Episode 5 - Over the Curb
Updated: Apr 29, 2020
CLICK HERE TO READ ***Spoiler Alert*** Have you listened to Episode Five?
While Brad was clearly ADHD, once he found his way into the diving business, he seemed totally and utterly calm all the time. I think he just needed to be physical, outdoors and doing something he enjoyed. It suited him down to the ground and he was clearly on his path.
Are you on your path? Do you feel settled?
Brad was quite the comedian and loved to imitate Father Guido Sarduci from SNL, and my mom swears there is a cassette tape somewhere in her house with him doing impersonations. Can you believe SNL is still on TV today?
My mom and Brad were really close. He adored her and as you heard in the episode, would even invite her along to help him shop for clothes. Not exactly something the typical 19-year-old male would do. He trusted her opinion. I'm not sure they got the tie right- but believe it or not, that was the style back then. Very Saturday Night Fever.
In these photos, Brad is wearing a heavy, solid gold bracelet and necklaces that were stolen in the robbery. All the rage in the '80s.
Robbery or insurance fraud? Do you think I fired two rounds at Mark Simmons?
When I cracked open the big blue manuscript for the first time and saw this dedication, I gasped. My heart broke just a little bit more and I was afraid to read any further. Off to the hat and mitt drawer it went. Do you have a ''hat and mitt drawer'?
This is me in my uniform at the Dunkin' Donuts where my brother was killed.
This is the letter I wrote to the Coast Guard when I was sixteen-years-old about why I wanted to serve. I was surprised to find it the other day in an envelope my mom gave me. That woman saves everything, thankfully.
The middle letter is in recognition of my efforts in Engineering school, staying late each day to tutor fellow students in the engine lab. The third image is of my Caterpillar and Outboard mechanic certifications. I was finding my way as a student for the first time in my life. The program was very hands-on and that's exactly what this ADD kid needed.
I have no natural mechanical ability whatsoever but was fully determined to learn how to do something useful. Being an engineer on a small boat rescue and law enforcement station was an important job and you were trained in all roles underway; seamanship, rescues, law enforcement, and when the boat broke down, the engineer was the one to keep it going.
I was a great student but a lousy 'follower'. I did not for a minute think my superiors could be trusted, and I was right. I had many encounters with senior officers stealing drugs off busted vessels. On one occasion, I was proving too 'vocal' on the subject and shipped to another unit so I would learn my lesson and 'shut my mouth.' Felt a lot like home.
After Meg and I recorded Episode 5, I found a document that showed the real reason I was 'accidentally' accepted into the Coast Guard solving a 38-year-old mystery, and it was no accident. We will discuss this in a future episode.
I was stationed on an atoll halfway between Japan and Hawaii for a year with only 20 people, monk seals, and a lot of gooney birds.
The atoll was just a plot of coral on the side of a submerged volcano. In fact, it was the northernmost coral in the world.
The atoll was impossible to get to by boat and the only airplane capable of landing there was a C130 Hercules. The runway was only 2,000 ft long, and round-trip from Honolulu meant flying 2400 miles on one tank of fuel. An airplane needed range and the ability to fly super slow, land short, and carry a lot of cargo. This meant supplies and mail only arrived once a month, and if an airplane went 'tech', sometimes that would drag out up to 45-60 days. There were no phones on the island and we had limited ability to connect with people on HAM radio. Good old fashioned letter writing was the only means of connecting with loved ones.
One of the things that sticks with me today is how much of the world's garbage ended up on the atoll's pristine beaches due to being part of a major Pacific current. I still have a few of the glass fishing balls that would float in.
Kure was only 40 miles away from Midway Island where the famed Battle of Midway occurred during WW2.
The U.S Navy patrolled it to ensure the Japanese didn’t use Midway for flying boats refueling submarines. This contributed in preventing attacks in Hawaii. Apparently, they let one slip by. The atoll was of great significance during WW2 and an aircraft bomber even crash-landed near Kure Atoll. We used to comb the beaches for war remnants and occasionally would find something interesting.
I had the privilege of visiting Midway Island when I broke my arm changing the pistons in an engine. That's a long story.
Visiting Midway was like being dropped into the set of Jumanji. There were millions of gooney birds sauntering in and out of the erie and empty subdivisions of the former military families. Sweeping mahogany staircases of officers' houses swallowed up by plant life and critters.
The only residents of Midway Island were from Sri Lanka. They worked for AT&T who set up camp after the military moved out. The Sri Lankans were very dark-skinned and exceeding short. Like 5 ft tall, tops. When my 5'10" blonde self walked off the aircraft, I felt like the giant in Gulliver's Travels. Jaws dropped and people swarmed me trying to get a close-up look at the Amazon lady.
They were forbidden to dine with us on the same side of the room. I'm not sure if that was their rule or the military's rule but it was bizarre.
With the advent of GPS, Loran stations became obsolete and Kure Atoll is now uninhabited once again. Suffice to say, it was a bit of an adventure for me and quite frankly, a much-needed break from my family.
This is the hiking trip I decided to leave my horrible marriage. Yes, this was before "Wild" with Reese Witherspoon. Doesn't it look like I'm plotting an escape? It was a pivotal time and I have since hiked that Provincial park three times. All of those visits had significant meaning in my life and I even met my wonderful second husband as a result of a trip there, as you heard in the story. Have you ever stayed in a horrible situation due to fear? Do you have a special 'thing' that helps you to find your way when you're feeling hopeless, trapped, or lost?
I wrote my first award-winning screenplay on Post-it-Notes while waiting for customers on the car lot. After winning, I was sure I was headed for the red carpet. I love the title of this article- I had no choice but to keep my day job as the only script I sold fell through when the company went bankrupt. I would have been out of the car business in a New York minute had an offer come good.
This photo was taken just after I won the award for Best Romantic Comedy for my script, Over the Curb.
I continued to write for more than twelve years without selling anything. Eventually, I leveraged those skills to write funny stories and advertising copy for my consumer products company. I drew inspiration from my life experiences to name my products and create fun, relatable themes for the packaging. This approach positioned my personal care products as useful, thoughtful gifts for friends and family.
That strategy set my products apart in a crowded marketplace and made me feel like I didn't waste all those years honing my craft.
I am still working on novels and screenplays and have several projects on the go.
Me and my two girls getting ourselves Over the Curb of poverty in 2005
Once I learned the job of Finance Manager in a car dealership, I was making a lot of money and showing my kids the world. Here we are on a cruise of the Mediterranean from Barcelona to Istanbul.
I let the girls skip the first two weeks of school for this trip because the rates were a great deal cheaper, and I thought they'd learn more from touring Europe than stuck behind a desk at school.
I was the kind of mom who taught my kids that grades were not the measure of their intelligence or ability. I stand by that theory today.