Tuesday, December 8, 2009


You may recall that I offered to help an 80-something-year-old woman with the account of her brother's death at the hands of the Mafia, or so she has always suspected. I called her Hildegarde, but that's not her real name.

Well, Hildegarde gave me her handwritten notes a couple of weeks ago. They are on three sheets of yellow legal paper, front and back. The pages are numbered, with additions in the margins, some written sideways, some on a slant, crammed in where she could fit them. Stars and arrows point to added material.

It was…interesting…sorting it all out. I typed it into the computer and it came to almost four pages double spaced, 1344 words. That's a lot of words in her small writing on those few yellow pages.

I'm not sure if there's a story here or not. She relates incidents she recalls from her childhood. They are mostly mysterious happenings that hint of nefarious doings having to do with money and property changing hands. As it stands, it is a list of events, but there are no conclusions, just some opinions.

I didn't have time to make it back to her place, which isn't very near. And, after she made her trip to my place to hand me her pages, I didn't want her to drive here again. She had offered to come here and I didn't think anything of it. My husband wondered if she should be driving.

She has to travel with an oxygen tank, for one thing. For another, she phoned on her cell phone from someplace about a mile away, thinking she was at our house. Her cell phone reception was poor and neither of us could tell what the other was saying very well. She never did get the street name or house number from me correctly and she said she would just drive around and probably find us! I finally got through that she should wait right there. My husband was able to lead her here.

So, after I typed the pages, I called her and got her email address, which she was obviously reading from a piece of paper. She said she had the software to read what I had typed, MS Word, but the email bounced back. When I called her about that, she said, Oh the kids had been fooling with her computer. About a week later she gave me another email address and this time my email and attachment didn't come back. But I haven't heard from her.

I have no idea what else she'll want me to do. I gave her the nicest comments I could on what she had, which were that it's an interesting story. I'll let you know what happens next.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to get back to my WIP after being away from it for two weeks. That's hard!

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