Feeds:
Posts
Comments

A ROCKY MOUNTAIN ROCK

photo

This most powerful political story is being written… and few, if any, have taken notice.

This political figure…this state legislator…took  a stand – an unpopular stand, a stand for humanity, a stand for rights, a stand for justice, and a stand against hatred and ignorance…in an election year.

There is bravery here, there is compassion, and there is a true Christian acting as Christ would have if faced with the horrifying realities that a person with this insidious label (sexual offender) and their families face every day in this country.

 There is also irony in this stand.  Representative Randy Baumgardner voted to oppose changes to the sex offender laws yet has made a most profound and eloquent declaration when he (and his equally amazing wife) decided to break with religious hypocrisy and political bullying to actually treat their friend, Michael Frierson, like a human being and an American protected under our Constitution instead of a leper.  Randy and his wife are walking the walk.  They are to be revered and championed.

I can only pray that the Baumgardner’s receive thousands of letters of support.  I can only pray as well that the voters get his message and follow his lead.  I can only pray that he wins his primary battle.  It’s our battle too.

Please don’t forget that.   It’s that important.

Unregistered sex offender lives at home of Colorado lawmaker

A state lawmaker who voted against a comprehensive rewrite of the state’s sex-offender registration laws has a convicted sex offender living at his house.

Court records show that Michael K. Frierson lives at Republican Rep. Randy Baumgardner’s address in Hot Sulphur Springs.

Court records show the conviction stems from incidents in July 2004 involving Frierson, who was 24 at the time, and a victim, who was younger than 14. Frierson pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of sexual assault and was sentenced to five years’ probation.

A Grand County deputy arrested Frierson in April at Baumgardner’s house on a charge of failing to register as a sex offender because he moved last year without notifying the sheriff as required, and he failed to re-register in December on his birthday as required, according to the warrant.

Baumgardner’s wife paid the $2,000 bond for Frierson, 32, who is scheduled to appear in District Court in Hot Sulphur Springs on Tuesday.

Baumgardner is running against Sen. Jean White of Hayden in the June 26 GOP primary in Senate District 8.

“As a Christian, I know providing second chances is what God does best, so it is important for me to help others rebuild their lives, even after tragic mistakes,” Baumgardner said in an e-mail. “The young man is paying his debt to society like any redeemed person should and I will always hope and pray for his best.

“This false eleventh-hour attempt at guilt by association can only be interpreted as desperation by supporters of Jean White to distract voters away from her terrible voting record in the state Senate.”

Baumgardner told Fox 31’s Eli Stokols on Thursday that Frierson “came to us a year and a half ago and has been working on our farm.”

“He’s never been anything but respectful,” Baumgardner said. “We took him at his word he screwed up when he was young, and you know, most of us do.”

Baumgardner’s wife, Lori, addressed the situation on her Face book page last week.

“I have to tell you all, YES it’s all true!” she wrote. “We hired a young man that had a past! It’s not good but when do your forgive? … We didn’t know but became aware of the charges and bailed him out. We have a trust developed over a year, I don’t know what else to say. …”

Baumgardner in 2011 was one of four House Republicans to vote against a bill that rewrote sex-offender registration requirements, some of which were deemed contradictory or impossible to follow within required time frames. He voted for the bill when it left the House but said he couldn’t support the final effort, which had been changed by the Senate.

Read more:Unregistered sex offender lives at home of Colorado lawmaker – The Denver Posthttp://www.denverpost.com/politics/ci_20870155/unregistered-sex-offender-lives-at-home-colorado-lawmaker#ixzz1y0tfjiTb

 

A SON OVER THE DELTA

 

 This post was written in honor of my son, Jesse, now serving 20 years in Federal Prison.

