Friday, August 22, 2008

Washington, PA

Just doing my part to continue the tracking of our favorite "lobbyist". Yesterday Marilyn stopped in Washington, PA where I work as a bartender at TGIFridays. On this particular evening I was working a shift as a server (which is a rarity in and of itself) when around 6:30 a middle aged woman in a blue dress was seated in my section. I say "seated", but as I approached the table, she was standing next to it attempting to organize a large stack of papers tucked into a yellow folder. I introduced myself, and she asked me if I was the manager. I informed her that I was not the manager, but could find one for her as I got her a drink. She politely requested three large glasses of water with no ice. I immediately located my manager and informed him that there was an odd woman seeking his presence. I kept my distance, but watched my manager as he approached Marilyn's table. I could not hear any of their conversation but based on my manager's facial
expressions, I could see he was clearly confused. After a few seconds of dialogue she handed him a folded piece of paper. (I don't have a scanner so I will transcribe what Marilyn had hastily written in messy cursive. With the exception of the check marks, all capitalization/punctuation/spelling is exactly as she had written.)

On the back of what was a folded flier for an abused women's shelter, Marilyn had written:

A Black Police Officer. JOHN RODWIN [5 check marks]
1. Brutality
2. Corruption
3. Through The Black Church
4. He Got Away With My Money
Saying HUSBAND [husband is underlined 3 times]
5. He Looks Like A White Man Now.
6. His 5th Bigamist Wife, Mrs. Ku

She was in the middle of writing this as my manager approached so she didn't quite finish, but I'm guessing she was attempting to write "Mrs. Kurston Sawyer Rodwin Ringwald"

My manager, upon leaving the table, informed me that Marilyn claimed she was the victim of some sort of abuse, and would he kindly donate to her cause by buying her a meal, as she had not eaten today. He told me (and her) that he would buy her meal on the condition that she not speak to any other patrons of the restaurant, and that she leave as soon as she was done eating...she politely obliged.
When I returned to her table with her food, she had used 2 of the glasses of water to hold up a makeshift sign about 2 feet wide by 1 foot high, written on white paper, stuck to cardboard and wrapped in plastic. I did not get a very good look at it, but it was all the same cursive writing as on her handout (I believe it may have been the rest of her manifesto)
She was sipping from the third glass of water, while spraying herself down with what appeared to be perfume, but must have been plain water as it had no smell. She gladly took the food from me, but then proceeded to stand up and move to another table...carrying only her plate and leaving her paperwork behind. When my manager came over to ask her to stay at one table, she became very flustered, quickly gathered her things, and proceeded to walk out of the restaurant BACKWARDS. She continued to walk backwards all the way down the sidewalk and around the building until she was in the parking lot of the restaurant next door, when she turned and walked normal again, leaving all of us dumbfounded in her wake.

It was my manager who actually came across this blog when he googled "John Rodwin", but since our meeting I cannot stop thinking about it. I find her story so twisted and brother actually likened it to a stephen king novel, where so many strangers become intertwined over such an odd and trivial encounter. I hope she finally finds her raft and gets the U.N. to ban microwave technology 667, but in the meantime I can't wait to hear about other peoples' run-ins with Marilyn