greetings from afar, Christmas candy and cookies, Christmas pageants and parades, Fostering Hope, giving gifts, gingerbread men and houses, holly and berries, hot cider and cocoa to warm you, beautiful icicles and snowflakes, twinkling lights and candles, the Manger scene, mistletoe and kisses, ornaments, garlands, tinsel and other adornments, parties galore, the happy revealing of Secret Santas, the excitement of searching for the first star on Christmas Eve, that perfect orange in the toe of your stocking, special time with family and friends, Toys for Tots, glorious trees adorned with beautiful tributes to Christmas, the warmth of the fireplace and loved ones, welcoming wreaths, the needs and yearnings of your heart and most of all and especially JESUS.          

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Count Your Blessings

During the Civil War in 1863, President Lincoln first proclaimed Thanksgiving an official national holiday.  It was to be a day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens”.  In early history, the Pilgrims celebrated their “First Thanksgiving” in America after their first harvest in 1621.  Colonists regularly celebrated such thanksgiving for days at a time with prayer and praise to God for their many blessings, for the end of droughts, for bountiful harvests, as well as military victories in the Commonwealth of Virginia as early as 1607. 

In my family, the week of Thanksgiving was the time when immediate and extended family came to share Thanksgiving together.  It was a time of great joy and anticipation awaiting the arrival of loved ones.  Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, would fill the house and the longer they stayed the better!  We would huddle together and spend time sharing the happenings in our lives since the last Thanksgiving and stories of old would be shared with us kids.  As we reflected on times of the past, all could draw on the blessings we had from such times.  Thanksgiving was always my favorite holiday because this was usually when we got to see most of the family.  They would come from the east and west coasts, Louisiana and around Texas.  Some would just stay the day or maybe through the weekend and the families from the east and west coasts would often stay as long as two weeks.  I cherished those times together and would always be sad to see them leave, knowing it would be another year before I would see them again. 

The last Thanksgiving we were all together was in 1992.  In the summer of 1993, we lost my grandmother, a cousin, and three of the great-aunts.  With the losses, all were home during that summer for funerals and time with the family.  My dad had been sick since 1986 and the losses and further health complications had an irreversible affect on his health and he ended up bedridden until his death in 1997.  Our house was always the gathering place where everyone always knew they would be “welcomed home”.  After Daddy’s health deterioration our Thanksgiving gatherings were never the same as the pain was palpable and the last gathering was when he died and everybody came home to bid him adieu.     

In our times of loss and changes, we have more reasons to be thankful for we have been so richly blessed in life with family and friends.  Even with their loss, we are still richer for having had them no matter how short the time.  Dr. David Jeremiah was talking about Thanksgiving this week and said “it is a time of reflecting, a time for rejoicing, a time for commitment, and a time for praise, and a time for sharing.  He said to “let this be a time that we truly are thankful and remember how blessed we are”.  It only makes sense that the longer we live, the more gratitude we should hold in our heart, for His blessings are heaped on us every single day.

With the passing of time, traditional observances have evolved into different celebrations to fill our day of Thanksgiving—our bountiful banquets, parades with balloons, floats, and marching bands, football games and extravagant halftime shows, cruises and travel to exotic places, marathons and 5K runs, and this year Thanksgiving will be another day dawning for everyone to shop the Christmas sales.  It seems we all are getting further away from Thanksgiving’s original intent of showing gratitude and not leaving us much time for reflecting, rejoicing, committing, praising, sharing, and remembering how richly God has blessed us.  

I pray that this Thanksgiving will be the very best you have ever experienced as you take time to reflect, rejoice, and praise Him for all He has richly blessed you with!   I asked Dwight to read this before I hit the “publish” button and he began humming and singing this very old hymn written in 1897 by Johnson Oatman, Jr. from 1Thessalonians 5:18.

Count Your Blessings
When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

*Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.*

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.
When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings. Wealth can never buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.
So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be disheartened, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

In the Sleet of the Moment

The transition from summer to fall and fall to winter happens to be my favorite time of year.  As I write this, we are experiencing our first winter storm watch and the peppering of sleet is ever so slight.  The brisk cold is wonderfully exhilarating and energizes me like that Eveready bunny.  Like a small child, I don’t want to go to sleep and miss anything that each hour may promise.  This has to do with my love of the season, but also knowing how short time is as I approach the winter solstice of my life with the physical battles I wage.

Several weeks ago, Dwight and I had a three day trip planned to Arkansas for the Autumn Talimena Scenic Drive, a 54 mile drive from Mena, Arkansas into eastern Oklahoma.  We were to stay in Beavers Bend State Park and planned to attend the 20th Annual Beavers Bend Folk Festival and Craft Show in Broken Bow.  We would have been two of the expected 17,000 attendees at this wonderful festival.  Unfortunately, I got sick and we did not get to experience the awesome glory of that drive and our much needed break.  I regretted it for Dwight, as he had never taken this drive before and I so wanted him to experience all the glory and beauty of fall in the Ouachita Mountains.  

