#11 ......my friend........David Bales

"We had a dive at Central Chesterfield Community center named after him. The David Bales Special. You Launched yourself off the High dive and in the middle act like you lost all control. Just as you were about to hit the water you turned sideways and soaked the lifeguard. A lot of years ago. "   ~  Wayne Trammell

My Friend..............David Bales 1979 (?)

I haven't seen or talked to you David in many many years.  We lost touch........we drifted......... (this is becoming quite the theme - not intentionally by the way) .  I actually heard about how good you were doing through a friend that saw you and we asked about each other.  How could that have happened.........  I have either blocked this out because I am at fault... or "missed something" along the way.  

I was probably wrapped up in a bunch of drama the last time I saw you.  There were a few time periods like that in my life and I got wrapped up in survival and forgot about things and people that I shouldn't have.  As my love interests changed so did my social circles.  How pitiful of me.......  I think I was 21 or 22 the last time I saw you and that has turned out to be about 1/2 of our life.  It has flown by. 

You always had a smile.  You always made other people smile.  

I will always remember hanging out with you as a Teen aged girl.  Allen and Mandy and sometimes Bill when he came home on weekends from the Navy (Do you remember that time he almost got me "grounded for life?") growing up in the "old days of Chesterfield."    And of course, at Tate's Lake , you guys taught me to water ski, with all of the gang.  Or just riding around visiting different people and hanging out around .......  without a  care in the world?  Oh yea and how could I forget working with you and Diane (or was it Lynn?) at Weiner King on Belt Boulevard :)   All of the partying and just hanging out with Debbie , Alva and James........ and Pam & Tommy's house too.........just too many times to count......

Oh yea and how about that  Stroh's tattoo where we traced beer cans at The Sturbrook Apt we shared with Allen and Curtis gave you guys jail house tattoos in a smoke filled room.........laughing and branding our friendships forever.  

I remember when I was poor and a single mom , how you would come by to see if there was anything I needed and taking me to see Pat Benetar when I couldn't afford it.   I saved the picture you sent to me in New Orleans for Christmas......... I love it...........I always have.........you were delivering to me that smile..........across 1000 miles.

And now time has passed and we have raised our families apart from each other............I can't help but think that I did my self , your family and my family an injustice by not making the time to seek out and rekindle our sister/brother friendship we once had.

I read the guest book in the Richmond Times Dispatch and my throat is tightened.... you left us the day before my birthday, I won't forget the date....... I am gripped with the sorrow that your beautiful wife and girls must feel losing such a special soul.  I read about her missing you and the love you shared .........I am so happy that you were happy............ you deserve it.

Thank you for being a bright spot in my life...........I among many many others have some great memories that are about you.

David Bales

  |   Visit Guest Book

BALES, David A., 50, of Chesterfield, passed away January 21, 2011 at home after a strong battle with A.L.S. He is survived by his wife of 27 years, Cheryl Matthews Bales; their daughters, Jamie Lee Morgan and Michele Renee' Bales; siblings, Diane Bales, Lynn Tajnsek, Jack and Kyle Bales; grandsons, Ryan and Evan; nieces, Lesley, Kim, Easter, Evon, Debbie, Bobbie, Melody and Jackie; nephews, Michael, Aaron, Shawn and Joe; and in-laws, Derrick, Chuck, John, Betsy, Julius, Alex, Charlotte, Linda, Nora and Chris. He had much pride in his position as a correctional officer at Deep Meadow Correctional Center. He loved his family and friends deeply. He enjoyed the Cowboys, fishing, hunting, camping and relaxing at the lake with his friends, especially Bill Griffin. He was often heard saying, "Hey Buck," "Can't Have Nothin'" and "Have a Blessed Day!" A service will be held Friday, January 28, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. at St. David's Episcopal Church, 1801 Camborne Rd., Richmond, Va. 23236. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the A.L.S Association Chapter, 7507 Standish Place, Rockville, Md. 20855.


#10 Lottie O'deal Kay Pharris ........ My Great Aunt O'deal


Lottie O'deal Kay Pharris
July 4, 1916 - January 18, 2011

There are a "lot" of "Lotties" in my family.  One of them died this week.  She was one of 13 children and the sister to my paternal grandmother.  I didn't know her as "Lottie," I didn't know her well at all really, I haven't seen or talked to her in over 20 years.  It's as much my fault as it is anyone elses.   I guess this is the "drift" that was intended by the writing prompt that I wrote about in  humgan #9?  We just had our own lives and  connected by relation, name, and really accident more than anything.    I didn't "grow up" around my family members really.........but my middle name was always a "reminder" to me that the name "Kay" was important enough to someone to give it to me.

