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Rolland Weston Smith
(September 2, 1920 - January 2, 2006)
He was my favorite man in the world. In between a father that left when I was three and a succession of stepfathers that would rather sell me to gypsies than treat me with compassion, he was my true father figure. He had five grandkids-- all strangely different. Chris, the oldest, was very artistic and more like a 21st century hippy. Jeff, was the most street-wise. He knew everything and could get away with anything. You don't want to piss Jeff off. Me, you know what a screw-up I am. I tend to self-judge myself, but Grandpa was a hard act to follow. Larry is the best looking and struts with class. He had his share of trouble growing up, but he's a terrific family man. Johnny was the youngest. He started out a nasty brat but is a very upstanding man-- I can't imagine how someone that was so fearful growing up is now hooked on horror films.

I hadn't been to a funeral in a long time. It was my Great-Grandmother's, and I just remembered the feel of her cold flesh as she laid in her coffin. She felt like a butterball turkey.

Thursday 05 January
I arrive. I meet my cousins, Jeff & Larry and they both look great. They tend to like beer more than any other drink, but they didn't get staggering drunk the whole time I was there. We talked about Grandpa and just caught up on things.

Friday 06 January
The day of the funeral. Kenny brought his dickhead son, Butch to breakfast. I shook his hand and introduced myself and he didn't look me in the eye. Later, he walked onto the patio, saw my Grandfather's pictures of Marilyn Monroe and said,
"These will look great in my room."
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It obviously pissed us all off. Butch is one of the most worthless people we've ever met. He's 45, been evicted from any property that he's ever lived in, lives for get-rich-quick schemes and has done nothing but steal, cheat and drift around the states, leaving a trail of pissed off people. The below was found off a web search for Kent Coyne Jr.:
Kent Coyne Jr., Toledo, possession of drug paraphernalia, $100 fine, $61 costs, driver's license suspended for six months; FRA suspension, $100 fine, $61 costs, 60 days jail with 50 suspended on condition defendant is law abiding for one year; speed 70/55, $20 fine, $37 costs.

First, Mom wanted to see if the obituary was printed correctly (it was printed wrong for the first two days) and we drove towards the convenience store. A man in a white car almost ran us off the road and we had to panic stop. We then continued to the highway's stoplights so that we could cross over towards the store. The man in the white car must have doubled back and ended up cutting us off on his way to the same store. We pulled up outside the store and my mother jumped out to get some newspapers. Jeff then got out, but walked behind the minivan and passed close to the white car. He appeared to have stumbled slightly, then walked into the store. I could have sworn he did something.

I looked to see if he threw something into the car but couldn't see. The man in the white car came out, hopped in and hauled ass back to the first shopping center-- probably to watch the game in the bar. Jeff came out with a huge grin on his face. Apparently, Jeff walked past the car, pulled out a knife and slashed his rear tire. It's nice to see Jeff's work!

We go to the funeral and barring the shitty funeral home, it went well. Some of us stood up and read letters that we wrote to our Grandfather. The Chaplain was a nice man but he still bullshitted his time at the podium. It was a nice event. My Grandfather even played the music for his own funeral-- a taped session of him playing the organ. Grandpa was buried with a few objects that he loved. His sailor hat, a few mementos from his time as fire chief and best of all, a January 2006 Playboy! We looked at all of the pictures and gazed at our Grandfather reverently. Butch looked around like he was shopping at a flea market.

Following the funeral, we went back to Grandpa's house for food and just to laugh at memories. Kenny brought his shadow, Butch and I bet we all collectively rolled our eyes. After Butch ate, he skulked out.

Saturday 07 January
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Chris gets up, says his goodbyes and leaves for home. That morning, Larry discovers that his sunglasses are missing. He looks around the house and even tears the car apart but can't find them. They're expensive.
He calls Chris when he gets home. Chris goes to see if they were in his truck and they weren't. The process of elimination is now pointing to thievery.
My Mother calls her husband:

Mom: "Did Butch pick up Larry's Sunglasses?"
Kenny to Butch: "Are those blue sunglasses yours?"
Butch: "I've had these for a long time."
Kenny to Butch: "I didn't ask how long you've had them, are they yours?"
Butch: "Yes."

Obviously, something's screwy. We decide to go to the house and investigate. Under the auspices of getting one of Johnny's movies, we knock on the front door. It's night. Butch answers the door with crappy sunglasses perched on top of his head. "Oh, hey guys. These are my glasses-- I only buy the cheap ones."
Jeff and I walk in and head to Johnny's room to peruse his collection. This leaves Larry with Butch.

Larry: "So, what are you cooking."
Butch: I'm sauteeing vegetables 'cause I'm making a pizza. --I didn't take your glasses."

