“The James Brothers”
Rich and Powerful Florida Crackers.
By Steven Donnini
Copyright 2006 Steven Donnini
The James Brothers
By Steven Donnini
Contents Introduction Chapter 1. Chapter 2. Chapter 3. Chapter 4. Chapter 5. Chapter 6. Chapter 7. Chapter 8. Chapter 9. Chapter 10. Chapter 11. Chapter 12. Chapter 13. Radio Free Florida The Goldie Twins Big Ed Kaminski Cruising in Isabelle Ray’s Stash Lester Jumps Bail Ronnie and Rhinestones Jesus gets busted The Crazy Pelican Foul Play Ya-Ya’s Raccoons Mosquito Lagoon Disbarred 2 7 14 19 23 27 33 38 43 48 55 60 65 65
Chapter 14. Chapter 15. Chapter 16. Introduction
Treasures of Key West Who killed Henry? Family Secrets
83 112 118
As an adult child of Florida tourism and the grandson of a traveling show owner from Miami, I have seen many things that prompt the question, “What’s the attraction?” In
Florida, everything stimulating to tourist can be traced back to what psychologists call malignant narcissism. It’s all about pleasuring oneself, from illegal drugs to gambling at the racetracks, to admiring the beautiful bodies on South Beach, to sex clubs like the Booby Trap in Winter Park. For many people these recreational pastimes, Plus, a huge number of people come
becomes a lifestyle.
for cosmetic surgery, fantasizing about what a change of appearance could do for them. They may return many times Then there is a
for lifts, tucks and liposuction.
recuperation period before returning to their other life. The worship of rodents and movie studios blur the lines of normalcy even more. It’s a fertile environment for the As an art student I needed to
pursuit of artistic dreams.
make some money to support my artist ambitions, so when the James Brothers Advertising Company offered me a part time job designing billboards. I was thrilled, but ashamed to
tell my school mates.
I was selling out, not pursuing my I rationalized,
passion to become another Andy Warhol.
Andy was at one point a commercial artist illustrating products for fashion ads and designing product packages before he became famous for his many portraits. the problem? So, what’s
My windowless office shared a thin wall with
Jimmy James and his identical and emotionally conjoined twin, James Jimmy James. They were men with the advantages They had the same grandiose
that come from the power of 2. sense of self-worth.
They were cunning pathological liars They
without remorse, without guilt or empathy for anyone.
were by most definitions, successful Florida Crackers in business suits. The twins were born in the Central Florida
town of Haines City, a place where not much happens other than farming, cattle ranching, lots of citrus groves and the millions of tourist who come to Disney World. Hundreds
of years ago, long before tourists or cities, there existed a virgin Florida. discovered Florida. and swamps. In 1513, the Spaniard, Ponce de León, It was mostly wide open green pastures In
He knew he'd found premium pastureland.
1521, when he returned, he brought back horses and seven Andalusia cattle, the ancestors of the Texas Longhorns. so doing, this Spanish explorer turned Florida into America's oldest cattle-raising state. Florida's cowboys In
had their own way of herding cattle with whips made of braided leather. These whips made a cracking sound when
whipped, therefore the cowboys became known as Florida Crackers. In 1805, the James family settled in Central Staff Sergeant Harold James was a
Florida, after WWII.
self-proclaimed war hero, Doctor of Theology and a Baptist Preacher. He moved his new bride, an ex-US Army WAC nurse,
Vivian Whittle from Victoria, Texas to Haines City, Florida, where he became the Pastor of the Baptist Church. Dr. James, as he liked to be called, was a strict reactionary of the word of God and didn’t like women much. He believed and enforced the practice known as “the rule of thumb,” where a man should never strike his wife with a stick any bigger around than his thumb. After the twins
birth in 1951, Mrs. James became very withdrawn, sullen and hostile. The boys grew to hate her loveless manner and They resented the
called her Vivian, instead of mother.
fact that she had named them Jimmy James and James Jimmy James, they felt it was a cruel joke. It was clear to
everyone she disliked her motherly role and being the pastor’s wife. As time passed, she became more of a
recluse, until the towns people only saw her during the Holidays when she begrudgingly came into the Church in beautiful handmade dresses made only of the finest fabric.
The rest of the time, she sat at home in the music room playing Broadway show tunes on her Steinway while smoking Pall Malls, and drinking Wild Turkey bourbon. The Cuban
housekeeper, Alberta Twombly, became the surrogate mother to the boys and sexual partner to the good Doctor James. The boys were sent off to Military School in Charleston, South Carolina until 1970, when they were accepted into the University of Florida. and James with an MBA. Jimmy graduated with a law degree They returned to Central Florida to Over time the
open a law firm, and advertising company.
Jimmy James Law Practice became known for it’s criminal defense successes and huge personal injury awards. James Brothers Advertising Company grew into a media company controlling AM radio stations and outdoor displays, billboards, bus signs and bus benches all across Florida, from Jacksonville in the north to Tampa to Orlando and Miami. The company specialized in Political campaigns, and The
promotional events like supermarket openings and furniture stores going out of business sales. Jimmy James became
infamous for his courthouse high jinks and bribery of public officials including judges, police commissioners and District Attorneys. The James brothers enjoyed the lavish
lifestyle, which included a 125 ft. house boat party barge named, “The Good Life.” They mostly flew below the radar
of public notice and the press.
The following stories
involve the family, friends and clients of The James Brothers.
Chapter 1 Radio Free Florida
Jimmy James, Esquire and his twin brother James Jimmy James own a Law Firm, several AM radio stations and an outdoor advertising operation in Central Florida. The radio
stations are successful, programming Christian and politically conservative talk shows. They don’t license
any of the big name talk shows, instead, they hired the home grown Ex-Chief of Police, Clive Hatton to host their Arbitron top rated radio show, “What’s Happening To America?” Clive has been on the air since an International
charter airliner carrying 224 Dutch, French and German tourist went down in a thunderstorm in a Haines City cow pasture 15 years ago. A cloud from the burning jet fuel
drifted across I-4 near Disney World causing a huge traffic pile up. Now on the very spot there’s a 1940 vintage
airplane buried nose down in the ground with it’s tail section sticking into the air on the West side of I-4 advertising the crash sight and an air museum tourist attraction. Police Chief, Clive Hatton, was the first
public official to arrive at the crash sight and was interviewed every hour as the tragic story unfolded on CNN, BBC, NBC and many other news networks. In a short time,
Clive developed as a successful on air personality and he decided it was time for a career change. Coincidentally at
the same time, the Police Department was forced to open employment to women, blacks and Hispanics, which he couldn’t abide. The James brothers hired Clive for their
new radio talk show, because of his views on how black politicians like Jesse Jackson get their money. The
Rainbow Coalition intimidates big corporations through the Florida Citrus Growers and Florida Tourism Council. this is only a sideshow. bigger agenda. But,
The cunning James brothers have a
James Jimmy James says, “If you want to You see, in
catch big fish, you got to use big bait.”
Florida politics anything goes.
It’s an election year and
the James Brothers are out to cash in and influence the vote with their radio talk shows and outdoor advertising company, which includes billboards, bus card displays and bus stop benches. The conservative radio talk shows
attacking liberal views goes into high gear all across Central Florida. the surface. compulsion. But, a fly in the ointment has bubbled to
Sheriff Clive Hatton has a dirty little One day after his morning drive time
broadcast, Clive was accused of sexual assault on a Cub Scout by the child’s father. James says, “The alleged
incident with the Cub Scout happened at a Boy Scout camp near Haines City.” The boy was out on a hike with a Scout So, Clive Later that
Master and Clive when the boy needed to pee.
offered to watch after him in a Palmetto Grove.
week, the boy returned home to Orlando and told his Dad what happened. weasel.” The Scout said, “Daddy, he grabbed my
The father followed Clive from Orlando to his
home in Haines City and took a baseball bat to Clive’s new GMC SUV which was covered with talk show promotional graphics. By this late date in the political campaign, the
James Brothers have been displaying conservative political billboards with huge photos of their law and order hero, Clive Hatton, along side different grinning conservative
Plus, they have been airing issue oriented PAC
radio commercials for 8 weeks, all of them with Clive Hatton as the spokesman. Many of the billboards had to be
replaced, because vandals started painting Cub Scout Caps on Clive’s photo’s on the billboards and bus bench signs. The election was only 19 days away when Clive was arrested by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office for sexual assault on a minor. Clive’s attorney, Jimmy James, had him released
on bond and he was hold-up at a sleazy motel under an assumed name. James Jimmy James did his best to minimize But, retail ad
the damage to the radio stations ratings.
sales fell sharply when advertisers dropped out like the jet passengers that crashed in the Haines City cow pasture. James Jimmy James had a brilliant scheme to save the political advertising revenue. He invited all the
conservative political campaign managers and candidates to a meeting at Jimmy’s law office in Orlando. political teams showed up with their lawyers. out Cuban Cigars and Russian Brandy. with a few words from Jimmy James. Most of the Jimmy passed
The meeting started “Welcome to our world, Let’s sit
where things can change and history is made. back and enjoy the moment.”
He points to all the photos of
famous people Jeb Bush, Hulk Hogan, F. Lee Bailey, General Schwarzkopf, Burt Reynolds, Donald Rumsfeld, Jimmy Johnson,
The Back Street Boys with Slim Phillips and Dolly Pardon. It is an impressive collection of who’s who in Florida. After some small talk, James Jimmy James asks for everyone’s attention. “Thank you for coming tonight. The
reason we’ve invited ya’ll here is a matter of some urgency. As you are aware we have been running
conservative public affairs announcements for the last 8 weeks in the key markets Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Ocala and Daytona. But, then the Clive Hatton thing came up. Many That’s
businessmen felt it was best to withdraw support.
understandable; no one wants to be associated with an alleged pervert, especially a child molester. for the courts to decide. clear the Sheriff’s name. Well, that’s
It could take a year or so to But, we have a solution. Jimmy
opens the office door and Dr. Bill Evans, the famous Florida televangelist, walks in, his bright white teeth shining like beacons of holiness. From the soft leather
Gucci loafers to a huge perfectly coifed pompadour, Dr. Evans is a much admired leader for Godliness in central Florida. With his deep smooth southern voice, his arms
opened to greet everyone saying, “Everything happens for a reason my friends… God has lead me to this moment.” The
guests are stunned by his presence.
Jimmy says, “Meet Dr.
Bill Evans, the most well respected conservative evangelist
with Christian folks in Central Florida.
He is the new
host of our radio talk show, “What’s Happening To America?” There’s minimal obligatory applause at the announcement. Jimmy, “Now we know you gentlemen will support this new programming, because it’s in your best interest. After the
announcement of Dr. Evans joining us, our Christian listener numbers have actually grown 34% in just one week.” One of the campaign managers says, “I’m confused. We never
ordered media contracts from James Brothers Media, and we never approved any ad or radio copy.” James, “Yes exactly.
That’s why it’s important that you show your support now for Dr. Evans and his Conservative Christian Leadership.” Another Manager, “So, you expect us to buy media contracts with just 10 days left before the election?” Jimmy, “No,
you just need to pay for the media time your campaigns have benefited from so far.” Another Manager, “But, we never Jimmy, “That may be
ordered the media in the first place.”
true, but ya’ll are doing well in the polls, because of the support you have gotten from “What’s Happening To America?” One of the Campaign Managers asked, “Why should we pay for something we didn’t order?” James, “Good question.
Because if you don’t, Dr. Evans will take a mighty dim view of you. If you don’t support the Central Florida Christian
Leadership Coalition and What’s Happening to America?
Support for your candidates will slip away now, right before the election. You remember what happened to
Congressman Meyer, who was doing so well in the polls just weeks before the last election? It was real tragic that
his campaign manager couldn’t see our point of view. Things like gay rights can change the vote of many Christian voters. to do with it. The fact that he looks gay had nothing
You know Christians don’t like gays when Anyway, if we have
they are standing in the voting booth.
your campaign checks for the invoiced amount, found in your media kit package, by Monday morning, Dr. Evans will be very pleased.” One campaign lawyer holding an invoice This is outrageous.” Jimmy answers,
“Yes, it’s outrageously discounted, we felt you shouldn’t have to pay full price.” we don’t have the money? supporters?” A campaign manager says, “What if What are we going to say to our
Jimmy, “Just ask for them for the money.” Jimmy
Manager, “How do we ask them for this much money? answers, “Beg.” said, beg.” Manager, “What did you say?”
Manager, “This is extortion.”
to Florida politics gentlemen.”
Chapter 2 The Goldie Twins
One summer night the Goldie Twins (Sassy and Sissy) and Frank Hernandez the libidinous professional Mexican boxer got pinched while indulging in wild erotic acts in the back of Bobby Halyard’s Hummer limo. It was the beginning of a
legal struggle to keep Bobby from spending 20 years in jail for statutory rape. night. See Bobby wasn’t in the limo that
But homemade video tapes in the entertainment
center of the Hummer staring the under aged Goldie Twins and Bobby a 7’3” pro basketball center were involved in a threesome was discovered by Orlando Police.
Jimmy James asked to use Bobby’s Hummer limo for the Mexican Boxer who Jimmy James has a major stake. So Bobby
sent the Goldie Twins along to entertain him as a surprise. They were riding into the main entrance of The Grand Bohemian Hotel in Orlando when Dr. Bill Evans the
televangelist witnessed the threesomes debauchery through an open limo window as the Hummer came to a stop right in front of him. The laughter and fowl language agitated his
sensibilities to the point of fury. The fact that he was standing with the Archbishop of the Orlando Catholic Diocese Father O’Hara was more than an embarrassment. It meant that Dr. Evans had to make a point here. People
can’t just have sex play in public without being scolded. So Dr. Evans stuck his enormous head with a huge coiffed
pompadour, into the open window and said, “What in Gods name do you people think you are doing?” At that point Frank punched Dr. Evans in the nose. He fell backward Dr.
into Father O’Hara and they tumbled to the sidewalk.
Evans was out for a few moments while police were in route to the scene. It seems the Twins and Frank had no So when the police
intention of interrupting their fun. arrived they were still at it.
The Orlando Police are a
twitchy bunch on a good night, but they went over the top
and dragged Frank out of the limo with his pants still around his ankles. The gay parking attendants were The police were
admiring Frank’s formidable manhood.
searching the Hummer for drugs and other contraband when they saw the videotape in the entertainment center and played it. It was one of Bobby’s home movies staring the The police arrested everyone
then under aged Goldie Twins. including the driver.
Bobby’s driver called Jimmy James, who is retained to represent many professional athletes in Florida. Jimmy wanted to keep the whole thing quite until Bobby got back in town from a basketball road game with the Miami Heat. This was shaping up as a very nasty scandal in a Bill Evans
town where Mickey Mouse is the king and Dr. could easily pass for God all mighty.