Last week, Dwight planned an east Texas scenic drive that offered the same autumn brilliance to be enjoyed along with lots of charm in towns along the way.  We discovered some awesome little towns as we explored areas not too far from my family’s farm.   Of course there was not the majestic prominence of the Ouachita Mountains, but this girl was just as thrilled to see the brilliance of our rolling hills of foliage along the winding country roads close to home. 

If you want some real eye candy, next fall consider scheduling time to go to Daingerfield State Park, Lake Bob Sandlin, Lake Cypress Springs, and Lake Winnsboro along the Big Sandy Creek drive and/or any of the three scenic drives recommended by the Winnsboro Autumn Trails Committee.  And discover Winnsboro too!  Two years in a row, this little town of 3,300 was voted “Best Small Town Downtown by County Line Magazine.  Another thing about Winnsboro that really got my attention is that it is strategically located within easy driving distance of seven popular lakes and I love being around the water.  We definitely are going back to spend time exploring this quaint little historic town.  It is a magnet to lots of out of town folks and their large downtown was certainly hopping the Wednesday that we were there.  When we stopped at the Chamber to pick up the scenic drive maps, the folks in the guest book right before us were from our neighboring Murphy, Texas.  At our days end, our only regret was that we did not have at least two more days to explore and enjoy more of autumn’s majesty and the sights and charm of the little communities surrounded by His shimmering glory. 

The earth is filled with the Lord’s glory.  Habakkuk 2:14


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Happy Trades to You!

There is a new Trade Days that opened this weekend on Highway 205 across from County Road 485 in Lavon.  Jim, one of the facilitators of the Trade Days has been a business owner in Wylie for 20 years or more.  In the past year, he began selling his businesses and properties in Wylie, opting for new ventures.

Having heard of the closing of the Wylie Trade Days, Jim and another property owner in Lavon, decided to partner to bring the 205 Trade Days to Wylie’s neighboring community of Lavon.  They are hoping to provide a location for the displaced vendors, artists, crafters, and friends of the Wylie Trade Days and The Crafter’s Co-op.  He indicated that Lavon was very receptive to the idea of the 205 Trade Days. 

For details and information on upcoming event dates for the 205 Trade Days, you can contact Jerry at 903-375-2644 or Jim McKee at 214-616-3596 or 469-698-8161.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Prayer\prer\n. Words that move the nerve that moves the hand of God

Several weeks ago, Dwight and I were guests at the wedding of a beautiful young woman that I have known since she was a small child.  We were invited to “share in the celebration and heritage of their families”.  Everything was absolutely beautiful and the pledge and promises in their vows were written by each for the other.  Lane’s father walked her down the aisle and Glynn, her stepfather performed the beautiful ceremony in English and Spanish.  It was lyrical, it was magical, and a true blessing to witness. 

Stepping back in time, not too long after my own cancer battle, Dwight and I had three people on our prayer list that had my heart aching as each were battling cancer for the second time in their lives.  The days turned into weeks, then weeks to months and I was not seeing answers to my prayers for them.  I was praying for the Lord’s will, but of course wanted His complete healing for all three. 

Lisa G was fighting a very aggressive cancer that had metastasized to most of her organs and she was regularly experiencing one major setback after another.  She was the only one that I actually did not know.  She was young enough to be my daughter.  A friend in one of our prayer groups worked with Lisa, a teacher for autistic children.   She had asked us to please add Lisa to our prayer list and said we could get daily updates on Caring Bridge, a site for those battling catastrophic illnesses.  Lisa’s constant prayer for herself was “for God’s will”.  She and her family daily shared their incredible faith with all of us that were “warriors on her team”.  They shared their Bible readings each day and Lisa’s words of encouragement for those on “the team”, her ever-changing prognosis and updates from the doctors,  facility moves, details of surgeries, testings, and treatments.  It was exhausting for the many months of daily trials, victories, fearless fighting, and waiting. 

Mike M. was fighting brain cancer.  He had battled brain cancer when he worked in Pasadena.  Dwight and I had prayed for months to bring Mike and his wife Tammie to the City of Wylie—not them specifically, but people of their integrity and faith.  We felt so incredibly blessed when they came to Wylie and we felt Wylie was blessed to have them.  During their time here in Wylie, Mike went regularly to MD Anderson for his checkups and during one visit, tests revealed the reoccurrence of his brain cancer.  Mike underwent months of testings, surgeries, complications, and treatments.  Their resolve was strong throughout their time in Wylie and they were a blessing and testimony of faith to us all.    