Later, we get back into the car and make note of how nervous Butch was and how he kept mentioning that he didn't have them, even when it wasn't part of the conversation. Jeff is quiet the entire time.

We get back to the house and Jeff asks, "Larry, where's the gun?"
Larry answers back, "Don't worry about it-- it's in the trunk."

We walk inside the house and my aunt says that dinner's ready. Jeff turns to Larry, "Give me the keys, I need to get something."

Five minutes later, we don't see Jeff and Larry walks outside-- the car is now missing. The only thing that's going through our minds is a pissed off Jeff holding a gun to Butch's stupid face.
Larry gets Jeff on the cell. He's telling him to turn around and get his ass back home. Jeff won't listen. I ask to talk to him and tell him that
"I'll buy him a new pair-- no problem. I just don't want any more drama." I try to tell him that they're not worth it and that my mother and aunt don't need the stress.
Jeff says
: "I'll be back in ten minutes."

What Jeff didn't tell us is that he safely placed the handgun in the garage "In case the cops are called" and instead, armed himself with one of Grandpa's claw hammers.

He pulled into Kenny's driveway and as a gag, left his empty beer bottle in the front seat of his 40's ford. He then went to the door and knocked. Butch opened the screen door.

Jeff: "You know why I'm here. You've got two fucking seconds to bring those glasses out."
Butch kept glancing at Kenny's closed bedroom door (we're assuming that he didn't want his Dad to find out) and tried to shut the screen door. Jeff said that he put his foot between the door & doorjamb, so Butch turned around and in damn near two seconds time, handed Jeff the glasses. "Uh. I'm sorry..."
Jeff said, "I only know about this and you-- so let's leave it at that."

Ten minutes later, Jeff walked back in the house and went into the garage. My ass-crack was slick with sweat. Larry and I went into the garage and listened to his story. I felt like puking. I can't believe that anyone would be that low to steal from a house of grieving family.

My Aunt Sue was really pissed. She intended to speak to Kenny and tell him that his son was no longer welcome at Grandpa's house.

Sunday, 08 January
Unbelievably, Kenny came for breakfast, with his lummox in tow. He had shaved his head. If he didn't look stupid enough, now he resembles a cock. Sue took Kenny outside to tell him what happened.

Sue: "...He came into this house of grieving family and stole from them. He is no longer welcome here."
Kenny: "I'll get it back for you."
Sue: "We already have it back."
Jeff, walking out, hung over: "Kenny, go in the house and get your fucking son out of there. I don't want to hear about you or him stealing things from that house-- I don't want either of you in that house from now on."
Sue: "No Jeff-- he's Ruth's husband-- he's welcome. I just don't want his son here."

Kenny mumbled something, got his son and left. We couldn't wait to see if Kenny would throw the guy out.
That evening, my mother and I went to dinner with Johnny and his family. I imagine you could guess what was all on our minds.

Monday, 09 January
Jeff and Larry packed up and left. They drove back to Atlanta. We went shopping that day and still wondered what Kenny would say. We discussed the events and laughed about that dickhead. Kenny mentioned to my mother that he wanted to hear my side of the story. Later that evening, Kenny picked me up from Grandpa's house and we talked in his truck all the way to his house. He listened very well. I told him everything that happened and remembered to tell him about the beer bottle. Apparently, Butch told Kenny that Jeff never came to the house. When we drove up, Butch staggered out of the house and kicked a rubbermaid trash can into the hedges and then stumbled away. Kenny mentioned that somehow that "guy needs to control his temper." He got out and opened the door to his 50's ford. The beer bottle was sitting in the seat.
We went into the house and continued discussing the events. Butch blasts through the door.
He was yelling and shrieking that he was being framed and that he didn't steal
He said that if Jeff was at the door with a hammer, he would have easily kicked his ass. I told him that "Although I'm a head taller and maybe twice as physically strong, Jeff would have no problem kicking my ass."
He kept yammering on about being upset and that we were lucky he didn't kick the door in.
Kenny: "No, you're lucky you didn't kick it in."

After another ten minutes of watching Butch make an ass of himself, Kenny took me home. He said as we got close to the house that he was leaning towards Jeff's side of the story.

A word on Kenny & his son: Kenny inherited us when we were unruly teenagers-- I'm sure we weren't the ideal package. Kenny's only biological son is Butch and throughout the years I'm sure he's wondered where his son was and I know for a fact wanted to find him. In the end, Butch found him. Butch deep down probably wants his father's love and approval, but growing up in his circumstances, with thievery for breakfast, swindle for lunch and destruction for dinner-- he just doesn't know how to get his head on straight. I find myself wondering what I would do in the same situation if my son was acting the same. I wouldn't want to throw him to the cruel world-- he would end up as a career criminal. One thing's for certain, he must dry out-- no more alcohol. I think that this point they'll need a professional.

