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Father And Daughter Had An Elaborate Camp
katu.com ^

Posted on 05/20/2004 6:08:07 PM PDT by chance33_98

Father And Daughter Had An Elaborate Camp

Rather than live on the streets and expose Ruth to alcohol and drugs, Frank said, they hiked deep into Forest Park and built a lean-to.

"The amazing part of this was the fact that Sergeant Barkley really evaluated what was best for these people," North Precinct Cmdr. Scott Anderson said. "Sometimes police would be a little quicker to hand things off to state workers. But instead ... he saw this through to the end."


PORTLAND, ORE. - A man and his 12-year-old daughter spent the last four years living in a remote hillside in Portland's Forest Park, police said. The pair was discovered in a dense, wooded area by an Australian cross-country runner and his wife.

They reported seeing an older man with white bushy hair and a beard, and a young girl at what appeared to be a "well-established transient camp." They called police on April 28.

That afternoon, North Precinct Sgt. Michael Barkley sent four officers on all-terrain vehicles to find the pair but they didn't find them.

"We had very little to go on, " Barkley said. "There's no way you could not do everything you could because it was a report of a child living up there."

The next morning, the runner escorted police to the site.

After an hour-and-a-half hike, police found an elaborate camp dug into a steep hillside.

Under a tarp-covered, wood-framed shelter, they found sleeping bags, a partially burnt log, a Bible, a stack of old World Book Encyclopedias, rakes and other tools.

A rope swing, a tilled vegetable garden and a small creek were nearby.

A police dog found the pair huddling behind a tree about 50 yards from the camp.

The man and girl told police they had lived in the park for four years. The pair appeared clean, well-fed and healthy, Barkley said, and the girl was well-spoken beyond her years.

The man, who identified himself as Frank, told police he was a 53-year-old Marine Corps veteran and college graduate who served in Vietnam.

He came to Oregon with his daughter, Ruth, from Tacoma with no job and virtually no money. Frank told police that the girl's mother was institutionalized in New Hampshire, and the two now lived on a $400-a-month disability check.

Rather than live on the streets and expose Ruth to alcohol and drugs, Frank said, they hiked deep into Forest Park and built a lean-to.

The pair went into the city twice a week to stop by the bank, attend church, buy groceries and clothes from Goodwill. Frank, a devout Christian, said he taught his daughter using the old encyclopedias.

They grew vegetables and used the nearby creek to keep clean. They stored perishable foods in a small pool of water at the creek's edge.

The man and girl told police that the runner was the first person to find their camp in four years.

Their biggest worry was being split up, Barkley said.

"Please, don't take me from my daddy," the girl told the 26-year police veteran as they sat on a log talking for at least 30 minutes.

Barkley, who has a 6-year-old daughter, said he was struck by the relationship between father and daughter.

"What was so clear was that their living conditions were unacceptable, but their relationship was a real deep love and caring for each other," Barkley said.

Officer Joe Campbell, who helped find the pair, said separating the pair would have broken their hearts. "Their whole lives seemed to revolve around each other," said Campbell.

A pediatrician found the girl free of any illness, any signs of physical or sexual abuse - and no cavities. A criminal background check came up empty, according to police reports.

Even though the child and father lived for such a long time disconnected from society, the girl had been home schooled and was in good physical shape.

In fact, the girl received a very good education from her father while living among the trees. Officials said the girl, who would be normally in 7th grade, is at a 12th grade equivalency.

"When we interviewed this little girl, she was very impressive. She really was very responsible, and she really looked as though she was way advanced in her years," said Portland Police Cmdr. Scott Anderson said.

KATU Television has been given permission from 'The Forest Family's' father to set up a college fund for 12-year-old 'Ruthie.'

To make donations for the girl, who for the last four years have lived in the forest and was educated by her father, to 'Ruthie's College Fund’ at any Bank Of America Branch.

Police say the father was ecstatic when KATU offered to set up a college fund for his daughter.

The father has done a wonderful job of educating the girl, says police. She reportedly performs at a 12th grade level.

Police persuaded them to leave the camp, promising help them find food and shelter.

The pair spent two nights at a homeless shelter. Barkley found the man a job and a place for the two to live on a friend's horse farm in Yamhill County.

Now, Barkley said, the pair are living in a mobile home and adjusting to life with heat, electricity and electric water.

