Part III: I Am Losing My Home to the HOA

Posted by sjreidhead@mac.com on July 28, 2016 in Personal with Comments closed |

Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 1.50.03 PMIt looks like it is going to be official. I’m going to be losing my home. I am completely broke, having spent my last hundred dollars paying my mother’s power bill. It is so frustrating. None of this is necessary, but it is. I had $2500 last week, but it was my mother’s money and went to pay her property taxes. Too bad the HOA here won’t honor doing what is right for one’s family, but let’s just put that idea on hold. I’ve had to set up a Go Fund Me page.

It is so darn frustrating. I know, I’m repeating myself. It could be solved so easily. I do think I should be moving down to the house. There are just so many things I need to do, and in order.

  1. Have yard mowed, use weed-eater, get rid of grass where snakes hide. Do something about the jungle which has grown up between the highway fence and the storage building. Mama Mountain Lion likes to hide in it with her babies. I can’t even begin the moving process until I start moving things around in there.
  2. Get garage door repaired. Can’t even live in the house with the repairs. It’s a safety thing. Looks like a new opener/motor will run a little less than $300.
  3. Sort books to go to the Carrizozo library.
  4. Turn on satellite dish.
  5. See if I can get DSL in the valley, if not get satellite DSL.
  6. Move etageres from storage building to porch.
  7. Move hutch to storage building.
  8. Move etageres from kitchen to porch.
  9. Start book moving orgy. (We’re talking 1000 or so books)
  10. Plan & execute 1st garage sale.
  11. Move bed from yellow guest room. Sell mattress & box springs.
  12. Get my father’s shower re-tiled.
  13. Start gradual moving process. The idea is to do it slowly.
  14. Find someone to take my pictures off wall.
  15. Remove shelves & runners from my walls.
  16. Redo my mother’s closets
  17. Move my hutch & cabinets to the kitchen.
  18. Start moving furniture.
  19. Move my fridge to her house.
  20. Replace my mother’s older dishwasher with my newer one.
  21. Take light fixtures off my ceilings.
  22. Move the rest of the furniture.
  23. Maybe have another garage sale.
  24. Tranquilize & move 6 cats.
  25. Third garage sale.

With luck they will give me some time to do this. I really do need a good $5000 to do this. I can’t even afford gas for my car. Just making the list gives me tachycardia.

 

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Why I Am Losing My Home

Posted by sjreidhead@mac.com on July 25, 2016 in Personal with Comments closed |

IMG_1302Evidently the HOA where I live is going to foreclose on my condo because I owe $7500* in back dues. (Please see update note). I freely admit I owe them. There are extenuating circumstances, though. I have spent the past 6 years of my life dealing with a family crises, my father’s Alzheimer’s Disease and the fact that my parents were basically ‘cleaned’ by my father’s broker.

I quit smiling and laughing, years ago.

By the time we discovered the disaster, it was too late, the statute of limitations had passed. To make matters worse, my father gave his broker’s replacement ALL of his financial records. Naturally nothing remains – nothing, as in nothing. The HOA was allowing me to pay as I could, but evidently they’re tired of the fact that I’ve lived here 18 years and paid in (stupidly) over $40,000 in HOA fees.

My sister and I have done everything possible to care for them. We’re trying to sell property, but in this real estate market, it is almost impossible. Since I was given the news that my home, which is worth about $120,000 is going to be auctioned for about $8000, I’ve been a wreck. It has broken me. We have struggled for so long, that there’s nothing left. I’ve lost my savings, my career, and I swear my sanity. I no longer know how to fight or how to do things. I’ve lost all hope.

WHY I AM BEHIND

There is a serious problem where I live, thanks to PNM and their new power meters. One of the reason my HOA payments have been on such an irregular basis is due to PNM and their new meters. This past calendar year, I’ve paid out approximately $3200 in power bills. My total yearly income the past two years has been approximately $13,000. By the time I pay the very basics of living, I have maybe $20 left over, per month. And, yes, I have been laboring under the assumption that I would have property sold by now and could pay off my HOA fees. I don’t even have health insurance. I can’t afford it.

In 2014 my PNM bill was a thousand dollars less. One of the reasons was the fact that PNM installed the new meters in the summer of 2014. Our rates have skyrocketed since then. PNM has also redesigned their web site so that you can no longer access your previous year’s bills. The situation here is so dire that I know one resident who is not quite sure if they can even afford to live here. This person kept the thermometer on about 55 all winter, with bills upward of $400/month.

PNM refuses to help us . We both were forced to stay cold this past winter, unable to afford even the basics of heat. We keep our summer thermostats set around 75, on a cool day. On a hot day, forget even being cool. We can’t afford it.

DISHONEST BUYERS

I am dealing with quirks of fate, a dishonest realtor, and people here in New Mexico who would rather lie and cheat when it comes to purchasing property than even consider being just a tad honest. I am tired of it. I have become impatient and extremely bitter. I don’t like having someone worth millions offering me $125,000 cash and a local roach motel for 2300 acres . That comes out to around $50/acre. My father paid $400/acre for it. I learned, about 3 weeks ago that the person who took control of a previous realtor’s business went to the major land sales sites and listed our property as not for sale. I have a good, honest realtor, now.
THE WILD AND CRAZY EXCUSE

I have been paying something on the HOA, when I have the money to do so. Things have been so tight , these past seven months, that I’ve had to borrow money to pay my power bills, along with a few other bills. It was not to be this way, but I am living on practically nothing. I wasn’t all that worried about even contacting you because I’ve been waiting for a timber contract to be fulfilled. I would then pay everything off, in full. That was to have happened by May.

As I explained to the board president on June 23, the only reason I have not paid the current bill in full is due to the fact that the lumber mills in South Carolina are now running a specific hard wood, and not pine or pulp, which we have. I have contracts from the timber company (I can provide copies upon request), stating that they will be cutting on two specific properties in South Carolina. The timber estimate from is at least $10,000.

The estimate for another property is even more than that. I have been negotiating these contracts since February. The forester was to have been cutting in late April and early May, but must cut according to what the timber mills require. They currently are running a specific hard-wood we do not have on our property. I was to have had a minimum $25,000 in hand by May, at the latest, but it may now be at least October before the mills will be running the kind of wood that we have on our property. As soon as my timber check is in hand, the HOA will be paid.