Glynn M. had two bouts with very aggressive melanoma.  I was absolutely devastated for Dorian when she first told me of Glynn’s cancer.  They were still newlyweds and I was so incredibly sad that she was having to journey through this fearful battle of loss.  She had experienced a very painful divorce and afterwards was an incredible and dedicated single Mom to Lane.  When Glynn came into their lives, he was an answer to prayers—their “shining knight” of a husband and father.  I had hoped and envisioned Dorian’s life to be a joyful one exempt from anymore pain.  They faced their battles with grace and calm that I believe can only be a result of a great and deep faith.  Glynn was light-hearted and encouraging that all would be well when I talked to him and his concerns were always for the family, not himself. 

Over a period of months, these three remained on our prayer list.  And over the months, there was more intense intercession in my prayers for them.  I often would be weeping as I prayed for them and their families.  Eventually, I could see the Lord’s hand in it all, even though not quite like I wanted.  Glynn has recovered and is well.  He looks great and he certainly can perform a beautiful and moving wedding ceremony!  The Lord continues to bless him and Dorian and those that know Glynn by allowing everyone to witness God’s grace and glory through him.  And Mike is in remission and doing well.  His doctors advised that he take “early retirement” and we are thankful that the City of Wylie was gracious in allowing Mike to move back home to Alabama and finish out his tenure under a “bridge contract for phone consults on an as needed basis” until the time he was eligible for his retirement.  He and Tammie are back home where all the family lives and are doing well. 

Little Lisa lost her battle and went home to be with her Lord after many, many setbacks and battles.  She and her family were a huge testimony of faith to all of us that were blessed to have been in petition for Lisa and her family.  I honestly believe there was more ministering to us through them than we for them.  I grieved the loss of this young woman for months, for I truly believed she would get well.  She had so much to share and was so loved by so many and it had become a personal battle for us all.  I felt as if I had lost a close family member as her fight was a shared journey that I had walked with her for many months.

Months later, on a Saturday, Dwight and I went to an all day conference on “Caregiving for the Ageing Parent”.  It was at a church in Rockwall and started very early with a breakfast.  The day’s agenda had three breakout sessions for each hour.  There were many different topics to choose from and between each session everyone met in the sanctuary before advancing to the next group of topics.  In the sanctuary, they would introduce the speakers of the next session’s topics and have drawings for two door prizes.  After our lunch break, we went back into the sanctuary and as we were waiting for the introductions and door prize drawings, I leaned over and whispered to Dwight.  (NOW I have to explain before I tell you WHAT I whispered, that I tease a lot and can have a “smart mouth” when teasing Dwight and others I know well. And what I whispered to him I did not do and did not seriously mean I was going to do it at all!)  What I whispered to him was “Ya know, they have had some really nice door prizes….I am going to pray that we win”.   Dwight turned and gave me a withering look to my silly and teasing little shrug.  Once they made the introductions for the next session, they made the first draw for the door prize AND it was Dwight’s ticket number!  He turned to me in disbelief and I was so embarrassed---so hoping that no one had heard what I had teasingly said about a “prayer”.  But wait, there was another drawing and again, I was so bad.  The next ticket number drawn was MINE!  Now there were probably at least 300 people at this conference and the odds of Dwight and I both winning 1 of 12 of the day’s door prizes was certainly not expected!  When he again looked at me in disbelief, I again could not control my mouth and whispered “Well after all, I did say for US to win not just YOU”! 

Immediately, I knew what had happened.  I looked at Dwight and I asked him, “Do you realize what just happened”?   He laughed and teased me right back saying “Yes, I just won a huge basket full of wine and all the accessories, and I’m a Baptist”!  I told him then that the Lord was showing me what I knew, but what I had lost sight of and had lamented those months since Lisa had died.  I had kept seeking answers to my prayers for Lisa, Mike and Glynn—His will, yet what I truly wanted, was my will—for them all to receive His perfect healing.  It was at that very moment of dawning, that I was able to “let go” of the grief I had been experiencing over Lisa’s death.  At that time, God was showing me that “YES”, he had heard all my prayers, just as He had heard my silly, teasing little statement about prayer just minutes before.  He had answered my prayers for Lisa, as she was NOW WELL--made whole and perfect, was now home and no longer suffering.  

… everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God…..Philippians 4:6           


Saturday, November 9, 2013


What may be Billy Graham’s last message to America premiered Thursday, November 7 and is scheduled to run through the 30th of November.  In THE CROSS, his new My Hope America program, there are real and powerful stories intertwined with his message to us all.  In this recently recorded program from his home in the North Carolina mountains, he states “With all my heart, I want to leave you with truth”. 