Written by Lee

A SON OVER THE DELTA

In the heart of Allen Parish

Behind walls buttressed and grey

Beats the heart of a good son, and a better man

Peering from behind the throes of a humid cage

Keeping in temper a cryptic rage

Speaking with wisdom of old souls twice his age

There are scars of prejudice and the residue of hate

Raw emotions sewn from a raw deal

A mandatory seal of fate

Jesse remembers the date

 Had himself a room, he did, in the county hotel

fore tradin’ in some miles for a federal shell

A Louisiana kind of hell

It didn’t make no odds to him

Just made peace with the bayou heat

Burnin’ steady with a low Cajun fever

Made friends with folks who got no friends

And truce with the rival’s rank

Stews for hours in the galley for a burger and change

Battled iron pots hang hard over a long beaten range

Simmerin’ up a jailhouse etouffee

Maybe hijack some puddin’ for the end of the day

The Smokey Mountains visit nightly at rest

A three island cruise through April’s Conde Ne’st

Seven mile beach and a tropical rain

Sheer his study from the ubiquitous pain

But as the pages turn west, the spirit turns south

Cruisin’ almighty down a stretch named memory lane

Window down, electrified air

Calcasieu River lost long ago in a rearview stare

Past Georgia pines bowing gently in a ballerina pose

The needles shout a welcome deep from the whispering dome

Eyes locked in a thousand mile gaze to a town called home

 Where sweet peaches and sweeter tea

Mingle to a sentimental menagerie

Where catfish fry, sparrows fly, and dreams don’t die

Hazy days and lazy nights

It was a life, a good life, his life

Radiating with a teacher’s light and burning with a preacher’s flame

Quiet strength and Godly deeds

Where the spirit leads, brother

To the melodies on high

Where Celtics drummed on holy ground

Casting Crowns rocked a gospel sound

Hands out for the hopeless and abandoned he found

Fighting fire with fire

Standing tall with badge and gun

But ya can’t wish on a falling star that’s falling from grace

Less the laws of the father and of the son set now its place

So he settles in for the night with his roomie, Job

A patient one is he

Knows all about how Rome was built, you see

And damn it…it was built

Tells Jesse his journeys back lie never in vein

For the women scorned now raise mighty their Cain

Hearts once in their chests now beat on their sleeves

They are at war as to put him at peace

His mother doth summoning her slumber with faithful cries

Sprinkling the rose with tears from her eyes

Now be gone that which rides in with a heavy pall

Fearing not, she looks toward the skies

For as sure as this evening will fall

So to the delta son shall rise

Fast Lane

 

I live my life in perpetual motion.  Seldom stopping or even slowing down.  Life at 70+ MPH.  Life in the Fast Lane.  The world outside goes by in a blur.  Houses and cars and people with lives and their own problems.  I just keep moving.  Every day, another place.  A new town.  New faces all in a blur.  That’s the way I like it.  No time to spare.  Gotta run, gotta go, gotta get there so I can go again.  Big wheels keep rolling, don’t ya know?  This pace, this lifestyle speaks to the runner in me.  That restless spirit that needs to feel the wind in my hair and those that get too close in my rearview mirror.  Can’t be slowed down or held too tight.  A week at home and off the road and I start pacing, like a caged animal needing to run free.  The road calls to me.  It beckons me to come ride it’s curves and marvel at it’s beauty awaiting me around each bend.  This is where the good times live for me.  Here, they are found in each new adventure.  This is where Real lives for me.  Here, in the faces and stories of the fellow travelers I meet along the way.  Kindred spirits who get it.  They, too, have been accused of running away, of possessing a gypsy soul that can not and will not grow roots.  Instead, they too, have that white line rambling fever, that traveling gene, that gotta go anywhere but here feeling that never leaves them alone.  They know the beauty of looking out at a windshield full of stars and making a wish and knowing it already came true.

Trick or Treat

 

    As a little girl, I used to get so excited every October waiting for Halloween and planning and dreaming of who or what I wanted to be that year. Just the thought of being someone or something other than ME for one special night was intoxicating.  I would spend hours thinking about it and choosing and re-choosing. Usually, it was something mythical, like a fairy or a princess. Or someone with an exciting exotic life-like a gypsy who danced around a fire and traveled the world.  Or something with super powers that would give me magical abilities for one special night. Sometimes it combined all of these at once, not fitting into any one category other than from the vivid imagination of a child.  Always, it was something that possessed great beauty. It usually involved an elaborate costume with rainbow colors and lots of sparkles.

  I loved purple and pink above all colors. One year I went as a purple butterfly with a pink magic wand who could grant wishes and fly.   I wore curled ribbons in my hair that cascaded down my back and over my wings.  They swirled behind me in the night breeze as I raced from house to house trick-or-treating.  The wind whipped around me adding to my illusion of flying.  I was airborne and free floating on a breeze on my imaginary flight.  The night was truly magical as nights like that should be for little girls with big dreams and bigger imaginations.