Jimmy James asked Law Partner Norma Donaldson to… “Take the Goldie Twins and Frank Hernandez to different hotels after they’re bonded out. near them.” When Bobby arrived at the Orlando International Airport the next morning he was arrested for the statutory rape of the Goldie Twins. His bond was set at $250,000. Norma made Oh, and don’t let any media people
arrangements for Bobby to sign over part of his Orlando million dollar Condo as collateral for the bond. Jimmy
James asked Norma to stash Bobby in another location until the first court appearance. So, Norma was driving around Orlando all day and night checking on the Twins, Frank and Bobby. Everything was
going as planned until Sassy slipped out of her hotel room for a drink at a local watering hole and was cornered by a reporter for the National Enquirer who had driven over from West Palm Beach. They had gotten a few rounds of drinks
when she spilled the beans about how Bobby had given the Twins cocaine for sex before their 16th birthday. She
explained how they met at the Disney 50th Celebration celebrity party and wound up spending the night being passed around between Bobby and other team mates in one of the Disney Hotel suites where the videos were shot. By the time Norma found her, the damage was done and the reporter had made a deal for $150,000 for an exclusive cover photograph and story for the next issue of the tabloid. buck.” Norma didn’t want to explain what had happened on her watch but Jimmy had to know. It’s just as much his fault for Sassy said, “After all, a girl has got to make a
trusting the Twins alone as leaving Frank with the shameless Roberto Suarez. In an attempt to entertain
Frank, Roberto invited his friends up to Frank’s hotel room
for a party, which quickly became a high stakes poker game. The only problem is that Frank doesn’t like to loose. And Roberto doesn’t know when to quit. Jimmy James weighs in… “Frank is a real Nuevo Laredo street fighter. It doesn’t matter the reason for a fight. To
him, it can just as well be over a poker hand as a $2,000,000 payday.” Norma calls Jimmy James and tries to be philosophical and explain away the coming Enquirer cover story and the fire that broke out in Frank’s hotel room. sometimes people just go crazy. “Look Jimmy, Do I
It is what it is.
look like a adult child babysitter?” Jimmy answers, “You know how it works. They’re screw-ups. their money.” These animals keep us in business. We just loosen the screws and take
Chapter 3 Big Ed Kaminski
Jimmy James met Ed Kaminski back in 1985 when Ed was a 300 lb. All-star UF football player from Winter Garden, He was always in some kind of mischief to be
sure, but never anything worse than smoking pot and drinking beer in a movie theater. After collage he became
a banking computer expert with a reputation for hacking into Internet bank accounting to discover the flaws in the security programs. When Big Ed got busted for resisting
arrest and assaulting a group of Orlando policemen, what did surprise Jimmy was that he had gained almost 200 lbs. since the last time he had seen him. There’s at least two
sides to every tale and Big Ed’s account of what happened with the police is a memorable one for sure. He was
driving “The Black Widow” a vintage 1966 Lincoln convertible, top down, along International drive in Orlando at 4:30 am on Sunday morning, when his life changed forever. He was on his way to a 24 hour Mc Donald’s. An
Orlando Police Cruiser spotted a tail light out and pulled him over. The officer asked Ed to get out of the car.
That was a serious problem for Ed since he weighed almost 500 lbs. gun. Again he ordered and Ed refused without explanation. you want me out, then take me out. me.” He said. “If Ed refused and the cop got excited and pulled his
Go on then just shoot Ed went on,
The cop called for back up.
“You’re looking at a whale of a problem here.” When the second cruiser showed up Ed was sitting in the drivers set smoking a Camel cigarette. to the Lincoln. The cop asked him for the keys
Ed said, “I can tell you right now, I
ain’t gonna do it, so you better get that out of your pointed head.” The cop said, “It may take an army of guys to get you out of there, but if that’s what it takes so be it.” He then tried to put hand cuffs on Ed’s left wrist. The cuffs were too small. up. Ed said, “You mind as well give
I’ll bet you a hundred bucks you can’t do it.” Five
minutes later several cruisers surround the Black Widow and 9 cops are trying to push and pull Ed from the car, but no luck. As a last resort one cop walks over with a teaser.
After a few jolts the mountain of a man wriggled to his feet outside the car door and grabs the cop by the collar, snatches the teaser and zaps him in the groin. Within
minutes a highly trained Homeland Security Swat team has arrived at the scene. They don’t know exactly what to do,
because there’s no training exercise that involves the arrest of a 500 lb black ex-footballer. The police
videotapes showed a mass of men in black police uniforms wrestling and zapping Big Ed with stun guns into a police truck that was designed to hold 10 men. When Attorney Norma Donaldson, picked up Ed from the Orange County Jail, he was bruised, tired and most of all hungry. Norma, “Your Lincoln is in the city pound. to drive you there?” Big Ed, “Yup. Do you want me
How about we stop at
McDonald’s on the way?” Norma knew by the look on his face it was way past feeding time. While driving through the McDonald’s take out, Ed confided in Norma about his coming wedding to the lovely blue eyed Priscilla “Cookie” Swains, the 1997 Miss America contestant from Lakeland, Florida. In fact, they are old friends from Although Cookie has gained
and University of Florida.
about 150 lbs.
she appears tiny beside Ed.
Her shining With the
golden corn rows reveal her inter sensibilities.
trial for resisting arrest and assaulting a policeman looming, Ed and Jimmy James believe they have a case for police brutality. The police videos support their claims Jimmy says, “It’s a slam
and make the best evidence. dunk.”
The Wedding day arrives and everyone from the Jimmy James law firm suits up for the wedding and reception at the Edgewater Yacht Club in Orlando. The banquet room was
filled with old friends, family and enough ex-football players to make up an offensive squad. Later, Jimmy James is sitting at his desk talking on his phone looking at a wedding photo of Big Ed and Cookie. “When I first saw the police video of Big Ed and the Orlando Police, I knew there was going to be a big payday for Ed.” But it would take a few years in the courts to get the City of Orlando to write a check for $4,500,000. that time the couple had 2 children, Big Ed suffered a fatal heart attack and Cookie gained another 55 lbs. She By
became a woman of means in a town where old money meant you had moved to town with it or owned cattle or citrus groves. For Jimmy there’s a certain amount of guilt because he had
a thing for Cookie.
You see there’s one thing that big
women love about Jimmy.
Chapter 4 Cruising in Isabelle
Marvin Davies, is a long distance truck driver from Nebraska, who cross dresses at every opportunity. One
night about 10:00pm, Marvin stopped in a cheap trucker motel in Winter Springs, Florida. In his room, he opens
his special pink luggage to reveling pantyhose, black skin tight tank suit, high heal silver pumps, blonde wig and a first class make-up kit. After a shower and his make over,
he cruises the truck stops in his Mack tractor “Isabelle” for hookers who are willing to share a walk on the wild side. This night he gets more bang for his buck. Upon
closer inspection in Isabelle’s sleeper compartment, Marvin discovers the hooker is just after his money. There’s a In
cat fight of sorts and Marvin is left with a shiner.
addition to the embarrassment of being fooled at his own game, he’s short a wallet with credit cards, $200 in cash and all of his important work documents. Marvin drops out
of Isabelle in full view of a Winter Springs Police cruiser. The officers find it most amusing. He isn’t in
the mood to be mocked or laughed at and still has a little fight left in him. Standing in the bright lights of the
truck stop, he tries to explain how was he robbed by a hooker, a female impersonator. describe the perpetrator. The officers ask him to
“So the perpetrator was a gay
impersonator?” Marvin answers, “No, he was a hooker first, then a female impersonator.” Officer, “So you paid money to have sex with a female impersonator?” Marvin, “That was not my intent. I was looking for a woman who liked my outfit You know.” Officer, “That’s We have to arrest you.”
and wanted to play.
solicitation for prostitution.
Marvin, “But, I didn’t have sex, I was robbed.” Officer answers, “That’s the hazards. law. In Winter Springs that’s the
You can call a bondsmen and you’ll be out in the
It was Saturday night, in the small Police Station, the booking desk was busy with three drunks, a shoplifter and Marvin who had a lot of explaining to do in the holding cell. The shoplifter was interested in where he got the The drunken Crackers made And the jailhouse guard an
wig and silver high heels.
mocking sexual passes at him.
ex-Marine, was full of wise cracks too. “It looks like she had more action than she could swallow. Yup, there’s a lot of trucking up the old Hershey Highway.” Later that night, Bobby Lee Hobbs Jr. was picked up
walking down highway 441 caring a ½ bottle of Jack Daniels and Marvin’s ID. Bobby Lee hadn’t bothered to change
clothing so he was a perfect match for the female impersonator / hooker / mugging case the Winter Springs Police were all talking about on the police cruiser radios. Bobby Lee was arrested and taken to the jailhouse where Marvin could identify him. The next morning, Jimmy James
asked Norma Donaldson to pick up Marvin from the Winter Springs Police Station. accusations. There was a lot of yelling and It turn
Norma had to help sort things out.
out that it was a lot more expensive in fines to be accused of prostitution solicitation than it is for a female impersonator / hooker thief, if the theft was under $500. Back at the Jimmy James law office, everyone couldn’t wait
for the mug shots to come in on the fax machine.
sheet described the number of times Marvin was picked up for public intoxication and indecency while dressed in his ladies underwear. In the end, Jimmy James chimes in with a bit of wisdom. “If you’re a cross dressing pervert, don’t do it in full view of the small town Cracker Police. limited sense of humor. South Beach. They have a very
It’s more acceptable in Miami’s
However, I must say, nice silver pumps.”
Chapter 5 Ray’s Stash
Jimmy’s 18 year old son, Charlie is one of the most unlucky kids in Central Florida. He’s also a very bad driver and Charlie’s first car was a
has no judgment in friends.
selected with the notion that it wouldn’t last more than 6 months. Jimmy picked out an orange 1985 Chevrolet The color orange It
Celebrity with over 175,000 miles on it.
was chosen for the safety of anyone crossing his path.
wouldn’t accelerate over 45 mph between stoplights and it had new breaks.
So when Charlie came home after a local Rave party with the backend bent vertically like a pretzel, Jimmy was not completely surprised. Charlie explained that when he came Jimmy called
out of the rave party it was damaged.
Charlie’s friend Bill Ferrell and got a different version. Bill said, “When we got out of the party all the cars were waiting to get out of the parking lot entrance. decided to make his own exit across the lot. Charlie
Well it was
dark and he didn’t see the 4 foot drop from the lot to the street. At 35 mph, the Celebrity became airborne as it When it landed on the highway the
exited the parking lot.
frame bent skyward behind the rear window.” Jimmy inspected it and declared it drivable after a bending and welding job to the frame. Three weeks later, during a
traffic stop for speeding in a school zone, the officer asked if it was ok to search the car. Charlie agreed and Under
the officer went under the seats and in the trunk.
the spare tire the cop found a small baggie containing 100 pills. Charlie was arrested for possession and intent to Jimmy bonded him out at $150,000. Charlie
said he had nothing to do with it.
Jimmy wasn’t buying the
story mostly because Charlie lied about the car damage. However, this was heavy shit since Charlie just turned 18 years old. Since this was a first offence and judges
generally are easy with first timers.
What bothered Jimmy
more than anything was the possibility that Charlie was telling the truth. Jimmy talked to everyone of Charlie’s “Ray
friends about the stash of Ecstasy found in his car. Ray” Coulter Jr. of 19.
one of his friends was a suspicious kid At just
He had been in trouble with drugs before.
13 Ray Jr. kids.
was nabbed in school for giving pot to other
Since then he improved his drug trafficking
techniques and he was riding in Charlie’s car the night before the cops stopped him and found the stash. Jimmy knew that finding out for sure about who belonged to the Ecstasy would show the judge that Charlie was being used as a mule without his knowledge. The more Jimmy
inquired about Ray Jr., the more dirt came to the surface. Arrested for drug sales to a minor, assault on a school teacher with a deadly weapon, car theft, burglary of a home and arson, all before his 18th birthday. In fact, Ray Jr.
was a frequent visitor to Jimmy’s home on the weekends when the boys would gather to watch football games on the giant TV. The boys called him RayRay. Jimmy knew Ray’s father
very well because he was the owner and operator of Ray Coulter’s Chevrolet where Jimmy bought all his cars and trucks. At the same time Jimmy’s wife Shirley noticed that
her underwear in the basement washroom was being torn
The Washer and dryer were checked out, no problem Jimmy asked Charlie if he knew anything about it, Jimmy had an extra refrigerator
but he didn’t have a clue.
in the basement for cold drinks and ice cream for the boys. Jimmy thought one of the boys could be responsible. one weekend Jimmy went into the basement and stacked cardboard boxes in a corner of the room with enough space for him to hide behind, while the boys were watching a football game. waited. He sat behind the boxes, watched and So,
One by one the boys came down the basement stairs
and opened the refrigerator and took out a can of soda. Jimmy was about to quit when Ray Jr. walked down the
stairs, opened the refrigerator freezer door, took a Popsicle, unwrapped it and put it in his mouth. He walked over to a cloths line where Shirley’s underwear was hanging and tore a nightgown. Jimmy was so surprised he almost knocked over the boxes. Ray Jr. game. gleefully ran up the stairs to watch the football The next day, Jimmy called Ray Sr. Ray Sr. for an
had been buying his son out of Now Ray But how
trouble for a long time with Attorney’s and fines. Jr. at 19 years old was becoming clever and bold.
do you prove it in court? Is this thief, arsonist, drug dealer also a kid with a fetish for tearing women’s
underwear? During the meeting at the Coulter’s Chevrolet, Ray Sr. was very upset at the latest news about Ray Jr’s But he had nothing to offer that would in the Ecstasy stash. He concluded it
incriminate Ray Jr.
was a misunderstanding.
To be able to convince a judge
that it wasn’t Charlie’s stash, Jimmy had to catch Ray Jr. on video. He decides to confront Ray Jr. about the
tearing of Shirley’s underwear and get him to admit to hiding his stash in Charlie’s car. The next weekend there’s a big NFL game. over to watch. basement. He waited as the boys one by one came down the stairs to get soda and ice cream. Ray appeared and opened the All the boys came
Jimmy had setup his video camera in the
freezer door, got out a Popsicle, walked to Shirley’s clothes line and tore a pair of panties across the crotch. Jimmy stepped out from behind the stair case to block is exit out of the basement. Jimmy says, “So you’re the
little panty tearing Mama’s boy.” Ray says, “I didn’t do anything.” Jimmy, “Yes, you did. I was waiting for you
this time.” Ray, “Well what are you going to do?” Jimmy, “It depends on you. See, I need a little help with
something.” Ray, “Like what?” Jimmy, “Charlie’s car was used by you as a mule to carry drugs to a rave party and
other places.” Ray, “So he got caught with the goods. How’s that my problem?” Jimmy, “How would you like everyone to know about your little fetish?” Ray, “That’s extortion.” Jimmy “Not if it’s true.” Ray, “Yeah, but you can’t prove it.” Jimmy, “I just did.” Ray, “My Dad’s lawyer will mess you up.” Jimmy “See you in court.” The boys upstairs have been listening to the whole thing. They are waiting for
RayRay at the top of the basement stairs. Jimmy, “It’s always been my policy to let ones peers do the judging.” In court the video we convincing and Ray Ray faced time behind bars for drug trafficking. They worked
out a plea deal and RayRay walked away with rehab contingency.
Chapter 6 Lester Jumps Bail
When Lester Fredrickson didn’t make a court appearance, Jimmy was at a loss. Lester is the well know restaurant
owner and bartender of Mad Hatter’s Bar & Grill, a favorite after hours stop for the Jai-Alai cocktail waitress, bar tenders and Strip Tease professionals in Maitland, just north of Orlando. It was a simple case of asking an irate
drunk guy to leave Mad Hatter’s that turned into gay bashing assault charge. Whenever Lester had something
happening with the law, he was on the winning side of most
disputes because the Maitland Police knew him well and generally liked him. That night, Brian Johnson a regular Lester was tired of
customer stopped in for a few drinks.
dealing with drunk patrons, so he refused to serve Brian any more alcohol. Lester, “Look Brian, you have had You always serve the
enough.” Brian, “I’m a regular.
regulars.” Lester, “I said no, end of discussion.” It was an insult that wouldn’t pass easily, so Brian tossed a bowl of boiled peanuts across the bar in Lester’s general direction. Unfortunately it hit his favorite embroidered
NAVY hat that was tacked to the wall, which fell into a steaming pot of chili. Lester walked around the bar,
grabbed Brian by the shirt and pushed him out the back door into the alley. Lester, “You’re banned from here forever.”
Brian yelled out some superlatives as Lester slammed the door in his face. The other regulars applauded Lester.
The few days later Lester was charged with assault, gay bashing and arrested. James for help. Jimmy’s instincts about human nature told him to send Norma Donaldson to talk to Brian. She tracked him to the Shaft a The Shaft is a He called one of his regulars Jimmy
gay bar where he worked as a bartender. place where everything gay happens.
That night Norma His version
walked in and asked Brian about the incident.
was that Lester tossed him out the backdoor into the arms of a mugger, who beat him mercilessly, stole his cell phone and 150 bucks in bartending tip money. Brain walked home to sleep it off. The next morning his
roommate Charlton was shocked to see the damage that the beating had done. Brian’s right eye was completely swollen Charlton took
shut and several of his ribs were broken.
Brian to the Florida Hospital Emergency Room where they looked at him. The ER Doctor called the Maitland Police.