The man mows lawns and is learning to drive a tractor, and the pair ride bicycles to a nearby church on Sundays.

"The amazing part of this was the fact that Sergeant Barkley really evaluated what was best for these people," North Precinct Cmdr. Scott Anderson said. "Sometimes police would be a little quicker to hand things off to state workers. But instead ... he saw this through to the end."


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Oregon
KEYWORDS: cpswatch; education; fatherhood; forestfamily; homeschool; portland; terrificcop
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1 posted on 05/20/2004 6:08:07 PM PDT by chance33_98
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To: chance33_98

That's a nice story.


2 posted on 05/20/2004 6:12:05 PM PDT by texasflower (in the event of the rapture.......the Bush White House will be unmanned)
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To: chance33_98
"What was so clear was that their living conditions were unacceptable

My grandmother wouldn't have thought the conditions so unacceptable. As long as the children were clean and well educated.

/john

3 posted on 05/20/2004 6:12:31 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Soy el jefe de la cocina. No disguta conmigo.)
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To: chance33_98

What a great story.


4 posted on 05/20/2004 6:13:04 PM PDT by knarf (A place where anyone can learn anything ... especially that which promotes clear thinking.)
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To: chance33_98

Sounds like he was a good and honorable man doing very well with what he had.


5 posted on 05/20/2004 6:13:57 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Even if the government took all your earnings, you wouldn't be, in its eyes, a slave.)
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To: knarf; mhking; LadyShallott
Officer Joe Campbell, who helped find the pair, said separating the pair would have broken their hearts. "Their whole lives seemed to revolve around each other," said Campbell.

For once, a little common sense.

6 posted on 05/20/2004 6:16:20 PM PDT by chance33_98 (Shall a living man complain? Oh how much fewer are my sufferings than my sins;)
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To: chance33_98

The family has riches most will never know.
Bless all those involved.


7 posted on 05/20/2004 6:18:08 PM PDT by mabelkitty
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To: chance33_98

Amazing what can be accomplished WITHOUT the socialist NEA and government SERVICES!!!


8 posted on 05/20/2004 6:18:12 PM PDT by Not a 60s Hippy
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To: JRandomFreeper
My husband's parents didn't have electricity or indoor plumbing until the mid-50's.

I am pleased to see that the police used common sense and helped the father and daughter, rather than calling in the social workers.

Nice story.

9 posted on 05/20/2004 6:19:00 PM PDT by Miss Marple
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To: chance33_98

Amazing that the press is reporting this in such a positive light. I'll bet they expected bad news from the pediatrician.
It kind of reminds me of Heidi and her Grandfather.


10 posted on 05/20/2004 6:22:41 PM PDT by ValerieUSA
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To: Not a 60s Hippy

Only to the credit of the particular man who found them did this have a happy ending....

Most other police would have automatically thrown the father into jail after having the "child protective" service wrench his daughter away with no concern.


11 posted on 05/20/2004 6:23:52 PM PDT by steplock (http://www.gohotsprings.com)
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To: chance33_98

ummm... electric water?


12 posted on 05/20/2004 6:24:29 PM PDT by ValerieUSA
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To: chance33_98
This is OUTRAGEOUS!! Their living conditions were right out of the 18th century!!! It's HORRIBLE!! That poor child was been denied the basic needs of life. Can you imagine growing up under such conditions? No MTV. No Britney Spears. No pizza. No Gameboy. No computer. No internet. No pornographic spam. Where was George Bush when this child was being left behind?

OH! THE HUMANITY!!!

</sarcasm>

But seriously...

Aside from the fact that they were squatting on public land, why are the authorities messing with these people? Since when does an Aussie jogger getting his knickers in a bunch constitute a cause for alarm? Heaven forbid this guy should ever travel down to rural Baja.

13 posted on 05/20/2004 6:24:45 PM PDT by Redcloak (Have you hugged your tagline today?)
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To: Miss Marple

My mom's 11 brothers and sisters were in the same shape, They were sharecroppers in rural Mississippi.

All were literate, clean, and Christian, and all eventually lived to have happy, successful lives.


14 posted on 05/20/2004 6:25:21 PM PDT by B-Chan (Catholic. Monarchist. Texan. Any questions?)
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To: Blood of Tyrants

A Viet Nam Vet and, Once a Marine always a Marine.