In Reverend Billy Graham’s message of THE CROSS, that started airing the week of his 95th birthday, he is speaking of the truth that he first began sharing with America in 1947.  Since the beginning, he has lead more than 400 crusades in 185 countries and territories in six continents.  Though the Parkinson’s that he has battled since 1992 has stolen the strength and power of his once majestic voice, this gracious southern gentleman’s delivery is still filled with the love and truth of Christ in a message he believes “God has given me for people in our nation today”. 

My Hope America THE CROSS
  • Local TV stations in many cities, November 8-10
  • Christian cable channels, November 7-30
  • Watch online anytime, November 7-10
For the latest updates on broadcast times and channels, or to watch THE CROSS online, visit

Monday, November 4, 2013

Part Three....C/O Straight Up, With Sugar Coating or No C/O

In Parts One and Two, the subject of controversial Certificate of Occupancy issues in several of the downtown businesses was introduced.  I shared some of the mystery and subterfuge regarding some of the businesses operating in the Q Office Suites and Art Center Building…A’Vouloir Apothecary, Wylie Art Gallery, and Keller Williams.  What is still not understood, is WHY the Mayor, City Manager, Assistant City Manager, some other City Officials, Lynn Grimes of the Wylie Art Gallery & Keller Williams and others in the Q building collectively created such webs of deceit for the purpose of causing Dwight’s job loss and to close down The Crafter’s Co-op.  As I shared in Part Two, Dwight first became aware of the February 12th Special Called Meeting when the ACM came into his office placing him on Administrative Leave 4:00 p.m. February 14th.   He informed Dwight he had already started investigations into the serious accusations Lynn Grimes claimed to be true.   

During the duration that The Crafter’s Co-op was open, the Mayor made two visits into the shop.  His first brief visit was not long after the shop opened for business.  The next visit was made February 13th, the day AFTER the Special Called Meeting.  His stated  reason was he “wanted to stop and say ‘hello’ on his way to see Lynn at the gallery”.  I was really surprised to see him as I had seen him countless times going into the gallery during the 17 months the shop was in business and he never felt the need to “favor” me with his presence those times.  He was very gregarious, acting like my new BFF and said that he wanted to make sure that Dwight and I came to the “State of the City” Chamber of Commerce Luncheon to hear his speech as he was going to talk about all Dwight had done again to help retain Wylie’s ISO-1 rating and he even planned to mention the shop when he talked about Wylie’s downtown.  We had an article coming out in The Connection that very day about Robyn B., one of the crafters and her ministry “Faith Like a Mustard Seed”.  I told him if he did talk of the shop, to please tell them about the 98 awesome artists and crafters and 28 ministries represented in the shop.  He left and went next door smiling that “I LOVE WYLIE” smile.  I had no idea what he had just done… painting me a huge rainbow BEFORE the biggest storm in our life was to begin.  Why was our Mayor so incredibly deceitful?  Did he want me to think he knew nothing of what he and Lynn had done and the plans of their meeting the very night before?  Did he want to make me think that he was on our side for the fateful meeting he was planning to set us up for the following Monday, February 18th?  These are questions that still make no sense to us.  But of course, the duplicity of people never does make sense.

As I shared in Part Two, it was not until 4 p.m. on the 14th that I was first aware of anything amiss when my landlord’s son came into the shop very upset demanding Dwight’s private numbers.  And I later found out that at that exact time, the ACM was in  Dwight’s office placing him on Administrative Leave.  It was that evening during our Valentine dinner that Dwight told me he had been placed on leave and the few details  that he knew of the accusations and the investigation.  We stayed up all night trying to make sense of what had happened and believed there was no other choice other than to close the shop.  Since The Crafter’s Co-op was a ministry that Dwight helped me fund, there was no way that I could fund the shop without some financial help that Dwight’s job had afforded me.  In the meeting with the ACM, he had NOT given Dwight encouragement for a positive outcome and the options he gave Dwight that afternoon painted a bleak future.  To stay in the shop, meant that we would be spending money we would need for our living expenses as our income was going to be reduced by 80 per cent.  I also had more than seven months left on my lease and it was clear that Lynn Grimes would never give up until the doors of The Crafter’s Co-op were closed for good.