Brian was so drunk the night before that he suffered a blackout and couldn’t remember much. A woman detective
interviewed Brian, but didn’t have anything but the cell phone number to follow up on. It turned out that the Norma
perpetrator did use the cell phone the next day.
went to Lester’s condo in Maitland to see if he had come home during the day. But since he lived alone and he
wasn’t around according to the neighbors, Norma drove over to Mad Hatter’s. The receptionist at the law office called Norma on her cell to give her the tag number on Lester’s 2001 Mercury. Judge had ordered a bench warrant for his arrest. The
Hatter’s, Jackson Brown III is at the bar taking care of business. Norma asks him what he thinks of Lester’s Jackson, “Lester’s hasn’t missed a day in
here in 15 years.” It’s just odd that he has disappeared just before the court appearance. Charlton’s apartment. Norma’s next stop is
Charlton opens the door wearing a
flowered muumuu dress, lipstick, and blonde fall. Charlton tells everyone he meets his life story with a thick Louisiana accent. Charlton, “When I met Brian in New
Orleans, he had just gotten freed from a group of gay gangster’s who had kidnapped him for 3 months.” Norma, “Gay Gangsters?” Charlton, “Oh Yes. They raped him and beat
him.” Norma, “When was this?” Charlton, “6 years ago.” Norma, “I’m interested in what happened on the May 5th at Mad Hatter’s.” Charlton, “Friends dropped him off at the bar about 1:30am. I told him to stay away from there. But
when he gets a few drinks in him stuff happens.
I do love
that boy so.” Norma, “Can you tell me about more about the gay gangsters?” Charlton continues on to explain that there’s a gay underground known as “Faces”. at the Shaft where Brian works. and muggings of gay men. Many hang out
They take revenge for rape
They protect us from homophobes.”
Norma, “Do you consider Lester a homophobe?” Charlton, “I guess.” Norma’s next stop is the Shaft bar. the bar and asks about Brian. She walks to
The bartender says, “I don’t Look
take messages or remember anything worth repeating.
sweetheart, if you want a drink I can do that.” Setting at
the bar is Paulie Long a guy that Norma had helped in a palimony case. Paulie, “Hey?” Norma, “How are you?”
Paulie, “Didn’t know you had come out in this part of town.” Norma, “I’m looking for information about the beating of Brian Johnson the bartender.” Paulie, “He got messed up real bad. There’s some guys around here that
like to kick ass.” Norma, What do you know.” Paulie, “When Lester tossed Brian out. One of the homophobic Cracker’s To bad for Lester
decided to kick some faggots ass.
because the Rough Trade at the Shaft thought it was Lester who did the dirty work. In this case revenge that was
meant for one Cracker was imposed on another, Lester. Three weeks later they found Lester sitting in his submerged 2001 Mercury in a canal and swollen twice his size. Oh well, like Charlton said,
“When Brian gets drunk, stuff happens.”
Chapter 7 Ronald and Rhinestones
One steamy summer night Ronald Bushman and his boy band The Rhinestones packed it in after their last set Punchy’s Club in Orlando. These one night gigs don’t pay well and are At 2:30am the
rough on music equipment and musicians egos.
last thing the band members must do is wrestle a 1,200 lb Hammond B2 Organ with Lesley Speakers named “Gator” into a small U-Haul Trailer. Ronald was as usual more interested
in taking care of his amorous weasel than helping with the grunt work. He was busy tending to Paula a pretty young Drummer Mike, baseman
admirer and potential conquest.
Robert and organist John were looking forward to a quite
breakfast at the local I-Hop off I-4.
Estate Wagon was pulling the U-Haul along I-4 when John accidentally pushed Robert’s head from behind the front seat. They had been drinking and fighting all night at As always it was about who’s turn it was to pay Robert had had enough and lurched
for the U-Haul rental.
back across the front set and grabbed John around the throat. In the struggle, Robert kicked Ronald in the face.
The Buick swerved and caused the U-Haul Trailer hitch to jump off the trailer ball at back of the wagon. It slid across the highway to rest against a light pole and “Gator” rolled out off the U-haul trailer onto I-4 rolling north into oncoming traffic. The big Buick Wagon turned, skidded sideways off the highway onto wet grass and stopped just short of a rain run-off pond. alive. Everyone jumped from the wagon happy to be They
But Robert didn’t stop strangling John.
spilled out the back set to the grass and rolled down into the pond. No one was interested in getting between them.
A Florida Highway Patrol Cruiser stopped to assist in the accident. Gator had crossed the highway and stopped Since everyone had been drinking and no
one at the scene could pass a sobriety test, they all were arrested for public intoxication. At the Orange County
Jail Ronald called his agent Slim Philips the grandson of Dr. Philips the inventor of orange juice concentrate. The
Slim had a Midas touch for promoting Boy Bands. Rhinestones are his new hopefuls.
However, this drunk and
disorderly nocturnal activity was bound to generate negative PR. Slim sees a whole lot of time and cash going He calls Jimmy James to help pick up the
down the drain. pieces.
Jimmy has lots of experience working with musicians. knows that they can be a pain in the ass off stage.
advises Slim to leave them in the drunk tank over night so they will feel the pain in the ass they have created. In the holding cell Ronald makes fast friends with a small time drug dealer and pimp from New York who goes by the name Jersey. He’s a street wise guy with a collage mans He doesn’t think
wardrobe, thick glasses and a big mouth. much of the jailers. lawyer.
He yells out, “I need to talk to my
You bunch of dickheads.” Ronald asks, “What you
doing here?” Jersey, “I was working at the Best Western with my girls and the night manager called the Gestapo.” Ronald, “Yeah, I remember you. We had a gig there last
month.” Jersey, “I was kicking back to the clerk jerk but he wanted two of my most productive girls for the night. I
said no way little man.” Ronald, “Was that Hector?” Jersey,
“I call him Mighty Mouse.
No girl of mine will get near
him.” Ronald, “Yeah, what a douche bag.” In the morning, Slim and Norma Donaldson are at the Jail waiting for Ronald, Robert, John, Mike and Paula. is the first to exit. on his shoulders. Ronald
Slim walks up Ronald, puts his hands
“Look kid, its one thing to get busted
for having too many girls in a hotel room, but getting drunk and dropping an organ onto I-4 is a public nuisance. Not cool. But, I like the mug shots, so we’ll be selling
them as screensavers and posters on the website.” Norma hands slim an envelope, “Hey Slim, here’s the tab so far. But I’ll have to kick back something for the mug shots.” Slim, “I love the one of John with Robert’s hands around his choker.” Ronald, “Look, man there’s a guy named Jersey in there. He asked me to get him out.” Norma, “That’s one When the PGA is in town, he keeps us We’ll take care of him.”
of my regulars.
hopping with business.
Jersey is standing in the holding cell as breakfast trays are being handed out to the inmates. He says, “The cuisine
here lacks style, but there are some of us who consider it an acquired taste.” Guys like Jersey except the ins and outs of their lives as the price of doing business. an autonomous franchise. Many consider what they do as
Or even a Horatio Alger like
Here the criminals and politicians are
indistinguishable. In the music business there are many areas of life that can be glamorous and seductive. But then there is John the
keyboard player who believes the Hammond H2 Organ with Lesley Speakers can’t be beat for sound. Jimmy talks to Slim on the cell. “Slim, for Ronnie and the
Rhinestones my advice is… If they want to be successful in the music business they better learn to pick fights more carefully and travel light.”
Chapter 8 Jesus gets busted
The Holy Land Amusement Park in Orlando is a reconstruction of Holist sights in Jerusalem. It attracts more than
500,000 visitors a year including international travelers, dignitaries, politicians and the faithful. Joris Bell is the best-known Jesus impersonators at The Holy Land Park where a company of actors recreate the passion of Christ every 2 hours complete with Roman guards, crosses, thieves, Virgin Mary, whips and a lifelike resurrection.
Joris was an out of work actor and illegal alien from the Ukraine when he auditioned for the part of Jesus at The Holy Land. Jimmy James helped him find the job after he was charged for allegedly pick-pocketing at the Orlando International Airport. Truth is Joris was a great thief and pickpocket
because he worked in a Greek Orthodox Priest costume and people trusted him as such wherever he traveled. specialty was cruise ships, airports and tourist attractions because he could stop people, ask questions and distract victims without being a suspicious to security police. However, he was a great Jesus too because he had real scars across his back from many beatings he got from the police back home in the Ukraine. The only problem was that Joris His
couldn’t resist all the open purses and easy picking while the Holy Land show was on. He could easily lift $1,400 a
day from tourists and stash credit cards in his loincloth. The Holy Land Security Guards were in on the deal and looked the other way while Joris performed his slight of hand. After all, 13 dollars an hour doesn’t pay the bills.
So, at the end of the day they would divide the booty and everyone went home happy. When the vacationers went out of
the park they couldn’t believe that anyone of the faithful
would steal, after all one of the commandments is …”Thou shall not pickpocket.” The park managers thought Gypsy’s or professional thieves were in the crowd and would spot check odd-looking people and blacks for possible suspects. One day Joris went off the reservation and strayed into uncharted territory. During a lunch break, dressed as
Jesus, he went to the Mall of the Millennium across Interstate-4. The mall is an exclusive shopping experience
for people with expensive taste in everything from jewelry to underwear. heaven. He loved Gold Cards because retailers don’t look at ID when people use them. As he worked his way through the shoppers To Joris this crowd was like being in
he awkwardly dropped a Gold American Express Card at the entrance to Tiffany’s. The door guard was paying attention Joris
and saw it land on a carpet right in front of him. just kept walking. to him.
The guard picked it up and called out
“Jesus, you dropped your Gold Card.” The mall The guard chased The cops call it
shoppers giggled as Joris walked past. after him and Joris picked up the pace.
the chicken walk when criminals try to get away quickly without running. It’s a fast walk, not a sprint. Joris
believing he’d been caught.
He stops, turns to the guard
who to his amazement hands him the AE gold card and wishes him a good day. Later that week, Joris relished working the deep pockets at the Malls anchor store Bloomingdale’s. This time dressed
as a Catholic Priest he is successful at collecting 9 cards in an afternoon. But this time he is caught on the stores There in the
new multiplex-camera security system.
security office store employees see him on TV monitors plain as day picking through a woman’s purse while she watched Wolfgang Puck’s cooking demo. Two plain-clothes
security guards swarm and tackle him in between a Cuisenart display and the food prep table. This is not the first
time he has been in a fight with Whackenhut rent-a-cops, so he uses his kick to the groin and poke to the eyes maneuvers. It’s very much a 3 Stooges routine complete
with sound effects, but very effective. However, reinforcements arrive. The Mall security team is The truth is they
trained to be anti-Terrorist style cops.
haven’t had a chance to use their training, so this has developed into a Homeland Security Terrorist arrest operation. They know that terrorist steal cards and use So, they pull out For Joris it’s He is
the money as part of their master plan. the Glock’s and itch for a few headshots.
too late for anymore of his fast getaway tricks.
charged with theft, pick pocketing and resisting arrest. In the scuffle, he suffers a broken nose and black eye. Jimmy James asks Norma bond him out. The next day, Joris The
is back working the crowds at the Holy Land Park.
black eye and broken nose look better than any make-up. That day a group of Televangelist from Lynchburg, Virginia, home of Pat Robertson’s 700 Club, take the grand tour of the Holy Land. Dolly Parton has joined them. In fact, she
is there to kick of the season for her Dixie Stampede dinner theater across the highway. Her new set of breasts
implants, which are 2 sizes larger become the center of attention and a distraction to all the men and most of the woman. In need of cash to pay Jimmy’s legal fees, Joris is in heaven with all these believers as he cleans out Rev. Jerry Falwell’s considerable Gold Card collection. Falwell
comments, “Jesus, you look great today, especially the nose.” Norma is walking through the Holy Land Park. “I think Joris Bell has a lot in common with the televangelists. Jesus might have taken issue with their You know, I’m not sure it’s illegal
methods and motives.
to impersonate a televangelist.”
Chapter 9 The Crazy Pelican
Halloween night 2005, The Pelican Bar was the place to be in Orlando. Everyone was dressed in elaborate costumes
much like the Halloween Parade in New York’s East Village. But instead of gay New Yorkers dressed in bazaar costumes, the place was filled with Colombian’s and Brazilian’s dressed for “Mardi Gras.” There has been bad blood over the years between Colombians and Brazilians. So much so that
when they mix liquor and women one can expect that before the night is through they’ll be hair, teeth, and eyeballs on the bar top.
Fernando Vidajet bought the Pelican in 1990 after he moved to Florida from Bogotá. As his Attorney Jimmy James said,
“Allegedly escaping a homicide rap of a Judge who didn’t care much for cocaine trafficker’s pouring cash into the offices of the Mayor and other city officials.” Since moving to central Florida he had become low key in an effort to clean up his reputation. But it’s hard to give
up the easy money, so his hand is in the business enough to know the players. Now the big money traffic is in highThe thing is His wardrobe
tech guns and fashionable body armor.
Fernando looks like a pint sized Golf Caddy.
consists of Tommy Bahamas shirts, Bermuda Short’s, Colombian handmade sandals and a Ping cap. He has a nervous habit of bouncing a golf ball on the bar floor. Norma is late to the Pelican Halloween Party, she
figures it’s going to be a long night and she will do some prospecting handing out of business cards later. With this
crowd the action will start about midnight when the Peotone and Mescal is flowing. any other Tequila’s. Mescal is hard and cheap not like It’s consumed by the Colombian’s who Fernando
use it to wash down the ever present cocaine. doesn’t sell coke in the bar.
Instead he has a customized
Black Cadillac Escalade complete with the vanity plates “CANDY MAN”, registered to his gangster second cousin Pepe
who parks in the back lot with a sales crew.
the finest nose candy, “Dips” (PCP dipped cigarettes) and “Blunts” at a premium price. Jimmy James and the regular’s
call Fernando “The Crazy Pelican.” The truth is Fernando makes more cash selling guns and shipping untaxed American cigarettes to the Colombian’s than the cocaine that passes through. He knows that Pepe’s wife Semone has been Fernando never liked her after
skimming on the coke sales.
he caught her having sex with a Porto Rican in the power room. quite. Caught red faced, she cried and he agreed to keep it Anyway, Semone was being watched 24-7.
As Fernando says, “Yeah, Kemosoby, you need an extra set of eyes in your ass, because everybody is trying to hose you.” Jimmy James makes his way through the crowed bar and is greeted by Fernando, “Hop-a-long Casa-dooch.” Jimmy, “Shit man this is what I always ware.” Bartender, “That’s Paladin not Hop-a-long.” Jimmy, “I like the black western look, it’s my trademark. You know.” Fernando, “A cracker
cowboy?” Jimmy, “How about you? You look like a doorman at the Disney Resort.” Fernando, “I’m in disguise. key.” While the Halloween party is in full swing a few of Fernando’s boy’s are unloading a shipment of firearms into the storage room of the Pelican Bar. 6 fifty cal. Sniper It’s low
rifles, 4 Stinger
surface to air missiles, 12 RPG’s, 6,000 Chrome plated US
– 9mm rounds, 25 newly minted 45 cal. Navy pistols, 2 - 45 cal.
Chrome plated pistols with white
Ivory handles and 12 Kevlar all-weather Jackets with vests. Rico a bartender opens the boxes to inspect and verify the delivery. Fernando is careful about what he ships to his
Colombian clients because they are very picky, especially about fashion and the Kevlar clothing he is having tailored for them in a small shop in Deltona. compulsive gambler and loan shark. Fernando is a So, when someone owes
him on a bet or drug deal, it’s going to get paid one way or another. He does this work himself. About 12:00 James
Jimmy James joins in the Halloween party dressed as Al Capone and carrying a Israeli Submachine gun loaded with live ammo. To announce his arrival, he fires a few rounds The music stops. Half the men in
into the wooden floor.
the crowd pull out their pistols and take aim at him. Fernando jumps on top of the bar and says, “Hay cool it. It’s just a costume.” James high on some of Fernando’s product says, “Just kidding.” The music starts again and festivities continue. in many a hard place. James’s high ginks have gotten him He has an unpaid sports gambling He walks up to
debt with Fernando that is way overdue. Fernando.
James, “I’ve got a deal for you.” Fernando,
“Just pay me. my cracker ass.
No deals.” James, “You cheap bastard. That ball game in Miami was rigged.