  I am all grown up now and magical nights are a thing of the past.   Halloween is just another date on the calendar.  The little girl of my past has been left far behind.  Big dreams died and I haven’t left the ground in a very long time.  I no longer spend the weeks leading up to Halloween dreaming of being anyone else.  In fact, I haven’t even been me for way too long.  I would be hard pressed to tell you who “me” is anymore.  The “me” I used to be no longer exist.  The happy carefree girl who dreamed big has been replaced  by a hollowed out shell of a woman who carries too much sadness and bitterness to ever dream of purple butterflies or believe in fairy-tales and magic wands.

  If only I could for a second be someone else this Halloween.  I would choose to be that girl again.  The one full of life and dreams.  The one who sparkled and truly believed she had wings and could fly.  I would use my pink magic wand and I would grant the wishes of all the broken-hearted moms…doors would magically open and our children would be free.  We would all be airborne together in a flight of fantasy like no other.  Even the night-time stars would not be able to outshine our joy. 

  If only….

 

Today, I bought a pumpkin. 

  That probley doesn’t sound like such a big deal to many people, after all, it’s that time of year.  For me, it is a very big deal.  A milestone, even.  In its own way…a triumphant return to the land of the living.  You see, the last time I bought a pumpkin was in October, 2007.    That year, my front yard was decorated for fall.  I was one of those annoying neighbors who decorated to the hilt for every single holiday, big or small.  Haybales and scarecrows and flower pots full of mums were scattered around the yard.  On my front porch step sat a huge, gorgeous orange pumpkin.  I carved my Jack-O-Lantern and proudly displayed it.  October had always been my favorite month.  Crisp, cool temps and bonfires and falling leaves.  I was celebrating the pure joy of living that year.  I had no idea how short-lived my joy was to be.

  October 28, 2007 everything for me changed.  The fall of that year began the descent of my own big fall and I have been falling ever since.  My wonderful son was arrested and I lost contact with reality.  I went into a big dark hole and covered my head.  I became the walking dead.  A shell-shocked woman full of pain and confusion.  My world had tilted on its axles and I could not make any sense of it. 

  Halloween came and went in a blur.  I vaguely remember lying in my darkened room with the curtains pulled tight ignoring the sounds of the trick-or-treaters outside while tears soaked my pillow. 

  Thanksgiving was the same.  There was no smells of turkey cooking, no family get-together.  Nothing to be thankful for.  The pumpkin Jack-o-lantern and the haybales of October remained standing.  A testimony to time having stopped in my household.

  Christmas was truly a nightmare.  While the rest of the world decorated and sang carols.  My house and soul remained dark.  The scarecrow had begun to sag and the haybales were dirty.  The mums gave up and died in their pots.  Jack was not faring so well.  The pumpkin had begun to rot on the front steps.  It felt fitting to leave it there for the world to see. 

  New Years was just a sad reminder of the passing of the worst year of my life and not much hope for bringing in a better one.  Not for a long time to come.  Snow fell that year.  Looking out the window, I could see the contrast of the bright white flakes covering the rotting corpse of the pumpkin.  As if Mother Nature herself was determined to cover up this atrocity on my lawn.  I was just as determined for it to remain, for the world to witness my pain.  Jack was dead and so was I.

  My house remained locked tight against the world.  No one came calling.  A grief like this doesn’t have a protocol.  No one brings home cooked dishes or sends sympathy cards.  You are suddenly a pariah in polite society. 

  February brought Valentines Day.  I vividly remember creaking open the front door to let some light fall into my darkness.  It was the day for love but I couldn’t feel it.  Couldn’t feel anything.  I sat on the front porch and stared at what was left of my pumpkin jack-o-lantern.   Dried orange pumpkin guts stained the steps.  Jack was no longer recognizable as having ever been a pumpkin.  I could relate.  I no longer recognized my own self when I gazed into the mirror.

  Holidays came and went and were ignored over the coming years.  My son was sentenced to 20 years in prison.  Life was just something to get through.  It was an ordeal just to make myself breathe.  The house was sold and all the belongings with it.  All the beautiful holiday decorations that I had collected were sold, thrown out or given to anyone who would haul them away.  The house was left vacant and empty with just a hint of an orange stain on the front steps.  A hint of a memory of a beautiful Jack-O-Lantern and a girl who once celebrated the joy of life in October.