HYSTERIA

I am hysterical.
I resent being investigated and having them delve into my personal life and my finances. They have that right. They have the legal right to sell my home, which is assessed for $120,000 for $7500. Here in New Mexico that is their legal right. Never mind it is just a quirk, which kept me from paying them.

I’ve reached the point where I no longer expect kindness and mercy from people. Everyone wants something for nothing. If they think you are in a financial crises, that’s a good excuse for them to make a buck off their suffering.

If I had insurance I’d go to the ER. I don’t. My sister said our mother is in such bad shape over this that she asked her if she needs to go to the ER.
I swear, if I were a terrorist, I’d have more rights than I currently have with this situation.
I’ve been told I’ll need to start selling my things, that I have too many things and am too attached to them. I’ve also been told I’ll need to get rid of my cats. I love my cats, even if they did murder the huge jade plant. I would rather curl up and die than get rid of my cats. As for getting rid of my things, don’t I have any rights?

MY INSANE RANT

I can live at my mother’s home for awhile. In order to do so, I’m going to need to sell quite a bit of my furniture. Once I get down there, I won’t be able to come back into town because the car is in such bad shape. I’ll be stranded down there. My internet access will be extremely limited, so I’ll probably be forced to give up the blog I’ve had for 10 years. I can sit there and rot. Yes, I’m angry and I’m bitter. I’m in this situation for being stupid enough to believe that Commandment about honoring one’s parents.
We have land to sell. But, people sense blood in the water and refuse to pay what a fair price for it. I’ve come to resent men from Texas who think they are so much better than we stupid women. I’ve also come to realize that just because someone says they are a Christian, well, forget that. It’s just another excuse to cheat someone who needs help.

Most frustrating is the fact that, if I lived somewhere besides New Mexico, I could be able to sell some Native American jewelry, pottery, and a few antiques and easily raise the money to pay the condo fees. But, here in New Mexico, forget about selling anything for fair market value. All anyone wants to do is cheat you, for a bargain. I’ve come to resent people here who are little more than pickers.

I have a Lucy Lewis pot to sell. Obama has one similar to it in the Oval Office. I have thousands in Acoma pottery I can sell. But, forget that – here. I have a magnificent Navajo gingerbread concho belt I paid over a $1000 20 years ago. It’s worth several thousand dollars. I have a Zuni inlay storyteller belt that is worth quite a bit of money. I have Native art to sell.

But – here, forget that. Yes, I’m angry and I’m bitter. I want a break. I’ll get scrap price for my sterling, I know that. I would love to have a viable sale, but I know how badly I’ll be cheated by Texans and summer people.
So, I lose my home. Stop on by in a few weeks and you can pick over the remains of my life. Yes, I’m angry. I’ve cried so much, there are no longer tears. All my sister and I have done is do what is right. We’ve both been screwed over by life for being decent, kind, and honorable.

I cannot imagine being forced to give away my beloved cats. The large calico is Bubbles Silverman, named after Beverly Sills. The one below is B(r)at Masterson. The fuzzy baby, then all grown up is Baby. Hoss Cartwright is the red tabby. Then there is the illusive Mommy Cat, who is a small tabby calico. Madam Pompadour is the smaller calico. The poodle is Rums. Sadie my mother’s bichon is living with us, also.

I’ll be having a garage sale in a couple weeks. I’ll be selling my iPad, golf clubs, some jewelry, small screen televisions, along with other things. The last time I had a garage sale someone cheated me out of my 1989 classic convertible. He ended up paying me $27, then harassed and intimidated me to the point where I just gave up. But, that’s life in New Mexico. Actually, it’s life in the United States these days, where it is all about lying, cheating, and slitting you friend’s throat for their last crust of bread.

I have a beautiful set of Fritz & Floyd sunflower dishes I’d like to sell, but they’re worth at least $900 and I refuse to sell them to some picker for $5.00. I have incredible sunflower things. I’m in such a shitty mood, I’d rather break everything than have local pickers offer something for nothing.

I can’t even work on my writing beyond the basics. I can’t afford to get my good MacBook Pro serviced. I can’t afford the subscription to Adobe to pay for the program I need for layout. Damn it, I bought collectibles, the pottery and jewelry to be able to sell it as an investment. I’ve had suggestions to do a Go Fund Me page, but if I could just get a break, I could sell things and make a decent amount on them.

I CAN’T GET A BREAK

Right now, I’m so hurt, and angry and bitter. I’m exhausted. I can’t sleep. I just want this long battle for survival to come to an end. I am fully aware my future has been destroyed. I will never get the lost years back, and forget even thinking about getting the 17 books I’ve written these past 6 years published. Due to family problems, I’ve not published in 10 years. Just come dance on the remains of my life. It sucks and now they’re stealing my home.

I’m tired and I’m crazed, so frustrated I’m not quite sure what to do. Like my cousin said, I need someone on my side. Apparently that isn’t going to happen. At least she volunteered her son to come move me. One thing that has happened since my rant and rave, I’ve discovered I know or am associated with at least 4 people who have been forced into bankruptcy by their HOA. Only owe the HOA.
There needs to be a law.

If I lose my home, I can’t even afford the boxes I need to pack. I can’t afford the tissue for packing. Oh, I’ve had several people offer to help me move. (Sorry, I’m a little sarcastic). Once I get down to San Patricio, I’m stranded. I’m driving my mother’s 2005 Cadillac with one of those disgusting Northstar engines that needs to be repaired. I’ve been stranded in Ruidoso for two years. I can’t even get out to try setting up a booth in an antique mall in Roswell or somewhere like that.

I have so many things I an sell to make money, but am living in a place where people pay pennies on the dollar. The other day someone sold a Federalist rocking chair for $25, and antique ruby glass lamps worth at least $450 for $15. Does that tell you anything?

Aside from helping my parents, I used my savings purchasing antique photos for a book on fashion, which will literally change how people view American costume. The book is in edits. Because I cannot use my MacBook Pro, I can’t edit. I can’t afford the $30/monthly subscription to Adobe to do the edits. After next month I won’t be able to afford the $8/month subscription to Microsoft Word, then I’ll no longer be a working writer.