Kiss I do
favors for you all the time.” Fernando, “So do me a favor, pay me.” James takes a roll of 100 bills and counts off $2,500. James, “Don’t ask me for anything.” Fernando, “OK
we’re square.” Fernando calls out to Pepe to get a case of Corona from the cooler. Pepe is a hot headed Colombian The party
with many years of experience in the drug trade. breaks up about 4:00am.
At 10:00 in the morning, Jimmy arrives in the office and is greeted by Norma who had just gotten in. She turns on the
small TV on her desk to see a police chase on Interstate-4. The helicopters from TV network affiliates are following a black Cadillac Escalade with tags reading Candy Man, being chased by a dozen police cruisers from Orlando, Orange County, Altamonte Springs, Winter Park and The Florida Highway Patrol. As the story it was called into a 911 operator by a frightened neighbor, She reported, “Pepe had come home to discover his wife Semone in the act with a Porto Rican man half her age. The man escaped out the back door, around
the pool and over a fence into my backyard.” When the police arrived they surmised Pepe had returned to the bedroom and confronted Semone who had gotten dressed in a
t-shirt and very short shorts.
After being out all night
at the Pelican Bar, Pepe lost what little cool he had, riffled through a hall closet for his machete and whacked off her head. He grabbed her head by the hair, carried it
outside and put it on the passengers seat in the Cadillac SUV. area. The police put out a call to all departments in the I-4 and Altamonte exit Florida Highway Patrol
cruiser pulled up close to the right rear end of the SUV and gave it a nudge. flip an SUV. stop. At 70 mph it doesn’t take much to
It flipped over and over until it came to a
In all the flailing around Semone’s head flew out an
open sunroof like a canon ball and landed 300 feet away in the roadside brush. Pepe was OK except for a badly cut left ear. He was Fernando
arrested and transported to Orange County Jail. called Jimmy James to meet him there.
Pepe wasn’t talking
to police who were interested to know what happened to Semone’s head. Jimmy asked the homicide detectives to please leave the interrogation room. He asked Pepe, “What happened?” Pepe
answered in Spanish, “I came home about 9:30, walked into the bedroom and found Semone with her cousin Alberto. Chopped of her head and took her with me to get an oatmeal breakfast at Denny’s. That’s when the police chased me.”
Jimmy, “Where’s her head?” Pepe, “Must have flown out the window in the crash.” Jimmy, “Why did you take her head with you to breakfast?” Pepe, “I wasn’t finished talking to her.”
Chapter 10 Foul Play
James Jimmy James has a fondness for gambling.
more than fondness, lets say obsession with some card games like 21 and Texas Hold'em. As for Thoroughbred Racing,
Greyhounds, and sports betting, he plays every once in a blue moon. But the one thing about gamblers is that if
there’s no action in the game of choice, they will find a new game of chance. Things get much more creative when
there’s alcohol and pure luck involved. One Friday night, James and an old friend Richard “Longback” Johnson went to the West Fairbanks Tavern in Winter Park for a few drinks and the weekly card games with other poker enthusiasts. Longback has a reputation as a
hot head cracker when it comes to loosing any part of his paycheck. He has become more reckless of late because
these weekly poker games attract a lot of good looking women who some of are not to be trifled with. Trudy Whitmire is an experienced player and usually walks away from any card game with any pot worth having. She’s a
no nonsense card player with a flair for doing the absurd and unexpected. Longback, James, Bonnie Bell and Trudy are sitting at a table playing straight poker. Bonnie is out of cash after
several rounds so she suggests a novel game of Strip Poker. James doesn’t think it’s a viable game to play in a public place. But Longback has been down on his luck with the Petersburg 5 months
ladies since his wife left for St. ago.
He’s definitely enthusiastic about the prospect of Trudy sees nothing wrong
seeing Bonnie Bell’s hooters.
with a wager that involves peeling off one garment at a time since she has never been modest and usually a winner. Bonnie deals the first hand. James holds two 4’s, 8, J, 6.
Longback has Ace, 5 of diamonds, 3 of hearts, 2 of spades and 10 of Clubs. Jacks. Trudy opens with two Queens, one ace, two
Bonnie deals herself three Kings, a 4 of Hearts and Here the dealer calls what the looser must give
one Jack. up.
Longback didn’t realize the first thing to go was
going to be his skintight Wrangler jeans.
“Look Bonnie this should be a game where we start with the top and move down.” Bonnie, “Oh so you want to make up the rules as you go? No way cracker, Strip.” Trudy, “You wanted to play, so play or pay.” Longback, “What do you mean?” Bonnie, “Well if you don’t want to strip, you must pay some other way.” Longback, “Like what?” Trudy, “Fifty bucks for a shirt, $100 for bra, $150 for pants. Like that. Socks don’t count.” Longback,“$150 for No wonder you can’t find a
pants?” Bonnie, “Cheap bastard. woman.” Longback, “OK.
OK, here’s $150.” Trudy, “What you
hiding there Longback?” Longback, “It’s cold in here. That’s all.” Bonnie, “There’s more to this than meets the eye. You’re hiding something.” James asks the waitress for
another round of drinks. By 11:15 Longback is out of money and about to loose any dignity he has left. underwear. Across town, as if in a parallel universe, in a bar called Faces, Longback’s half brother Ramon is playing a poker game with a couple of tourist, Paul and Evelyn Henderson from Minnesota. James is down to t-shirt and
Ramon is a much better player than his brother but unlucky at most things including gambling on card games. has had more than a few too many Margaritas. Evelyn
her card hand she was dealt, she leans back too far on her high top stool and looses balance. About half way down to
the terracotta tile floor she yelped out, “Oh Shit.” The back of her head snaps backward and makes a cracking sound as it strikes the terracotta tiles. It’s hard to tell if
the tile had broken or her skull was fractured or both. Paul slowly turns and looks down to see Evelyn’s eyes wide open staring back at him. Ramon suggested they call 911.
But Paul didn’t want to interrupt the card game. He explained that Evelyn had an unusually hard head. So,
he picked her up and carried her out to the parking lot where he laid her out in the back set of their Ford Explorer. Ramon was concerned that she could die from a Paul came back to resume the poker game.
After a few minutes, Evelyn stumbled through the bar entrance caring a screwdriver. her coming from behind. Unaware, Paul never sees
She raises the screwdriver to stab
him in the shoulder and slips on a lime, which had fallen to the floor early in the evening. She completely misses
Paul, but drives the screwdriver into Ramon’s left hand,
which was resting on the high top table. in pain.
Ramon screams out
This time the bartender calls 911.
Back at the West Fairbanks Tavern, Longback’s cell phone rings just in time to interrupt a loosing hand. It’s Ramon
calling for help from the Orange County Jail where he is been held for assault. The Winter Park police couldn’t
make heads or tails of the screwdriver incident, so they took Evelyn to the hospital and Paul and Ramon to jail for the night. James is sitting at the table in the West Fairbanks Tavern nursing a drink. He says, “You can’t expect a hard headed woman to be happy after falling to the floor with a great poker hand. But
being a good poker player doesn’t balance out bad luck.”
Chapter 11 Ya-Ya’s Raccoons
It was Christmas Day 2004 when Attorney Jimmy James was called to represent his gardener Ya-Ya who had just killed two guests at his Christmas Day feast. Ya-Ya did it right He
in front of his family of 15 men, women and children. got pissed at two relatives about a shotgun shooting in which he was the victim a few years before. There’s a
circular scar on his abdomen 6 inches tall and 8 inches wide where the belly button used to be that closely resembles a moon impact crater. It all started one summer
day when his first wife Stella was drinking Wild Irish Rose with Clarmont Johnson and his step-brother Tony at Ya-Ya’s house in Winter Haven. grass and drinking beer. Ya-Ya had been out all day cutting Stella became angry with Tony She hated anything
when he asked for a Cuban sandwich.
Cuban or Porto Rican and took offence that Tony thought she was part Porto Rican. He told her, “You look like a one of
Ya-Ya’s Raccoons.” She thought he said “You look like a Rican”. eyes. She did a little, with the dark circles under her Never the less she was so angry she went into the
bedroom and returned with Ya-Ya’s loaded 12 gage shotgun. She’s a tiny 40 year old, only 102 lbs. manage the heavy gun. living room rug. Then Ya-ya opened the screen door and said, “What the hell is going on?” The second shot struck Ya-Ya in the belly. In the hospital and sober Stella was full of remorse, swore off the booze and visited him everyday for 8 weeks as he struggled to survive. But now every time he looks in the Ya-Ya says, “I loved that and couldn’t
The first shot blew a hole in the
mirror he can’t forgive Stella.
girl, but she can’t hold her whisky.” At Ya,Ya’s 2004 Christmas party Clarmont and Tony have been arguing over a Christmas present they had bought for YaYa’s 95 year old mother Louise. The issue was who should
pay more, since she is only 1/4 related to Tony.
argues, “I just don’t think I should pay for half of the Christmas present.” Clarmont answers, “But you owe me $65 for the money your sister barrowed for the couch I sold her.” Tony, “What the hell?” Clarmont, “You said she would pay me when the rebate from the TV and stereo came in.” Tony, “She got the rebate but didn’t pay you. that my problem?” Clarmont, “She’s your sister. So how’s You I
vouched for her.” Tony, “You can kiss my semi-black ass.
ain’t paying you shit.” Ya-Ya has had enough family feuding to last another year. His teenaged son Jackson has just
announced at the dinner table that his girl friend is pregnant again and this time it will be a girl. 3 little Ya-
boys from other girls are running around the house.
Ya’s third wife Charmaine has been raising the boys and is always complaining about all the extra work she has to do. Charmiane, “Ya-Ya, those boys are driving me crazy. they do is eat and poop. All
I don’t mind feeding them, but I I work all day I won’t
don’t like cleaning up someone else’s shit.
at that nursing home wiping other peoples behinds. spend Christmas doing the same thing.
So, ether you clean
him up or Jackson can take some responsibility around here.” Ya-Ya, “Yeah, I heard yah. washcloth. Jackson, get a
The little one just dropped another load in his
pants.” Jackson walks over to 2 year old Jerome and lifts him into the arms of his new girl friend. “Here Sissy,
better get some practice.” Clarmont says, “Shit doesn’t fall far from the tree.” Tony laughs. Ya-Ya, “Yeah, it’s
none of your business.” Clarmont is eating from a full plate of Ya-Ya’s Raccoon meat, mashed sweet taters and greens. Clarmont, “Coon is tasty. Where did you get it?” Ya-Ya
answers with sparkle from his gold tooth, “Over in Winter Park at Rudy’s. I got 18. I set a trap under the house. This season
This one dressed out at 20 lbs.” Tony, “What did
you do with the others?” Ya-Ya, ”I take them to Millie’s Market. They pay top dollar.” Tony, “I can’t believe you “It’s
people eat this.” Jackson is licking his fingers.
the best part of Christmas dinner fool.” Ya-Ya walks over to Tony. “Hey, if you don’t like it go hungry.” I ain’t eaten it.” Ya-Ya, “Who
Tony, “It’s nigger food.
are you talking to?” Tony, “A dumb ass nigger, that’s who.” Clarmont, “Ya-Ya he’s had too much MD.” Ya-Ya flashes back to the day he was shot by Stella. “It’s your fault what
happened to me.” He raises his t-shirt to show the huge scar. home. “See this is what I get from letting you hang in my She was gunning for you.” Tony, “I wasn’t me that
was tapping her.” Ya-Ya, “What you say?” Clarmont, “He doesn’t mean anything.” Tony, “It was him that did it.” Ya-Ya throws a ladle of white gravy at Clarmont that splatters on his new Christmas shirt. Wiping himself with
a napkin Clarmont says , “Big deal, she wasn’t getting any from you. She said you make her sick.” Ya-Ya picks up a He walks around the
quart of Colt 45 and drinks it down.
dinning room table with a carving knife and proceeds to cut Clarmont. behind. Tony runs for the door but Ya-Ya grabs him from There was lots of screaming and yelling recorded But one thing was for sure, Clarmont and
on the 911 tapes.
Tony had seen their last Christmas feast at Ya-ya’s house. It was Jan 3 before Jimmy James and Norma met Ya-Ya in the lock-up. The Orange County DA had filed murder charges on
Ya-Ya for the killings of Clarmont and Tony. It will be 7 years before Ya-Ya will see another Raccoon on the Christmas dinner table. Jimmy is sitting at his desk across from Charmiane, “I made the best deal I could with the DA. Ya-Ya is one great
gardener and raccoon trapper, but like everyone else, he didn’t choose his family.”
Chapter 12. Mosquito Lagoon
Every 4th of July the James Brothers have a huge party on their houseboat “The Good Life” on Mosquito Lagoon in Titusville 35 miles east of Orlando. Jimmy James and James
Jimmy James invite the most important people from Miami, Clearwater, Sarasota, Tampa, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Palm Beach and Orlando. This is an election year so
political operatives and contributors are especially important guests. Included are the Bush Family, Supreme
Court Justice Anthony Scalia, Karl Rove, Billy Graham, Pat Robertson, Michael Isner and many high roller contributors.
The houseboat named “The Good Life” is a 15,000 sq.
triple decked converted fuel oil barge that has a double (Kosher) kitchen, huge dinning hall, dance floor with Steinway grand piano, 6 bedrooms and observation deck on top. The lagoon is the perfect setting for events like a The
Space Shuttle Mission Launch or a moon light ball.
party theme this year is “Stars and Strips forever.” Black tie is suggested. Musical entertainment is a Big Band
provided by Slim Philips, the famous music producer of The Back Street Boys. The invitations are delivered with a box
of Godiva Chocolates. The invitations read… My Mama said, “Life is good like a box of chocolates. taste better because the French didn’t make them.” Disney has loaned one of their best chiefs and his staff to cater the affair. At “The Good Life” dock there’s a state of the art security system, a heliport and valet parking. And Whitehouse They
Secret Service Security guards are at all points around the barge. The Mosquito Lagoon security is provided by Navy
Seals to prevent a terrorist attack from the water. Everyone is cleared through Secret Service security before they can come aboard. It was originally built as a fuel
oil barge that was in service on the Miami River until the
The James Brothers bought it at auction in 1972
and converted it into what it is today. A fireworks display is planned on a floating platform, which is moored 100 yards out in the lagoon. It is a going
to be the best and brightest fireworks display ever done on the Mosquito Lagoon. Sure to be seen from 25 miles away.
Jimmy’s wife Shirley was involved in all the party planning including all the party favors and gifts. There’s a dance contest prizes and the grand prize is a 10 day all expense trip to St. yacht “The Endeavor”. Media Company. It’s partly owned by the James Brothers It’s docked at the famous Pier 66 Marina in Thomas aboard the 104 ft.
Fort Lauderdale with a crew of 12, a helicopter and pad. Recently, Jimmy was caught up in a money laundering scheme that involved his close friend and client Fernando Vidajet. The Justice Department has put a Rico case together charging Fernando with being the organized crime boss of a drug and firearms smuggling organization operating from Orlando International Airport to Bogotá, Colombia. Jimmy
had received over $5,000,000 from Fernando as a retainer for his services for the legal fees in the case. The
Government ordered all of Fernando’s assets to be seized including Jimmy’s retainer. He refused on the grounds that
the money he was given was his attorney fee.
Judge ruled that Jimmy has 30 days to turn over the money or he will be fined and imprisoned for 6 months for contempt. Jimmy can’t bribe a federal judge in a high But he can influence the judge through his So, the success of this 4th
political friends like Scalia.
of July party could impact the future for the James Brothers for years to come. The first party guests started arriving as the summer sun was starting to set. All the red, white and blue decorations are up and the “Life is Good” neon sign lights are glowing over the gang way to the barge. The band is warming up and doing sound checks with the music sound system. The band “Havana Live” plays all great
50’s big band tunes and were booked by Slim Philips, Jimmy’s good friend and client. Law Partner Norma
Donaldson is checking off the guest list as people arrive. Shirley is in the kitchen watching the food prep. The
Chief Willis Barton, is working with his crew from the Disney Resort Hotel. They will be serving fresh Florida
Snapper, chilled Stone Crab Claws and lemon butter asparagus. Coffee. Dessert will be Key Lime Pie and West African
The James Brothers trademark Cuban Cigars and
Russian Brandy will be served as well.