  I live in a new place now.  Much smaller but in a simple, good kind of way.  October came this year and I felt a stirring inside me.  I passed by the pumpkin fields bursting with life and bright orange fruit.  I went to turn my face away as I had done every year since my rotted Jack days.  I heard the quietest whisper in my heart.  Just a small voice beckoning to me….”turn around”.    I could have kept driving, maybe I should have, but life has a way of going on, even when you can’t.  I didn’t let myself think, just turned around and got out.  Families walked through the rows of pumpkins, children laughed beside their parents.  I silently walked alone to the one who reminded me the most of my beautiful Jack of long ago.  I placed my hand on it, feeling the warmth the sun had left and I closed my eyes and let it infuse its warmth into the cold I had been carrying for too long.  I whispered a silent apology to my old friend rotted Jack as I let myself embrace a new one. 

Tears coursed down my cheeks as I said, “yes, I’ll take this one”.

  Today, I bought a pumpkin.

Letter to Heaven

This was written by a man named Tony Casson who is imprisoned with my son, Jesse, at Oakdale Federal Prison. He writes a blog called Oakdale Chronicals. He wrote this one for his mother and I wanted to share it with everyone. It is titled Letter to Heaven.http://mediarow.com/oakdale-chronic…

 

Memory is the treasure house of the mind” Thomas Fuller

“May she who gave you birth be happy” Proverbs 23:25B NLT

Dear Mom,

Of all of the words I have written in my life, I have written the least number of them to you.

I apologize for this, and I will not add insult to injury by offering any excuses.

In death you remain larger than life and the words “I miss you” are woefully inadequate to describe the feeling of emptiness that moved in when you left and has remained there for 3+ years.

I know you are happily at home with God and I am grateful that your long-time suffering ended. When I see you in my dreams, I see a younger, healthier version of you with your eyesight, hearing and other physical ailments restored.

And, of course, I see that radiant smile of yours that so many people over your lifetime were able to see directed at them, making them aware that true goodness does exist on this earth.

Or did, anyway.

My time spent in prison, so far, has not been spent in vain, I don’t think, Mom. I know you cannot be happy with me here, but I also know you can’t possibly be disappointed by how things are progressing so far.

Since the Lord saw fit to save me death 2 years ago I have been filled with a faith that grows and gets stronger daily. My love of the Lord, for all he has blessed me with, leads me to be at peace and content, even in this – the most impossible place imaginable to be at peace and content.

Yet I am, for I know this is just the beginning, and the best is yet to come.

Sometimes, I can almost feel the warmth of your smile as you look down upon me and from the warmth I have the strength to resolve the past, and the courage to face the future.

I love the time I spend reminiscing = reliving various times in our lives together, both good – and not so good.

Just the other day, I was thinking about the time, – ok, the first time – I ran away from home on a dare by the next door neighbor. I was 13.

It wasn’t until I stood in the doorway of Anthony’s bedroom when he was 13 (Can you believe he just turned 24??). I was watching him sleep (my goodness – did I look that innocent and young at 13?) and for some reason, as I stood there that whole running away thing popped into my head and I thought “Oh, my God! I was that same age as this precious young man sleeping peacefully before me when my mom woke up one day and I was gone!”.

I remember calling you that day and tearfully apologizing, explaining that it wasn’t until the moment I looked at Anthony and imagined waking up and finding him gone that I realized what a horrible thing I had done and how frantic you must have been and how much have ached inside wondering where your little boy had gone and whether or not he was safe.

You reassured me that it was ok, and I felt your teary smile coming through the telephone, but I know that while you were reassuring me, you too were remembering that agonizing sense of panic and loss when my disappearance was discovered.

By the time or conversation ended, we had both laughed and both cried, and I believed you when you said that I had been forgiven long, long ago.

Your capacity for love and forgiveness was greater than that of anyone I have ever known and I believe – now that I know a little more about Him – that you got that directly from God.

Sometimes I am glad that you were not here on this earth to witness my final tumble from grace and to be given the news of my near-successful suicide attempt, but I also think that if you had been alive to get up and speak about me to Judge Cohn, perhaps he would have been more lenient with me, for surely you would have convinced him of that, while damaged, I was not broken beyond repair.

He might, however, have sentenced me to more time for having the audacity to cause pain within someone so obviously full of love and goodness as you.

No matter, you were with me that day, in other, more wondrous – and powerful – ways and you remain with me today.

When ‘Pop’ had his stroke and it was decided that I would move to Florida and hang out with you two and help out where I could, it was as if the Lord was orchestrating all of it as he foresaw what would eventually happen to you, to ‘Pop’, and then to me.