All I did was follow the Ten Commandments, you know, the one about honoring your parents. I’m broken. My hair is falling out and I can’t even afford the vitamins for regrowth. I’ve basically given up on life. Mine is over, let’s just be honest. It wasn’t to be this way, but right now I’m dealing with someone I thought was my friend, who lied about me being able to keep my home. After he told me they were going to sell it out from under me, he told me I’d be getting a letter, then he went on vacation.

I don’t even know if I’m worth helping. I’m that broken. Heck, I’m so broke, I had to fix my one working toilet with a hairpin the other night. It worked. If it sounds like I’m ranting and raving, I am. I’m no longer thinking rationally. I’ve been pushed to the brink, and don’t know how to survive.

This is my life, or what is being stolen from me. I’m now being told I must begin selling my art, jewerly, and furniture, along with my glassware, to help not only me, but our mother survive. All of this is due to the fact that I was lied too – and not given the opportunity to tell my story to the HOA board of directors.

I am a writer. I specialize in the life of Wyatt Earp and Tombstone. I have two non-fiction books about Wyatt and Tombstone along with a western novel, and one YA novel. I’ve spent my crises time writing murder mysteries. I’m working #10. They are a series, each containing about 500 pages. I can’t even afford the ink to print them out, to have them proofed.

My book on fashion is a game changer. It contains approximately 2200 unpublished historic American photos including an unpublished Matthew Brady CDV of Mary Todd Lincoln.

Not only that, but I’ve been writing the essays dealing with the past six years and my faith, or what’s left of it. I have enough for five books. I can’t even begin working on the one about my father and his AD until I can afford to use Adobe.

I was planning to use Go Fund Me for my fashion book, but I no longer have that luxury. I don’t know what will happen to it. I may be forced to sell the photos I’m saving for gallery shows when I complete the book. I suspect like all my other dreams, I’m going to be forced to sacrifice those to financial reality.

Yes, I’m angry. Unlike women who have families and established homes, those of us who aren’t married are the ones required to give up everything, for our family. It’s killing me. Right now I just want to save my home.
I don’t believe in giving something for nothing. I don’t want charity. I will be giving copies of my books, along with other things. Somewhere I have several complete sets of Star Wars Burger King glasses.

I promise I will return kindness with a bon. I haven’t quite figured out the thank-you reward, but it will include copies of my books, and maybe a few Star Wars glasses if you wish. I know, it isn’t much but it is what I can do.

If you notice the amount is a little over what I need. I want to be able to pay my HOA fees a year ahead, and avoid this disaster. I also need to invest in a decent microphone and some equipment in order to start a YouTube ‘video’ show featuring the stories of people who have had their lives turned upside down by Home Owner’s Associations. It needs to end – now. Maybe that is why this has happened to me. I can tell you I’ve already written to my Congressman asking how to get started proposing national legislation against what HOAs do.

I need to rebuild my life. There are basics I need, just to get by. I have a few ideas in mind. Those who help will find out what’s going on. You will also receive a free copy of my next book. With luck it will be my first murder mystery. The overage will help me buy ink to print a copy out for edits, and get on with my life.

Bless you.
SJ (Cindy) Reidhead

P. S. You might notice I have no real address for my home. That’s for a very good reason, primarily security. I had a stalker – once upon a time…

 

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My Books Are Not on Amazon

Posted by sjreidhead@mac.com on April 5, 2016 in Fiction, Non-Fiction with Comments closed |

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Like many indy writers, I am not selling my books on Amazon.  You can find them there, but the price is obscene and insulting.

Also, I’m not happy because some jerk went and wrote nasty reviews, damning me over the price, which is something I have no control over via third party sites.

I’m not the only one having problems.  If I were, I’d be upset, but it is part of the game.

Anyone who buys one of my books on Amazon is out of their mind!  Contact me via FB or Twitter and I will be glad to help you with one. Or try sjreidheadatgmaildotcom.

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A Quickie Update

Posted by sjreidhead@mac.com on September 8, 2015 in Christian Essays, Fiction, Non-Fiction, Tombstone, Uncategorized, Works In Progress with Comments closed |

IMG_1302I am working on murder mystery #8.  I know, I should be doing edits and prepping for publication, but right now, I don’t even care.  There are so many other things going on my fried brain can’t deal with it.

A Walk on Water is being proofed.  I suspect it will see publication before anything else.  It is a compilation of about four years of my life sucks, being pissed with God, and rebuilding of faith.  I don’t like ‘happy ending’ happy-clappy books about faith.  they are fake.  There are times when our lives do suck, and we feel our prayers are not being answered.

The fashion book is a mess.  Until I can get my MacBook Pro 17″ repaired, I don’t know how to do the book on the smaller MacBook Air.  Also, the photos which I transferred from the older Mac to the newer one are completely screwed up thanks to the upgrades in iPhoto.

I’m just about ready to start working on the book about my father’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease.  I think I’m putting his WWII story in it, but I’m not sure.

My life is so screwed up, dealing with probate, trying to get the canyon property sold, and then finding a place to relocate, that I don’t even know which end is up.  Right now I basically have the first draft of at least 10 books completed, with another half-dozen in the stage of getting there.

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How to Acquire My Books

Posted by sjreidhead@mac.com on October 26, 2014 in A Church for Helldorado, Fiction, Non-Fiction, The Second Mrs. Earp, Travesty, Uncategorized with Comments closed |

CIMG0395The other month or so someone left a horrible message on Amazon, slamming my books as not worth the price!  I agree.  Like so many authors who can’t afford to go the way of Amazon’s extortion fees, what books are offered are being sold for prices that are obscene they are so high.  I finally managed to get enough copies of everything in stock (I haven’t had anything in over a year) to be able to go back in the book promotion & selling mode.    Unlike Amazon, I can’t offer free shipping. None are available in e-book version for the simple reason that footnotes don’t work well in that format – yet.  TRAVESTY has nearly 2000 footnotes.

A Church for Helldorado:  $19.99

The best way to ship is USPS priority flat envelope for $5.75.  Media Mail rates are even less.

TRAVESTY:  Frank Waters’ Earp Agenda Exposed:

There is no easy way to do this.  When you have 520 or so pages, it makes for heavy reading.  I suggest media mail.  Rates must be calculated.

