Tuesday, December 30, 2008

St George, UT

My wife and I were leaving the Chuck-O-Rama restaurant in St George, UT this afternoon when we were approached by a very nice mannered black lady. She excused herself for intruding and asked if we could help her get to Washington just a few miles north of where we were at. At first I hesitated, then seeing that she appeared to be a very sincere and cordial lady in need of help, my wife and I agreed that we would take her, even though it was in the opposite direction of where we wanted to go.

After we all got into our car we began a discussion with her by making introductions. She introduced herself as Ms Marilyn and told us a similar story that we have now found on this blog and numerous other preceding it. She told us she was an activist similar to Martin Luther King Jr. but that for her it was not a willing participation but something she was being compelled to do. To be truthful, we seemed to disarm much of the manner of Ms Marilyn we are reading about in this blog by asking her where she was from. She mentioned that she had recently been in Park City and several places north – but that she was currently staying in Cedar City though she’d come to St George on business. We told her we were from Cedar and that we would be returning later that evening. She seemed to not have heard that we were not returning immediately when she asked us if we were now returning to Cedar could she ride with us. We restated that we had children we had to pick up from other activities and that we would not be driving back to Cedar until later. She then stated that the Washington On-Ramp to I-15 headed North would be the place she would like us to drop her off.

Before getting to the inter-change I told her that it would be more-likely she could find someone returning to Cedar City by going to the local Costco. She stated with some hesitancy that she wouldn’t mind being let off of the on-ramp but that if we thought it best at Costco for her she would accept that. We told her that we would check back later on our way and look for her. She seemed very concerned that she had to be back in Cedar before nightfall and back into the lodging that was being provided for her. My wife asked her if she had a cell-phone that we could check up on her later, and she stated she did not and asked if we had a cell-phone and when we confirmed we did, she asked if we would place a call for her. My wife handed her a cell phone and she passed it back asking my wife if she would dial a number for her. My wife dialed the number and handed her the phone which had begun to ring. Ms Marilyn stated that perhaps she should have let my wife talk to the person she wanted to leave a message with concerning her where-about, but then leaves a fairly detailed message on an answering machine. In the message Ms. Marilyn states where she is (Washington, UT) and that she is headed back to Cedar to the lodgings this person had provided for her. In her message she asks this person to please clear the lines for her and make certain everything is safe for her.

As Ms Marilyn is getting out of the vehicle in the Costco parking lot she then reaches into her packages and retrieves a Sales Receipt from the local UPS store. Thinking that she is reaching for some money to pay for the short trip we had just provided my wife begins to protest. Ms Marilyn who up to now had not really talked about any of the things we are reading about in this blog, tells her to please take the receipt that shows how much she has just paid to get her papers printed. She also pushes a package of five papers folded into a bundle into my wife’s hands and asks her to please pass them onto five of our friends. We notice she has several more such bundles in her packages. We had noticed that big shopping bag of toilet paper rolls.., and thought it to be very curious – but it was not part of our conversation. Later it was as we read the paper she left us that we read almost verbatim the type of things this blog is reporting.

My wife and I visited with family a short time later while still in St George. A son-in-law is a member of the local police force in St George and out of curiosity he called in to see if there were any reports on this strange, but very nice lady we had just met. There were none to be of any concern as we really could not identify any thing of bad report on her. My wife and I expressed our concern that perhaps she may have trouble getting back to Cedar and asked him to watch for any reports that might indicate she had further problems or incidents. We have now returned home and out of curiosity I’ve done some research on the number Ms Marilyn called and left a message with using my cell phone. The number was an Ottowa-Hull number in Ontario, Canada. I have the name of the person on the answering machine she left the message on. I am wondering if she really knew who she was calling or if she’d just picked the number at random.

My wife and I really enjoyed our short visit with Ms. Marilyn. She was very cordial and gave no indication at all during our short encounter of any of the things we are reading in her paper and on this blog. We are very concerned for her and wondering if there is something more we can do for her before she leaves Cedar. We are wondering how she has been in such a state for the time she has and no one has been able to help her. She told us that she has family in Davis, California but that she has not been close to them for some time. In our conversation during the drive we told her how many children we had, and she expressed that her grandmother would have had the same number if they had all lived. She seemed impressed by the woman her grandmother had been and wished she could be the same.