Then you have Kerry, his daughter in her see thru dress at Cannes. Seems Kerry did less with more.

This Marine Did more with less.

Shows what Honor and integrity can do.


15 posted on 05/20/2004 6:26:42 PM PDT by Michael121 (An old soldier knows truth. Only a Dead Soldier knows peace.)
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To: chance33_98
"The amazing part of this was the fact that Sergeant Barkley really evaluated what was best for these people," North Precinct Cmdr. Scott Anderson said. "Sometimes police would be a little quicker to hand things off to state workers. But instead ... he saw this through to the end."

You can contact the North Precinct of the Portland Police Bureau here

503-823-2120
7214 N. Philadelphia St.
Portland, OR 97203
Scott Anderson, Precinct Commander
Sbt Barkley

Or you can email Chief Foxworth
Email Chief Foxworth, and thank Sgt Barkley

I called them and sent an email...

16 posted on 05/20/2004 6:26:56 PM PDT by antaresequity (This is not the "War on Terror", Islam is the common denominator)
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To: Blood of Tyrants

The man deserves a medal and so does the kid. He was a veteran, lived on a shoestring and sounds like a great father willing to take work that (supposedly) only illegal aliens will do.


17 posted on 05/20/2004 6:27:08 PM PDT by Vigilanteman (crime would drop like a sprung trapdoor if we brought back good old-fashioned hangings)
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To: chance33_98
"The amazing part of this was the fact that Sergeant Barkley really evaluated what was best for these people,"

Of all the amazing things in this article, I don't think the police really stood out.

18 posted on 05/20/2004 6:28:16 PM PDT by blanknoone (I voted for it before I voted against it, and I didn't even show up for the vote!)
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To: Redcloak

I can understand the involvement of the police in evicting these people (and I support that decision...transients shouldn't be able to just "build a house" in the middle of a park), but it sounds like everything beyond that was driven by this officers caring about their well being. They got them out of the dirt-floored lean-to and into a proper home and even got him a job. This, IMO, is what Christian charity is all about. A hand up, not a handout.


19 posted on 05/20/2004 6:28:48 PM PDT by Arthalion
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To: chance33_98

What a great story.

The most amazing part is the Authorities did the right thing.

They checked him out, they checked her out, and even found him a job.

Also the fact that this girl performs at a 12th grade level says a lot about public schooling, huh?

Good to see a happy ending.

Regards,
Joe


20 posted on 05/20/2004 6:30:06 PM PDT by Sonar5
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To: Vigilanteman

I don't know. Something sounds strange about this story.


21 posted on 05/20/2004 6:30:55 PM PDT by AppyPappy (If You're Not A Part Of The Solution, There's Good Money To Be Made In Prolonging The Problem.)
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To: Redcloak
Aside from the fact that they were squatting on public land, why are the authorities messing with these people

She has a loving caring nurturing parent, no doubt about that. I find it interesting that they would automatically check her for sexual abuse. Not every father alone with his young daughter is a pervert.

Probably the primary thing missing in this childs life is a total lack of interaction with her peers. Yet how fortunate she is to have such a parent as her father.

22 posted on 05/20/2004 6:31:40 PM PDT by Graybeard58
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To: antaresequity
Portland Police Officers Bump...job well done...


23 posted on 05/20/2004 6:32:11 PM PDT by antaresequity (This is not the "War on Terror", Islam is the common denominator)
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To: chance33_98

Sounds like he has done an excellent job in raising his daughter.
Apparently the girl has learned survival skills that will prove to be very useful if the RATS succeed in losing this war.
Survival skills we all better learn and learn very soon.....


24 posted on 05/20/2004 6:32:11 PM PDT by 76834
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To: Redcloak
No pizza.

I didn't see that in the article. ;>)If the Sgt. can provide as well as he has with darn near nothing to live on, I suspect that he could provide a hearth-side pizza (pizza is poverty food). If not, I'm open to teaching him how. ;>)

The reason the child is so smart is that she hasn't been exposed to TV for the last 4 years. Dan Rather damages brain cells.

/john

25 posted on 05/20/2004 6:32:30 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Soy el jefe de la cocina. No disguta conmigo.)
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To: chance33_98
"What was so clear was that their living conditions were unacceptable, but their relationship was a real deep love and caring for each other," Barkley said.

she was healthy and well-educated, so why was it unacceptable? because people just don't live "like that?" or because they were living on land that didn't belong to them? i suppose he means that normal people just don't live like that...

