Thursday, October 13, 2005

Ben Munsey said.... including the first installment of "Forty Lives"

Ben Munsey said that maybe a 6,000 word story is too long to post on a blog. He said it would clog up his aggregator. I already know that people rarely have the stamina to read something that long on a computer screen. Instead Ben advised posting three or four lives at a time, as a king of blog-serial. Here goes:

Forty Lives

By Fred Owens

Brief Biographies. These are the people I know, in almost alphabetical order, because I am using the list of numbers on my cell phone – forty people in all. People who matter to me for one reason or another, people worthy of praise, long memory, and small tears.

Greg Love is a man I met in Columbus, Ohio, last fall when I was working on the John Kerry campaign. He was a cheerful wit who told raunchy jokes. He sat in the corner and did things on his laptop – I have no idea what. A good-looking man, but unemployed, as he said, even though he was a lawyer. He had a tender regard for his wife, back in Washington, DC, and spoke of her often. I called him nine months ago. Greg said that he and his wife might be starting family. I thought that was a good idea.

Victoria Pavlik was really something – probably still is – a piece of work, a force of nature. I stayed at her house in Columbus, Ohio for three weeks, when I was working on the campaign. She owned a forty-acre horse farm called Jade Ranch. Tall, thin and lanky, sparkling eyes, crooked teeth, favoring a cowboy hat and stressing her hillbilly background with an adopted twang. She was an accountant who worked for the state government, age 42, bi-sexual – she told me that right off the bat. I suppose that she told so that I might know where I stood with her. But it only confused me in a most wonderful manner. She drank a lot of Budweiser, smoked dope, stayed up late doing laundry and talking on the phone, and she had two beautiful children, the first with via sperm donation and the second with some no-goodnik.

I think she was doing some cocaine – how else to explain her ceaseless manic energy? She infatuated me, and I loved her Ohio farm. But I had to leave – too much trouble.

Eva Owens is my daughter. She was born on March 3, 1979 at Skagit Valley Hospital in Mount Vernon, Washington. Dr. Logan was the Obstetrician. She had nice, thick, curly black hair when she was born and the nurse combed it nicely after they cleaned her up. Things have gone well for her ever since.

Last week she and I went camping in Yosemite National Park – we had a fabulous time, except Eva caught a dose of poison oak.

This afternoon I called her – she lives in Austin, Texas – she said she was all stressed out, but she could talk to me tomorrow.


Krista Richards Mann said...

I wanted to name my daughter Eva, but my former husband insisted on Samantha. Samuel was the name of his grandfather. What I did not know at the time was that Samuel was unanimously dispised.

Anonymous said...

Victoria was my aunt. I know your assumptions about the snow were correct. She just passed away this week. Complications with a bad liver and kidneys. It is tragic. I am glad you have good memories of her.

Joyce Weber/ Bird said...

Vicki Pavlik and I grew up together in Michigan. She lived two houses down from me we went to school together , church together and were very close friends. I have'nt seen or talked to her in a few years. But, I have spoken to her Mother. Her Mom called me in Florida this past Sunday and told me she died on March 12. I was in shock! I wish her Mom had told me she was sick!?! Or better yet Vicki should have let me know. I guess I did not know the dark side of her life at all. Growing up she was the best at everything, sports, academics you name it she was the best. I real high achiever. She was not bisexual or a lesbian back then. She had the best boyfreinds and was actually engaged to a great guy John De Campo who was our english teacher in 12 th grade. He was just a few years older than us and a real doll. She NEVER used ANY drugs in highscool at all she drank alittle beer like we all did, but was a much straighter arrow than most of us. She was a funloving, smart, pretty, intelligent girl/woman. I knew her since she was about 3 or 4 years old. I am still in shock with her untimely death. I miss her and loved her as a sister. I will never forget when she hauled her entire family out to my small wedding in vegas back in 1994. Andrea was only about 19 months old and cute as a button. Her Mom and Dad where neighborhood friends of my family and came along too. She was my only friend who came all of the way out to our wedding. Vicki was one of my longest and best friends. Although I lived in Florida and she lived in Ohio and later in N.Y. I wish I had known she had drug and drinking issues, I would have tried to help her. So sad, so tragic, I have been teary eyed for days over this. Her Mother's birthday is tommorow. I will call her.

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