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Condo for Sale

Posted by sjreidhead@mac.com on September 19, 2014 in Uncategorized with Comments closed |

 

The View From the Front Door!

The View From the Front Door!

I need to sell my condo, which is located in Lincoln, County, New Mexico.  Without going into details, because I don’t like to give away where I live, it is in a resort area.  The elevation is fairly high.  The winters are like Camelot, some snow, major high altitude skiing, and the summers are hot for a couple hours, then the sun goes down, and it is chilly.  The photo on the right is the view from the front entry of the unit.

Dining Room Balcony

Dining Room Balcony

 

Living Room

Living Room

 

My 'Study'

My ‘Study’

 

For those who want to know why I am selling, well, I wasn’t planning on it. My plan was to renovate and rent. Now that the parents’ health is failing so quickly, I need to relocate about 20 miles east of here, to be able to be near them. It is the only reason I’m selling. If I could, I would keep the unit, but it’s just not feasible.
 

 

 

Master Bath

Master Bath

 

 

 

 

The following is the cat’s tour of the condo:
Bat (Brat) Masterson – white, gray spots
Miss Beverly Sills – AKA Bubbles Silverman – large calico
Hoss Cartwright – red tabby
*Mommy Cat – mottled calico
*Madame de Pompadour – smaller calico
*Miss Leontyne Price – AKA Baby – long hair tabby Persian
Toy Poodle – Rumsfeld
*Rescued here at the complex

 

  • 1280 sq feet (originally) I add another 20 or so when I enclosed the entry.
The Dining Room

The Dining Room

  • $120,000
  • Stucco
Living Room

Living Room

  • Tin roof
  • Next to pool
  • 96 channel cable included in $230/month HOA fee
  • Free WiFi being added in to the package
  • Excellent Mexican food less than a mile away
  • 2 car garage (carport)
View from Guest Level to Living Room

View from Guest Level to Living Room

  • Easy entry, not on a hill, easy to navigate in the snow
  • Alarm system
  • 4 year old heat pump, excellent air
  • 2 fireplaces (need cleaning)
  • 2 bedrooms
  • 2 full baths
  • Good storage area in carport
  • Mediocre closet space
  • 4 levels
  • 24 total steps
  • Master bedroom on lower level – downright cold in winter, great in summer
  • Guest bath has balcony, no view

    The New Laminate Floor

    The New Laminate Floor

  • Balcony off living room with pool view
  • Balcony off dining room, no view
  • A large balcony & porch may be added
  • Quiet neighborhood
  • Near local museums
  • Near excellent ER, very good cardiac ICU
  • Great local Episcopal church
Living Room

Living Room

  • About 75 minutes from Roswell
  • Maybe an hour to White Sands National Monument
  • Real estate taxes not bad at all – less than $1000/yr
  • Fairly active Bigfoot area (no one will talk about it)
  • Local wildlife includes black bear, mountain lion, elk, deer, javelina, coyotes, wolves,eagle
  • Great property manager
  • Everyone loves their animals, numerous small dogs

    Baby in the Kitchen Sink

    Baby in the Kitchen Sink

  • Couple hundred feet from clinic of the best vet in this whole area
  • Laundry closet with hook/up for washer & dryer

 

 

 

 

 

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

MASTER BEDROOM: Fireplace, can be cold in the winter. Decent size bath, 2 lavatories (they need new fixtures). Don’t think the jazuzzi works. Haven’t tried it in years. Pathetic excuse of a walk-in closet. Laminate flooring okay.

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

Guest Bedroom

Guest Bedroom

 

 

 

GUEST BEDROOM: Balcony with no view, but cool in the summer with the doors open. Never did get around to renovating the bath. Was planning to do it, but life happens. Laminate flooring okay.

 

 

 

Master Bathroom

Master Bathroom

 

 

 

DINING ROOM: I live in it, writing. Needs a couple laminate planks replaced. Same in kitchen. Balcony with lousy view. I like the dining room best of all.

 

 

 

 

LIVING ROOM: Fireplace, balcony, laminate flooring, 4 yrs old. Okay condition. Balcony overlooks pool.

 

 

 

 

Living Room

Living Room

 

KITCHEN: I was preparing to repaint, but no time. New garbage disposal sitting on floor, ready to install. Dishwasher very good, 4 yrs old. So is fridge, ice maker needs to be repaired. The range purchased same day as dishwasher and fridge, but I think it needs to be replaced. Counters are white, 10 yrs old. I love the sink! Made of material that does not scorch. Does not yellow.

 

Living Room

Living Room

OTHER: I turned the entry closet into an ‘office’. Enclosed front entry, to add about20 or so feet to the otherwise 1280 foot unit. Hot water heater 2 years old. Heat pump 4 years old. Alarm system about 4 yrs old. Very good storage closet in garage. I’ve added quite a bit of garage storage.

 

 

 

Shelves Above Stove

Shelves Above Stove

I began renovating the year before we discovered my father had AD. I’ve never finished. The downside can be the power bills, in the winter. The up side is the fireplace in the master bedroom heats, wonderfully. Both need to be cleaned. I’ve not used them since I broke my elbow about 9 yrs ago. I hate the carpet on the steps. It dates back to the 1980s and needs to be replaced. That was to be my next project, but never got around to it.

The Living Room Book Shelves

The Living Room Book Shelves

THE GOOD: I’ve lived here for 16 years.  It is a comfortable unit. The kitchen is small, but is easy to use.  The air flow is such that, you can put bread or rolls on the far left side of the stove top (ceramic) and you don’t need a bread machine.

 

 

 

 

The Messy Kitchen

The Messy Kitchen

I’m crazy about the dining room.  Thanks to the skylights, it is light, and can be cheerful.  I’ve tiled my fireplace profiles and the indoor entry.  It is a great place for cats. It’s also fairly secure.  The view from the living room balcony, over to the mountains was stunning – before the last big fire.  Things are growing back, and I like the view more than I did before the fire.

Cooking

Cooking

THE BAD:  The windows need to be replaced with storm windows.  I don’t like storm windows, so did not replace them.  The complex was built, by former TX Governor John Connally.  The units were I am are fairly well constructed.  Those below me and along the entry of the complex are notorious.  While building them, the developers went under.  They began skimping.  The units were I am were the ‘show’ units.