26 posted on 05/20/2004 6:32:36 PM PDT by latina4dubya
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To: B-Chan
I have to conclude that a lot of press people don't know much about their family history.

I am a child of the 50's. Lots of my relatives and my husband's lived in primitive (for today) conditions. Heck, I can remember when during my high school years (the 60's)parts of Indianapolis still didn't have indoor plumbing.

This story is unusual today, but mainly because it is unusual for someone in trouble to be self-sufficient and live off the land. I think it admirable.

I suggest that people contemplate what they would do if they were cut off from almost all funds. Once, in the early 80's, we were without funds and I culled fallen apples from an orchard. My son still talks about that and how proud he was of me that I could make dinner with what other people would think of as discards.

27 posted on 05/20/2004 6:33:38 PM PDT by Miss Marple
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To: chance33_98
"What was so clear was that their living conditions were unacceptable, but their relationship was a real deep love and caring for each other," Barkley said."

Ha! I've seen worse camps here in the U.P. As to the girl performing at a 12th grade level, someone should figure out how much money was spent on her education and compare it to the NEA expenditures which we are constantly told "isn't enough."

My hat is off to the father. He did a great job taking care of his little girl, even if she was living in a lean-to. It would have been very easy for him to suckle up to the government pig; I suspect that his Marine training helped him avoid such a road.

28 posted on 05/20/2004 6:34:27 PM PDT by yooper (If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there......)
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To: chance33_98

Please allow me to throw a Baby Ruth in the punch bowl. Its amazing they weren't shot by police snipers.


29 posted on 05/20/2004 6:35:02 PM PDT by Lockbar
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To: ivy

Interesting story...


30 posted on 05/20/2004 6:36:31 PM PDT by Guillermo (Simpson, you've got a short in your tail light. It started blinking when you made that turn - Wiggum)
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To: chance33_98

Hmmmmm....have hiked, run, many times in Forest Park....that pic makes it look like it's right on one of the trails (there's more than 74 miles of trails in the park....and have been murderous thugs there, too in the past 5-10 years). It's a well used park, so kudo's to this guy if everything is as they say....


31 posted on 05/20/2004 6:37:31 PM PDT by goodnesswins (Countries around the world are ALIENATING ME...an American!)
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To: Miss Marple
My husband's parents didn't have electricity or indoor plumbing until the mid-50's.

Visiting Uncle Roy and Uncle Jesse was always a hoot n' hollar. In the late 60's they were still bragging about being the first house in town to have indoor plumbing.

Of course, they were at the southern end of town, in case Uncle Roy decided he needed to head to Mexico quickly. (Not a bad plan for Uncle Roy, actually).

/john

32 posted on 05/20/2004 6:38:25 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Soy el jefe de la cocina. No disguta conmigo.)
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To: AuntB; redrock; Jeff Head

Great story. Heard this on the Lars Larson show and I was blown away at the compassion of the cop and the nosiness of the jogger.


33 posted on 05/20/2004 6:38:59 PM PDT by nunya bidness (Yorktown)
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To: Michael121
Seems Kerry did less with more.

QUOTE OF THE DAY material.

/john

34 posted on 05/20/2004 6:39:10 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Soy el jefe de la cocina. No disguta conmigo.)
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To: chance33_98
They reported seeing an older man with white bushy hair and a beard, and a young girl at what appeared to be a "well-established transient camp." They called police on April 28.

If these two weren't on the busybody's land, what business is it of theirs that they should call the police? Did they speak with the pair first? Did they witness the girl being abused?

35 posted on 05/20/2004 6:39:37 PM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts (`,,`,,Election '04...It's going to be a bumpy ride,,`,,`)
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To: chance33_98

Hooray for Sergeant Barkley! Hooray for the "Forest Family"!


36 posted on 05/20/2004 6:39:39 PM PDT by bvw
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To: Miss Marple

"My husband's parents didn't have electricity or indoor plumbing until the mid-50's."

Nor did mine, but I suspect my life might have been empty without the love and nurture they gave their large family.


37 posted on 05/20/2004 6:39:53 PM PDT by billhilly (If you're lurking here from DU, I trust this post will make you sick)
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To: chance33_98
"The father has done a wonderful job of educating the girl, says police. She reportedly performs at a 12th grade level."