James is every
excited about the evenings special fireworks display which will start about 9:30. Buy the time all 125 guests had arrived, the sun had set and it’s time for cocktails and fireworks. The display is
fired off by a remote button which James Jimmy James is holding as he stands in the top of observation deck of the barge. A crew member hands a microphone. James says,
“Welcome to the Good Life, where we celebrate the great American traditional 4th of July Independence Day with the great song Stars and Strips Forever, performed by the big band sound of the Havana Live.” James waits until the band starts to play and presses the fireworks display button. The first fireworks volley goes straight out over the Mosquito Lagoon and explodes high into the summer sky right on queue. They explode into red white and blue light.
Then another candle fires up into the sky and makes a loud booming sound. For the next few minutes the music plays
and sky over the lagoon is filled with an exploding display of colorful light. of Patriotic Pride. Everyone is enraptured with the feeling A black female singer takes the All
microphone and starts to sing America the Beautiful. the partier’s
have migrated to the top level of the barge The first candle of
to see the finale of the fireworks.
the big ending is fired into the sky over the fireworks platform but doesn’t explode. Instead it falls back into
the cones of unexploded candles placed on the platform. For a few seconds it looks like the display has fizzled out. Then the platform explodes with a huge roar. The
concussion shakes the party barge and the lights go out. The Navy Seals that are in the water around the platform are shaken. the lagoon. Some are blown off the fireworks platform into The crowd on the observation deck rushes back
across the deck away from the intense heat of the fireworks blast. The Good Life rocks over from the weight of all the people rushing across the observation deck. Some of the people The
fall into the lagoon others hang on to the railings. blast of heat has caused a fire on red, white and blue crape paper décor.
The women are having trouble standing Food and drinks
in their high heals and designer dresses.
are spilled across the first deck causing it to be too slippery to walk on. something. Shirley is screaming at Jimmy to do
The guests are struggling to keep from falling
into the water which is quickly rising above the first floor deck. The Bush family is saved from the lagoon by They’re put into a chopper and
Secret Service Agents. whisked away.
Billy Graham and Pat Robertson get into a
pushing match as the second deck railing touches the boat dock. Michael Isner falls into the lagoon with the Disney Michael can’t swim. He panics
World marketing director.
and grabs onto the shoulders of a Navy Seal forcing him under the water. The Seal grabs Michael from behind and The Good Life is ablaze and most of
swims toward the dock.
the people are in the water swimming toward a boat ramp. Norma helps the portly Scalia and others up the ramp. Jimmy and Shirley James are standing in the parking lot watching The Good Life go up in flames as the Titusville Fire Department arrives to fight the fire. But not before the huge propane tank aboard the sinking barge explodes in a gigantic fireball. The next week, Jimmy and Fernando meet in the Jimmy James Law Offices in Orlando to discuss their legal problems.
Fernando is fractious about the coming trial.
“I tell you
man, I think I’m screwed if we don’t get to the judge.” Jimmy is feeling the pressure. He knows Fernando has
friends in Bogotá that expect the judge to be bribed or killed. So they don’t understand the problem. For the
first time the James Brothers are in the public eye because of Mosquito Lagoon disaster. Jimmy, “Look
Fernando, the FBI, Secret Service and the News Media have a microscope up my ass. We can’t do anything
without getting caught.” Fernando, “Yeah, but there’s got to be a way to stall things.” James Jimmy James and Norma walk in the office to join in the discussion. James, “What if there’s no witnesses at all? Say everyone of the government witnesses just disappears?” Jimmy, “Three of them are in FBI witness protection.” Fernando, “So we get my friends in Bogotá to come here and take the family members on an all expense vacation to Aruba during the trial?” James, “What if they got your office bugged?” Jimmy, “I had a guy check it out.” Fernando, “You guys don’t have real gangsters in America. Not like at home. We would just blow them up
on the way to work.
We do it all the time.” James, We could blame it on
“Jesus Christ, what a great idea.
Islamic terrorist.” Fernando, “Yes, we could blow up the
Federal Courthouse in Miami.” Norma, ”That’s crazy.” Jimmy, “No witnesses. No courthouse. No trial.” Norma,
“If anyone ever asks, I was having my nails done at Pinky’s Salon.” Jimmy’s cell phone sings the song “It had to be you.” He answers, “This is Jimmy James, Esquire.” The caller is Dr. Irving Sheihagen, Jimmy’s psychologist, “Jimmy, you missed another session.” Jimmy, “Sorry, it was an emergency.” Irving, “We have talked about this. Not everything that
happens to you can be an emergency.” Jimmy, “But this time it was. Lagoon. My houseboat burned and sank in the Mosquito The Coast Guard is still dredging the lagoon for
the bodies of some very important people.” Irving, “I know I was there. It was a tragedy, but that was two weeks
ago.” Jimmy, “Seems like yesterday.” Irving, “I told you to write down who you lie to and what the lie was.” Jimmy, “Yeah. I have been forgetting what I tell people. It’s
all the pressure.” Irving, “That’s what you pay me for.” Jimmy, “I’m with a client now. ends the call. I’ll call you later.” Jimmy
James, “Well, Fernando, have you got the
muscle in Miami to do the Judge, jury, witnesses and building?” Fernando, “I’ll bring them in from Bogotá.” Fernando has a vast network of cocaine cowboys who have experience with blowing up cars, homes and office
In Colombia, it’s all about who has the Jimmy knows that even
machismo to do this kind of thing.
if Fernando and his boys get caught they’ll die, they’d never talk because they all have family in Colombia. Jimmy has lots of city employees on the payroll who keep him aware of what is going on. In this case things are
complicated because the FBI is handling the investigation of Fernando and his gang. Shirley calls Jimmy on his cell.
“Hi Shirley.” She is frightened about an unfamiliar car parked in front of their home. spicks out front. Shirley, “There’s these two
They look like Porto Rican gangsters.” They work for
Jimmy, “Its just for your protection.
Fernando.” Shirley, “Protection from what?” Jimmy, “Some people don’t like me representing Fernando. want to protect their investment.” Jimmy takes a trip to DC to talk to the Assistant Director of Homeland Security Albert Adams. case for Fernando. Jimmy makes a clear His friends
“Here’s a new American immigrant that
wants to serve his new country by acting as a buffer between Washington and the drug lords in Colombia. asking for a “waiver” for Fernando. They’re
In exchange, they’ll Plus, they’ll keep
keep a lid on the drug gangs in Miami.
a look out for terrorist and MS13 gangsters trying to enter the country through Central America. They’ll deliver
photos and fingertips whenever they snag one. expect 100% reliability. across the border.”
Not one rag head will make it
Within two weeks, the FBI drop the charges against Fernando under pressure from Home Land Security. As Jimmy explains
things to Norma, “Look it was a matter of keeping a lid on the Colombians. The guys in Washington can’t have Miami It’s bad for business. Who
become a war zone like Beirut.
wants European tourist splattered all over Collins Ave.” Once again experience pays off. American political legal waiver. It’s hard to beat an Fernando walks away clean Not even a water
and agrees not to blow up anything. balloon.
Norma, “The good thing about the court system is that the ball travels very slowly and people forget their carrying a racket.”
Chapter 13 Disbarred
Many Lawyers get embarrassed, sued, fired and humiliated. But almost never do Lawyers get disbarred. The plain truth
is that Jimmy James Esq. has a habit of doing unsavory and un-Esquire like activities on behalf of his clients. defrocking started with his brother James becoming emotionally involved with one Ms. Jacquelyn Rosen, the His
lovely 40 year old house wife of Jack Rosen III a real estate developer from Miami Beach. American Land Corp. Florida. The Rosen owned Gulf
has a long and dubious history in
The founder of Gulf American was the late Leo J. He
Rosen was the inventor of Charles Antell hair cream. invented the men’s hair cream in 1955 by mixing 99% of petroleum jelly to 1% fragrance packed into small cold cream jars. He staked out small roadside signs across
Florida’s Tamiami Trail, with ad copy that claimed the hair cream would stop male pattern baldness. and balding tourists ordered it via mail. Thousands of aging It was the most
successfully marketed anti-balding cream in the USA until the late 80’s when Rogaine was first marketed. They also While
used testimonials by men reported amazing results.
placing signs on the roadside Leo had a really big idea. Sell the Everglades swamp land along the Tamiami Trail to people in the Midwest who were looking for a Florida retirement homestead. At a high point in 1968 Leo J.
Rosens’ Gulf American, sold thousands of acres of the Florida Everglades swampland every year to people that never actually saw the land. estate joke. It became a common real
People were so stupid they would buy land in When charged with fraud by
Florida that was underwater.
prosecutors in Florida, Michigan, Indiana and Illinois, Leo’s Gulf American just filled in the land with dirt. By
1975, hundreds of miles of Florida wetlands were filed in and the water supply for the entire State of Florida was in immediate danger. Rosen made a deal with the new Governor not to fill in any more wetlands if he could keep the Gulf American Corp. non-profit state charter. paid no income taxes. So The Gulf American Land Corp.
Only Churches, educational and
social organizations have non-profit charters. In 1999, James Jimmy James met the glamorous Ms. Rosen at a political fundraiser in Orlando. first sight. Jacquelyn
It was lust at
Although she was 7 years older than him, she
had a very youthful appearance thanks to Miami Beach plastic surgeons. James’s therapist told him he had an The
addiction to sex, which was growing more dangerous.
affair began in the bar at The Grand Bohemian Hotel in Orlando. They were very discrete, but as the relationship He calls
developed there where indications of shrewdness.
her by the code name JR.
She calls him the Evil Twin.
Lately, the weekend dates at hotels have become less frequent. It seems that JR. has developed an appetite for James has become suspicious
Latin dancers of both sexes.
about her sudden disappearances and not returning his cell phone messages. As with all additions the addict needs
more action to feed growing appetite. So, when JR. doesn’t show up at the 21st Annual Ad Week
Awards show at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables and doesn’t answer her cell phone, James cruises the bar for a score. Sitting at the end of the counter was a 33 year old
divorcée and media rep from Orlando who James encountered months earlier at a cocktail reception at the Orlando Museum of Fine Art. She is Zulma Adisa an Argentine beauty
and the daughter of State Attorney Carlos Adisa, the first Argentinean immigrant to be appointed to the Florida Attorney Generals Office. James introduces himself and she
is interested in him despite their 24 year age difference. They spend the next few days in Biltmore Hotel together. The following week the latest edition of Ad Week features photo’s of attendees to the ad awards banquet. James and
Zulma are photographed living large at the hotel bar. Later that week, Carlos Adisa visits Zulma at her condo in Winter Park. She is smitten with James and has a special
plastic laminated Ad Week cover with the photo of them at the hotel bar mounted for display on her coffee table. Carlos asks, “Who’s the old guy?” Zulma, “James Jimmy James.” Carlos, “His mother loved him so much she didn’t want anyone to forget his name?” Zulma, “I guess.” Carlos, “Find someone you own age.” Zulma, “OK Daddy.” Carlos, “Damn Crackers. White trash! Stay away from him.”
At the Jimmy James Law office, Jimmy and Norma have been busy working on a case The State of Florida VS The Gulf American Land Corp. other than Ms. which was referred to Jimmy by non-
Jacquelyn Rosen the largest shareholder.
The State of Florida alleges that The Gulf American Land Corp. has been selling the same Florida vacation timeshare In the
condos over and over again for past 10 years.
process inflating the insurance and financing fees beyond legal limits. client. Jimmy knows he has no defense for his
So, if he doesn’t make a deal Gulf American will However,
loose 10’s of millions in fines and paybacks.
Jimmy will be paid $3,000,000 as a bonus if Gulf American can make a deal with the State Prosecutors. consultation with Ms. In a
Rosen he decides that political
bribery is the only solution. He privately calls The State Prosecutor Carlos Adisa and proposes a PAC contribution of $200,000 by James Brothers
Media in exchange for light fines and completion bond insurance on the condo deals with buyers. The fact is that
it’s the only way the condo buyers will get anything for their money without years of litigation. After a few weeks of negotiations, Carlos agrees to the deal in the interest of the many condo owners, but can’t forget the face and name he saw in the Ad Week cover photo on his daughter’s coffee table. He makes a few discrete
phone calls to Florida Bar and Federal prosecutors in Tampa, Orlando and Miami regarding Jimmy’s passed professional indiscretions. Within 12 months Jimmy was
brought before the state bar and defrocked for years of unsavory and un-Esquire like activities. “I just didn’t know how much to tip them. crime.” Disbarred, he can’t go to court but he can continue to run the law firm from his desk in Orlando with the help of several young law school grads who now answer to Norma Donaldson the newly appointed Sr. Partner. He tells friends, That’s not a
With clients like arms dealer Fernando Vitajet, many Professional Ball Players, nightclub owners, and the case resolution for Gulf American, there’s more legal work than ever. In an attempt to distinguish himself physically from
twin James, he goes for plastic surgery to change his facial appearance. A smaller nose, face-lift, tummy tuck and eye-lift by the best surgeons in Miami Beach. Now there is a discernable
appearance difference between 57 year old Jimmy and his brother James. The only caveat, doctors order Jimmy to That’s a
stop smoking or there could be complications. deal breaker to a chain smoker.
Consequently, 2 weeks
after the procedure his eyes water continuously and the flesh under Jimmy’s left eye drooped to a significant degree. The doctors couldn’t fix it without more surgery.
The best they could do was to compensate for the drooping skin by pulling it up with a string. But the tearing
continued and his left eye looked Oriental after the procedure. The whole exercise was very painful and messy.
Jimmy took to wearing huge horn rimmed blue tinted, heavy prescription glasses to cover his eyes and replace the contact lenses that kept falling out of his left eye. there’s the nervous twitch in his right cheek which developed abruptly after the Mosquito Lagoon 4th of July fireworks explosion. Shirley moved out and filed for Then
divorce after the humiliation of disbarment, which runs contrary to her blue blooded Palm Beach sensibilities. Shirley puts it, ”Jimmy hit the wall. As
Now he looks like a Coyote with sunglasses.”
Chapter 14 Treasures of Key West
Discovering a sunken treasure is the daydream of many office bound male New Yorker’s. One winter day Jack Hobber
a talent representative with The William Morris Agency was walking past a travel agency office window on 42nd St. A
poster promoting Key West, Florida Travel caught his eye. It showed a man in his late forties gleefully holding gold coins he had just picked up from a white sand beach. The
poster copy read, “It’s time to liberate your fantasy.” He walked into the travel agency and collected Key West vacation travel material to take with him. As he walked
through the cold wind to his office the sunken treasure fantasy takes root. Why not? In the New York Times, just
the other day there was a story about this guy in New Smyrna Beach, Florida who was out for his morning walk on the beach, he looked down to discover a shimmering gold coin. Then he found another and another until he had It was what
collected over 50 coins worth $35,000 each.
had dropped on the ocean floor from a Spanish Galion, which had gone down in a storm hundreds of years ago. The rash
of hurricanes that summer had churned up the ocean bottom and washed away tons of sand exposing the coins. Jack Hobber and Norma Donaldson have been having a long distance relationship for 5 years. They met on a blind
date arranged by a mutual New York transplanted friend in
It’s been best for Norma because she is only She’s comfortable
interested in Jack for the two S’s.
knowing Jack won’t cheat with other women because he is an obsessive compulsive and phobic. He’s obsessively
frightened of contracting sexually transmitted diseases like syphilis and HIV. His encounter with a West African
prostitute named Phyllis haunts him with the notion that 10 years after, a yet undiscovered yellow monkey fever disease which has remained dormant somewhere in his testicles will cause his penis to erupt into yellow pustules and drop off like an over ripe plantain banana. first of the S’s “Sex”. Norma encourages the
She feeds his cleanliness phobia
with e-mails of articles about new venereal disease discoveries and tails of horrifying VD deaths. She ships
him an assortment of moisturizing aloe and vitamin E lotions from New York to rub on his penis 3 times a day in the hopes the exercise will prolong his performance during their weekend getaways. She isn’t really in love but
doesn’t want to spend time cultivating new relationships ether. the S’s. With Jack she knows what to expect, the second of “Security”.