Living Room

Living Room

Unfortunately, due to mismanagement over the years, the complex has a reputation it no longer deserves.  Today’s management is excellent.  About a decade ago we staged a coup, and removed the problem officers from the HOA board.  Today, everything is out in the open and honest.  Where once it was known for graft, we have a good group of officers. They’re not going to scam or cheat anyone.

Messy Kitten Prints

Messy Kitten Prints

 

THE UGLY:  The power bills (PNM) can be murder.  I am extremely careful.  The new system I put in, several years ago, paid for itself in just a year and a half, then PNM began raising rates.  That’s our real problem.

I don’t think it’s safe to walk the dog at night.  Most of us use piddle pads.  There is far too much wild-life.

I keep burning up garbage disposals.  The new one has been sitting in a box, in the kitchen, for about a year.

 

 

The Balcony

The Balcony

 

 

NOTES:  When I was renovating, about 4 years ago, the person who was going my laminate floors (I have several packs of extra planks for repairs) never ‘finished’ the project.  Then, about the same time, my parents began having serious health problems.  My father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.  I never bothered ‘finishing’ anything.    I never managed to get around to repainting the kitchen.  The tiles I ordered for the back-splash were discontinued.  I never took the time to re-order.

 

Messy Dining Room

Messy Dining Room

 

I have invested several thousand dollars in shelving for my books.  I plan on taking the shelving with me.  The walls will need to be repaired and painted.  If the buyer wishes to keep the shelving, I will need to add about $2000 to the final price.

 

 

Living Room

Living Room

The skylight needs to be repaired – or the area around it.  It was broken when the property was being stuccoed.  It does not leak – thank goodness.  The condo management at the time was terribly corrupt and refused to make the necessary repairs.  I never went beyond it, because the scaffolding necessary, makes me very dizzy.  I don’t like heights like that.

When I move, I am also taking my living room dining, the lights in the hall, and the ones in my ‘study’ area.

We have had major wild fires on several sides of the complex.  Aside from the brush that needs to be cleared by the office, the area is now fairly secure from wildfire.  In this area, that’s a big deal.

 

The Cluttered Writer

The Cluttered Writer

THE TRULY UGLY:  If you are in the kitchen or dining room, you must go down 16 steps – count ’em sixteen – to the bathroom!

 

 

For more info and you don’t know me – DM me on Twitter.  You can also leave a comment, which will be monitored.  I can pick your message up that way.

Down to the Master Bedroom

Down to the Master Bedroom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Living Room

Living Room

Guest Room

Guest Room

I did my own decorating.

 

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

Guest Room Balcony

Guest Room Balcony

 

 

No poodles were harmed during the production of these photos.

 

 

 

 

 

Living Room

Living Room

 

Guest Room

Guest Room

 

Sad Poodle in Dining Room

Sad Poodle in Dining Room

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baby's First Christmas

Baby’s First Christmas

 

One of the facts of life of living in New Mexico, near a national forest is the danger of wildfire. We’re in fairly good shape here. At least, if the fire is on our side of the mountain, the staging area for fire fighters is often right below us.

This is the view from my front door

During the Fire

During the Fire

The Morning After

The Morning After

Taken a block away from my Condo

Two Days Later

Two Days Later

 

But - It Can Be Beautiful

But – It Can Be Beautiful

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Edits, Obsessive Writing, & Murder

Posted by sjreidhead@mac.com on December 6, 2013 in Christian Essays, Fiction, Non-Fiction, Tombstone, Works In Progress with Comments closed |
Copyright SJ Reidhead

Copyright SJ Reidhead

My first book of Christian essays is finally in the first stages of proofing and edits!  Just don’t ask for a publication date.  I have no idea. I do have a working title:  To Walk on Water.  Now,  you know almost as much as I do.  There is a second book in the works, based primarily on women’s issues and the history of women in the church, via more essays.  I’m maybe a third of the way through it.  While I’ve been doing that, I’ve been piddling around completing a book on essays about my political evolution from ‘Reagan’ Conservative to a proud supporter of Barack Obama. I’ve also started working on essays about pedophilia and overcoming abuse.

Believe it or not, my fourth murder mystery was completed in record time, in maybe 6 weeks.  I’ve begun a fifth, writing obsessively.  According to one of my editors, it’s a way of dealing with dealing with Alzheimer’s. And, yes, there’s a book on that, eventually.

The murder mysteries are fun.  They take place in modern day Tombstone.  Nothing is serious.  They are shallow and superficial, slip on a banana peel funny, with nothing resembling reality.  Oh, wait, that’s Tombstone!  And, before anyone gets upset, Tombstone is my 2nd favorite place in the world.  Bath is the other, KSC is third, BTW.

A couple weeks ago, I started counting works that are finished, needing edits, and nearly finished.  I’m up to 9 books.  At least, if I want, when I finally get around to dealing with my poor, long-suffering agent, and getting my act together, I can coast a few years when it comes to writing.

As far as Wild West Redressed, I need get back to it.  I’ve been searching for some very specific information, which I’ve finally located.  I think it changes the way we look at people in the Wild West, or rather how we smell them.  Yes, I can prove that they used deodorant. And that, is a very big fat hairy deal!

One other development, I have changed the color of my hair. Now, back to Tombstone.  The meanest woman in town was just murdered.  The problem is everyone disliked her so much, town marshal Jake Clark has concluded they have at least 900 or so suspects!

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Updates

Posted by sjreidhead@mac.com on September 30, 2013 in Christian Essays, Fiction, Non-Fiction, Opera, Uncategorized, Works In Progress with Comments closed |
DSC00408

DSC00408I just finished the third of my murder mysteries about modern day Tombstone!  It weighed in at around 499 pages and way too many words.  Unfortunately, I’ve already started the fourth.  I know, I should be editing, but I’m rather obsessively writing.

About two weeks ago I finished – or think I finished my first ‘spiritual’ book of essays.  My working title is A Walk On Water.  I’ll hit it soon, with edits.  I’ve already managed to blackmail some poor, unsuspecting, nice person into reading it for me.  The big question with it is do I remove some of the essays about women and put them over into the book about Paul and women?  I’ve started that one, too.