Friday, the 15th after a long night of crying, talking, and planning, we decided to go to breakfast before going to bed.  We put a sign up at the shop to let everyone know that the shop was closed until further notice.  We then went to Taste of Home for a late breakfast.  We parked in the front, curbside on Ballard Street.  When we left, Dwight opened my door and walked around opening the driver side door.  I immediately heard an engine roar and the screeching of tires as a car came to a fast stop and the driver had used a police type “tactical block” nosed in where we could not move our car without backing up.  Dwight turned and leaned over into the passenger side window of the “blocking” car.  Minutes later, Dwight got into the car and said “Well that was no accident”.  He then told me that it had been the Mayor and he set a meeting up for both of us to come to his “office outside of town, so we would not be seen”.  Dwight said the Mayor acted as if we would be able to “put this to rest” on Monday, February 18th.   
Saturday evening, February 16th, I sent an email out to all the artists and crafters telling them we were closing the shop and needed to vacate by the 28th of February.  I hoped to be out in order to avoid the March rent IF my landlord would let me out of my lease.  That evening, Alicia White (Councilman Rick White’s wife and an artist displaying her photography in the shop), called me after getting my email.  She was very upset and did not want me to say anything other than YES or NO to her questions.  I had thought all the council members were in the Special Called Meeting, but she informed me Rick was not and knew nothing about the meeting.  To this day, I believe that Rick and probably all the council members (except maybe Mayor Pro-Tem Kathy Spillyards) were OUTSIDE THE LOOP of this group, and probably only know the same stories that the Mayor told Dwight and I that fateful Monday “that everyone would be told”, which were their own lies of deception. 
On Monday, February 18th we went to the meeting to “put this to rest” so Dwight could get back to work.  We arrived early for our 10:00 a.m. meeting at Cottonwood Church of Christ where the Mayor is Pastor.  The Mayor was definitely “in character”.  The first 20-25 minutes he “primed” us, making us feel at ease in the company of an “ally”, a “friend”.  We settled in for the kill as he told us about how he had been painfully shy as a child, all but paralyzed to speak until his parents bought him a clown costume.  Behind that face of a clown he became the person he is today.  That very costume shaped the direction of his life as he became a clown performing at parties, an early career choice as Ronald McDonald with his own “driver” taking him to events.  He talked about the various clown figurines in his office, the clown book he authored, and probably all the honors he has received lifelong.  He shared his demise at the hands of Hewlett Packard and said he “understood” just how Dwight felt to have had something like this happen to him as his own job loss was still a fresh wound, but people had helped him as he was now a pastor…….the warm and fuzzy Eric Hogue did a very fine job of completely disarming us.  We did not see the attack coming and were truly annihilated before we even woke up from the warm and fuzzy scene he created for us in his office. 

It was like we had been slipped Rohypnol into the water, as we came out of the dream into the reality of the set-up.  As the Mayor shifted the gears from his own story to ours, it was unbelievable how masterful he was at accusing and twisting things to his favor.  He was no friend, but a man bent on our destruction.  His anger was so alarming yet very real as his indignation towards us was disclosed with the unveiling of his mask.  He was crafting the story before our eyes of “what everyone would come to know”.  He said I had caused a Wylie View implosion by sending the email of the “closing” to my artists and crafters.  He threatened us that if we did anything else, talked to anyone, he could promise that everyone in town including all my crafters would hate us.  If Dwight was to ever work again, we had to go along with all he was saying OR else life as we had known it would never be the same for us.  When we tried to correct his diatribe, he would always interrupt, not allowing us to voice the truth into the scenarios that had been fabricated.    The very few explanations we were actually able to express were met with his contempt, insults and ridicule and again were told “what everyone would come to know”.  The Mayor even looked me in the eyes saying “Who will everyone believe…you or a Pastor?  Everyone knows Pastors don’t lie.”  At the end of the meeting, Dwight was chastised for coming to talk to him AND accused him of violating the chain of command in addition to everything else he accused us of.  The Mayor had literally cornered us for the sole purpose of setting up this meeting.  He arranged the date, time, and place of the meeting for BOTH of us to appear.   It was done in such a way that Dwight did NOT feel like he had any choice but to go and Dwight did want the issue put behind him “so that he could get back to work” as The Mayor indicated.  If Dwight had refused the Mayor, it would have been an act of insubordination.  But by Dwight’s acceptance and going to the scheduled meeting, the Mayor deceitfully enabled the City to charge Dwight with insubordination for breaking the chain of command. 