Jimmy James keeps a collection of day passes to all the local Orlando theme parks including Disney World and Universal’s Island of Adventure. He offers them to clients
and friends like Norma who entertains Jack on his many weekend trips. But this time Jack has expressed interest
in a weeklong trip to Key West where the James Brothers have a condo and a blue water fishing boat. makes arrangements for them to use it. and miser. unavoidable. On lunch break from work, he takes a trip to the New York Public Library to do some research on sunken treasures around the Florida Keys. more. What he finds excites him even So, Norma
Jack is a squirrel
He will never spend his own money unless it’s
Over the years, millions of dollars in gold and He learns they’ll have
silver has been found in the Keys.
the use of the “Tequila Sunrise” Jimmy’s 50ft fishing boat, which is equipped with some scuba gear. The only thing is
Jack has never been scuba diving or even driven a boat. But he believes that’s no obstacle for a man who has survived the riggers of Broadway Theater business. After
all he’s stared down some of the biggest Broadway Producers to get a few extra bucks for his talent agency clients. Brimming with confidence he enrolls in a scuba diving course at the UN Plaza Hotel swimming program. It’s a 3
week crash course for people going on vacation in the Bahamas and Florida. Here he will get time in the pool
with the scuba gear and become comfortable breathing
But first, he must overcome his fear of sharks So, he calls a William
and other man-eaters of the sea.
Morris client Stanton Waterman who is an underwater photographer. Stanton agrees he needs some training and
that the UN Swimming Program is a good choice. Stanton says, “Don’t worry about the sharks in Florida, the chances of something happing is very remote. But you need
to have a diving buddy, an experienced diver partner on site with you.” At his first scuba class, he is introduced as an amateur treasure hunter to the Cuban scuba instructor Francisco Vigo. Francisco has been looking for lost treasure for In fact, there are
many years in the Florida Keys.
promising dive sites and new ones appear in treasure enthusiast publications all the time. The recent rash of
tropical storms and hurricanes in Florida and the stories like the guy in New Smyrna Beach, fuel the excitement for the sunken treasure hunt. In fact, there are many
professional treasure hunters in the Florida Keys because of the many Spanish shipwrecks. But Francisco has a hot
new dive site to pursue just north of Key West around Sugarloaf Key. Unfortunately for them, it’s illegal to You
take anything from the Keys, not even coral or shells. can look but not touch.
To Francisco’s sensibilities this
restriction was created to keep the treasure for the few well-connected famous divers who can get waivers from officials. The other issue is the cost of renting a boat He sees Jack’s connection with Jimmy James He
and his fishing boat as a way to get access to both.
peaks Jack’s enthusiasm with a story of a lobster fishermen he knows in Key West who was diving off Sugarloaf Key in 40 ft of water and discovered lobsters living in a cluster of Spanish cannon balls. The cannon shot belonged to a All
shipwreck that has never been worked by any divers. Spanish ships carried gold and silver coins to use as currency to buy needed supplies.
So, the chances of there The question is
being treasure at the site are very good.
how much? Jack is completely taken into the scheme to have Francisco meet him in Key West on the vacation week and dive with him to recover gold. Francisco will drive down
from Miami where he has Cuban relatives who can help. Norma has a somewhat different view of the treasure hunting scheme. Norma, “Have you lost your mind? That’s the
craziest scheme I’ve ever heard.” Jack answers, “Why not? It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. Just think there’s
millions of dollars in gold just sitting out there.” Norma, “Jack it’s illegal. It’s theft. You could be put
in jail.” Jack, “Norma, I have spent all my adult life
helping actors and film makers realize their dreams. about my dreams?” Norma, “Your swashbuckling fantasies
aren’t the same as a professional artist.” Jack, “What’s the difference?” Norma, “They are uniquely qualified to realize their fantasies.” Jack, “Well yeah. I guess.”
Norma, “You’re just going to tell Francisco the crazy Cuban guy, that the treasure hunt is off.” Jack, “But he’s very sure this will work.” Norma, “I don’t care. Just tell him
it’s off.” The thought of telling Francisco to forget it makes Jack cringe. This is a manhood issue. But, the next
day he calls and asks Francisco to meet him for lunch at Carnegie Deli. At lunch, Francisco is upset about the Francisco, “That
latest news of what is happening in Cuba.
bastard Castro has taken my country into the toilet with this latest round of starvation politics. him from a light poll in Havana. guy. Jack, “You mean Mussolini.” We need to hang
Just like that La Ducha Francisco, “Yeah. You
know hang him by his balls and let the birds peck out his eyes.” Francisco is so loud that everyone around the table
stops eating. Jack realizes that Francisco is fanatical about everything from food to politics. Especially anything that has to do
with Castro and his drunken brother.
Francisco is so excited about the trip that he doesn’t get it that Jack is backing out of the deal. Jack is so afraid
of offending Francisco that he never clearly says the deal is off. He is embarrassed and confused. All he can do is
stare at the autographed pictures of actors on the restaurant walls. One photo in particular is of Mathew As
Broderick in The Broadway hit The Pirates of Penzance. Francisco talks about the trip Jack drifts away to the image in the travel poster.
He can now see himself as the Francisco informs
man in the photo holding the gold coins.
him that he has invited a few Cuban friends from Miami to help with the heavy equipment. Then he walks off and Panic sets in as Jack
leaves Jack to pay the lunch bill.
remembers the part of the conversation about the Cuban’s and the heavy equipment. Norma talks to Jimmy about what is happening with Jack’s pirate fantasies and about the treasure. Jimmy asks to get in on the action. To her surprise
He offers to bankroll
the deal if he can be convinced there’s treasure at the site. “Tell Jack to call me tomorrow morning and get the
Cuban on a conference call.” Norma, “You don’t realize Jack is not a swashbuckler. a talent agent. There’s no comparison.” He’s
Jimmy, “That’s fine with me.
That guy I
read about in the Times was on New Smyrna Beach and discovered all that gold was a stockbroker from Hoboken, New Jersey.” Norma, “What about the legal aspects?” Jimmy, “There must be a way around that if they get caught. sense in getting everyone sniffing around the site. just a bunch of guys out for a ride. No Hay
If they find gold,
finders keepers.” Norma, “But Jack knows nothing about this.” Jimmy, “Well, you know possession is 95.75% of the law. Let them have a little fun. It’s not like their But if
bringing a bunch of Cuban whores in for a party. they do let me know.” Norma, “No way Jimmy. you do this.” Jimmy, “Jesus Norma. so strongly. OK. You win.
I’ll quit if
I didn’t think you felt
Case closed.” Jimmy does a It appears Mr. Vigo
background check on Francisco Vigo. has several glitches on his resume.
He has used several
aliases since the Marial Boat lift where hundreds of Cuban criminals were released into the general population in Miami. That in it self was not alarming because in those
days identity theft was not a big problem, many Cubans took alias names to better blend in and to get work. Nor is the
fact that he had broken out of jail 3 times all that worrisome because in Cuba one could be jailed for being late for work at the sugar cane fields. The Cuban prisons
were in a sorry state of repair and keeping track of inmates was difficult at best. So, a prisoner could be But
“lost or missing” and in the prison at the same time. there’s a bonus, Francisco was a smuggler as well. he was arrested for smuggling Cuban tobacco “logs”. tobacco log is a 3 inch diameter by 12 inch roll of tobacco. It is used many ways.
In Cuba A
For example smokers will
shave the end with a razor and smoke the tobacco in a pipe. The Cuban tobacco rolls are very valuable in the USA because Cuban tobacco is illegal in America. However,
Francisco is known to Interpol and the FBI as a motorcycle and car thief. He receives stolen cars from Europe in New
Jersey were they changed the VIN numbers and delivered them to Florida used car dealers where they sell Mercedes Benz, BMW, Porsche and Jaguars over the Internet. The dealers
sell them at discount prices and without any sales tax. Francisco transports them from New Jersey to Orlando and Miami on trucks every weekend. enterprising. Jimmy sees him as
He’s just the right guy for the sunken To move the treasure around they’ll need
treasure project. a smuggler.
Jimmy feels it would be best if Norma is left
out of the loop about Francisco’s resume. Two weeks later, when Norma and Jack arrive at the Westgate Condos in Key West, she has no clue that the Cubans are
staying in an adjoining condo and that Jimmy is on his way to participate in the adventure. She has plans for a trip
to the end of the island to watch the sunset, a traditional thing. It’s always crowed with tourist, lovers and They gather with drinks in hand and cheer Norma and Jack arrive just in time to get a Jack has tried many times to But Norma doesn’t want As the sun
honeymooners. the sunset.
perfect place dockside.
discuss the coming treasure hunt.
anything to disrupt this romantic holiday week.
touches the horizon everyone celebrates with a kiss with a partner. But since there are so many gay men and women on
holiday here from Miami’s South Beach, it’s a strange site. Then there’s Francisco and the 2 crazy macho Cubans in a Zodiac flying into the dock playing Cuban music on a boom box. Everyone is cheering them on as they dance up the cat Even Norma is delighted at their antics
walk to the dock.
until Francisco walks up to Jack asks, “Jack who’s the babe? We got in today. Our rooms are right next to you.” Norma realizes that she has
He kisses Jack on both cheeks.
been hoodwinked about the treasure hunt. Norma, “I can’t get away for one week without walking into a mess. It must be Karma.” Jimmy has invited the newly
arrived Cuban women who Francisco has promised will
accompany them to dinner at the Pier House a famous island spot. Then on to a night of Key West “Bar Crawling”.
Norma is furious that her romantic plans have suffered a horrible death. So, she proceeds to get absolutely drunk
but manages to complete one night of bar crawling without strangling Jimmy or Jack. The group, Jimmy, Jack, Norma,
Francisco, Sonia, Francita, Vivette and the two Cuban divers Fanian and Omar are off to an action packed night ending 3:00am in a popular Navy bar called Tiny Tim’s. In the morning Norma has a hangover of biblical proportions. The Pier House cure for a bar crawling
hangover is a breakfast of fresh fruit, French toast and lots of Bloody Mary’s. Francisco opens a nautical chart of He explains how they will
the waters around Sugarloaf Key.
approach the site so as not to draw too much attention. They will pose as party animals out for a good time. Jimmy’s boat the “Tequila Sunrise” is at the Pier House dock being readied for the trip out to the shipwreck location where the diver first discovered the cannon balls. The Zodiac will be towed behind the boat and used as a scout boat to find the exact spot. The plan is to locate
the wreck and mark it with an underwater electronic beacon. Then return with the extraction gear and remove whatever they find.
By 10:00am everyone is on board the “Tequila Sunrise”. Jimmy fires up the twin Volvo inboards and motors out of the Pier House dock into the Gulf of Mexico. It’s a The
perfect day for diving in the clear gulf water. visibility is about 60 ft. to the bottom.
A group of Two male
bottlenose dolphins are swimming in the bow wake.
dolphins have kidnapped a young female and are herding her away from the others. They will keep her away from the
others until she is pregnant with a calf. Contrary to popular belief dolphins are very aggressive and violent especially when it comes to mating. Fanian and Omar have been fighting all morning over what women really want from a man, with no resolution. steps in to resolve the dispute. Jimmy
Fanian, “I saw her first.
Plus she thinks short guys have small pokers.” Omar, “You’re full of shit man. It may be short but it’s fat It’s still a
like a sausage.” Fanian, “It doesn’t matter. short dick.
Cuban Women like them long and hard.” Omar,
“That’s not what Idalia told me.” Fanian, “Idalia is a whore. She don’t know nothing.” Omar, “What good is a long
limp one? That’s what she said.” Norma says, “You guys can fight all day long about who has the biggest or fattest, but it don’t mean a thing if she isn’t ready.” Fanian, “What the hell are you saying?” Jimmy, “Listen up boys you
can learn something.” Sonia, ”I like a little fun first.” Francita, “Yeah, like going dancing.” Vivette hugs Jimmy, “I want my men rich and sweet.” Francisco, “Can we please pay attention to what we’re here for. No more fighting or Just trying to
I’ll feed you to the Cuda’s.” Fanian, “OK.
have a little fun with stupid over here.” Omar, “Who you calling stupid?” Jack, “Jesus Christ were supposed to be pirates. You guys sound like children.” Norma, “Some group
of Swashbucklers you put together Captain Jack.” Francisco opens his charts on the deck. “Jimmy, are we in the
channel?” Jimmy, “Yeah.” Francisco, “What’s the number on the channel marker?” Jimmy, “12.” Francisco, “When we get to 17 let me know. We’ll drop anchor and take the Zodiac
out for a scouting trip.” Out at the dive site at Sugarloaf Key, Francisco is loading the diving gear on the Zodiac. Jimmy, “Don’t take too long
we don’t want to be suspicious.” Francisco, “It shouldn’t take long. balls. I’ll drop the beacon when I see the cannon
The water is perfect today.” Francisco, Fanian and
Omar drive off in the Zodiac across the shallow water with a GPS location finder. Within 10 minutes they find the
cannon balls stacked up like a pyramid on the bottom. Francisco places the beacon and covers it with sand. He
looks down and spots three gold coins shimmering in the
He franticly starts digging around but Omar Francisco
pulls on the safety line from the Zodiac above.
puts the gold coins in his vest and swims to the surface. A US Coast Guard Patrol Boat is cruising about 1,000 yards away. They are always looking for Cubans and Haitians who
try to make it to the beach before they get caught sneaking into the US. Once they’re on the beach they can stay. But
now the Boarder Patrol Police and Coast Guard are more careful about allowing dark skinned men in boats into Florida Waters. The Coast Guard blasts the ships horn.
Francisco must comply buy driving the Zodiac to the ship which is in deeper water. horn again. warning. The Coast Guard ship blasts the
Over the loud speaker they hear, “This is a
If you don’t comply there will be a shots fired
from a 20 mm cannon.” Francisco knows the drill and starts the outboard motor and heads toward them. “Start waving your arms at them. Francisco,
They just want to see There’s
your Drivers License.” Omar, “I can’t get caught.
this thing, they’re looking for me.” Francisco, “What the hell did you do?” Fanian, “He pushed this Haitian guy off a bridge in Miami last week.” Omar, “He owed me $50 bucks.” Francisco, “You dumb ass. I told you not to get in any But he won’t listen.” I’ll do the
trouble.” Fanian, “I told him.
Francisco, “Just keep your mouth shut.
talking.” Omar, “But they’ll send me back to Haiti.
ain’t taking me alive.” Francisco, “Give me the Florida Drivers Licenses. All they want is to see some ID then
they’ll let us go.” They drive up to the Coast Guard boat and hand over the ID. Jimmy pulls up anchor and powers up the “Tequila Sunrise” into the channel. He motors back toward Key West. Jimmy
leans over to Jack, “Just relax and act natural.” Jack, “But what if the Cubans talk?” Jimmy, “What can they say? I was looking for sunken treasure?” Jack, “Well yeah.” Jimmy, “Have you ever seen those guys before?” Jack, “No.” Jimmy, “Wrong answer. night. Yes, they were at Tiny Tim’s Bar last
That’s it.” Jack, “I’m afraid.” Jimmy, “Pirates Are you a pirate or not?” Norma, “Jack is a Must I have to repeat everything?” Jack, “I
aren’t afraid. talent agent.
can be a pirate if I want.” Norma, “Then act like one.” Jimmy, “Go down below, get those girls up here and turn up the music. There’s a Tony Bennet CD. Crank it up.” Jimmy
pushes the throttle open for the trip back to the Pier House. Later, at the Pier House restaurant, Norma and Jack are waiting alone at a table. Jack is nervously awaiting Jack, “I’m sorry I got us
Jimmy, Francisco and the Cubans. into this.
The sunken treasure adventure is a disaster.”