I’ve also begun working on edits of the devotional. The original manuscript is 600 pages – way too long.  Since I was unable to get permission from the so-called ‘christian’ writer whose work I had quoted, I’m having to remove some stuff.  No biggie.  I think the book is better without it.

It looks like I am about half-way there with a series of essays and commentaries about pedophiles and dealing with life – afterward.  I have begun working on the book on opera commentary and essays.

The other day, I complained to one of my editors that I’m just not in a mood to edit.  She reminded me that with what I’m going through with the parents, my head is probably doing all I can do.  That makes sense.

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Confessions of a Compulsive Writer

Posted by sjreidhead@mac.com on May 30, 2013 in Christian Essays, Fiction, Non-Fiction, Opera, Tombstone, Works In Progress with Comments closed |

CIMG0459It’s like this.  I’ve been writing, obsessively and compulsively since the end of July.  So far, I’ve produced about 1400 manuscript pages that included my first two murder mysteries, and am wrapping up a book on Christian essays.  I’m about 100 pages into my third murder mystery.

Okay, I confess, I’m having fun killing people!  If anyone were to study my Google searches, I’d be under a jail by now for all the things I’ve had to look up and research.  It’s a heck of a lot of fun, and I’ve learned a lot about stuff one should never use in real life.

Do you know the difference between a psychopath and a sociopath?  If not, stay tuned for my first murder mystery.  Yes, it has a title.  Yes, there are discussions about a publisher.  I’m holding back because once it goes out, I can’t revise anything.  I’m learning that if I work with all three books at the same time, I can make subtle changes in story lines and characters. Let’s face it, it’s a tremendous advantage.  Once it goes to a publisher, I can’t change anything, later on.

I have titles for everything.  I’m not revealing those titles, just yet.  But, what I will tell you is that they take place in modern day Tombstone.  They are stupid, funny, slap-stick, slip on a banana peel with no basis in reality.  I don’t want realty. I want to escape.

I’ve created a hero who is truly heroic.  If you know anything about me, I’m an opera freak.  My hero is a baritone, one of the leading singers in the world.  He is what is known as a Barihunk!  His fiance in the first book, and wife in the middle of the second constantly compares him, quite unfavorably to my favorites Sherrill Milnes and Dmitri Hvorostovsky.  He is constantly deleting Hvorostovsky’s music from her iPhone and deleting the ring tones she has made from his music, just to annoy her.  (Oh for such a life!)

The second book was a bit of a problem because I did not decide who done it until the last 100 pages or so.  I once read where my literary idol Tony Hillerman did not start out knowing who his murderer was until he was so far into a book.  The idea was too keep the reader guessing.  I’m trying to do that.  I changed my mind so many times in the second book that I hope it is full of delicious red herring.

 

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About SJ Reidhead

Photo 6jj6I am a kindergarten drop-out.

Lately, I has been getting some questions about who I am, and what I believe. I thought I would post a bit of information about me. You can find more information about my politics at The Pink Flamingo.

The main thing is I’ve had a blast, managed to get to hang out with a bunch of interesting people, was instrumental in talking Leonard Nimoy into changing the music used in the Star Trek movies; flirted with Carl Sagan – best flirt I ever met; and became friends with Ted Williams. For many years, my official title was The Bitch of the Space Program because I told off two astronauts, including one who walked on the moon, at the same time. I terrorized staffers on the Hill when it came to dealing with funding for NASA. I shared a banana split with MY MAN once – only time in my life I ever ate one. It was Johnny Bench, and he offered to share his banana split. Dizzy Dean offered to teach me how to play poker. And, I learned to consume adult beverages because Deke Slayton once offered to buy me a scotch, and I did not know how to drink!

I’ve had the great privilege of seeing some of the finest opera super-stars of the Twentieth Century, live: Beverly Sills (I have a cat named after her), Leontyne Price, Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, and the greatest baritone of them all, Sherrill Milnes – many times. You name the singer during the late 70s through the early 90s and I probably saw him or her. My regret is the fact that I have yet to see Dmitri Hvorostovsky in person. I only saw Bubbles once. I saw Leontyne Price twice, in galas. As for the great Luciano and Placi, I don’t even know how many times I saw them. As for Sherrill Milnes, I saw him so many times, in so many locations that he eventually refused to sign photos, telling me I had enough to wall paper a small bathroom. During concerts and galas, when he could come out on stage, (I always tried to sit on the front row), he would lean over bow and acknowledge that I was there! It has only been in the past few weeks that I realize I saw him more often, and visited with him longer than many of today’s super-stars!

I grew up as one of those kids who hung over the railing, leaning into the dugout begging for baseball autographs. Because I was so polite about it, I ALWAYS got results. The guys hated me! I was once nearly kicked out of a Braves game because I was standing by the railing, waiting to talk to Ted Williams. The guards told me I had to leave. I told them Mr. Williams asked me to stay. They argued until he came over and told them we were friends!

The Pink Flamingo is one of the five leading experts on the life of Wyatt Earp and Tombstone. It took me nearly a decade to land, receive permission to use, and transcribe only the 2nd diary to ever come out of Tombstone during the Earp era. I also am the researcher who discovered the original Frank Waters manuscript for his vile Earp Brothers of Tombstone.

SJ Reidhead (aka The Pink Flamingo) is a writer based in New Mexico. The author of two published novels, both westerns:  Dust Devil and The Second Mrs. Earp and two published works of non-fictions: TRAVESTY:  Frank Waters Earp Agenda Exposed and A Church for Helldorado, Endicott Peabody’s 1882 Tombstone Diary. One of the leading authorities on the life of Wyatt Earp and Tombstone during the Earp years, she is currently writing a series of murder mysteries set in modern day Tombstone. The author is also working on a book about fashion in the Wild West.  When complete, there will be over 2100 unpublished antique photographs dating from 1855-1910.

The author’s work has appeared in Wild West, True West, Blogcritics, and The Tombstone Times.  Recently the author has had to deal with a father in Stage 4 Alzheimer’s Disease.  This is leading to a book dealing with the frustrations of dealing with the frustrations of the disease, finance, legal, health-care, and things no one bothers telling families about it.