She appears to be beautiful  inside and out by what is written in the memorial obituary.  It's sad to really feel that and yearn from that based on words after someone is gone.  Why didn't someone write this when I was much younger so that I would have sought out a relationship with this person with whom I share a "history" of some sort.   I remember as a child that she had beautiful children with names that I loved.  They all were  nice, thoughtful and  true southern belles around me.   I heard tales though............don't mess with a "Kay." 

Something happened in the family at one time.............something bad ............ somehow ........people got caught in the midst of a lot of finger pointing and there was a "great divide"  ......details about this situation are sketchy and I don't know enough to speak out loud about without somehow telling an untruth I am sure.....but .....the side that the adults that were in control of who I talked to........ was the "opposite side" and this impacted who I am or maybe who I am not in some ways ........... that's all that I know with certainty.

She lived to be "94"  I am the reverse of that "49" as of yesterday. A few people have said that I resemble her.  I know that my Grandmother does look like the photo on the left with the dark dark thick and curly hair. I didn't inherit that ........but I can see some similarity in the eyes, coloring and cheek bones......when I look really hard.  Its not that I am trying to say or imply in anyway that I mirror her, as I really wouldn't know if I did or not. I have only been around her a handful of times in my adult life.  What a shame.  I often wish that I had grown up in Natchitoches where I could know my family like family members should.   I missed out on being around a few people that have sparkled like jewels..............from afar.

My Aunt Odeal, married to my "Uncle Kermit."  I have never met another "Odeal" in my life and the only other Kermit that I knew in my life that wasn't in my family , was on Sesame Street.

Aunt Odeal wrote me a few times when I was a  girl, directly to me.  Only a few family members did that, she was one of them.  She would tell me about her husband,  and children who were beautiful and successful in most things that they did in life.  Thinking about it now, maybe she was trying to find out if I was okay.  I don't know..........I will never know.  

She and Uncle Kermit were married for over 70 years.   I don't know if I have ever met anyone that has celebrated that many anniversaries. Her Eulogy speaks for itself, its well written........and speaks about a "good long life."  They apparently had some great qualities that were not even mentioned because actions speak much more loudly than words and Karma does too. 


Steve, my Sunshine

"Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted"
Original post on 30 TRUTHS

The truth is .........I never want to let anyone go , and I drift ........a lot.

I remain friends with most of my friends and family and when I don't it isn't because I didn't try.........and it usually ends in more like a "rift" than a "drift."    I have "drifted" in some relationships because of my gypsy ways and some of the relationships I had / lost because of my movement if you get my "drift."

Steve M.  I didn't meet him first, my husband did.  He was actually enlisted with him in either boot camp or "AIT" I am not sure which but I met him and his wife very shortly after I moved to GA.   

I was still fat and my self-esteem was in the toilet, you see I went from 98 lbs soaking wet to 162 lbs when I gave birth to my first child.  I went from a girl that had trouble gaining weight to a horse.   I was young, 18 years old and I still believed almost any thing that anyone told me......... including "your ass is as big as a side of a barn and you won't ever lose it , so you might as well get rid of all your old clothes."    this comment was told to me not by an enemy or someone that I didn't know but straight out of the mouth of someone that was supposed to love me.........that was "family."   I did exactly what that person advised me to do, I gave them all away to a girl named, "Sue" that I met in GA too.  A tiny girl who had never had children and her sister - inlaw (whose name escapes me)   gladly took my wardrobe.

Steve.  He and his wife were there in GA and hung out with my husband and I.   They played with my baby and most of all made me feel good about myself.  His wife was named, "peggy" and appeared to be very much in love with Steve.  They appeared to be friends more than they appeared to be spouses.  There was very little affection shown between them publicly but they both showed other people public affection readily.  Namely......... to me.

Both of them were very nice to me......... I became attached to their friendships, they didn't know the "skinny" me before and were amazed at how I was losing my weight on a daily basis.  I was eating 1x a day, drinking unsweetened Kool Aid and played badmitton everyday in my backyard with the neighbors (sue and family) every chance I got.  I stayed outside in GA it was so warm (in every way)
compared to the cold VA that I came from.  

Steve.  He came from New York.   He and his wife were high school sweethearts, they married before he enlisted in the U.S. Army.   She moved to GA to be with him, but she readily admitted she didn't like it here.  She didn't like being away from her roots, her family , the roads she knew etc etc.   She couldn't wait until he got his orders so they could move again.  But Steve?  never complained, he enjoyed the warm sunshine and basked in it.  He always had a warm word to share with not only her, who he reassured constantly but everyone around him. Namely Me.