I am very thankful for the time we shared, the three of us, and even though there were rough spots, there were also beautiful moments, happy moments, and humorous ones as well.

When we were 1st together I remember the frustration at the difficulties presented by your hearing problems. Remember when we finally made that appointment, had you tested and fitted and ordered your new hearing aids?

What a beautiful day it was when you went to pick them up. The pleasure in your face was a joy to see – you could be so much like a child in your excitement sometimes.

Remember driving home after we left the store? The conversation in the car was at normal level – no repeated words – no “what did you say?” – no raised voices. Just the three of us, talking normally. The joy you felt at being able to hear was evident in your radiant smile, and I’ll never forget what happened when we pulled in the driveway: I helped you out of the car and you stopped and cocked your head – a puzzled look on your face. I asked “What’s the matter?” “What’s that sound?”, you inquired. I listened for a moment, chuckled, shook my head and said, “Those are birds, Mom”.

It was wonderful to be part of that and to see at least a small portion of the quality of your life improve.

Of course, your eyesight had deteriorated much more than your hearing, and there simply wasn’t much in the way of mechanical aids to help you see better. You have your ‘talking’ watch and ‘talking’ clock both which, with the push of a button would announce the time. Of course, your clock – which was next to your bed – was set to announce when it as 7AM. I remember how it freaked me out when I first moved there and would hear the voice. That “voice” now announces 7AM for Kathy each and every day.

And let’s not forget your lighted magnifying glass – probably the single most important aid. Goodness me! I was just sitting here remembering taking you to Penny’s so you could get a birthday gift for one the neighbors’ kids and started crying as I recalled watching you struggling with that thing looking at sizes and prices and insisting on being independent and self-sufficient.

It embarrasses and shames me how selfless you were and how selfish I was. If only I had learned from you sooner, but you know me – “I knew it all”.

Now that’s funny, right there.

Actually, though – speaking of funny – I get a chuckle recalling the time I planted flowers along the fence in your backyard. You came to the back door and announced how pretty they were. Laughing, I said “what are you talking about? You can’t see them!”. You insisted you could, so I just kissed the top of your white-haired head and said “Yeah, right – but thanks”.

My favorite story is one told by ‘Pop’ and happened long before I got there. You remember your blind dog, Teddy, of course (What is with that place, something in the water?).

Anyway, the story goes:

One day you ‘looked’ out the back window and saw Teddy lying by the pool. (He never fell in, did he?). You opened the Florida room door and called out to him, but he laid just there. You called him again with the same result, so you called out ‘PoP’ – “Roland! Roland!. . . come here please!”

‘Pop’ walked up next to you and asked what you wanted. You told him that you were calling Teddy to come in, but he wouldn’t come, whereupon ‘Pop’ told you that Teddy was in the living room, lying on the floor. You pointed outside and asked him “then who is that by the pool?”. Pop looked past you to where you were pointing, looked back to you and said “an iguana”, and turned and went back in to join Teddy in the living room.

Kind of glad he didn’t come when you called, weren’t you, Dear?

For the most part though, you were incredible to watch in your own home. One would never know you could hardly see. You could bake, cook, clean, wash clothes, iron – you could do it all. You were an amazing woman and I’m sorry it took me so long to notice.

Well, Mother, I could go on and on. I guess what I’m trying to say through all of this is that I love you, I miss you and I think of you all of the time.

I also want to reassure you that, while I would definitely rather be somewhere else, I am using the time that I have here constructively and in a positive way to strengthen my faith in God and to work on His plans for my future.

I’ll write again and let you know how things are going – maybe share another story or two.

Until then, know this: God will help me set this right. I remember the past, but I look forward, and I look up. To my future, and my hope, and my future and hope are with God.

And I’m okay with that, and somehow I think you are too.

I love you, Mom.

Tony

NFL or NBA?

36 accused of Spousal abuse
7 arrested for fraud
19 accused of writing bad checks
117 have either directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 business
3 have done time for assault
71 cannot get a credit card because of bad credit
14 arrested on drug charges
8 arrested for shoplifting
21 are defendants in lawsuits
84 arrested for drunk driving
And all this has happended in the last year

Guess who??   NFL or NBA? 

Neither!!

 It is the 435 members of congress

The same Idiots that crank out hundreds of new laws to keep the rest of us in line!!