SJ Reidhead has been involved in Republican politics since she was ‘a little kid’.  During the Reagan years she was a lobbyist working with various non-profit organizations who were attempting to salvage NASA and the American space program after the disastrous Carter years.  Unfortunately, because of the libertarian take-over of the GOP, and the rise of the Tea Parties, as the Republican Party becomes more and more extreme and marginalized, it is impossible to remain loyal to the GOP.  The Pink Flamingo remains GOP to make their lives a living hell.  As of now, I will never vote for, nor support another Republican, ever.

The Pink Flamingo went on line on October 4, 2005, after the author realized “normal” Republicans were being marginalized as the extreme far right attempts to become the new normal.  In November, 2012, The Pink Flamingo, for the first time ever, voted for a Democrat, Barack Obama.  Normal will never again apply to the GOP.

THE PINK FLAMINGO STORY

It started out as a joke.  During the seven years I worked with the girls of my parish, leading a youth group, one of the things that I stressed were manners.  Part of having manners, the way I see it, is to know how to set a proper table, host a party, cater it, and clean up afterward.  I was fortunate enough to have a group of very talented girls in my youth group.  They learned how to plan for, and execute large church functions, very properly. During one such function I noticed there were several incredibly tacky pink flamingos sitting on the table.  Knowing the girls were up to something, I said nothing.  A few months later they did the same thing at a function I was hosting at my home.  I said nothing.  They had a birthday party for me.  More pink flamingos appeared – and a joke was born.

Thanks to the girls, all of whom are now grown, I have a collection of pink flamingos.  It has become an ongoing joke.  When I began working on my political blog, I realized the only possibly title was The Pink Flamingo!

 

DATE OF BIRTH: December 2, West Palm Beach, Florida
BOOKS IN PRINT:
Dust Devil published by Jinglebob Press, July 1999
TRAVESTY: Frank Waters’ Earp Agenda Exposed, Jinglebob Press, Sept 2006
A Church for Helldorado, Jinglebob Press, Oct 2006
The Second Mrs. Earp, Jinglebob Press, Nov 2006
BLOG: The Pink Flamingo http://www.thepinkflamingoblog.com/

WORKS IN PROGRESS:
Wild West Redressed: American Fashion in Photos 1860-1910 (October, 2014)
Pop Sunflowers & Thistle, A Praise Book – Jinglebob Press, (in rewrites)
The Mysterious Death of Mattie Earp
Opiates in the Wild West
Murder mystery set in modern day Tombstone – Jinglebob Press (in early edits) The title will not be released at the current time.
Sequel currently being written
Essays on Christian living (in progress)
Year long devotional (in early edits)
The Lord’s Prayer for Christian Idiots Like Me (in progress)
Essays about Wyatt Earp (in progress)
Research into pharmacology & use of opiates in late 19th Century Southwest

WORK IN PROGRESS:
Due to the completely unexpected discovery that my father has Alzheimer’s my work is behind by at least 2 years. Because of the nature of the disease and working with the early stages, I will eventually turn what I’ve learned into a book, and series of lectures to help children deal with aging parents, diseases such as Alzheimer’s, and the legal, medical, and social ramifications of the disease.

It should also be noted that I’ve spent the past eight years researching the role of extremists within the Republican Party. I do not know if this will or will not become a book.

PHOTOGRAPHY SHOWS:
1993: The Mill Gallery “Jamaica”
1994: The Mill Gallery “Dinetah”
1988: Southern Space Conference “Space Shuttle Photography”
1986: Worldcon Atlanta “Space Shuttle Photography”
1985: Spaceweek Art Show “Space Shuttle Photography”
PHOTOGRAPHY:
Space Shuttle launch slides in use by Clemson University
Space Shuttle launch coverage: 1980-1990
Travel photography: Four Corners, Jamaica, England, France, Wales, Antigua, Guadeloupe, St. Martin,

JOURNALISM:
1980-1990: Writing Credits include: Pas Colonist; Space Age Times; The Space Press
On site press coverage: Voyager II flyby of Saturn (JPL); Space Shuttle Missions (STS 3,5,6,8,9, 26,41-B,41-D,51-D)
2005-currently – The Pink Flamingo blog
1998 – currently – misc. freelance articles

INTERVIEWS:
Gene Roddenberry, Leonard Nimoy, James Doohan, Carl Sagan, Gerald P. Carr, Charles Duke, Deke Slayton, Harrison H. Schmitt, Newt Gingrich, Dale Murphy, Johnny Bench, Ted Williams, Dizzy Dean, etc.
Numerous local radio, television appearances related to either the space program or GOP politics

PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES:

2003 – Co-Director – Friends of Tombstone Annual Conference
2003-2005 – (Interim) Secretary – Episcopal Church of the Holy Mount
2005 – currently – freelance writing, blog
2006 – currently – owner Wyatt Earp Books, independent publishing company (currently seeking authors)
1988-1997 Owner – The Mill Gallery
1993-1996 – Co-chairman – Oconee County ATAX Committee
1988 – Chairman – Southern Space Conference
1982-1988 – Editor – Pas Colonist
1881-1988 – Member of National Coordinating Committee on Space
1981-1990 – Founder, Executive Director – Piedmont Advocacy for Space
1983 – Co-Founder – Women’s Space Network
1983-1995 – Director – Spaceweek Upstate

JOB DESCRIPTIONS:
Coordinating tourism for Oconee County, SC
Chaired two major conferences
Designer of space exhibits and displays
Organizer of space related art shows
Leader in women’s space movement
Expertise in Southwestern Native American jewelry, rugs, pottery, art
Experienced decorator, designer of Christmas trees, wreaths, flower arrangements for retail industry
Owned, managed gift shop
Secretary, administrative assistant

CIVIC RESPONSIBILITIES:
2004 – Currently – White Sands Chapter, DAR
2001- 2002 – Registrar – Sierra Blanca Chapter DAR
2000 – 2005 adult leader – All Angels Chapter of the Junior Daughters of the King
1999 – President – Noisy Waters Sertoma Club
1994-1996 – Editor – Oconee Sertoma Club Newsletter
1995-1996 – Sergeant at Arms – Oconee Sertoma Club
1993-1995 – Board of Directors – Oconee Sertoma Club
1993-1994 – Co-chairman – Beachnight – Oconee Sertoma Club fund-raiser