Months after the Mayor’s meeting, one thing has come out that brought some sense to the Mayor’s accusations of Dwight “turning the Certificate of Occupancy debacle into a POLITICAL ISSUE”.  In the June 5, 2013 Wylie News paid advertisement……”ERIC HOGUE:  REAL ESTATE AGENT…REAL-LY?” and the June issue of  In and Around  LOOK WHO’S JOINED THE TEAM!”  shows the Mayor on the Kathy Spillyards Team.  He started his “new career path” back in January 2013 BEFORE they maneuvered Dwight’s job loss.  In our meeting with the Mayor, he kept saying what Dwight “did” was an offense because he made it a “political issue” because of Mayor Pro-Tem Kathy Spillyards and I guess that made sense to him, but certainly not to us.  What he did not say was that before ALL this Certificate of Occupancy mess started, he too was involved, thanks to his “long-time friend and real estate agent, Kathy Spillyards”.  If they were not having Open or Closed meetings at the gallery during those late nights, then he must have been studying and/or preparing for his exams.  Ssssoooo the Certificate of Occupancy ordinance requirement was EXCUSED because his friend Lynn Grimes did not want one….Kathy Spillyards being the Wylie Mayor Pro-Tem did not want one and was absolved as a politician from this ordinance requirement….and the Mayor, he too is absolved from ordinance requirements because he is The Big Kahuna or why?  Of course, he too denied that any real estate business was being conducted at the gallery, even though Lynn’s Keller Williams ad had run for four consecutive years 2010-2013 in the “Wylie Chamber of Commerce Community & Business Guide”.   To simplify things, it sounds like the ordinances are going to have to be re-written for “Wylie’s Exceptions To All Rules” so that good and innocent employees are not hung out to dry because of the whim of the day of the Mayor and all his BFF’s.  I definitely understand that these three individuals DID NOT WANT TO HAVE TO COMPLY WITH THE ORDINANCE, but I still do not understand WHY??  What is being hidden in plain sight? 

The Mayor was especially angered that we were closing the shop and told me to “take a week off and quit this emotional knee jerk reaction, but keep the shop open”.  We kept trying to explain that The Crafter’s Co-op was never intended for OUR profit, but a community ministry to help others during the economical downturn and without Dwight’s job to help fund it, we had no option but to close.  I also tried to explain that Lynn’s concentrated efforts to close the shop since the very beginning would not end IF we were even able to keep the shop open at that location.  The Mayor would not accept ANY of our explanations which made NO sense to us at all, as it was so obvious that they ALL had gone to painstaking efforts to close the shop down AND get rid of Dwight.  So why were they demanding that we keep the shop open when Dwight was NOT going to have an income to keep the doors open?   It was not until several months after the shop was closed that the Mayor’s and ACM’s “presumptuous orders” to keep the shop open began making sense.  Little by little, things Dwight and I had said to each other began filtering back to us and we realized that they had the shop “bugged” with audio devices and had been listening to conversations in the shop for some time.  Why were they doing this?  Obviously to find out what we knew, when we knew it, for the purpose of damage control before any exposure could happen.  After all, in the games they play, their best defense is a good offense.  And the best offense is to completely discredit anyone that could be a threat.  Our Mayor, former HR Director and CIO for EDS and Hewlett Packard knows how to exact character assassination so at our first cry of “WOLF”, nothing we could say would be believed.  And that further explains why this ‘gang of character assassins’ continue in their trumped up efforts with our friends, community pastors, business associates, the council and chamber members, etc., working to completely disarm us of all credibility and even our Christian witness.  Yes, they have hurt us tremendously, but the Lord is still in control and they can NOT change that.  Each day we see His Hand in it all, as things are being uncovered and so many people over past years are coming forward with their own stories.  Pieces in this huge puzzle are coming together and we all are seeing His light shining through each of our dark, dark tunnels now.  We know that the Lord is in this battle and those waging this war against His children will not continue to prosper.  His Promises are there for us and we shall remain eternally grateful that we are on this side of this battle—for even with all our huge losses, there is so much more to gain.

To be continued………..


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Part Two....C/O Straight Up, With Sugar Coating or No C/O

In Part One, I began talking about some very controversial Certificate of Occupancy issues in a couple of downtown businesses.  For reasons that are still not completely understood, my husband lost his job because of the preference of these businesses for “noncompliance” and their deceitful lies and those of City Officials.  They also were the cause of the close of my shop located in the same building as these businesses.  City Officials served as the “Judge, the Henchman, and the Hangman” that I wrote about previously.  I am breaking this up into “parts” as it is very long and detailed reading.  As I write of these events, I want to reiterate again and again, I want redemption for those that have gone through this battle before us because they too have been wrongly accused of things not done.  And I very much want to keep this from happening to those in the future.  These people are bold, powerful, and threatening yet our God is definitely in control and the truth will set us free as others begin to understand the truth of this corruption.

In the spring of 2012, some of my artists and crafters first began helping me by working at the shop.  I had gotten sick with a serious bacterial infection that had me sidelined for six weeks.  After I resumed working, some of the crafters continued working an afternoon a week so I could have some extra hours off weekly.  During those times, Dwight would often go and close out the register, get the day’s receipts and lock up the shop.   Most of the time, it was after we had dinner and after most businesses had closed for the night.  With the time change in the fall and lights on inside the Wylie Art Gallery, he began noticing night gatherings other than art classes.     

