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Cat Left the Cradle


Never Ending Divorce


I used to joke with friends that my parents’ are fighting even in death.  For about the last 9 or so years of their marriage, my parents averaged two or three nights a week getting drunk and screaming at each other.  For about 10 years after they divorced, they did not speak to each other at all. Then the fighting began again indirectly when my mother began legal proceedings to enforce her divorce agreement provisions.   Though my father died in 1999 (and my mother in 2002), the legal part of my parents’ divorce did not really end (at least for now it has ended), until the reinstatement of a judgment against my father’s second wife in 2007 originally rendered in 2003.  I figure they spent about 25 years fighting directly and through their attorneys.

And approximately $600,000 in legal fees plus whatever my Dad’s second wife spent to defend and hide herself from the reach of the civil court system was the final financial cost.  Ultimately what they received for the money was misery.

And attorneys’ continue to laugh all the way to the bank.  Justice is very expensive.

Someone once said to me if you add up all the unhappiness of both parties to a divorce, the total exceeds 100%.

Happy 75th Birthday Suzette Howes


Happy Birthday Suzy.  Hope you are enjoying Mom’s money.  You are now a year older than she ever was.

One of the older Suzy Records company logos

Image via Wikipedia


Mom at 14 Years Old


Dolores Shields taken in 1942.

She was a very kind and special person.  She was the youngest sibling in her family.  She had three older half sisters.  None of them really ever left home except for her.  One sister married but lived across the street from my “mom’s mom” (Grandma).  The other two sisters lived with my Grandma until she went into a nursing home.  Both sisters then lived together.

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2nd Wives Need to be Nice to 1st Wives

Oil on Canvas

Or it may cost a bundle.  A jury just awarded a 1st wife $500,000 who sued Alford Patterson’s 2nd wife for “alienation of affection and criminal conversation”.  The alienation of affection is pretty obvious.  The “criminal conversation” I assume refers to the adultery:

The suit states that the Pattersons reared two children and “acquired substantial property and wealth” during their marriage from the mobile home park they owned off U.S. Highway 401 Business in Raeford. It alleges that Basurto met Alford Patterson in 2005 when the Pattersons were selling their business – Basurto’s brother bought part of it – and that they had a not-so-secret affair for several months.

Laura Patterson said in the suit that she was so humiliated that she moved out of her Raeford house to a mobile home in Holden Beach that she and her husband own.

A jury deliberated for 30 minutes Friday before ruling in her favor.

This would have been a good case for my mother to pursue given similar facts but she was too busy suing my father to even think about suing his 2nd wife.

So I guess the moral of the story is that if you are going to steal someone’s spouse, you better be very careful/secretive or have a good attorney.

Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned / Nor hell a fury like a woman scornedWilliam Congreve

How I May Have Saved Suzy Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars

California Real Estate

California Real Estate Sign

Life can be very ironic.

Back a few years ago I found out that Suzette and her boyfriend Mark Gerpheide purchased a golf membership at Mission Hills Country Club.  As a result of this information, I looked up Mark Gerpheide under the property records in Riverside County and found he had bought a condominium in Mission Hills.  Now a private investigator had already checked out Mr. Gerpheide several years earlier and it was pretty much concluded back then that he was not a man who could afford a Palm Springs lifestyle.  In fact he died with a substantial unpaid California tax lien.

So when I located Gerpheide and Suzette Howes living in a condo in Palm Springs it was easy to assume that the actual funds used to purchase the condo came from Suzy and not Mark.  Because of that conclusion, my attorney in Palm Springs obtained a temporary restraining order(TRO) on the condo preventing Mark Gerpheide from selling the property until he proved it was not purchased with funds from Suzette.

Suzette was able to vacate my mother’s judgment against her in the Hawaii court (which is a story for another day) and therefore the TRO no longer was valid since there was no longer any judgment to enforce against Suzette (until she disappeared again and the judgment was reinstated).  Suzette Gerpheide turned right around and sold the condo for something in excess of $800,000 to make sure any future claim from my mother’s estate would be thwarted.  Suzette soon thereafter ignored the lawsuit against her in Hawaii and went back into hiding.

This all happened in 2006 at the height of the real estate boom.  I am pretty sure if Suzette had still owned that condo today, it would be hundreds of thousands of dollars less in value due to the hefty downturn in the California real estate market.

Oh the irony.  You are welcome Suzy.

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Justice Sometimes, Karma Always

LAS VEGAS - DECEMBER 5:  Fred Goldman, father ...

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

From Wikipedia:

Justice is the concept of moral rightness based on ethics, rationality, law, natural law, fairness and equity. A conception of justice is one of the key features of society.

The idea of karma was popularized in the Western world through the work of the Theosophical Society. Kardecist and Western New Age reinterpretations of karma frequently cast it as a sort of luck associated with virtue: if one does good or spiritually valuable acts, one deserves and can expect good luck; conversely, if one does harmful things, one can expect bad luck or unfortunate happenings.[citation needed] In this conception, karma is affiliated with the Neopagan law of return or Threefold Law, the idea that the beneficial or harmful effects one has on the world will return to oneself. Colloquially this may be summed up as ‘what goes around comes around.’

In my over 1/2 century of living on this planet I have seen very little justice but lots of karma. Therefore I put little faith in the former and lots of faith in the latter. Today both justice was served and “what went around came around”.

I am very happy for Fred Goldman, his family and the Brown family. It doesn’t undo the damage, but I hope it helps them heal.

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Corner Bistro

Corner Bistro - W 4th St, Ny, NY

Corner Bistro - W 4th St, Ny, NY

Hamburger at the Corner Bistro

Hamburger at the Corner Bistro

Long Beach Island


Come On, This is Ridiculous

US Social Security Card

Suzette Howes owes my sister and me $1.8 million plus interest as per the judgment shown here.

And the government has information about her credit, customs, social security, medicare and tax records.  Why does Suzette’s right to privacy trump our legal claim?  In order to protect her privacy, could not a disinterested third party be engaged to review the government’s records and provide information that would help locate her whereabouts and her assets?

Back in the 1980s, I attended a seminar for accountants that was about making yourself “judgment proof”.  The entire seminar was about how to keep your assets from being seized by creditors. Why is it OK to teach people how to stiff others on their legal obligations? If someone taught a seminar on how to mentally abuse your spouse and get away with it, would that be OK?  Isn’t denying someone their right to monies owed to them a potential form of abuse?  If my mother had lived to be 94 years old like her mother did, the monies owed to her from this judgment would have been used to pay for her support.  Denying her those monies would have resulted in a tortuous decline in her standard of living.  Isn’t that a form of mental abuse?

Even though mom did not make it to 94 years of age, her being deprived of the maintenance and support due her certainly diminished her quality of life and may have hastened her death.

Why is it OK to avoid your obligations?  Doesn’t Fred Goldman deserve every penny he can retrieve from O.J. Simpson’s assets?  isn’t it true that when people are legally able to avoid obligations that they are capable of paying, someone still has to pay.  If I don’t pay my creditors, don’t you pay a higher interest rate on your purchases or your loan as a result?  If so, why not let the government help in any way they can with their records in order to further the public good of seeing that legally determined obligations get satisfied by the debtor?

Think about it.

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