Norma, “Look Jack, this is the most exciting thing that we have ever done together.” Jack, “You really mean that?” Norma, “Yeah. That includes the sex.” Jack, “Jimmy’s gonna
be crazy if we don’t hit gold.” Norma, “Probably.” Francisco walks up to the table, “What’s up with you land lovers?” Jack, “We thought you got caught buy the Coast Guard.” Francisco, “I’m a Cuban Houdini. get away. They catch me I
Like the cat and the mouse.” Norma, “What about Jimmy and the
the other guys?” Francisco, “They’re gone.
girls will be here in a moment.” Norma, “I don’t think I can do another night of bar crawling.” Francisco, “Come on, it’s going to be fun.” Jimmy walks in the restaurant with Sonia, Francita, and Vivette. look what I have here. Jimmy says, “Hey Francisco
One too many.” Francisco, “Jimmy,
you’re a big playboy for sure.” The dinner conversation turns to the afternoon activities and the aborted treasure hunt. Jack, “What happened to you
guys when the Coast Guard pulled you in?” Francisco, “They always harass illegal immigrants in boats. are trying to escape Cuba or Haiti. They think we
You don’t see any
French Canadians sneaking in on boats.” Jack, “Where’s the boys?” Jimmy, “It appears that Fanian and Omar have some issues with the law in Miami. We don’t have time to deal
with it.” Jack, “Who’s going to help with the digging?”
Jimmy, “Well this was your idea in the first place.
about grabbing a shovel?” Francisco takes out the gold coins he retrieved from the site. “Norma, hold out your
hand.” She opens her palm and he drops the coins into her palm. Norma, “Wow. It’s heavy. What are they worth?”
Jimmy, “We’ll have to wait to get an appraisal in New York.” Francisco, “You’re looking at about $75,000. Collectors in Japan will pay twice that much.” Norma, “How beautiful. coins. long. deep. Jack look at this.” Her eyes twinkle at the
Jack, “But I don’t think I can stay down there that What if I get the benz?” Francisco, “It’s not that You got to be down below 60 feet before you have
problems.” Jack, “I’m just scared.” Jimmy, “I’d go down myself but the doctor told me to stay at sea level or my eye lid could droop.” Jack, “What do you think Norma? Norma, “I say it’s time you became a swashbuckler. look at these coins.” Jack can’t even order food. stomach is doing back flips. Wow His
Jimmy, “What’s the matter
Jack?” Jack, “I’ll just have another Harvey’s Bristol Cream.” Vivette, “Jackie, don’t be scared we’ll be there to pull you up if you get the benz.” Jack, “Oh great. makes me fell better. Can you swim?” Vivette, “No. Thanks.” Vivette, “You’re That But I
can float.” Jack, “Great.
welcome Jackie.” Norma.
“You took the diving class and So, what’s the difference?”
Francisco was there with you.
Jack, “When I get nervous I hyperventilate.” Vivette, “Just put a paper bag over your mouth and breath.” Jack, “But I’ll be underwater.” Francisco, “Well wait until you get back aboard the boat to hyperventilate.” Everyone laughs. Norma, “Come on Jack. Be the swashbuckler you were meant
to be.” Vivette, “Jackie you’ll be famous.” Francisco goes over the plan for the following day. “We
need to get out to the dig site before dawn.” Jimmy, “Yeah, we want it to look like were having a party.” Francisco, “The Coast Guard will leave us alone if they think we are just touristo.” Dawn at the #17 Channel marker at Sugarloaf Key is like floating on liquid glass. Francisco and Jack suit up for
the dive site, which is crystal clear down to 40 feet. They can actually see the GPS beacon on the sea floor. There is a school of large barracudas swimming in the tidal current. Jack, “What kind of fish are those?” Francisco, “Just
Cudas’ they won’t bother us.” Jack, “But they’re huge.” Francisco, “Just a couple of 8 footers trolling for breakfast.” Jack, “Oh. I saw some photos of Barracudas in
National Geographic they attacked a diver.” Francisco,
“Don’t worry they like to eat fish. We’ve got work to do.”
Now get in the water.
They sink to the sandy bottom and start digging around the cannon balls for coins. them. A large dark shadow passes by He
Francisco looks up to see a boat hovering above. They ascend to the Zodiac to
signals to Jack to surface.
discover another group of divers putting on their gear. It’s a group of student divers there for their daily lessons. doing. Francisco asks the instructor what they are “We are here for lessons in shallow water. This is
one of the more popular locations for snorkeling and beginner scuba divers”. Jack, “So, you have been diving It’s
here before.” Instructor, “I’ve been here for years. very safe because the water is clear and shallow. We
stacked the cannon balls down there to mark the spot and give the students a thrill.” Francisco now knows he has been coned by the old lobster fishermen. Jack says,
“Jimmy’s gonna be pissed.” Francisco, “We don’t have to tell him.” Jack, “He’ll kill me.” Francisco, “Lets go.” He starts the out board motor and steers for Jimmy’s fishing boat. On the ride back to the Pier House Jimmy quizzes Francisco about what happened. Jimmy, “Who were those guys?” It’s a
Francisco, “A diving class from one of the hotels.
favorite spot.” Jimmy, “I smell a rat.” Jack, “I wish I had some explanation.” Jimmy, “Where did you get that treasure map.” Francisco, “From a guy I met at Tiny Tim’s Bar. He’s
a lobster fisherman named Dog.” Jimmy, “Lets take a stroll down there tonight and see what we can see.” At Tiny Tim’s Bar, DOG is working another drunken sucker at a high top table. tattered clothes. Dog is a dwarf dressed in smelly The sucker is an insurance salesman
named Burt from Cleveland who heard about the treasure from the Tiny Tim’s bartender. copy of the location chart. He’s ready to pay $5,500 for a The Fisherman hands the guy a
brown envelope with a copy of the Sugarloaf Key chart. Burt, “What’s the deal again?” Dog, “I’ll hold the $5,500 so I know you’ll split the treasure with me when you bring it up. In the package there’s three gold coins that were The red x on the map marks the spot
found at the site.
where the cannon balls are.” Burt, “Why haven’t you gone down to get the treasure yourself?” Dog, “Cause I can’t go down that deep. benz, that’s it. I got the benz once. When you have the
You can never dive again.” Burt, “How
will I find you?” Dog, “Don’t worry I’ll meet you at the Pier House dock Sat. at midnight when you return. You
wouldn’t cheat a little guy like me would ya?” Burt, “Never. I’ve been an Allstate Insurance Agent for 20
years, you’re in good hands.” Dog takes his Bank Cashers Check for $5,500, “It’s a deal. at 7:00pm at the hotel dock. The divers will meet you
They will take you to
Sugarloaf Key where they’ll help you dig up the gold. We’ll split it up at your hotel room. Whatever you do
don’t tell anyone or the deal is off.” Burt opens the package and the coins drop into his hand, “Great. exciting. I’ve been waiting for this for years. How Now, it’s
really happening.” Dog, ”Just look at the gold coins, there’s tons more where they came from. is go get them. All you got to do
I just wish I could dive with you.
Remember 7:00pm.” Dog walks out into the parking lot and rides off on his bicycle. Burt orders another drink. Even before
Dog has been a con man since he could walk.
that his mother would take him into department stores in Miami like Burdines where she would shop lift clothing and jewelry by stuffing it under his baby blanket. days Gypsy’s were everywhere in Florida. In those
His family has They travel
spread out to wherever the pickings are good. the south from Florida to Arkansas.
Dog is semi-retired However, the
with his gold coin treasure hunting scam.
clan still operates in Miami, Tampa, Orlando and Palm Beach where they operate Palm Reading shops, auto and health insurance scams and confidence rackets where a mark is
offered a huge fee for credit card processing an out of state cashers check. They claim to be from out of state Here the mark agrees to run a
and no local bank account.
check through their bank account in return for a large fee. The Gypsy’s give him a cashers check worth $10,000. mark gives over a debit card and pin #. The
Within two days
the mark has $5,500 in card credit charges and a forged bank cashers check. For Dog, Key West is the perfect
hunting ground because people are there for a limited time and rarely return. Mostly, they are so embarrassed that
they were coned that they never mention it to anyone even family. Dog has a wonderful life in the Keys living on a moored 35ft sailboat in one of the many small inlets among the islands. to live. Many social dropouts find this a very cheap way No rent, no address other than a PO Box and no
way to find him unless you know their real name and which boat to look for. He has a rusty old bicycle chained to a
palm tree that he uses for shopping and laundry service. The family has always left him alone because he’s unlikable. family of 6. Now 45 years old, Dog is the youngest boy in a Mom died when he was 4. His Dad Emmanuel
says, “One day he just stopped growing.” At 4’1” tall his legs appear stunted, his torso looks like a 65 year old man
and his head is over sized. out of the side of his mouth.
One eye is squints as he talks The Tiny Tim’s bar regulars
call him “Sea Dog.” His real dog “Baby” lives on the sailboat with him. The bartender at Tiny Tim’s greets him
with a mocking tone, “Dog, would you be fetching me an apple from the bottom of the barrel?” He never has a good comeback line. They have a cozy working arrangement where
the bartender talks up the buried treasure scheme to suckers for a finder’s fee. caught. Jimmy James, Jack, Francisco and Norma arrive at Tiny Tim’s about 8:00. They perch at the bar like salty Pirates. Norma, “Jimmy we can So far, they have never been
Jimmy orders drinks for the group. order our own drinks.
We’re all grown here.” Jimmy, “Oh
yeah.” Jimmy leans toward the bartender, “Do you know a lobster fisherman named Dog.” He answers, “No.” Jimmy, “One of my friends would pay good money to have a chat with this guy Dog.” Bartender, “What’s in it for me?” Jimmy, “We just want to talk to him.” He slides a hundred dollar bill across the bar. The bartender looks at the bill. “OK.
I’ll ring him up and see if he’ll come in to talk to you.” Jimmy, “Just tell him we’re looking for a good dive site.” Bartender, “No problem.” He walks away. 30 minutes later
Dog walks in the door.
The bartender points to Jimmy Dog has bragged many But he doesn’t
sitting alone at a high top table. times about his photographic memory.
recognize Norma from his days in Orlando when he was arrested in a Winter Park where dragnets of Travelers and Gypsies happened every year. In February 1997 the local
law enforcement agencies warned "CRIME ALERT, GYPSIES HAVE RETURNED." During a 10 day period many Gypsies were detained and Matt “Dog” Baillie was arrested and charged for credit card theft. The Prosecutor was none-other than
the young, lovely and vivacious Norma Donaldson. She didn’t remember Dog mostly because of the shabby fisherman’s clothing and his full gray beard. He walks to
Jimmy’s table and introduces himself, “You must be Jimmy.” Jimmy, “That’s me. Jimmy, “OK. Have a seat.” Dog, “They call me Dog.”
Dog, I hear you have a special map of the I have such a map. You in the
islands.” Dog, “We’ll yes.
treasure hunting business?” Jimmy, “I have always wanted to do some diving around the islands and thought it would make things more interesting for me and my guests.” Dog, “Indeed. I would go out there and do it myself but I had a
diving accident back in ’95 and got the benz.” Jimmy, “Yes. So, how can we do business?” Dog, “You give me deposit, a
cashers check which I hold until you bring in the gold coins from the site and then I return it and we split the treasure 50-50.” Jimmy, ”How much of a deposit?” Dog, “How about $5,000?” Jimmy, “Wow. That’s got to be some map.
Will you take a personal check?” Dog, “No.” Jimmy, “Look. There’s no banks open on the weekend and we’re going out diving in the morning. the Pier House. to join Jimmy. I’m good for it, just ask anyone at
Hay Jack come-zee-hear.” Jack walks over Jimmy, “Tell Dog here how rich I am.” Jack, They don’t grow on trees.” Jimmy,
“He’s got a big boat. “That’s right.
Look why don’t you come along?” Dog, “No, I
don’t go out anymore after the accident.” Jimmy, “You don’t have to go into the water. drinks with the Cuban girls. Just stay topside and have You do like babes?” Dog,
“Sure.” Jimmy, “That way you can watch over your treasure and play at the same time. with. Believe me they are fun to be
Right Jack?” Jack, “Lots of fun.” It’s been a long
time since Dog has been out with a bunch of fun loving babes. boring. Sitting on his boat Sea Dog with Baby has gotten Jimmy, “Why not live it up a little and mix
business with pleasure?” The prospect of hanging out all day with beautiful Cuban girls dressed in postage size swim ware is more than he can resist. Dog, “OK.” Jimmy, “I’ll
have a check waiting for you at the dock at the Pier House
Don’t forget the map.” Dog walks out.
“What do you have planned?” Jimmy, “We’ll just have a little fun with this guy.” Francisco walks over to join Jimmy and Jack. “I would like to feed him to the sharks.”
In the morning, Jimmy and the guys are washing down the boat. The girls are in the galley making breakfast when He climbs aboard and they motor into the
Dog arrives. channel.
Jimmy, “Where we headed?” Dog, “East to Big Pine Jack, “This Where are
Key.” Jack looks over the map Dog has brought. is a long way off.” Dog, “Yeah, about 50 miles.
the Babes?” Jimmy, “In the galley where they belong.” Jimmy opens the throttle and the twin Volvo marine engines thrust the boat into a high-speed plain. rushes buy. The cool morning air
Jack pears out across the vast Atlantic Ocean
with a sparkle in his eyes, “Norma, come up here and look at this.” She climbs out of the cabin door onto the deck. Jack, “This isn’t the great adventure I dreamed of, but it’s still stimulating.” Norma, “What are you mumbling about?” Jack, “How many people get to do this?” Norma, “Jack, you have spent too many years listening to actors and directors.” Jack, “Yes, this is what they all talk about. Finding the moment.” Norma, “What we have here is a
nasty little Gypsy and a crazy captain.” Jack, “You’re jaded.” Norma, “At this point I could use a good nights
sleep.” Jimmy, “I need a bloody Mary.” Dog glances at Norma, “Make mine a double.” Norma, “Do I look like a Galley Nigger? Get the bimbo’s to do the beverage service.” Jack, “I’ll get the drinks.” Jimmy asks Dog, “Are the Winter Park Police still harassing the Gypsies?” Dog, “Always.” Jimmy, “Look, we know all about you and the treasure map scam.” Dog, “So?” Jimmy, “So, I brought you out here to talk business. Drop the act little man or Dog, “No problem.”
Francisco will feed you to the sharks.
Jimmy, “Now how long have you been running this racket.” Dog, “4 and a half years. It’s been pretty good to me.”
Jimmy, “Well now you have a new partner.” Dog, “I already have a partner.” Jimmy, “You must mean the bartender at Tiny Tim’s.” Dog, “Yeah.” Jimmy, “You can keep what you got from Francisco. It isn’t mine anyway. But from now on I
I’ll send you some US Grade A Choice swashbucklers. expect 50% of the take.
Dog, “That’s robbery.” Jimmy, “I’m So, I expect you
gonna send you people with deep pockets.
to wise up.” Dog, “I been doing just fine.” Jimmy, “Bullshit. We caught you. That says something. Don’t you
think?” Dog, “It was your lawyer Norma.
She spotted me. You work for
Right?” Jimmy, “Don’t ask stupid questions. me now.
If you have a real problem call me direct.” Dog, It stinks
“Anything else?” Jimmy, “Loose the Benz story.
like Bockala.” Dog, “What’s that?” Jimmy, “Cod fish. Where’s your boat moored?” Dog, “At a cove off channel marker 5.” Jimmy, “We’re going to stop there and party.” Jimmy pilots the boat into the shallow water where the “Sea Dog” is moored. water. Francisco drops the anchor in 8 feet of
He walks across the deck to stand next to Dog.
Francisco looking out toward the ocean, “I hate Gypsies. But little Gypsies bastard’s like you make me crazy. If
Jimmy wasn’t hear I would cut you into chum.” Dog, “Are you pissed about the map?” Francisco, “You made me look stupid.” Dog, “You did that all on your own. Just
business.” Jack climbs out onto the deck with a tray of drinks. Jack, “OK boys, hair of the dog.”
Dog, “Timing is everything.” Francisco, “Get those girls up here. If we ain’t diving for gold, I want to party. What
do you think Jackie?” Jack, “Sorry the treasure hunt was a bust.” Francisco, “As long as I get my denaro back, I’m cool.” Dog, “You need to talk to my new partner about that.” Francisco, “Looks like we’re all in the treasure hunting business. Right Jackie?” Jack, “What’s that?” Dog,
“Never mind.” Norma climbs out of the cabin, pulls up a deck chair next to Jack and puts on her sunglasses. takes a sip of a bloody Mary. She
“When you first mentioned
the treasure hunting, my reaction was emotional because I was interested in a romantic vacation. long sip. She takes another
But now we are way beyond the unforgettable From now on, let me have the fantasies.”