In November of 2012, the building where Ballard Street School of Music resided was placed on the market.  There was a huge Keller Williams FOR SALE sign with “Lynn Grimes, Realtor of the Kathy Spillyards Real Estate Team” blazoned across the sign.  It could be seen from outside the front door of The Crafter’s Co-op and the sign size made it impossible to miss.  Early in December during one of the late night trips to close out the register, it dawned on Dwight that he was frequently seeing Kathy Spillyards at the gallery and he surmised that the Keller Williams business was sharing office space with the Wylie Art Gallery.  Dwight sent a text to his Code Administrative Secretary to have her check the records for that business address.  He indicated to call the gallery IF there was no new or updated Certificate for the Keller Williams business and to inquire IF the Keller Williams business was operating and sharing the office at that address.  He indicated to add it to the list of businesses to contact and that it would not be classified as an urgent call since there were no safety concerns such as hazardous materials compromising Police or Fire responders should there be an emergency call in the meantime.     

Sometime around the end of January or early February, the CAS made the call to the gallery. Lynn wanted to know WHO had reported her. ** Standard response to such inquiries for Code Enforcement calls is “anonymous”.  And most calls of this nature are in fact specified as “anonymous” by the callers.  This is standard protocol for all municipalities to protect callers, neighbors or whoever calls about enforcement issues.  It is to prevent retaliatory issues.  Lynn then called the City Manager to find out WHO reported her and Mindy called Dwight to ask him for the who, what, why details of the call to Lynn.  He told her he would check and call her back.  Since Dwight’s text to the Code Administrative Secretary had been weeks before, he wanted to check the details of the call with the CAS.  After verifying the details of the call to Lynn, he called and told Mindy that the call had been prompted by his text for inquiry regarding the Keller William business weeks before.  Mindy wanted to know HOW Dwight knew the Keller Williams business was being conducted in the gallery and he told her about the late night gatherings and Kathy’s frequent presence.  Mindy informed Dwight that she would handle the call to Lynn and she promptly sent the Assistant City Manager to Dwight’s office to question if he had directed the CAS to tell Lynn “anonymous” and Dwight told him “NO” and explained the standard protocol response and the reason being possible “retaliatory actions” against a neighbor, etc.  I would like to note that this is probably the exact same protocol used by the Wylie Police for complaint calls and Jeff would be very familiar with this protocol as Wylie’s former Chief of Police.  Dwight explained to Jeff that the protocol had been standard response long before he came to the City of Wylie, and that it had been the same for the City where he had worked for almost 30 years.  Regardless, Jeff strongly advised him to rescind the Keller Williams Certificate of Occupancy requirement and with an apology.  As instructed, Dwight promptly “exempted” the Certificate of Occupancy requirement for the Keller Williams business, sent an email of apology and notification of the Certificate of Occupancy cancellation to Kathy Spillards (Team Leader and Wylie Mayor Pro-Tem at that time) and Lynn Grimes.   In response, Lynn sent a long and apparently abusive email addressed to the City Manager and Dwight.  Mindy called Dwight and instructed him NOT to read or respond to Lynn’s email as she intended to handle it herself.

Just days after this, Lynn vaulted her agenda to the next level.  We were told that Tuesday after the February 12th City Council meeting adjourned, a Special Called Meeting was held for the purpose of information gathering for Dwight’s “at will” dismissal.  It was not until 4pm Thursday, February 14th that I had a clue of something amiss.  My landlord’s son came into The Crafter’s Co-op angrily demanding Dwight’s direct phone number at the City.  Dwight did not answer his desk nor cell phone, so I gave him the CAS’s number.  I then heard him ask “does the new salon on Ballard Street have a Certificate of Occupancy”?   At this point, I still knew nothing of what had happened regarding Lynn’s Certificate of Occupancy tirade.   That night during our Valentine dinner, I found out that while Bobby was in my shop demanding to talk to Dwight, the Assistant City Manager was in Dwight’s office placing him on “Administrative Leave” pending HIS investigation into code of conduct violation charges made by Lynn.  Unfortunately, Dwight was never included in “the City’s investigation”—he was just told “the story that everyone would be told”, the one that they collectively made up.  And why wouldn’t they?  We have been told by others that this is just a repeat of what has been done to many employees before Dwight.  They too have been ushered out the door without the chance to counter charges and their leaves are often with POLICE ESCORTS as in Dwight’s departure.  

I honestly believe that the upper management handling of the “situation” created an escalating, uncontrollable scenario.  They added “fuel to Lynn’s fire” setting precedence for all future dealings with her and her boss.  As they threw the fuel on her fire, they dealt Dwight a bitter “slap in the face” for doing his job and managed to treat him like an insubordinate employee claiming “breach of conduct” and “violation of the code of conduct”.  And this has sent a message to all employees that upper management’s loyalty is certainly NOT to their employees even when they are excelling in their job.  Do they not care that their actions have managed to handicap every single employee in their job?  Do they not care that they are compromising the quality of the City employees job performances and adversely affecting their morale?   