POLITICAL ACTIVITIES:
Currently – Political Commentary daily via The Pink Flamingo
1994 – Chairman – major fund-raiser for Lindsey Graham during original Congressional Campaign
1993-1995 – Chairman, Oconee County Republican Party
1991 – 3rd Vice Chairman, Oconee County Republican Party
1989-1990 – Secretary, Oconee County Republican Party
1985-1995 – Chaired major fund-raisers and events for Oconee County Republican Party
1981-1997 – National political lobbying for Space Program
1972 – In high school, worked directly with Lee Atwater on local, state, and national political campaigns

TEACHING, SEMINARS & LECTURE SERIES:
Produced space related slide tape show: Human Habitats and Space Colonies
Lectures for local school children about space program
Lectures for local school children about Navajo culture
Authored total elementary school curriculum on space education
Lecture series for emotionally disturbed children – space related topics
Experimental summer space seminar
Tutorial work with emotionally disturbed, learning disabled children
Organizer of first space related discussion panels involving women’s interests and the space program
Summer, 1999 – ENNU – Internet Genealogy for Seniors
Fall, 1999 – ENMU – Internet Genealogy for Seniors
Summer, 2001 – ENMU – Internet Genealogy for Seniors
Winter, 2001 – ENMU – Problem Genealogy
Summer, 2001 – ENMU – Problem Genealogy
Tombstone History
Genealogy for Beginners
2002-2005 – Director – All Angels Chapter, Junior Daughters of the King
2004 – Mysterious Death of Mattie Earp – Lecture
2004 – currently – lectures on life of Wyatt Earp, life in 1880’s West, etc.

AWARDS & HONORS:
1995 – Sertoma Pacesetter District 2nd Place Newsletter Award
4th Edition – Directory of Distinguished Americans
4th Edition – Personalities of Americium
1985-1997 – International Women’s Who’s Who
5th Edition – Directory of American Leadership
1991 – Women’s Circle of Achievement
Biographical Roll of Honor for Distinguished Service to American Space Movement
Vol. XX – Directory of International Biography
2004 – Directory of International Biography

SCAN0017MEMBERSHIPS – 2013:
Western Writers of America
White Sands Chapter – National Society Daughters of the American Revolution

INTERESTS & FIELDS OF EXPERTISE:
Wyatt Earp’s life and times
Verdi and Wagnerian opera
Baritones
Don Juan legend
Genealogy
Southwest Native American arts
Celtic Britain
Navajo history and culture
Use of opiates in the 1880’s
Baseball
Space memorabilia and collectibles
Arthurian England
Paleontology
Western films and television
Kit Carson
Role of extremists in the GOP, tracking white supremacists, KKK, John Birchers, nativists, etc.

WORD TO THE WISE: When you skip school to go meet Ted Williams, just make sure you don’t end up with your photo on the front page of the local paper. There are always come teachers who just don’t approve of such things.

The Pink Flamingo currently lives with a toy poodle, Ronald Rumsfeld Reagan Reidhead. I am owned by: Doc Holiday – age 12.5 (gray tabby, rescued at 9 days old)
Mommy Cat – age 8 (mottled calico, rescued)
B(r)at Masterson – age 6 (white, gray)
Bubbles Silverman – age 5 (huge long hair calico)
Hoss Cartwright – age 5 (red tabby)
Madam – age 4 (?) (calico, rescued)
Miss Leontyne Price – 1 year old this month (huge, very long hair, Maine Coon, rescued)

Things you might not know about The Pink Flamingo. I collect Pink Depression glass and have several hundred pieces. I have a baseball book that has been autographed by some of the greatest players in the history of the game. I have hundreds of books. I am a professional Christmas tree decorator. At last count I had nearly 300 pair of shoes! I consider the 4th Game of the 1976 World Series to be one of the greatest days of my life! My idea of the perfect man is a cross between the original Capt. James T. Kirk, James Bond, Sherrill Milnes, and Wyatt Earp. I suspect there is a pathology at work there.

And – I’m fairly certain I can name the kings and queens of England – in order.

 

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The Second Mrs. Earp

Posted by sjreidhead@mac.com on January 29, 2011 in Fiction, The Second Mrs. Earp with Comments closed |
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Have you noticed the cover on the front of my second novel, The Second Mrs. Earp? It is a sketch adapted from a photo of my grandmother Reidhead.

The woman in the straw hat is my great-grandmother, Alma Dustin Perkins.  When she was 5 years old she survived a massacre by the Sioux.  Her parents, grandmother and infant brother were brutally slaughtered by Little Crow in June of 1863.

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A Church for Helldorado

Posted by sjreidhead@mac.com on January 29, 2011 in A Church for Helldorado, Non-Fiction, Tombstone, Wyatt Earp with Comments closed |
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It took me ten years to obtain a copy of Endicott Peabody’s Tombstone diary. To date it is only the second Tombstone Earp-era diary yet discovered and transcribed.  The irony is that the other diary belongs to that of George Parsons, who became Endicott Peabody’s life-long friend.

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Update on My Newest Book

Posted by sjreidhead@mac.com on January 28, 2011 in Doc Holiday (the cat), Wild West Redressed with Comments closed |
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My newest book has progressed from being known as the darn book, to the blasted book to the @#*& book.  That should tell you something.  I am still on target for the October publication date, but it is a pain.   Trying to arrange nearly 2000 photos into a book that is NOT as large as its current incarnation is difficult.  When one is working with the constant assistance of Doc Holiday (the cat) it is not easy.  She is far too critical and very little actual assistance.

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Travesty: Frank Waters’ Earp Agenda Exposed

Posted by sjreidhead@mac.com on January 28, 2011 in Non-Fiction, Travesty, Wyatt Earp with Comments closed |
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Legendary New Mexico author Frank Waters did his best to slander Wyatt Earp.  Why he did so is still a mystery.  After a decade of research, I still don’t know why he did it.  Travesty features the original version of The Earp Brothers of Tombstone, that I discovered, untouched, after nearly a half century.

Why did he do it?

I still don’t know.

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