Jack, “But I…” Norma, “Please Jack don’t spoil the moment.”
Who killed Henry?
Jimmy James had a roommate at Military School in Charleston, South Carolina. He was a lad from no important His name was
family or had no early distinguishing talent. Henry Kyle.
His mother believed in the value of education
and a grade school teacher believed Henry was capable of academic achievements. His rich uncle Joe managed to help During his first week at school,
him into Military School.
a classmate called him poor white trash, so he challenged the kid to a boxing match. a huge crowd of classmates. called Knock-out Harry. It was all very formal and drew From that point forward he was
He became an outstanding history In fact, teachers thought Henry would go on to
student and debate team member.
he would make a fine military lawyer.
West Point, again with the political help of his uncle Joe, where he blossomed in military justice. He was highly
successful in the military environment where he honed his boxing skills. over the years. Jimmy James and Henry remained good friends Henry left Military Justice to try his
luck as a prosecutor in the Orange County DA’s office.
Jimmy would call him for political and social events or whenever they had a plea bargain deal to work out for one of Jimmy’s clients. Henry had made his millions in the downtown Orlando real estate market. He owned one huge apartment complex on Lake His wife and two
Eola and several commercial developments.
teenaged sons Rick and Blake lived in lakeside mansion that was bought from members of the Saudi Royal Family after the first Gulf War. He had become acquainted with the Saudi’s In fact, he had made
while serving in the military.
friends with the Bin Laden’s, who have real estate holdings in Central Florida. Henry would host blue water fishing
trips to Marathon Island in the Keys where he owned a time share condo’s and maintained a 50ft off-shore fishing boat named “TKO”. At 2:00 am Sunday morning January 3, 2004, masked intruders entered Henry‘s mansion on Lake Ivanhoe. Henry had never
updated the electronic security system so the intruders just cut a phone line and walked into the house. dog “Major” barked enough to awaken Henry. Henry’s
Nude and half
asleep he picked up his 45 pistol from his nightstand and walked to the second floor landing. As he descended the One
stairs 4 gunshots came at him from the darkness below.
went through his chest.
He returned fire before falling His Taiwanese wife Tiki awoke Son Ricky had been
half way down the staircase.
to find Henry dieing on the stairs.
shot in the elbow and was laying on the living room floor holding the wound. with the police. Blake was hysterical on a cell phone By the time the Orlando EMT Unit got to Tiki was inconsolable. The
the scene, Henry was gone.
Orlando Police homicide investigators began looking for clues around the exterior and interior of the 11,000 sq. ft. mansion. Henry was transported to Florida Hospital
morgue. Three days later, Henry was put to rest. The funeral
ceremony was covered by local TV News Broadcasters and the press. Everyone in the area of the mansion was terrorized
at the bold home intrusion and assignation style murder of a man who was a successful lawyer, real estate developer and political operative. There was all kinds of theories
floating around about Henry’s connection to organized crime through his days in the DA’s office and Tiki’s many travels to Thailand. Tiki’s family disapproved of the marriage.
They were unashamedly racist and believed she should marry within her Thai culture. there was that. She had shamed her family. So
Just a few months before, Rick and Tiki had taken an annual trip to Bangkok, Thailand to visit her aging mother and father. A young Thai family member and Rick just 16, went
to one of the famous Bangkok whorehouses where he was drugged by a transvestite and robbed of his Rolex watch and $1,500. A Thai police lieutenant colonel has this warning
for tourists: "Don't rush to kiss a stranger or you will end up in a deep sleep." When Rick arrived back in Orlando he got a thrashing and lost all credit card privileges. Henry was rough on the There were many
boys just like his father was with him.
times when Tiki had to stop Henry from beating them with his belt beyond reason. The boys always tried to please However, Henry
Henry by excelling in school and sports.
believed that the boys were spoiled by the privileges they enjoyed. Several nature retreats into the mountains of
Colorado had only confirmed his belief that Rick and Blake were incapable of getting passing grades in wilderness survival training. He called Rick “Gutless” and Blake “Dog
Boy” because he took his miniature poodle “Major” to sleep with him each night. The homicide investigation produced speculation, which vacillated between different theories in the local news.
But all the physical evidence pointed in one direction. Rick and Blake were arrested for murder. The DA charged
the boys with planning and executing the ambush because they were afraid of being disinherited. In the darkness of
the night Blake aroused the family dog so Henry would think someone had broken in. Rick waited for him as he
approached the top of the stairs and fired 4 shots at him. Henry fired back into the darkness and hit Rick in the elbow. Henry’s fortune had just made a considerable leap
forward beyond 100 million after an old friend and business partner in LA had died and left him the Four Star Films motion picture library, which included “Big Valley” and was worth an estimated 60 million dollars. So, Henry Kyle controlled one of the most valuable cable TV entertainment licensing properties in Hollywood. had dreams of being a big Hollywood producer someday. Blake was just as afraid of Rick as he was of his Dad. Jimmy James put up spirited abuse excuse defense. They Rick
presented evidence of the physical abuse dating back to when the boys were just small children. witness. Tiki was the best But in
The first trial ended with a hung jury.
the second trial Rick’s excuses didn’t play well with the jury. The greed factor was the best motive for the murder.
In the end, Ricky was sentenced to a prison term and Blake was of the hook. But neither boy got the family fortune.
It all went to Tiki and Jimmy James Esq. for legal fees.
Chapter 16 118
In Miami’s Little Havana there are many small stores that carry exotic oils, which are used in offerings to Orishas (Gods). Haitian. Most Santeria believers are Cuban, Puerto Rican or Victor Dela Campa Hernandez Valdez Castro, is a They name their
Haitian illegal alien from Porto Prince. children after their lineage.
In 1998, he managed to tie
several truck tire inner-tubes together to create a rubber raft for his journey to Florida. After 8 days at sea with
his 15 year old brother Hector, they washed ashore on Marathon Island in the Florida Keys. They walked north to
the rich farmlands of Homestead where they found work picking lettuce, watermelons and squash. Victor is a
clever man who has many skills like welding, pluming and laying tile. Victor’s life changed when he met 25 year old Gusty Twombly. They were eating sandwich’s at the El Gallito bar
in Little Havana while watching CNN Cable TV news when a segment about Fidel Castro played. Announcer: Doctor says, Castro healthy enough to live till 140 years old.
Cuban President Fidel Castro, enjoys vibrant health and will live to 140, his chief doctor said. Doctor Eugenio Selman-Housein, who heads Castro's medical team, denied that the longtime leader has Parkinson's disease, as the CIA reportedly believes. "Every day they invent a new one," Selman-Housein said. "He will live 140 years." Castro's health, once a taboo subject in the communist-led island, has become a topic of discussion since he fainted in public in 2001 and slipped and fell before television cameras in October 2004. Castro, who quit smoking his trademark cigars in 1986, has led Cuba since 1959. Victor went into a rant over the prospect that so many Cuban’s would be trapped in the Castro political nightmare until he dies at 104. Many customers in the bar agreed.
However, Gusty Twombly ever the optimist said, “Look at it this way, when has a 104 year old man been able to tell anyone what to do?” Victor replies, “Yeah, what’s he gonna do, chock on a chicken wing?” 120
Throughout her life Gusty was just plain lucky.
years back when people in Florida decided to tear out old moldy carpeting and replace it with tile, Gusty was there with a crews of skilled workers. out exactly as she planned. business in Orlando. Everything she did worked
Now she owns the largest tile
Victor has just met his meal ticket.
Gusty’s mother Alberta Twombly was a practicing Santeria priestess and practitioner who had immigrated from Cuba in the 1960’s. Her skills are well known to the James clan
since she lived in the James home and attended to the reclusive Vivian James during her many bouts with depression and Migraine headaches. Alberta was viewed by
others in Haines City as a witch doctor with extraordinary healing powers. Her only child Gusty was blessed with good Some think this was the handy work of
fortune from birth.
Alberta Twombly and her Santeria ceremonies. Santeria has been in existence since the first slaves came to the Caribbean Islands from West Africa. The religion is
a blend of Catholicism and West African Tribal Spiritual beliefs. However, Santeria practices are not unique to the Today the largest groups of Santeria
followers in the USA are in New York City and South Florida.
Santeria is not a written theology, so there’s no bible or scrolls. priests. Before the James brothers were conceived, Dr. Mrs. James and It is passed on by word of mouth by devotees and
James visited Havana, Cuba where they met Alberta
Twombly who was working in their hotel as a chamber maid. Vivian and Alberta became fast friends. Vivian was having
difficulty conceiving and all the known remedies of the time were exhausted. Alberta knew a Santeria fertility When the James
ceremony that would give her children.
couple returned to Haines City, Vivian was pregnant with twins. Before the birth Vivian made arrangements to bring She never returned to Cuba.
Alberta to Florida.
When the boys were small she would work around the James home watching after them. stories like this one. She would tell them bedtime
The Wind & the Rainbow Elegbara, aye-o, Elegbara, aye-o, Elegbara, madupe, Elegbara Wonfa nyem, listen and hear, and remember.
Listen my children to the tale of Oya, and her children the
colors of the rainbow, a tale of questions and answers, sacrifice and healing, friendship, and trust renewed.
Hear the tale of Oya, come weary to the bone from a long hunt to her home by the black waters of the Niger. There
her children are being raised by Osayin, the herbalist, and taught the ways of the woods. She clothes them in purple,
and calls each by a secret name, but they see her seldom, she stays but a few days, and leaves the mothering to the old healer.
One day she does not return, the children go hungry, and Osayin is worried. He turns to Elegwa, who watches
everything, and asks where she may have gone.
To the East Elegwa goes searching, far beyond the borders of the land, but though he searches far, he finds only tall grasses waving in the breeze, and tracks of the water buffalo.
To the West Osayin, himself, continues searching, far into the mountains of the Cameroon, and from a high place he seems to see her dancing, but when he gets to the plain, it is a flock of wild birds covering the seashore and the
remains of a great catch of fish.
To the South, he sends Ochosi, the tracker, who often finds traces when no one can see the way. Ochosi goes hunting,
seeking through the jungle, and though Ochosi is able to find traces of her journey and people who have seen her, they tell him she has gone north to the country of her people.
And so the three friends return to the village, each having journeyed and returned disheartened. The villagers are
hungry and they do not know what to do as the harvest has been poor. The three counselors do not know what to do but
are fearful of leaving the children without their mother, so packing their belongings, they take the children with them.
To the North, then, Elegwa, Ochosi, and Osayin go journeying with the nine children until they come to the hut of Orunmilla, the seer. He greets them, "I have been I have seen
expecting you, the Fool, the Bow, the Reed.
you for many days in my shells, for you come to bring home the harvest."
"What" speaks Elegwa, "I know no such harvest, I seek only my friend Oya, whose children miss her."
"It is a strange harvest--I see nine children and a mother who does not return and only now you miss her? She shall be your harvest indeed."
Ochosi spoke also.
"I see her trace everywhere.
villagers speak of a brave woman warrior, dressed in black with a purple sash, who comes, stops oppression, but leaves before anyone can thank her."
"You see her harvesting justice--and you do nothing but track her traces--what must you learn?"
Osayin shook his head sadly.
"I was trusted with her
children, but she has left no word."
"You speak of trust," Orunmilla spoke gently, "and for that I will speak. horns. She has come by this way, and left you these
Go home, and she will return when you blow them in
blessing the feast."
"But what shall I tell these her children?" asked Osayin.
"Tell them she will return when the hunters return from the South with no food, when the sailors return from the West with no fish, when the lands to the East are dry, then they should blow their horns and she will return."
And the three returned to the village by the river Niger disheartened. They waited for another moon and thought of Elegwa looked to the East and saw only Osayin looked to the west and saw only
Orunmilla's words. the shifting stars.
the birds on the seashore, Ochosi pondered the South and the strange tales of a warrior who took no food as reward. And they knew that it was time to call her home.
And they blew on the horns.
The wail of the horns died out, and there was a palpable silence. And from a distance they could here the snort of They watched and from the
some beast come to the village.
forest came an immense black buffalo, bleeding from many wounds, who ran at each of them, chasing them into huts as if mad with fear.
The buffalo ran about the village, once, and they thought
it best to stay indoors. outside.
Twice, and they began to peer
Three times, and it was if they knew to wait.
Four times, and the rhythm of its running made a strange dance on the drums of the elders. Five times, and all the
villagers began to dance, ignoring the buffalo as it continued to run. Six times and no one could be still. Eight times and
Seven times and the beast began to tire. the drums fell silent.
The ninth time, the buffalo ran
into the center of the village and collapsed, dead of exhaustion and blood.
The villagers shook themselves, and looked upon the beast, now dead in the village. It skin now hung in tatters, like
cloth, and even as they watched, the tatters became loose, and the hooves shrank, until finally they saw Oya, seemingly dead upon the ground.
"No, it cannot be," cried Osayin, "we saw her tracks everywhere and we never suspected."
"She is the harvest we knew was to come, but not at the sacrifice of our friend," replied Elegwa.
"Only the hunter knows what it is to be hunted," observed
We tracked her to the East, to the West, to the And now,
South, and never knew that we chased a friend. she is dead."
"I am not dead," spoke a voice from the clearing, and they turned but saw no one. sky itself sang. "I am not dead," and it was if the
"You see my old form, your old friend, I am the spirit of the wind, and
that was but a shell.
nothing will keep me from my children." And the wind blew as if a great howling of drums and Oya arose alive again, calling her children one by one.
"Not many know me as you know me, my youngest child, you shall be the Dark Mother (pulling out a cloth of Black). You will lead them by secret ways through the forest when they have lost their way."
"I have shed much blood from the spears of the hunters, you my child shall remember, you are the Blood Mother (pulling out a cloth of Red). You will always remember the blood of
the warriors who fight in your behalf."
"The sun shines golden in the fields ripe for harvest, and you will always know its abundance if you call on me. You
are now the Golden Mother (pulling out a cloth of Orange)."
"I blind the enemy so that they are diverted and do no harm, you I call my Shield, the sun (pulling out a cloth of Yellow). Do no harm when deflection will do."
"Osayin taught you well the patience of waiting. Sometimes you cannot see the pattern until the cloth is finished. You are now the Weaver Woman. Take this cloth
of Green, as you must pull the reed when it is ripe and let it dry."
"Ochosi traced you to the ends of the earth and looked upon the sea. There my winds are forever bringing change. You
are now the Hurricane (pulling out the cloth of Blue), forever changing the sea and the land."
"When justice is not done, I grow angry, and become the seeker after truth. I call you Lightning, blasting from a
clear sky (pulling out a cloth of Indigo)."
"And when you are old, you will teach the young my words, for you shall be the Crone (pulling out a cloth of Purple).
You will be old before your years, and call even the elderly to learn at your feet."
"And you, the eldest child, they will see but seldom as you will follow in my footsteps, invisible as the wind, you are the Dancer in the Flame (pulling out a cloth of Silver)."
Know my friends, Elegwa, Ochosi, Oyasin, that you did not fail me. You, o wondering villagers, you cared for my Now when you have need, call
children even in your hunger.
me by my horns and there will be fish in the sea, a harvest on the land, and meat for the hunter.
Take up the colors of my children as my token, and when you see them in the sky, know that I am there, and here, and in your heart. You’re now the Rainbow, and I am the Wind.
This is just one of many West African Tribal stories Alberta told to the James Brothers over the years. Dr.
James wasn’t interested in the tails of Alberta Twombly. But Jimmy and James never forget the lessons they were told about life in the West African Niger villages.
It wasn’t until Alberta died in 2002 that the James Brothers realized Gusty Twombly was their half sister. three children grew up together without knowing this. Jimmy James discovered the birth certificate tucked away in an attic trunk with Twombly family photos from Cuba. brothers and sister mourned their loss together. When Gusty Twombly and Victor Dela Campa Hernandez Valdez Castro were married it was in the Catholic Church in Winter Park. James Jimmy James was the best man and Jimmy James Gusty kept her family name in honor of her The The
gave her away. mother.
It all proves that life is a messy business.
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