Since Dwight was never given an opportunity to tell HIS side in defense of the charges against him, I will tell it here as we know it.

The Mayor said Lynn accused Dwight of retaliatory bullying after I “sicced him on her” when discovering her conducting a real estate closing at the gallery.   
  • I rarely went into the gallery unless asked to come over at her request.  I knew the exact date she was referring to as Dr. J Davis had come into the shop to ‘say hello’ on the way to his closing.  He and his little family had previously come into the shop on several other occasions when going to the gallery during their search for a new home.  This particular day (Thursday, January 17, 2013) when he came in, I was actually gathering up donations that had been solicited (by Guild Member, Pat B) and were to be delivered THAT day to the gallery for the Charitable Silent Auction Fundraiser for Richardson’s St. Joseph Catholic Church.  The date on closing documents and my dated donation sheet would both be January 17th.
The Mayor said Lynn claimed that I stormed into the gallery that day disrupting her closing.
  • I truly believe everyone that knows me, knows that I do not “storm”, “rant” or in anyway would be disrespectful as to disrupt any business.  The camera feed in the gallery would show that I walked in and  held up the bag stating that I was dropping off the donations and cheerfully wished them both a ‘good evening’ and promptly left. 
The Mayor said that Dwight’s email inclusion of Kathy Spillyards “turned it all into a political issue”. 
  • I still do not understand the Mayor’s “political issue” statement.  Kathy’s presence at the gallery gatherings (no evidence of paint classes) at night PLUS her name as TEAM LEADER on Lynn’s Keller Williams signs, made it appear that the gatherings were Keller Williams meetings, so how is this POLITICAL?  If it was political, does that mean that there were in fact gatherings being held at the gallery that by definition would be subject to the OPEN MEETINGS ACT and therefore POLITICAL meetings?  Is this why the Mayor made a point of explaining what he referred to as "his frequent visits to the Gallery" for the purpose of "special projects he was working on with Bob Heath"?  Were they really off site meetings that WERE subject to the OPEN MEETINGS ACT?  How was the Keller Williams Team Leader’s inclusion “political” if it was merely Keller Williams’s gatherings?  Did they blow this so out of perspective and if so WHY?  Was it merely to avoid a Certificate of Occupancy and again, WHY?  Was it because not only Lynn and possibly Kathy had their reasons, but the Mayor himself had his own reasons since he himself was joining the Kathy Spillyard’s Team once his own real estate classes were completed?  What reason would he/they have for objecting to a Certificate of Occupancy? 
The Mayor said Lynn did not conduct real estate business in the gallery.  She had only conducted business that one day because the client had requested the location for his convenience.
  • For many reasons, this is still such a mystery as to why everyone went to such lengths to disclaim the Keller Williams business at the Wylie Art Gallery address.    If Lynn was NOT conducting Keller Williams’s business at the gallery as they all claim, then why did she advertise the Keller Williams business at the SAME address as the gallery in the “Wylie Chamber of Commerce Community & Business Guide” for the years 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013?  I bet at some point since 2010 she has run ads in the Wylie News with the Wylie Art Gallery address as well.  So why did she, the Mayor and the City Officials accuse Dwight and me both of being on a “witch-hunt” and deny there was such business?   Am I the only person Lynn has called to the gallery to show computer searches of the landlord’s downtown properties available for lease when she knew I was looking to move into a larger location?  Am I the only tenant graced with her presence at the signing of their lease as she did mine?  I thought nothing of it as I knew from the very beginning that she helped the landlord as his realtor, in helping manage his properties, etc.  Lynn made sure that I knew she was NOT just a tenant and that she had favor with everyone, including the City’s elected AND appointed Officials.  But NOW I do wonder WHY all the denials and all the lies and cover-ups by all the same people in City Hall she claimed were “watching out” for her?  What’s to be gained and what’s to be lost?  And who all is involved in the tangled web of deceit?  From the very beginning, I repeatedly have said “We do not know WHAT is going on, but after all they have done to us, IT HAS TO BE VERY WIDE AND VERY DEEP”.  That has proven to be a prophetic statement and nearly nine months later, it gets ‘wider and deeper’ with each passing day.  

**Note:  We were told by the Mayor that the protocol of anonymity was not acceptable according to the City Manager.  Recently we have been told that the protocol of record that has been enforced for a number of years, is in fact still the standard protocol.  Complaints or calls of this nature come from a number of sources such as internal inquiries (which was the case with Dwight’s inquiry) outside agencies and the general public to include citizens and businesses.  Information obtained is considered confidential and can only be revealed through a court subpoena in most cities.      

Part Three of    C/O Straight Up, With Sugar Coating or No C/O   to be continued…..