THAT just has to KILL the educrats....

38 posted on 05/20/2004 6:39:59 PM PDT by goodnesswins (Countries around the world are ALIENATING ME...an American!)
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To: Not a 60s Hippy
The man, who identified himself as Frank, told police he was a 53-year-old Marine Corps veteran and college graduate who served in Vietnam.

Leave it to the Marines

39 posted on 05/20/2004 6:40:06 PM PDT by Pontiac (Ignorance of the law is no excuse, ignorance of your rights can be fatal.)
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To: Michael121

That is a most intriguing comparison.


40 posted on 05/20/2004 6:40:39 PM PDT by bvw
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To: JRandomFreeper
I am reminded of the reporter who whined to Rumsfeld that the Gitmo prisoners didn't have air conditioning.

Right now, I am without AC, because our unit broke and we don't yet have money to replace it. Do you think I should call the Red Cross?

Ha!

41 posted on 05/20/2004 6:40:43 PM PDT by Miss Marple
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To: Michael121
This Marine Did more with less.

MARINES always have!

Semper Fi BUMP.... Good Story.

42 posted on 05/20/2004 6:40:51 PM PDT by AFreeBird (your mileage may vary)
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To: ValerieUSA

"ummm... electric water?"

It goes with the electric chair.


43 posted on 05/20/2004 6:41:43 PM PDT by billhilly (If you're lurking here from DU, I trust this post will make you sick)
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To: conspiratoristo
Semper Fi

PING

44 posted on 05/20/2004 6:42:19 PM PDT by Pontiac (Ignorance of the law is no excuse, ignorance of your rights can be fatal.)
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To: chance33_98
In one sense, the story is endearing.

It can also be taken as a symptom of mental illness by the father.

And it also sounds really fishy. Could you possibly imagine yourself in this situation?

I would really hesitate before judging this one.

45 posted on 05/20/2004 6:42:40 PM PDT by Urbane_Guerilla
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To: Redcloak
Aside from the fact that they were squatting on public land, why are the authorities messing with these people? Since when does an Aussie jogger getting his knickers in a bunch constitute a cause for alarm? Heaven forbid this guy should ever travel down to rural Baja.

Exactly my thoughts on the situation.

Police persuaded them to leave the camp, promising help them find food and shelter.

"You must conform. You will be assimilated. You must conform. You will be assimilated. You must conf..."

46 posted on 05/20/2004 6:44:42 PM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts (`,,`,,Election '04...It's going to be a bumpy ride,,`,,`)
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To: chance33_98
Barkley, who has a 6-year-old daughter, said he was struck by the relationship between father and daughter.

"What was so clear was that their living conditions were unacceptable, but their relationship was a real deep love and caring for each other," Barkley said.

Unacceptable? I surely hope that Barkley's six year old daughter has as good a relationship with her father, and that she ends up with as good an education. Since she's probably in a public school, I don't have much confidence.

47 posted on 05/20/2004 6:45:21 PM PDT by jackbill
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To: Miss Marple
Right now, I am without AC, because our unit broke and we don't yet have money to replace it. Do you think I should call the Red Cross?

Surely. It's your UN right. /sarcasm

Jesse and Roy never had AC. In south-central Texas. During the summer, they would hang wet sheets in the house and run fans at night. During the day, they wore ties and long sleeve shirts (always). And never whined. Ever.

After Jesse died, Roy did buy a 'swamp cooler' (antique evaporative cooler). For one room, the parlor. But he didn't run it unless we were visiting. It caused mold, we were told.

/john

48 posted on 05/20/2004 6:47:59 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Soy el jefe de la cocina. No disguta conmigo.)
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To: goodnesswins
THAT just has to KILL the educrats....

Well now she will probably have to go to a gubbermint screwl and will be dutifully turned in to a Teenage Mutant, pregnant by 16, drug addict.

The best thing for this child was most likely to stay where she was.

49 posted on 05/20/2004 6:51:15 PM PDT by Pontiac (Ignorance of the law is no excuse, ignorance of your rights can be fatal.)
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To: ValerieUSA

***ummm... electric water?***

Sure, where do you think electric eels come from?


50 posted on 05/20/2004 6:53:12 PM PDT by kitkat (PLEASE STEAL THIS TAG: "The democrats would rather win the WH than the war." - Tom DeLay))
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