RANGER AGAINST WAR: Where We Started From <

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Where We Started From

Ooo and it's alright and it's comin' 'long
We got to get right back to where we started from

Right Back Where We Started From,
Maxine Nightingale

The truth does not change
according to our ability to stomach it

--Flannery O'Connor


This is beyond the frontier of Ranger's concerns, yet in an esoteric way it merits a mention as counterpoint to the war.

From today's
Orlando Sentinel, a gruesome little tale from the depressed town of Okahumpka, in Lake County:

The daughter of an 83-year-old woman admitted dumping her [mother's] body on the side of a clay road and cashing two of her retirement checks, Lake County sheriff's Sgt. John Herrell said Friday.

Debra Loreth, 53, placed her mother, Jeanne Vasa, in a garbage bag and dropped her body on a rural road in west Lake County near Okahumpka, Herrell said.

Loreth told detectives that she dumped her mother's body in hopes she would be discovered and given a proper burial, Herrell said.

Loreth was issued a misdemeanor charge; no foul play was involved.

This is the area I left, and this sort of story hearkens me back to the sorts of people I knew populated the hinterlands of towns like Astatula, Umatilla, et. al. Lake County borders Orange, entertainment capital of the state, for sure. The ignorance and poverty there is pervasive (as it is here, and probably, across the tracks, is in most communities in America.) The article goes on to mention that Ms. Loreth works "odd jobs" in the tourist area.

She and her sort are the unseen Americans working in kitchens, emptying rubbish bins -- all the "odd jobs". Barbara Ehrenreich lived and exposed this subculture in her book, Nickel and Dimed: On Not Getting by in America. So it goes in Ms. Loreth's life, and hopefully mama will get that burial.

Meanwhile, Iraq's new suzerain, America, has its hands full trying to get electricity back on for the people in the desert for more than a few hours a day. Back to the way things were in the good old days, under Saddam.




Anonymous Killer Whale said...


That is a really sad story about that lady.

Saturday, October 13, 2007 at 8:21:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Lisa said...


Yup, but it's not just her story. that sort of poverty and ignorance abounds, if you but scratch the surface.

Routinely there are stories in the news about babies left in bathrooms, dumpsters, etc., dead or alive. The reason we do not as frequently hear the same about the elderly is simply that they are usually in managed care facilities by the point of death, and so are properly disposed of.

It does not mean their lives are any less abandoned than the woman's in the Hefty garbage bag.

Just a cheery Sunday thought, as people trundle off to church.

Sunday, October 14, 2007 at 9:27:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you about poverty, but the story about the lady in Florida was about greed not poverty. It had nothing to do with giving her mother a proper burial; she did not report her mother's death and dumped her mother's dead body so she could continue recieiving her pension checks.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 4:38:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Possibly, but I have a hard time calling the desire for a $243 pension check "greed".

I'll still call it ignorance and poverty. After all, she didn't knock her mom off to inherit that kingly sum; simply used an available asset to put towards the electric bill, I'll wager.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 4:50:00 PM GMT-5  

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