When Johnny got off work, he came straight to Grandpa's house. While we were there, his phone rang. His wife was upset and the kids were crying. Butch had gone on a rampage. We drove directly to the house and found the neighbors standing on the road and we went in and got the kids & poodle (didn't want that jerk kicking the dog). Kenny said that Butch went around kicking in all the closet doors and then ran off on his bicycle. Apparently, he hit a parked tow truck and then tried to tear the mirror off the side. He slashed the tire and then struggled with the husband and wife before he tore off, again on his bike. The sheriff arrived and calmed things down. Kenny agreed to pay for the man's tire and everything blew over. Later that day, Butch fell asleep in the back bedroom.

Tuesday, 10 January
We found out that Butch told Kenny that he didn't have any recollection of the previous night's events. When they mentioned that he bent a woman's finger back towards her wrist, he got defensive and said that he merely grabbed her by the forearm. His memory must have came back.

Wednesday, 11 January
It was a nice time. I'm glad to have seen my brothers and cousins. It was a good way to send off such a great man. Sue asked that we not tell Jeff about Butch's comments. She's worried that he would come back and kill him. It's not a bad idea, but like her, I don't want to see him in jail for making this planet a better place. There will be more news about Butch-- I'll post them here.

I'm sure my Grandfather is watching down from above and chuckling. I'm sure he wouldn't want it any other way.

Thursday 09 February
I called Mom to let her know that I received a package. Apparently Butch & Kenny went up north at a car show and sold some products. The day they got back, Butch rode his bicycle over to Grandpa's house and walked through the front door without knocking.
He sat around griping about the sunglasses:

Butch: "I want to talk to Larry! I don't know why people thought that I took 'em."
My mother, who doesn't like to get confrontational or anything stood there cooking. She finally had enough.
Mom: "Butch. We know you took them-- everyone knows you took them, so stop lying about it."
Butch kept acting the victim and my mother kept it up.
Mom: "You always steal. You tried to cash Kenny's check for $3,000.00 by signing your name and putting his social security number on the back. The bank called Kenny and that's how he found out. And I'm tired of you trashing my house!"
Butch, getting defensive: "I didn't trash the house!"
Mom: "Yes you did-- I saw what you did to my closet doors. You kicked them in!"
Butch: "Well, I was mad..."
Mom: "You've done that to every place you lived in-- that's why you keep getting evicted!"
Butch: "Well, if that's how you feel..."

Butch then got up and left. Hooray! I'm proud of Mom getting it off her chest. I know she doesn't like to harbor anger or sadness-- I'm glad she let him have it. Errare Humanum Est (To err is human). It's just sad when you don't learn from your mistakes.
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Saturday 04 March
Another phone call to Mom yielded a dilemma-- Butch got into a screaming match with his father and took off. Great news! The problem is, he now has a job as a 'maintenance man' at the
Best Western Springs Resort, in Fort Myers, FL. Oh God. Just think-- he now has keys to all those poor tourist's rooms!

If you go to their web page, there are two people smiling while bathing in the pool. You can just imagine Butch is in their rooms, stealing anything he can get his hands on (except the Gideon bible) and running their toothbrushes up his ass.

Apparently, he's been 'talking the bigshot' and telling his friends that he can make up his own hours and even drink during his lunch hour! Oh yes, this is going to end badly I'm sure.

Kenny had to go sell products at a flea market some place up north-- he took a VW beetle convertible (still not sold-- want info?) as well as some antique things. While he was gone, butch had locked himself into Kenny's room and was busy taking apart the computer. He wouldn't let my nieces & nephew into the room and was basically rifling through everything. When Kenny came back, he noticed Butch was drunk (again) and the two of them got into it. Butch threatened to 'burn the house down' and even threatened to beat up his own father.

I imagine he'll be at
least that polite with the visitors to the Springs Resort!

So here's my dilemma: Butch has stolen from every member of my family-- he even stole from me. We had some pictures (pricey ones) that we ordered and had delivered to my Mom's house. Butch came, he saw, he stole. Live and learn I always say. He's a vandal and a cheat. He's also a mean, mean drunk. It was okay to bitch about it to family & friends, but now he's going to prey upon strangers. I can't just let it happen without letting the Resort know.

I'm going to email this web link to the manager and leave it up to him. If he decides to believe Butch's stories on why he doesn't have a driving license (DUI's running from cops, etc.), or why internet searches find arrests in his name or why the bank just down the street caught him trying to cash someone elses check-- then that's their problem.

I no longer live in Ft. Myers, but I still love the place. Butch needs to return to Ohio-- after all, there's a prison cell in Toledo waiting for him someday. When he finally does commit a crime that harms or God forbid-- kills someone, I don't want it done to someone in my hometown, without letting the victims know in advance.