One day I returned home to my trailer with my newborn daughter , now almost back to my original weight, after going out to buy some new clothes at the thrift store, as I had given away all of the clothes that had once fit me, remember?  I remember this so vividly because Steve always said things like ,  "you should go buy yourself something nice, you deserve it" and offered to give me the money when I would retort something about not being able to afford to.  Ya see, we didn't collect WIC or FOOD STAMPS etc that we qualified for on an E2 military salary because we were always of the thought that we would be taking from someone else that really needed it.    We didn't realize and didn' t have anyone to tell us that it didn't work that way.   I am glad now that we didn't know better because those tough , tight times taught me how to make it, the hard way.    I never took Steve up on his offer to do this but when he did offer it warmed me inside just as if I had stepped out into that Georgia sun.  I don't think that anyone ever had made me feel "deserving" in my life.

It was that ............that drew me to adore my friendship with Steve , more so than his wife Peggy.  I liked her .. But Steve and I connected.  

Steve.   That day I found a cooler and a note on my door I was crushed.  You had been located and left to some state in the middle of the country. How in the world could KANSAS need you more than I did?  I read your note over and over again, you had come to say good-bye to me and I wasn't home.  Your words in the note I never shared with anyone..........until now............. how could I have missed it?  How could I have known that you wished you could have told me face to face that you loved me?  I am not sure if knowing that fact would have made me feel or act differently towards him or not........ if this fact would have ruined the images that I have carried around all of these years or what.  I do know that he kept this information to himself until there was no way he or "we" could act on it.  He promised to get in touch when they settled in and keep in touch but that day never came.........

It was the wrong time and place and wasn't meant to be......... obviously...... but I always thought in my mind "what if?"   No I didn't want to let you go....... 
we just "drifted."

My daughter now lives in a military town and she has met some wonderful friends there.  The funny thing is...........one of them.................reminds me so much of Steve.......... Steve M.   I may have even caught myself staring a couple of times, not AT HIM , but through him.


#8 : The Horse with No Name..........inspired by 30 truths

I am participating in a 30 truths meme in cyberworld and typing the answers one by one .............to 1-30 writing prompts.  The idea is that it is "raw" truths and it is almost theraputic.........you can use fiction or non-fictional names , events etc because its "yours" you own it.  I try to add a bit of humor to mine as I guess a defense mechanism of sorts???????????  I guess???????????  
the prompt for day #8 which also ironically coincides with my #8 of 365 humans , just as #7 did.

I am using the response in its original form........ I think it says enough.
"Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit."

quite simply put don't ya think?  The very first thought that comes to mind is "how is shit treated exactly?"  well hopefully its "disposed of" gotten rid of , flushed or in the case of a cat, "covered up."  So with that analogy I will proceed with the thought............ "someone who disposed of me or "covered me up." 

I have to say that this was my deceased grandfather.  You see, he only had initials for a name, and for that reason some people believed that maybe he never even  existed and someone was trying to cover up who he really was.   I never met him, my parents never met him and worst of all my Grandmother who bore his son.......... she didn't want to talk about him.   I tried to get information about him from other relatives too, they were all very evasive............. hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

 He was always a mystery man.  A man that was identified his and my entire life by "Initials Only."  I.V. Butler.   He was the sperm donor to my 14 year old Grandmother who gave birth (rumored by my mother) to my father while being married "shot gun style" to Mr. I.V.

My father doesn't ever remember meeting him, although I was told he did when he was about 12.  I think he probably was checking to make sure he could marry his new wife legally? or making sure no one would find out about "them?"  I really don't know.  I had to tell my father that his own father died before he got the chance to meet him.  He waited his entire life to be contacted by this man.  He never was.

I called the phone number, I wrote a letter and even rec'vd a letter back.  It had some photo copied photos (xerox) as well as a newspaper articles singing his praises, telling his life story, and even some photos of his grandchildren.    Nice man.   He was even a military chaplain.   Maybe God forgave him for "forgetting" that he had a son, granddaughter, great grandchildren?   I dunno ?  but I haven't.  You see he wrote me a letter saying his wife............ "thinks it would be better if he didn't communicate with me because she was unsure of my intentions."


You see ,  Mr. I.V. never had children with this wife although she did have children previously.  He did have a son once with a previous wife, but he passed away at an early age ( maybe 30) .   There were no "natural" heirs and apparently she didn't want him to have any.

Yea............... I was "covered up"  or "discarded"  ...........by him & her........people I never knew that I was "related" too.   They say blood is thicker than water,  yes maybe in a literal sense but otherwise I believe this to be a myth.  My "thickness" remains with those that have no common DNA and I am sure I am not alone in that.

I am not sorry I wrote that letter, I learned a lot.  I learned .... a lesson.  I learned ... and still have much more to learn...