DB Cooper – an update on recent suspects, 2013 to the present

By Bruce A. Smith

Although the DB Cooper case is over forty years-old, the suspects keep coming and one of the enduring mysteries of this case is how many middle-aged Caucasian men didn’t appear for Thanksgiving dinner in 1971. Continue reading

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A Covid Journal, Day 103 of Quarantine – and Day 27 of Nationwide Protests for Social Justice

By Bruce A. Smith

These are the most dramatic days of my lifetime – the Covid crisis coupled with historic social change that will hasten the end of racism. The coronavirus has killed 120,000 Americans, half of whom would be alive if Trump took appropriate and timely measures, such as testing and mask-wearing, and acted with anything approaching competence and compassion.
Continue reading

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True friendships emerge in the time of Covid

By Rachel Holtzman

Special to the Mountain News

Free flowing thoughts of Rachel

I have a nomination for the Hero Chronicles, or whatever they may be called in the face of Covid 19. It’s not a nurse or doctor or the person who sterilized all the instruments used to treat desperately ill patients. It’s not the driver of the morgue van that had to assist in loading up the body bags to be transferred to the refrigerated storage containers at a local funeral home. No, I nominate Gabriella Rachel, an unsung hero who had been restricted to her 8’x10’ bedroom for well over three weeks, leaving the space, escorted, only to use the bathroom when absolutely necessary. This was the stay-in-place Covid rule for her house, an adult group home for the developmentally disabled. Her forms of diversion in the 24/7 box called her room were a television set, the radio, a CD player and the use of the house telephone for a few hours a day. But the years of over medication left her with tremors that made using the phone or the CD player a challenge. She’s been in the system for more than two-thirds of her life and I’ve known her for all that time. She calls me daily, 10:00 am every morning, and often more than that. I never ignore her calls. We are friends. Continue reading

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DB Cooper – new clues surface in the Walter Reca story

By Bruce A. Smith

Editor’s Note: the following is from the 3rd edition of DB Cooper and the FBI – A Case Study of America’s Only Unsolved Skyjacking, being prepped for publication.

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If the FBI thought the world would lose interest in the DB Cooper case when they “officially closed” it in 2016, they must have been shocked with the huge media splash Walter R. Reca and Principia Media publishing company made in 2018. Continue reading

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The Men of Honor of Unity House, 2nd Edition, Chapters 30 & 31 – Saying Hello

By Bruce A. Smith

Chapter 30 – Saying Hello

Spring

I did some construction work, but my heart wasn’t into it. Nor did I join the crowd chasing the vanishing therapy jobs. Unity offered me an entry-level position in a satellite clinic in Bangor, Maine, but I didn’t want to relocate. Truth be told, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I didn’t even pursue my divorce. I just moved out of my sister’s house and rented an RV trailer on Nantucket Island.

For four months, I lived on the $296 a week from unemployment and walked the beaches. One night in March, while listening to Motown and drinking a bottle of Berenger’s, I started writing this story. I wrote ‘til dawn. Continue reading

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The Men of Honor of Unity House, 2nd Edition, Chapter 29 – Saying Goodbye

By Bruce A. Smith

Chapter 29 – Saying Goodbye

Winter

By first snow, everything we had built was gone, but not without a fight. Surprisingly, Anita Bouchart had championed our cause.

“Dave,” she said to me at an emergency staff meeting in December, “I know you think I’ve never been a big supporter of Unity House, and perhaps you’re right. I do think most kids fare better in family homes, not residences like Unity.

“But,” she continued, “I’ve learned a lot in the past month by getting back into action here. These kids are thriving at Unity better than they have anywhere else. Continue reading

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The Men of Honor of Unity House, 2nd Edition, Chapter 28 – Trey

By Bruce A. Smith

Chapter 28 – Trey

Day 13

I got the phone call at 10:00 am

“I would’ve called you sooner, Dave,” Terry said, “but I know how you like to sleep late. How are you?”

“I…, umm…, I’m coming around, Terry.” She was right. I was still in bed, lying in a groggy twilight when she called. “Ummm. How are you?”

“Good. Great actually, personally. I’ve resigned, effective next week.

“Good for you, Terry,” I said.

“You know you’re gonna be in charge now, permanently, or at least sharing things with Anita.”

“Yeah, okay…oy,” I took a deep breath and sighed.

“But, listen, I have some sad news….,” she paused. “Trey died last night.” Continue reading

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The Men of Honor of Unity House, 2nd Edition, Chapter 27 – An Adoption and a Departure

By Bruce A. Smith

Chapter 27 – An Adoption and a Departure

Day Nine

My bronchitis came on fast. By morning, I was blowing my nose like crazy, and try as I did with vitamin C, salt water gargles, and healing visualizations I was in bed all day with fever, chills, and a cough that caused my body to spasm. My tenure as “Boss” didn’t last too long. I turned authority over to Jack.

The rest of the house managed to carry on with their duties as medical orderlies and helping downstairs with the sick. Jack and Karen tried vainly to get bone marrow transplants for Trey and Willy, but the Army said they needed parental consent and the Unity Alliance hedged on taking the responsibility. Continue reading

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The Men of Honor of Unity House, 2nd Edition, Chapter 26 – Changes Within

Bruce A. Smith

Chapter 26

Day 8

It had been quite a week. The start of our second week at Unity seemed like the anniversary of a marriage or a divorce; something big and something awesome. Perhaps in celebration we all made it to breakfast at 7:30 a.m., even Ryan who liked to sleep late even more than me.

In the middle of another breakfast of bacon and eggs, Terry stood up.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys, I wanted to let you know that I’m leaving Unity House in order to accompany Adam’s body to Westover and meet with his family there. I’ll be accompanying them and the body to New Hampshire for his burial there, so I don’t know when I will be back. Continue reading

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The Men of Honor of Unity House, 2nd Edition, Chapter 25 – The Blue Mist

By Bruce A. Smith

Chapter 25 – The Blue Mist

Day Seven

At breakfast, I learned that I wasn’t going to have to organize any cooking for the 200 or so people at Unity as the Army had convoyed-in two mobile home-sized structures to be a mess hall and kitchen, along with a full staff of cooks. All the Men and Women of Honor had to do was take care of themselves and pitch in as we saw fit medically, which ended up being lots of little detail stuff, especially helping patients get settled in our convalescent facilities downstairs. Continue reading

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